More on Gun Control as a Cultural Issue

Thanks to Joe Huffman for this one, from a friend of his who is a convert from the other side:

Back in the days when I was very anti-gun, I tended to think of “gun nuts” as drooling, knuckle-dragging morons. Cavemen. Uneducated. Beer-drinking slobs who could barely read and who probably beat up their wives a lot. Maybe they were even all closet Nazis, eh? Etc., etc., etc. It was an image that came instantly to mind. I would talk about “gun nuts” that same way with friends of like mind. It all made such perfect sense to us.

But if ever I came across a “gun nut” in person I would be silent — especially if it was someone dressed in, say, hunting cammos. Or I might see “gun nuts” on TV and make a snide comment about them, but seeing them made me feel a bit afraid (something I didn’t reveal to other people). It wasn’t rational, but it wasn’t surprising considering how I’d been raised. It wasn’t until a long time later that I realized what I’d been doing: trying to make the “gun nuts” almost into sub-humans in my mind, and paint them as ridiculous and stupid so that they shrank in stature and were less scary to me. (But as I said, this doesn’t work. No amount of sneering made me feel less afraid.)

I have no doubt that some small percentage of “gun people” (those few who are outright fascistically-minded) “deserve” every bit of fear I had for them — then and now. But for crying out loud . . . what a stupid, prejudicial way to think about an entire group of people, with no distinctions made. It took some years to realize what a big lie there was in imagining myself enlightened and non-bigoted — all the while that I’d been thinking like a garden-variety bigot. That was one of the fun things about the ’60s and ’70s: You could fantasize that you were on a higher plane of consciousness than “those” people — and be every bit as bigoted and vicious as you thought they were. You didn’t have to hold yourself accountable, nor wonder if you weren’t being two-faced about it. By definition, as a more “enlightened” person, you didn’t have any of those problems. Only other people had such problems. It was all so convenient . . .

Yet we’re told this has nothing to do with “bigotry” or “culture.” Nothing at all you see. Both Joe and I have insisted that it does. Then you have stories like this in the comments:

In many ways the bigotry in Chicago is malevolent. Many gun owners I have met keep silent in fear. Not simply fear of arrest, but fear of being stigmatized, ostracized, fired from their jobs.

And their fears are not unfounded. Attempts have been made to get people fired for airing their views. CAGE (Chicago gun enforcement team) has used Chicago’s registration scheme to confiscate otherwise legal firearms in the past.

Not the first time I’ve heard people getting in trouble at work for being gun owners. Not carrying a gun to work, or some other behavioral issue, merely talking about their interests to coworkers. The Brady’s almost seem to be saying “nothing personal, you know.” but most of our experiences bear this out, as well as a number of commenters who insist that yes, they are as bad as the KKK. Even if I don’t agree with that, the anger is real, deep seeded, and completely justified. Americans shouldn’t have to hide in shame because they choose to exercise their constitutional rights. Because many feel they need to, thanks in part to our wonderful gun control groups, there’s plenty of anger out there, and it shouldn’t be surprising that we’re willing to channel that into beating back this cultural condescension.

6 thoughts on “More on Gun Control as a Cultural Issue”

  1. “CAGE (Chicago gun enforcement team) has used Chicago’s registration scheme to confiscate otherwise legal firearms in the past.”

    Link, please! A friend needs the info.

  2. Where I work, mentioning you are a gun enthusiast will bring in a crowd of people asking what types/calibers, and if you’d like to hit the range with them sometime.

    There are perks to living in the Gunshine state, and to working in the defense industry.

  3. I refuse to put 2nd Amendment stickers on my truck for fear of it getting vandalized when I’m in the more “Progressive” parts of Massachusetts.

    I also stayed in the closet a good while when I first started my job just to make sure I wouldn’t face trouble for being a gunnie an a gun-unfriendly state.

  4. I am constantly surprised how many people I work with are owners. Which is why I keep telling peopel not to write off NJ.

    (New Jersey’s One-Gun-A-Month law was, in essence, a political stunt by our “betters”. It was supposed to keep Corzine in office…)

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