THE BLOG
01/17/2013 10:59 am ET | Updated Mar 19, 2013

Fighting the Phantom Fringe to End Gun Violence

President Obama made good on his promise to address the pressing issue of gun violence reduction in our nation with a press conference that ended with his signature on 23 executive orders -- and a call for Congress to step up and join him in providing the leadership the country is calling for. And the ink wasn't even dry on those executive orders before the conservative fringe was jumping and down about "the leftist gun grab."

Never mind that the president specifically said he supports the 2nd Amendment and the right of Americans to "keep and bear arms." Never mind that in a recent poll 74 percent of NRA members said they support common sense measures like background checks for gun purchases. (I need to show ID to buy Sudafed but not a gun? Seriously?) And never mind that nobody -- let me say that again -- NOBODY is talking about "grabbing guns" from anybody. But never letting the facts interfere with the story they want to tell, the headline still reads: "Obama Unveils Left's Long-Held Plan to Grab Guns."

I know. I know. It's Rush Limbaugh. Why give him any more "ink?" Why not just "consider the source?" Why pay any attention to him whatsoever? Because other people do. Because if we don't who will? And because I actually believe Jesus got it exactly right in John 8:32 when he said: "The truth will set you free."

And the truth that will set us free from the scourge of gun violence in our streets and our schools is that a majority of Americans support both the 2nd Amendment AND common sense measures on universal background checks and restrictions on assault weapons.

The truth is that weapons designed for the 'theater of war do not belong in our movie theaters' -- or our classrooms, places of worship or streets.

The truth is the "Leftist Gun Grab" is a figment of the imagination of a reactionary fringe looking for a way to mobilize their increasingly polarized base by giving them something to be more afraid of than they are that their kids will get shot in their classrooms. And what they've come up with is that the White House is after their deer rifle.

Here's some truth for you -- call it "confessions of a bona fide leftist." I've lobbied for a woman's right to choose, marched for marriage equality, protested against torture at Guantanamo and the war in Iraq, and demonstrated for immigration reform and hotel workers rights. I support Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act and the ACLU. And I not only do not want to grab your deer rifle -- I don't know anybody who does. And trust me -- I know a LOT of liberal, leftist people.

The truth will set us free -- but only if we tell it. Over and over. Again and again. In emails, voicemail and snail-mail. On Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and wherever and whenever anybody will listen to us. And even when they won't.

We'll just keep talking. We'll just keep telling the truth.

Because the truth is that enough is enough. The truth is that with rights come responsibilities -- and the responsibility to keep our children safe from assault weapons trumps the right of fear mongers to manufacture a phantom fringe of leftist gun grabbers in order to scare responsible gun owners into rejecting common sense proposals to implement gun violence reduction.

And the truth is that our children are counting on us to tell the truth that will set them free to grow up in a world free of gun violence. And if that isn't truth enough to get us moving then the truth is we deserve what we get.