I don’t know what holiday
dinners are like at Michael Bloomberg’s house, but I suspect
there’s an awful lot of picking at food while the windbag at the
head of the table lectures the assembled guests about why he’s
right and they’re all idiots. That’s the message I get from his pet
Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, which wants its loyal
minions, if there are any, to sit down to their Thanksgiving feasts
and immediately start fights with relatives they haven’t seen in a
year about gun control. All you need is a handy list of tendentious
talking points—and a shitload of patience from Cousin Bob, who
rebuilds old pistols for fun and just wrapped himself around half a
bottle of Jack Daniels.
On the Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ “Demand Action” site, the
tone for a holiday frolic is set by the Talking Turkey About Guns
Everyone has friends and relatives with strong opinions and
shaky facts. You can help set the table straight — all you need is
this simple guide to Talking Turkey about guns!
The page adds:
This Thanksgiving, when talk around the table turns to politics
and current events, you can help set the record straight on some of
the most common myths about guns.
Cuz what everybody needs in the midst of what’s likely to be
family chatter, or maybe a heated argument about Obamacare for
those who delve into politics over the good china, is a chipper
grad student spouting five non sequitur factoids about firearms,
with no larger knowledge about the subject, or even links to other
Seriously? You’re going to ask people to plunge into a fraught
topic, about which gun rights advocates tend to be extremely
well-informed, with acontextual tidbits like:
FACT: We know that gun background checks work.
Since it was created in 1998, the system has blocked more than 2
million sales to criminals and other dangerous people.
What happens when one of the gun owners at the
table takes time from the real conversation to point out that those
blocked sales almost never result in prosecutions because,
according to the Justice Department itself, “the prohibiting
factors are often minor or based on incidents that occurred many
years in the past”?
Background checks catch people busted for pot or a bar fight
decades ago. Real criminals don’t go to gun stores. But you won’t
know that from a blurb on the Internet.
Tuccille family gatherings are incomplete without howling
discussions about topics of great import, such as health care and
the time septuagenarian Uncle Tony beat the crap out of three
would-be muggers. While he was drunk. We like our arguments, a lot.
But, unlike at the Bloomberg residence, and like at a lot of other
homes, I suspect, nobody gets to lecture—it’s give and take, and
you need to come prepared. If all you have is a short list of
talking points, there’re gonna be two turkeys carved at
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/21/bloomberg-group-wants-you-to-start-fight