About 22,000 Pop-Gun War reenactors marched in Richmond, Va., Monday, egged on by the president who said, “That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats; they will take your guns away.” Apparently, Barack Obama, who was responsible for more gun sales than Remington, was bad at logistics. My 12-gauge is still awaiting confiscation at the front door.
The march was so peaceful and non-threatening that supporters later bragged that no one even fired a shot. That's setting the bar pretty low, don't you think, Rambo? Curiously, many of these proud boys wore masks. Maybe they were goalies.
Can we at least agree that a crowd populated by Trump-loving white supremacists stomping through Dixieland on Martin Luther King Day is a bad look? Who's your PR guy? Stephen Miller? Meanwhile, a Washington Post/Ipsos poll reveals that 90% of black Americans think Trump's a racist. Wacky, huh?
Naturally, spin doctors clutched their pearls at the suggestion that the march had anything to do with race. No sir. In fact, 22,000 heavily-armed Muslims would've been welcome. The more the merrier. Marchers even proved their inclusivity by posting a picture of the black guy at the march. Hey, Kanye.
Typically, righties criticize protesters of color by saying things like, “They should get a job!” In this case, white protesters didn't have to explain themselves. Martin Luther King Jr. gave them the day off. If only people would turn out like this for inaugurations.
Then, in a sad attempt to normalize the abnormal, keyboard warriors posted photos of toy soldiers picking up their own trash. Impressive. Do they get a merit badge or a Bronze Star?
Maybe you're wondering what Richmond did to bring 21,999 white people to town. No, it wasn't a sale on Tiki torches and bedding. The Virginia Senate passed bills establishing mandatory background checks, a one-gun-a-month purchase limit, and the authority to ban firearms in public spaces.
How will this infringe on anyone's constitutional rights? It won't. But don't take my word for it. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative, called the notion of a constitutional right to bear arms “a fraud.”
The 2nd Amendment reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun rights advocates tend to mumble past the first part. I frequently ask 2nd Amendment absolutists which well-regulated militia they're part of. Tick-tock, tick-tock...
The reality is gun laws are the domain of legislative bodies. Once you get past the “fraud” of the constitutional absolutes of gun ownership, logic begins to creep into the argument.
There are 276 million vehicles on the road driven by licensed, insured Americans. Even though cars are not intended to be used weapons — unless it’s at a march in Charlottesville — 37,000 people still die annually in car crashes. We don't just accept it. We do what we can to save lives.
There are also 393 million firearms in America specifically manufactured to kill. And they do. About 30,000 people annually. There's no reasonable argument to suggest that personally-responsible gun owners shouldn’t be tested, licensed and insured. To do so simply offers all Americans a better opportunity at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.
This column has been updated to correct the number of people killed annually in car accidents.