National Review columnist contends left will never win gun-control debate

David French explains at National Review Online why he believes gun-control advocates never will reach their ultimate goal.

…[T]he individual decision to purchase and carry a gun isn’t rooted in some sort of strange gun fetish or Wild West swagger but rather in the fundamental desire (and right) to protect your loved ones from harm. If arguments for gun control don’t grapple with this reality, then they’re destined to fail. …

… [The Left] simply can’t persuade a rational, reasonable adult who’s experienced a threat that they’re safer without effective means of self-defense. Indeed, the effort to make this case is so often rooted in condescension or ignorance that it’s deeply alienating.

First, there’s an odd argument that it’s somehow illegitimate to make a decision based on “fear.” Or — as one correspondent put it — “fear and paranoia.” This makes no sense. Americans make safety-based decisions all the time. Is it wrong to buckle a seatbelt because that’s a “fear-based” decision? Should you ride a motorcycle without a helmet just to show the world you’re not scared? Reasonable people take precautions in the face of real threats.

Next, you immediately hear that you’re foolish. That “you’re more likely to hurt yourself than defend yourself.” In other words, the gun is more dangerous to you and your family than it is to any given criminal. But if you’re speaking to a responsible, non-suicidal adult, then this argument is flat-out wrong.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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