Looks like former Brady head Richard Aborn has been raising the gun control issue in a few op-eds appearing around the country. Dave Hardy notes that when it comes to claims that banning guns was never a goal of the movement, neither Aborn nor the rest of the gun control movement have any credibility. Joe Huffman takes a look at Aborn’s claim that NRA success was driven largely by convincing gun owners that any small gun control measure was a step on the road to confiscation, suggesting exciting anti-gun people would be difficult if their movement didn’t approach the issue from a prohibitionist standpoint:
Since framing the issue as a total ban is a motivator for the base of both sides why did the GCM shy away from that but the gun freedom movement (GFM) embraced it? From a merely logical/symmetric perspective shouldn’t it be just as damaging/beneficial to whichever side framed it in that manner? There may be more than one reasons why that is not true but the most obvious one to me is that the GFM has a much larger base than the GCM. Hence for every “unit of motivation” the GCM were to gain by framing the issue as a total ban they realized the GFM would gained, perhaps, 10 units.
It’s kind of funny to me they didn’t realize they were dealing with a losing issue as soon as that particular bit of information infiltrated its way into their reality. Though many in the gun control movement have constructed alternate realities, I think most in the movement recognize what Joe is saying is true.
The only places that the gun control movement has ever found any success are when they’ve succeeded in playing divide and conquer tactics with gun owners (and by gun owners, I mean people who politically identify as gun owners, not someone who keeps an old family heirloom in the attic, or squired away a revolver in a shoebox years ago “just in case.”) Why do we have machine gun bans? Because gun owners largely support it. Why do we have background checks? Gun owners largely support them. Why did we have an assault weapons ban? Because Josh Sugarmann is an evil genius and found a way to drive the machine gun wedge to get another similarly looking guns banned. Why do groups like MAIG limit themselves to supporting universal background checks and No-Fly-No-Buy? One are exploits an already known, existing wedge, and another supports the national defense and anti-terrorism instincts of our people, who don’t really understand the issue. A little bit of hammering on the wedge, especially combined with ignorance, is a potentially winning strategy. Fortunately, for us, we can correct ignorance, and at a much faster pace than has been possible in the past. Joe concludes, “Aborn’s position is nearly hopeless. He has nearly insurmountable obstacles at almost every step.” There is no real grassroots movement of any consequence to put severe nation-wide restrictions on gun ownership. The restrictions the public-at-large is willing to support have already been passed. As for the states they have built real movements? Our side has ample opportunity now to pick away at outliers from the generally consensus, as Dave Kopel concluded in his latest paper. It’s definitely a sad time for the gun control movement. I hope to see more signs of desperation, such as Mr. Aborn’s op-ed, in the near future.