We are at a turning point in the gun rights movement. In broad terms, this is a shift from defense to offense. It is predicated on a surge in gun sales, a surge concealed carry permits; as well as a focus on the tactical side of the debate.
Another major focus has been the rise of domestic terrorism, so-called “lone-wolf” attacks. These attacks are nearly impossible to detect, have no regard for laws by definition, and involve all manner of weapons (not specifically firearms). These attacks also showed the incredible cynicism of the anti-gun movement. Specifically, the media and anti-gun advocates jumped on the active shooter alert at Ohio State University, only to run from the story when it became obvious that the suspect was a lone-wolf, radicalized Muslim who attacked his victims with a knife. This was shown last year when Moms Demand Action referred to the victims of the Paris attacks as victims of “gun violence” while ignoring those killed in explosions and by the vehicle used to start the attack.
But as discussed in both the Tactical Review series and in Dirt and Blood last year, terror attacks are incredibly complex in terms of motive, weapon, and overall tactics. Anything can be a weapon, and both the Paris attacks and the Ohio State attacks proved that. The gun control argument simply cannot operate in that environment, as the argument is predicated entirely on undying faith in the law’s non-existent ability to prevent outright and virtually nothing else. It is predicated on perpetual defense, and never going on offense (no matter how many times the movement’s main advocates claim they support self-defense).
Additionally, we are seeing increasing support for concealed carry from law enforcement. From staunch advocate Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke (who almost certainly has the ear of President-Elect Trump and was one of Mr. Trump’s biggest supporters), pages like Deputy Matt of TheBangSwitch, and of course events like the 2013 PoliceOne survey of law enforcement (and more recent details from a survey taken this year. This was another pillar of the anti-gun movement, claiming that police supported tighter gun control laws. That is clearly no longer the case.
Perhaps the most direct evidence we have is the statistical evidence that the gun rights movement is beginning to seize on. Violent crime hit its lowest levels in decades back in 2014. Despite this, the public is (up until very recently), largely unaware of this, which is exploited by anti-gunners desperate to engage on an emotional level.
But beyond all of this; the statistically-proven surge in gun sales, the expansion of gun rights across the nation, the tactical applications of expanding firearms rights (i.e. defense against lone wolf attacks, etc), and the major drop in violent crime (despite all of the above), there is another thing driving the strength of the gun rights movement. That is the overall pro-liberty movement, and the emphasis on self-reliance that it is predicated on. We discussed back in Lethal Ignorance the impact that the utter lack of self-reliance skills the American public seems to have. The liberty movement (and the survivalist offshoot), is predicated on self-reliance, empowerment, and a realistic interpretation of the world. Put more simply, both movements exist to allow people to have sole control of their lives, to have the tools and skills necessary to gain that control, and a realistic way of interpreting the world (evil exists vs. evil can be swatted down with a sheet of paper).
A movement based on giving people control over their own lives, up to and including the ability to defend their life (arguably the most important of all) is a powerful movement indeed.
it is because of all of the above reasons that the pro-gun movement (and the liberty movement generally) enter 2017 with an absurd amount of momentum. The recent attacks in Switzerland, Turkey, and Germany underscore the lack of response the anti-gun movement has to the emerging threat domestic terrorism, as well.
In short, as the pro gun movement shifts to a more tactical, statistical, and logical argument (beyond simply “it’s a right,” even though it most certainly is), the anti-gun movement is left with a message of dependence and defenselessness. In this age, that simply isn’t an acceptable stance, and the constant promises of bloodshed if their agenda is ignored continue to be proven as hyperbolic at best.
A few years ago, the pro-gun movement was supposed to be ruined. Now we stand on the edge of a renaisance.
Enjoy the holiday, and happy new year.
And as always:
Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.