Why Have Civil Liberties-Loving Liberals Become Anti-Gun and Anti-Free Speech?

What does being anti-gun rights have to do with leftist politics? I mean really think about it objectively. When I was a kid growing up —in a very liberal area— both Democrats and Republicans owned guns for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It didn’t seem as much a left-right issue. So, why the decline over the past few decades in Democrat support for gun rights? Not all that long ago, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) received an A rating from the NRA.

Frankly, I don’t believe most mainstream Democrats who own guns have given them up. However, publicly, I do think many have bought into the “common sense gun laws” fraud. But, again, why is a supposedly civil-liberties-supporting liberal party endorsing the abridging of an important civil right? A right enumerated in the Bill of Rights as valid as the right to free speech and religion.

Why are gun rights no longer seen as also a liberal issue except for a very few sane liberals? For example, the Liberal Gun Club understands the importance of the Second Amendment. Shouldn’t self-defense and firearms be viewed like travel and cars? You can defend yourself without a gun, but other means are not nearly as effective, especially against an armed assailant. Just as you can travel without a motor vehicle, but it’s normally much more efficient than walking.

Don’t people on the left want the right to effectively protect themselves and their loved ones? I understand the left’s obsession with wrangling votes by giving away free stuff. But where in this agenda does gun control fit with a truly liberal agenda? They’re not giving you anything; they’re only taking something away—your rights.

If the left truly cared about people, wouldn’t they want folks, often minorities who live in dangerous neighborhoods, to have the means to protect themselves? Many post-Civil War Democrats worked hard to keep black Americans unarmed. Have Democrats returned to their racist roots, abandoned their commitment to civil rights for all? It seems the true liberal Democrats are gone—or have been silenced by the neo-leftist bullies. The anti-gun, anti-free speech leftist radicals have taken over the Democratic Party. So, why is gun control instead of gun rights a leftist issue? Power. And what does power give them? Control.

Giving away “free” stuff buys votes and makes people dependent. It sets up a government-run plantation inhabited by loyal voters. Loyal because they’re dependent on a leftist government that gives them stuff. Remember the familiar maxim: if the government can give you everything you need, it can take everything you have—including your gun rights and then your guns. As long as you are armed, the neo-left can never fully realize their anti-gun, utopian dreams.

To paraphrase OpsLens’ own Drew Berquist who once commented on his TV show, “Experience Matters,” about the left threatening a civil war: “Well, good luck with that. We have all the guns.”

A few months back, gun control recaptured the spotlight with the horrific events in New Zealand. The despicable mosque massacre got me thinking about why gun control is a necessary leftist issue. Again, the connection is power and control.

The first thing the New Zealand prime minister did after a madman murdered a bunch of her people is take away citizens’ best means to protect themselves. You know…to keep themselves and their families safe from madmen with guns (who won’t turn theirs in). But that’s what happened in New Zealand. And the American left applauded New Zealand’s anti-gun zealots, who capitalized on a tragedy to disarm the people they are supposed to protect.

Will disarming good people miraculously put a cop on every street corner or speed up police response times? As a retired cop, I can tell you the answer is nope. At the start of any mass shooting, people are on their own. And without guns, until the cops get there, the folks are left to pray they don’t become prey.

Leftists need power and control. All of their issues work toward taking power and control from the people and giving it to government. The right wants to limit government’s power and control and for individuals to retain control and power. Which of these sounds like the original view for our nation?

One of the most effective limits on government power and control is the Second Amendment. The framers knew this. They didn’t put anything into the Constitution arbitrarily. Especially in the Bill of Rights, which was necessary to get the Constitution ratified. A well-armed populace is difficult, maybe impossible, to control. So, the answer as to why this new radical left supports gun control is, in the end, they can never fully control the American people, as long as they have guns.

And it’s not only the Second Amendment the left has targeted. The First Amendment is also in the radical left’s sites. Abridging the First Amendment by using tactics that deem a political opponent’s free speech to be “hate speech,” like gun control, is also necessary to control people.

SPRINGFIELD, MA – AUGUST 26: Counter protesters to the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence yell as the walk passes on the way to a rally at the Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 26, 2018 in Springfield, Massachusetts. After the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, 50 Miles More was organized to engage young people in the effort to bring about gun reform legislation. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Appallingly, there was a recent example of the left’s desire to curb free speech. CNN news anchor Christiane Amanpour asked former FBI head, Jim Comey, if in retrospect he should have used the FBI to “shut down that language…that kind of hate speech,” referring to Donald Trump’s crowds chanting “Lock her up,” regarding the Hillary Clinton email server scandal (and countless other suspected crimes).

I detest what Comey has done and is suspected of having done. But I couldn’t argue with his answer: “That’s not a role for government to play.” Like I said, the left not only opposes self-defense rights but also our God-given right to free speech.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself thinking about how gun control (and speech control) fits in with a supposedly liberal, civil rights-promoting political party’s ideology, consider what gun control —not to mention speech control— gets leftists: Power and control.

Over you.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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