‘A substantial shift in attitudes’

In case anyone is suffering those winter blahs, let’s start with some recent good news: The Huffington Post reports “For the first time in more than 20 years, Americans say it’s more important to protect the right to own guns than it is to control gun ownership.”

A new Pew Research Poll released Dec. 10 revealed “a substantial shift in attitudes since shortly after the Newtown school shootings.”

In a poll taken immediately after the December, 2012, school shootings in Connecticut, public opinion had favored gun control by 7 points — 49 percent to 42 percent.

But while 46 percent still think “gun control” is more important, a 52 percent majority of Americans are now more concerned with protecting the right to own guns — “the first time a majority has held that position since Pew started asking the question in 1993.”

Now, even conducting such a poll makes a political statement, implying such rights should somehow depend on majority support. When was the last time “Pew Research” or Gallup did a poll on whether Americans think we should retain the freedom of religion or the freedom of the press? So far, none of the media elite seem to want those subjected to the fickle fancy of an impressionable mob.

It’s the trend that’s interesting. And predictable.

The 2012 shootings at the New England elementary school, where teachers were all disarmed by law and therefore unable to defend their charges against a single assailant (said victim disarmament being the real cause of the size of the death toll, as usual), were committed by a mentally deranged young man who murdered his mother and stole her legally owned guns (in Connecticut, a state that already blessed with a draconian level of “gun control.”)

The deaths were gleefully celebrated by the opportunistic gun-banners as an excuse to enact a whole raft of new laws, which they had all ready and waiting to go, and which (equally predictably) would have done nothing to prevent the crime in question.

It never occurred to them that folks might eventually notice this sleight-of-hand, masked with much cynical mewling about “the poor chillldren”?
The increasing support for gun rights spans a wide swath of demographics. Compared with January of 2014, support for gun rights increased by 6 points among Republicans and Democrats, 7 points among independents, 8 points among whites and 10 points among African Americans.

The figure for African-Americans is striking. The statist elite have long believed that to be a core voting bloc for any new program of government taxes and regulations. Could it be the ever wider availability of actual video footage of what happens when police shoot people — especially when they shoot unarmed young black men — is starting to give the lie to this endless, contrived narrative that outgunned, fearful officers are “just doing what’s necessary to protect us all”? Are even urban, minority Americans finally starting to realize how disarmed minorities are treated when only “the man” has access to deadly force?

Americans are also more likely than two years ago to say gun ownership does more to protect against crime than it does to put people’s safety at risk, the researchers found, up from 48 percent in 2012 to 57 percent today.

Other surveys show similar changes. An October Gallup poll found only 47 percent of Americans wanted stricter gun laws, down from 58 percent after the Newtown shootings.

It’s important to note here that virtually no one in this debate is in favor of limiting access to firearms for — and thus reducing the number of firearms held and used by — all Americans.

One side may claim that’s they’re goal. It’s not.

This is a debate between those who want to preserve the constitutionally guaranteed, natural, God-given right of every American to own and carry around firearms of sufficient power and military usefulness to remind government agents they had better be polite because they will always be outgunned, versus those who want to see only agents of the state — the police, the army, the TSA, employees of virtually every federal agency from the IRS to FDA chicken inspectors – so armed, while those who are to be disarmed are only the ruled class, the peasant class, the productive class who actually grow and manufacture and distribute things, the net tax payers, who don’t live in Washington or the state capital and who are not on the government payroll, which is to say: us.


Alan Gottlieb’s Second Amendment Foundation, based in Washington state, stirred controversy last year when it took over Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, an admirably absolutist gun-rights outfit founded by the late Aaron Zelman. (David Codrea summarized that controversy last August; his reporting is easily found online at Examiner.com.)

Now SAF has launched a lawsuit against Washington state’s gun control Initiative 594 – or part of it, at least.

The SAF announced, in a December press release, a lawsuit “seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of portions of Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure that took effect Dec. 4,” alleging that “portions of I-594 . . . are so vague that a person of ordinary intelligence cannot understand their scope,” and that other parts violate the Second Amendment outright.

“We took this action due to the confusing and arbitrary language and nature of I-594,” Mr. Gottlieb said in a statement. “Three of our plaintiffs, including my son, are residents of other states and cannot legally borrow handguns for personal protection while traveling in Washington. Under I-594, all transfers must be done through federally-licensed firearms dealers, but under federal law, dealers cannot legally transfer handguns to residents of other states. I-594 also essentially prohibits our non-resident plaintiffs from storing their own firearms here. . . .

