Gun Control

How 2020 Demolished the Case for Gun Control

For those who have been advising Americans for years that we should lay down our own weapons and trust armed government employees, this year has been a massive reality check.


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"It's the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place."

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made that comment in December, after an armed citizen may have averted a mass shooting by killing a gunman at a Texas church.

The statement hasn't aged well.

How convincing can Bloomberg's "only cops should have guns" message be to Americans who have seen and shared fresh examples of unjustified and brutal police conduct? Or who have witnessed scenes of rioters and looters putting their lives and property at risk, because law enforcement agencies failed to protect them?

This video essay is based on the column "The Year Gun Control Died," published on June 5, 2020.

Written by J.D. Tucille. Voice over by Katherine Mangu-Ward. Graphics by Lex Villena. 

Music: "Bloodstain" by Royal Nature licensed through Artlist.

Photos: Native American defending neighborhood, Sait Serkan Gurbuz/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Roof Korean Photo Credit: Associated Press.

NEXT: OnlyFans Didn't Save Sex Workers, Sex Workers Saved Themselves.

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  1. “It’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot.”

    “I mean *real* law enforcement, not the police.”

    1. Real law enforcement has never been tried.

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  2. Longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn says libertarians should demand comprehensive gun safety legislation. I trust him. And I wish Reason would unban him so he could respond to this silly video.


    1. Also Black Lives Matter agrees, people not explicietly for gun control must hate Black Lives. JD Tucille just comes in this article as giving off gross white supremacist vibes.

      1. People who want Blacks to be armed are just displaying their #WhitePrivilege!

        1. Black Panthers hardest hit.

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    2. Agreed. The government represents the collective will of the people and countless CNN and MSNBC polls have shown that the people want weapons of war banned for the average citizen.

      1. nobody should be allowed to ban anything they have no comprehension of. calling something a weapon of war just to make is sound scarier belies an ignorance of what is being discussed.

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      2. Consider the choice to have and use firearms as a constitutionally protected right just like the right to abortion found hiding in the 14th amendment 40 years ago. If you don’t like them don’t have one.

        1. “If you don’t like them don’t have one”
          There are two people involved in every abortion.
          Maybe you can provide us with a ghoul’s perspective on why only one of them should get a choice on whether or not to participate.

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          2. Mothers lament; I’m clearly not in favor of the idea people on the other side of the uterine wall have no rights.

            I do support the second amendments compelling logic that the right to self defense is multifaceted. We have the right to defend ourselves from evil individuals, the mob and the state.

      3. What else would you expect from a CNN or MSNBC poll?

    3. I trust him.

      Well, you are a trusting fellow, after all.

    4. Why don’t we just forcefully take over a few city blocks that contain the Reason office, call it an “Autonomous zone” and hold Welch and KMW hostage until they give into the list of our demands including the reinstatement of freedom fighter Hihn. This is now acceptable and not a big enough deal to right more than a couple articles about calling it a “brave experiment in self-government”. Property rights and the NAP are sooooo 2019.


      I just stopped back in after a long hiatus and I hadn’t seen you, so I was worried we’d lost the best performance artist of the Reason comment’s section.

      But I have bad news for you. Hinh was just a badly programmed bot. :'(

      Sorry, buddy.

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    7. Why was he banned?

  3. Michael Bloomberg is right (he isn’t a billionaire for being stupid). Uniformed and ignorant citizen should not be allowed to carry weapons of war. If they fear for their lives and property, they should hire qualified, trained, and certified guards who have the legal permits to carry firearms.

    1. You mean, like the uninformed and ignorant citizens in CHAZ?

    2. Yes, if only everyone had Bloomberg’s $billions, they could hire trained, armed guards to protect them, all the while campaigning to eliminate defensive weapons in the hands of the less affluent.

  4. Unfortunately, the left can advocate two incompatible ideas concomitantly without any problem.

    That’s because they don’t actually give a fuck about gun control or police brutality. They only care about power and what they need to say and do to achieve it.

