Article on Gun Culture 2.0

From Human events:

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.

23 thoughts on “Article on Gun Culture 2.0”

  1. I think you may be experiencing something regional. There is a fight in California only because the under 50 crowd is tired of being oppressed. The actual impact of gun control is a whole lot more limited in PA and thus it’s not as immediate a concern versus kids, job, etc.


    1. Very well could be a regional thing. One of my big fears is that when the old guys who participate die off, they aren’t going to get replaced. Pennsylvania isn’t all that far from being California politically. Once the state gets into the habit of voting blue, no matter what, they’ll be able to do anything to us.

      1. While the “real” stories behind past events can always be debated, remember, as incidents on their face, that it was the Pennsylvania Republicans who successfully passed an “assault weapons” ban in our House of Representatives back in 1993, and who were the driving force (a Tom Ridge initiative) to pass our Act 17 of 1995 — arguably the last comprehensive gun control package passed in the state.

        When the House returned to session in January 1994, they had to make some beaucoup-embarrassing procedural maneuvers — essentially voting that they’d had no idea what they were doing, when they’d passed the AWB back in November 1993 — in response to the truly grassroots uprising that had hit them over the holidays. I’m sure more than one group claimed credit for that, but the fact is it was a spontaneous, word-of-mouth uprising, somewhat astonishing in those pre-internet days. But the Gun Control Act of 1995 was endorsed by the NRA, and managed to stay in place, except for curative amendments — with even some of those resisted bitterly by Republican AG Mike Fisher.

        But the point of that ancient history is, don’t get too hung up on that Red State/Blue State stuff. Some of the worst has happened while (and where) our state was brightest red. To the extent that Republicans have controlled our mostly-rural state, the forward progress of gun rights has bordered on non-existent, and that “progress” open to interpretation. As one of the “old timers,” chronologically speaking, I believe our problems always have arisen from an RKBA “leadership” that were toadies for a handful of sweet-talking Republicans in the General Assembly.

          1. Indeed, the report of the consequence that “Emergency mental health detention (aka “Section 302”) by police without a warrant equates to lifelong loss of right to own/posses firearms turned your state into never visit “denied territory” (as I like to call anti-gun jurisdictions, although few get the “never visit” restriction) and since then I haven’t.

            That’s my big beef with the NRA, when after Virgina Tech it worked with Carolyn McCarthy (!!!) on what became the “NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007”, which in its original form would have made it much easier to adjudicate life long bans based on “mental health”, including enshrining into law what up to now has “merely” been a very obnoxious BATF regulation.

            Like politicians, when it comes to the political I judge the NRA by actions, not words, and prior to the Federal AW ban every major Federal anti-gun law passed with their “approval”, e.g. the NFA after dropping handguns. I recently read, I forget where, that the NRA’s treasurer went off on the .357 magnum during all that, saying we weren’t to be trusted with it. That was just the action of one man in a fairly large organization for the time, not as far as I know supported by the rest of the NRA, but it provides another useful object lesson.

      2. Not red/blue. Think hunter/shooter. It’s not quite as simple as urban/rural because of the suburbs.

        The way we see it here, the more hunters you have the more likely you will not find the GC2.0 people. We get the GC2.0 people (the same ones Gene are seeing) from the inner burbs and the cities. They are not the traditional shooting “sportsmen”.

        Same demographics: under 50, politically active and generally middle-class to affluent. Tired of being told what to do.

        They are growing in Maryland. Quite a bit, actually.

        1. One thing to factor in that goes along with hunters getting older is that they’re also likely to be thinking more about self-defense, and therefore moving in “shooter” directions. I can’t think of any state with a magazine limit and shall issue, but you can imagine these people not liking bans on the most popular normal capacity self-defense handguns.

          I think; small single stack .380s and on up are pretty popular but not as much as larger guns, right???

          Missouri legal concealed carry is relatively new (2004) and when I took the mandatory class at the end of 2008 I think the demographic was overwhelmingly older, roughly older middle age, plenty of gray hair.

          As for Maryland, perhaps the least unreasonable anti-gun state, I can imagine, and we can hope the Federal courts will do something good with that concealed carry court case some day.

          1. Small .380s are popular across the board because they are easy to carry and light on recoil. But many die-hard gunnies will argue they are not to be trusted.

            They represent GC2.0 in a lot of ways. They are not being bought by (in large part) the old school shooters who have been living the legend of JMB for the last many years. These are pure carry guns that are meant to fit into an existing lifestyle.

            Sebastian’s concerns about getting the new set more active are well founded. The older hunters are getting less active, and we need the replacements. As it turns out, the younger set is not only stepping up, but doing so faster than the older set is dropping out. In other words, “We’re growing.”

