Saturday, January 10, 2015

What If The Gun Lobby Treated Muslims The Same As Their Guns?

The mantras of the pro-gun / anti-regulation crowd are pretty well burned into the public psyche. Whether it is fighting the backlash against stricter controls suggested in the wake of the newest shooting or attempts to extend or defend their right to bear arms, they have well-worn stock arguments to distance themselves from gun-related tragedies. 

However, are they prepared to extend the same reasoning they use to defend themselves to another group, such as Muslims, especially in the wake of the Hebdo Charlie massacre in Paris, when a flood of anti-Muslim sentiment poured forth on social media?

Just cross out “gun owner” and substitute “Muslim” in any of their catch phrases and see if they are prepared to apply their own rhetoric to being Muslim:

  • The vast majority of gun owners Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding
  • It’s unfair to punish gun owners Muslims for the actions of a few bad apples.
  • Gun owners Muslims who go crazy and on a rampage are mentally ill.
  • Gun owners Muslims who go crazy and on a rampage do not represent all gun owners Muslims.
  • Being free to be a gun owner Muslim is my right.
  • Being a gun owner Muslim is an important part of my heritage.
  • There shouldn't be a stigma attached to being a gun owner Muslim.
  • Being a gun owner Muslim is part of who I am.
  • Gun owners Muslims are unfairly depicted in the media.
  • I should be able to display my gun Muslim faith openly with me in public anywhere I go.

While many of these are actually true in the case of Muslims, I’m not sure many gun owners would recognize how well they apply. All I’m looking for is a little consistency here and extend to others their own arguments.

The one thing I don’t think you’ll ever hear the gun lobby say is: “The solution to a tragedy involving Muslims is to have more Muslims on the streets.”

Somehow that only applies to Muslims guns.

Obligatory note:  I know there are moderate and sensible gun owners out there who don't have an emotional bond to their guns. I have been a target shooter myself. It is a lot of fun, but hardly something to build an entire philosophy and lifestyle around. Unless you're in the army or a trapper, they are basically toys. I'm sure there are gun owners who are not right-wing nuts. Unfortunately they are never the ones I hear from on social media.