The Left routinely ascribes absolute moral authority to grieving victims in furtherance of their political agenda. Their agitprop is often manipulative and exploitive, but it works. Appeals to facts and reason aren't enough anymore; persuading the public increasingly requires emotional appeals. Even if they find it inherently unpalatable, conservatives must promote people whose personal stories offer counter-narratives to liberals' tragic parade of victimhood. Katie highlighted one such case earlier this week, and now The Blaze has another. This open letter is a must-read -- not only for the case it lays out, but because of its author's personal history (click through for the full, unedited missive):
Mr. President, As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:
Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons
The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke. Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.
10-Round Limit for Magazines
Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all. Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?” Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on? Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.
Selling to Criminals
Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.” Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program? Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops — because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market. Criminals and murderers will always find a way...
Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.
Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd
Read the whole thing. CNN's Piers Morgan has already denied rape survivor Amanda Collins a platform on his show, presumably because her story doesn't affirm his biases. Will he have the courage to interview Evan Todd? I doubt it, for two reasons: (1) Morgan struggles mightily against his intellectual superiors, and (2) Todd denies him access to his favorite instrument of moral bullying -- namely, insinuating or openly asserting that gun rights supporters don't care about the victims of shootings. No, Piers and his ilk will continue ignoring people like Collins and Todd while fixating on stories that demonize Second Amendment advocates, even if it requires relying on outright lies. I've written before that I'm not an absolutist conservative when it comes to firearms, but the pro-gun control forces' manifest inability to make their case without preening, posturing and demonizing is appalling. Enough with the slanders. And if we're going to have the "national conversation" for which liberals profess to yearn, Amanda Collins and Evan Todd's voices should featured prominently -- not ghettoized to the conservative media.
UPDATE - Here's video of Glenn Beck interviewing Evan Todd, via our former Townhall colleague, Chris Field:
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography