In years past, gun control advocates focused almost exclusively on homicides, whether the mass shootings covered intensively by the national media or the inner-city murders that are a staple of the late local news. Now, groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, as well as public health researchers, are starting to emphasize suicides.
The shift is part of a broader change in looking at gun violence as more of a public health issue and less of a matter of crime.
“When criminologists focus on guns, they focus on crime,” said David Hemenway a professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “What we’ve been trying to say is that a person is dead whether or not someone else shot them, they were shot by accident or they shot themselves on purpose.”
Zimring said that by putting the focus on victims who are their relatives and neighbors, gun control advocates hope to get the attention of these “apathetic” suburban voters.
“It’s a politically sophisticated way to change the nature of the debate,” he said. “The point is not to increase the percentage of support, but to increase the intensity of support. It’s not to make more people support gun control. It’s to make them care about it.”
I used to play a lot of tennis. There was a “rule” my instructors drilled into me, “Never change a winning strategy, always change a losing strategy.” This same rule is applicable to a lot of endeavors. This includes politics.
Gun control people are losing their war on guns and they know they need to change their strategy. It’s a little subtle but I find the statement “When criminologists focus on guns, they focus on crime” very telling. They know criminological data does not support the case for gun control and they need to change the focus of their attack on our rights. The Heller decision blunted many of the gun control by “principle” (such as “civilized people don’t own guns”) and conformance with “other advanced countries”. The mass shootings excuse for infringement is falling flat because any rational person recognizes that the best way to stop such an attack is exactly what the NRA says, “A good guy with a gun.”
What do they have left? They only have suicides as a possible weapon against us. There is a reason this has not been used much in the past. It’s because it too has fallen flat when it has been attempted. In debates with anti-gun people in the past I have never had them try to defend suicide by gun as a valid reason to place restrictions on the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. And people in the middle will dismiss it even quicker. This is the anti-gun conspirators last ditch tool of desperation and it will fail just as it has in the past.