The mask came off over at Esquire, yesterday, in the wake of a school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. I won’t be commenting on the shooting itself because the details are still filtering in. As usual, the news agencies are all rushing to be first, rather than correct.
Okay, Now I Actually Do Want To Take Your Guns by Dave Holmes – Esquire
Hey there, NRA:
Listen, I know the moments after a gunman opens fire in a school are hectic for you. You have to get your talking points together…
Not really. The arguments have stayed the same for well over a decade, when I first started taking an interest in guns.
you have to mentally prepare to debate a traumatized yet sensible child,
Yes, trauma victim and child are what I correlate with sensible. I notice he didn’t use the word rational.
you have to look at yourself in the mirror and practice saying that more guns would have made the situation less deadly. It’s a busy time!
It’s hard to say, in this specific circumstance, if having an armed teacher, guard, or law enforcement officer right there would have helped. Not only because all the details aren’t known yet, but it very likely wouldn’t have hurt. Having an effective means of defense certainly beats cowering in fear with no other option.
And since we are always either in the moments after or the moments before a mass shooting, you’re pretty much always busy, I have noticed!
I suppose it depends on how he defines moments or mass shooting. If you recall, the last mass shooting in the news was in Australia, the country with gun control laws anti-rights advocates always swoon over. However, mass shootings are exceedingly rare. In a world with seven billion people, we only hear about these events a few times a year.
before a mass shooting, you’re pretty much always busy, I have noticed!
Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I now actually do want to take your guns.
All of your guns.
Yeah, I’m not really shocked by this. For years gun-rights advocates have warned that total confiscation was the end-goal of the anti-rights side. We’ve been called crazy and told over and over that “Nobody wants to take your guns,” only for politicians and radicals to give a wink and a nod and try to do exactly that.
It wasn’t always this way. I have responsible gun owners in my family. I’ve never been a fan of shooting at things myself, but guns sure do seem to have brought joy into the lives of some people I love, and as long as they were stored properly, I never had a problem with them being around. I believed that we should place a hurdle or two between a psychopath and an AR-15, but that’s about as ardent as I got. Live and let live, that was my policy. Even with death machines.
This is another near-trope from anti-rights activists. This one is a cousin to “I support the second amendment, but…” Dave Holmes would have people believe that he was about “live and let live” for firearms before this tragic event, and quietly omits the earlier anti-gun articles he’s written. Articles like:
- “Trump and Pence Played All the Hits During Their NRA Convention DJ Set – Comin’ to you live from the source of American destruction.”
- A mocking piece full of strawman arguments written as part of the author’s Trump Derangement Syndrome
- “The NRA Called Out a Dallas Restaurant for Its Message About Gun Control”
- A piece deriding NRA supporters for disapproving of a restaurant’s anti-rights political stance while simultaneously praising the anti-rights position
- “This Is My Plan to Beat the NRA at Its Own Game. It’s Already Working.”
- A promotional interview with Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action (a Michael Bloomberg subsidiary), brazenly gushing about the need for more gun control in America.
- “NRA Board Member: Slain Pastor Is to Blame for Deaths in Charleston Shooting – Charles Cotton says exactly what you’d expect, yet the speed and heartlessness of it is still startling.”
- Appealing to emotion and logic-shaming to promote anti-gun views while simultaneously dismissing policies shown to actually prevent, deter, and stop crimes, killings, and mass shootings.
- “The NRA is Encouraging a Delusional Fantasy.”
- In which Dave Holmes ignores every example of when an armed citizen stopped a mass killing and calls it a fantasy.
Or his earlier tweets, like this one written just after the Sandy Hook shooting:
Well, you won, @nra. Come on forward and claim your prize.
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmes) December 14, 2012
Or this one, written after the San Bernadino attack:
Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are renewing my strength to campaign and vote EXCLUSIVELY for candidates who support meaningful gun control.
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmes) December 2, 2015
Or after the Sutherland Springs shooting:
gun control is my answer.
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmes) November 6, 2017
I’m supposed to believe, after writing anti-rights drivel for years, that he’s actually had a live-and-let-live policy on guns all this time. Excuse me if I find Dave to be disingenuous just two full paragraphs into the opinion piece.
