At least two NFL teams have now announced an effort to fund gun control efforts. The San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles joined together before playing one another late last month to declare a fundraising drive for several issued related to the regulations of various firearms. The effort netted almost a half a million dollars. The stated goal is to push for federal bans on bump stocks, suppressors, and armor-piercing bullets as well as to fund anti-gun public service announcements.
But in the wake of the recent protests and activism we see week to week in the NFL, these gun-limiting attempts make little sense. After all, the initial motivation for players “taking a knee” while the National Anthem played was the occurrence of abuse by law enforcement against racial minorities. What logic then would be behind any attempt to disarm the public who is allegedly being victimized by these agents of the state? After all, since all laws are backed up by the use of force by the government, that same government would have to be entrusted to restrict gun rights by using its own guns. This is not exactly a consistent philosophy.
Anyone who has followed the NFL and the protests which have accompanied it knows that there has been a shift away from the initial grievance of police abuse and toward President Donald Trump. This was largely a result of Trump expressing a desire for NFL owners to discipline players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem. Some said that this was another example of the president’s hostility toward minorities. But if that is true, gun control makes even less sense if we do indeed live in a country with a racially intolerant leader. Wouldn’t the races of people that the administration is supposedly at odds with need firearms to protect themselves against an enemy as powerful as the President of the United States?
In the midst of assessing why gun control would be bad news for disadvantaged minorities, let’s also consider how it would negatively impact women. Limiting gun access especially hurts females given that a firearm is often the only way they could fend off a male attacker. Also, considering the high number of NFL players who are accused of domestic violence, supporting a policy which potentially disarms the victims of these attacks is not exactly a look that the league should want to go for. In fact, considering the size and strength it takes to play professional football, women abused by these men would be in even more need of a gun if one of these relationships were to turn violent.
So considering the motivations behind the National Anthem protests combined with the league’s issues with women, pushing for gun control makes even less sense than it normally does. Those who truly believe that American minorities live in constant threat from either a racist police force or a fascist president should be advocating for more gun freedom, not less. If the league truly cared about the well-being of women, they wouldn’t want to put more restrictions on those women who need to defend themselves against a male aggressor (especially one who is physically able to play in the NFL). Perhaps one day those who are pushing for these measures will become aware of these types of contradictions.