Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Gun Control Advocates, Cheered on by the Media, Claim Victory in Losing

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gun Control Advocates, Cheered on by the Media, Claim Victory in Losing

Each month when I write about our right to keep and bear arms, it’s difficult to predict what the state of play will look like by the time this article hits your mailbox. This is especially so when it comes to the dizzying array of fake news from an opposition that is not only increasingly desperate but also increasingly detached from reality.

This time, however, The Washington Post made it easy. In July, the Post published a story that is so ridiculous, so outlandish in its shading of the truth, that it may very well take its place alongside Rolling Stone’s timelessly ludicrous “expose” on America’s five most dangerous guns (i.e., pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and derringers). The story ran under the headline: “Gun-control advocates pushed back a tough year at the state level, and they’ll take the win.”  The basic premise of the Post article is that gun control is “winning” because it’s not losing as badly as it conceivably could. 

That’s right. According to The Washington Post—maybe America’s second-most prominent nationwide newspaper—“gun control” is “winning” at the state level in 2017.

And, yes, the reporter actually calls it “gun control” in the piece, not one of the usual euphemisms like “gun violence prevention” or “gun safety” laws. Apparently, it’s acceptable to be honest about the agenda when spiking the football, rather than trying to sneak something by the public.

The story’s byline is from a reporter whose biography says she “writes about politics.” The content, however, is derived from a “report” by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV), a group of gun-hating lawyers now formally associated with Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun ban group led by Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly.

The basic premise of the Post article is that gun control is “winning” because it’s not losing as badly as it conceivably could. It attempts to conjure a sort of Rocky Balboa theme by portraying the NRA as an entrenched titleholder facing a plucky upstart in the likes of organizations including ARS, LCPGV, and the Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety. According to the article, the outcome of their clashes in Trump’s overwhelmingly “red” America is a foregone conclusion: the reigning champ will prevail. But without a conclusive knockout blow, so the storyline goes, the champ’s victory is hollow and short-lived and only sets the stage for the sequels in which the contender finally turns the table.

An LCPGV attorney is quoted as saying, “2017 marked a year where we held our ground … and then some.” An ARS executive enthuses, “We’re getting better and better.” And Everytown’s president even claims, “When you look at what’s happening in statehouses across the country, the gun safety movement is winning.”

In reality, however, “winning” for the gun control side was nothing of the sort. Even with many legislatures still in session and numerous pro-gun initiatives on the move, the NRA has landed all of the year’s significant wins to date, and the opportunities that were missed this year will be revisited until success is achieved in coming legislative sessions.

The Post article glosses over the fact that the ratio of pro to anti-gun bills actually signed into law at press time was 20:1. Only in the modern era of fake news running amok would that ratio result in the clear loser proclaiming victory and the media reporting it as true.

Moreover, the anti-gun legislation that did pass affected only peripheral issues, whether incremental expansions upon existing prohibited person categories, erosions of due process rights for persons accused of misbehavior, or funding for gun control activity already authorized by law.

None of those developments is welcome news for anyone who respects the U.S. Constitution or rule of law, and they were all opposed by your NRA. But they demonstrate how eager the opposition is to capitalize on any development they can portray as a turning point.

Meanwhile, the pro-gun victories were substantive and in some cases game-changing. Last month I mentioned the omnibus bill signed into law in Iowa, legislation that catapulted the Hawkeye state into the upper ranks of pro-gun jurisdictions. Indeed, it might have been the most important pro-gun bill in Iowa’s history, apart from 2010’s shall-issue concealed carry law.

Leading-edge developments also made their way into law in numerous states. Permitless concealed carry was enacted in New Hampshire and North Dakota. Campus carry forged ahead in Arkansas and Georgia. Gun owners received additional protection for the storage of firearms in personal vehicles in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana,

Tennessee and Texas. And self-defense laws were materially strengthened in Florida, Iowa and Oklahoma.  The Post article glosses over the fact that the ratio of pro to anti-gun bills actually signed into law at press time was 20:1. Only in the modern era of fake news running amok would that ratio result in the clear loser proclaiming victory and the media reporting it as true.

Florida has been a leader in popularizing “Stand Your Ground” laws that allow victims to determine for themselves whether retreat or defensive force is the safer option in the face of unlawful aggression.

A precedent-setting law passed this year in Florida would revamp the legal procedure in “Stand Your Ground” cases to ensure the prosecution carries the burden of proof through all phases of the proceedings. Unsurprisingly, the law is generating controversy with those who don’t believe in self-defense, but its enactment demonstrates a commitment to freedom that goes beyond the status quo.

The logic of the Post’s own story, such as it is, also requires acknowledgement that precious little has happened to advance the gun control agenda, even where anti-gun forces have a relatively free hand. In New Mexico, for example, national anti-gun groups poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a failed bid to push universal background checks through a legislature newly controlled by Democrats.