    1. The Left cares about only one type of power – People Power!

        1. Internally they prefer the term supplicants.

          1. That’s the focus group tested term?

            1. Focus group? As in input from the unwashed masses? Most of them wouldn’t even be allowed on an Ivy League campus let alone get past the gate at Martha’s Vineyard. Focus group… good one.

              They’ll tell you what you think, thank you very much.

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        2. Yeah, people power is power over people.

    2. They only care about power and what they need to say and do to achieve it.

      You’re certainly not wrong.
      But left, right or center, naked power seekers are plentiful.
      And it’s they that libertarians were born to fight.

    3. they do care about the guns a little….. it makes the power easier to hold once they have it if we are disarmed.

  5. “Sir, the city is under attack. Do what you have to do.”

    Do I get qualified immunity?

    1. Do cops have a duty to protect citizens? If the legal ramifications are severe enough, why attempt to interfere in an active crime when you can just write speeding tickets on the highway?

  6. I’m not a big gun person. I do one a few firearms, but they were all inherited from my dad, and I haven’t fired any of them in ten years, because I don’t find gun ranges to be particularly fun filled. I really need to sell them.

    Anyway, many year ago I ran across a transgender woman who was head of the local chapter of Pink Pistols. The motto of that group is “Armed Gays Don’t Get Bashed.” It’s true. I personally know of one gay man who concealed carries simply because he is gay.

    The motto made me stop and think. I’m not gay, I find homosexuality distasteful, but every human being has the right to life, liberty, and property. And that means self defense. Every gay person has the right to bear arms!

    Ditto for every Black. Every Latino. Every Muslim. That same gay man remarked recently that most people he saw in his local gun shop were NOT white, but people of color. This is in a major urban city.

    The Democrats need to reverse their stance on gun control or risk losing people of color. They might not vote for the Republicans, but there’s no reason they just won’t stay home in disgust.

    1. >transwoman
      Did you suck her feminine penis?

    2. “Every gay person has the right to bear arms!
      Ditto for every Black. Every Latino. Every Muslim.

      One of the main problems that I have with the NRA (for exapmple) is that they very seldom seem to stand up for people like Philando Castille or Mark Hughes (the black guy who was arrested at a Dallas protest for legally open-carrying). I feel like they would make more salient point and perform better outreach if they made a bigger deal about supporting EVERYONE’s 2A rights.

      1. My dad was a certified expert marksmen. A gun nut all his life. But he NEVER joined the NRA. He felt that they were too political for what started out as just a gun club. And that was before the Charlton Heston era when they became explicitly partisan!

        The NRA has never been friendly towards Blacks bearing arms. They have a bad history of it.

        1. “He felt that they were too political for what started out as just a gun club.”

          Before they became political, they were on their way towards being an historical society; The only reason they ARE still a gun club is that gun owners got political.

          “The NRA has never been friendly towards Blacks bearing arms. They have a bad history of it.”

          Yeah, you’ve been victimized by the people re-writing history.

          Negroes With Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power

          Basically, the NRA allied with the portion of the Civil Rights movement that favored armed self defense instead of Gandhian peaceful resistance. (Is this shocking?) CORE, for instance. The NAACP was not so fond of them. And once the NAACP allied with its former oppressors, the Democratic party, they started rewriting the history of the civil rights movement, and the alliance between black civil rights advocates and the NRA was airbrushed out of it.

      2. “Philando Castille”

        Well that’s different… they found some marihuanas on him. He could have been going around all hopped up on joints forcing jazz music on people at gunpoint.

        On a more serious note, the Castille killing is, in my opinion, probably the most glaring example of LEO indiscretion and unaccountability in the last decade or so. The guy did everything he was supposed to, and still got killed by a jittery cop.

