ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How the Fringe is Impacting the Gun Control Debate

Updated on February 22, 2018

The conservative elite has managed to turn one of the most serious debates of our time, into a nonsensical campaign of dishonesty and fear mongering. The issue of gun control is one that requires serious bipartisan debate; but Republican legislators only seem interested in placating a small fringe of their base and winning favor from the National Rifle Association. The narratives being advanced by the far right have made serious discussion on this issue nearly impossible. They promote far-fetched claims that are rooted in baseless conspiracies about a tyrannical government that is constantly plotting to confiscate guns. Those who live in this echo chamber are convinced that President Obama is responsible for the gradual erosion of their constitutional right to bear arms. They believe that the ATF’s “Fast & Furious” program was an elaborate plot by the Obama Administration to flood the streets with illegal weapons in order to advance their ultimate goal of eliminating the 2nd Amendment. And they believe the United Nations’ small arms treaty, is an attempt by the Obama Administration to circumvent the 2nd Amendment and deny Americans the right to bear arms. These demonstrably false narratives have taken on a life of their own thanks to a grossly uninformed fringe of the Republican base.

Recently a meme surfaced on social media showing the images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. The meme states that these men support your right to bear arms. Underneath their images are the images of Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Vladimir Lenin, and President Obama; and it states that these men oppose your right to bear arms. At the bottom of the image the “artist” begs the question: “Who do you trust?” Social media sites are flooded with images like this every day; and there are undoubtedly a vast number of people whose views are shaped by this sort of unfounded propaganda. We can’t have a serious debate on the issue of gun control because not only does the far right not recognize the legitimacy of our President’s Americanism; they refuse to even recognize him as a decent man. Therefore, any legislation that he supports must be part of a sinister plot to destroy America. I realize that this sounds far fetched but I've been listening to the ramblings from the far right echo chamber for quite a while and there is a constant correlation drawn between President Obama and some of the most evil people to ever walk this Earth. The low information voter is easily persuaded into believing the most absurd things about any plan that the President supports; and because of this campaign of fear, our elected officials have missed every opportunity to pass meaningful legislation.

Usually in political discourse we can cast aside any input from the lunatic fringe of either party; but today lunacy reigns supreme. Most elected members of the Republican Party are too smart to stand in front of a camera and espouse the sort of dangerous rhetoric that spills from the mouth of Rush Limbaugh each day. However, their refusal to speak out against the culture of ignorance and fear mongering that he promotes is clearly due to a fear of reprisal from their base. I would argue that the refusal of GOP leaders to confront this idiocy, lends credence to a belief held by many people---that the sentiments expressed by the fringe are a reflection of the overall views of today’s Republican Party.

The problem in this entire debate is that it has become a debate between voices of reason and common sense vs voices of ignorance and paranoia. The voices of sane gun owners are not being heard because the media hype is surrounding people who are expecting a return to 1776 and people who are expecting to take up arms against their own government. This group opposes basic steps like closing the gun show loophole and universal background checks for gun sells. This group also fears that one day government officials will show up at their door to confiscate their weapons. These people have provided no substantive value to the debate on gun control, so how is it that they wield so much influence?

I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment and I enjoy the sport of shooting firearms. I spent several years in the military and I have experience dealing with firearms which is more than I can say about most people who own these types of weapons. I know what type of carnage assault weapons like the AR-15 and the AK-47 can cause and anyone who tries to downplay the power of these weapons, either does not know weapons or is being dishonest. While I don’t agree with a complete ban of these weapons, I do agree that access to these weapons should be restricted. The ease at which they can be obtained is a huge problem in this country. I have personally witnessed dangerous weapons including assault rifles sold at gun shows without a background check or even a glimpse at a photo ID. Thanks to lax gun regulations and the lobbying efforts of the NRA, this unregulated exchange of firearms is perfectly legal in most states. The irony of the matter is that recent polls have shown that even the vast majority of NRA members support common sense gun control legislation, but every piece of legislation is always met by a well funded campaign of fear and misinformation. No laws will prevent all gun violence but that can no longer be an excuse for taking no action. We can no longer allow ginned up fear and paranoia to stand in the way of sensible legislation to keep our society safe. We must continue to demand that our elected officials respond accordingly to the recent surge in gun violence in this country, and we must no longer allow sane voices to be drowned out by the lunatic fringe.

Do you think that gun control is an attempt to abolish the 2nd Amendment?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brown073 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cameron Brown 

      5 years ago from Gainesville, FL

      @ ib radmasters, I have to disagree with your claim that this debate is not about the 2nd Amendment or gun control. I agree that the debate SHOULD be about how to best allow law abiding citizens to bear arms to protect themselves from random acts of violence, while also ensuring that there are safeguards in place to ensure that dangerous weapons don’t end up in the wrong hands; but that is not how the far right has approached this issue. The conservative media outlets aren’t even covering this issue from an honest perspective. Anytime Fox News or conservative radio show hosts discuss the issue of gun control, they do so in a way which suggests that the Obama administration is coming to take away their guns and deny their constitutional rights. They’re preying on the ignorance of low information citizens by misrepresenting the proposals that have been put forth; and you and I both know that there are a ton of people in this country who accept this misinformation as factual. You’ll get no arguments from me regarding the need for people to be able to defend themselves from the sub-species that terrorize our streets; but my point in writing this was to illustrate the fact that any discussion about common sense gun laws is being abated because of ginned up fear over losing 2nd Amendment rights and I stand by that. Thanks for your opinion though!

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      5 years ago from Southern California

      gun control is not the issue and neither is the 2nd amendment.

      The real issue is trying to protect society from the random acts of violence using guns.

      No one can protect us from random acts of violence.

      As far as controlling guns, the focus should be on criminals and especially gangs. These gangs deal in illegal products and services and use their weapons to protect their territory and businesses.

      Gun control doesn't affect the gangs, and gun control won't stop that gangs from selling illegal drugs to our children.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)