Since I’d written about gun violence before, shortly after the Newtown massacre, I couldn’t have been more pleased when Texas Monthly called and asked me to write more on the topic. Here are excerpts:
The public debate over gun violence, which was hardly high brow to start with, has never been more absurd. I’m not a big fan of the anti-gun crowd, because, as a gun owner, I’m not anti-gun. But, as a former NRA member, I’m absolutely horrified with the behavior of the NRA crowd these days. Since the Newtown massacre, my Facebook feed has been filled with alarmist updates suggesting that the very existence of the Second Amendment is at stake and Obama is going to take our guns away.
Repeat that drivel as many times as you want, but it’s simply not true. But surely our national response to the senseless murder of 26 people—twenty of them children—won’t be to do absolutely nothing? Surely we can do better than that?
Almost certainly, Second Amendment advocates don’t really believe that the proposed (and seemingly dead on arrival) assault rifle ban would be the death of America as they know it, especially given that the U.S. had such a ban, complete with magazine capacity limits for handguns, from 1994 to 2004. I don’t remember the republic crashing down around us at the time, nor do I recall anybody’s ability to have fun shooting stuff and breaking things with wild abandon disappearing. Nor would expanding background checks to do away with the private sale loophole extinguish liberty and sink America into a godless morass. What it would do, however, is keep a lot of wackadoodles, including ones who would do our children harm, from easily getting their hands on guns.
No, what the NRA crowd is mostly doing these days, as somebody pointed out recently, is violating my Second Amendment right to well-regulate a militia.