That has all changed. And you changed it.
And by “changed,” he of course means restating his long-held beliefs that haven’t changed at all. And by “you changed it” he means he’s blaming the NRA and civil-rights activists and not the actual criminals to blame.
All along, as American life has gotten deadlier,
I’ll just drop these here:
“Crime in New York City Plunges to a Level Not Seen Since the 1950s”
“FBI: Violent crime rises in 2016, but remains near historic low”
“FBI: US Homicide Rate at 51-Year Low”
as our kids have gotten less safe in their schools,
“School shootings are extraordinarily rare. Why is fear of them driving policy?”
“School shootings are not the new normal, despite statistics that stretch the truth”
“Schools safer today than in 1990s, study on shootings says”
you have had the opportunity to work with the vast majority of Americans who support the sensible reform of our gun laws. You have had the chance to preserve your own rights as we work together to keep our gun regulations in step with gun technology. You haven’t.
So in other words, “You could have had the chance to surrender your rights bit by bit.”
All along, there have been opportunities for sensible, incremental changes.
This year alone, we could have banned the manufacture of bump stocks, which turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
Never mind that Sessions is actually banning bump stocks through regulation. That’s not how bump-fire works. I understand Dave is ignorant to the voodoo that makes up the “evil guns,” but words mean things, and the words he used don’t actually line up with what he’s saying. Bump stocks make bump firing a gun easier. But it’s already easy to do without one. It’s a pointless, poorly worded ban that will end up hurting a large swath of gun owners that use things like match-grade triggers in their hunting rifles. But I suppose he doesn’t really care.
We could have raised the minimum age for gun ownership from 18 to 21, or instate a national minimum age for long-gun ownership.
So I suppose Dave would support raising the voting age and enlistment age to 21 as well, right? I mean, if it’s too dangerous for 18-year-olds to own a means to protect themselves, then I guess it’s too dangerous for them to join the military where they can hold actual automatic weapons. Or help decide the person in charge of what countries we bomb. If he doesn’t think voting is just as dangerous as owning a gun, Dave should ask himself, “Am I happy with the current elected president of the United States?”
These teens that are too dangerous to own a gun; are they the same teens we’re supposed to be listening to about public policy?
We haven’t, largely because you have bought our government.
Puh-lease. The NRA doesn’t even make the top 50 donors during the 2016 election cycle. (A breakdown of NRA spending would make for a lovely future article, though. I’ll put that on the to-do list.) If the NRA truly “bought our government,” then why does NFA34 still exist? GCA68? Hughes? Brady? He probably wouldn’t recognize any of those things, but they’re the gun control laws that already exist. Repealing any of them is seen as a pipe-dream that’ll never happen, especially since the NRA can’t even get the Hearing Protection Act, the SHARE act, or Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act to even come to a vote.
What you have done is double down. What you’ve done is convince your members that the occasional school shooting, the odd literal slaughter of innocents, is an unfortunate but inevitable quirk of American life, a thing that is necessary to preserve freedom.
On the contrary; our side has argued for stronger safety measures in schools, better enforcement of NICS (because if we’re gonna have a system, dammit, then it should at least not leak like a sieve), de-stigmatization of mental health treatment (hint: blackballing social security recipients that are no danger to anyone is called stigmatizing), and offered several solutions to help prevent shootings.
You have taken to our television screens to tell us that the world is an apocalyptic hellscape,
Apocalyptic hellscape, huh? Seeing as how we’re at a near 20 year low for violent crime, I shudder to ask what he thinks the 90s were like.
and that the only way to be safe from gun violence is to stock our homes with guns.
No. There’s never going to be a 100% cure-all for any violence, gun-related or not. Evil exists. But it’s sure a heck of a lot easier to scare off or stop a bad guy if you have a gun with you. So no, “stock our homes with guns,” is not what I’d recommend. Carry your gun is what I’d recommend. It’s called POGO: pants on, gun on.
You pushed legislation that cut funding from the Centers for Disease Control for research on gun safety in America. Research that might conclude that fewer guns would mean fewer gun deaths, which leaves us with…no meaningful research on gun violence in America. Our ongoing studies on car safety have made cars, roads and highways safer—not without risk, but safer—yet no comparable studies can be done on guns.
