On Monday the gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety, released a 10-part questionnaire for all federal candidates in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. The organization, founded and financially backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, plans to use the answers provided by respondents to support or oppose their candidacies in pivotal House and Senate races later this year.
After being criticized last month for releasing a widely-debunked list of “School Shootings in America since Sandy Hook,” the advocacy group plans to bounce back by supporting only those who promise to vote for “common-sense” legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of “dangerous people.” But as is often the case in these sorts of circumstances, the devil is in the details, since Everytown for Gun Safety defines and classifies “dangerous people” as nearly anyone who wants to own or operate a gun. As a result, any reasonable distinction between dangerous and law-abiding, responsible citizens is eliminated.
Based on a reading of the public survey, dangerous people are those who attempt to buy a gun online or at a gun show, as well as nearly all those who participate in personal and individual transfers. Selling or loaning a gun to an acquaintance, a friend, or even a family member is now classified as a threat to the public safety.
People — even those without children — who don’t always keep their gun unloaded and locked up at home are also singled out for severe rebuke and face stiff criminal charges, as are gun owners who attempt to move across state lines. Anyone even “suspected” of trafficking becomes subject to stronger federal statutes with serious penalties.
And in the attempt to resurrect an across the board assault weapons ban, Everytown effectively defines as dangerous anyone who possesses, or attempts to possess, a gun capable of holding 11 or more bullets.
Regarding that last example, and citing the 2011 shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, AZ, the Everytown survey blatantly states, “bystanders have been able to subdue perpetrators of mass shootings when the shooters stop to reload.” This extremely provocative and puzzling statement has absolutely nothing to do with the question being asked of the respondent. Moreover, there is only a single, solitary reference to “self-defense” throughout the entirety of the survey, and even that one is accompanied by parentheses. The implication, therefore, seems to be that Everytown considers the right of armed self-defense to be the greatest danger of all, since their best advice for victims is to wait and tackle a shooter when he stops to reload.
Everytown claims to support “common sense” gun control legislation that only targets “dangerous people.” But if every gun owner is suspected of being potentially dangerous, and thus our only option is to wait for a shooter to stop and reload, then clearly we have abandoned the realm of common sense.
Every candidate for national office should refuse to take the Everytown survey.