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Archive for July 1st, 2022

Back in March, I wrote that the dramatic expansion of concealed-carry laws was the feel-good story of 2022. At least for supporters of the 2nd Amendment.

Of course, that was before the Supreme Court recently ruled against New York’s draconian restrictions on gun owners, so people definitely can make an argument for that being the best gun-related news for 2022.

But allow me to suggest that there is a dark-horse candidate for the year’s feel-good story on the right to keep and bear arms.

Except it’s not a story. Instead, it’s the notion that folks on the left are slowly but surely changing their minds about the right – and desirability – of private gun ownership.

A good example in this column for the New York Times, in which Laura Adkins explains why she wants the right to own a gun for self-protection.

Every month, 70 women on average are shot and killed by an intimate partner. But states like mine make it legally cumbersome to defend yourself with a legally purchased handgun. If my life is ever in danger, I want to be able to protect myself with a gun. And now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, I am one step closer to carrying one. …I…understand why some of my fellow liberals would like to ban guns outright. But guns are already prevalent among those who don’t follow the rules: Despite strong gun laws in my state and city, illegal trafficking abounds. The reality is that in addition to preventing abusers from owning guns, we must empower vulnerable citizens to protect themselves. …New York’s onerous gun licensing requirements deter law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves.

I applaud the New York Times for being willing to publish a differing point of view.

And I certainly hope Ms. Adkins soon will be the proud owner of her M&P Bodyguard.

While recently visiting a state with less restrictive gun laws, I found exactly the gun I would like to buy: a small Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard, light enough for me to confidently handle and safely store. It sells for about what a handgun license application in New York City costs. And as soon as I am able to legally buy and carry it without too much hassle, I look forward to sleeping soundly.

At this point, some of you may be wondering whether I’m reading too much into one column.

That’s possible, of course, but allow me to suggest it’s part of a trend. I’ve previously written about other folks on the left who have had epiphanies on gun control and gun ownership.

  • In 2012, I shared some important observations from Jeffrey Goldberg, a left-leaning writer for The Atlantic. In his column, he basically admitted his side was wrong about gun control.
  • Then, in 2013, I wrote about a column by Justin Cronin in the New York Times. He self-identified as a liberal, but explained how real-world events have led him to become a supporter of private gun ownership.
  • In 2015, I shared a column by Jamelle Bouie in Slate, who addressed the left’s fixation on trying to ban so-called assault weapons and explains that such policies are meaningless.
  • More recently, in 2017, Leah Libresco wrote in the Washington Post that advocates of gun control are driven by emotion rather empirical research and evidence.
  • Alex Kingsbury in 2019 acknowledged the futility of gun control in a column for the New York Times.
  • In 2020, Charles Blow of the New York Times wrote about the value of private gun ownership, particularly for minorities.
  • Last but not least, Danielle King in 2021 wrote for the Washington Post about her decision to buy a gun for self-protection.

All of these columns were authored by folks on the left side of the ideological spectrum. And all these columns appeared in media outlets that normally cater to folks on the left.

Are most left-leaning people still on the wrong side on this issue? Yes, but I would be very interested to see in-depth polling data on whether there is more acceptance on the left for the right to keep and bear arms today than there was 10 years ago. I think the answer would be yes.

P.S. And we might convince more leftists if we can help them understand that gun control has a very racist history.

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