The Post’s story, standing alone, has little value or important data, but it’s worth talking about for what it reveals about the modern gun control movement. It might be that at this point in history the mainstream press simply isn’t sophisticated or self-aware enough to understand, much less critically evaluate, the nuances of the gun control debate. But even if they were, it’s clear that the mass media have so attached themselves to the gun control cause that they’re distinguishable from groups like ARS/LCPGV only because they have a broader portfolio of social issues to promote, not in their viewpoints or desire to see America disarmed. Media and gun control advocacy have effectively merged.

That’s not exactly a new development, but the transparency and shamelessness of the alliance is notable even to those of us who have been observing the process for a long time. This collaboration allows gun control advocates to use the reach and “prestige” of the press to push as “the truth” their “science,” their “studies,” their “facts” and their narratives.

The premise that a lie told often and insistently enough eventually will be accepted as truth is an idea attributed to tyrants throughout world history. And so the media tells the American public again and again—despite obvious evidence to the contrary—that firearms aren’t necessary for self-defense, that Americans don’t want guns but do want more gun control, and that firearms not fielded by any Army are “military-style assault weapons.”

And now they’re insisting—egged on by gun control groups with a financial interest in delivering results to patrons like Michael Bloomberg and George Soros—that the tide is turning against the right to keep and bear arms in America and that the glorious victory they have long sought is inevitable.

But it would be a mistake simply to dismiss all their claims and aspirations as fantasies. It is certainly true that firearm prohibitionists are as emboldened, determined and well-funded as ever. It is also true that they have insinuated themselves not just into the mass media apparatus, but into nearly every opinion-influencing sector of American society, from education, to entertainment, to law—even to sports and medicine.

Over time, the combined efforts of these entities have eroded other bedrock and once uncontroversial American values. It would be foolish for us to think the values embodied in the Second Amendment are immune from the same process.

But even if some newspaper writers want you to believe that their version of history is already carved in stone, they don’t get to write the next installment in the unfolding story of America’s devotion to its Second Amendment protected freedoms. That remains the job of the American people. Rest assured, your NRA is here to ensure that the good guys, as they always have in the American saga, will find a way to win.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

Former NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, until 2019. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversaw 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
Member Spotlight: Meet the hunter who stands up to those who call her a ‘murderer'

Hunting  

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Member Spotlight: Meet the hunter who stands up to those who call her a ‘murderer'

America’s hunters are increasingly under fire by political extremists. Hunter and philanthropic consultant Britt Longoria has been at the center of an online hate campaign by animal rights extremists who don’t understand where their food ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Massachusetts: Hearing on Bill to Mandate Doctors Push State’s Anti-Gun Agenda

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Massachusetts: Hearing on Bill to Mandate Doctors Push State’s Anti-Gun Agenda

On December 10th, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health will hear House Bill 2005 to impose a mandatory requirement for doctors to ask patients about firearms in their homes and for the type of ...

Crooked California: Bad Gun Control Laws Once Again Foster Official Corruption

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Crooked California: Bad Gun Control Laws Once Again Foster Official Corruption

In news that will not shock gun rights supporters, the anti-gun utopia of California has provided further evidence that unjust gun control laws invite official corruption. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s ...

Pro-Gun Bill Introduced to Protect Lawful Gun Carriers from Federal-State Legal Trap

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pro-Gun Bill Introduced to Protect Lawful Gun Carriers from Federal-State Legal Trap

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced a bill that would protect persons lawfully carrying firearms under state law, including in those states that do not require a carry permit, from being snared ...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Florida Alert! NRA's Statement on Second Amendment Sanctuary Cities & Counties

We know a lot of you don't cruise the Internet so we thought this message was important enough to send it directly to you. 

NRA's Statement on Second Amendment Sanctuaries

News  

Friday, December 6, 2019

NRA's Statement on Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Read the NRA's statement on Second Amendment sanctuaries. “It is the tyrannical nature of politicians that triggers sanctuary, not the other way around...”

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Friday, December 6, 2019

Background Checks for Family Members?! Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislature Seeks to Ban Private Firearms Transfers

Michael Bloomberg’s bought-and-paid-for new Virginia majorities have wasted no time introducing an extremist bill that would make the Commonwealth one of the most hostile states for law-abiding gun owners.

Sorry, Not Sorry – Government Downplays Security Breach of “Buyback” Database

News  

Monday, December 9, 2019

Sorry, Not Sorry – Government Downplays Security Breach of “Buyback” Database

New Zealand’s dumpster fire of a government-mandated “buyback” program has become even more of a hot spot of contention. Sources indicate that the sensitive personal information of gun owners kept in a police database became ...

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.