Using the COVID-19 pandemic to justify a gun ban

Gun News

Despite all the claims that gun control organizations only want “reasonable” gun control laws, the coronavirus pandemic has revealed that they do want to ban guns. Gun control advocates somehow want to claim that closing down gun stores doesn’t infringe on people’s ability to own guns for self-defense.

With police calling in sick by the droves and prisons releasing criminals early, it’s little wonder that gun sales have reached record highs. Amid a global pandemic, it’s natural for people to be cautious and prepare for the worst.

But not everyone has been able to do so. Three governors have closed down gun stores in their states, and four others have left the decision up to local governments. Many states are also no longer issuing concealed handgun licenses.

It’s hard to argue that closing down gun stores doesn’t infringe on people’s right to own guns, but that’s exactly the argument that gun control advocates are making. Everytown for Gun Safety claims that while there is “an individual right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to keep and bear certain firearms (such as handguns) in the home for “self-defense,” the U.S. Constitution “does not confer a freestanding right on commercial proprietors to sell firearms.”

Other gun groups make the same claim. Having gun stores listed as “essential” “is a contemptible and exploitative move by the gun lobby to put industry profits over public safety,” said Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign. “There is no constitutional right to immediately buy or sell guns and there is certainly no right to spread coronavirus while buying or selling guns.”

How can people have a right to own a gun but not have a right to buy one? Even when you most need a gun, gun control advocates don’t want you to have one. They tell people to call the police if they are facing a criminal.

After the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting near Fort Worth, Texas, at the end of last year, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued that the citizens who stopped the attack shouldn’t have been armed.

“It may be true that someone in the congregation had his own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people. But it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun.”

During the pandemic, other prominent Democrats have shown what they think of this “average citizen.” “All the businesses are closed in America — except gun sales,” said Bill Maher in March on his HBO show, “Real Time.” “So America, ‘I’ll shoot the virus!’ Get off my porch, you f—ing virus, or I’ll blow your … . We don’t do smart stuff in this country.”

At the end of March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security outraged gun control advocates when it updated its list of “essential” businesses to include gun stores. 

But evidence that the Trump administration talked to the NRA or the National Sports Shooting Foundation doesn’t prove corrupt motives. Maybe they really believe that keeping gun stores open is worth it if keeping them open allows people to defend themselves when the police can’t respond.

It all comes down to the fact that gun control advocates don’t trust people to own guns. As Mr. Bloomberg has put it, “If you want to have a gun in your house, I think you’re pretty stupid.”

Of course, the gun control groups such as the Brady Campaign fought against the two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that said that people had an individual right to own a gun, though they now claim that they accept those decisions.

Gun control organizations claim to only want “reasonable gun control laws,” but don’t fall for this poll-tested phrase. Their ultimate goal is to ban guns. When you most need protection, don’t look to gun control advocates for answers.

• John R. Lott Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author, most recently, of “The War on Guns.”

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