The playbook has been well documented and rehearsed over the years. Those who promote extreme gun control measures mobilize more quickly than any other political group in America. It’s not even close. They do this for one reason and one reason only: their argument is only effective at an emotional level. Therefore, they have to seize on emotion to drive their narrative before it crumbles under the facts.
Within minutes of the first news reports that there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas last night, the #GunControlNow hashtag was trending. I saw the news before it had made it to mainstream media when Twitter reports were the just hitting the feed. The top hashtag at the time was “Las Vegas.” Second was “Mandalay Bay.” Third was “#GunControlNow.”
Throughout the early morning hours, more hashtags were put into play. Because of the fickle nature of the Twitter algorithm, they had to be replaced often. #NRAkills, #StopNRA, and other hashtags associated with the National Rifle Association made appearances on the Twitter sidebar. “Sandy Hook” and the hashtagged variation #SandyHook popped in for a while. #EndGunViolence got a late push with help from non-gun grabbers who used the tag to call for sanity rather than more gun control.
This tragic story became the talking point for every gun grabber that could get in front of a television camera. They were calling for bans on “assault weapons,” asking questions about how a “machine gun” was brought into the hotel, and indicting Nevada’s minimized gun laws. None of these points make any sense until the facts are known, but it’s important for the gun grabber playbook to work that they not wait for the facts. The narrative is most effective when it’s primal. It works when there is still confusion and people are early in forming their own opinions outside of fear and anger. They can’t wait for more information because that’s when they have to answer tougher questions.
Here’s the thing. The end-goal of many gun grabbers is to literally grab all of the guns. They aren’t just interested in preventing terrorists from owning automatic weapons or converting semi-automatic weapons to mimic full-auto. That’s just the start. They aren’t interested in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, otherwise they’d be focused on cities like Chicago with strict gun control measures that are clearly not working. Instead, they want guns out of the hands of everyone other than the “professionals.” Some want to go all the way to British levels of gun control where even the police don’t carry guns other than on special occasions.
Why don’t we have Draconian gun control laws yet? Because when the debate occurs after all the facts are collected and made known, the measures the left want in place invariably do not solve the problem of mass shootings. Multiple pieces of legislation were put forth following Sandy Hook that wouldn’t have had an effect on the incident itself, yet some of those measures passed. Still, they continue to demonize the NRA and Republicans with every shooting because they believe the political right is allowing these events to occur.
Can 300+ million guns be taken away from people? Not now, though it’s no longer in the realm of the impossible. Can every act of gun violence be thwarted by adding more laws? No, and as Chicago has clearly demonstrated, these laws can have the opposite effect. Will background checks and safety courses prevent people like Stephen Paddock from killing? Considering he had no criminal record and no reported psychological issues, again the answer is “no.”
Where does this leave us? We have a situation in which the information is still trickling in. We have emotions peaking. Meanwhile, the gun grabber logic is still in play because it only works in times like this when the disgusting surface of the debate is all that many people can see.
Those who want extensive gun control laws would have a better chance of making an impact if they’d sit down and discuss their case logically and realistically. They fear both logic and reality because neither plays well for their narrative, so they rely on emotional responses when events are still fresh and questions are still floating around. When the emotion subsides, their arguments lose their effectiveness. They need to get people committed to their cause while the tension is still high. This is why they pounce so quickly. They can only advance their agenda if they play with our emotions first.
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