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Politics, Pro Sports, Celebrities and Gun Control?

February 3, 2023
Mike Sampson

In the wake of the Jan. 21 shooting in Monterey Park, CA, that took the lives of 11, the antigunners got fresh material for pushing more gun control.

Democratic politicians led the rush for the leftist antigun agenda, but joining the lineup was the Los Angeles Rams football team. News sources reported that the Rams tweeted "If you are looking to support those working to end gun violence like Everytown for Gun Safety, text ACT to 644-33 to join the millions of Americans fighting to #EndGunViolence in our country."

Everytown has said professional teams across the United States are jumping into a national debate over gun control, with 75 teams already advocating for an end to gun violence. The Nationals, Houston Texans and San Antonio Spurs are among the teams working with Everytown for the first time this year.

Other teams jumping in on gun violence include the Golden State Warriors, the Women's National Basketball Players Association and the National Basketball Association.

In my Dec. 7 Gun Talk article “Is Biden’s Gun Ban the Left’s Impossible Dream,” I noted the differences between “gun violence” and “criminal violence.” So far, none of my firearms have dealt any “gun violence” as they are inanimate objects. Perhaps such objects need someone with intent to do “criminal violence.”

And is self defense with a firearm gun violence, criminal violence or neither? The Truth About Guns reported that, “There are dozens of cases in recent years in which concealed handgun permitholders stopped what, according to police, would have otherwise become mass public shootings.”

Sadly, gun control activists do not see those differences when describing “violence.” And they do not let the facts get in the way of ginning up a false narrative. In Monterey Park, early reports said the shooter used an “assault weapon,” which then became an “assault pistol.” News sources reported the gunman used a 9mm MAC-10 or a Cobray M11, with an extended magazine.

Tragically, a second shooting a few days later in Half Moon Bay, CA, with a “registered handgun” took the lives of seven more, but both events occurred in a state with severe firearms restrictions. California has more than 100 gun laws, the most of any state. So how well does “gun control” work there?

And the following day, Pres. Joe Biden once again called for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” As noted in prior Gun Talk articles, I’m still waiting on a definition for that term.

“For the second time in recent days, California communities are mourning the loss of loved ones in a senseless act of gun violence,” Biden said. Again, what is the difference between “gun violence” and “criminal violence?” For politicians, perhaps there is no difference if it stokes the antigun message.

As expected, three Democrat U.S. senators obliged by introducing an “Assault Weapons Ban” bill on Jan. 23, and a Democrat U.S. House member plans to do the same.

The National Review reported on Jan. 25 about Biden’s call to send an “Assault Weapons Ban to my desk.”

The Review added:

Because the term “assault weapon” doesn’t mean anything useful — and because those who decide what counts as an “assault weapon” care more about aesthetics than functionality — one of those standard semi-automatic handguns happened to be banned under California law simply because it resembled a weapon that also comes in automatic form.

But it wasn’t an automatic weapon — and, indeed, it had no features that made it more or less lethal than any other semi-automatic handgun that remains legally available in the state. If President Biden’s definition of “assault weapon” now includes 85 percent of all handguns manufactured in the United States, he ought to say so explicitly.

Hollywood celebs and others who no doubt employ armed security have joined the antigun chorus. Some 23 of them such as Justin Bieber, Jessica Alba and Chris Rock make their antigun views known. I suppose it would be pointless to ask if any of these folks have dealt with a threat. And let’s throw in Sean Connery (James Bond) as an antigunner too. Perhaps on-screen threats differ from real life.

Chris Rock certainly is an exception to experiencing “violence.” Will Smith slapped him during the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022. No “assault weapon” there, and no “gun violence” either.

Country music “artists” promote “gun reform” as an article in RollingStone said. “From Eric Church and Jason Isbell to Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves, country and Americana artists are in favor of various gun control measures.” Taylor Swift, Rosanne Cash and Reba McEntire definitely are in the “gun control” brigade.

At least there are more than 30 county singers who do support the National Rifle Association, Digital Music News said. Several include Trace Adkins, Luke Combs and Angie Johnson.

All of us, even Gun Talk readers, have opinions on “gun control” and violence. Too bad those of us in the trenches of today’s society do not have the fame and platform to promote that one-sided narrative.

On Jan. 25, Reuters said that “a Secret Service report finds that half the mass attacks in the United States between 2016 and 2020 were sparked by personal, domestic or workplace disputes.” I wonder how “controlling” my firearms rights will affect such outcomes?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom of course told CBS News not far from the dance hall where 11 people were killed in the mass shooting, "the Second Amendment is becoming a suicide pact."

If more mass shootings occur, Bearing Arms said on Jan. 25 that it won’t be because we have too few gun control laws or because the Second Amendment has turned into some kind of “suicide pact.”

It’ll be for the same reason such shootings have happened. Gun laws won’t stop mass shootings and there’s really no evidence suggesting gun control prevents them.

I would suggest let’s focus on “criminal control” instead of “gun control.”

Also, I firmly believe the First Amendment allows free speech, but the Second Amendment makes the First possible for all, including politicians, pro sports and celebrities. Safeguarding the Second helps us Stay safe, be prepared. ~ Mike

Mike Sampson
Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states and internationally. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training. In addition to work as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, he has experience in journalism, crop and animal agriculture, dryland farming for 20 years in western Kansas, plant and animal diseases, pandemic influenza, agroterrorism, bioterrorism, food safety and healthcare marketing.

He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and has newspaper and agency writing and editing experience. At Washington State University in Pullman, he earned a master’s degree emphasizing adult education and communications.

While living in Lander, WY, Mike provided photographic coverage of the One-Shot Antelope Hunt for three years and got to meet and accompany folks such as Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, Buzz Aldrin, Dale Robertson and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on their hunts. He also worked as an outfitter’s guide.

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