(Editor’s Note: Author Liz Harrison has updated this article to address a recent Snopes disclaimer.)
I had to look up the date, because I’m generally not good with things like that, but also because I think my mind intentionally erased that information. December 14, 2012 – most of the media in the U.S. know exactly where they were that day, and so do many Americans. While the public may have been watching the news coverage from Newtown, CT or reading stories online, many members of the media were running around trying to gather any information they possibly could about a shooter that had killed 28 people, including his mother, 6 teachers, 20 children, and himself. And initially, many media outlets released the wrong name for the shooter.
Adam Lanza, the shooter, had an older brother, and presumably because that name was easily found on social media like Facebook, some members of the media ran with the story that it was the older sibling that had committed the crime. Later it became clear that wasn’t the case, and the fact that the media was wrong initially was scuttled – lost in the shuffle. I’m mentioning it now, because that is something that liberals seeking to use tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as an excuse to pass more gun control laws rely on to reach their goals. Misinformation is at the bottom of most anti-gun campaigns – something that conservatives know very well.
Even on the day of the shooting, the political game on gun control was started, by the president himself, as he said in his statement on the massacre:
As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago – these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
There was no mention about the fact that these mass shootings had radically increased in number during Obama’s tenure as president. That doesn’t fit in the liberal agenda. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting, it can be assumed that liberals will attempt to use the tragedy again for their own ends. There won’t be any mention of the fact that the citizens of Newtown, and Connecticut in general seem to have made their own decision about how to make themselves safer from attacks of this kind. No one will be talking about the radical increase in the number of pistol permit applications since last year. And in spite of there being more mass shootings since 2008, there won’t be any talk about the possibility that Obama’s style of leadership could have anything to do with it.
No, there will just be talk about fear and guilt. The people need to be afraid of guns, because they are the root of all of this violence. Gun laws will save us all – no, they won’t admit that all the shootings involved individuals that either acquired weapons illegally, or should have been placed in an existing restricted class of people. In other words, existing gun laws were broken, or not properly enforced, so that enabled the shooters in their crimes. Conservatives have pointed this out, ad nauseum. Unfortunately, we’re probably heading into another round of stating what should be obvious.
But, one pro-gun control organization has been inadvertently making our job easier. Someone has been posting ads claiming they are from The Brady Campaign (http://www.bradycampaign.org/ ) on Facebook and other social media sites, that have regularly been debunked or ridiculed by conservatives for months. So, if they aren’t offered by this organization, why are they important? There is a profound difference between facts and the truth, particularly in the bowels of partisan politicking and issue lobbying. While The Brady Campaign readily denied association with those ads (http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/bradyad.asp ), that was all they did.
It’s despicable to think that any organization would suggest that the life of a rapist is more important than the safety of a potential victim. That is the typical response from conservatives now to the suggestion that women shouldn’t use lethal force with a firearm to protect themselves from being raped. This ad claims that the act of rape can last for only 30 seconds, and that rape isn’t an excuse to kill. The people at Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) would disagree.
RAINN offers a list of effects of sexual assault, and contrary to what the gun control people claim, there are quite a few long-term consequences for women – several that could last the rest of their lives. That includes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse, self-harm, Stockholm Syndrome, depression, sleep disorders, and suicide, to name a few. So, the next time a liberal tries to sell you on the idea that rape isn’t such a big deal – certainly not enough to merit shooting a rapist – reply with the fact that there are women that kill themselves over being raped. Tell them that rape isn’t a temporary issue. It leaves permanent scars on women, even if people can’t see them. You’ll probably be able to find at least a few mental health professionals that would willingly state that psychological scars are often harder to heal than physical ones. Above all else, call liberals on attempting to make women feel guilty about protecting themselves.
