JOSH HAMMER: The Virtue of Gun Ownership and the Decline of Manliness | Syndicated
The last horrific mass shootings in America, this time about 30 miles from my Denver home, took place on Monday. Ten died, and the suspect – a Trump-hating Syrian immigrant, barely the white man in the MAGA hat that the media had so clearly wanted – was charged with ten first-degree murders.
The shooting in Boulder, Colorado predictably reopened America’s troublesome debate over gun policy. The suspect used a modern AR-style sporting rifle, assuring that the Democrats and their media sycophants would once again advocate bans on this technically indefinable and cosmetically amorphous subclass of semi-automatic weapons, which are colloquially referred to as “assault weapons”.
It does not matter that the 10-year federal ban on “offensive weapons”, which was in force from 1994 to 2004, had no discernible impact on gun crime. Notwithstanding the wisdom embodied in the oft-repeated truism that restrictive gun laws tend to disarm only law-abiding citizens, usually, and especially in a country where more guns circulate than people.
It doesn’t matter that Colorado already has a “red flag” law. No, President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats tell us that a ban on “assault weapons” is evident both as a corrective course and as a prophylactic tool to fight crime.
Conservatives, of course, should be very skeptical of efforts to further violate firearms acquisition and property rights of law-abiding gun owners. However, it is not necessarily a timeless conservative principle in and of itself to take a maximalist stance on an individual’s right to keep and carry weapons. Indeed, it is reasonable to ponder the possibility that fair and orderly arms policy should be contextualized based on the underlying conditions of a community.