Many of my students have recently directed me to a link on the Huffington Post website. Not only were they aghast at what had been posted, they also all pointed out that this particular posting and the individual who posted it were the precise reasons why many in this country are in favor of extremely restrictive gun laws, if not a total outright ban on all firearms ownership.
A purported firearms instructor and self-described “CEO” of a particular company had posted a video on the web. In this video, he stared directly into the camera and stated that if the government moved “one more inch on gun control … I will start killing people!”
Let’s put this in perspective.
This comment came right on the heels of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, the Oregon mall shooting, and the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. This individual made the best case for more restrictive gun control than any gun control advocacy group could have ever hoped for. It was a dream come true for anti-gun advocates.
Anyone who is anti-gun can simply refer to this video as a case in point for their stance on banning all guns— period. There were over 14,000 comments on the Huffington Post website directed at this specific video when we first received it. By the time you read this article, there will probably be a hundred-fold more viewings.
Outrage, disbelief and shock were universally demonstrated and voiced by those commenting on this video. If there were ever any doubt concerning the subject of more restrictive gun control laws in the minds of those viewing this post, this individual’s remarks just forced them over to, guess which side?
In addition, this individual claims to be an accredited firearms and tactics instructor. If you are purporting to set the standard for professionalism, what message have you just sent? Could this get any worse?
Statements such as these damage any progress for gun ownership that gun owners have achieved through the years. The best advocates for responsible gun ownership are those who argue and talk in a responsible manner.
When these types of threats are posted, those who favor the complete abolition of gun ownership become more entrenched and intransigent on their position and simply refer to such postings as examples to back up their point.
If you wish the entire nation to rally behind a total national gun ban, by all means continue on this path of self-destruction. Remember that these people will be voting on any future proposed legislation. If you think this is an insignificant point of fact, you are living in a dream world.
I pride myself on having served on the LAPD for three decades and obviously I stand on the side of responsible gun ownership. It dismays me when individuals represent themselves as spokespersons for an industry of which I am a part—and do so in an irresponsible manner.
The news will always gravitate toward those whose ridiculous rants and stances on the gun issue best make their case for them. Whackos drive up the ratings, which in turn drive up revenue. Many of these guests and commentators are the same individuals who believe the entire NASA Apollo project was faked. There seems to be a gross mental disconnect from reality.
Some individuals need to step back, pause, take a deep breath and weigh very carefully what they are about to say or do when responding to a frustrating situation. The more ammunition you give the opposition, the better their chances of taking us all down a path that will not benefit anyone in the long run.
Thoughtful responses to issues are the most beneficial to realize a goal. There is a tremendous amount of disinformation, incorrect terminology, and skewering of the facts out there.
If you give in to frustration and act and speak irresponsibly, it will do nothing to further our cause.