Talking to the Left About Gun Control Is a Chump's Game and We Aren't Playing

We don’t know exactly why 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator went on a shooting rampage in Odessa-Midland, Texas, on Saturday (yes, I wrote his name because I think the whole “don’t publicize their names” craze is juvenile). Perhaps he was in a rage over having been fired from his job as a truck driver only hours before. Who knows. And, absent a seance, probably no one will ever know. What we do know is this. The weapon Ator used was a legal-to-own weapon. His prosecution for a couple of misdemeanors over a decade ago would not have resulted in him being banned from owning a firearm.


Based on those two facts, it is safe to say:

  1. He would have passed a background check.
  2. Red flag laws would not apply.
  3. No conceivable law compatible with the Second Amendment and with basic civil liberties would have prevented Ator from having a firearm.

The incident has some, like the captain of the SS Lollipop, Bill Kristol, beginning to agitate for a ban on modern sporting rifles (see this by Bonchie). In this he joins a chorus of other faux conservatives, like David Frum and Bret Stephens, who aren’t terribly enamored of an armed citizery n the first place, who would willingly negotiate away our rights in order to get the next invitation to the right party or to be allowed to feed at that trough of Pierre Omidyar’s cash for a while longer. (Read my post on why this ban is a ludicrous idea doomed to failure.)

Others, like GOP consultant (need I say more) Scott Jennings, advocate giving the left everything they want because, get this, it’ll own the libs (actual title: How Republicans can ‘own the libs’ on gun control):

If Trump signs a gun reform package [universal background checks, red flag law, and, wait for it, a resolution condemning violence], he’ll have a second feather in his I-did-what-Obama-couldn’t-do cap, alongside criminal justice reform. And he’ll have a great conversation starter for the suburban women who abandoned the GOP in 2018’s midterm.


This is some sad and weak crap. This is a textbook case of tiny little men negotiating away the rights of others trying to placate an opponent that is not making a good faith proposition but rather is set on effectively banning private ownership of firearms.

This is the bottom line. In a nation of well over 300 million people there will be all kinds of aberrant behavior and some of it will lead to the deaths of innocents. The underlying issue is what kind of legal restrictions do we place on several hundred million non-aberrant citizens in order to attempt–let me say that again, attempt–to prevent the one aberrant individual from acting.

Here is where we at RedState will stand on gun control.

  • If you can show how any law you propose will only effect future mass shooters, we’re willing to talk.
  • If you want to make it illegal for weapons to be sold privately, nice try.
  • If you demand limiting the availability of a model of weapon based on extrinsic characteristics, dude, you are a clown.
  • If you want the same people who get you banned on Twitter deciding if you can own a firearm, we don’t want to hear it (here | here).
  • If you want gun ownership restricted so you can feel safer, buy an nightlight and comfort blankie, check under your bed for the boogie man and leave us alone.
  • If you think we owe you an explanation for why we “need” a modern sporting rifle, we have the answer:

We will stand four-square with efforts to improve the accuracy of background checks, consistent with no unreasonable time lag. We will be 100% in favor of vigorous prosecution of felons and other prohibited purchasers when found in possession of a firearm. Beyond that, we are not going to negotiate away any elements of our Constitutional rights–any of them–based on incidents like that in Odessa-Midland or any other place.

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