As the National Rifle Association gathers in Atlanta this weekend for its annual members meetings an exhibits, the gun prohibition lobby is portraying itself to the national press as the besieged underdog with a “woe is us” message that — to Second Amendment activists — rings as hollow as a broken bugle.
David Chipman, described by the Associated Press as “a senior adviser to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband after she was shot in the head in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson that left six people dead, had this to say:
“Actually, having lost any sense of control in Congress and in many states facing bills that are irresponsible allows us in the gun violence prevention movement to organize and provide resistance.”
There has been much use of that word, “resistance,” since Donald Trump took office. Viscerally disappointed supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton who expected her to be president — and hardly come near an NRA gathering — have gone sometimes off the proverbial deep end. That includes the gun prohibition lobby, which was looking forward to relegating the right to keep and bear arms to the status of a government regulated privilege.
“There’s no doubt that the election of Donald Trump was a major setback for the gun control movement,” according to UCLA law professor and author Adam Winkler, quoted by the Associated Press. “Although President Obama was not able to get any new gun control legislation passed, under President Trump the NRA is going to be looking to loosen gun laws and is likely to succeed.”
And then comes Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, now a subsidiary of the Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety. Taking a defiant — and resistant — tone, she told the news agency, “We have become the David to the NRA’s Goliath…We feel much more invigorated because we know how important this is, given Donald Trump is president.”
She also alluded to the reported $30 million NRA spent to help elect Trump, as though the “gun lobby” has a lock on money.
When Bloomberg founded Everytown, he did it with millions of his own dollars, and that money is still flowing. Bloomberg and Everytown have spent millions on state initiative and political races in recent years.
Watts may have a problem because not every mom, or every woman for that matter, is on her side.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, in its coverage of this weekend’s events, quoted Kristy Titus, a “brand ambassador for Cabela’s” and a shooting instructor.
“Our Constitution is precious,” she said. “Preserving the right to keep and bear arms is of first and foremost importance. I’m a strong believer in the Second Amendent.
“Women are the leaders in homes,” she continued. “Getting women comfortable with firearms is important. If they have a problem with criminals having firearms, we need to address criminal sentencing and getting gangs and thugs off the streets and not criminalizing legal owners.”
Protesters are expected this weekend at the NRA gathering. But they will be far outnumbered by people flowing through the doors of the convention center, who may not even toss them a crying towel.