We all know that slogans are as much a part of politics as speeches, yard signs, and attack ads. Some have been particularly memorable and/or successful.
Barry Goldwater: In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right.
Ronald Reagan: It’s Morning in America
Donald Trump: Make America Great Again
Hillary Clinton: Stronger Together
Okay, scratch that last one. But the point is that some slogans work and others don’t. Some are memorable; others are not. As the left issues their latest demands for more gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas Massacre, even gun control activists would have to stipulate that nobody has more successfully conveyed truth through slogans than those fighting for the rights of gun owners. All in less than ten words. Consider these oldies but goodies:
Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. What words could better convey the reality that gun-related crime is caused by the shooter, not the weapon? By hearts, not bullets. Would we feel better if the 59 deaths in the Las Vegas had resulted from a bomb instead of guns, as was the case in Boston and Oklahoma City and other mass murders? Did we breathe a sigh of relief when terrorists in Europe mowed down dozens of people with a truck, rather than using a gun? Methinks not. How about when that man in Charlottesville who used his vehicle instead of a firearm to commit murder?
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. This is at the heart of the gun control issue. Would we respond to the break-in murder of a homeowner by saying that, since a firearm was responsible for the death, we need to take these weapons away from…homeowners? That is the practical effect of most gun control measures. For those needing a refresher course in the basics, criminals are criminals because they don’t obey the law. Yet we believe criminals will suddenly obey stiffer versions of laws they are already breaking with impunity? No, we can be sure that they will continue to commit crimes, just as those who have obeyed the law will keep obeying. Thus, it is only law-abiding citizens who will be penalized by more gun control measures.
More Guns, Less Crime. The most succinct of the slogans, this cuts right to the bottom line – that more people carrying firearms, most especially concealed, makes for a safer society. Simple logic dictates that not knowing who is packing heat will make criminals less likely to ply their trade. History has demonstrated that more concealed carry is the only policy that can succeed in reducing gun-related crime. And facts speak for themselves: between 1993 and 2014, private ownership of guns increased by 56%… while gun-related crimes dropped by 49%. ‘Nuff said.
But then, there is this most informative slogan, or fact, if you will:
2.5 million defensive uses every year. This slogan, employed by the Virginia Citizens’ Defense League and others, makes perhaps the most critical point about the Second Amendment. It is not about hunting or recreational shooting, as many on the left have tried to assert. It was placed in the Bill of Rights, and in such a prominent position, to assure arguably the essential element of individual freedom: the right to self-defense. From criminals, and yes, from tyrants. Guns are the last line of defense. They are the equalizer between violent offenders and their potential victims. Among the very first act of tyrants, ranging from the King George III during the American Revolution to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Castro, was disarming their citizens and leaving them defenseless.
There are many other simple but effective gun rights slogans, and the reason they work is that the logic is self-evident, and to those who are intellectually honest, indisputable.