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COMMENTARY: A War of Attrition

The knockdown comes first, the knockout follows

Steve Comus

Pro-gun and anti-gun forces are in a war of attrition; whichever side is more committed to its cause and is willing to go the distance will win.

The operative challenge for the pro-gun forces is to score more victories than the antis do – day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.

Right now, we are at an awkward tipping point, with the future of freedom in the balance.

It is critical to understand that the real battle is not for or against guns, although they are the outward focal point. The real battle is over personal freedoms – the right to keep and bear arms being among those freedoms.

Also, it is highly unlikely that a knockout blow will be dealt either way in the fray. Rather, it most likely will be small, incremental wins and losses all along for both sides.

As much as pro-gun forces must block the slippery downward slope that leads to subjugation, the antis must overcome the equally challenging upward grade of empowerment. What I mean here is that this war is not being waged in a vacuum. As much as one side wants to deny freedoms, the other side is working feverishly to maintain and then expand freedoms.

This is the equivalent of a societal tug-of-war that easily could end when one side pulls the other side over the line, or even when the rope breaks. Yes, there is the specter of social meltdown in this matter.

The US prides itself as being a nation of laws, which leads many folks to think that the answer ultimately is in the courts. Hardly. Parts of the answer logically are in the courts, parts in the legislatures and most in the streets.

No matter how one views such things, the courts, legislatures and executives of government ultimately reflect the overall society itself. We, the people, are the ultimate arbiters in this and all other societal matters.

Given the virtually even split politically, it is safe to suggest that the populace will not come through anytime soon with a deciding popular answer. But with such well-defined battle lines and well-identified combatants, it is becoming easier all the time to find the final answer, which is to convert non-aligned or marginally aligned folks to the right side.

That, however, is easier said than done, given the forces at play against it. For example, almost the entire educational system is for servitude and against personal freedoms. Clearly, that entire segment of society is against guns in the hands of the citizenry (many against guns in the hands of anyone, including police and military, but that is another discussion).

Right now, the anti-gun forces are losing. This is why they are working overtime to push their political agenda. They are in full panic mode because everything they have done has not reduced the private ownership of guns. To the contrary, more and more people are arming themselves by the day.

Personal and home defense are the two biggest reasons for this recent mass armament of society. These reasons are both deeply seated and emotionally powerful, which means they are real.

More and more people (translate that to include many more women) are putting their money where their beliefs are and are buying guns and ammo – and they are learning to use those guns proficiently, which is a break from past experiences when there have been gun-buying frenzies.

Anti-gun forces are losing important court cases, but they also are winning some lesser cases, so the courts remain a wild card in that there are some wins and some losses on both sides. That dynamic could change quickly, one way or the other, or most likely continue as-is.

With tens of thousands of gun laws already on the books, it is not likely that any new laws will have earthshaking effects because the political breakdown of the country is such that neither side can force significant and quick change.

However, some states and communities continue to do all they can to deny personal freedoms. Even though most of these efforts will be struck down eventually, that could take years, even decades to accomplish.

Meanwhile, freedom forces have thrown a huge monkey wrench into the cogs with the proliferation of the 80 percent guns – those that are sold before they are complete, which means that they bypass the traditional registration process.

Anti-gun forces have spent decades sharpening their scythes to harvest entire fields of controls over serial numbered, controlled production firearms. With the 80 percent guns, all of those bets are off. The antis’ entire legal and legislative attack structure never anticipated such a challenge.

The number of guns in society continues to skyrocket from all sources and the number of gun owners grows at a parallel rate. This doesn’t assure victory or even maintenance of the status quo. But it does mean that more and more people want and need the protection that only firearms provide.

The future can and should be bright for guns and personal freedoms. But it is not a given. The anti-freedom forces are such that even a slight pause in the fight by the pro-freedom forces could tip the scale in the opposite direction.

So, assuming the fight goes on, in the end we win. Why? Because we’re committed to our cause and because our cause is right. It is that simple, but it is not easy. Fight on!

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