USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
At the end of the movie “Falling Down”, Michael Douglas’ average Joe character remarks in puzzled shock, “I’m the bad guy?”
Gun owners must feel the same way.
I own guns. Other than a few traffic tickets, I’ve never had a brush with the law. I served in the Marines, held a job, went to church, raised a family, and hunted my whole life. Pretty much normal, as most gun owners are.
But today, if you listen to politicians and the news media, I’m the problem. Terrorists kill dozens of Americans at a nightclub, in the work place, on a military base? That’s on me. Gang members kill each other off by the hundreds in major cities? That’s because of selfish, brutish, unhinged gun owners like me. Mental cases kill other people or themselves – that’s my fault. Guns are the problem – not the terrorists, criminals and mental cases that abuse them.
I’m told that – as a gun owner — I’m responsible for the carnage.
How can that be?
Sadly, there’s a simple explanation. Americans as a people historically have been reluctant to reduce freedom, to take away rights and impose new restrictions. The federal government, on the other hand, virtually exists for that purpose. Government is all about control. Public opinion can be an inconvenient obstacle to increased control, and to the imposition of more rules and restrictions on individual behavior.
Largely for this reason, it is necessary for the government to vilify a certain group of people before acting. The bulk of the public will not object if the victims are “bad people” who “get what they deserve”.
Smokers, after all, where originally just normal people exercising their right to smoke. For years the government – and organizations subsidized by the government – undertook sustained public relations campaigns to attack smokers as individuals.
A Christian business person who refuses to prepare a wedding cake for a gay couple isn’t simply adhering to their religion, they’re ugly bigots filled with hate who deserve to be put out of business – or at least that’s the news media’s version.
Remember Obama’s famous line about Americans being “bitter people clinging to their guns and religion?”
Successful business people are greedy and evil (“You didn’t build that”). So tax them more, pass more regulations. Do you hunt? You’re a cruel, sadistic murderer. Have questions about climate change? You’re stupid, a denier, you don’t believe in science – you’re personally responsible for risking the future of the entire planet.
Forget the facts, it’s about trashing the people who stand in your way, and gun owners, you’re in the cross hairs now.
And because you have a constitutionally guaranteed, 2nd amendment right to own guns, it’s going to take an awful lot of character assassination to justify taking those rights away.
Expect things to get real ugly, and here’s why. If you’re going to trample on the rights of a minority – and gun owners are a minority – you’ve got to manufacture and spread enough dirt and slime to ensure the American people will tolerate it.
Tyranny of the minority, as DeTocqueville named it, is unfortunately a feature of Democracy. If there are three people and two of them agree, number three is out of luck.
So what’s the answer?
One is to fight back in the court of public opinion, and not let the lies, distortions and mistruths go unchallenged. Gun owners have organizations for that purpose and they should be supported.
Second, the political system matters. Vote. The founding fathers built checks and balances into the system to prevent the abuse of minority rights. One is the Supreme Court.
The next president will appoint one or more justices that will determine whether the 2nd amendment as it was originally written and intended will continue to exist. Your vote for president matters.
Another check and balance is representative government. We don’t decide things by direct democracy – a vote of the people. We elect representatives who can give careful consideration to issues and protect minority interests. Your congressional representatives matter a great deal. Your vote matters.
My brother is a retired cop. Neighbors told him that they assumed he owned guns and would no longer allow their 8-year-old son to play with his, because “they didn’t want him exposed to the gun culture.”
Bigotry, hate, unreasoning persecution, blame for others actions and crimes, public shaming – those are the tools that the anti-gun community employs. Harden yourself for even worse abuse in the future.
“Wait, I’m the bad guy?”
Yes, they want to make you the bad guy, because that’s how you get away with taking away someone’s rights in America.
Get ready for it, and get ready to fight back.
(Robert Deen is a retired public relations executive whose agency specialized in government “public education” campaigns. Read more at https://deenoutdoors.com/ )