It might seem to early to know for sure, but I’m calling it: gun ownership rights have won in America.
Now, I’m not saying that the struggle is over. No, there are still many battles yet to come, and there will be ups and downs in the conflict. But make no mistake: the war has been won.
Those of you who aren’t so convinced might point to recent examples such as New York and Massachusetts, where various forms of regulations have prevailed and even become stronger. Exceptions always exist to a rule, however, and such occurrences isolated to traditional big-government stronghold areas do nothing to slow the greater trend towards firearms ownership freedom. A few cases in particular really illustrate the trend:
The assault weapons ban failed. Lest we forget, during the Clinton years there was a ban on so-called “assault weapons” in place that has since expired. For the last five years the U.S. government has been under pretty solid Democratic Party control. During this time, a recent spate of highly-visible school shootings occurred, culminating in the Sandy Hook tragedy, a veritable perfect storm for would-be gun-grabbers. With a sympathetic media and a ready gun control plan years in the making, it should have been like taking candy from a baby. As it turns out, this was one fierce and obstinate metaphorical baby.
Gun rights have won at the state level in big ways. Arizona, traditionally a very pro-gun state, took its reputation a step further in 2010 by implementing permitless concealed carry, meaning a citizen can now carry a concealed firearm without obtaining any permit whatsoever. The Grand Canyon State is also the site of the assassination attempt on famous gun-control advocate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who post-Sandy Hook and the attempt on her own life has been leading the charge for stricter gun regulations. Unsuccessfully so. Arizona holds firm, and Ohio, our second prime example, has just recently allowed concealed carry in certain school districts, formerly the hallowed strongholds of so-called “gun-free zones.”
The internet-fueled public opinion war went to the gun owners This is a brave new age of heretofore-unfathomable information flow. Media, public officials, and certain experts used to be the gatekeepers of the debate surrounding major issues. Now, thanks to social media, everyone from hardworking businessmen to full-time moms can participate in the discussion with a few clicks. Faced with a national (and global) discussion completely outside of their control, the foes of firearm rights fell short.
The war is far from over, and at this point it could easily go either way; but I’m still calling it. Firearm ownership rights’ biggest challenge completely failed, even backfired. The decentralizing power of the internet was simply too strong. How about the rest of the world? I can’t say. However, seeing how the information age has allowed this conflict to turn out so far, and knowing the borderless nature of the internet, it probably won’t be too long before the rest of the developed world follows suit.
It may still be early in the battle over the private right to own a firearm, but not too early to see the handwriting on the wall. It’s time to face it: gun rights won.