Professor Jacobson links this video of Newt Gingrich debating Piers Morgan on gun control:
Newt, as usual, is formidable. As just one high point (of many), the former Speaker starts right out of the gates during the intro pleasantries. After suffering through a lead-in video of Dianne Feinstein describing a shooting victim, Newt landed his first blow by asking Piers how many lead-in videos he has aired that featured would-be victims whose lives were saved by a gun. Piers' dumbfounded expression is priceless.
Readers know I have enormous respect for Newt Gingrich and for Professor Jacobson. And it seems the professor feels Newt won the debate hands down but I'm not so sure. I'm quite sure the gun controllers would say Piers won the debate and I suspect that the mushy middle would agree them. And that is not a win for conservatives.
Here's what Piers did: First he got Newt to agree (at least effectively) that the 1930's ban on fully-automatic rifles was a good thing because those guns are so dangerous. At that point, Piers needed only to convince his viewers that semi-automatic rifles are also dangerous and, with that, he wins the argument that the government can and should ban them.
We conservatives and libertarians need to handle this better.
It appears Newt must have missed my recent post: How to crush Democrats' dumbest (but pervasive) gun control argument. I discussed banning citizens from owning nuclear weapons but it applies equally as well to fully-automatic machine guns.
Here's my simple rule:
Law-abiding, free people should have the right to arm themselves with whatever weapons their government would use against them.
As I said before:
If the world is sufficiently dangerous that the police require semi-automatic rifles with large-capacity magazines, then do not the free citizens who are sovereign over the police and who also live in the same dangerous world deserve to similarly protect themselves from it? In fact, are not the citizens -- not the police -- always the first ones who are forced to face those dangers?But there's more. By law, the police can only use weapons for defensive purposes. So if the police bear a weapon it MUST be, by definition, a defensive weapon. In fact, this is how we can finally distinguish defensive weapons from assault weapons.
I've been asked: Well, what about tear gas or water cannons for crowd control? Personally, there are times that I'd love to have a water cannon, but that's another matter. If extenuating circumstances demand that police take extraordinary measures and bear unconventional weapons, then it should only be under judicial warrant.
This is not a difficult concept. It's frustrating to watch liberals score points (and undoubtedly win over voters) with this argument that should be conservatives' and libertarians' to win.