It wasn’t all that long ago that it seemed gun rights were ascendant in this country. Not only were they advancing in many states–not the usual suspects, of course, but others–but there was no risk to them from the federal level.
Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, the White House, and even held the edge in the Supreme Court. It was highly unlikely that gun control would pass and, in fact, there was a glimmer of hope of making suppressors easier to obtain.
Then everything went sideways.
Gun rights advocates have been playing defense for years now, but over at Guns Magazine, David Workman has a better idea.
He thinks it’s time to go on the offensive.
The gun prohibition lobby — and make no mistake, it is prohibition they’re after — is fond of demanding “gun reform” and “gun safety laws” when they are really talking about gun restrictions and gun bans, i.e., gun control!
It’s time for gun owners to return fire, politically speaking, with some demands of our own, some of which truly qualifies as gun law reform. These are suggestions meeting the measure of “common sense” and will bring a halt to penalizing law-abiding firearms owners for exercising their right to bear arms. This is especially important now, with fully half of the states allowing permitless carry.
Goal Number One
We need to repeal or drastically amend the Gun Free School Zones Act. This federal law makes a felon of anyone driving, riding or walking through an area an individual “knows or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.” What is a school zone? It’s the area within 1,000 feet of a school on all sides, slightly longer than three football fields placed end-to-end. It might be invisible from where you are standing, walking or driving, but it’s there.
Has this law ever worked to actually prevent a school shooting? You might ask anyone who remembers Columbine, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Thurston, Ingraham and Pearl high schools — and don’t forget Sandy Hook Elementary.
Exactly. All the law does is jam up the average citizen who simply travels through the wrong place at the wrong time.
Workman also calls for national reciprocity of concealed carry permits and firearm safety as part of the public school curriculum, something I’ve long advocated here.
Finally, he wraps up:
This summer, members of Congress will be showing up at parades, political picnics and other activities in their districts. Check your community calendar and find out when these activities will happen. Such events will give you the opportunity for personal contact. Shake hands with their aides, make your points and provide contact information for follow-up conversations.
Be creative rather than combative. Be cordial, rather than cranky. Be willing to help craft legislation and be ready to provide visual aids to explain and demonstrate the issue. The ball really is in your court!
Go and read the whole thing because he gives articulate reasons why we should push for these three things.
At the end of the day, though, what we need to do is just stop playing defense. We’ve been doing it since Parkland and, frankly, it sucks. Guns aren’t responsible for mass shootings and never have been. People are responsible.
No, we can’t ban people. Much as my misanthropic side might like to, it’s just not an option.
But we can do a whole lot more than we’re currently doing.
Plus, if we make a push like this, it’ll give us a platform to debunk a lot of the talking points we currently hear. After all, these measures would be challenged by people bringing up mass shootings. It would give us an opportunity to show, statistically, how rare they actually are. It’ll give us a chance to push back and the encroachment on our Second Amendment rights we’ve seen in recent years.
We’re winning in the courts. We’re winning in many states. We’re not winning in the nation, though, and that’s a huge problem. It’s a problem because these are our rights. We shouldn’t have to win. Yet we do, so we’d damn well better start pushing back.
You don’t win playing defense. That’s just playing to not lose, and it’s the surest way to lose there is.