If you can’t beat them, join them. The social justice crowd spends a lot of time talking about privilege. What started out as valid point, that is some individual in society do enjoy privileges over others (for example, as a white male I’m less likely to be the target of police brutality), has become a mechanism to silence any and all opposition. If you don’t agree with somebody you are automatically accused of being privileged and therefore are no longer allowed to have an opinion (which, in my book, would mean the other person has an opinion privilege).
As this mess has gotten increasingly absurd I’ve tried to avoid it as much as possible. But the more I think about it the more I realize that gun control is a form of privilege. Specifically it’s something that only those who the social justice crowd traditionally label as privileged can enjoy.
Consider Michael Bloomberg. He’s arguably the most influential advocate of gun control in modern times. Granted it’s pretty easy to be the most influential advocate of gun control when you’re a billionaire and can personally fund several gun control advocacy groups. But those billions of dollars allow him to fund something else: armed body guards. Bloomberg even has enough cash to pay for armed body guards for his fellow gun control advocates.
Gun control, as the name implies, is about controlling who can have access to firearms. One question that should always be asked when the topic of gun control comes up is who gets to decide who can own a gun. The answer is always the state. And who makes up the state? A president who enjoys a lifetime of Secret Service protection and millionaire white males. In other words most of the people deciding who can have a gun are the very people most social justice advocates point out as being privileged.
So gun control is great if you’re on the top of society. It just sucks if you’re not. Unless the state has deemed you worthy of possessing a firearm or can afford to hire people who have been deemed worthy to shadow you 24/7 you’re mostly reliant on the police for protection. That’s not a good position to be in as police response times increase. And if you live in poorer neighborhoods, places where people arguably need protection the most, you’re going to suffer even longer response times. The further you are from the top the longer it will take to get state protection, if you get it at all.
This brings me to the main point of this post. Gun control works for those who social justice advocates consider privileged because they control who can possess guns and can afford body guards. The rest of us are more or less on our own. Sure we’re given access to police officers who may respond to our call for help if they’re not too busy, tired, or hungry. But if you need immediate defense you’re screwed.
There are bad people in this world, which is unfortunate. But so long as those people exist the need for self-defense will likewise exist. Whether you like guns or not you cannot argue against them being effective tools for self-defense. They’re equalizers that render physical ability and skill mostly irrelevant. A woman bound to a wheelchair can effectively use a gun to defend herself against an athletic male who means her arm. An African-American male can effectively use a gun to defend himself against an armed police officer who is attempting to brutalize him. Any social, physical, racial, or gender privileges an attacker may enjoy are meaningless when his or her target has access to a gun for self-defense. Even targets suffering from most physical disabilities can render their attacker’s ableism irrelevant.
In the end it is the people who social justice advocates label as privileged thate are the primarily advocates of gun control. They are the ones who can decide who can have a gun. They are the ones who can afford armed body guards. They are the ones who can live under gun control without concern.