Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Bloomberg to Gun Culture: “Help Me!”

Thank you, Michael Bloomberg, for finally admitting that gun owners are correct.

Oh, I’m certain that he didn’t mean to do it; after all, the non-opinion piece titled You Just Panic-Bought a Gun. Here’s How to Handle It Safely was written by Alain Stephens, not Bloomberg himself, but as it was published in Bloomberg's anti-gun organ The Trace on March 20th, and as Bloomberg is its owner and publisher, that means he owns, in every sense of the word, what it says.

I imagine that galls Bloomberg terribly, since he has told us for nearly two decades that no one needs a gun. Now, despite his best efforts, his anti-gun magazine is acknowledging the awkward truth that people want guns to protect themselves and their families in a crisis where the police may be late to arrive (if in fact they arrive at all, given how many city police departs are stretched to the breaking point with many officers out sick) and so in acknowledgement of that fact, The Trace is reluctantly giving these new gun owners advice on how to safely handle their new firearm.

The irony of this situation is that neither The Trace, nor any other anti-gun organization, nor even Michael Bloomberg himself has experience in this regard. His position has always been abstinence-only when it comes to firearm education, and like an abstinence-only parent who discovers that his child is having premarital sex, his choices have become “Ignore the situation and hope it goes away” and “Accept reality and seek advice from a professional.” As ignoring the situation almost always leads to unfortunate consequences like unplanned teenage pregnancies or negligent discharges which result in injury or death, Bloomberg, has decided - most likely unintentionally, and almost assuredly to his great gall - to take the mature course of action and seek the advice of experts.

Unfortunately for Bloomberg, those experts whose advice he has sought are precisely those people whom he and his various anti-gun organizations (Everytown, Moms Demand Action, March for our Lives, et al.) have vilified. After the article’s obligatory references to “numerous studies” about the inherent dangers of gun ownership, the first given piece of firearms safety advice are the Four Rules of Gun Safety:
  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle of the firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Don’t place your finger near the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  4. Always identify your target - and what lies in front of and behind it. 
Accompanying these rules are a link to the blog of Springfield Armory, a manufacturer of semi-automatic weapons including the much-maligned AR-15 rifle, a firearm which Bloomberg would dearly love to make illegal.

What’s more, in that same blog post Springfield Armory is quoting Colonel Jeff Cooper, the man who not only created the Four Rules but was also a member of the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association. Yes, you read that correctly: an article in Bloomberg’s anti-gun The Trace just went to the NRA for help. Isn’t it curious that, after years of calling the NRA and its members awful people who value guns over safety, the very first piece of firearm safety instruction comes from the NRA? Thank you, Michael Bloomberg, for admitting that the NRA actually teaches firearm safety.

Oh, but the hits don’t stop there. Not only is there a link to an instructional YouTube video titled How to Use an AR-15 by Lucky Gunner (the ammunition drop-shipping company which was sued by the Brady Campaign after the Aurora, CO shooting), there are also links to other YouTube videos made by the Tactical Rifleman and Legally Armed America channels. Thank you, Michael Bloomberg, for endorsing the instructional content of  YouTube gun channels.

This whole article has been a parade of amazement, but the part of it which left me most amazed was that its paragraph on safe storage did not take the opportunity to state that firearms and their ammunition must be stored separately. I don’t know how this tacit admission that it’s a terrible idea to keep your self-defense firearm locked up separately from the ammunition needed to operate it ever made it past the editors, but it did, and I find myself worrying about the future career prospects of The Trace’s editor-in-chief.

Unfortunately this article, and therefore Michael Bloomberg, never actually took that final step of admitting that in a self-defense situation the time needed to retrieve ammunition kept separately from a firearm can result in the death of innocents, but given all of the other admissions in this article I’ll gladly forgive this oversight. I will also take this opportunity to state for the record that if your self-defense weapon is a pistol kept properly holstered on your body, not only can you keep it loaded and ready to deploy to defend yourself or loved ones, but you are also keeping it safe and out of the hands of your children, thereby negating the need to lock it up during the day.

Thank you, Michael Bloomberg, for admitting that guns keep us safe, that citizens can responsibly own the AR-15, that firearm education is necessary, and that gun owners were right all along. Now it is up to you to decide if you wish to keep to this new philosophy or revert back to your abstinence-only worldview once this crisis has passed. As you do so, please keep in mind that many new gun owners will be doing the same, and now that they have skin in this particular political game they may no longer be as receptive to your old views as they once were. Bear that in mind, lest you alienate a now-growing segment of your readership.

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