Charges Reveal Bitter Feelings
by Dr. Michael S. Brown
MARCH 16, 2000
and politicians alike were taken aback last Sunday by an outburst of harsh
language from Wayne LaPierre, Executive Director of the National Rifle
Association. LaPierre accused
President Clinton of needing a certain level of killing to further his political
columnist, and others, who monitor the gun control debate, know that the verbal
attack reflects only the surface of a deep reservoir of bitterness that Bill
Clinton has created in American gun owners.
years of constant pressure by the Clinton-Gore administration, their allies in
Congress, and anti-gun organizations have driven tempers to the breaking point.
Gun owners have been demonized to such an extent that they have become the
newest persecuted minority. Like other groups and individuals who happened to be
in the path of the voracious Clinton spin machine, gun owners have been denigrated and libeled by experts.
What was once an important and patriotic group of citizens now feels
completely marginalized and in danger of extinction.
accused of being unfeeling louts who don't care about the deaths of children.
entertainment portrays them as careless slobs.
They are used as scapegoats for deep societal problems over which they
have no control. Schools reject gun
safety classes simply because they were created by the NRA and marksmanship
programs that were once a source of national strength and pride are now
considered an evil influence on young people.
owners watch in amazement as politicians continually introduce bills that would
limit gun rights without having an impact on crime. They typically admit that their particular bill will not
reduce crime, but is "just another step in the right direction".
The Department of Justice touts the latest figures showing how many
felons were turned down for gun sales, but declines to prosecute for making the
illegal attempt. Anti-gun
organizations disseminate false statistics without being questioned by the
seems to know that gun control does not work, yet there is great pressure for
more of it. Lessons from other countries and from some areas in the U.S.
indicate that the so called "slippery slope" argument is very real.
Gun control eventually leads to prohibition.
This suggests to some that there is a sinister conspiracy to disarm the
public and leave all power in government hands.
Perhaps this is so, but it is more likely that the anti-gun pressure is
simply generated by a need to create a useful political issue.
gun violence is at a 30 year low and accidents have steadily declined for a
century, there is no other reason why gun control should be such a high priority
at this time. It is simply a useful
tool to distract voters from the real social problems that are not being
Cohen, a gun rights activist in Massachusetts, summed up the feelings of gun
owners who are caught in the political crossfire: "There are 80 million
responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America and we are sick and tired of
being treated like criminals."
pro-gun views are not represented in the national media, many active gun rights
groups exist below the media's radar on the internet. Some of their discussions are fascinating and some are
downright scholarly for a group portrayed as ignorant rednecks. Each time the media hypes a new shooting incident,
active gun owners watch to see how the usual suspects perform. "Blood dancing" is the new term that has been
coined to describe how the anti-gun politicians dance in the blood of innocent
victims to promote their agenda.
in the gun rights community is at an all-time high. How this will express itself is difficult to predict, but it
is likely to have some impact on the election in November.
Around the country, gun owners are announcing to their friends that they
are fed up and not going to take any more of this abuse.
They are joining the NRA in record numbers and contributing money in
unprecedented amounts. Many are
joining grass roots campaigns to unseat as many anti-gun politicians as
headquarters is being flooded with messages of support from members who urge the
organization to stand up to Bill Clinton and expose the dishonesty of the other
side. Meanwhile, the Democratic
Party is researching ways to paint George W. Bush as one of those evil pro-gun
politicians who are thwarting the will of the people.
The stage is set for the first great political
battle of the new century. If
recent trends continue, truth and honesty will be the first casualties.
Dr. Michael S. Brown is an optometrist in Vancouver, WA who moderates a
large email list for discussion of gun issues in Washington State. You can reach
the rest of his archive here.
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org