It's generally assumed that the gun lobby and its many supporters in legislatures and the general public will never, ever support any restriction on the sale or possession of any gun under any circumstances. But I know how that could change. I realized what would bring about the change while reading this Victor Davis Hanson column -- which isn't about guns at all, and barely mentions them.
Hanson's column is about wealth, and how horrible it is. What? You didn't know that right-wingers thinks it's horrible to be wealthy? You thought they applauded the rich? Well, they usually do -- but they make an exception when the rich are Democrats or liberals:
Take former vice president Al Gore. He has made a fortune of nearly a billion dollars warning against global warming -- supposedly shrinking glaciers, declining polar-bear populations, and the like -- while simultaneously offering timely remedies from his own green corporations, all reminiscent of the methodology of Roman millionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus, who profited from fires and putting them out. Now Nobel laureate Gore has sold his interest in a failing cable-television station for about $100 million -- and to the anti-American Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the fossil-fuel-rich royal family of Qatar. Gore rushed to close the deal before the first of the year to avoid the very capital-gains tax hikes that he has advocated for others less well off. That's a liberal trifecta: enhancing a fossil-fuel consortium, attempting to beat tax hikes, and empowering an anti-American and anti-Semitic media conglomerate run by an authoritarian despot -- all from a former vice president of the United States who crusades for ending our reliance on fossil fuels and for raising taxes on the wealthy....Since when are right-wingers are against tax avoidance? Or profiting while claiming to do good for society? (Isn't that what school and prison privatization are all about?) And since when are righties against fossil fuels? Or authoritarian despots? Or rich people depriving the Treasury of their money, especially when they're giving it to charity instead?
Multibillionaire Warren Buffett is a tireless advocate of hiking inheritance taxes on small businesses and farms. But he has pledged much of his wealth to the Gates Foundation, a ploy that will cost the federal Treasury billions of dollars in lost revenue....
Well, they're not -- unless liberals are doing these things.
Here's what this has to do with guns: the right is unalterably opposed to all gun control measures -- but that would change if liberals became seriously interested in guns.
Hanson goes on to round up many of the usual suspects: John Kerry, Hollywood stars. He leaves out references to college professors and other sophisticates only because many of them aren't rich, but he'll get to them in other columns. And that's the thing: If the usual targets of right-wing hate became gun experts, gun connoisseurs, gun amassers, gun brandishers, and made gun use as much a part of the liberal stereotype as hybrid cars -- then some cracks would form in the right's unswerving opposition to gun control.
Imagine if every fedora'd Brooklyn hipster packed heat. Imagine if this were also true of Hollywood celebrities. Imagine if the hip in Hollywood and elsewhere actually changed the gun market -- demanding, and paying big bucks for, beautifully crafted, appallingly lethal "artisanal" guns. Imagine if these became the accoutrements no liberal wanted to be seen without -- imagine if they showed up in every paparazzi photo ,and in every Vanity Fair portrait photo by Annie Leibovitz. Imagine if cheap knockoffs of those guns became all the rage among The Kids.
Right-wingers would suddenly discover that it was possible for them to hate guns. They'd call for restrictions and bans. Winger pundits would generate tortured explanations of why their previous unqualified support for the right to keep and bear arms doesn't apply, constitutionally, to the new weapons.
But this would apply only to those weapons, of course. All other guns would still be sacred. Only the liberals' favorites would be bannable.
Still, it would be a start, right? It would reveal the limits of right-wing absolutism. And that's something.