By Arun Gupta (October 3, 2017)
I wrote this four years ago about the left’s relationship to violence and guns. It’s more relevant than ever.
Leftists who think getting armed is a political strategy need to get over their love affair with violence. Now, in these increasingly dangerous times, there may be specific instances where guns are a reluctant necessity. But the left should be in the forefront the movement to abolish gun ownership as much as possible. That’s because incidents like the Las Vegas massacre only create widespread public support for militarized police.
Demilitarizing the police and American society go hand in hand. As I argue, there are precedents in which the left has used state power to put constraints on the state. Don’t fall for defeatist arguments that gun control will never happen or it won’t make an impact. The same was said about auto safety and cigarette smoking. Decades of legislation and public-health campaigning made a huge impact.
It would take years of meaningful bans on automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines to have an effect, but it would make a real impact over time.
No doubt the problem of mass shooters cannot be reduced to easy access to guns. That also has to do with misogyny, toxic masculinity, and racism. But by definition, there would be no more mass shooters without the guns.
Like the lack of universalized healthcare, mass shootings are a uniquely American problem. The fact these massacres never happen or are extremely rare in every other industrialized country refutes the bizarre leftist American Exceptionalism that gun control can’t be done here.