Distrust of Americans and Freedom

Lawrence Keane, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) encapsulated in 384 pages of his new book “The Violence Inside Us” one central theme: America can’t be trusted with freedom.

“You know, it’s called ‘The Violence Inside Us’ because the conclusion I come to is that America is a violent place. We have always been a violent place,” Senator Murphy explained to MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt.

The problem is Senator Murphy didn’t arrive at that conclusion, he started with it. He got there by cherry-picking historical facts, isolating them out of context, and wedging them to fit a narrative that American freedom is bad and must be restrained by a benevolent and all-knowing government made up of people like him.

Murphy began his indictment of America’s gun owners by explaining to MSNBC and ABC News Prime that America is inherently racist. Specifically, guns made America racist. He cherry-picked examples such as the wars against Native Americans while totally ignoring how American guns, produced in his home state, were critical in throwing off a tyrannical king in the U.S. war for independence.

Senator Murphy further ignores that the very gun control laws he proposes and supports are rooted in racist Jim Crow-era laws. Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist, railed against racist gun control laws for African Americans just one month after the Confederacy’s surrender. State Supreme Courts recognized many of the gun control laws that first emerged in the South were drafted with the “purpose of disarming” African Americans.

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Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter detailed that the racist roots of gun control actually predate America’s founding. They were present in French colonial Louisiana but that “the first gun control rules pop off in Virginia” after Emancipation, according to Toure.

The racist effects of gun control are not limited to generations past. Senator Murphy also ignores accounts from people such as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who grew up knowing her family couldn’t expect Alabama’s Bull Connor or the 1950’s Birmingham police to protect them from Ku Klux Klan “night riders.” It was her father and his friends, armed with guns, who protected her and her family.

“I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were, he would have rounded them up,” Rice explained in an appearance on The View. “So I don’t favor some things like gun registration.”

Senator Murphy’s gun fallacies don’t end there. He trotted out the trope of “illegal” guns bought in Southern states and shipped to Connecticut for crimes. The Department of Justice, via the Bureau of Justice Statistics, debunked that in a survey of inmates that shows, “more than half (56%) of prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Fewer than 1% had obtained the firearm at a gun show (0.8%).”

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The is contrary to the narrative Senator Murphy is peddling, but he obscures these realities because they expose his real conclusion that he doesn’t trust Americans with their Constitutional rights. His remedy would be to create illegal national registries (which are really government “watch lists”), ban entire classes of firearms, and eventually disarm Americans altogether.

Senator Murphy has made a career of demonizing the firearm industry while ignoring criminals responsible for committing crimes. He won’t speak about how the firearm industry spearheaded the Fix NICS law he co-sponsored with Senator John  Cornyn (R-Texas). This law makes the background checks work as intended and so far, resulted in a 241 percent increase in disqualifying mental health record submissions to the FBI, keeping guns from those who should never possess them.

Don’t expect Senator Murphy to credit the firearm industry for real solutions. After all, he is a senator who castigates protestors defending themselves, but deletes his own tweet that denounces looting, burning and rioting.

It is the gun that’s wrong in Senator Murphy’s mind, not the criminal.

Lawrence G. Keane is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for NSSF, the firearm industry trade association.