Gun Cultures

I have always understood that there are multiple “gun cultures” both here and abroad.

A. Hunting culture: Guns are just tools to an end. They’re pretty, and members like to argue about caliber/gauge, but it’s not about the guns, it’s about the sport. This includes Trap & Skeet shooters

B. Recreational culture: Going to the range or out in the desert and dump a few hundred rounds over the weekend. The guns are more important here because they’re signs of status (yes, HK fanbois…) but the point is to have a good time.

C. Self-defense culture: Guns are tools for the defense of self, family and property. Which gun(s) you own have aren’t as important as owning them.

D. Collector culture: The guns are everything. Make, model, style, condition is all. These are the guys who have every variation of every caliber of Smith & Wesson N-frame revolver, but shoot only one because the others are pristine.

E. Criminal culture: Guns give a feeling of power and are a status symbol.

Over time the proportions have shifted (and there’s always been overlap between the groups. Up until perhaps the mid-1980’s the hunting culture was ascendant, followed by the recreational culture (plinking tin cans with a .22 was the dominant sport.) Self-defense was limited to a tiny minority probably on par with the Collectors. The criminals? They’ve always been with us, but that portion probably peaked in the early to mid 1990’s when the national homicide rate peaked.B

But in 1987 Florida began the concealed-carry movement by becoming a “shall-issue state,” and in the ensuing 34 years that number has climbed to from eight “shall issue” and one “Constitutional Carry” state to 21 “shall issue” and 21 “Constitutional Carry” states. In 1986 there were 25 “may issue” (but probably won’t) states and 16 that offered no legal path to concealed carry at all. Today there are no states that do not at least appear to allow some form of legal concealed carry, and only eight remain “may issue” (but probably won’t.)

This is a significant change in not only the proportions of the Gun Culture, but the size. Because the expansion has been largely in two areas – Recreation, and Self-Defense. Record gun sales for the last decade have added hundreds of millions of new firearms to the culture, and tens of millions of new owners, with the greatest increases in “modern sporting arms” – largely the AR-15 in all its variants – and handguns.

What does this change look like?

Boom: 5.4M first-time gun buyers, 33% women, blacks up 44%

Opening paragraphs:

First-time gun buyers continued to flood into firearms stores last year, broadening the once male and white market with women, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics.

Retailers reported that concerns about safety helped to drive 5.4 million first-timers into gun stores where many bought more than one gun, and a sizable number also signed up for gun handling classes.

I don’t think these people would react well to “Mr. and Ms. America, turn them all in.”

New Debate?

A comment popped up for approval on an older post, Immanetize the Eschaton, and I thought it worthy of a post of its own, since the author was so impassioned about it. Perhaps it will start a new debate here on TSM. Without further ado, Chris R’s response to my post:

I only came across your blog bc I’m reading the ILLUMINATIS! Trilogy and wanted to know more about the phrase used to open the book: “It was the year they immanentized the Eschaton.” And i would have kept reading past the first half until I realized how fond you are of vage, sweeping generalizations. What particularly offended me was your assertion or implication that defunding the police is a wholly anti-racist move. I am bipolar and as a result have gone to jail because the right seems to think that anything illegal is a moral failure on the part of the “guilty”. If police departments would realize that less than a sixth of their calls are actually in response to violent crime, they could then be justified in spending less on armored transports and tanks and more money on training police to take potentially dangerous individuals or people just at their whits ends to hospitals instead of jails. if we decriminalized certain unpopular behaviors and re-invested in hospitals not jails, then we’d (I’d) have no criminal record bc i would have been treated faaaaaar earlier for my medical condition. And it’s also embarrassing that you think jist bc you won’t date a trans you’d be marked as anti-trans. This simply isn’t true. I’m hetero-normative and don’t particularly enjoy the idea of d* in my mouth. But I’m pro trans and I’ve never been accused of the opposite. You speak good words and can write sophisticatedly, so why is it so hard for you to think with equal sophistication. It’s Sunday, a day off from work bc of all the hard work put in by Anarchists, Commies and Wobblies, tyvm, and I have better sh* to do than write an essay i never intended to write, but if you’re interested in hearing more from me, bc -idk- maybe you’re interested in actually. discussing sophisticated, cosmopolitan ideas that are never black and white (gray, gray, gray -yes, I’m also a moral relativist *whooooooo*-) then I’ve left an actual email for us to begin discussion. Not that I expect to ever hear from you.

Three more thoughts: you say, “The 2016 election was stolen by Trump with the aid of Putin, but the 2020 election was unquestionably fair and even-handed, and there’s something wrong with you if you do not accept that.” Which, given the fact that only registered Republicans have been found to have committed voter fraud, Trump should never have been president. I wish it had been Bernie not Hillary: the Progressive Left are the democratic socialists like him and me who don’t stand the centrism of the current DNC. And you’re mostaken in thinking that Progessive Liberalism is the new religion: that falls to Humanism of the type touted by Vonnegut, a Christian. Many atheists need something to believe in, and that has fallen to believing in the innate goodness of our brothers and sisters, humanity. The DNC needs to die, the SDS was right in ’68, and the GOP has shown it has no problem using violence to get what it wants so they are obviously as morally relative as myself.

Again, it’s Sunday and I never planned a speech, must got disgusted by your Randian misinterpreting of 1984. 2+2=4 and the facts showed that Trump should have been impeached. They did not add up to 5 as what I presume to be your party would have the American Public believe.

Hope to hear from you soon, ;-).

The Goal of Modern Education

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that one of my hobby-horses is primary education in this country. Today I stumbled across an answer at Quora that illustrates my concerns.

The question asked was: “Do democracies inherently require well-educated leaders to properly function?”

The answer was:

No, democracies require well-educated people.

That is partly why democracies are not yet efficient power-sharing societies, even in the “developed” countries;

For equal access to high standard education you need a democratically and collectively owned and controlled economy that supplies the science and information without any influence of the conservative oligarchs whose private ownership corrupts our old, sad capitalist system.

The author lives in Hungary. Hungary. The mind boggles. But that’s what’s being pushed for here.