Public opinion on guns, particularly around any sort of mass shooting, tends to be formed by hashtag activism and then amplified by a media hungry to show that America is losing patience with the Second Amendment.
Does that not match up with reality? Shut your regressive mouth! #NeverAgain!
Perhaps the most famous example of this was a tweet by Twitter user @RepWillBailey — who doesn’t appear to actually be a representative of anything except his own views, which are described in his profile with the hashtags #Resist and (of course) #NeverAgain.
“My kids learned about Parkland today at school,” Bailey tweeted on Feb. 20.
“After dinner my 9yo climbed onto my lap & asked if we own guns. I told her the truth. We do have one.
“She started crying & said ‘Please let’s don’t anymore.’ We just got home from the police dept where together we got rid of it.”
As of now, Bailey’s tweet has over 147,000 likes and 29,000 retweets, which some stars can’t even manage. In fact, if you’ve been anywhere on social media since the shooting, you’ve probably seen it.
It’s the kind of thing that makes liberal hearts melt, the sort of sentiment that people who don’t usually think much about guns think is a really great opinion about guns.
One Twitter user, @PugPoppa, managed to absolutely pop (so sorry, I had to) the narrative with a perfectly placed truth barb:
As a Vox reader might say at this point, YAASSSSSSSSSS. THIS!
Will Bailey (given that he’s not an actual politician, I’m going to assume that’s a pseudonym invoking the Joshua Malina character on “The West Wing,” but it’s all we have to go on, so) is, or was, likely a legal, responsible gun owner. His daughter didn’t want him to be. He turned the gun in.
He made his daughter temporarily happy. As long as she lives in that house, however, she’ll be less safe.
See, most of the threat doesn’t come from legal gun owners, and certainly not ones who are going to go down to the police station to turn in their weapon because their 4-year-old wanted them to.
The threat, instead, comes from those who get guns illegally. They don’t care what their daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, fathers or mothers think, and they certainly don’t care what the law thinks.
They’re the people we protect ourselves from by exercising our Second Amendment rights. This could have been a teachable moment — one where Bailey took his daughter aside and explained the issue.
Instead, he decided to make his daughter less safe in her own home. But I’m sure if he ever faces an armed home invader, those 147,000 people who liked his post will rush to his side and protect him. Right?
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