“The danger we face is that the leadership of the so called gun-rights groups actually like gun-control laws,” an open carry advocate recently wrote. “They will not be lobbying for a repeal of America’s gun-control laws because without them they have no reasons to ask the gullible members of the public for donations.”
The open carry advocate has a point. After the election and re-election of President Obama and mass shootings, gun-rights groups use the “confiscation” card to raise money. Democratic gun-grabbers infringing on gun owners’ rights is the literal wind in their fundraising sails. How do you keep the money flowing in and cast gun owners as “victims” when all three branches of the government are soon to be solidly Republican, conservative and pro-gun? Clearly the government is not going to take anyone’s gun.
Even before the Trump victory, it has not been easy to cast people who own IWI Tavor SAR or Izhmash-Saiga assault rifles as “victims.” In fact, the attempt has bent gun-rights groups into embarrassing, crybaby positions like yelling “oppression” when newspapers publish gun owners’ names or when gun carriers can’t take their weapons into locked mental health facilities.
Americans can own as many of whatever kind of gun they want, bring them almost everywhere, buy them without background checks and endure no pesky registry. They do not even have to report lost or stolen guns (though you’d think they’d want to in order to keep them from “bad guys”) or limit their gun purchases to one a month. Where is the oppression?
Carrier reciprocity, say gun-rights groups! It is no fair that someone who is legal to carry a gun in a state with no training requirements whatsoever can’t walk down Fifth Avenue in New York City! So what it they may not even know how to handle or shoot a lethal weapon since training is optional.
An increasing number of states are passing laws making training requirements for carrying guns in public illegal. Why? “The government should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights,” wrote the Wisconsin Gun Owners Organization, quoting the NRA. ” Citizens “are capable of deciding for themselves that attending firearms training is the responsible thing to do.”
Such state laws sound like a joke–if gun training is not necessary why are municipalities wasting millions training police?—but they are ominous. NGVAC tested gun self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary’s University crime researchers last year and found training matters. Civilians were inferior to trained police officers on every level. “They shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people” reported the Washington Post on our research and “they didn’t shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at.”
And there is another way gun owners are oppressed say gun-rights groups, trying to retain victimhood: the restriction of silencers! Silencers were regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 because of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and their obvious appeal to criminals and those intent on violence and wrongdoing. But now, gun-rights groups say the restrictions are an infringement of gun owners’ rights because shooters’ ears hurt. No fair!
With all three branches of the government soon to be pro-gun and no bigger issue to crow about than silencers and reciprocity, the gun lobby is clearly suffering from a case of be-careful-what-you-wish-for. Especially when it comes to fundraising.
Some Gun Advocates Not Celebrating the Trump Victory