The Gun Culture 1.0 broke down for a number of reasons, including the urbanization of the U.S. and single-parent families becoming the norm, and Gun Culture 2.0 reflects that fact, as well as the fact that in today’s media environment, the deer now have guns.
The deer in this case being us, and the hunters being the media. Bitter grew up in Gun Culture 1.0 in Oklahoma, where they didn’t teach the girls the ways of the gun culture. She was brought into GC 2.0 in Massachusetts by a friend from Colorado, who was also raised in GC 1.0, except she was taught to hunt, and is still primarily a hunter. I’m not entirely certain GC 1.0 vs. GC 2.0 really has to do with how you shoot, or what you shoot (be they pepper poppers or Bambi), so much as your attitudes, and how you understand it and relate to the gun culture. I’ve met people who primarily hunt that I would say are thoroughly GC 2.0, and people who primarily shoot who are thoroughly GC 1.0. I think we need to be very careful about taking attitudes like, “Oh, hunting.. that’s so Gun Culture 1.0″ and “Bullseye shooting? That’s so 1970s man. Get with the times!” The biggest drivers of the change involve attitudes, not what you shoot, or what sports you participate in. Much of this cultural shift has come from the concealed carry revolution, which has necessarily come with a whole host of new attitudes, beliefs, and new shooting sports.
For instance, there are often different ideas about gun safety between GC 1.0 and 2.0. GC 1.0 folks are more inclined to believe drawing from holster or moving with a firearm is an activity that is inherently dangerous. This is particularly funny in Pennsylvania, where we’ve had concealed carry for a while, and you hear this attitude from GC 1.0 people who have LTCs and carry! Let me express my GC 2.0 attitude and exclaim, “Dear god, if you ever need your pistol, how the hell do you plan to employ it without blowing a hole in your ass?” Also, again expressing 2.0 sentiments, and having attended both 1.0 and 2.0 matches, I’ve been corrected for minor safety issues at 2.0 matches that no 1.0 match would ever bat an eye over. The 2.0 culture accommodates the fact that they do engage in riskier activities by having absolutely zero tolerance for unsafe gun handling.
There is also a difference in how the two cultures approach their right to keep and bear arms. In GC 1.0 people either gave it little or no thought, or more heavily emphasized resistance to tyrannical government as the primary purpose for keeping and bearing arms. I think they were right. It’s pretty clear from the early debates on the Second Amendment that keeping the people empowered to resist tyranny was its primary purpose. Gun Culture 2.0 tends to focus more on the self-defense aspects of the Second Amendment, or tends to view resistance to tyranny as a subset of the overriding self-defense purpose. While the resistance to tyranny aspect may have been more what was on the founder’s minds, the self-defense aspects resonates more broadly with a modern and more urbanized audience, and particularly resonates much more strongly with women.
But if there’s one trait I would hope for in Gun Culture 2.0 people, it’s tolerance. We define ourselves, I think, by tolerance to people who haven’t traditionally participated in the gun culture, namely women and minorities, but I would also hope for a different kind of tolerance, and that is for people who participate in GC 1.0, and who reciprocate that tolerance to us. Whether you’re 1.0 or 2.0, you’re doing the entire issue a grave disservice if you’re taking a divisive and intolerant attitude towards the people in the other camp. I’ve met plenty of GC 1.0 who think IDPA is recklessly dangerous, and plenty of GC 2.0 people who think hunting is for “Fudds”, and sports like Bullseye shooting is for grouchy old men clinging to the past. I think both 1.0 and 2.0, along with their favored sports and favored guns, can both survive and move forward together into the a new gun culture, let’s call it 3.0, who’s overriding value is tolerance for all things shooty, and that is intolerant only of intolerance.
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