by Frank Winn, Guns & Gear Editor - Friday, July 29, 2016
American gun owners don’t have to be ancient to remember when we got our election information by carefully studying the candidates and their stances on various important issues. By the time election day rolled around, cumulative weeks might have been invested in the hope of making reasoned, genuinely informed assessments about claims and counter-claims.
But if you watched the Democratic convention this week, you certainly realized how much things have changed. In condescending, oft-repeated pseudo-code, many in attendance made clear that on Second Amendment issues in particular, they think voters have the IQ of a sugar beet.
The quantity and diversity of the tripe was impressive. But nobody did it better (or worse?) than U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., in an interview on CNN.
Watching these folks at their ignorant, emotional work is an ugly affair, particularly with their lust for the end of meaningful liberty.CNN host Carol Costello demurred at nearly every turn and tossed softball after softball. This old trick let the talking points flow uninterrupted. We also couldn’t help but notice that Sherman’s spiel was littered with very careful code, crafted to sound mellifluous while at the same time plotting the plunder of the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The whole mess can be seen here (starting at :50), but a few of the worst points deserve deciphering post haste.
Sherman: “There’s an effort to paint us as against the culture of rural America, against the idea of having a gun at home for self-protection, where you may be 15, 20 minutes away from law enforcement.”
The “effort” is a going on, Congressman, because you are against gun-owning Americans. Your now-official presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has already said that Australian-style forced confiscations are “worth considering” in the United States, and implicit in the Australian model is the declaration that self-defense is not an acceptable reason to own a firearm. And we wonder why rural Americans have some special claim on self-defense, when research shows the best response time that can be expected under normal circumstances, even in major cities, is six to eight minutes. Wake up: Actual crime victimization happens in a tiny fraction of such intervals.
Speaking of cultures, how about the culture that takes publicly provided security so much for granted that those involved can’t—apparently—imagine the dangers the rest of us face? A president Clinton would have a substantial percentage of the 4,400 members of the Secret Service looking after her and hers. Sherman and his congressional mates have the 18th-largest police force in the nation looking after their 535 members. We’re not remotely suggesting they shouldn’t be protected, only that they shouldn’t then meddle when the less celebrated decide to take steps for ourselves that pale in comparison to the protections afforded the lofty at taxpayer expense.
Sherman: “The effort is to show with reasonable gun-control laws that have a prospect of passing …”
“Reasonable” may be the ultimate code word, and gun owners should treat it as the equivalent of “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” Depending on which version of “reasonable” you encounter, this encompasses everything up to the banning of every single semi-automatic firearm. What you think is “reasonable” and what Sherman and Clinton believe is “reasonable” are likely very different things. “Common sense” is another version of this emotive clap-trap, and even more divisive: If you disagree with them, you’re neither common nor sensible, presumably. All 100 million of you.… if you “shouldn’t be hunting” because of X, how long will it be before you shouldn’t be shooting because of Y?
Sherman: “… you don’t need 30 bullets in a magazine to bring down a deer. If you do, you shouldn’t be hunting.”
There’s a clear (ah, sledgehammer?) hint of a magazine ban, but it’s a mercy that Rep. Sherman actually managed to get the terminology correct—a magazine as opposed to “clip.” But that’s where the comfort ends. For the bazillionth time, the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting, period. Note, too, that Sherman has appointed himself arbiter of shooting skills as well as ammunition complement: If you “shouldn’t be hunting” because of X, how long will it be before you shouldn’t be shooting because of Y? In case you think this is overstated, such shortly follows:
Costello: “… so many gun-rights advocates absolutely believe that, that Democrats, their real intent is to destroy the Second Amendment.”
Sherman: “I think that’s ridiculous. There are a lot of members of our caucus that are hunters, an awful lot. Again this is about how many bullets you need in the magazine. Do you need a gun that would spray bullets around? And the answer to those questions is ‘No.’ Just ask even the gun advocates who say you shouldn’t have a bazooka at home, nor do you need one.”
We can’t help but wonder what constitutes “a lot,” but we’ll give the representative this one. What’s actually ridiculous, however, is his willed misunderstanding of the purpose and nature of the rights (not privileges) enshrined in the Second Amendment.
But what entitles them to make a choice—especially of the life-and-death (or serious injury) sort—for you and your family?Sherman goes on to broach magazine bans again, or at least limits (New York, anyone?), but the whopper is embodied in the “spray bullets around.” This refers to NFA weapons, aka machine guns, already very few in number and tightly, expensively controlled since 1934. But it’s also Demo-code for common semi-automatics, and if it takes this lie to get folks feeling good about stripping the constitutional protections from many tens of millions of Americans, it’s a small enough price to pay. Remember how you could “keep your doctor” if you liked him (or her), too?
As for the “bazooka” thing, this isn’t even new quackery, but it is useful as confirmation. Is anyone seriously arguing for bazooka ownership, to say nothing of the fact that it isn’t even a firearm?
We’d argue the last phrase in the quote is the one that really ought to worry gun owners—indeed, anyone, regardless of Second Amendment implications. It isn’t very often the condescension of the progressive left is quite so naked: “… nor do you need one.”
Who is Sherman, as a U.S. congressman—or Clinton, should she be elected president of the United States—to arbitrate the needs of any other American, or for that matter, any other law-abiding human being? Their families may concede them such power as a matter of tradition or agreement, and that’s a fine choice for them. But what entitles them to make a choice—especially of the life-and-death (or serious injury) sort—for you and your family?
This prerogative still belongs to individual Americans, and November may be the best time in recent memory to remind the Hillary Clintons and Brad Shermans that the U.S. Constitution still says so.
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