            If the current demographics continue, nationwide we’ll continue to do well as long as someone reaches out and unifies these folks. NRA is still a little bit on the sportsman side, though has stepped up these last few years. I think the state groups are able to move faster. In other words, the national movement will look more like Florida Carry, Maryland Shall Issue and CalGuns than the old gun-club-centric model of yore.

            The other side?

            They’ll still be sitting around and bleating the same old cries. The only ones with vision there seem to be working for Bloomberg, and I am not sure how far he’s going to kick that dead horse once he gets working outside Gracey Mansion.

            1. Forget “die hard gunnies” (granted, I am “living the legend of JMB” personally :-). If you follow Martin Fackler (and probably most anyone else), I’m pretty sure .380 has insufficient penetration, defined by Fackler as being able to shoot through someone’s shoulder and get into the vitals. Unless you can’t handle anything more for whatever reason, 9 mm is considered to be the minimum in available semi-auto cartridges (wouldn’t be surprised if you could do something useful in-between the energies of those two rounds, with .38 Special/.357 magnum 5 round revolvers an interesting option if thinness isn’t an issue).

              Which is not to say .380 is useless; don’t know how well it expands (in calibrated gelatin, if the tester hasn’t fired that BB round into the block and adjusted for penetration the results are not terribly useful), but I gather it frequently gets the job done.

              Especially since I gather there are two frequent “one shot instant stops”, the traditional CNS hit and the “I’ve been shot and I think I’ll stop fighting” hit, see Travin Martin for the most recent example….

              I probably would have gotten a SIG P238 for backup if they hadn’t come out with their P938 … and learned that SIG USA’s quality is dropping…. Not sure what I’ll do at this point, my one non-negotiable is an external hammer to avoid an AD when holstering.

              Anyway, while I’m sure single stack .380s and 9 mms with less than 10 round magazines are popular—more or less than .45 ACP single stack 1911s?—what I’m wondering is the ratio of these to ones with a normal magazine capacity > 10 rounds, i.e. the magazine size gun grabbers tend to ban. And therefore the “they’re banning my gun” political effect.

  2. Gun Culture 2.0 revolves around concealed carry and self protection, which requires foresight and awareness of your own mortality, something not always present in twentysomethings…

    Wait until today’s yutes find out that with a few hundred bucks and clean background check, they can buy reasonable replicas of all the cool guns they’ve been playing with in Call of Medal Of Valor for the past 10 years.

    Then gun culture will REALLY take off.

  3. I just did my first Appleseed a few weeks ago here in SoCal. The trainers were all under 30, and the Range Boss was an enthusiastic young lady of about 25. This, in Santa Barbara, which is essentially Leningrad with palm trees. Anecdotal and deserving of a healthy grain of salt, but it’s just a small step from Appleseed to political activism, so I’m rather optimistic about the future.

  4. I don’t do a lot politically because I don’t have the time. If I teach a class once a quarter and teach an Appleseed once a quarter and RSO at my local range once a month… well, that just about soaks up all the time I can give.

  5. From the viewpoint of someone looking back at the gun control fight from a 49 years in November perspective – in 1963 the national opinion was divided 40/40 pro and anti with another 20 percent undecided.

    The real turning point was Florida. The initial success of Florida’s CCW law allowed many like myself to argue that Florida proved relaxed gun laws would cut crime. As the numbers continue to demonstrate.

    The anti’s lost traction when the first exception to their “guns cause crime and more guns cause more crimes” slogan was essentially disproven.

    And now we have the ability to research almost any subject with little time or effort. Our 44 year old challenge to prove even one gun control law has ever reduced crime or violence is not convincing gun control activists; but it provides a powerful argument in our favor.

    We are winning – and the anti’s are getting more and more desperate. As their efforts to demonize guns and gun owners becomes less and less effective.


    1. I have a theory that the battle over gun control was always a battle between different American minority groups, with the vast public rather indifferent to either side. And this probably remains true today.

      On the one hand you had the group trying to move the status quo towards total gun prohibition by means of legislation, represented by organizations like HCI, VPC, CSGV, etc. I think the membership of this group never numbered more than 1% of the public, and their motivation was truly a quasi-religious moral crusade against the gun-culture, rather than any real desire to control crime. Controlling crime was just the primary propaganda method used to sell their crusade to the larger public.

      Even though this group was small, their influence and success was greater than their tiny membership would indicate because they numbered among the most powerful and influential members of our society: powerful politicians, news media, Hollywood, academics, etc. At times these people also found unlikely allies amongst the gun-industry and gun-dealers, who were all too happy to see foreign and domestic competition squelched by some of the legislation passed by the gun-control crusade.

