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January 31 2013

Shut Up, They Explained

Anna Rittgers

Code PINK leader Medea Benjamin, who sometimes dresses in a vagina costume to express her views, took to Twitter to respond to IWF Senior Fellow Gayle Trotter’s testimony against the proposed “assault weapons” ban before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Why did @senatoryleahy get that crazy pro-gun woman to testify @ Senate hearing when there are so many SANE #guncontrol women??? #NRA

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell invited Gayle on his show last night for the sole purpose of insulting her and shouting her down when she responded to his questions. As rude as he was, the comments against Gayle on the show’s website are hateful at best, and then degenerate into violent misogyny. 

The vicious reaction to Gayle’s excellent testimony illustrates precisely how the left responds to opposing viewpoints.  The left doesn’t want the American public to see that there are women passionately advocating for gun rights, so they seek to shut out and stigmatize opposing voices.

Slate has estimated that there are at least 3.75 million AR-15 rifles in the United States. In 2010, more murders were committed using fists (745) than using rifles (358-of which the AR-15 is a subcategory) despite the fact that the AR-15 is the country’s most commonly owned rifle. 

The Second Amendment—which remains a part of the Bill of Rights, not the bill of “needs”—protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms. There is no good argument why law abiding citizens should have these tools taken away from them.  The fact that some madmen used a particular type of firearm to perpetrate criminal and evil acts is an insufficient reason to prohibit ownership of that weapon by law abiding citizens.  Tragedy cannot be outlawed.

The choice to exercise the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment is inherently a personal one.  There are many different types and calibers of handguns, rifles, and shotguns—and there is no “one size fits all” solution to firearm ownership.  Free people have the right to choose what they deem to be the best weapon to arm themselves—be it an AR-15, a Glock semiautomatic handgun, a pump action shotgun, or a six shot revolver.

Lawrence O’Donnell, Medea Benjamin, and others on the left attempt to position themselves as reasonable arbiters of what should and should not be allowed in terms of gun policy.  Yet they ignore the thousands of gun laws, restrictions, and regulations that have been in place for years but have failed to stop gun crime. 

They deliberately interchange the terms “automatic rifles” (which have been heavily restricted since the 30s and effectively banned since the 80s) and “semiautomatic rifles” (which means only one bullet is fired for each pull of the trigger, the casing for that bullet ejected, and a new round chambered and ready for the next pull of the trigger).

They confuse suppressors (an attachment at the end of a weapon that muffles the sound of the gun firing, which are already heavily restricted and regulated by the ATF) with flash suppressors (a small piece of metal at the end of the barrel that reduces the flame flare out at the end of the barrel when the gun is fired).

They claim it would be reasonable to cap magazines at ten rounds.  Next time, they’ll want to lower the max at seven. Now they seek to ban semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Next time, they’ll include handguns.  Just look to New York State to see where this is headed. 

All the while, these politicians and pundits will assure you that they have no problems with hunters and sport shooters—it’s just that they don’t see why people “need” the particular weapon that they seeking to ban.  Each time, the number and type of firearms a lawful gun owner can own shrinks, while the criminal’s disregard for the law ensures his arsenal remains limitless.

A gun is only as dangerous as the person pulling the trigger—and the most effective way to stop a bad guy with a firearm is if a good guy also has a firearm.  This is precisely why we arm police officers with semiautomatic handguns and AR-15s with 30 round capacity magazines:  we want to ensure they have the most effective tools available to fight back against the bad guys.

The Independent Women’s Forum exists to counter groups on the left like Code Pink who purport to speak for all women on all issues.  IWF’s presence reminds people that “women” are not some monolithic group.  There are an estimated 15-20 million women in the US who own guns. Our voices deserve to be heard, and our spokeswomen deserve respect.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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