Second Amendment advocate Bob Owens died from an apparent suicide on May 8. The next day, gun control advocate Ladd Everitt used the occasion of Owens’ death to push gun control.
Owens’ time of death was approximately 11 a.m. on the 8th. Minutes before that, he used a Facebook post to say, “In the end, it turns out that I’m not strong. I’m a coward, and a selfish son of a bitch. I’m sorry.”
One day later, Everitt used a post on Medium to say he was “stunned” by the news and described Owens’ death as “one of the most shocking events [he] can remember” during his 17 years in the gun control movement.
Everitt recounted clashing with Owens’ over gun rights numerous times during the years, writing:
[Owens] was the EPITOME of what America considers to be a “gun nut,” and very well-known and respected on his side of the issue. His faith in firearms — personally, politically — was total. [Owens] favored a society in which citizens were heavily armed and in direct conflict with their government — violently when necessary.
Later in the post, Everitt made his inevitable push for gun control:
I think that guns served a purpose in [Owen’s] life that he saw as indispensable. He was going to fiercely defend his way of life — which depends on loose gun laws and government that is the antithesis of totalitarian (at least as far as white men are concerned) — to the bitter end.
I believe Bob would have continued to adhere to his radical pro-gun stance even if he had known he would ultimately take his life with a gun. The modern-day Cult of the Gun that is adhered to by a decreasing minority of Americans (only one in five Americans now owns a gun, and we’re talking about a minority of that population) is not rational. That’s a shame, because it makes it that much harder to save men like Bob in the future.
A few things need to be pointed out here:
- Guns served a purpose which our Founding Fathers recognized as indispensable. That was a driving force behind the creation of the Second Amendment, the purpose of which is to guarantee an armed citizenry that could, in turn, provide a check against government tyranny.
- A pro-Second Amendment stance — Everitt calls it “pro-gun” — is not invalidated by the heart-wrenching choice of one of its adherents anymore than a pro-First Amendment stance would be invalidated by a gun control advocate using the occasion of a good’s man demise to put pen to paper and push more gun laws.
- It is sad when gun control proponents like Everitt make claims like “only one in five American now owns a gun” even though everyday experience, record background checks, and the expansion of concealed carry prove otherwise. Moreover, a recent Stanford University study used California records to show the surges in gun purchases witnessed in recent years were driven by women and first-time gun buyers. CNN quoted professor David Studdert, the leader of the study, who said, “Households that never previously had handguns now do.”
Never one to let facts get in the way, Everitt eventually used his post to push for temporary confiscation of firearms as a way to save people’s lives. He actually claimed that Owens “could have had many good years ahead with his family” had someone confiscated his firearms. In so doing, Everitt ignores a study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which used figures compiled during the Clinton administration (1999) to contrast the gun-friendly U.S. with gun-controlled Russia. Here is what the study uncovered:
The evidence… indicates that denying one particular means to people who are motivated to commit suicide by social, economic, cultural, or other circumstances simply pushes them to some other means. Thus, it is not just the murder rate in gun‐less Russia that is four times higher than the American rate; the Russian suicide rate is also about four times higher than the American rate.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.