Anti-gunners race to exploit tragedy for ‘Gun Violence Awareness’

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At least two gun prohibition lobbying groups have moved quickly to exploit the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach as a means of highlighting their upcoming activities as part of “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” or “Gun Violence Awareness Month,” depending upon whose email one receives.

Anti-gunners want people to wear orange this weekend. Like this, perhaps? (Dave Workman)

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a subsidiary of billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, is touting the upcoming “Wear Orange Weekend.” Their gun violence awareness day is Friday, and in their email blast, the Moms group declared, “As families and a community mourn in Virginia Beach, we must again work towards an America free from the fear of being shot at work, on the street, at a place of worship, in school, or anywhere else in our communities.”

Meanwhile, the Brady organization says the entire month of June is devoted to gun violence awareness. According to their website, “Assault weapons, paired with high-capacity magazines, have long been the weapon of choice for mass shooters.”

Apparently, the now-deceased killer in Virginia Beach, DeWayne Craddock, didn’t get the memo. He used a pair of handguns purchased over the past three years, to carry out the carnage last Friday.

But Brady, which probably read the definition of a “semiautomatic assault rifle” in the language of Washington State’s Initiative 1639, defines an “assault weapon” as “a semi-automatic gun designed for military use and quick, efficient killing.” Except, according to experts, the targeted guns—modern sporting rifles—may look like military firearms but they are not designed as such. That is an invention by the gun control crowd. Even Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has repeatedly noted that when he was in the military, nobody referred to his issued weapon as an “assault rifle.”

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According to the Brady group, “Military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines exist only to enact maximum destruction, and there’s simply no reason that everyday Americans need access to them.”

To the contrary, according to rights activists who were busy over the past weekend at the monthly Washington Arms Collectors’ gun show in Puyallup, near Tacoma, there are all kinds of reasons to own a modern sporting rifle. They include home defense, hunting, target shooting and competition, predator control and, maybe, the owners just wanted to have one because their right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment.

But this is the same sort of argument that anti-gunners use to pooh-pooh the growing interest in armed self-defense and concealed carry. The gun ban crowd routinely refers to the number of criminals killed annually by legally-armed citizens, arguing that the number is so low that armed self-defense is essentially non-existent.

Into this fray came the National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, explaining that the argument is “dumb to the point of intellectual dishonesty” because not all defensive firearms uses involve the killing of another person. Indeed, Williamson observed, “Nobody but nobody is quite so dumb as to believe that all, most, or even very many uses of firearms to prevent acts of criminal violence result in justifiable homicides. Most of them do not result in anybody’s being shot, much less shot dead, because most of them do not involve discharging a firearm. As it turns out, pointing a gun at a would-be assailant is in many cases a very persuasive gesture.”

Intellectual dishonesty might be considered the gun control lobby’s area of expertise. Tuesday, anti-gun Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, reacting to the Virginia Beach shooting, called for a special session of the legislature and announced his proposed package of “gun reforms.”

But Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, immediately challenged Northam to reveal “just what part of your extremist gun control wish list do you think would have prevented what happened in Virginia Beach?”

Northam wants “universal background checks.” The gunman had passed multiple background checks including an enhanced one required to legally purchase the suppressor that was attached to one of his pistols.

The governor wants to ban “assault weapons,” but none were used in Friday’s crime as noted earlier.

He wants child access prevention legislation, but Gottlieb noted that no child was involved in the shooting.

Northam wants “extreme risk protection order” legislation, but there is no indication that the gunman had been a threat to anyone prior to the shooting.

All the governor really wants, Gottlieb asserted, is to revive the tired old gun control agenda that has been pushed for years by gun prohibitionists. This would be the sort of intellectual dishonesty a bout which Williamson wrote, but then, gun control has never really been about preventing tragedies, but about stepping on the Second Amendment, which happens to protect an enumerated right. Anti-gunners would delight in turning that right into a privilege, and then making sure that it’s a privilege average citizens never again are allowed to enjoy.

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