        1. The Castile shooting was probably more glaring, because of the deadly consequence, but Mark Hughes did not do anything wrong, either, and he:
          – was publicly identified as a suspected cop-killer by the Dallas PD
          – had his gun confiscated (after he turned it in voluntarily)
          – was arrested
          – was interrogated for hours without his lawyer

        2. I think the officer should have waited for a clear threat before shooting, but the situation was exacerbated by Mr. Castille being under the influence. He was asked to get his ID then announced that he had a weapon. The officer got scared and yelled at him to get his hands back in site and Mr. Castille didn’t react to the change of direction. If he’d been completely sober, he wouldn’t have made that announcement and would have been aware of the change in direction. I don’t think either of those facts excuses the coward, but let’s not kid ourselves about driving high.

          1. Maybe if the officer would have been calmer and had not given confusing and contradictory directions . . . in rapid succession . . . or if he had given Mr. Castile a chance to comply, things would be different.

            But that’s not what happened. Officer Scaredy-McShitMyPants put a half dozen holes in the guy.

            This isn’t any better or worse than the killing of Daniel Shaver. Dumb-ass got scared, wet the bed, then unloaded his weapon. It happens enough that we need to really take a hard look at how we train police, how they use force, what is authorized and what is not.

            You can’t call it a lone instance anymore when you have so many of them and the situation is so similar. It’s cultural, it’s training, it has to change.

          2. You have a lot of assumptions in there. It’s plenty easy to get flustered and not react immediately to confused instructions when you are stone cold sober. Some people are like that all the time. There is no reason to think that any of what you mention had anything to do with being under the influence.

      3. Too busy swallowing blue jizz.

    3. I do one a few firearms

      A few is baseline for “an arsenal”, alt-righty-mcrightypants.

      1. Four actually. Does that count as an arsenal? One working revolver, one antique “ladies gun” revolver, with no ammo, a WWII service rifle with no ammo, and a 22 caliber squirrel rifle. Also with no ammo.

        1. One firearm and three pieces of 3D art.

        2. “Does that count as an arsenal?”
          Depends if you’re asking Northam or Schumer or if you’re asking normal people.

  7. This post got me to thinking about the current state of my town and I was trying to figure out why the Antifa/CHAZ situation bothered me so much. I began to realize that the cabaal of gender neutral soy twinks and body positivity activists occupying the Autonomous zone and the East precinct don’t scare me. It’s the speed at which so-called polite society has fallen in line with it. The fact that Corporations and almost all the establishment media being on board with the idea is what scares me.

    1. Yep. It’s like we’re all just supposed to play along that an armed occupation of part of a city in the US isn’t a big deal.

      1. Remember when Ammon Bundy was basically Satan for armed occupation of a single federal building to make a point about how the government had supposedly wronged some people? Remember when no one called surrounding him with militarized law enforcement to take it back authoritarian? Will the same logic apply when force is inevitably required to take back this portion of a city?

        1. Remember when one of them was actually killed by law enforcement and the FBI agent lied about what happened, and how the media cheered it on?

          Imagine, for a fucking moment, if Ammon Bundy “types” burned entire city blocks. Entire fucking… city blocks. Imagine that.

          Hell, there was an article in my local newspaper when half a dozen armed people showed up to defend property in a small burgh to the north after rumors about antifa had circulated. The media lost their shit over it and even discovered the “some” of the people there had “ties to far-right groups”. But yeah, burning entire city blocks while waving a hammer and sickle and calling for the abolition of western society– that’s just healthy dissent.

          ZOMG is that tear gas?!!!

          1. This shooting was celebrated by proggies.

          2. As I’ve been reminding people recently, ANTIFA was founded in 1930’s Germany for the purpose of fighting Nazis.

            In the name of Stalinist Communism.

            They’re not Nazis, OK. But they’re sure as shit not the “good guys” either.

            1. They were fighting the bad guys because they wanted the badder guys, essentially. The only relevant difference between communism and fascism is that communism had staying power.

              1. In the fight between Nazis and Communists, I’d be hesitant to call the communists the ‘badder guys’. You do you, though.

                Can we compromise on ‘Both Awful’?

              2. I suspect Fascism/Nazism would have had more staying power if Hitler hadn’t tried the whole conquer Europe thing and then been utterly defeated. As long as you keep the mass murdering within your own established empire, no one cares all that much.

    2. Yes, that’s what scares me too. Biden has actually risen a few notches in my book for not falling in line (he’s still scum though).

