A Winnable Gun Debate
A ban on “battlefield weapons” could keep casualties from mass shootings down
|the b|e note||Aug 9, 2019|
a Philadelphia Citizen feature
Charles Ellison | @thephilacitizen | Full piece here
Gun control advocates are fighting a losing battle. Just days after El Paso and Dayton, which could be a crucial turning point in shifting the debate, many policymakers are going right back to relying on old rhetoric. Unable to let go of pipe-dreaming “bipartisan” rhetoric, as an example, the U.S. Conference of Mayors puts out a letter co-signed by 214 mayors pushing for background checks. Yet, that just muddles the language. Calling it “bipartisan gun safety legislation” either gets it nowhere, implies you’re keeping guns safe (versus keeping, well, people safe) or merely dilutes the cause.
Instead, keep it simple and firm. Focus efforts where they can have some impact: The ban of “battlefield grade weapons and firearms.” Period. Nothing else. No sense in strengthening a background check if a motivated individual posing as a law-abiding citizen one day and then ending up as mass shooting white nationalist soldier the next can still get their hands on a battlefield rifle.
Hence, each time gun rights advocates spin that “Dems & libs” are about steal everyone’s guns, gun control advocates should message incessantly that they only want “battlefield weapons” off the civilian shelf. No more, no less. Let’s get that done, and we’ll cross the soft-policy of background checks later. If gun owners and gun enthusiasts want to keep their handguns and old-school hunting rifles, have at it. But, call the gun advocates’ bluff on this topic: If you need need an AR-15 or an AK-47 to kill a deer, rabbit or duck, you really can’t hunt. So, what’s the real purpose?
But, here’s the funny thing: It’s not like we haven’t done this before.