The Giffords Gun Control Group launched a new entity titled “Gun Owners for Safety” to spearhead the organization’s latest efforts to attack the Second Amendment. This group markets itself to American gun owners, who they claim are looking for “an alternative to the NRA … but [who] also want to reduce gun violence.” The past two decades, however, show that fake gun-rights groups like “Gun Owners for Safety” are always smokescreens for the same, tired gun control agenda of Giffords, the Brady Campaign, and others like them.
That agenda, which includes banning modern sporting rifles, is unpopular with gun owners and was conceived with zero input from the firearms industry. That industry has in fact proposed and implemented truly effective firearm safety proposals for decades.
Giffords Is No Friend of Gun Owners
Giffords’s latest iteration of a gun control group made up of gun owners is an obfuscation of facts. The group’s website landing page is a front. It hosts an image of a hunter plus a word salad that includes talk of gun ownership, common-sense gun laws, and reducing violence. It lists its principles as respect, devotion, and compassion, as if these traits are exclusive to those who favor the group’s gun control ideals.
Past this mirage is the truth. The so-called common-sense gun control ideas are really the radical proposals embraced by ideologues such as failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Giffords’ gun control measures would criminalize private firearm transfers, enact a national licensing scheme for Americans to exercise Second Amendment rights, enact mandatory home storage requirements the Supreme Court already struck down as unconstitutional, and ban, ban, ban.
Giffords seeks to outlaw the sale of precursor firearm parts for home-built hobbyists, which has always been legal, and to ban the most popular-selling centerfire rifle on the market, the modern sporting rifle. More than 18 million are in circulation. The group also wants to ban the standard-capacity magazines used in those rifles, which account for more than half of all the magazines in existence. If Giffords had its way, open and licensed concealed carry would also be gone, and the group would repeal laws that protect homeowners who are forced to defend their lives in their own homes.
Gun Control Groups Have Tried This Before
This is not the first time a gun control group has pretended to advocate for the interests of gun owners. The campaign to brand restrictive gun control schemes as moderate proposals supported by gun owners began shortly after the Clinton administration, when some of the president’s former staffers, funded by gun control activist billionaire Andrew McKelvey, founded Americans for Gun Safety.
Like Giffords’ Gun Owners for Safety, Americans for Gun Safety claimed to offer “common sense” solutions to gun violence supported by gun owners. Yet the proposals for which it advocated included restricting magazine capacity, banning modern sporting rifles, and instituting universal background checks. Sound familiar? When the group made no progress on its agenda for years, McKelvey eventually lost interest and stopped funding it.
Another “anti-gun wolf in sheep’s clothing” tumbled onto the national stage in 2006 with the formation of the American Hunters and Shooters Association. Led by former NFL player-turned-gun-grabber Ray Schoenke, the group’s board consisted of others with extensive anti-gun pedigrees to combat what they referred to as “the extreme positions of the NRA.” Predictably, the association embraced America’s leftists by partnering with known anti-gun zealot billionaire Michael Bloomberg and endorsing then-Sen. Barack Obama for president in 2008.
Moreover, the American Hunters and Shooters Association endorsed Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court in 2009. Once confirmed to the bench, she dissented in the landmark Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago in which the majority reaffirmed the right of Americans to “keep and bear arms” and said that applies to state and local governments. This group also faded into obscurity and ceased operations. Sound familiar?
Giffords Is a Threat to the Second Amendment
Some are pointing to Giffords’ Gun Control Group as an attempt to splinter off gun owners in the weeks before the presidential election. Others look at this as another wolf in sheep’s clothing. The truth is that Giffords is a threat to all Second Amendment rights, spending big to get what it wants.
Giffords Political Action Committee spent nearly $9 million to buy the gun control candidates it wants in Congress, including Mark Kelly, who is running on the Democratic ticket for U.S. Senate in Arizona and who is Giffords’ co-founder and the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords. It also dumped money in Colorado for then-Senate candidate John Hickenlooper, who as governor infamously banned standard-capacity magazines in his state. Giffords’s list of endorsements is a veritable “who’s who” of gun control legislation.
Giffords, which today joins the failed ranks of poseurs with its Gun Owners for Safety group, will also in time come to the conclusion that American gun owners are not so easily fooled by Potemkin villages built to disguise radical gun-grabbing policies.