Defund and Disarm
After the school shooting in Nashville last week which killed 6 people and the bank shooting in Louisville this week which killed 5 people, there have been renewed calls for more gun control legislation. There was a gun control protest led by Democrat lawmakers that stormed the Tennessee state capital last week. The Governors of Tennessee and Kentucky have both called for more legislation on gun control. Democrat Senators and Congressman in Washington are pushing for federal gun control legislation.
Not surprisingly, people in the sports world have felt compelled to add their two cents. Longtime Washington Post columnist John Feinstein decided to boycott this year’s Final Four basketball games because they were played in Houston. He wrote, I am "urging the NCAA to move this year’s Final Fours out of Texas — the women’s event is in Dallas — until and unless that state passed something resembling meaningful gun legislation.”Interesting, he never explains what “meaningful gun legislation” is, and what it would look like?
San Antonio Spurs Head Coach, Gregg Popovich went on a tirade in response to Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn reaching out to the victims of the Covenant School shooting, saying, "My office is in contact with federal, state, & local officials, & we stand ready to assist." Popovich responded, "They're dead. What are you going to assist with? Cleaning up their brains off the wall? Wiping the blood off the schoolroom floor? What are you going to assist with?" He went on to claim that the Second Amendment is "a myth, it's a joke, it's just a game they play… that's freedom. Is it freedom for kids to go to school and try to socialize and try to learn and be scared to death that they might die that day?" It is easy to go on a self-righteous rant and point the fingers at other people, but what is his solution.
Nobody. I mean, nobody wanted what happened in Nashville or in Louisville to have taken place. Nobody does. And most people are heartbroken at the loss of life. Regardless of what side of the gun debate you are on; nobody wants to see people senselessly killed. Popovich finished his tirade by saying. "I'm an individual. I live in this country. I have the right to say and think what I want… If it helps somebody else think one way or the other about something, great. But the discussion has to take place."
So, let’s have the discussion. What should we do to stop these tragedies? Some people have called for a ban on “military style weapons”. But see how they manipulate the language. They don’t say “military grade weapons”; they say “military style weapons” because AR-15s look like a military weapon even though it isn’t, and they are hoping the casual observer will believe the shooters in Nashville and Louisville were using the same weapons that our soldiers in Iraq used, when they were not. AR-15s are a completely insufficient weapon to take into a battle in wars like we fought in the Middle East. They are not “military grade”.
When people use this type of linguistic sleight of hand, you know they’re up to something different than what they are claiming. They want to ban all guns. So, they start by convincing people to ban the AR-15 because it was the gun used in the recent school shooting, knowing that most reasonable people would consider that ban because they are loving and caring people who don’t want to see little children killed. So, when we pass legislation to ban and confiscate all AR-15’s, when the next mass shooting is committed by a socio-path wielding handguns, the same people who asked to ban AR-15s will suddenly demand that we ban handguns as well, because statistically they will point out, handguns are the deadliest weapons in America. And after handguns are banned, then it will be shotguns, and so on, until we have completely disarmed the America people.
It seems strange that the same side of the political aisle who continually tell us how evil, corrupt, power-hungry and irresponsible the police are, are the ones who want to create a society where the police are the only ones who legally possess guns. Disarming the population and arming the state is the pathway to tyranny. The two countries that had the most draconian totalitarian lockdowns in the world during Covid, who kept their citizens locked in their homes, and sent anyone who disobeyed the lockdowns to concentration camps, were two of the countries who have completely disarmed their population – China and Australia.
When you play checkers, you think one move ahead; when you play chess, you have to think 7 moves ahead. It’s easy to shout, “ban the guns” when you don’t consider the consequences. We could ban guns in this country, but that would mean that we would have to build a wall 50 feet high and 20 feet deep along our southern border. If the border is so wide-open that the drug smugglers can smuggle in enough drugs to kill 110,000 people every year, they will easily be able to smuggle in enough guns to arm most of the criminals, the drug dealers and cartel operatives who are working inside our borders.
So, as we disarm the entire law-abiding citizenry, we would not be disarming the criminals, the drug dealers, or the cartels. The cartels have established a major foothold in many of our inner cities. Many people do not want to disarm the population out of fear of what the government will do to us when they have that much power over us, which is a legitimate concern, but imagine if we have a disarmed population and the drug cartels are fully armed. They will be running everything in our major cities. You can’t ban guns from law abiding citizens, and also have a wide-open border where tens of thousands of guns will be illegally smuggled through each year into the hands of violent criminals. It doesn’t work, but that is precisely what they want to do.
If they say now that they will be willing to close down the border and go after the cartels in an effort to stop guns which kill 11,000 people each year, why are they doing nothing now to shut down the border and go after the cartels which are killing over 110,000 people each year with drugs? That doesn’t make sense. People dying from drugs is equally as tragic as people dying from guns. But the anti-gun advocates are not about protecting the citizens, they are and will always be about government taking more and more power from us.
America will become an extremely dangerous place to live when we disarm the population. It may stop some of these school shootings, but it will make the United States a much more dangerous place to live. Criminals will become much more brazen because they will no longer fear that the owner of the house, they are breaking into could be armed. The criminal will no longer fear that the 24-year-old woman, living on her own who he wants to rape, may have a gun and could kill him. Every law-abiding citizen who we disarm will become a sitting duck to the criminals who will still have guns. And we won’t be able to rely on the police very much to stop this violence, because many of our major cities have defunded the police or fired hundreds of police officers for refusing to take the Covid vaccine. And the criminals who do get caught committing a violent crime in our cities, now have their charge reduced to a misdemeanor, and are released to commit more violent crimes. So, at the same time they are hindering the police from stopping violent crime, they are disarming the population so they can no longer protect themselves. And that combination will make it very easy for criminals to terrorize law-abiding citizens.
We do need to have a discussion about guns and school shootings, but yelling, screaming, going on tirades, shouting slogans, or proposing generic non-specific action, is not a discussion. Exploiting tragedy, virtue-signaling or trying to delegitimize our constitution does not move the discussion along, either. They are all politicalization of the issue. Until we take everything into account, mental health, drug issues, soft targets, armed guards, the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment, individual rights and responsibilities, and also, the gun culture in society, we will never be able to solve or even reduce these tragedies. But be sure, simply blaming the gun is the most short-sighted and dangerous response we could have.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.