In their lack of trust and security, people will turn to the Second Amendment.
Not in a million years, not if all the nation’s prestigious public-relations firms were mobilized for the cause, could gun manufacturers have conceived of a more effective advertising campaign for their product than the “defund the police” movement.
Of course, realizing that a flagrantly anti-cop message might not sit well with a public still sweeping up shards of glass left by rioters in city centers across the country, Democrats and their media allies moved quickly to temper the movement’s message. But whatever “defund the police” ends up meaning in practice, it highlights a gaping disconnect between the Left’s anti-cop rhetoric and their anti-gun rhetoric about the Second Amendment.
It’s true that Americans’ debate over guns has been largely performative for the past two decades. Sure, there will always be political efforts to constrain firearm ownership — in several major American cities, in fact, it’s still virtually impossible for a law-abiding citizen to purchase a handgun for self-defense, despite the legal victories of Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) in the Supreme Court. (The first struck down D.C.’s ban on handguns and reaffirmed the individual right to own a weapon; the second struck down a similar ban in Chicago.) The intellectual and legal justification for restriction, however, has been exhausted. The coronavirus crisis, and the subsequent riots, may have killed whatever case was left.