Adam Serwer of The Washington Post’s blog “Plum Line,” is more right than wrong in regards to his latest post on Obama’s wading into the gun issue. Top down leadership is not going to work on this issue because the gun control community consists of a very small number of people, most of whom have lost loved ones to criminal violence or suicides involving guns. They don’t have the community we’ve developed after three decades of being, pardon the pun, under the gun. Because of that, we can create a backlash at the voting booth the other side has no hope of accomplishing. Politicians know that.
But I notice Adam Serwer making some of the same mistakes that a lot of journalists make, in that they aren’t looking at the details, and even if they are, I doubt they understand the issue well enough to realize what could be transpiring. Take, for instance, all the easter eggs that are in Schumer’s bill that supposedly is only about improving the background checks. We’re not fanning the flames of paranoid just because it suits us.
This is a classic tactic of our opponents. Look for common ground that’s reasonable, that everyone can agree with, then put a thing or two in there that takes just a little more ground than we’re willing to give. When Second Amendment advocates balk, scream loudly to the media and anyone else who will listen, how unreasonable and extreme we are to oppose such reasonable measures. This has happened again, again, and again, and the media can be counted on not to report or understand either the easter eggs, or to take our arguments against the proposals seriously.
There is no more desire on the other side’s part to settle this political issue than there is on ours, and the root cause of that is the status-quo is unacceptable to both gun rights advocates and gun control advocates. There’s no middle ground on this issue that will make our opponents surrender and give up. That’s why I’m interested in giving up as little as possible, and taking everything from them that I can. I’m not in this fight to keep people worried. I’m in this fight to win, and to make what my opponents advocate about as publicly acceptable as someone who thinks we ought to ban newspapers.