So we must remain vigilant: GIVE NO GROUND
Why Even “Common Sense” Gun Control Must Be Stopped
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I love the way progressives use the term, “common sense” whenever they’re talking about their political agenda. Barack Obama uses the term in reference to gun control, immigration reform, deficit reduction, and anything else he might be talking about at the time.
There’s good reason to use this term, of course. “Common sense” implies that anybody with the brain power of a fichus tree, or sawdust, or Joe Biden, would agree with whatever is being said. And by extension, anybody who disagrees, well, they obviously don’t have the brain power of Joe Biden. Nobody wants to be in that group, so the phrase can be used effectively to sway people to a certain opinion.
The most famous political use of this term, of course, was in the pamphlet, “Common Sense,” written by Thomas Paine in 1776. It can be argued that this pamphlet contributed greatly to the colonists’ decision to go to war with Great Britain. Even in 1776 nobody wanted to be told they had the brain power of Joe Biden.
The problem with the use of this term is that it is applied by progressives to so darn many things that make no sense at all. This comes as no surprise to many of us. It was Ronald Reagan who said, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”
Let’s look at the most recent example of this nonsensical common sense: gun control. Attempting to capitalize on the Newtown, CT, school shooting, Barack Obama introduced a “common sense” gun violence program to the nation, and to Congress. This would include such things as a renewal of the assault weapons ban, limits on magazine sizes, and expanded background checks.
If these proposals were really as “common sense” as the administration says, wouldn’t you think that at least those who proposed them would think they’d work? And yet, Joe Biden was caught on tape by CNN saying the following:
“Nothing we are going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring … gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what it is now.”
So how can these proposals be “common sense” to the rest of us when they’re not even common sense to the man who was put in charge or selling them to Congress and the nation? Now, given, we are talking about Joe Biden again, so…
Here is some common sense: if the American people hope to remain free from government tyranny, they must resist every “common sense” gun control proposal that comes from this or any other administration.
And here’s why: progressives never stop, and they’re never satisfied. One of their most powerful tools is “incrementalism.” When progressives want to take power over something, they rarely do it all at once. Instead, they take small, “common sense” steps. They assure us that each step will be the last, even as they begin to plan their next step.
You can see it in tax increases. If you remember, in January Obama and the Republicans in Congress finally averted the fiscal cliff with a bill that made permanent many of the Bush-era tax cuts while raising taxes on those making over $400,000 per year. Many Republicans gave a sigh of relief, believing that they had kept tax increases to a minimum. But by the time the sequester rolled around a couple of months later, Obama was already pushing for more tax cuts. Incrementalism.
I saw this recently in my home state of Colorado. In addition to writing for the CFP and teaching, I work as a private investigator. Colorado is one of a number of states that does not require private investigators to be licensed. For several years, those who want more government control over the private sector have pushed for licensing in the state, but have been unsuccessful, largely due to Republicans in state government.
So last year they offered a compromise: how about we make licensing voluntary? Then those who would like the prestige of a license can have one, and those who don’t want to jump through yet more government hoops and waste their money don’t have to. They convinced enough Republicans in the state legislature to agree, and the bill became law.
It’s one year later now, and guess what those same progressives are moving through the legislature: mandatory licensing.
Once they got their foot in the door, they immediately pushed for more. That is how these people work. Incrementalism.
It’s the same with gun control. Piers Morgan, during his desperate attempt to increase ratings during the gun control debates, said, in so many words, “Why not give up just the assault rifles, since they do so much damage? Keep your handguns and shotguns; nobody wants those!” Biden said the same, going so far as to suggest that instead of owning an assault rifle, “[if] you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.”
But anybody with real common sense knows that once the assault rifles were gone, next it would be, “Just give up your handguns, since they do so much damage. Keep your shotguns; nobody wants those!” If you have common sense, you know what would follow.
So we must remain vigilant: GIVE NO GROUND. It’s like a tug-of-war. It can be painful to keep pulling on that rope all the time, but if we let go even for an instant, the other side will take up the slack and move the rope to the left. Once we realize what has happened and we stop the movement, there has been a fundamental shift that is difficult if not impossible to reverse.