We’ve all seen the home security company ads that show families talking about how horrible it is to have someone break in to their homes. True, it’s being dramatized to sell a product, but if you ask anyone to really think about the idea of a stranger breaking into their home, their answers will be about the same as those commercials. Of course people would feel violated, and they would be anxious about the possibility that it would happen again. Children would probably have nightmares about the “bad guys” coming back, and that might include dreams of family members being killed. Again, like rape, these are issues that would not be easy to overcome – some people may never recover fully from those very real fears. And let’s be honest – people that decide to break into other people’s homes probably aren’t above hurting or killing anyone that happens to get in their way. They could very well be armed with more than just the tools to break in. Yes, the liberals need to be reminded that criminals don’t worry about breaking laws, and don’t necessarily restrict themselves to one type of crime. Maybe suggest that they’ve watched too many TV police dramas depicting burglars that don’t do violent crimes. Again, this is another attempt to make people feel guilty for protecting themselves and their loved ones. Don’t let them get away with it. Remember, “life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
As for The Brady Campaign on this issue, they would prefer that people not have weapons for home protection. They regularly cite statistics that point out accidental injuries and death that result from gun owners mishandling weapons, or children finding weapons in the home. Of course they do not say a word about the possibility that this problem could also be addressed by more widespread education on weapons, because that is the NRA’s answer to the issue. No, their answer is to tout statistics that aren’t necessarily honest, since they don’t always remove injuries and deaths caused by illegal weapons. And that brings us to the racist argument against legal weapon ownership.
The president of The Brady Campaign, just like the other key leaders in the organization, was directly affected by gun violence. Daniel Gross lost his brother in a shooting, and he entered the gun control movement because of that tragedy. It’s an understandable, and even honorable pursuit. However, because of the personal reasons behind his work, he can also be considered a zealot. If one takes a good look at what Gross has published at The Huffington Post, it is easy to see that he tends to focus on mass shootings. Many of his writings have appeared shortly after these incidents, and they’re mostly calls for an end to online and gun show weapon sales without background checks. On its face, that might seem an admirable ideal to pursue, but one needs to think about the demographics involved there. While criminals might avail themselves of the more lax requirements in online sales, they’re less likely to visit gun shows, if for no other reason because of the heavy security at those events. There are guards, and often the events are monitored with security cameras. So that leaves online weapon sales.
Beyond criminals, another likely group of individuals that might use online gun merchants to acquire weapons are minorities in cities. There are law-abiding citizens residing in the inner-city gang “war zones,” and some of them want to arm themselves for protection. But, they also might not want people from the neighborhood to see that they are doing that, so they might opt for online purchasing. If the criminals in the neighborhood knew that these people were getting weapons, it’s logical to assume that they might be targeted. It’s one thing to want to protect oneself, but something else entirely to intentionally place oneself in danger. As for the fake ads, one depicts what one must presume is a criminal that would ignore all gun laws anyway. The other is a direct implication that blacks, regardless of background, shouldn’t be armed. This is treacherous ground, and while gun control advocates don’t tend to openly say this sort of thing, they’ve certainly implied it with gun buy back programs in urban centers – it isn’t a coincidence that these events tend to be held in minority neighborhoods. These advocates allow people to turn in non-functioning weapons at these events, so that implies that they know very well that the only people they’re really disarming are law-abiding citizens – not criminals. The only weapons they’re really getting from criminals are possibly ones that are associated with violent crimes. Better to threaten someone in the neighborhood, make them turn in the gun, and get another than it is to get caught with one with a “history.” The bottom line is that if these advocates for gun control think that criminals are coming in to these buy back events, or that the events significantly decrease the number of weapons in the hands of gang members, they’re delusional.
Admittedly, The Brady Campaign has publicly claimed no affiliation with these ads. However, they are all clearly marked with their brand. If they had any real objection to them, there should have been some sign of them protesting, beyond a simple statement denying them. The liberal media would have happily assisted them in that cause. Gross from The Brady Campaign probably could have enlisted someone like Piers Morgan to claim publicly that the organization was being smeared by conservatives making these ads. Morgan did give Gross the opportunity to promote his vision of America – a society without guns or violence. While The Brady Campaign is not officially responsible for the content of the ads that bear their name, the gun control movement in general certainly is. They use fear and guilt regularly to push their cause, and that victimizes people just as much as the actions of any criminal.
Gross showed his true attitude when it comes to gun violence, by equating it with terrorism. He showed his advertising and psychology background by playing on people’s heart-strings through retelling the tale about his brother, then shifting his focus to the universal fear of terrorism. Of course, the logical conclusion he probably hoped people would draw from that article was that gun owners are no better than terrorists. It is foolish to think that he made the comparison with any other intent. While The Brady Campaign may be innocent of creating the disgusting ads above, their leader is guilty of far worse. A man that would consider writing something that could make anyone even think about equating U.S. citizens observing their Constitutional Right to Bear Arms with terrorism should be considered dangerous at best.