Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Moms Demand Action. Everytown Creative Council. And now, the Everytown Authors Council. Michael Bloomberg has opened up a new front in the cultural war on your gun rights, and this time he’s hoping to use the power of the pen to restrict your right to keep and bear arms. More than 100 authors have signed on to a statement of principles in support of the anti-gun agenda:
We believe we have a responsibility to help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people—including convicted criminals, domestic abusers, stalkers, and people with dangerous mental illness.
We believe in gun safety—that we have a responsibility to store guns safely, unloaded and out of the reach of children.
We believe everyone has a role to play in reducing gun violence and that every action, no matter how small, helps bring us closer to a future free from gun violence.
We believe the creative community has an opportunity to use our communication skills and the power of culture to galvanize many more Americans in the gun violence prevention movement.
Considering these are all people who make a living with their writing, you’d think they could come up with something better than this mindless pablum. Oh sure, it sounds so common-sensical, to the point that there’s no mention of any new laws at all, just a desire for less violence. Who could ever be opposed to less violence? The truth is, we all want a more peaceful society. That’s not our disagreement. Instead, the debate is over how best to reduce violence. Second Amendment supporters generally think that targeting criminals works better than new laws aimed at legal gun owners, while gun control activists are far more interested in new gun control laws than increased enforcement in neighborhoods beset by gang and drug violence. In fact, did you notice anything missing from the Everytown Authors Council’s stated goals?
These writers forgot to tell us what they think the punishment should be for breaking their new rules. What do they think should happen if someone breaks one of their rules? And have they really thought about what their good intentions look like once they’ve been translated into legislation? It’s one thing to say certain people shouldn’t be able to get a gun, but there’s a reason why so-called “universal background check” laws have recently been voted down by voters in Maine and by lawmakers in New Mexico. Not only are these laws largely unenforceable, but they also criminalize common transfers of firearms between friends, family, students and instructors. Do these writers really believe that someone should go to prison for loaning a friend a firearm to try out at a range? How about prison for someone loaning a gun to a friend who needs one for self-defense, but may not have the time or financial resources to buy a gun?
Considering these are all people who make a living with their writing, you’d think they could come up with something better than this mindless pablum.We all want to see the number of accidents involving kids and firearms continue to drop, whether we’re NRA members or Everytown supporters. But the Everytown Authors Council say that they believe that “we have a responsibility to store guns safely, unloaded, and out of reach of children.” Unfortunately, they don’t just think it’s a responsibility, they think we need new laws. And frankly, the laws that Everytown promotes have less to do with protecting kids and more to do with prosecuting gun owners who fail to keep their firearms locked up unless they’re carrying them. Even gun owners who don’t have kids in the home fall under the provisions of their preferred ordinances. Gun control advocates have been largely unsuccessful in pushing their punitive storage laws across the country (with the exception of a few cities in California), and all the while accidental firearms fatalities have continued to drop to all-time lows. Why? Not because of the anti-gun efforts of Bloomberg and company, but because of actual education, training, and gun-safety programs conducted by gun owners themselves, such as the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program
Contrary to the beliefs of the Everytown Authors Council, not “every action, no matter how small, brings us closer to a future free from gun violence.” Some actions won’t make a difference. Some will actually make things worse. Actions generally have consequences, often unintended. The background check law you thought would stop an illegal gun sale stops a woman from having a gun to protect herself against an abusive ex-boyfriend. The lack of concealed-carry reciprocity sends a young mom to prison for three years. Purchasing ammunition online is made illegal, and competitive shooters can’t practice like they need to, yet somehow violent crime increases.
Thankfully, there are authors out there who haven’t bought in to the anti-gun rhetoric. Brad Thor has a new Scot Harvath book, Use of Force, coming out in June. Longtime author and Second Amendment advocate Stephen Hunter just published his latest Bob Lee Swagger novel, and Cam & Co. regular Kurt Schlichter released Indian Country, a dystopian tale of a nation torn apart by civil war, on Amazon this week. Heck, you can still pick up a copy of Heavy Lifting: Grow Up, Get a Job, Start a Family, and other Manly Advice by Jim Geraghty and some guy named Cam Edwards, if you’re so inclined. We may never get invited to join the Bloomberg Book Club for Anti-Gun Authors, but that’s all right with me. I’d much rather write and fight for our human right of self-defense than put pen to paper in order to parrot the latest anti-gun talking points.
Cam Edwards is the host of “Cam & Co.,” which airs live 2-5 p.m. EST on NRATV and midnight EST on SiriusXM Patriot 125. He lives with his family on a small farm near Farmville, Va. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @camedwards.