Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Richard Cohen Gets It Wrong - Again.

Richard Cohen spouts off about gun violence in his latest column appearing in the Washington Post.

Using the literary device of a mystical visit from his deceased grandfather, Cohen parrots the long discredited views of liberal gun grabbers:

"“No, boychick, the scourge of your times is the weapon. The scourge is not realizing that it’s all terrorism. What’s the difference between being shot in Chicago and being shot in Nairobi? Dead is dead. Believe me, up here we know that.”"
What a good way to trivialize and conflate important issues of domestic crime and international Islamic terrorism all in one sentence.  good job Mr. Cohen.
"“Okay, but what about the Second Amendment?”
“Hoo-ha! This I’ve been waiting for. The Founding Fathers didn’t mean for everyone to have a gun. They wanted a militia.”
“That’s a matter of interpretation, Grandpa.”
“Not for me it isn’t. I play pinochle with some of the Fathers. They’re sick at what they see. Bang! Bang! No militia. People shooting up playgrounds, movie theaters, the Navy Yard. Ya think that’s what they wanted? They wanted guys with funny hats and muskets.”"
Where to start? Every discredited notion about the 2nd Amendment is on display here.  Yes, the founders did mean for everyone to have a gun, because everyone was expected perform militia service, providing their own arms to do so.  Also, the 2nd Amendment does not just protect the right to own muskets, but for firearms in common use, just as the 1st Amendment protects the right for me to write this  post, not just to print broadsides using block printing presses.
"“Easy. Write that all this is terrorism. To fight terrorism, Americans will permit anything. The government can read your e-mails and listen to your phone calls and know where you go in the car and probably how long you take in the bathroom. "

Sadly, all to true, with extra emphasis after the Snowden leaks.  But this is also a wake-up call to a new tactic from the gun-grabbers: portray law-abiding gun owners as terrorists, a dangerous extension of government fears of resurgent right-wing extremist groups.
"“This is bigger than some show. Listen! Pay attention. Start with that Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA. Whenever he’s on TV, have those special-effects geniuses in Hollywood make him look like a terrorist. Call him Mullah Wayne. Get the idea across. And when that happens, the courts will say, hoo-ha, we’ve got to reinterpret the Second Amendment. The justices, they’ve got their finger to the wind, too, believe you me.”"

Yep. Here we go: demonize the NRA, or at least its leader, because we all know that only the NRA stands in the way of "reasonable" gun laws.  The American people want guns controlled more tightly, if not eliminated from society.

I think that what we see here is a liberals wet dream: he would love for this to happen, and is publishing it to inspire anti-gun organizations to use this tactic to smear all gun owners. But this entire column, and the shifting tactics it outlines, is also an admission of failure: the gun grabbers traditional arguments have utterly failed to get stricter gun laws enacted. They're on the ropes and flailing about to find something that works.

I think that the gun control train has already left the station, with most passengers and crew  carrying concealed weapons.  While the NRA is always portrayed as the chief obstacle to "common sense" gun laws, the reality is that there are many millions of concealed carry permit holders, most of whom are not NRA members, who believe very strongly that they wish the right to keep and bear arms to be even less infringed than it is today.

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