Oh, you mean the same CDC that was spending government funding on biased gun control “studies?” The same CDC that buried survey data for nearly 20 years; Data that may suggest guns can be used to save lives? Yeah, why wouldn’t we want to reward a group like that with funding? It’s a mystery.
Here’s what you get for that.
If you watch nothing else about the mass shooting at #SantaFe High School in Texas, watch this.
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) May 18, 2018
That’s called an appeal to emotion. Yes, what happened in Texas yesterday was criminal and horrible. It would be just as easy to lay the blame at his feet for blocking efforts and solutions offered by pro-rights advocates.
Please also get a load of this guy.
Guns and prayers: A man shows up to the Santa Fe High School (Texas) shooting with an American flag and a gun. Another man says “it’s an embarrassment.” pic.twitter.com/TAixNrJCPp
— Scott McGrew (@ScottMcGrew) May 18, 2018
This morning, as an active shooter situation unfolded in his town, this guy decided to show up on the scene with a MAGA hat, a full-size American flag and a pistol on his hip, to…I guess attempt to be a hero? This is what your relentless fear-mongering gets us all: an adult human being taking a gun to a school to be helpful.
Yeah, I’ll give him that. This guy was not helping.
I was stunned and sad after Parkland. I was heartened by the efforts of the young people who watch their friends get murdered in front of them. I watched you make nice with them on CNN and then, behind their backs, call them terrorists. And then this morning I watched the same goddamn thing happen again, only this time at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, where at least ten people are dead. As though all of the marching and organizing and common-sense talking had never happened. As though this ever growing pile of young bodies is worth nothing.
Oh, it’s not as if it never happened. NRA membership is thought to be at near record levels in response to, among others, David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez. They keep saying thing like “[Remove] semi-automatic weapons from our Civilian society,” (so millions of legally owned handguns, hunting rifles, and shotguns on top of the much-hated AR-15 and other so-called “assault weapons”).
So now I’m angry. Now I’m finished trying to reason with you.
It’s funny how by “reason with” he actually means “tell you to do what I want without listening to you.”
So now I, a guy who was ambivalent about guns just a few years ago, want to take your guns away.
Dave sure writes a lot of anti-gun rhetoric for a guy that was ambivalent about guns
All of them. I want to take them all and melt them down and shape them into a giant sphere and then push it at you so you have to run away from it like Indiana Jones for the rest of your lives. I want Ted Nugent to roam the halls of his gunless house, sighing wearily until he dies.
It’s important to note that Dave doesn’t actually want to take all guns. He still wants the police and the government to have guns. He wants the police and government to use their guns to take away our guns. The same police that he decries for a repeating pattern, “We watch a black man get killed by a police officer, we protest, we hashtag, we GoFund. An investigation is launched, no charges are filed. We ask when it’s going to stop, and it keeps not stopping. Play video, feel hopeless, repeat.”
I want to end this thing once and for all, so that all of you who have prioritized the sale of guns over the lives of children have to sit quietly and think about what you’ve done.
I know Dave isn’t familiar with who Gary Kleck is, or the fact that more people are saved through defensive gun use every day than there are innocent people killed; that the hypothesis of more guns equal more crime has been proven demonstrably false. We don’t “prioritize the sale of guns over the lives of children,” Dave. Quite the opposite. As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote so eloquently in The Two Towers, “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” We fight to save our rights so that we have the ability to fight to save lives.
God help me, I want to take all of your guns out of your hands, by myself, right now.
It won’t happen, of course. So let’s meet in the middle. Let’s meet at…literally anything
Ah. The old “compromise” gambit. LawDog wrote a wonderful post about the “Cake of Gun Rights.” It was also adapted into a comic. By “meet in the middle,” he actually means “give up only some of your rights this time.” Sadly, I doubt he actually means “literally anything,” because my idea of a solution has been rejected by him and those like him as “delusional” over and over.
It’s happening. We tried it your way, and it really did not work.
No, we never “tried it my way.” In fact, my way was and is continually rejected by him. In places where it has been tried, like Utah, which allows teachers with concealed carry permits to be armed, I haven’t heard of a school shooting yet.
The ground is shifting. Get ready.