The "Moderate Gun Control" Group Really Exists!



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By Kurt Hofmann, October 22nd, 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

Over the years, gun rights advocates have seen a number of attempts to push "gun control" (more accurately described as "forcible citizen disarmament") by stealth. Advocates of more restrictive gun regulation formed new groups, ostensibly more "moderate" than the well-known "gun control" groups, such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (itself once called "Handgun Control, Inc., which used to publicly advocate a total handgun ban).

In the year 2000, dot-com billionaire Andrew McKelvey founded the "Americans for Gun Safety Foundation," which describes itself this way:

Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) is a centrist, non-partisan, national education and advocacy group dedicated to the advancement of gun safety. AGS recognizes and supports the rights of law-abiding Americans to own and use guns. We also believe that with all rights come responsibilities and we urge shared responsibility for the safe use, storage and distribution of guns by all parties - manufacturers, dealers, owners, law enforcement, and members of society in general. AGS is beginning a new national dialogue, shifting the gun debate from one of rights versus responsibilities to one of rights and responsibilities.

By now, AGS has been "folded" into the "Third Way" movement, which purports to hope to end the "right wing" vs. "left wing" gridlock--mostly by ceding as much as possible to the left, and calling it a "compromise." That is easily demonstrated by what AGS recommends as sources of "current gun safety data and other information":

For current gun safety data and other information, we recommend the American Hunters and Shooters Association [more on them in a minute], the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence [a group that proudly advocates a "government monopoly on force," and condemns armed resistance against even a government engaged in rounding up "undesirables" for the concentration camps], and Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Wow--that's some "centrist" gun policy advocacy there. Well, right at the center of the "ban every gun we can" spectrum, anyway.

During the run-up to the 2008 Presidential campaign, the "American Hunters and Shooters Association" (AHSA) appeared on the scene. AHSA was a project of rabid gun ban zealot John Rosenthal (although he eventually ducked out, when AHSA belatedly realized that his presence made the organization's "false flag" status a bit too obvious), AHSA claimed to be about protecting gun rights, but without the nasty "right wing" baggage of the NRA. Unfortunately for AHSA, the Brady Campaign apparently didn't get the memo, and publicly described the group as an ally.

The timing of AHSA's formation was no coincidence. Shortly after Barack Obama's election to the White House, AHSA, its purpose of minimizing some gun owners' perception of Obama's threat to private gun ownership having been fufilled, disbanded.

Mike 'Gun Guy' Weisser

Now, we have "Evolve Together, Inc.," yet another group claiming to be the "third voice" in the gun rights/"gun control" debate. JPFO contributor David Codrea notes that one of Evolve's most outspoken boosters is Mike "the Gun Guy" Weisser, who operates a gun shop in Massachusetts. Weisser's "Gun Guy" (self-applied) nickname notwithstanding, his favorite subjects in his Huffington Post op-eds are how irresponsible and wrong the NRA is, and that "gun violence" is a public health menace.

He affects outrage over Illinois' concealed carry law, by far the most draconian "shall issue" law in the nation, because it's not restrictive enough. His opinion on concealed carry (or open carry, for that matter) can be demonstrated by this statement of his:

I'm beginning to wonder whether we have any idea about what's at stake when we give civilians the right to walk around with a gun.

These groups, we are told, are the moderate "gun control" groups, or worse, the "compromise" between gun rights and "gun control." That's clearly wrong--they're as zealously anti-gun as the better known "gun control" organizations are. It's enough to make one believe that "moderation" in "gun control" is just as mythical a concept as that of the related "modest 'gun control'" (what can be less "modest," after all, than claiming the authority to outlaw the people's exercise of the fundamental human right to effective defense of their lives and liberty?).

But on second thought, perhaps such an organization really does exist. There exists, after all, an organization that repeatedly calls for the government to "enforce existing gun laws," and even says that failure to do so is a crime. The same group supported enormously restrictive regulation of fully-automatic firearms, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and even a safety device (suppressors, routinely, if inaccurately, referred to as "silencers"). The Gun Control Act of 1968 passed with this group's blessing.

Still, by virtue of fighting against bans of so-called "assault weapons," and "high capacity" magazines, for supporting the right to armed self-defense outside the home, and for the right to stand one's ground when violently attacked in a place one has a right to be, for opposing efforts to ban private gun sales, and for opposition to various other of the very worst proposed infringements on that which shall not be infringed, the NRA can plausibly claim not to be among the extremists for "gun control."

A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.

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