A recent New York Times editorial targeted the NRA’s National Firearms Museum in Virginia, stating that one gallery of the museum “illustrates the power of fantasy now driving the modern gun rights debate.”
The author, Francis X. Clines, seems to be offended by the fact that the museum exists, and that if it has to exist, that firearms are actually on display there. He was particularly upset by the gallery devoted to the guns of Hollywood and the firearms used on-screen by some of the country’s most famous film and TV stars—using that and the John Wayne cutout present there to frame his piece.
“The film star stands tall at the National Rifle Association’s National Firearms Museum — true, only as a cardboard cutout of himself. But the cardboard fantasy of the good guy gunning down the bad guy is what makes the museum work as an enjoyable escape from the life-and-death reality of American gun carnage.
“There are thousands of ingenious, gleaming rifles and handguns in displays about America’s gun-rich history of colonialism, immigration, expansionism and vigilante justice.” Later, when attacking the concept of self-defense, Clines states that “gun safety researchers count more than 900 people killed by concealed-carry gun owners in the past decade, with only a tiny fraction of shootings ruled self-defense,” utterly discounting the fact that many times the presence of a firearm for self-defense means someone doesn’t get hurt, or assaulted, or raped, or robbed, so there is no crime to report.
Not surprisingly, as pointed out by Stephen Gutowski over at the Washington Free Beacon, that information comes from a gun-control group.
“[Clines] said the NRA’s support for national gun-carry reciprocity is ‘rooted in its ultimate fantasy that society will be safer if ordinary Americans are allowed to routinely pack a pistol,’ and is part of a ‘campaign to make gun possession ubiquitous among ordinary citizens.’ Currently, concealed carry is legal in every state in the country. There are an estimated 14.5 million gun-carry permit holders and 310 million guns in the United States.
“Clines cited a study from a gun-control advocacy group that found about 90 people per year are killed by individuals with concealed-carry permits. However, most of the deaths cited appear to be suicides, accidents, or self-defense-related cases. Clines did not cite any examples of concealed-carry permit holders acting in defense of themselves or others despite recent instances that garnered national news coverage.”