Fair to say there’s valid critiques to be made about gunny peoples’ temperamental flaws, the big one being somewhat excessive paranoia (I can acknowledge this…). BUT, I don’t think it was paranoid to have expected the Cooper / Pres. Obama townhall to be an astroturf gambit to paint GC initiatives as good and the gun people as bad. We’re paranoid, but big medias’ editorial opposition to gun rights has been real right. And in various corners, also its’ sycophantic alignment to the President. And also, the Democrats generally unchecked vituperation for guns and gun rights. So you could expect the worst, for ‘us’.
This did not happen. The people CNN picked to represent ‘us’ were very flattering to ‘us’ as a group, they spoke well. Which is to say they were normal, authentic, and not a caricature.
What’s to make of this, that CNN and the WH are compelled to take on the big task of confronting people rather than caricature?
It’s got to be that the gun rights victory is so complete and its ideology so mainstreamed that to invite absurd strawmen and confront them theatrically is to risk your own credibility and risk the effort for whatever policy gains there are to seek. There’s just so few people now for which that would have been persuasive. That you got policy aides in the WH and editorial producers at CNN who grasp this is an indicator of that total gun rights victory.
So they didn’t do that. They pretty much put an earnest foot forward in the hope of creating some space in the ‘dialog’ for their position. With this, we had a brief, civil, national conversation on guns. And the gun control agenda and the President lost the argument.
The President was, I think, pretty appealing. It’s just that for ‘gun control’ there are no observations that obviate the very well thought and defined keystones of knowledge that the gun people use as the basis for ideology.
Taya Kyle was there, ironically enough, to note that we don’t really have a crime problem than justifies gun control. The President was obliged to acknowledge this is in most ways true while maintaining some nugget that justifies GC. That’s not a needle that can be threaded.
The CO rape victim was there to argue for the autonomy and self-reliance that is self-defense and the ability to do it with adequate tools. There’s not a rebuttal to that, and perhaps it was natural for the President to object and say he wasn’t anti self-defense at all, and that his plans don’t attack it…. but then he got bogged down in some lefty policy wonk tropes about normal people not usually having the avocational second natures to actually defend themselves with guns…. This is crap, it happens all the Fing time even if to somewhat less extent than some of the right’s academics on the topic say it does. Anyway, he lost that point.
And on… there was a righty sheriff and an FFL retailer there to challenge the notion of giving dealer and private sales a better rectal exam. The President asserts this would be part of ‘enforcing the laws on the books’ as we so commonly call for. Perhaps that’s fair.
In his corner, I was somewhat surprised the President’s team had the sense to not bring a bunch of think tank douchebags to say ‘Well, actually…’ as the preface to some rebutting statistics. They must grasp that’s not persuasive. He did bring Michael Pfleger, a liberation theology Catholic priest from Chicago, and Mark Kelly, Gabby Gifford’s husband. As the contemporary left is inclined, they both strayed into glib irony as argumentation.
Pfleger wanted to know why we can’t register guns if we register cars. Know what? The President rejected it, straight up, as too big an ask from the governed. The government doesn’t have the public trust that would allow it and never will have that trust. Big moment perhaps worth foot noting, something of a concession to the gunnys and a rebuke to gc advocacy.
Kelly had a point to make about the nature of gunny recalcitrance, namely that belief in confiscation as the end game is irrational given its practical impossibility. Kelly and the President shared some umbrage and it was Cooper who got properly incredulous, as if to ask ‘well underneath it all you would prefer prohibition and confiscation right?” (re “conspiracy).
We’ve won. We had the discussion, and we won it.