As 2014 was a terrible year for the gun control lobby (GCL)–a year in which Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, the Brady Campaign, and the machinations of Moms Demand Action were thoroughly rejected–the new plan for the GCL appears to be “Motion-Is-Progress.”
To that end, the GCL has undertaken a multi-front approach to gun control for 2015. This is an approach that will rely on PR, the use of a dependable Trojan horse, and lots and lots of money from billionaires who support gun control for the masses, while benefiting from the gun rights of the armed guards who protect them.
First the PR: this is the tactic of parading families of crime victims in front of the public to fuel the gun control push. Once a boon to the gun control movement, this move has largely been a bust since the heinous crime at Sandy Elementary, when victims’ family members were paraded in front of cameras, flown to D.C. to be paraded in front of Congress, then flown to town halls to be paraded in front of constituents. It was really a bit much, and it began to give the impression that the GCL was implying that Americans as a whole shared some degree of culpability in Adam Lanza’s crime.
Nevertheless, The Hill reports that Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) will bring Richard Martinez–father of Santa Barbara crime victim Christopher Michaels-Martinez–to the State of the Union address.
Martinez should be a witness to the sheer failure of gun control, as the crime that took his son’s life happened in a state with expanded background checks, firearm registration, and magazine capacity limits. Instead, he will be paraded about by those who promise that expanded background checks, firearm registration, and magazine capacity limits will reduce crime.
Besides this PR front, the GCL will be using domestic violence as a Trojan horse to sneak in more gun control for certain segments of the population. As we’ve already seen in Michigan this year, this move allows them to cower GOP governors like Rick Snyder into submission so that gun rights can be curtailed.
This Trojan horse is easily undone–and would have fallen flat in Michigan–if pro-gun officials take the time to explain why protecting the Second Amendment rights of persons accused, but not convicted, of crimes is not the same as empowering domestic abusers. And refusing to put persons who were the subject of “temporary” protective orders in the same category as those convicted of violent abuse is not the same as empowering or protecting actual domestic abusers, regardless of what Gabby Giffords and Shannon Watts might say.
Finally, the GCL will rely on the one thing they have plenty of: money.
Some of the most visible groups in the GCL–groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action–exist because billionaire Michael Bloomberg funds them, but that money doesn’t stop with the groups alone. Washington state gun control initiative I-594 epitomized this by garnering over $10 million in donations from one-percenters, including Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and others. And the GCL now has the support of Elaine Wynn’s billions in its push to outlaw private gun sales in the state of Nevada.
The good news is money cannot guarantee victory. Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly learned this the hard way in Arizona’s District 2 election during the 2014 midterms.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.