Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Political Report | Disarmament Cloaked as "Common Sense"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Political Report | Disarmament Cloaked as "Common Sense"

This feature appears in the May ’16 issue of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. 

Gun control advocates have been at their civilian-disarmament campaign for so long that astute observers will notice the same tactics and approaches returning time and again to the political landscape. When the American public rejects gun control schemes, anti-gun groups simply repackage their old material and strategies of attack. In recent years, such groups have taken to labeling any proposed restriction, no matter how onerous or ineffective, as “common sense.”

“Common sense” is a somewhat subjective term, but the gun control movement’s obvious intent is to portray their proposals as popular, reasonable and benign. Alternatively, gun rights positions are to be considered extreme and out of touch. In reality, this is just a flimsy attempt to veil the oppressive consequences of their proposals.

Everytown for Gun Safety’s materials are replete with appeals for “common-sense” gun laws. Everytown’s website asks visitors to become “gun sense voters,” people who “will fight for common-sense laws to reduce gun violence.” The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has teamed up with the gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions to issue “Commonsense Solutions” toolkits for policymakers.

On Jan. 5, when Barack Obama announced his executive actions on gun control, he used “common sense” five times during his speech. Only two days later, he used the term again to describe his anti-gun agenda during a CNN “town hall.” Then on Jan. 20, Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended the president’s unilateral actions as “common-sense” steps to promote public safety. 

Does all this sound familiar? It should. The “common-sense” attack has been routine among anti-gunners for decades. In promotional materials from the late 1970s, handgun prohibitionist group Handgun Control Inc. (now the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) presented its litany of anti-gun proposals as “common sense.” Of course, this is the same group that fought for a 1976 Massachusetts referendum to completely ban handguns in the state.

President Bill Clinton was also fond of the “common sense” argument. In 2000, he labeled those opposed to a federal gun “buy back” program as “opponents of common-sense gun safety.” This was despite the fact that Clinton’s own Department of Justice determined two years earlier that “buy back” programs were useless, something many of the most prominent anti-gun researchers also concluded in the years to come.

We need to look no further than California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to show where these “common-sense” proposals lead. On Oct. 15, 2015, Newsom announced that he would be pushing a ballot initiative to force a litany of new restrictions on law-abiding Californians, all in the name of “common sense.” In a press release for the cleverly named “Safety for All Act of 2016,” the referendum campaign described it as “a package of common-sense gun reforms.”

California is already home to some of the most oppressive gun laws in the nation, including many measures that gun control advocates sold as “common sense” when pushing for their enactment. California gun owners are subject to “universal” background checks for all but the most limited firearm transfers, as well as gun registration, gun owner licensing, and a ban on popular semi-automatic rifles and magazines. That’s enough “common sense” to choke the Second Amendment into oblivion. 

However, this level of control isn’t enough for Newsom and his followers, so more “common-sense” measures are required. The referendum includes a total ban on possession of previously grandfathered magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms, and a requirement that ammunition purchases be conducted pursuant to background checks and record keeping. The fact that New York recently found a similar ammunition scheme entirely unworkable suggests that such restrictions are, if anything, completely devoid of “common sense.”

Gun control advocates know full well that the American public does not embrace their ultimate goal of civilian disarmament. However, they are convinced this goal can be reached by gradually diminishing our rights over time, all the while purporting that each successive step is simply “common sense.” It is up to gun rights supporters to educate the American people about the ways in which gun control supporters deliberately conceal their true agenda to eliminate our freedom.

 

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice issued a “Notice of Modification” to their proposed regulations regarding the soon to be implemented ammunition background check procedures. As a result of these changes, a second 15-day public ...

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Yesterday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 206, into law.

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

NRA reacts to New York City's attempt to avoid having the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al heard in DC. 

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Thanks to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their state Senators in opposition, Senate Bill 978 has been sent to the Oregon Senate Committee on Rules instead of directly to the Senate floor ...

Pittsburgh Residents Seek Preliminary Injunction Against Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines

News  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Residents Seek Preliminary Injunction Against Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines

With support from the NRA, gun owners challenging Pittsburgh’s ban on publicly carrying loaded magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds filed a motion today seeking a preliminary injunction. If the motion is granted, ...

Texas: House Passes Evacuation Carry Bill

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Texas: House Passes Evacuation Carry Bill

On Thursday, the Texas House gave final approval to House Bill 1177 by a vote of 102-29.

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud ...

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

News  

Friday, March 29, 2019

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ...

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing it called, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.” If you are wondering what that could ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.