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Not Trying to Ban Guns – Except When We Are

Why would we think gun control advocates are actually out to ban guns? Here's why.

by
Clayton E. Cramer

Bio

December 17, 2013 - 12:01 am

I was invited to speak at a law school symposium in November at the University of Connecticut.  I was there to speak about the connection between mental illness and mass murder. (If curious, my presentation starts at about 2:20:00 in this video stream.) It was an interesting experience, and a reminder of how much trouble the gun control movement is in, and of how dishonest their arguments really are.

Richard Aborn, formerly chairman of Handgun Control, Inc. (now the Brady Campaign), spoke at the symposium. Aborn claimed that he supported reasonable gun control laws. Aborn even argued that the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in D.C. v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) show, by taking gun bans off the table, that reasonable gun regulation is now more possible than it was before. (See 04:07:00 – 04:09:22.)  Aborn claimed that the “gun reform movement” focuses on “illegal guns… because that is what this is about.”

This is about trying to keep guns away from criminals, and from those with mental health issues sufficient to indicate that they should not being possessing a weapon.  This is not, this is not, about banning guns. (04:01:00 – 04:57:00)

He was very emphatic about this – the “gun reform” or “gun safety” movement (they never call it gun control anymore) is not about banning guns.

Aborn also claimed that gun owners by large majorities support gun registration, licensing, bans on high-capacity magazines, limits on the number of guns you can buy at once, mandatory background checks – you know, the whole gun control agenda (04:13:00 – 04:13:30). But Aborn said the “b-word — the word ban” was being used by the NRA to achieve their agenda of scaring gun owners away from supporting the rest of the gun control movement.

All of this is a perfectly plausible claim – maybe the NRA and us gun nuts are paranoid. Why would we think Aborn and fellow gun control advocates are actually out to ban guns? Because less than two minutes after saying the NRA was provoking unnecessary fear about gun bans to prevent reasonable gun control, Aborn said,

One of the very tough burdens that we have on our side is to figure out how to break through this mental state that says, “Yes, you are out there seeking to ban all guns.” So what does the movement want, and why does this barrier exist? …  We do think that there should be a ban on assault weapons, we do think there should be a ban on large magazines, magazines capable of holding more than 15 rounds. (04:15:00 – 04:16:27)

Wow. The NRA is ginning up fear of gun bans to prevent Aborn’s agenda… and then Aborn said that gun bans are part of the agenda.

The gun control movement is in serious trouble in this country, and I think that I can see why. When one of their principal leaders argues that gun bans are not their goal, and that the NRA is using this fear to prevent gun control laws from passing – and then makes the argument for gun bans – is it any surprise that so many Americans who might otherwise be sympathetic become skeptical? I used to be one of those gun owners who assumed that the gun control movement was made up of honest, well-intentioned people who simply did not fully understand the complexity of this problem – that they were seeking a quick and easy solution to a very intractable problem.

I still think this may well be the case for many of the gun control movement’s followers. Watching Aborn’s attempt to define fear of gun bans as paranoid while arguing in favor of gun bans makes me disinclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the leaders.

Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at the College of Western Idaho. His most recent book is My Brother Ron: A Personal and Social History of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill (2012). He is raising capital for a feature film about the Oberlin Rescue of 1858.

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Top Rated Comments   
Anyone who has followed the gun control debate since the 1960's, as I have, knows full well that the ultimate objective of the gun control advocates is ultimately total citizen disarmament, or failing that, to make gun ownership so onerous that no law-abiding citizen would want to own one.

Every time I see the words "reasonable", or "sensible" in preface to a new gun control proposal, I automatically start looking for the hidden "got'cha's" because I know they are there, they always are.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
jaydee007 you have no credibility. You are using facts to support your argument. Where are your unsupported assertions; Claims about saving just 1 life; Claims that all Americans wants sane gun laws? Come on now you know that anyone can buy any type of weapon with no background check and the sale of machine guns to teens is rampant. Come on now and get out of the fact swamp and start hitting on irrational emotions if you want to convince anyone of your cause.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
In Washington State there was a "Common Sense" Gun Control initiative (I-676) that was voted on.
(Washington is a Deep Blue State!)

We were told that a Majority wanted this "Common Sense" Gun Legislation.

The Initiative was a requirement that all guns be sold with, and all gun owners be required to use Trigger Locks.
What could be more Reasonable than that?
The Gun Grabber groups also were prepared to make I-676 the springboard for a National Initiative of new "Reasonable" Gun Control Measures devoted to Safety but not to restricting access.

