By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “I Am Tired of Correcting Joe Scarborough — Gun Safety Is A Winning Issue,” Bloomberg Mom Shannon Watts complains to a sympathetic HuffPo readership. “It is patently false to claim Democrats will see more favorable results by embracing the gun lobby.”
She evidently knows something Bill Clinton did not, and must also have an explanation (besides “the Russians”) for Donald Trump’s electoral wipeout of Hillary Clinton. (Incidentally, she didn’t believe her “husband” either, not that we can blame her.) But as long as Watts is intent on repeating a denial meme that’s been around for years (Isn’t that what Opposite Day “progressives” do? Recycle failed ideas from the past?), gun owners will happily take a Republican in the White House, controlling both houses of Congress and appointments to the Supreme and federal courts.
“Not only is gun violence prevention supported by a majority of Americans from both parties, but it is also a winning issue,” Watts prattles on undeterred. “ Just last week, Pew Research Center’s new polling came out showing that 84 percent of Americans believe background checks should be required for private gun sales and sales at gun shows. And lo and behold, just 19 percent of gun owners reported being members of the NRA.”
That 84 percent Watts and other gun-grabbers love to cite manifested itself in Nevada’s Question 1 ballot measure by a less than one percent “victory margin,” losing in every county but heavily-populated Clark. That’s after Boss Bloomberg pumped $20M into the campaign. (And you’d think for that kind of money, they’d be able to come up with something that isn’t unenforceable due to incompetence of the “law’s” drafters.)
That’s not the only place Watts runs aground on funky numbers: A representative poll could not possibly accurately identify 19 percent of gun owners as NRA members. Anti-gunners would have us believe there are only 55M gun owners (but NSSF says don’t believe declining numbers). So a random sample of self-identified gun owners, factoring in that there are around 5M NRA members (and the antis would have us believe that number is even smaller) would at most include around 10 percent (best case Washington Post scenario, and their agenda is to minimize NRA influence) being members.
A similar disconnect was recently pointed out when The Dallas Morning News admitted they and the rest of the media got the number of “American kids [who] have witnessed a shooting” ludicrously wrong. The problem is, a simple Google search demonstrates how that fake news claim has been repeated without correction and predominates articles influencing public opinion.
As for the survey Watts referenced, disregard that you have probably never participated in one and wouldn’t be inclined to tell a stranger that you owned a gun. And disregard that you probably don’t know anyone who has been shot (outside of a war scenario) despite the survey claim that “(44%) say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally.” Let’s stipulate that the survey is correct and the responses accurately indicate preferences expressed by the respondents.
First of all, if you asked a “Second Amendment absolutist” like me if people with dangerous mental health issues should have access to guns, I and anyone who is sane would say “Of course not.” The reality is, anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. But that’s determined by them being adjudicated a danger to themselves and others after being afforded full due process protections, not on accusations and administrative decisions relying solely on politicized anti-gun shrinks.
Likewise, no one is “for” terrorists having guns (well, except for the terrorists). But again, unsubstantiated allegations from nebulous and subjective sources must not be used to deny due process and fundamental rights — at least that’s what rational and informed people think. Case in point, some years back I wrote about a citizen placed on the “terror watch list” because he took a giant pink inflatable pig to political rallies.
That, of course, is the gun-grabber M.O. As many gun owners as they can disenfranchise through mere accusations, the better they like it, and they have no shortage of useful idiots helping to spread that message.
The other problem with such surveys: Everyone has opinions. There’s no indication that the respondents have informed ones. And that's what Watts is counting on.
When asked about background checks, are they aware that the National Institute of Justice’s “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies” observed “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration,” that criminals are exempt from registration, and that such lists have been used for confiscation? When asked about “assault weapons,” there’s no indication many of them even know what they are (thanks in large part to a media that has consistently been getting it wrong either ignorantly or intentionally.)
Even if the 84 percent number were true, not that long ago, historically speaking, the “majority” was fine with burning Giordano Bruno at the stake for, among other “heresies,” daring to suggest not just that the earth revolved around the sun, but for adding insult to injury by postulating the sun was but one of the stars. Leave it to Opposite Day “progressives” like Watts to embrace that method of gauging public sentiment as a green light to craft laws.
That sentiment is being further misdirected simply by Watts pitting herself against the controlled opposition. Representing RINO gun-grabber Joe Scarborough as a model of “conservative” and “pro-gun” excesses allows anyone to “the right” of him to be dismissed as an extremist, which is another M.O. And that allows them to smear any gun owner rights adovcate more “no compromise” than Wayne LaPierre as a domestic terrorist.
Watts appears to be setting herself up to test her theory in practice. Having moved (carpetbagged?) to Colorado, she’s eyeing a Congressional seat. It’s in a safe Democrat district, so add in some Bloomberg AstroTurf money and she’ll be able to crow about what a political genius she is, that gun contro … uh … safety is a winning issue, and that the grassroots have spoken.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.