I think Nicholas Kristoff is being mostly sincere in his attempt to bridge the gap between most gun owners and gun control advocates today in the NY Times, but he still falls far short, for reasons that start in the very first paragraph:
FOR those of us who argue in favor of gun safety laws, there are a few inconvenient facts.
The first inconvenient fact is the use of the term "gun safety," which gun owners immediately recognize as a euphemism for "gun control." Sure enough, Kristoff openly espouses the change in language a few paragraphs later:
Let’s also banish the term “gun control”: the better expression is “gun safety.”
No, it's not a better expression, it's a perversion of clear language and more proof of the dishonesty and ill-intent of the gun control crowd. "Gun safety" means the proper handling, maintenance, and storage of firearms. Keeping guns out of the hands of those ineligible to own them is not about gun safety, in all cases it's about gun control. I think Kristoff and other gun control advocates think they are being clever in resorting to euphemism, but it just makes them look like assholes to gun owners who are diligent in practicing real gun safety.
I give Kristoff credit for acknowledging some myths about assault rifles and open/concealed carry, but then he falls right back into "stuck on stupid" mode with universal background checks:
One of the puzzles of American politics is that most voters want gun regulation, but Congress resists. One poll found that 74 percent even of N.R.A. members favor universal background checks to acquire a gun.
It's not a puzzle at all to people who are paying attention, because it all depends on how "universal" is defined. If it is defined in the true sense of the word, one can't sell to or let a close family member borrow a gun without a background check. For most of us that's ridiculous, of course, and so support drops. For many, a background check for non-immediate family seems ridiculous too, so the "not so universal" reality grows. Then there are longtime friends and colleagues that would be required to undergo background checks, and so support drops some more. The truth is there has never been nearly as much support for "universal" backgrounds as gun control advocates claim.
And a note on the dishonesty of that 74 percent number Kristoff cited above. Politifact Wisconsin calls it "True," but notes the number comes from a 2013 Johns Hopkins poll of 2703 adults, of whom 169 self-identified as NRA members. I'm not even going to bother with finding out how the questions were worded, as claiming to know the attitudes of more than 4 million people based on such a ridiculously small sample of non-vetted respondents is essentially a lie.
And one more example of how dishonest gun control advocates often are, and why gun owners don't take them on their for anything. Anything.
At least Kristoff has the courage to bring up youth programs and outreach that might attempt to address the real problem with gun violence, which is mainly among poor and urban teens and young adults. That is progress of a sort.
So nice try, Nick, but overall your hackery and ignorance has done you in once more. Please try again, but next time, if you truly want to try to bridge the gap, talk to someone on the Second Amendment rights side who can tell you where you go off base. And then listen to them.