Gun Controllers in 'Moderate' Clothing

The many failures of the anti-gun movement has caused it to turn to other means of pushing its agenda, including the creation of sock puppet "moderate" gun groups. The strategy is nothing new among left-leaning groups who have historically tried to pass themselves off as "moderate." But a liberal pseudo-moderation ploy can never work without a media component; this case is no different as Cam Edwards (HT: Glenn Reynolds) notes:

When is an anti-gunner a pro-gun advocate? The obvious answer is never,
but that’s too simple a response. The actual answer is “any time a
member of the media wants to portray the anti-gunner in a pro-gun
light”. Take, for example, a new article in The New Republic entitled
“Gun Crazy: The Revolt Against the NRA” by Michael Blanding. Blanding,
a freelance writer from Boston, profiles the group calling itself
American Hunters and Shooters Association. AHSA bills itself as a
“moderate alternative to the NRA”, but in reality it’s an organization
founded by leaders in the anti-gun movement who have strong ties to the
Brady Campaign.

Blanding’s article calls John Rosenthal, the
president of AHSA’s foundation, a “Boston real estate developer who
served a stint on the board of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
Violence.” But the article also quotes Rosenthal as saying he left the
Brady Campaign because of the organization’s “extreme anti-gun stance”.
Blanding leaves out any mention of the fact that Rosenthal created, and
still runs, the Massachusetts-based outfit known as Stop Handgun
Violence. Despite the fact that Blanding is from Boston, I was willing
to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Rosenthal didn’t
volunteer that information and Blanding simply didn’t do his research.
Then I found an article in Boston Magazine from February 2006 entitled
“Straight Shooter”. It’s a glowing profile of John Rosenthal, complete
with many mentions of his work with Stop Handgun Violence, and Michael
Blanding wrote it.

In May of this year Blanding wrote another
piece for Boston Magazine called “The Ways of the Gun”, in which he
makes the case that Boston’s rising crime rate is the fault of other
states with less restrictive gun laws. In that article Blanding
describes Rosenthal as an “anti-gun activist”, but now he’s a pro-gun
moderate alternative to the NRA. Why? Because Blanding didn’t write a
TNR article about the need for more gun control, he wrote an article
about liberals trying to woo gun-owners. To accurately portray
Rosenthal as someone who helped pass Massachusetts’ Gun Control Act of
1998 does nothing to win the hearts and minds of gun owners.

Anyone want to bet me we won't be hearing more about AHSA in the near future?

Guns Labeling
Matthew Sheffield's picture