Why gun rights advocates don’t trust gun control supporters
Another school shooting brings with it another round of hot takes, recriminations, and calls to “do something.”
What should that “something” be? If one is a Democratic senator, such as Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, it’s summed up in a Tweet:
Let’s call it like it is: the horrifying inaction of Congress, slaughter after slaughter, has become a green light to would-be shooters, who pervert silence into endorsement.
What is Murphy talking about? As National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke writes, the Texas school shooter would not have been snared in any congressionally approved legal web. What Murphy’s rhetoric does do, Cooke says, is feed distrust among gun rights advocates who might actually want to do something meaningful to stop additional violence:
As far as I can see, there are only two reasonable ways to interpret this behavior: 1) That Senator Murphy is a grandstander who does not understand this issue well enough to do anything but shout “do something!” whenever he sees an abomination on the news; or 2) That Senator Murphy actually does want to ban shotguns and revolvers and everything else besides — and, by extension, that he wants to repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution in order to get it done. Neither of these options is likely to reassure his skeptics.
It strikes us that Murphy very much is someone who would prefer to erase the Second Amendment. As that will not happen, Murphy prefers to cast gun rights supporters as silent co-conspirators in mass murder:
By suggesting that his opponents disagree with him because they are happy to “allow” massacres, rather than because they think that his proposals (such as they are) will be useless, Murphy is seriously damaging our debate over guns, and hurting our political culture. He’s also making it obvious that his views are more radical than he’d like us all to believe.
Should something be done to prevent these crimes? Of course – and we have suggested courses of action in the past (namely, the National School Shield initiative). Is it a perfect solution? No – because those intent on violence will find a way to do so.
But it’s a place to start – and a far better place than implying those who support the Second Amendment are the source of evil.