Slate Says Lack Of Emotionalism Sunk Gun Control Bill

As the six-month half-anniversary of Newtown was observed, some families of the victims are renewing their push for more gun control measures and liberal scribes in the media are on board, hoping to help the cause by lambasting gun rights advocates in print.

Take Justin Peters of Slate, who dismisses gun rights advocates as full of "inarticulate rage" before suggesting that gun control pushers need to hulk out by tapping into their own inner, righteous rage:

Eli Saslow wrote about Mark and Jackie Barden, whose son, Daniel, was shot and killed at Sandy Hook. Since then, the Bardens, emotionally broken, have traveled the country lobbying for stronger gun laws. They have been taught to mute their anguish and speak in polished, sensible talking points: 

But the past five months had taught Mark and Jackie that simplicity and innocence didn’t work in politics. Neither did rage or brokenness. Their grief was only effective if it was resolute, polite, purposeful and factual. The uncertain path between a raw, four-minute massacre and U.S. policy was a months-long grind that consisted of marketing campaigns, fundraisers and public relations consultants. In the parents’ briefing book for the Delaware trip, a press aide had provided a list of possible talking points, the same suggestions parents had been given in Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

“We are not anti-gun. We are not for gun control. We are for gun responsibility and for gun safety laws,” one suggestion read.

Though the Bardens have been taught to temper their emotions, gun control opponents are under no such restrictions. For firearms fanatics, inarticulate anger has always been a powerful political weapon. The Senate background checks bill failed in part because many gun owners were convinced—urged on by the gun lobby—that it would mandate “universal registration of all firearms and their owners,” even though the bill contained no such provision. Grief is unwelcome in the halls of Congress. Rage is how business gets done.


Of course, the Bill of Rights exists precisely to protect the rights of the people against the rage of a majority, no matter how righteous (albeit misplaced) that anger should be.

That's the sort of calm Constitution-revering sentiment we might hear from Peters when it comes to any other amendment in the Bill of Rights under assault -- real or imagined -- from conservatives. But when it come to guns, well, that's a completely different story.