The Initiative was on the General Ballot, not a special election, yet there were over 100,000 ballots cast with nothing other than a NO on I 676 cast. (That is to say these were ballots where no candidates running for Statewide, nor local offices were voted on, only I 676.)

The final count on Initiative 676, the so-called "Handgun Safety Act" in Washington state, was:


FOR 496,633 29.4%
AGAINST 1,193,720 70.6%

The NO vote carried EVERY county in the state, even King County (56.7% NO), the most heavily populated, urbanized county in the state. Only one county east of the Cascades voted below 80% against the initiative (Whitman, at 78%). Even largely urban Spokane County voted 83.2% against. Only four counties west of the Cascades voted below 70% (San Juan, 54.9%, King 56.7%, Clark 65.8% and Clallam 67.5%).

You won't hear the I-676 vote mentioned in the national media for one reason: it refutes the politically correct myth that "the people want more gun control." As in Massachusetts in 1976 and California in 1982, Washington's electorate rejected this gun control measure overwhelmingly.

Interestingly, before the election I-676 was described as a moderate, simple gun safety measure. After the election, and the surprising (to them) turnaround vote, the few media pundits who mentioned it at all excused its defeat by calling it a "harsh gun control law."

Despite whining about "the NRA buying the election" and "lying to the people," in fact the only lies were by I-676 proponents. Their own speakers guide instructed activists to "avoid getting bogged down in details," "stress concept over content," and "avoid the truth where it doesn't support your argument."

The NRA, who provided 2/3 of the $3.3 million collected to defeat I-676, spent about $28 per member in Washington, as opposed to $127 per member by Washington Ceasefire, the state's Handgun Control affiliate.

Billed as a "grassroots movement," I-676 proponents had a contributor list of about 1,000 individuals. 90+% of their money came from within a 20 mile radius of Seattle. WeCARE (Washington Citizens Against Regulatory Excess), the PAC formed to oppose the initiative, had a contributor list of more than 11,000. Who had the grassroots movement?

Law enforcement opposition to I-676 played a critical role in the election. While I-676 proponents claimed to have l/e support (1 sheriff and 6-7 police chiefs), 33 county sheriffs came out in opposition to the initiative, and more than 7,500 of the state's 9,000 police officers opposed it as well.

The pro-I-676 side bragged about their endorsement by the Washington State Medical Association, but declined to mention that WeCARE was not even permitted to make its case to the WSMA (I guess they feel 1st Amendment rights are as subject to restriction as 2nd Amendment). If you examine the number of physicians and other medical professionals listed with the state's Public Disclosure Commission as contributing for/against I-676, you will see that WeCARE reported more than twice as many doctors and health professionals than Washington Citizens for Handgun Safety (Washington Ceasefire's cover name for the election).
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (55)
All Comments   (55)
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God should have created liberals with two mouths, so they wouldn't have to keep talking out of both sides of the one He gave them.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look no further than New York's recent passage of the Orwellian Newspeak named "SAFE" act. As with most of the Progressive agenda, it's a set of laws written, passed and signed in unlawful haste behind closed doors. Thousands of New Yorkers are now getting letters telling them that the "registered" gun(s) they own is now illegal to posses. The options they are given are to alter the firearm to meet the law's arbitrary requirements... then prove to the police that they have done so. (If that destroys the value of an expensive, unique or antique firearm... NY government does not care.) They can remove the firearm to another jurisdiction outside of NY... and they must tell the police exactly where the firearm is... and then prove it as well. Or... they can "voluntarily" turn it in to their benevolent police department for destruction... without recompense. Failure to PROVE that you have done one of these things to the satisfaction of the overlords of NY will get you charged with a crime. Note that citizens of NY are now required to PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE in advance of their pending arrest for violations of these new laws. It's to protect the children. What could be bad about that?

These are the tamest of the "sensible" and "common sense" gun laws these people want. Too many in government have forgotten the lesson of Lexington and Concord. I truly believe that our current government is intent on provoking some incident to justify even harsher actions for "public safety"... I really hope I'm wrong about that, but it fits their agenda. Can you imagine what the current administration would be doing right now if there weren't 100 million of us that are armed? It's a chilling thought.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why I took all of my guns on a Fishing Trip.
Funny thing, they fell out of the boat and sank to the bottom of the lake.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh. Dear.

What a shame...
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would imagine that incidents such as this will proliferate as these ridiculous gun laws do.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
When they try to get you to accept a "reasonable" limit on magazine size before they become illegal, get them to tell you what the "reasonable" limit on fetus size is before you can no longer its brains out with a straw.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
We all know that this antigun movement by the Cathedral has nothing to do with public safety.

