Via Salon today comes one of the most truly bizarre pieces of revisionist history I have ever seen, even within the context of articles appearing at Salon. The basic outline of the piece is as follows:
- Dallas in 1963 was full of crazy right-wingers;
- These people had guns;
- John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas in 1963;
- Barack Obama likewise has many right-wingers who oppose him; therefore
- It’s only a matter of time before one of them shoots him.
The baseless appeal to sensationalism and emotionalism is the primary (and usually only) tool in the gun control advocate’s toolbox. To that end, I have to admit that this is well played on Salon’s part; every reasonable person of all political stripes in America is legitimately terrified at the prospect of President Joe Biden. The problem (as always, when dealing with a gun control advocate) is that reason, logic and history demand a completely opposite conclusion. Let us grant for just a moment that Dallas in 1963 was full of various fringe right-leaning groups that were well armed. I don’t know; it might or might not be true. I’m not a Dallas historian and it’s not really relevant to the point of this post. The point is that factually, John F. Kennedy was killed by an avowed communist because of that communist’s belief that Kennedy was too tough on commies. These are not facts that are in reasonable dispute. Even if you are one of the grassy knoll people you have to concede Lee Harvey Oswald’s place as at least one of the shooters which means that, without a doubt, Kennedy was killed by left-wing extremists not right-wing extremists. In an especially delicious bit of irony, while trying to somehow pin Kennedy’s death on the anti-communists, they omit mentioning that seven months before assassinating Kennedy, Oswald attempted to assassinate one of the most prominent anti-communists in Dallas, General Edwin Walker.
What’s that you say, Salon mentioned General Walker? So they did – only, they mentioned him as one of the right wing zealots who posed a threat to Kennedy when he visited:
Over the next three years the simmer burst into a full boil as various luminaries of the John Birch Society such as millionaire oil man H.L. Hunt and the anti-communist fanatic Gen. Edwin Walker, a zealot so far to the right that he even believed Eisenhower was a communist, fanned the flames of anti-Kennedy hatred.
Walker was at the center of the plot against Adlai Stephenson to which Mrs. Doyle referred in her letter. He had exhorted his followers (some of whom belonged to group that unironically called itself the “National Indignation Convention”) to confront the U.N. ambassador when he came to town and they did, hitting him with signs and spitting in his face before he could be rescued by the police.
Truly, the mind boggles.
All of this of course misses the point, which is that if gun control could be expected to be effective anywhere it would be in the zone of a Presidential visit. No one at all can legally carry a gun within the range of secret service clearance for a Presidential visit. Which is to say nothing of the absurdity of supposing that someone who was willing and committed enough to assassinate the President – an endeavor which history shows is almost certain to end in the death or indefinite incarceration of the assassin – would be somehow deterred by the threat of a citation for failure to obtain the proper carry permits.
This entire article is a nonsensical mishmash of broken logical connections, slander, and outright historical ignorance. But this is what passes for argument these days among the circle of committed gun control enthusiasts, as it does among the left in general. Thankfully, at least on the issue of guns. Americans seem to have retained their basic common sense.