The nation was shocked on May 31st to see that 12 people were killed in a horrific shooting in Virginia Beach at the hands of a man brandishing a .45 caliber pistol.
Never the type to let a crisis go to “waste,” gun control advocates were quick to tout the pain and suffering of Virginians as proof of the necessity of their policies. Many 2020 Democrat hopefuls weighed in as well. Among the notable nobodies commenting were Amy Klobuchar, Julián Castro, John Delany, and John Hickenlooper. Also quick to share their opinions were candidates with actual name recognition like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Eric Swalwell, who would be in the former category if not for his reprehensible suggestion that the government should literally annihilate those not willing to turn over their firearms in the case of a buyback.
What, you may sarcastically wonder, could these politicians have possibly said about this terrible act of violence? In classic fashion, they offered thoughts and prayers first, but quickly followed , followed it by the obvious political statement everyone has come to expect from Democrats after a shooting. What America needs, according to Mr. Yang or Senator Sanders, is “common sense,” “gun safety” legislation. “We cannot continue to stand idly by,” said Senator Harris.
Frankly, empty platitudes and calls for “common sense” action are tiring.
Is banning or heavily restricting semi-automatic weapons by virtue of their cosmetic features, as Mr. Castro supports, really “common sense?” Is banning all semi-automatic weapons, regardless of features, as Senator Sanders has previously supported, “common sense?”
What makes gun control legislation “common sense?”
For the Democrats, any bill calling for gun control is “common sense.” That is certainly a reasonable conclusion we can draw given that never once have any of them bothered to actually explain why any gun control legislation is “common sense.”
It is undoubtedly a smart strategy. No one need explain something that is “common sense,” because it is, by definition, self evident. It allows politicians to excuse themselves from defending or expounding upon their position sufficiently.
As for “gun safety,” again I am left baffled as to what that could possibly mean. In what way is banning extended magazines, as former Governor Hickenlooper did during his tenure, “gun safety?” Does such a policy make guns less lethal? Would banning bump stocks, suppressors, or other attachments reduce the inherent danger of a firearm in anyway?
Considering that the vast majority of current gun owners are careful, responsible, and safe with their firearms, without legislation, might it be that this is all simply empty rhetoric designed to attract votes?
What is exceptionally frustrating about these slogans is the clear contempt for those of us who support the Second Amendment.
Think about the phrase “common sense” gun legislation. Really ponder that phrase for a moment.
Common sense is defined as good sense and sound judgment in practical matters. The clear implication of that nonsense phrase is that those who oppose gun control lack the proper judgment that the rest of society holds. We are mere fools, to put it simply. We lack the vision or the willingness to take the “obvious” action necessary to prevent disgusting acts like that in Virginia Beach.
Conservatives and libertarians don’t lack common sense. On the contrary, many of us are more than well versed on the statistics. We are quite aware that data from the CDC shows that defensive gun uses occur anywhere from 300,000 to 2,000,000 times every year. We know that over 90% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones. We have read up on court cases like D.C. v. Heller (2008) and the wording of the Second Amendment. However, we would never be so arrogant to deem our policy prescriptions, or lack thereof, as “common sense.”
Democrat politicians should learn the same lesson. They ought to defend policy with statistics if they believe in their prescribed policies. They should stop castigating opponents as fools through vague, nonsensical terms.
Their policy isn’t common sense by virtue of it existing.
Granted, the prospects for Democrat politicians and activists avoiding these ridiculous platitudes is slim.That is why it is our job, those of us who believe in gun rights, to call them out on these phrases when they use them. It is only by removing these foolish words and phrases from the debate over gun control that a productive conversation can truly be held.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.