Writing at Reason.com Friday, author J.D. Tuccille makes an argument that this is “the year gun control died,” but considering the activism behind “National Gun Violence Awareness Day”—also on Friday when gun prohibition activists are supposed to wear orange—the Reason article might be wishful thinking.
The gun prohibition lobby isn’t going anywhere. For example, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility has been touting “Gun Violence Awareness Day.” This is the seventh annual observance. The Alliance is primarily bankrolled by billionaires and other wealthy elitists. This is the day they ask people to wear orange.
Tuccille contends gun control is in big trouble because of the incident in Minneapolis. The death of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer, Tuccille suggests, “provides continuing evidence that to push gun control proposals is to advocate that the likes of Derek Chauvin—the Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd—should be armed, while the communities they terrorize should be helpless. It is also to insist that when police fail at their supposedly core task of protecting the public, people should be deprived of the means for defending themselves.”
Take this a step farther. Protesters are demanding for police departments to be defunded. It is not likely to happen, and Minneapolis is an example. The Washington Times is reporting that the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted to reform the police department, including banning chokeholds, but it “opted against dismantling the department entirely.”
In Seattle, a group calling itself Seattle Indivisible wants followers to pressure local and national politicians to stop militarization of civilian police departments. It is not likely to happen, but if it did, the gun control movement wouldn’t necessarily fold up its tent because more people would be purchasing firearms, and anti-gunners want that to end.
Tuccille does make interesting arguments, observing, “As many Americans lose faith in law enforcement and do what’s necessary to shield lives and property, it’s unlikely that they’ll be an enthusiastic audience for future disarmament schemes that would make those of us who don’t work for government even more vulnerable to those who do.”
But the gun rights movement has one disadvantage despite having the facts, law and constitution on their side. The gun prohibition lobby has money. Lots of it, and this year anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has vowed to spend at least $60 million to sway national and local elections to Democrats because they are more friendly to gun control.
If Tuccille is right about this being the year gun control died, it will have more to do with what first-time gun buyers learned while trying to make purchases at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, people who had previously supported gun control found that it applies to them, as well. They learned background checks, waiting periods and perhaps even more restrictions in various jurisdictions really are burdensome, and they didn’t like it.
The Alliance for Gun Responsibility wanted images of people wearing orange. No telling how many rights activists might take them up on it.