Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., makes an objection to a Republican argument as the House Oversight and Reform Committee considers whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
So much conserving of conservatism. Where would we be without these people?
Bill Kristol’s outfit over at the The Bulwark is doing what it always does. Going after real Republicans while claiming to hold the mantle as the only true conservatives left.
Today’s target was Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a rising star within the GOP, war veteran, and committed conservative voice. If you missed it, he and AOC got into a rather stupid exchange (on her part) in which she suggested that he shouldn’t let his friends borrow firearms because they “have likely” abused their spouses.
Just so I’m clear: you think my friends are domestic abusers/criminals? Seriously that’s your argument? That they can’t pass a background check?
Wrong. People lend guns to friends, esp if they don’t own a gun, for self-defense and hunting purposes.
This is America outside NYC. https://t.co/wkWPhfi0JB
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) September 4, 2019
It went on like that for a few more tweets with AOC doing her typical mean girls snark while not actually making a salient point.
While the media will no doubt take her side, you’d expect “conservative” media to recognize the vapidness of AOC’s argument and push back on it. Instead, The Bulwark ran with this hot take.
When Conserving Conservatism™ is going after Dan Crenshaw for — *checks notes* — pushing back against AOC https://t.co/CKAJEriIez
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 4, 2019
There are a number of problems with this scenario Crenshaw lays out. The first is giving a loaded weapon to somebody who may not be trained to or capable of wielding it. The second is knowing what the laws are. Giving a firearm to a stranger or acquaintance is a bad idea, no matter how noble the intent. Firearm makers and dealers enjoy some protection from civil liability because it makes sense; individuals don’t have federal protection, civil or criminal. And then there are the many issues involved with crossing state lines and different laws in different jurisdictions.
If I may generalize about Texas for a second, about 35 percent of people there are estimated to own firearms. Non-gun-owning Texans are probably more likely to have experience with guns than, say, a writer from Brooklyn. That does not make lending them a handgun for travel a good idea. Even if it is legal. (And, especially if you’re a member of Congress.)
If you know anything about The Bulwark, you can probably guess this is an article by Jim Swift.
Does he think Crenshaw is just going to hand his gun to random people? When I was a teenager, I used to borrow an uncle’s rifle to hunt with. He knew I was properly trained, having taken a hunter’s safety course and fulfilled the state’s requirements. There were never any issues and because I didn’t have a deer lease of my own, I only went a few times a year. It was simply easier to borrow the gun.
In self-defense situations, perhaps it is less common to loan a firearm. But that makes it no less worthy of a right to maintain. If I choose to give my gun to a family member while I’m at work, that’s my choice. As long as they are legal and capable, it’s really none of Jim Swift’s business. Crenshaw also does bring up the hunting example as well, which is probably the more frequent occurrence.
To be fair, the article does point out that AOC’s response is in bad faith, but the overarching issue here is greater than just this Twitter exchange.
Conservatives need allies they can trust on gun control. They don’t need a conservative “intellectual” class that is so in love with their own voice that they will talk their way out of their 2nd Amendment rights just to appear above the fray to the beltway. Whether Crenshaw’s example of self-defense is widespread or not is beside the point and not something that should earn him a snarky rebuttal. Does the right Crenshaw asserts exist or not? Swift doesn’t answer that question because of course he doesn’t. Better to snipe from the sidelines.
Swift ends with this typical line.
But these are all hypotheticals. And neither Crenshaw nor AOC are really adding much to the debate. Such is 2019.
This “let me make a false equivalency and criticize both sides to appear smart and fair” act is growing old from some of the supposed right. Take a stand already. Do you support the 2nd Amendment or not? Whether you do or don’t, at least lay out your position so we can judge how conservative it actually is. That’s asking a lot though. Conservatism has simply been a means to gain power for a lot of these people. It just so happens that a lot of them now write for The Bulwark.
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