- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Gun-control misfire
"During the 1990s, the gun control movement seemed unstoppable… . The issue was considered so powerful that a major party included a call for much stricter gun control as an important part of its platform.
"Since the election of 2000, analysts have been pondering the anti-gun lobbys sudden reversal of fortune. Politicians have deserted the cause like rats leaving a sinking ship. The Million Mom March laid off most of its paid staff and was thrown out of its free office space for alleged improprieties. Their hated opponent, the National Rifle Association, has seen membership surge to an all-time high of 4.3 million.
"Anti-gun operatives are questioning their strategy and trying to maintain morale among the troops… .
"What went wrong? Simply put, gun control was over-hyped. Politicians and other opportunists were seduced by an emotional issue that appeared to have no downside. Jumping on a bandwagon that claimed to protect moms and kids seemed a quick and easy route to better approval ratings. With so much excitement in the air, it was easy to ignore the logical flaws in the emotion-based arguments."
Michael S. Brown, writing on "Gun Control: What Went Wrong?" Thursday in FrontPage at www.frontpagemag.com

Imposing on whom?

"What stirred religious conservatives most was a sense that Supreme Court decisions were giving power to the opponents of traditional Christian values… .
"Ironically, religious conservatives were accused of 'imposing their views and 'forcing their beliefs on the public. But was this really the case? Nathan Glazer made this observation almost 20 years ago:
"'Abortion was not a national issue until the Supreme Court, in 1973, set national standards for state laws. It did not become an issue because evangelicals and fundamentalists wanted to strengthen prohibitions against abortion, but because liberals wanted to abolish them. Pornography … did not become an issue because evangelicals and fundamentalists wanted to ban D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, or even Henry Miller, but because … under-the-table pornography moved to the top of the newsstands… .
"This imposition of a liberal ethos by what many social scientists call the 'new class elites (made up of newspaper journalists, television producers and commentators, and the 'knowledge class from the universities) aroused many previously apolitical and socially indifferent religious conservatives to action."
Michael L. Cromartie, in a March 16 Witherspoon Fellowship Lecture at the Family Research Council

Pro-life rockers

"In spite of their self-perception as estranged outsiders in the American cultural landscape, leaders of the pro-life movement are just as capable of shunning others as they themselves are shunned by the popular media and the entertainment culture. Incredibly, they are even capable of shunning those who agree with their pro-life position.
"How else to explain the fact that pro-lifers consistently ignore rock stars who risk their careers by taking a most unpopular stand against abortion rights?
"Just ask Gary Cherone, the former lead singer of the rock group Van Halen. Cherone has long been vocal in his opposition to abortion… .
"More recently, the hard-rock band Creed has topped the charts with 'Arms Wide Open, which chronicles lead singer Scott Stapps own experience with an unexpected baby (in which abortion was never contemplated); he also explicitly condemns abortion with the song 'In America… .
"The anti-abortion movement, it seems, is ashamed to be associated with long-haired rock stars."
Mark Joseph, writing on "Rockers for Life," Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com


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