With apologies to the late, great Dinah Washington, who popularized María Graver’s fine song, What a Difference a Day Makes, we marvel at what a difference a year has made for Josh Horwitz, of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, formerly known as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.
Last year, Horwitz told Sally Sara, an Australian reporter for ABC News, “I think the proliferation of firearms has made us more dangerous.” How many times have we heard that sort of line from the anti-gun crowd, as violent crime rates have plummeted to their lowest point in decades?
But this month, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Horwitz has changed his tune, pardon the pun. Now, instead of claiming that violent crime correlates to the number of guns owned by the American people, Horwitz claims that crime correlates to the number of guns sold without a background check.
What factor convinced Horwitz to revise his rhetoric? President Obama decided in December that prohibiting private transfers of firearms would be the gun control priority of his second term of office, of course—more important than banning semi-automatic rifles, and rifle and pistol magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, the legislation for which went down in flaming defeat in the Senate earlier this year. And that was after the Obama machine and its mainstream media pals had done everything they could to convince every American that every other American had already decided that banning guns and magazines was the solution to crime committed by the mentally deranged .
Now, we don’t want to be accused of kicking someone while he is down. But let’s face it. What does it say for anti-handgun radicals like Horwitz, when over the 39 years since the first anti-handgun activist groups were established, the number of handguns has more than doubled, the number of Right-to-Carry states has quadrupled (to include even Illinois), and Second Amendment scholarship by Stephen Halbrook, Don Kates and many others has led to Supreme Court rulings that the Second Amendment protects the right to own handguns for self-defense?
What does it say for them, when in the late 1970s, unable to get handguns banned, they could at least campaign openly for handgun registration without fear of universal ridicule, whereas today they can campaign for a “universal background checks” law only by denying that it would set the stage for registration?
Maybe it says less about them than it says about gun owners who, by the millions, have stayed the course in defense of the Second Amendment. Where laws and politics are concerned, no battle for freedom is ever won in perpetuity. But gun owners have certainly pushed freedom’s adversaries back across the Rhine, and apparently no one knows it better than Josh Horwitz.