Editorial: Gun Safety

If we really want to reduce “gun violence” in America, we need to go after criminals who terrorize and shoot people and not law-abiding gun owners.

David Griffith 2017 Headshot


The debate over gun control—now “gun safety”—in this country always reaches a crescendo when somebody perpetrates a truly heinous mass murder using a firearm. Such is the case in the immediate aftermath of the Uvalde School Massacre.

Gun control activists have come out in vocal protest in the wake of this atrocity. Politically savvy anti-gun activists like the folks in the Biden camp want to ban semi-automatic “assault weapons,” they want to raise the age to buy a gun, they want a cap on magazine size, and they want extended background checks. Firebrand types like leftist documentarian Michael Moore literally want to repeal the Second Amendment. There is a process for doing that, but it’s thankfully a long road and unlikely to succeed.

Still, you’ve got to give Michael Moore some credit. He actually spoke the truth. Other gun control enthusiasts are extremely skilled at not saying the “quiet part” of their agenda. They look at countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom that have confiscated firearms, and they long for the ability to do the same here. But they can’t because of that pesky Second Amendment. And they know that repealing the Second Amendment is not going to happen.

So they obfuscate. Instead of talking about gun confiscation. They talk about “gun safety.” My dad long ago taught me the four rules of gun safety. They are: Don’t point it at something you don’t want to destroy; every gun is loaded; don’t put your finger on the trigger until ready to fire; and check to make sure of your target and what’s behind it. There was nothing in his gun safety lessons about banning semi-automatic rifles, which is the progressive version of gun safety.

If we’re really going to negotiate gun laws to reduce deaths caused by people shooting other people, then there are some things that both sides have to agree on.

First, it’s critical that both sides have knowledge of the tools they are discussing. We don’t need anymore New York City journalists going to a gun range for the first time, shooting an AR-15 and writing that it kicks like a mule on meth. It doesn’t. If you really want to feel a kick, dude, shoulder a .45-70 lever-action rifle.

Second, we have to have a common language and stop the silly propaganda. For example we have to decide on a definition of “mass shooting.” The FBI has no definition for mass shooting, it does have one for mass murder—four or more people slain in a single incident. Progressive magazine Mother Jones defines a mass shooting as three or more people killed in a public place, not including the shooter—an excellent definition from an unlikely source. Finally, the mainstream media has decided that a mass shooting happens any time four or more people are shot in a single shooting.

The differences in these definitions is why the Mother Jones’ database records six mass shootings as of June 21, 2022 and the mainstream media says there have been hundreds. In a propaganda trick worthy of Hitler’s chief of lies Joseph Goebbels, the mainstream media has conflated gang members and street criminals shooting at each other with the planned mass murders conducted by deranged high school kids trying to one-up the Columbine killers.    

I believe it’s time to use the “gun safety” activists’ exaggerated mass shooting numbers against them. Let’s say Mother Jones is wrong, maybe there were 20 mass shooter attacks so far in 2022. Maybe there were 50. The mainstream media says there were 250 as of mid-June. So, according to the “gun safety” activists own research, the vast number of mass shootings in this country are street crime incidents. This at a time when criminal justice reformers have done away with cash bail and are pushing for lighter punishment for criminals who use guns. I know you see what’s wrong with this picture.

Nothing the “gun safety” folks want to do to restrict gun ownership would do a damned thing to reduce “gun violence.” So Republicans in Congress should try to cut a deal. They’ll vote for some gun control laws that do not violate the Second Amendment if the bill also includes tough mandatory penalties on gun criminals, including a federal death penalty for cop killers. Oh, and no bail or plea bargaining, for crimes using a gun. “Use a gun, go to jail. And you’re staying.” Let’s see if the gun safety activists really believe in reducing “gun violence.”

I know some of you will disagree with this proposal. But compromise is the only way to call these people out. They want to punish the law-abiding gun owners and let the violent criminals back out on the street, which sometimes leads to them killing cops. It’s time to tell the gun safety folks to put up or shut up. Are they for punishing gun criminals, or just punishing lawful gun owners?

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David Griffith 2017 Headshot
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