Joe summarizes a debate that’s happened within the community that I’ve been following but haven’t joined in. Joanna I think makes some good points too. Partly because I don’t fall cleanly on one side or another. It can’t be denied that a very significant motivation for gun control is a form of cultural condescension, and a any bit of discussion on the Internets quickly reveals that many people have a prejudiced view of the kind of people gun owners are, and associate gun ownership with certain cultural stereotypes. It might not be racism, or anti-semitism, but it’s a similar form of intolerance nonetheless, and that should be pointed out. But in doing that, I do think we need to be careful about what we compare ourselves to. Not everyone who believes in gun control has a bigoted view of gun ownership, and not every discussion of gun owners is necessarily driven by cultural prejudice.
But Joe is fundamentally correct that the cultural condescension can’t go unchecked, or it’ll grow, and it is often useful to point out how it’s not that different from other forms of intolerance. But more often that not, I think the prescription for that is for people to learn that reality doesn’t match the stereotypes they have in their head, which means they have to learn they have gun owners and shooters in their social circles. One of the reasons I think cities like New York and Chicago have become such wonderful breeding grounds for these attitudes is it’s highly unlikely political and cultural elites will have gun owners within their circles of friends. This is a product of the legal environment in these places, which hopefully we can change soon.