by Nick Marino
Two-hundred thousand anti-gun activists and the children they are using as props took to the streets of DC to make their emotional, albeit, nonsensical case for gun control. Never mind the blatant misinformation peddled by the protestors, the media couldn’t get enough of it. They praised it to the skies as a deeply important moment for America and evidence of the fact that anti-gun children earned a place in the political discourse.
I mean, just look at their passion and enthusiasm! Of course, the media wouldn’t dare say the same thing about the March for Life, a march that has drawn far more people every year for 45 years and yet we never hear a word about it. I guess they’re not enthusiastic or passionate enough.
Now, before anyone says anything, my goal here is not to slander or criticize anyone’s experiences. I feel terrible for anyone who has been witness to tragedy, as does everyone. The underlying forces driving this anti-Bill of Rights movement are indicative of something deeper in our politics today.
There’s this idea about young people that those who are “out there making their voices heard”, and who are “passionate and enthusiastic” about a particular issue, are the most knowledgeable, wise, and virtuous among us. “They’re our future leaders”, they say. “They’re standing up for what they believe.” I’m so bored with this meme I can’t even tell you.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that young people shouldn’t get involved in politics. I quite frankly don’t care either way. But the idea that one’s zeal about a particular issue correlates at all to one’s level of knowledge on that issue is just nonsense.
Lots of people are passionate about lots of different things. That doesn’t make their opinions on those things correct or even informed.
You have only to look at the very people advocating for gun control who think the “AR” in “AR-15” stands for “Assault Rifle,” who don’t know the difference between an automatic and a semiautomatic weapon, who have no knowledge about the history of the Second Amendment or the statistics surrounding the issue.
Sure, they’re opinionated. Sure, they’re active. But these people aren’t informed.
Expertise still matters in politics. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you want to comment on political issues, you ought to actually know something about those issues beyond what you saw on a Facebook meme. Activism is fine but it alone isn’t the highest virtue, and it won’t cover for your crappy, uninformed ideas.
Most egregious and counterproductive, though, is the Left’s derision of those with whom they disagree with on a policy level as uncaring and unfeeling. The Left believes that the best gauge of an individual’s level of feeling on a tragic incident is his policy prescriptions for that incident. Only if you want to ban guns do you actually care about dead kids. Otherwise, you’re no better than the shooter himself.
That is utter nonsense.
Here are a few statistics to consider:
- According to FiveThirtyEight, there are about 33,000 gun deaths every
year in the United States. Of those 33,000, roughly 22,000 of those
- A study by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council
published by the CDC showed that there was a range of 500,000 to over
3 million defensive gun uses in 2013.
- Another study from the CDC found that gun ownership has increased by 56 percent, and yet gun violence has declined by almost 50 percent between 1993 and 2003.
We know that practically every single government authority failed in Parkland, before and during the massacre. We also know that the Parkland shooter comes from a fatherless household, as have practically every other mass shooter.
I don’t bring these statistics up in hopes of ending the gun debate. But at the very least, they suggest that there are other factors to consider here than just the gun.
The Left likes to frame this debate by saying “it’s either your gun or my life.” That’s a false binary. The March for Our Lives isn’t a march for anyone’s life because my right to own a firearm doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s right to life.
We all care about dead kids. We all want to save lives.
The Constitution still means something and just because Conservatives don’t share the Left’s policy preferences on the issue doesn’t mean they don’t care. When the Left uses politics to measure moral decency, they damage the social fabric that allows us to live together and actually find common ground.
In the coming months, expect more of the same. Expect the Left to continue to point the finger at Republicans and the NRA. Expect the media to continue to prop up know-nothing, anti-gun activists as our moral and political leaders. And expect American politics to descend deeper and deeper into tribalism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Marino is a guest contributor. Nick is a 21-year-old millennial conservative studying computer science at George Mason University. Nick says, “If you’re not a liberal at 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative at 35, you have no brain. I’m a millennial with no heart and, as Donald Trump put it, a very very good brain.”
Author: Committed Conservative
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