Entering the Gun Debate

Note: The following commentary originally was included in the article, “Denver Post Publishes Misleading ‘Assault Weapons’ Story.”

The mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary horrified the nation. The pain of that loss of innocent life is immediate and overwhelming, for everyone in the country, and most especially for the community hit by the violence. There is not a light heart or a dry eye in the country.

In my view, this is the absolute worst time to hold political debates invoking that atrocity, for two reasons. First, we should be focusing on grieving the loss of the victims and, as best we can, comforting their friends and family. Second, policy decisions should be based on calm deliberation, not raw emotions. This just isn’t the right time for politics.

And yet that ship has sailed. Within hours—indeed, within minutes—of the murders, activists and media outlets around the nation began calling for stricter gun laws. Various leftist commentators indignantly rejected the idea that we should wait to hold the debate about guns until the dead are buried and we’ve all had some time to emotionally process these horrific murders.

And now the one-sided “debate” about gun laws is ubiquitous. I heard it on NPR this evening. I saw it on the cover of USA Today this morning. Certainly those advocating more-restrictive gun laws are raring to go. Frankly, I find their politicization of these horrific murders troubling.

And yet what I am to do? Obviously I am not going to stop the debate by refraining from entering it. Right now, gun owners and gun-rights advocates are being tried in absentia, in a kangaroo court created by the mass media. So I see little choice but to enter the debate.

I begin by criticizing an article penned by Allison Sherry of the Denver Post. My reply is in the form of an open letter.