4:20 AM. Easter Sunday. I awoke in a cold sweat in my childhood bedroom, suddenly haunted by the uncertainty that surrounds us. What do I really know? Am I even real? Well, I am thinking, I thought, and according to Descartes, that means that I am. But what else do I know? I jumped out of bed and fired up my laptop to find some answers. Any answer.
I opened Google and searched for “three undeniable facts”.
My heart was racing. I clicked on the first link. It was a video featuring a fellow named Rob Smith from Turning Point USA. The three undeniable facts are as follows: America is the greatest country on the planet, Donald Trump is saving America, and America will never be a socialist country.
You and I, dear reader, are in for a treat today.
Later, enthralled by the three claims that were somehow all false and unfalsifiable at the same time, I decided to take a deeper dive into this jabroni.
Here’s a video: Rob Smith: Why Gay Rights Are Gun Rights.
Like any far-left communist, his first point is that hate crimes do happen, and that LGBTQ people are a significant target for such crimes. It isn’t lost on me that the target audience for this piece is probably still skeptical of this claim, even after a chad conservative veteran explained it to them, so I don’t mind him taking almost a third of the video to explain this point.
He begins by lamenting the formation of ‘gays against guns’ type groups after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. “Why not gays against terrorism?” he suggests. Well, this is an easy one. The gunman legally purchased an assault rifle with a 30-round magazine, both features targeted in the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. The ban expired in 2004, and mass shootings have been on the rise ever since. It logically follows that a ban on these weapons will decrease the number of these shootings.
One down, one to go. His other argument boils down to “domestic violence between gay couples is higher than for straight couples, so it is all the more important that gay people have guns.”
Wow. I thought this was going to be a challenge.
Inserting firearms into situations of domestic violence is so obviously dangerous that I don’t know how he got to the end of the sentence with a straight face. Using data about domestic violence against women, when the abuser had access to a firearm it led to a five-fold increase in the likelihood that the victim would be murdered. Additionally, states that enacted various gun control measures that targeted domestic abusers saw significant decreases in intimate partner firearm murders. This is another clear example of gun control saving lives.
You might be wondering: Why was I, an idiot, so easily able to dismiss every part of his argument?
I’m not the first to ask this question, and I’m not the first to provide the answer: because it never was about policy. Or the systems influenced by policy. And that becomes evident when you take a closer look at this video.
His arguments are about his constitutional rights to protect himself and his loved ones. Shouldn’t gay people be allowed to protect themselves from hate crimes? Of course, that’s a perfectly fine question. However, pretending to care about LGBTQ people is USDA certified bullshit coming from the people who invented “science says there are two genders”. Someone should tell them that actual leftists (not liberals) have been advocating for marginalized people to be armed this whole time. What ever could be keeping these groups apart?
It’s a real shocker, I know, but throughout the entire video not one gun policy is discussed or even named. He’s concerned about defending himself from hate crimes, but surely he knows that there is no credible threat to the legality of handguns in the United States. He’s concerned about mass shootings, but not laws that restrict access to the most dangerous instruments of such shootings. Finally, he is worried about the prevalence of intimate partner violence, but not in background checks that would bar abusers from accessing weapons.
So, if this video isn’t about policy, what is it about?
It’s about a feeling he has. It’s about his fear of a strawman of Democrats. When your entire worldview is based on platitudes like “Nancy Pelosi is coming for my guns” and “If I have a gun, I can shoot bad guys,” there’s no room for policy analysis. Statements like “gay rights are gun rights” are just things conservatives can say to further convince themselves of their own bullshit. You can’t honestly tell me this video was supposed to convince any liberals to abandon gun control policy, because again, what policy was he even talking about?
You know what? This wasn’t even fun. Perhaps I’m the fool for taking this guy seriously. Either way, it only takes a fool to dismantle Turning Point USA.
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