“We’re not trying to stop background checks,” Gottlieb said. “We’re taking action against a poorly-written and unconstitutionally vague measure that criminalizes activities that are perfectly legal anywhere else in the country, thus striking at the very heart of a constitutionally-protected, fundamental civil right.”

Freedom fighter Claire Wolfe, author of “101 Things To Do ‘Til the Revolution,” weighed in Dec. 31 at her blog at Backwoods Home magazine: “As expected, the Second Amendment Foundation (in conjunction with other groups and individuals) has filed suit against Washington state’s ghastly new law, I-594. Grounds: vagueness, etc. That was also expected. A sixth grader could have written a clearer, more specific law.

“Those of us who’ve been watching Gottlieb’s chicanery on ‘background checks’ for the last few years will also not be the slightest bit surprised at this part of his statement announcing the lawsuit: ‘We’re not trying to stop background checks,’” Ms. Wolfe noted.

“Damn betcha he’s not. Gottlieb infamously wants background checks; he just wants them on his own terms and for reasons incomprehensible to anyone who believes in individual rights.

“Still, the one thing SAF is good for is lawsuits, so this could be interesting.”


Kit Lange Carroll of the Patrick Henry Society takes the discussion further, asserting SAF is “pro-infringement” and has thus filed “a token lawsuit.”

“Today the Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against I-594,” Carroll writes. “Some folks are cheering, as though this is the beginning of the end for tyranny. ‘Now the real fight begins,’ I keep seeing people say. ‘Alan Gottlieb is going to show those tyrant fools that we won’t be bullied into giving up our Second Amendment rights.’

“Here’s a news flash: Alan Gottlieb, along with his Second Amendment Foundation, is all for giving up your Second Amendment rights. . . .

Mr. Carroll, too, takes note of Mr. Gottlieb’s outfit asserting “We’re not trying to stop background checks. . . . We took this action due to the confusing and arbitrary language and nature of I-594.”

“The logical response to that is: What if it had been clearly written?” Mr. Carroll asks. “What if it had no ambiguity? Would Gottlieb be bothering to fight it then?

“’Three of our plaintiffs, including my son, are residents of other states and cannot legally borrow handguns for personal protection while traveling in Washington,’ Carroll further quotes the SAF press release. “Looking at this, a judge could easily say ‘Well, tell your kid to bring his own when he comes, keep it in his possession while he’s here, and take it with him when he leaves. Problem solved.’”

Since Mr. Gottlieb adds: “This measure effectively infringes upon, if not outright prohibits, the exercise of their constitutionally-protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment,” the “question is simple,” to Mr. Carroll. “Why are you not fighting it on those grounds alone? . . .

Initiative 594 is indeed ridiculous. It will be widely ignored. If it’s enforced at all, it will be used to jail and take away the rights of people whose real crime is “contempt of cop” — people of whom even those who voted for this abomination are likely to say, “That’s not who we were after.”

Presumably anyone else affected, who wants to file suit against the initiative, is free to do so. Could a “purer” plea that any such scheme violates the Second Amendment succeed, in the hands of courts that seem willing to find innumerable infringements “reasonable”? I don’t know.

Vin Suprynowicz writes on human & constitutional rights vs. the state. He is the author of Send in the Waco Killers, The Ballad of Carl Drega, The Black Arrow, and a new novel, first of a series on the War on Drugs, The Testament of James.

4 Comments to “‘A substantial shift in attitudes’”

  1. RRND -- 02/06/15 | Says:

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  2. MamaLiberty Says:

    Seems to me I heard somewhere that only lawyers ever truly win lawsuits… from both sides at the same time. I don’t look for any real solution to this abomination in the “courts.” And Gottlieb? Don’t make me laugh.

    On the other hand… non-compliance, ridicule, outright hilarity at the impossibility of enforcement, ordinary people thumbing their nose at all this and just going about their business… that would seem to be a much more useful course.

  3. NotChuck Says:

    The proposed post-Newtown federal universal background check law that split the statists from the Constitutionalists in Congress was “credited” to Alan Gottlieb, who kept trying to “explain” that it was “really” a pro-gun law that would not create a federal gun registration database — except that it would have, as pointed out by Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America. Mr. Pratt is the real Second Amendment absolutist (or maybe the last one standing since Gottlieb took over SAF).

  4. Lava Says:

    “…8 points among whites and 10 points among African Americans.”

    What is the percentage among Asian Americans?

    On 594:
    David Codrea summarized the what? I thought he summarized the changeover.