The bill is the “brainchild” of State Senator Cliff Pirtle, a Roswell Republican who claims he was “heartbroken” by the killing and wants to mandate actors and personnel who handle firearms on movie sets take a Department of Game and Fish gun safety course.
Gun owners cheering this on, who think this serves anti-gun Hollywood hypocrites right and gives them a taste of their own medicine, aren’t looking at the dangers the bill poses to them, and not just in New Mexico. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, let’s look at “Republican” Cliff Pirtle.
The American Conservative Union shows a downward trend in his ratings since 2014 and gives him a “62” for 2020, with a lifetime average of “78.01.” If this were a report card, he’d be considered a pretty mediocre student.
Gun Rights and Hunting
Every Law Abiding citizen of NM has the right to own and use firearms for sport, leisure, and occasionally for self-defense. I will insure that we retain these essential rights so that future generations will also be able to enjoy hunting, and the right to uninhibited gun ownership. The right to self-defense is crucial in today’s changing world and I will push to protect those who as a last resort use firearms to protect themselves and their families when their lives are in danger.
Hunting is an American Tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Hunting teaches responsibility and love for God’s creatures and the sacrifice they make so we can sustain life. I am an avid hunter and I want to insure my children also have the same opportunity to hunt, fish, and learn responsibility through game management. I will push to make hunting a constitutional right in NM for all of its citizens.
That shallow understanding of the Second Amendment and where rights come from is why letting this guy tamper with them is so dangerous. It also shows Pirtle is oblivious to the core Militia purpose behind Founding intent. Absolutely it’s an individual right, but one also designed to unify patriots and deter the tyranny of a violent monopoly through the most effective power-sharing arrangement yet devised. And it sure ain’t about duck hunting, although that should be protected too.
First, you don’t legislate on feelings, whether you’re “heartbroken” or not, and in this case, Pirtle using that adjective seems more like insincere hyperbole meant for media consumption than anything else. “Heartbroken,” as anyone who ever has been knows, is up close and personal. I’d be surprised if the reaction of most gun owner advocates on hearing the news of Alec Baldwin negligently blasting crew members on set wasn’t more along the lines of “What a dumba…”
This is a “solution” in search of a problem. With Jon-Erik Hexum in 1984 and Brandon Lee in 1993, this is the third highly-publicized on-set gunshot fatality in almost 40 years, and while all were inexcusably and bone-headedly preventable, we’re hardly talking “gundemic” here, or even a trend.
If this is all it takes to pass a law that people have to obey – or else – then be prepared for the antis to do what they always do: Take the “gimme” and use it as a step to the next infringement. If “safety training” can be imposed on an industry with a death rate that is this close to being statistically insignificant, how much easier does it make it for those demanding safety training for all, who can point to 1,260 “unintentional firearm deaths” for the general public in 10 years, and get plenty of publicity profiling parents and family who truly are heartbroken?
And not to dismiss the importance of qualified safety training followed by competent gun-handling skills, but it’s no panacea against negligence as the original “Only One” demonstrated to a classroom full of school children by shooting himself in the leg. Plenty more cops do it than we realize:
“According to an analysis done by the Associated Press in 2019, there have been at least 1,422 unintentional weapons discharges across 258 law-enforcement agencies since 2012. Those numbers, likely higher than some might expect, are not comprehensive and do not represent every single case of accidentally discharged weapons by the police in the United States.”
True, there’s a definite attraction to thinking over-privileged anti-gun Hollywood types might get deserved comeuppances and be “hoist with [their] own petard,” but what the government can do to one set of citizens it can do to others. Encouraging and empowering it to enact more citizen disarmament of any kind is dangerously and ignorantly self-defeating. There is nothing Pirtle’s stupid government mandate will do that private tailored insurance policies and lawsuits for unsafe practice damages can’t do better, and the strongest incentive for minimizing such liabilities is what Hollywood producers value more than anything: Money.
Sen. Pirtle’s kneejerk ploy for media attention bolsters the fraudulent concept that “gun control” works, which it doesn’t, and further supports the argument that prior restraints on rights are acceptable instead of unconstitutional and unamerican. That road leads to all kinds of tyranny, and it’s why the Founders considered “shall not be infringed” the end of the discussion after “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
If anyone needs training, it’s him.
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. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.