In the immediate wake of the Las Vegas massacre, the political left wasted no time in calling for more gun control. This has become their modus operandi. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel perfectly encapsulated this mindset in a 2012 comment. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” he said, “and what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Although this same idea has been attributed to many historical figures, it is most significant when uttered by Emanuel, one of the most prominent leftist politicians in the United States today.
The dismantling of the Second Amendment has been a long-time goal of the radical left, but it has been extremely elusive. It is an aspiration of not just the extreme left; few Democratic politicians are opposed to stricter gun laws. It would be even harder to find a left-wing media personality, academic, or celebrity who would oppose tighter gun-control.
The very people who tell Americans that their Constitutional right to own firearms should be curtailed or taken away completely are the same ones who refuse to condemn the increasing political violence of the left. This is something that should concern every clear-thinking citizen.
Defenseless Against Open Hostility
Imagine encountering a group of people who frequently point out that your opinions and values are intolerant, hateful, and dangerous. Imagine some of those people then suggesting that your views are so abhorrent that you shouldn’t be allowed to express them publicly. At some point, individual members of this same group begin to openly suggest that it would be acceptable to use violence against you, to prevent you expressing those views.
Then imagine this group demanding that you be deprived of the means to defend yourself. Would you not begin to see a worrying trend, here?
The evidence of this trend could have been detected from the early years of the Obama administration. Racial tensions began to reemerge and the ‘social justice’ movement – which is primarily concerned with advancing progressivism and silencing all dissent – began to metastasize. From the moment Donald J. Trump won the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, this trend accelerated.
Spend any amount of time on social media platforms, today, and you’ll encounter highly-incendiary statements from left-wingers both famous and not so famous. These statements range from wishing death upon President Trump and his supporters to calls for other forms of violence against anyone with conservative or libertarian views. The right is in the process of being dehumanized. Right-wingers are no longer people; they are, now, merely objects to be labeled fascist, Nazi, homophobe, xenophobe, misogynist, deplorable, and so on.
The First Amendment itself is now under assault. Particular views – and let us not delude ourselves that these views are not exclusively held by those on the right – are widely described as offensive and hateful. On college campuses across the nation, students are being taught that these views are worse than simply offensive; they are acts of violence.
As Ben Shapiro notes, New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us that “microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent, but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless.”
Once it has been widely established that some speech is violence, it is but a short step to accepting that actual violence can, and should, be used to silence that speech. Especially when those responsible for the speech are not really human, but Nazis, fascists, etc.
Two things should be clarified, at this point. First, that there still exists a large body of people identifying themselves as ‘liberal’ who believe in non-violent activism and shun direct violence. Second, that, as the founding of the United States shows us, there is, indeed, a time when violence is the only remaining way to right the very gravest of wrongs.
Connect the Dots
Nevertheless, the frequency with which the left raises the specter of unacceptable speech – and accepts that it should be quashed by violent means – is increasing. The mere fact that almost no-one on the left has condemned the violence of Antifa is proof of this, although not the only proof. Numerous high-profile instances of violent protests against conservative speakers and pro-Trump marches have occurred this year.
Now, the left has taken up the cry, once again, for tighter restrictions on firearms. Many anti-gun activists call for new laws or changes to old laws. They call this “common sense” reform and suggest that it needs to be done in order to save lives. “something must be done!” is the often-heard demand. Ask these activists exactly what law should be enacted that would bring an end to mass shootings, however, and they respond with a blank stare. They will often admit that this is a question they cannot answer.
“But, something must be done!”
We should be under no illusions, here: That “something” that must be done is the outlawing of firearms. The vast majority of gun-control advocates will never openly admit this but what, short of a total ban on guns, will bring an end to gun violence? Just as important, of course, is the fact that gun violence happens in countries in which the private ownership of firearms is already unlawful.
Leftists know very well that it is, quite simply, impossible to eliminate gun violence. Thus, they also know that one, or a few, new restrictions will do nothing to seriously stem gun violence. Incrementally, they are attempting to make it more and more difficult to own and, especially, to carry a gun.
So, here we are. The left is increasingly outraged by “hate-speech” – which, to them, means almost all right-wing opinion – and frequently approves of the use of violence to prevent that speech. At the same time, the left launches a fresh assault on Second Amendment rights, claiming that “something” must be done but refusing to identify that “something.”
There are just two dots, here, to connect. In connecting these two dots, we are, in reality, drawing a line under a statement from the left: We intend to silence you – by force, if necessary – and we intend to ensure that you are unable to defend yourselves when we do.