Pussy Hat Project, Black Lives Matter and the Brady Campaign Demand Repeal of Gun Control Laws
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of gun enthusiasts from the Pussy Hat Project, Black Lives Matter and the Brady Campaign (formerly Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence), rallied today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to demand the repeal of existing gun control laws. They waved signs featuring Kalashnikov rifles, brandished long guns and shouted “Come and Get It” to the bank of microphones and cameras arrayed in front of them. Fearful of violence, D.C. police ushered anti-gun Republican legislators into the Capitol through basements and side doors.
The history of the new gun rights movement is by now well known. In summer 2017, a dozen feminists wearing pink pussy hats entered a small Doylestown, Pennsylvania gun show and bought $85,000 worth of rifles, shotguns and pistols, nearly half of the stock on view. A week later, the same thing happened in Indiana, except this time the women numbered about thirty and the haul over $100,000. Then Tulsa, Dubuque, Canton and elsewhere. In the six months since Doylestown, purchases by women in pussy hats at gun shows has totaled more than $5,000,000.
At about the same time as the Pussy Hat gun movement began, Black Lives and the Brady Campaign stepped forward with their own initiatives. Their members applied for open-carry permits in huge numbers and they brought their weapons to rallies. The passage in recent months of state laws requiring government-issued IDs for gun permits, so-called “shooter suppression laws,” have only slightly slowed the growth of armed liberals. At a recent Black Lives rally at Homan Square Police Station in Chicago (site of a notorious detention center), most of the protestors were armed. Their chant to police, “You Pack, I Pack,” is now repeated at pro-gun rallies across the country. Shepard Fairey’s poster of a pistol-pointing, pussy-capped Muslim woman beneath the slogan has become ubiquitous.
Michael Moore, who in 2002 directed “Bowling for Columbine,” has joined the pro-gun movement, as have other left-wing celebrities including Susan Sarandon, Matt Damon and Danny Glover. They have promised to lead a nationwide consumer boycott of four prominent businesses that recently banned guns from their premises: Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Walmart and L.L. Bean.
In response to the rise of liberal gun ownership, President Trump and congressional Republicans are promising to introduce what they call “common-sense gun control.” Trump’s recent tweet, “Millions of falsified gun registrations! Very dangerous!!” has motivated his base of gun-control advocates, and a bill to close the gun-show loophole is sailing through the Republican Congress. Democrats, however, threaten a filibuster. (PolitiFact has labeled Trump’s claim entirely false or “pants on fire!”)
Yet despite its rapid growth, the long-term prospects of the progressive gun-rights movement is dim. With the imminent retirements of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer and Trump’s vow to appoint to the court only “strict gun-control advocates,” the Second Amendment right to bear arms is under serious threat. Indeed, some observers predict that gun rights may soon be consigned to the history books.