PA Bill Number: SB17
Title: In firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
Description: In firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for assault weapons and large capacity magazines. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Mar 22, 2018
No one would accept, in any other national discussion, the level of ignorance seen in the gun debate :: 03/13/2018
There are two certainties following nearly every mass shooting event: Cable news television will have its programming schedule set for the next 72 hours, and a significant number of gun control advocates will reveal they lack even a basic understanding of the items they wish to regulate.
The gun debate is too important for us to accept ignorance, and it can't be accepted when it comes from those tasked with explaining and drafting our laws. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The first certainty is to be expected. After all, if it bleeds it leads. The second certainty is more remarkable.
It’s remarkable that so many proponents of stricter regulations appear to be generally ignorant of not just the minutiae of firearms, but also the basics. It’s also remarkable that this ignorance continues unabated, even after several recent mass shootings.
Journalists Adam Weinstein and Zack Beauchamp defend the generally ill-informed, claiming some in the pro-Second Amendment camp prefer to bully rather than educate those who don’t fully grasp the topic.
Weinstein is correct when he writes, “The onus should be on those citizens who own the weapons technology, and purport to understand it, to share that understanding with the skeptical and less-informed.”
Beauchamp also notes that there’s a big difference between correcting a gun control advocate who’s “actually writing the legislation” versus “a random citizen deciding whether to support a new [assault weapons ban].”
I agree on both accounts. When it comes to the average, non-gun-owning person, pro-Second Amendment advocates ought to take the time to engage in educational, good-faith discussion.
It’s the ignorance of lawmakers, gun control activists, and media commentators that is inexcusable and insulting. Understanding the issue is the bare minimum required of their respective professions. Yet, so many simply refuse to learn the topic.
It’s things like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., saying she opposes “rapid-fire magazines," whatever those are. It’s things like Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., calling for a ban on "gas-assisted receiver firearms,” which are not real. It’s things like professional cable news commentator Steve Schmidt saying it’s harder to buy cough medicine than an AK-47, which is a damned, stupid lie.
No one would ever accept this level of ignorance and dishonesty in a similarly serious and emotionally charged debate.
No one would cheer if a pundit said it’s easier to get a late-term abortion than Sudafed. His audience would ask to see his homework. No one would shrug it off if a legislator incorrectly referred to a “trimester” as a “semester.” No one would ignore it if a pro-life senatorial candidate explained his position on abortions in cases of rape and incest with a response that included something about the human body rejecting “legitimate rape.”
Hell, no one would accept this level of ignorance from a traffic report. If a journalist referred to a pickup truck as an “auto-style speedbox,” he would rightly be laughed off the air.
The gun debate is too important and consequential for this sort of ignorance to go unchecked. It certainly can't be ignored when it comes from the people tasked with explaining and drafting our laws. Understanding the subject is the least that they can do.
Gun-owners are called to educate the illiterate, yes, but the latter have to meet the former halfway.