It's inevitable when my husband and I visit family these days that the subject of violence in Baltimore comes up. Often, I'm the one who raises it.Thus begins Tricia Bishop's op ed in the Baltimore Sun. Perhaps, Ms. Bishop, you should try not bringing it up and seeing how inevitable it is? I mean seriously, what is it with liberals insisting that people discuss politics at family gatherings?
But I digress, let us move on.
I'm less afraid of the criminals wielding guns in Baltimore, I declared as we discussed the issue, than I am by those permitted gun owners. I know how to stay out of the line of Baltimore's illegal gunfire;Ms. Bishop, you are bad at threat analysis. Maryland requires a license to even *purchase* a handgun, and said license requires fingerprinting and a background check. Other requirements include at least 4 hours of instruction on state laws, safe storage, and handgun operation. It also requires a firearms safety course.
And that is just to purchase the gun. The license to carry is a different beast entirely.
Legal gun owners in Maryland go through all those hoops, and you're afraid of them? Because you think someone who's willfully submitted to a background check is more dangerous than criminals?
I have the luxury of being white and middle class in a largely segregated city that reserves most of its shootings for poor, black neighborhoods overtaken by "the game." The closest I typically get to the action is feeling the chest-thumping vibrations of the Foxtrot police helicopter flying overhead in pursuit of someone who might be a few streets over, but might as well be a world away. But I don't know where the legal gun owners are....what?
When I first wrote this post I went on to tear up her stats and such. But I kept coming back to that paragraph. That paragraph is why pro-gun rights people can't take the gun control advocates seriously. They don't care about violence, or crime, or even guns. If Ms. Bishop really cared about gun violence, she'd be looking for a solution to the problem of poor inner city crime.
For example she could ask that Mr. Obama's FBI and DOJ prosecute straw purchasers. Those illegal guns that Ms. White Privilege doesn't care about? Most of them were either stolen or purchased by straw purchasers, crimes that Mr. Obama is not interested in prosecuting. Heck, the US Attorney responsible for Chicago has flat out announced he won't prosecute straw purchases anymore! It is within Obama's power to order that the US Attorneys do their jobs else be fired.
But no. Ms. Bishop would rather completely ignore real crime and instead harass law abiding citizens who pose no threat because it makes her feel more comfortable. Why take a concrete and useful step like enforcing straw purchase laws when you can propose something as asinine as a sex-offenders registry but for gun owners? Her whole justification for wanting that registry is so she can avoid having to ask her child's friend's parents if they own a gun directly! She ends with:
Gun owners may feel picked on, but they are not a persecuted class. They are individuals who have chosen to keep in their homes an object whose chief purpose is to injure or kill, whether in self defense or otherwise. The rest of us should have a right to know it's there before we — or our children — enter.You'll forgive me if I don't accept the judgement of someone who so embraces her privilege that she brushes off the threat of violent crime with cute anecdotes about police helicopters and segregated neighborhoods in Democrat controlled major cities. Bullshit that gun owners aren't persecuted. Ask Shaneen Allen if she felt persecuted when she was arrested for accidentally entering New Jersey with a legally owned pistol. Ask Gordon Van Gilder if he felt persecuted for being arrested for the crime of buying a 1700's flintlock gun. Ask Army Specialist Adam Meckler if he felt persecuted when he was arrested in Washington DC for having mere ammo in his bag.
I could go on.
Tricia Bishop's op-ed serves far better to illustration her self-absorption and insincerity than it does to illustrate any meaningful changes that could be made to our gun laws. The stats she cares about are the things that bother people who aren't affected by violent crime. Statistically rare but emotionally powerful events such as toddlers getting a hold of an unsecured pistol and mass shootings. Not once does she mention a stat that has anything to do with the real drivers of violence in the US: the cities.
Also, Ms. Bishop, if whether or not someone has a gun in their home is really such a big concern to you... maybe just ask?