Stick around long enough and the craziest gun control ideas come out of the woodwork. The latest is to hit a 20-year pause button on the Second Amendment.
Pennsylvania Capital-Star guest contributor and gun control advocate Michael Cogbill suggested law-abiding Pennsylvanians should be hamstrung and cut off from protecting themselves. He wants to force a halt to the legal sale of firearms for twenty years (with a pinky promise to give their gun rights back then).
What’s more is Cogbill’s laundry list of why Pennsylvania politicians should show “courage” and institute a 20-year “blockade on the production and import of firearms” are actually the very legitimate reasons why a record number of Americans chose to legally buy a gun during the past 18 months.
Courage isn’t the word that comes to mind. It’s lunacy and Cogbill would put Pennsylvanians in danger.
Wrong Song, Wrong Choir
Cogbill wants the gun moratorium because he sees Pennsylvania, in particular, as hard hit by criminal violence over the Independence Day weekend. Using the same flawed data gymnastics that MSNBC’s Chris Hayes just tried and for which he was roundly criticized, Cogbill links the high crime in Pennsylvania with the number of firearms legally purchased in 2020 by Pennsylvanians.
Cogbill notes, “…Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are seeing a record-breaking number of shootings and homicides.” He added, “The problem is there are just too many guns… Pennsylvania ranks in the top ten states with guns purchased at 1.4 million averaging more than 100,000 guns sold per month.”
Correlation, however, is not causation. The likelier case is that law-abiding Pennsylvanians are purchasing firearms because of concerns of crime and safety.
Over 21 million Americans completed the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to purchase a firearm in 2020, including more than 8.4 million first-timers. That figure includes millions of African-American buyers who purchased firearms at a pace 58 percent higher than they did the previous year. That included Pittsburgh’s Trish Wendt.
Wendt attended a local gun show and left with two new firearms. “I have one for home defense and one for carrying. I have kids and we’re alone a lot, and it’s my responsibility to protect my children,” Wendt explained.
She was one of several African-American women highlighted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette news report, a crucial segment of the growing and diverse gun-owning community. Cogbill’s asinine idea would leave Wendt and millions of women like her high and dry for two decades.
Reducing the instances of criminal firearm misuse is a worthy and important effort. Gun control advocates like Cogbill call it “gun violence,” as if the gun and not the criminal is the cause of the crime. That key component of criminal-focused efforts is noticeably absent from his gun control fantasy.
A keyword search for the word “criminal” in Cogbill’s piece produced zero results. Instead, he would terminate a God-given right of law-abiding Americans while ignoring the criminals perpetrating the violence. It’s a common gun control tactic these days.
President Joe Biden continues to deceive and shift blame away from criminals and instead attacks law-abiding gun owners and the firearm industry supporting them. Critically important is President Biden’s nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He’s a paid gun control lobbyist employed by Giffords gun control with a well-known record of mocking and denigrating gun owners.
While Cogbill ponders unrealistic proposals that only harm law-abiding Pennsylvanians, and the president and his gun control allies continue to misfire on federal policies, the firearm industry has offered real solutions with decades-long track records of demonstrated success of making communities safer. These have resulted in the lowest numbers of unintentional firearm fatalities in more than 100 years since data was first tracked in 1903.
These are the initiatives the firearm industry will continue to promote, while protecting the Second Amendment rights of Trish Wendt, Pennsylvanians and all law-abiding Americans.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.