- - Sunday, May 3, 2020

John R. Lott Jr.’s “Using the COVID-19 pandemic to justify a gun ban” (Web, April 27) demonstrates that the real motive animating the anti-gun lobby is eradicating legal firearm ownership.

Every “reasonable” statutory victory won by the anti-gun left has been found wanting or broadly ineffective, resulting in their renewed clamoring for the next “reasonable” initiative. One day Americans will awaken to the realization that firearm ownership had become so administratively constrictive, expensive and risky to owners that the phrase “legal firearm ownership” is meaningless.

The left’s anti-gun agenda is fueled by a powerful motivator that has nothing to do with gun safety and everything to do with ideology. Its contempt for firearms draws from its broader contempt for traditional American culture. The firearm culture connects devotees to America’s frontier heritage in which firearm acumen, hunting and outdoor survival skills were required to build a homestead and feed and protect families. Thus, pioneering Americans developed a sense of rugged independence from government and a deeply ingrained respect for individual freedoms, self-reliance and private property — values which framed the U.S. Constitution.

Though Americans no longer rely on firearms for sustenance, shooting sports connect devotees to their broader American heritage and provide a sense of security that is not dependent on government. But therein lies the problem the left has with firearms: Aspirational values contradict and compete with leftist ideology, which devalues all forms and expressions of individualism and self-sufficiency. The left seeks to replace these with the entitlement state, and elevate dependency on government. It will cease its activism only when Americans stop “clinging” to their Bibles and guns.

KEN BECKERT



Abingdon, Md.

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