It appears we are moving deeper into a new phase of this national “conversation on guns” that everyone insists we have.
Despite their fervent push for more and stricter gun laws, the more reasoned members of the Progressive movement realize they will only be able to take small steps, given the political landscape. A few states will raise their minimum age for gun purchases to 21, a few more might implement minor restrictions on magazines sizes and the like—but it will have very little impact on the ability of most people to access guns.
Right now, the lay of the political land does not allow progressives to infringe on Second Amendment rights in a meaningful way. Most Republicans and a fair number of Democrats at the Congressional level are hostile to such efforts—even in the wake of highly-emotional mass shootings. The Obama Presidency pretty much tested the limits of what progressives could do to guns in terms of the Executive Branch. There were a few Executive Orders signed, but nothing terribly meaningful. On the judicial side, progressives saw a chance with Antonin Scalia’s death, coming just a few years after a 5-4 ruling in the Heller case. This made Donald Trump’s victory all the more consequential. Having Neal Gorsuch on the court and not Merrick Garland means the judicial branch (for now at least) will likely NOT be the means by which draconian gun measures are taken. Indeed, with the conservative district and appellate court judges Trump is putting into place, it’s now less likely that any such measure will even make it to SCOTUS.
So what’s a good gun-grabber to do? They move deeper into the Psy-Ops stage. It is an effort to influence the average American citizen to begin making instant negative associations with guns and those who own them. The idea is to create negative Pavlovian responses to even the sight of a gun…to de-normalize the image of someone with a gun.
This week, YouTube announced they will implement restrictions on certain videos that feature firearms and accessories…their use and/or assembly. According to the website, the prohibited accessories include “but may not be limited to” bump stocks, Gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits or any equipment that might “enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire.”
Again…standard caveats apply. YouTube is a private company and is well within its rights in determining what content it wants to allow. I have no desire to have anything other than market forces determine their content. It is fair to point out that you can still find untold numbers of first-person game demonstrations on YouTube where the player fires ten million bullets at enemies. Also still available on YouTube, any number of great Hollywood films where guns are crucial plot drivers.
And given the left’s struggles with even the most basic gun terminology, I am sure the vanguard at YouTube will not limit restrictions to gun videos that show conversions…and they will err on the side of banning more content than originally intended. Just a hunch, mind you. But I don’t think I’m wrong.
Of course this latest move comes amidst the backdrop of the progressive’s newest weapon in the PsyOps war over guns—photogenic children who were in the same area code during last month’s shooting at a school in Parkland-Florida. Their argument is that school children spend every second of the day looking over their shoulders, thinking a gunman is about to stitch them. And the only solution, of course, is for everyone to surrender all their scary-looking guns to police. You know, the same police that stood outside and listened as their classmates were being butchered. The same police who were found literally sleeping on the job at their school this week.
This weekend, those children will be put forth as camera-friendly props during a national gun march in Washington; and several marches in other major cities. Given the political reality, they are not marching to take away most handguns right now. Or not even tomorrow. No, this Psy-Ops campaign is for the future.
Major changes are rarely implemented overnight. They are done over several generations. First, you come up with a catchy pejorative that describes the item/activity you want eliminated. Think “Big Tobacco.” You let that marinate for a while until young adults have grown up in a world with that term as part of their lexicon.
That’s when you up the ante, getting a little more specific with your target. One sure-fire way is by making the product you oppose more difficult to obtain—be it through lack of availability and/or making it cost prohibitive to purchase and possess. In this case, it allows gun-grabbers to argue “Hey! You can still get a gun! It’s just going to cost you ten times more…and you’ll have to wait a lot longer. And the ammunition will be rationed. And you have to carry a $250,000 liability policy. And you’ll have to get permission from police before going to the range. And you’ll have to document every single shot fired and submit the information to a New Commission we’re setting up. But you can still buy a gun. Why are you opposed to these COMMON SENSE measures?”
Right now, such restrictions would be (properly) seen as infringements. But will that be the case 20-30 years from now, when young adults have grown up in a world where gun ownership is seen as a shadowy sub-culture whose participants cannot even post on-line videos? The goal is to make the next generation less enthusiastic about their Second Amendment rights. And probably a good many other rights as well. Right now, such ideas are repulsive and immediately dismissed by most. But if their Psy-Ops campaign is successful, there will eventually be a day where the confiscation of hand guns does not seem like a very radical proposal.
To those of you under the age of 30 who believe in individual liberty, this is now on you. My generation of freedom-lovers won’t be around when this comes to a head.