Like original sin, there is an original myth in the gun-rights struggle: progressives make progress. It’s counterintuitive, even defying the name they’ve chosen, but progressives interfere with progress, the opposite of the name they use.
While they are busy deluding themselves into thinking they are the ones pushing gun safety and crime prevention forward, bringing “news” media with them, they are actually standing in the way of progress, and using media (the media is “used”?) to misinform the public and delay every advance in firearms science, gun policy and crime prevention.
If only they would shut up and get out of the way, or open their eyes and see how much harm they’re doing, injecting their fears and nonsensical notions into the very thing they want to achieve. Our rights would stand uninfringed, criminals would be deterred, children would get education and society would benefit.
In this series of articles, I am unraveling their deceit and one by one, exposing the myths you hear so often so you can see them for what they are—fabrications borne out of hoplophobic fear and irrational terror that drives people who have joined the political left where such folks congregate.
THE BIG-BAD-GUN-LOBBY MYTH
Hillary keeps saying it, the “news” media hammers it, too many democrats apparently believe it like the gospel (though a lot don’t seem to believe in that): “We’ve got to defeat the big bad powerful evil gun lobby, namely the NRA.”
First of all, though the NRA has a lobbying arm of course, and it is influential thank God or we would have real problems in this country, the NRA is a membership-driven civil-rights organization, defending the most quintessential civil right we have, for longer than any other civil-rights group in America.
And the NRA is the largest gun-safety group in the world, teaching countless millions of people the fundamentals of gun use and gun safety, from youngsters to seniors, hunters, competitors, the military, security forces, private guards, instructors… the gun safety rules everyone uses are based upon wisdom that originated in large measure with the National Rifle Association. Its enemies fail to note that. We do not want to lose that.
Johnny-come-lately gun groups that put safety in their names, that are indeed primarily gun-lobbying groups, have nothing to do with gun safety, teach no gun safety, are focused almost entirely on disarming the public and limiting gun rights Americans have had for centuries. That we could lose.
But where the myth really kicks in is that the gun lobby is not so much one vilified civil-rights group based in Fairfax, Virginia, but the 100 million gun owners across this great land who resent and resist the actions of hard-core lobbyists who would attempt to eradicate our liberty and destroy the Bill of Rights.
We the people, we are the gun lobby, scores of millions of us, and we are who stands ready and fights against the forces aligned against our freedom to keep and bear arms, and don’t ever forget that. While the NRA takes the heat and suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, 95 million of us who haven’t joined, tag, we’re it.
THE GUN-BUY BACK MYTH
In a frantic attempt to eliminate firearms from the public, led by no-nothing “mom’s against gun sanity” and pandering politicians whose understanding of firearms hovers down around their shoe size, so-called gun-buy-back programs have been invented to “take guns off the streets.” Guns of course are not on “the streets,” they are in people’s drawers and closets, in gangbangers’ wastebands, or safely locked away in gun safes and stored in home hiding places for ready use when needed. Such facts are lost on reporters who run stories promoting the buy backs.
Money for buy backs come from charities, governments, anti-gun-rights politicians, and too often, out-of-state political-agenda groups. These often constitute straw-purchase arrangements—guns get bought by people who will not own them, using other people’s money—strictly illegal. It is overlooked by authorities, because it’s done with supposedly good intentions (but still illegal). And they aren’t even buy backs, they are buy ups, because you can’t buy back something you never owned in the first place.
The purchases are rarely made for cash. Donated cash is provided to cooperating storeowners, where it is a windfall, and plastic shopping cards are provided in return. In exchange for a gun, a person, no questions asked, gets a $100 gift card. Ask yourself what self-respecting criminal would trade a gat worth hundreds for a bag full of groceries? The program’s goal is mythical, a product of utopian dreaming.
What really happens is this. Savvy individuals gather every piece of inoperable junk gun they can find and trade these in for the gift cards. Real buyers and collectors line the streets leading up to the official site and offer hard cash for anyone foolishly driving up with real guns worth real money. Police know this. They themselves cherry pick the offerings and keep them (theft, but they don’t call it that) before the goods get to the smelter (who’s to know?). An occasional gangbanger will unload a crime gun, no questions asked.
At its worst, little old widows ignorantly turn over their husbands’ collections for fractions of their true values, and officials take advantage of them. Crime is unaffected. The whole thing is a feel-good do-nothing scam. Newspapers promote the result as if the world has been saved. Shame on them.
Next in the series: The Gun Registration Myth—that’s a big and very dangerous one with a lot of moving parts, and more if I can fit some in. Send me your favorite, I’ll consider it.
About the author: Alan Korwin’s website GunLaws.com features plain-English books on your state and federal gun laws, and more common sense like you just read. Write to him or see his work on his site, where you can get any of his 14 books, and DVDs, that help keep you safe. Try After You Shoot to help lower your risk after a self-defense shooting, or get Your First Gun for your gunless friends.