Alan Baird, blogging at Salon, did the usual gun-owners-are-stupid-lunatics, they-should-all-shoot-themselves dance. The usual immune response kicked in, the gunnies jumped in with the usual debunking, and he flounced out in the usual petulant snit. No news there.
But there's one little thing that should be noted. Weer'd quotes* Baird's flounce thusly:
[When I posted my original article], the idea of concealed-carry did not really bother me. If a gun-toter was smart enough to recognize that the open display of a weapon drastically tilts the perceived power balance between two individuals, then... live and let carry.[...]
But these barbarians who roam the Internet and try to pick fights have now convinced me that NOBODY should have a gun. If they feel that personal attacks, libels and death threats are appropriate behaviors in the 21st century, how can they be trusted with guns? They shouldn’t even be allowed to carry sharp sticks.
Baird doesn't realize it, but this kind of statement is very, very good for us. Gun bans do not fly with the American public. Even in New-freakin'-Jersey, most people I meet who are worried about "gun violence" still believe in the individual's right to have effective guns for self defense. The more the antis admit that they want extreme restrictions, the more we win. The only time they ever gain ground is when they can push the illusion that they only want fine, minor, "common sense" changes to our gun laws.
Push the point that only a complete ban will make it any more difficult for criminals to get guns. Don't think that attacking the halfway measures will invite more ambitious attacks on our rights. The more publicly ambitious our enemies are, the better off we are. Every time we can make people like Baird show their true colors--every time we can take away their middle ground and force them to defend their actual extreme positions--we win a bit more.
It's fundamentally impossible to prevent all criminals from getting guns. It may be possible though, as the antis believe, to _decrease_ the number of criminals with guns. But, halfway measures being so childishly easy to circumvent, the only way that's remotely possible is with a universal ban. As long as law-abiding citizens can have guns, any criminal who wants one will get one easily. That fact doesn't damn us; it's our most powerful weapon.
[* - I'd usually link directly, but Baird is already shenaniganing his old entries; Weerd's quote will be more stable.]