      The “Send more organic soy meat substitutes” crowd are a joke. But the speed at which the media and corporate world endorsed them is sickening. Why Amazon is still making deliveries to inside the Exclusion Zone is beyond me.

      1. Exclusion zone makes it sound like it’s not an egalitarian paradise. Is that what you’re suggesting? If so, why do you hate people of color and wish to usher in a 1000 year reign of the fourth reich?

      2. We’re culturally in a very weird place right now. Traditionally, protests cut against the prevailing culture… that’s why they’re protests. The prevailing culture is falling all over itself vigorously agree with the protesters. And the protesters are objectively demanding insane shit. Yes, there’s a meta that’s reasonable: more accountability from the police, less racism (however that’s defined and achieved). But the specifics? It’s nuts.

        1. Perhaps because the established culture created these protests around one small nugget of truthyness to be used against the enemies of the current established culture; the previous culture. You see, the current established culture won the wars completely during the Clinton era. They won full stop. They had a minor setback immediately after Clinton but soon found out the next guy was completely willing to be the perpetual whipping boy and carry the illusion of the old guard (and squander the votes of the old believers along the way) so that the complete victors of the cultural war could have someone to rail against.

          The adherents to the old ways being mostly senile or gullible went along with their party turning into the Washington Generals of politics for a while but a few hard core old time religion types eventually realized they weren’t seeing any victories. So they tried to mount a challenge but their carnival barker in chief suddenly seems inadequate to the task.

          So now the cultural victors will lash out harshly and beat the disillusioned and out of touch perpetual losers back to fly over country from whence they came and might even enact some gun control to rub salt into the wounds. This is what people get for wasting their support on controlled opposition.

          All of the major cultural icons know full well what the game is and who won it so long ago. That is why no amount of old culture wailing or gnashing of teeth have stopped the onslaught of major institutions aligning harshly and publicly with the new culture victors. There aren’t enough of the old believers left to matter, and most of them will be dead in twenty years anyway.

          A New Republic has come of age and replaced the losers who still loved the old one. Anyone who dissents gets sent to the McGulag and must accept Colin Kaepernick into his heart as Lawd and Savior and pray daily to Saint Greta while standing in the bread line.

    3. Like Occupy Wall Street, but without funny business folks throwing job applications out the window.

      This is either going to fizzle out once the arguments over phone chargers begins, or end very badly for our new nation-state neighbors. I’ve got a nice cigar/bourbon/harDCore triumvirate planned out for news watching should it be the second.

  8. “Or who have witnessed scenes of rioters and looters putting their lives and property at risk,”

    So I take it Tuccille didn’t get the memo that these are just peaceful protests?

    1. The memo hasn’t arrived via brick through window yet.

  9. The outstanding negative quality of people like Bloomberg is that he and people like him never stop to think about the world as it really is and never compare their lies with reality.

    1. Sounds like the problem of nearly all of the left and a good chunk of the right. Government is a magical wish granting machine to them. If you want something, just legislate it.
      Thomas Sowell put it very well as the constrained vs. unconstrained view of government.

  10. Hey Litle Mikey, Imma gonna be carying MY little protective friend with me everywhere I go…. public rivate, large small, daytime night tim all the time.

    I dumped all my dredit cards, pay cash now. No debt. Don’t have the cash, don’t buy the thing. ;;;;;;;;; but I HAVE adopted MasterCard’s tag line when it comes down to mu gun. I “don;t leave home without it”.

  11. This is the self-defeating il-logic of the idea of de-arming the citizenry is undeniable; likewise, it will also have negligible effect on any who adhere to ‘gun control.’ That’s because “gun control” is not a logical idea to begin with; why would you believe reasoning would seize them at this particular moment in time?

    Think about it for a moment, does limiting magazine for the express of causing someone to reload to kill more people, make sense to any of you?

    1. I’m still a little angry that some have co-opted the phrase “gun control.” To me gun control means sight alignment, sight picture and trigger discipline. Not sure what all this other blathering is about.

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