Enough is enough. It is quite apparent that those who do not have an actual argument rely upon slippery slope arguments and blatantly unreal hypotheticals. The fearmongering is only part of the problem, but the lack of any rational arguments. Take, for instance, Gayle Trotter. She is a lawyer and a gun rights activist, and she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about how a ban on assault weapons would hurt vulnerable women.
The Huffington Post reported that:
Trotter painted a picture of mothers under siege in their homes, and when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) questioned the details of one example she offered, she told the lawmaker he didn’t understand the issue. “You are a large man, tall man, a tall man,” Trotter said to laughter from the audience.
“You are not a young mother who has a young child with her and … you cannot understand. You are not a woman stuck in her house, not able to defend her children, not able to leave her child, not able to go seek safety, on the phone with 911,” Trotter said. And that woman, “she’s not used to being in a firefight.”
Despite arguing for serious firepower, Trotter said later the most important thing about assault weapons for women’s defense is the way the guns look.
“An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon,” said Trotter, a mother of six. “And the peace of mind she has … knowing she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened violent criminals.”
Trotter also painted a picture of how a five on one firefight inside someone’s home was normal. Whitehouse should have sat there and demanded a real example of a time when such an incident occurred. He should have demanded to know if Trotter had ever faced such a situation. He then, when Trotter failed to actually bring up an actual example of those, should have told her to just not bother.
Assault rifles are pretty useless in home defense. This is partially because they are unwieldy in a small space. Another problem is that an assault rifle is designed to have serious punch to it- which means that the bullets can and will tear through the walls in most houses. This raises the likelihood of hitting innocent people like, well, one’s own children.
Trotter is, as HuffPo notes, not exactly a major voice in the gun debate. Her own writings do not appear to have addressed this issue until fairly recently.
The thing is, rifles are not very useful inside a house. A pistol is very useful, though, and less likely to go clean through walls. Part of the problem is that getting a rifle aimed in the small space of a normal house accurately is kind of difficult. This is why you pretty much never hear of anyone defending the inside of their home with a rifle. Sure, someone might defend their property with a rifle outside their home, but so far, there are very few times anyone bothers with a rifle inside the home, and that includes criminals. They just aren’t useful. Add to that, the fact that, to date, there have not been any instances of a mother having to hold off any group of criminals in a five on one battle recorded in the news in the US, and what you are left with is a baffling problem with the testimony.
The reality is that the NRA and gun rights advocates may have an argument when it comes to people owning pistols for home safety and hunting rifles for hunting, but they cannot come up with a decent argument for someone owning an assault rifle. They are useless in hunting because they pretty much turn the hunted into mush. They are too unwieldy and dangerous to safely use inside the house for defense. They are meant for offensive actions.
The NRA has to lie. They have to create these false realities so that they can pretend that they will happen. They are casting themselves as the heroes in a horrible action movie. They are glamorizing the very violence that they say they are trying to fight against. The NRA has done more than buy in to the Hollywood portrayal of guns. They are perpetuating it. They honestly and truly believe that these are real portrayals of life.
The NRA and gun rights activists are trying, desperately, to cover the fact that they have no argument when it comes to assault rifles. They have no arguments that will make any sense, so they create these fictions. It is time that we start calling them on it, and do so in such a way that comes down hard on these excuses. It is time that these people tell us the truth, and we can only do that by rejecting their manufactured reality.