Lewis Morris / September 16, 2021

Give Up Our Guns?

One writer thinks he’s stumbled upon the secret to persuading millions of Americans.

A well-armed citizenry is perhaps the single biggest bulwark against tyrannical government, and therefore the biggest obstacle to the Left’s goal of subverting and remaking America as a socialist worker’s paradise.

Leftists have been working for years to chisel away at our Second Amendment rights. Their most favored tactic is gun control, creating more restrictive regulations and outlawing certain types of firearms. Obfuscation and lying are also popular, driving home their anti-gun message with twisted statistics and creative reinterpretations of the Second Amendment topping the list. And now, they are resorting to shame.

David Frum, who once dabbled in right-of-center politics as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, has written a predictably shoddy hit piece for The Atlantic on how to persuade Americans to give up their guns.

Good luck with that.

Frum’s assessment is that gun owners can be convinced to give up their guns if they are shamed into thinking that gun ownership is socially unacceptable, much like the movements to reduce smoking and drunk driving. The problem with this equation is that smoking and drunk driving are deliberately destructive behaviors whose outcome, while not foreordained, is heavily weighted toward reduced health and death. Only someone who was rabidly anti-gun in the first place would believe that owning a firearm automatically falls into the same category.

Frum is clearly anti-gun, using scare quotes around the words “responsible” and “law abiding” when describing the vast majority of gun owners. By doing so, he is stating that he does not believe there is such a thing as a responsible gun owner, that a person’s ability to think clearly goes out the window the moment they come into possession of a firearm. If this is what stands for objective thinking, who needs bias?

His argument is tailor-made for The Atlantic’s left-leaning readership, chock-full of snide comments about the nature of gun owners — troglodytes who stand in the way of social progress. He also engages in one of the Left’s favorite sports by spinning facts and spreading anecdotes as evidence to support his specious claims.

Chief among Frum’s argument is that gun violence is on the rise because there are so many guns. This may be an easy sell to the uninformed, but it’s a statement that falls apart rather quickly. A study funded by anti-gun groups found that the rise in gun purchases since the beginning of the pandemic is not associated with the rise in “gun violence” during that same period. As we have stated before, it is defunding and reducing police presence on America’s streets that has led to the rise in crime. The Left loves to talk about systemic problems — how about Democrats’ systemic disregard for American law enforcement?

Frum also shares several anecdotes about children killed with their parents’ guns, suicides, and simple altercations that escalated into fatal shootings. These stories are terribly sad, but they are not the norm among law-abiding gun owners. The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action points out fatal firearm accidents involving children have dropped 91% since 1975. The rate of firearm accidents overall has also dropped significantly. And let’s not forget about the historic drop in crime across the board for three decades leading up to 2019, which, again, was when leftist city councils started defunding local police forces.

The all-knowing Frum wants his readers to believe that guns don’t deter violence. His proof is that we hear more negative stories about guns in the news than positive ones. But John Lott, who is much more astute on the topic than Frum ever could be, debunked that myth years ago. News programs love to share bad news, and many people love to watch it. Deaths and shootings are easier to quantify in this context. There is no real way to measure how the mere sight of a firearm deters crime. Rest assured, it does. Criminals don’t roam the countryside looking to get into gunfights; they are looking for easy prey, and that is generally the unarmed individual.

Ultimately, this insipid work of Frum’s carries the same erroneous assumptions about guns that the Left has pushed for years. He’s also writing for his audience, fellow leftists who see guns as evil. There is no new ground being discovered here, and Frum is unlikely to shame Americans into rethinking their right to defend themselves. But we must remain vigilant of our rights, for David Frum and his comrades will continue to push the issue no matter how illogical their arguments may be.

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