Last week, the New York Times newspaper did something remarkable—the paper ran an editorial on its front page for the first time in nearly 100 years. This has the potential to be very good for gun owners, because the editorial called for an outright ban and implied confiscation of certain types of guns, namely AR-pattern rifles. Admittedly, the Times editorial board doesn’t have the firearms sophistication necessary to describe a certain class of semiauto rifles accurately.
Despite its financial troubles, the Times is relevant because it sets a political agenda for the New York City/Washington, D.C., corridor, so gun owners should hope that already-anti-gun-rights candidates, such as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley, endorse the Times’s far-out position on firearms, which includes the concepts of “banning” the possession of certain types of firearms it does not like.
The Times editorial, which ran in the Dec. 4 print edition on page 1, was entitled “End the Gun Epidemic in America.” Though it’s counterintuitive at first, this editorial may actually be helpful to firearm owners who want expanded gun rights—because the editorial clearly, and publicly, contradicts the anti-gunner mantra that “nobody wants to take your guns.” Several prominent politicians from the left and hangers-on, very much want gun confiscation and have recently publicly expressed that desire on numerous occasions. The difference is that we can now point to the NYT editorial as a public display of the private desire of anti-gun-rights politicians and organizations, who have wanted gun bans all along, but who knew that outlawing guns and taking them away were toxic political positions, except in a handful of mostly coastal states.
The Times wrote, “It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.” The Times left out the notions of self-defense, hunting, and target shooting as just a few of the legal pursuits AR-15s can be put to. It also failed to mention that it is not the gun community, but rather the Federal government’s own admission and definition that separates the AR-15 from “weapons of war.”
And this: “It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.” Hmm. We thought “shall not be infringed” actually meant something. They must use a different dictionary than us, wherein “infringed” means “unless it looks scary.” And this: “Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership.” Instead, the Times prefers to use fear mongering through rhetoric and isolated incidents. There have been over 80 million new firearm sales since President Obama took office. The Times’ argument points to one incident where bombs were used and illegal straw purchases—an illegal action that the gun industry and BATFE have teamed up to combat.
Now, voters who care about gun rights can simply, and easily, ask politicians if they support the Times‘s position on banning and confiscating guns. Rarely are voters handed such an easily wielded tool to sort out the bad politicians from the good. Thank you, NYT.