As we noted earlier in the week, the left is just dying to get the NRA out of its way.
And they have been since I started following this issue – in probably 1980.
It seems that lately, the left has taken to a three-tiered strategy for fighting the Second Amendment Human Rights movement:
- Lie About Everything. Everyone from the President to the hapless Heather Martens, and the entire media class in between, has spent the past couple of years relentlessly churning out easily-debunked lies; no, Mr. President, we’re not the most violent nation in the world, and states with tight gun laws aren’t safer. And it seems to be working – while violent crime in general and gun crime in particular has plummeted over the past 20 years, most people don’t know it.
- Refuse To Engage the Second Amendment Human Rights Movement Directly: They always lose in open, head-to-head debates based on facts. Always. There has never in history been an exception, and there never will be.
- Appeal to Magic: The NRA is going to go away! Someday! You just gotta believe!
This blog has spent nearly a decade and a half engaging points 1 and 2. Today, it’s all about the 3.
The National Boogeyman Association: As I pointed out earlier in the week, the NRA is both vital and irrelevant; while it’s a juggernaut at federal lobbying, it’s mostly a bystanding helper at the state level, where most of the actual legislation happens. But the left – being a fear-based institution – needs a big, centralized boogeyman. And for this, the NRA serves their purposes.
And let’s be frank; organizations come and go (although the NRA is, and remains at, a peak of numbers and power).
Adam Winkler – a UCLA law prof who’s popped up on this blog before, and not as an idiot – wrote an op-ed in the WaPo (reprinted earlier this week in the Strib, Read It And Weep: The NRA Will Fall.
Before I respond, let me establish something.
Baselines: When I first started covering the battle for Second Amendment human rights, about 30 years ago, the gun grabber movement used to wave around a Gallup poll showing that 85% of the American people favored gun control. While that number dropped sharply as the poll got into specifics (even then, near the nadir of the Second Amendment’s fortunes), it showed where The People were at regarding our right to self-defense.
But thirty years later, things have changed; a distinct majority support the right to keep and bear arms.
All by way of saying – peoples’ attitudes change over time.
Changes: I won’t quote extensively from Winkler’s piece – which is based on the idea that the NRA, and the Second Amendment movement, are doomed by demographics; that Latinos, African-Americans, urbanites and women are much less supportive of the Second Amendment and the NRA than rural white males.
On the one hand? That may be true – today. Just as it was true of 85% of the people – thirty years ago. Attitudes change. Are they changing for or against the NRA and the Second Amendment? All evidence is anecdotal; the fact that Minnesota has well over twice as many carry permittees today as were ever forecast before the passage of “Shall Issue” reform might be a hint that the swing might actually be in the NRA’s favor.
Are Latinos more favorable to gun control? Perhaps. But Latinos aren’t a monolithic bloc; while Latinos in general vote Democrat, those who’ve been in the US longer than 2-3 generations are much more likely to vote GOP.
Asians, Winkler notes, support gun control – but again, they’re hardly monolithic; Koreans and H’mong are actually fairly likely to be shooters (if not “NRA supporters”).
Women tend to be pro-gun-control. They are also the fastest-growing group of shooters in America today.
How will these changes shake out over two decades? Will policy be dragged to the left, reflecting these minorities’ left-leaning politics? Or will they, too, evolve?
I know what I’m working toward.
(Let’s also not forget that most of the anti-gun minorities live in states like California, New York and Illinois, that are already relatively hostile to gun ownership).
Omens: But let’s say Winkler is right; that minorities, new Americans, women and urbanites’ current attitudes will stay static over time. It is a fact – noted by the estimable Kevin Williamson – that many of our minorities have vastly different perspectives on the concept of risk and freedom than white, middle class Americans do.
So if New Americans and minorities-who-will-one-day-be-the-majority don’t support the Second Amendment, is that going to be a problem for the NRA?
Who the hell cares? It’s going to be a problem for the whole idea of “America” as a place built on the ideal of freedom. And by “freedom”, we mean the traditional American founding interpretation – life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, protection of private property, freedom of speech, conscience, religion, press, assembly, keeping and bearing arms, security in your home, trial by jury with representation, equality before the law, the whole shebang – as opposed to the “freedoms” the Democrat party is pushing these days; the “freedom” from consequences, the “freedom” to force other people to make you free of want, the “freedom” to have government force others to give you stuff at gunpoint and enforce an arbitrary, politically-motivated concept of “fairness”; the freedom to abort your fetus and wave your privates around in public.
If the Second Amendment collapses because a majority of “Americans” don’t understand what it is to be “American” or what “America”, indeed, is, then the demise of the NRA will be the least of our problems, because there will be nothing to prevent the rest of the Constitution, and the freedoms it ostensibly guarantees, from being shredded much, much more comprehensively than it already is.