Whenever there’s a tragic mass shooting, the left immediately tries to whip up passions by attacking the NRA, accusing them of “having blood on their hands” for refusing to accept “common sense” gun control laws. Some of the more level-headed liberals, such as Keith Olbermann and at least one Harvard professor, called the NRA a “terrorist organization.”
The reason they need to whip up so much passion is that if you look at the facts dispassionately, their arguments for new laws tend to fall apart (one honest gun control supporter who was also a statistician for FiveThirtyEight.com analyzed the data and admitted as much in the Washington Post this week). They also claim that Republican politicians are controlled by the NRA via big donations. As Daniel Payne noted in The Federalist, in the last election cycle, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell got a whopping 0.03% of their donations from the NRA. Even the left-leaning site Vox.com admitted that the NRA provides a “drop in the bucket” of GOP donations, and that the group doesn’t have influence because of money but because they can mobilize so many members to call Congress. But wait: isn’t being able to express our views to our elected officials the way Representative government is supposed to work?
The reason I provide all this background is so you will know the narrative when I tell you that the NRA just shattered it. After liberals began calling for a ban on bump stocks, a device used by the Las Vegas shooter, NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox released this statement: “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” Both President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan have also voiced similar views.
Admittedly, there’s no proof that this would have made any difference in the Las Vegas shooting. Anyone who knows much about guns could probably jerry-rig a similar device. But there is also no legitimate sporting or defense reason to own one. They interfere with the accuracy of aiming, and they can even make the gun less safe for the user. So the NRA said okay to restricting them.
The NRA’s statement brought forth two revelations that will shock both sides. First, the left may be stunned to learn that the NRA is perfectly fine with “common sense” gun laws that actually have a reason for their existence and don’t infringe on Constitutional rights. And second, gun rights advocates may be stunned to hear that at long last, the left may have stumbled upon something more elusive than the Loch Ness Monster: a “common sense” gun law that actually makes sense.