United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- One of the reasons that we are facing a harder fight for our rights is that anti-Second Amendment extremists have gone beyond the misuse of firearms in the commission of crimes and acts of madness as a reason to take away our rights. This strategy, which has become very effective, had its birth with the Violence Policy Center.
Do not let the innocent-sounding name fool you. The Violence Policy Center is responsible for not only creating the “assault weapons” myth that is regularly used to beat Second Amendment supporters over the head, especially in the wake of mass shootings, but it is part of an overarching long-term strategy that is responsible for a paradigm shift in the debate over our rights.
You see, to the Violence Policy Center, mere ownership of any type of firearms threatens the “public health” of the entire country. By moving it to this angle it allows them to hammer law-abiding American citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights – even when they have done nothing wrong. It is part of a pattern of anti-Second Amendment innovation – one that has been a hallmark of the organization’s founder, Josh Sugarmann.
Sugarmann, as Second Amendment supporters should know, is the one who initially suggested that the future of anti-Second extremism was shifting the focus away from handguns and on modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. His infamous quote is one that Second Amendment supporters should point to when trying to convince our fellow Americans that they are being misled.
But it goes beyond modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles. The Violence Policy Center has also sought a complete ban on handguns over the same years. Again, the refrain is they are a danger to public health. We also saw them hype of alleged dangers from rifles that used the .50 BMG cartridge, and it has waged a relentless war on concealed carry laws, often highlighting the very rare times concealed carry permit holders were charged with crimes. The group even targeted subcompact pistols like the Glock 26 calling them “pocket rockets.” There is one very common denominator in all of this: The Violence Policy Center was trying to create fear about gun ownership and modern firearms technology.
But the Violence Policy Center has not stopped there. In addition to the fear-mongering, the Violence Policy Center has proposed to give career bureaucrats the right to impose gun bans. This is, in fact, precisely what the Violence Policy Center advocated in 1994. Their model legislation was introduced in 1993, 1995, and 1997 by then-Representative Major Owens.
The group calls it “regulating the gun industry” – ignoring the many federal, state, and local laws on firearms already in existence. At the link, you will note that they will claim teddy bears are regulated for health and safety, while guns aren’t.
Putting guns under the model of consumer product regulation would, in essence, allow anti-Second Amendment extremists to ban guns – leaving Americans with little recourse against such a ban. It would even apply to accessories like laser sights. And all from a bureaucrat’s edict – with no effective response. When was the last time a federal government bureaucrat got fired for abusing power?
While the Brady Campaign was dangerous in its ability to harness emotional stories, and to separate a lot of well-meaning gun owners from defending the Second Amendment, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has added a more religious fervor that many groups adopt, the Violence Policy Center has literally put forth the nuts and bolts of a plan to take away our rights. They also have played a role in creating the climate of fear used to fuel efforts to take our rights away.
While that approach has been brushed off easily in the past, these days, it is becoming more and more effective – and we are paying for that in terms of losing elections. Eric Holder’s long-sought brainwashing of Americans against guns has begun to take hold, and the Violence Policy Center’s work has been the crux of that campaign. How else do you explain the way an advice columnist can tell a father to put his hatred of guns over love for his daughter, and then double down on it?
Overcoming this climate of fear will be a full-spectrum fight over the long haul that will require the right approach and much attention to not just strategy and tactics, but how Second Amendment supporters come across to their fellow Americans. Supreme Court rulings will only be of temporary respite rather than the beginning of the end of infringements on our rights if the fear created by the Violence Policy Center is not overcome.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.