Confucius on anarcho tyranny:

“The Duke Ai asked, saying, ‘What should be done in order to secure the submission of the people?’ Confucius replied, ‘Advance the upright and set aside the crooked, then the people will submit. Advance the crooked and set aside the upright, then the people will not submit.’”
Sage advice that is ignored by black democrats who are antigun but pro-gang member. This advice is a warning to those who use government to protect the gangs, the taxpayer will eventually stop submitting.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I collated Brady report cards with CDC survey data of gun ownership by state, years 2001 and 2002. Strong correlation showed that states Brady graded higher had lower gun ownership. States that Brady gave an "F" averaged the highest gun ownership...and the lowest violent crime.

http://pjmedia.com/blog/states-with-stricter-gun-control-laws-are-less-safe/

Takeaway here is that Brady thinks the best states are those with the most anti-rights laws, resulting in low gun ownership levels. So yes, anybody now talking about 'safety' or 'reasonable laws' really wants civilian disarmament.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gun Control Activists are like Lucy promising to let Charlie Brown kick the football if only he will trust her.

We all know how well that worked-out.

These people are pure liars and have no honor. Shun them, marganilize thgem and show them no quarter.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anti-gun tactics are following the successful anti-cigarette tactics. You can't get to where they want to go without banning all guns. Period.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sarah Brady is an enemy of gun owners everywhere.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's an interesting article about the ammo shortage. I can't comment on or vouch for its accuracy, but I tend to believe the NRA. Speaking of which, to the commenters who disapprove of the NRA supporting RINOs--the NRA is dedicated to defending the 2nd amendment, not to a specific political party. They support a candidate based on that candidate's voting record on 2nd A issues. Thus, they tend to support incumbents, as they support someone with a voting record against someone without. Likewise, they will support a D with a pro-gun record over a RINO with a poor record of 2ndA votes. That the membership and associations (no pun intended) of the NRA tends to be heavily Right, is a reflection of the membership, not the Association itself. At least that's my understanding; I think it would great if a similar single-issue organization came into being to defend the 1st A, especially free speech.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They support a candidate based on that candidate's voting record on 2nd A issues. "

Yes, that's what they say they do.

In fact, they have OFTEN supported incumbents with lousy 2A records (Orrin Hatch comes to mind) against challengers with solid 2A credentials. They have come in to races and rescued incumbents when it looked like a young upstart was going to upset their bread and butter. When challenged on their actions, they basically say, "Tut tut, little one. Run along home and let your betters handle these matters."


That's why GOA exists. Some high-ranking NRA folks got tired of the shenanigans, and left to start a group that would actually do what they say.

The NRA does not.

But forget I said anything. Facts don't matter. All hail the NRA!

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Disclaimer, I'm a Life member of the NRA and have been for decades. That said they are not perfect. No organization is. Bifurcating the message and fighting among the messengers is not helpful. Those of us that believe in our inalienable rights need to support all of the organizations that are standing up for them. They all have their problems and there are some that are actually fronts for groups that want you disarmed. That's how Progressives work. Do your homework and make sure you are supporting the right groups. The NRA, GOA, NSSF and others all do good work and they all make mistakes. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Unlike our "side" those who want us disarmed have no principles or honor and "means to an end" means anything they can get away with, legal or not. Let's be careful out there.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Unlike our "side" those who want us disarmed have no principles or honor and "means to an end" means anything they can get away with, legal or not."

Yes, that's true.

Why, they might even infiltrate and sabotage one of our own organizations....

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you have any sources, or other examples? I've heard this said before, but not seen the data that proves it. FWIW, I also belong to my state's GOAL, didn't realize there was a National group.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've seen it up close and personal, when they came in to Utah to support Hatch against a good, solid conservative. Hatch was in trouble until the NRA got involved. Have you seen his record? It's pretty mixed, including some amendments and votes that are straight out of the Brady playbook.

While it would be difficult to compile a comprehensive list (there are too many examples), Larry Pratt's 1997 letter to the NRA does list a few good examples which are typical of NRA behavior.

http://www.gunowners.org/ldp2nra.htm

This is news only to the die-hard NRA loyalists. The fact is, they have sold us out time and time again, favoring their establishment buddies over good, solid challengers.



48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The gun argument is part and parcel of who proggies are. They are perfectly willing to use govt force to achieve their results, and they are perfectly willing to use weasel words, if not outright lies, to get there. After all, authoritarians have a much more difficult time in controlling a populace with the ability to fight back.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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