After every mass shooting, our country’s elected representatives head to their respective corners and engage in the same rhetorical argument. Democrats call for more gun control, Republicans oppose more gun control, and the millions of Americans who don’t quite side with either party on this issue are left out in the cold.
If you believe national polls, it seems like Democrats should be winning. Their most-frequently proposed measures enjoy widespread support. The majority of Americans endorse universal background checks and laws prohibiting people on the terror watch list from buying guns. The polls on “assault rifle” bans are a little muddier, but that’s still two out of their three big ideas.
So why is it that Republicans won’t budge? And why is it that Republican voters – who aren’t nearly as unified on gun control as the politicians – never punish them for their refusal to compromise?
To Democrats, this is proof that the GOP is bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association. They would rather piss off their constituency than cross the NRA. Result: Nothing gets done.
While it’s true that Republican congressmen do not seem to fear voter repercussions, the NRA is only a small reason why.
The bigger reason is a lot simpler and a lot less conspiratorial. It’s that people do not trust Democrats to stop at their currently-espoused proposals.
After “liberal” became a bad word, leftists in America started calling themselves “progressives.” Well, in reality, that moniker is right on the money. They’re using it for psychological reasons – Everyone wants progress, right?! – but it perfectly describes their mindset nonetheless. Their work is, by definition, never finished. There is no “goal.” Progress is the point. And progress, for them, invariably calls for a stronger, more ubiquitous federal government.
The Slippery Slope fallacy is suspended when arguing with liberals. Everything they do puts us on a slippery slope – not just potentially, but unavoidably. No predictions are too dark. No warnings are too grim. Premature? Sometimes. But when you’re dealing with people whose entire goal in life is to push the country further and further to the left, worst-case scenarios must be discussed. Because without opposition, these people will just keep “progressing” us into oblivion.
Since this is true – and it is – a little three word question should be asked every time a Democrat proposes a “common sense” change in our laws: And then what?
Oh, you want to stop deporting parents of illegal immigrants? And then what?
Oh, you want to let gays marry? And then what?
Oh, you want to institute universal background checks? And then what?
There are plenty of conservatives – particularly fiscal conservatives – who wish the Republican Party would start giving in on some of these issues. And, as we’ve seen, Republicans are sadly excellent at doing so.
But when it comes to guns, they don’t give in. They don’t give in because they know that Democrats won’t stop with whatever “reasonable” proposal they’re hawking today. They see the full, leftist spectrum, and they know it ends at a point of total American disarmament. It would be nice if they saw that spectrum in other areas, but we’ll take what we can get.