Are NOT Gun-Haters
by Steven Greenhut: Rose
Parade Military Propaganda
the blog-o-sphere, Iíve been reading about how much liberals, such
as those in the Obama administration and the Democrats who run our
state government in California, hate guns. The term "gun-haters"
can be found in countless articles written by conservatives about
advocates for gun control, with one
publication listing myriad "gun-hating" organizations.
No doubt, the
politicians and groups named in these articles and lists are advocates
for gun-control measures, but they absolutely, positively do not
hate guns. In fact, these folks love guns. Their entire political
philosophy is based on their adoration of big guns and small ones,
without which they could accomplish none of their goals.
see where Iím headed. Our enemies in the gun-rights battle donít
hate or dislike guns per se, but hate the idea of average citizens
having access to them. Iíve never heard a gun-controller complain
about the way police are now outfitted with military-style uniforms
and granted firearms worthy of an invading army. No one seems to
complain about the militaryís immense firepower and its stockpiling
of even nuclear weapons.
Iím playing a semantic game, and semantic games can be annoying.
(I get tired, for instance, of readers emailing me to complain that
I used the term government "worker" rather than government
"employee." I get their semantic point, but government
employees do actually work for their money even if the work they
do is wasteful, unnecessary and coercive.) My semantic game, by
contrast, illustrates a valuable point. This current "gun"
debate isnít about whether guns are good or bad or whether we love
them or hate them but about which particular groups of people are
entitled to own them.
publisher of the Orange County Register used to refer to
the public-school system as "gun-run schools." His point
was that the current school system is based, ultimately on the use
of guns by the authorities. If we donít pay our taxes or follow
compulsory-education laws, then well-pensioned officials in uniforms
show up at our door with weapons to haul us away to jail. If we
resist or run away, those authorities will shoot us.
donít like guns, yet I purchased two shotguns and would use them
if necessary. Itís no different than my lawn tractor. I donít particularly
like it either Ė with those dangerous spinning blades that could
cut off my legs Ė but it beats trying to cut my six acres of two-foot-high
grass with a scissors. I donít like target shooting, so the guns
are simply a tool. In the popular view, though, I am a gun-lover
because I believe in the right of average folks to own them.
A liberal gun-banner
might personally dislike firearms also, but that personís support
of firearm ownership by the authorities ought to put them in the
category of gun-lover also. A true gun-hater would be someone who
wanted to ban all weapons from all people and all governments Ė
a naïve notion given the unfortunate flaws found in human nature.
authorities toting guns, liberals couldnít force us to do all the
things they constantly are forcing us to do. Conservatives donít
want us to resist their plans either, but at least they are more
consistent Ė they want the government to be armed to the teeth,
but they are willing to allow the rest of us to be armed also, although
to a lesser degree.
are aghast whenever some lefty legislator, media celebrity or politician
is caught using a firearm (or when their paid bodyguards tote such
arms). I agree that such behavior is ridiculous, but it isnít really
hypocritical when a so-called gun-hater is caught depending on a
gun for their personal safety. As good progressives, they believe
that they are members of an elite that has special privileges the
lesser folks should not have.
I know cops
who wonít go anywhere off-duty without a weapon even though they
disdain the idea that the rest of us should have similar protections.
Never mind that private citizens are more responsible with their
weapons than government officials, perhaps because government officials
know they have immunities that the rest of us do not enjoy.
Iím sure the
"gun-hater" moniker wonít go away, but letís at least remind Americans
whenever possible that the opponents of public gun ownership don't
hate guns. They hate the public.
Greenhut (send him mail)
is a Sacramento-based writer.
© 2013 Steven Greenhut