Unlike the reserved approach to politics that the traditional firearms lobby has taken, the new generation is outspoken, unashamed and willing to fight for what they believe. They are educated on the origins of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right to be free. They do not advocate for the Second Amendment as a right to hunt, rather they perceive it as a guaranteed ability to resist an oppressive government.
I generally agree that there’s a Gun Culture 1.0 and a Gun Culture 2.0, but there’s a lot of minor revisions in the middle. In terms of people who are “outspoken, unashamed and willing to fight for what they believe,” I’ve found that to be more true of retirees than young people. Young people are far less likely to get involved, in my experience, than older folks. They are less likely to join pro-gun organizations, and less likely to participate in other civic aspects of gun ownership, like joining clubs, or moving in political circles to try to advocate their point of view on the Second Amendment.
I think for many in Gun Culture 2.0, guns are a lifestyle product that money can buy. If there’s troves young people who are really interested in the civic aspects of gun ownership, I haven’t seen it. Any time I’ve ever been to rallies, or had people volunteer, they’ve usually not been people we would classify as Gun Culture 2.0. In fact, I think how to get Gun Culture 2.0 folks involved in the civic aspects of gun ownership is going to be one of our biggest challenges going forward. GC 2.0 was built on top of the foundation laid by folks who were 1.0 shooters, and it’s not very hard to start going backwards if people don’t get involved.