Thursday, December 6, 2012

America's Two Gun Cultures

Yesterday, I beat up (figuratively) Daniel Doherty at for falling for a poll designed to elicit a ridiculous response so that the Left could laugh at how stupid Conservatives are. I didn't have time to note Katie Pavlich's excellent article Clarifying America's Gun Culture at the same site. Pavlich's article illuminates the real gun culture in America, and indirectly alludes to why each side seems to talk past each other without eliciting any understanding.

Ms. Pavlich's thesis is that there are two gun cultures in America.  One, the one you and I are familiar with, is the responsible gun culture.  People in this culture use guns for hunting, target shooting, and protection of themselves and their families.  They learn, practice, and teach safe gun handling.  This gun culture goes back to our founding, and runs deep in the American soul.  People in this culture tend to have great respect for their guns, and often pass them on to their children.  Ms. Pavlich:
The first gun culture is deeply seated in American history and her founding. Founding Fathers like George Washington understood that an armed citizenry would prevent government tyranny, which is why we have the Second Amendment. This is a concept rapper Ice-T understands but sadly doesn’t promote in his songs.
Each year, more than 75,000 National Rifle Association members meet for the NRA Annual Meetings. The majority of those people carry concealed and every year, everyone who attends that meeting goes home bullet wound-free.

Historically in America we’ve had a deep respect for firearms. The vast majority of people have used them to celebrate American history, for collection, personal protection, hunting and sport. We see American gun culture celebrated each year when dads take their kids elk hunting for the first time. We see it when women head to the range to safely practice shooting their new pink pistols. We see it when a mother shoots an intruder while she is home alone in order to protect her children. We see it practiced when thousands of people sign up for concealed carry permit and hunters’ safety classes each year. Not to mention, the multi-billion-dollar firearms industry employs millions of people and provides the government with billions in tax revenue every year.

Then there is the other gun culture, the culture of criminal gangs.  Guns in this culture are tools of the trade, so to speak, because gangsters can't very well go to the police when someone steals their merchandise.  Unfortunately, it has also become the culture of people who don't necessarily belong to it, but glorify it.  More unfortunate, the people doing the glorification are often the same people our children look up to because of their talents or their athletic ability. Ms. Pavich again:
The other gun culture in America can be found in the inner city of Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and others. Ironically, violent gun culture is found within gangs in cities with the strictest gun laws. It is the same culture promoted in Hollywood films made by liberals, glorified by rappers whose music is worshiped in violent gang plagued neighborhoods and disrespectfully joked about at NBA parties.
Go check out Katie Pavlich's article. It is well worth the time, and as I said, gets at the truth about guns, namely that it is not the guns, but the people using them, and how they use them, that determines whether we see them as a net good or something to be banned.

Meanwhile, Herschel Smith over at the Captain's Journal has some harsh words for Bob Costas, but then thinks perhaps he should rethink things after a post by one Caryn Riswold writing at Feminismxianity (I hope I spelled that word correctly.) Mr. Smith:
So they say that confession is the first step to healing. I am a man, and therefore, according to Ms. Riswold, I condone wanton violence and have no language with which to deal with all sorts of emotions – I know not what they are – and need to get more in touch with my feminine side, or something like that.

But now that there is this new-found freedom and honesty, I have so many unanswered questions. For instance, if guns lead to so much violence, then why doesn’t the data back up this hypothesis? Why do I and all of my gun-carrying friends work so hard to avoid confrontation if we can just win the argument by the pull of a trigger?
Indeed. I have commented frequently on the fact that once I started carrying a gun, I became much more circumspect in my dealings with people. Even if they didn't have a gun, I knew I did, and therefore did not want an argument to escalate. Frankly, I am not sure what drives Ms. Riswold to conclude the things she does, but she obviously has not been exposed to the responsible gun culture. But she should understand that it is the far larger of the two. Without it, I doubt we would have the freedom to be conducting this debate today.

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