There’s No Such Thing As A Law-Abiding Gun Owner?


Scott-BachLast month I debated the head of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in front of a class on culture wars at NYU in Manhattan.

Ironically named Leah Gunn-Barrett @gunnbarrett, the Empire State gun ban advocate presented a slick PowerPoint with charts and graphs of phony statistics supposedly showing that civilian gun ownership is responsible for all manner of murder and mayhem.

Her core message was that guns are a product intended to kill that have caused a public health crisis requiring extreme regulation; that the Second Amendment is really a collective right that belongs to the states, not individuals, and the Supreme Court’s Heller decision is a historical anomaly; and that NRA is the “gun lobby” doing the bidding of gun manufacturers for economic gain.

My core message was that guns save lives; that your personal safety is your own responsibility, since police have no legal duty to protect you; that gun laws are ignored by criminals and make the law-abiding more vulnerable.

That the same government that says it has no duty to protect you shouldn’t limit your right to protect yourself. I also made the obvious point that the Second Amendment is an individual right found in the Bill of Rights, and that NRA is the “gun RIGHTS lobby,” and speaks on behalf the millions of individuals who make it strong, not manufacturers.

The most revealing and disturbing moment of the debate came during the Q&A.

Ms. Gunn-Barrett candidly laid bare a basic premise of the gun ban mindset that usually goes unspoken: there’s no such thing as a law-abiding gun owner.

“You can be perfectly law-abiding one moment,” said Ms. Gunn-Barrett during the debate, “and then the next moment you can be a criminal and do something criminal and wrong, like shoot up a movie theater, or kill your spouse during an argument.” Regulation of people and behavior is needed, she said, “to protect us against our own stupidity and our own irrationality.”

In her warped view, we are all just ticking time bombs, waiting to go off. A law-abiding citizen could go on a murderous rampage just as easily as exceeding the speed limit. One minute we can be good, and the next moment we can become monsters.

That viewpoint explains every twisted piece of piece of gun ban legislation we’ve seen, and shows that what these extremists are targeting is legal gun ownership itself, not the criminal misuse of guns. To them, there is no such thing as a legal gun owner, so the solution is to reduce or eliminate gun ownership itself. When the anti’s speak of ending gun violence, what they really mean is ending gun ownership.

These people will not stop until there is nothing left of the Second Amendment, and the only obstacle in their way is us. Gun owners must remain eternally vigilant and prepared to answer the call to defend the one Freedom that separates us from every other nation in the history of the world.

Stand and fight!

Scott L. Bach, Esq. is a member of the NRA Board of Directors and is Executive Director and past President of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. He is also a former member of law enforcement. Website:, Email: [email protected]

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