To: The Twin Cities Media
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re: A Guide To Gun-Grabber Rhetoric
When the topic turns to guns, the Second Amendment and gun control, there is so much that so many of you are groaningly misinformed about.
Now, many of you are actually doing what, 20 years ago, would have been unthinkable; going to people on the gun-rights side who know something about the issue, like Andrew Rothman and Bryan Strawser – as you write your stories. Not all of you, but enough so that one can be satisfied the facts can be found – which is a good start.
But I think many of you are unclear on a basic, unalterable fact about the gun issue that needs to be reinforced. I’ll emphasize it here. Remember it in your dealings on this issue, and you will have a good head start. I’ll give it some emphasis, so it sticks out:
The Minnesota “gun safety” movement – Heather Martens, Jane Kay, Kim Norton, Joan Peterson, singularly or as a group – has never made a statement about guns, gun rights or “gun safety” that is simultaneously original, substantial and true.
What does that mean?
I’ve provided this little truth table to help you figure it out:
|They may have said something that was:
||“The Colt M1911 is a good choice for self-defense” (Heather Martens, House Public Safety committee testimony for magazine limits)
||It’s neither original (Jeff Cooper started saying it in the seventies) nor especially substantial (it’s a matter of opinion, and it added nothing to the “debate”, such as it was.
||It’s easier to get a gun than a book in Minneapolis
||It’s original-ish, but it’s not true (for the law-abiding citizen). You could argue it’s insubstantial – I’d stay “trite and manipulative” – as well.
||“Gun Violence is on the rise”
||Its not true – it’s down over half in the past 20 years . It’s not original, but that’s the least of the problems.
|Original and (in a sense) true-ish
||“A majority of Minnesotans favor universal background checks”
||There might be a survey that shows a majority of Minnesotans, not selected for knowing and caring about the issue, might have answered “yes” to the question. It’s insubstantial, of course; most of those polled have no idea about the substance or ramifications of the proposal; when they do, the numbers changed
|Sort of original and vaguely substantial-sounding
||“Background checks have lowered crime; eliminating them raises crime”
||Nope. You’ll find that the “drops in crime” tracked with similar drops in nearby areas that didn’t institute background checks. The crime hikes? They tracked with crime increases in urban areas where criminals just don’t get background checks. False!
Apply this test to everything Heather Martens, Joan Peterson, Jane Kay, Nick Coleman, “Everytown” and “Moms Want Action” say; is it original, AND substantial, AND true? Ask someone who knows the facts about the issue – Rothman, Gross, Doar, Strawser, or even lil’ ol’ me.
And you will – inevitably and without meaningful exception – find it to be an absolute truth; the “Gun Safety” lobby in this state has never, not once, said something that was true, original and substantial.
(Want to challenge me on that, gun-grabbers? Let’s do it. In public. Neutral turf, neutral moderator, debate rules. I will win, you will slink from the room at best, slink from the room behind a screen of ad-homina at worst. I’m up to the challenge. Let’s pretend that you are, and go for it).