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By now, many of you have probably seen the video put out by gun control group “States United to Prevent Gun Violence” which portrays a man walking into an office building and taking a shot at employees with a muzzle loader. After his first (missed) shot, he stops to reload while everyone safely exits the building with plenty of time before the man is able to fire another shot.
“Guns have changed…shouldn’t our gun laws?”
It’s a clever advertisement attempting to prove how stupid we who value the right to protect ourselves (from criminals, tyranny, etc.) really are. And it’s likely it will have some effect—I’ve already seen at least three people I respect post it to Facebook—but the effect will be limited to those who are easily swayed by smooth marketing and talking points, or who don’t really understand the issues at hand.
Here’s how you can be smarter than that:
If we changed the gun laws so that only muzzle loaders were legal (or guns with 10 round magazines, or rifles without a pistol grip, or without a foregrip, or a semi-auto action, or whatever other arbitrary characteristic anti-gunners propose next), what you would actually be seeing—if this video was based in reality—is this:
A man walks through that door with a semi-automatic rifle and a 20 or 30 round magazine.
The people behind the desks are the characters holding the muzzle loader, or being shot without resistance. Why? Because they are the law abiding, rank-and-file Americans, and the anti-gun groups and politicians passed laws that made them feel like they were doing something good, but failed to address the problem of violence in any meaningful way.
Either way, the bad guy wins, and the good guys lose. The commercial was clever, but it ignores reality as is so often the case in the discussion on gun violence in our country.