It didn't take long after the shelter-at-home orders were issued and restaurant dining rooms and all "non-essential" stores were closed for the sake of public health that gun control advocates decided not to let an opportunity go to waste; they ordered the closure of gun stores under their jurisdiction (and even the closure of firearms manufacturing plants). The struggle to contain the COVID-19 bug is nothing more than a pretext to make the Second Amendment a dead letter.
Amid reports of public officials releasing inmates in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons—including even "high risk" inmates—and the virus rampaging through police forces nationwide, it is not an unreasonable decision to purchase a firearm to protect hearth and home.
A pretext, because there's never a good time to own a gun
The decision to purchase a firearm in troubled times has been characterized as "panic buying" by the usual suspects and warn of the danger of idiots with guns. It is true, there are idiots with guns, like this moron who shot and killed his 13-year-old cousin.
But, while anti-Second Amendment zealots like Everytown's Shannon Watts point to tragic cases like that one in New Mexico, she completely ignores cases like this one in Fresno, Calif., where an individual with a concealed carry license shot a suspect who'd been firing a shotgun at police, or this one where a concealed carrier in Tulsa, Okla., stopped a potential mass public shooting at a shopping mall.
For every instance of "gun violence" in this country—a catch-all term that includes accidental shootings, suicides, criminal use of guns, and, yes, bona fide self-defense cases, including those by law enforcement agencies—there are at least 10 and possibly nearly 100 defensive gun uses every year.
For adults, this is a simple cost-benefit analysis. Are you willing to let crime—including violent crime and murders—increase tenfold, twentyfold or more in order to get guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens? While simultaneously warning of increased gun violence in coming months due to the surge in first time, legal gun-buyers (they're not decrying the underground gun trade, but the people lining up outside gun stores with federal firearms licenses and doing background checks on every sale), they ignore the last 20 years of history where there has been a sales surge of firearms, more and more states going constitutional carry or shall issue for concealed carry permits and a consistent downward trend in the violent crime rate and murder rate.
Suicide, and giving the game away
I talked about this issue for nearly an hour yesterday on Dave Congalton's Hometown Radio Show on 920AM KVEC. If you'd like to take a listen, you can here:
Late in the game, Dr. Steve, a frequent caller to the show, having been dissatisfied with my dismissal of the nearly two-thirds of "gun violence" deaths that are suicides. While killing oneself is a form of violence, whatever the method, gun control advocates use that overall total to generate outrage and then go on to talk about mass-shootings, murders, and 19- and 20-year-old "children" who have been killed.
Second Amendment proponents, including myself, tend to segregate the suicide numbers for a couple of reasons:
- It is difficult to imagine any gun control regime short of a nationwide ban and the confiscation of all legally owned firearms that could put any dent in the number of people that use a gun they legally own to end their own life.
- Gun control advocates rarely focus on suicides when touting various restrictions on the legal ownership of guns. Much of their ire focuses on so-called "assault weapons" which are next to never used in suicides.
Dr. Steve shows up at about 36:20 in the audio above. I'd encourage you to listen to that entire segment, but especially right around the 39 minute mark. It's at that point that Dr. Steve says the firearms businesses shouldn't be deemed essential and should be closed while the coronavirus crises keeps people in their homes, out of work and potentially suffering from depression.
And then Dr. Steve gave the game away.
Dr. Steve says he is concerned about suicides. He says he's concerned about mental health.
Nope. Dr. Steve just wants to ban guns…forever.
If we're worried about depression, mental health and guns, then when does Dr. Steve's preferred ban end? When we're allowed to leave our homes and go eat in restaurants again? Or does it end when the economy recovers from what some economists are speculating what might be the worst recession since World War II? While we may be sheltering at home for a couple more months, a recession, by definition would extend at least six months, and it could be more than twice that before public opinion on the state of the economy turns around. Do we prohibit firearms sales for at least a year?
On this question, Dr. Steve demurs. But he does admit in his refusal to answer that question, that he would prefer we add no more guns "to society at all," but especially during trying times. Of course, it's trying times that can prompt those with utilitarian definitions of right and wrong to prey on their neighbors as well.
COVID-19 is the pretext, when it's over, there will be something else
Gun control advocates are always looking for another excuse to restrict firearms ownership and the ability of people to carry and use those firearms to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Today it's COVID-19. In the past it's been whatever the most recent mass shooting by a deranged individual was. Several years ago, concealed carry license holders in California lost their right to carry on K-12 and college campuses because a vice principal at a school in the Central Valley was found with his legally carried handgun in his backpack. Over all the decades concealed carry licensees legally carried on school grounds, not a single one had pulled their gun at a school. Not one had fired a bullet.
Don't be fooled. There is no point, short of banning firearms and sending the military door-to-door, that will satisfy gun control advocates.