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sábado, 31 de marzo de 2018

MATTHEW BOOSE: Don’t give a single inch to the gun grabbers

If you give the left an inch, they will take a mile.

A gun control activist and Parkland, Florida school shooting survivor said exactly that at a March For Our Lives rally in Washington last weekend, speaking to what many conservatives already suspected about the left’s desire to confiscate guns.

While leftists claim they don’t want to repeal the 2nd Amendment or “ban all guns,” those promises belie their actual, rather extreme, aims. The “common sense reforms” that leftists claim to want, like expanded background checks, are already popular with a majority of Americans.

But the real changes they want are extreme. Polling data shows that a majority of Democrats favor a ban on all semi-automatics, and a considerable number would like to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

The left isn’t interested in having a gun control “conversation.” They are looking to dominate the right, and disenfranchise law-abiding gun owners.

You can’t negotiate with those terms. We can’t give the left a single inch on gun control, or they will take a mile.

Give an inch, take a mile

The March For Our Lives movement is exposing the left’s real motivations for gun control little by little.

Delaney Tarr, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland said last weekend:

When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.

It would be nice to chalk this rhetoric up to the utopian fantasies of just one person, but this student is not a random protester: she is a leader of this new movement. And her sentiment is far from uncommon. Rather, it is steadily becoming the new normal on the left.

We are starting to see calls for extreme control cropping up more and more. The New York Times ran an op-ed this week by a former Supreme Court justice calling to repeal the 2nd Amendment that ended up trending on Twitter.

That op-ed was predictably met with disavowals by the left, claiming that they have no such desire. But a repeal is more popular than leftists would like us to think.

An Economist/YouGov poll shows that nearly half of Democrats — 39 percent — support a repeal, against 20 percent of all Americans. A full 75 percent of Democrats would be in favor of “modifying” the amendment to allow for more restrictions.

But is this really a surprise? If you push the envelope with a gun control advocate, you will get them to admit that they’d rather there not be any guns. At that rate, why not just repeal the 2nd Amendment?

These numbers speak to the radicalization of the gun control lobby, as well as the anecdotal experience of anyone who has argued about gun control on social media.

As many conservatives can no doubt attest, gun control advocates often argue that the 2nd Amendment is no longer relevant. For example, leftists will argue that the 2nd Amendment was ratified at the same time as other amendments that seem to no longer have any historical relevance, such as the 3rd Amendment granting the right against quartering soldiers.

Some may also say that the 2nd Amendment was written when slavery was still the law of the land. You may even be told that a militia would be powerless against the U.S. armed forces in the event of a rebellion, anyway.

These are among the most common arguments for gun control. And it makes perfect sense that we encounter them so often. What better way to argue for gun restrictions than to deny the basic right to a firearm?

Granted, the 2nd Amendment probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The threshold to ratify a new amendment is pretty high: supermajorities in both houses of Congress and ratification in three-quarters of the states.

Additionally, these statistics do not show that all Democrats want to repeal the 2nd Amendment. But they do show that nearly half favor the most extreme position on gun restrictions.

What does this tell us about the left’s feelings on gun rights?

Extreme restrictions

Indeed, the remainder of the survey results show us that the left is being dishonest about their actual goals, which are far more extreme than they would like us to think.

Leftists often say that they want only modest reforms like background checks, or making it harder for mentally ill people to get guns, but those ideas already enjoy broad, bi-partisan support.

The Economist/YouGov poll found that a majority of both parties favored expanded background checks, raising the age to buy a firearm to 21, and keeping mentally ill people from buying guns. A majority of Democrats, and a smaller majority of Republicans, 65 percent, supported bump stock bans. Other polls bear out these findings.

Granted, support for such reforms has likely increased on both sides because of the Parkland shooting, and may decline. But these regulations are among the most modest, so it is hardly surprising that we see some consensus.

So what do Democrats want that Republicans don’t? Where is the real bone of contention? If the reforms that Democrats want are so modest, why all of this debate? Why bother to organize these massive protests?

We heard it right from the protesters. Bump stocks are just the beginning. The reforms Democrats really want are not modest at all. They are extreme.

The consensus starts to taper off when you start talking about banning guns or high-capacity magazines. A majority of Democrats, but not Republicans, support banning high-capacity magazines. The same is true for “assault weapons” bans, an inherently vague and dangerous term. A majority of Democrats, but not Republicans, support banning “assault weapons”.

That would be a fairly heavy-handed restriction on its own. Leftists like to focus on “assault weapons,” since there is less controversy about banning those. A leftist may concede that they don’t want to ban all guns, just some guns, like the big, scary AR-15s.

But the Economist/YouGov poll also found that a majority of Democrats, 82 percent, also support banning all semi-automatic guns. That would include the AR-15 as well as most handguns. Since most rifles on the market are semi-automatic as well, this would effectively ban all guns.

Granted, the poll should have specified that semi-automatics includes handguns. But a robust number of Democrats, 44 percent, said they’d like to ban handguns for everyone except cops.

What do these statistics tell us? Not much that conservatives didn’t already suspect.

Fake civility

How do we square the assurances of liberals that “nobody wants to take your guns” with these rather startling statistics?

Politicians lie. People lie. 

It’s that simple. The left is not playing an honest game. They are lying about their true intentions to get what they want.

This is how you win. Disarm the opposition with vague, milquetoast promises of “common sense reform,” and then go in for the kill.

The vagueness of the left’s demands allows them to shift from one position to another without giving any real, substantive commitments. What can we honestly say about the March For Our Lives movement? A lot of people are angry about guns.

That’s about as articulate as it gets.

To disguise their real intentions of confiscation, the left puts on a mask of civility. Framing the argument as a civil “chat” about gun restrictions works to the left’s advantage by making understandably angry conservatives look unreasonable, paranoid, or simply immoral.

After all, who doesn’t want “common sense reform?” Framing the gun control issue as a rational debate with only one reasonable answer — which just so happens to fall on the left — enables the left to paint conservatives fighting for their rights as the bad guys.

When conservatives criticize the student activists fighting to disenfranchise them, they are called indecent or even monsters by the left. Or else, conservatives are cast as “child killers” who lack the “common sense” to go along with the left’s extreme demands.

This rhetorical framing allows the left to paint conservatives as the ones sowing dissension. It is the “bitter clingers” being unreasonable, not the leftists trying to take their guns away.

But there is nothing civil about what the left is doing. They are not looking to have a “conversation” about gun control; they are looking for substantive outcomes that infringe on the gun rights of all Americans.

The left is playing a clever substitution game. They say they “just” want background checks or “common sense reforms” — all while driving towards more extreme goals like categorical gun bans.

This was never about background checks. It’s about banning guns.

There can be no gun control “conversation” when one party of that conversation is demanding the other side’s surrender. If somebody starts threatening your rights, you are no longer having a “rational debate” — you are in a power struggle.

The left is not looking to have a pleasant coffeehouse chat about facts and figures: they are looking to take the guns away. Conservatives have to realize this and react accordingly. We need to vote.

Don’t give a single inch, or they will take a mile.


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