      The primary opposition to the gun-control crusade came from another minority segment of the U.S. public, the 10% of the public whom it is estimated own over 75% of all the guns. These more-than-casual or accidental owners of guns, because they were the primary target of the anti-gun crusaders were also the natural opposition. Sadly it took many decades before the lies and bigotry of the anti-gun crusade were finally effectively opposed and pushed back. But in the long run lies will only move the public so far before the truth pushes back.

      The real power of the pro-gun people was the vote. Because even though the anti-gunners had the larger megaphone, we had 10 times as many votes to give to any particular politician running for election or reelection. And even though pro-gunners were a minority, that was enough to swing close elections to our side. Once the politicians finally learned that lesson the power of the anti-gunners began to break. Winning the constitutional, moral, and crime-control arguments are just the icing on the cake, though still very nice to have.

      1. I’ll also note that it’s not always the 10%. Massachusetts is famous for voting down a handgun confiscation initiative in 1976, during the nation’s worst period for gun control, by “69 to 31 percent”. Although if you read the article you’ll note that it was so poorly drafted it got the police 99% on the other side since it would have disarmed them off duty, it’s not as good an example as I’d like. Then again, victory for the gun-grabbers was widely predicted, this was after all the state that infamously was the only one to vote for McGovern in 1972.

        As far as I know the biggest locality to vote for a gun ban is San Francisco; that’s recent, unsurprising, and symbolic due to state preemption.

    2. I think you’re right, and that we don’t even have a vague grasp on the political consequences of the nationwide sweep of shall issue regimes.

      And that’s why I wonder if Andy B’s is over-concerned for your state. Yes, establishment Republicans are generally worse than useless, but for the state to take major anti-gun action it would strike me as difficult to ignore concealed carry, and to not would require taking it away from how many 100s of thousands of people? That wouldn’t go down well.

      1. Per my 1993 AWB anecdote, you are right. The grassroots reaction to a Republican gun ban was amazing, and drove them back promptly. The story may be apocryphal, but a state legislator is reported to have said, “When a constituent leaves a message on my office phone that he intends to kill me and my family — and then leaves his name, address, and phone number — I tend to take his issue more seriously than before.”

        But, more is contained in my second anecdote. For the passage of that legislation, they did much more careful preparation. I don’t want to get into any NRA-bashing pissing contests, but the NRA dubbed the bill the “Sportsmen’s Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill,” and many divide-and-conquer ruses were applied to get a few key RKBA personalities in the state to support it. To gain support for gun-grabber and AWB supporter Tom Ridge’s election, relatively unsophisticated leaders of “sportsmen’s” organizations (Hey, who said “Fudds”?) were given seats on an imaginary “Governor’s Sportsmens Advisory Council,” and those people duly delivered their expected support for the legislation. I talked to my own Republican state rep in early June of 1995, and he slapped me on the back and said not to worry, that no gun legislation was likely to pass that year. Only a week later he voted for the legislation.

        The point being, that even a population that was ready to kill its state reps, a year earlier, could become befuddled by political intrigues and not offer a spirited resistance to anti-gun legislation that was being supported by those they took for granted to be Good Guys. Subsequently, the NRA State Liaison was almost literally driven from the state, but by then it was too late and the gun owning population too divided to achieve much more than slow and very painfully achieved reforms.

        In principle, there will never be a time when exactly the same kind of intrigues can’t be applied to achieve something similar. So, that is the basis for my warning not to ever drop our guard just because our state may look comfortably “red.”

        For my critics who say I am too cynical, the above was an example illustrating my recent statement that “the purpose of ideology is only as a tool for achieving political power.” When heavy-duty Republican power politics and a governorship was at stake, and when enjoying NRA cover, the vast majority of Republican legislators who had been mollifying us with pro-gun platitudes turned, overnight. Pro-gun ideology had ceased to be serviceable for their political advancement, for the time.

        1. Agreed on the intrigues; I’m right now moving my reminder system from something ancient and one of them is: “1/8/2008 was the signing of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007; if the NRA hasn’t betrayed us since then reconsider joining.” Set for 1/8/2018 of course.

          I am, though, impressed that the Winning Team has managed to not screw up directly for 5 years. Of course, blatantly playing the pork game with Harry Reid in 2010 probably did more damage than any two or three “compromise” gun control laws passed in the Congress with their blessing.

          And that shows our vigilance must be eternal. Conceive of how fantastically out of touch they were to do that, and how out of touch they must be in other areas.

        2. Today we have some effective state groups that monitor and decode the intrigue. State legislatures have a much harder time hiding things, even in places like Maryland (the gun controllers have lost their last three “hidden” changes because of state gun-rights activists).

          The internet is/was the game changer. We can (and have) mobilized tens of thousands to pound the state house in mere hours. And when it comes to state issues, the NRA is ignored unless the state people find them helpful.

          They don’t need to see activists on state-house lawns. They just need to hear them, and feel their angst at a broken system. A little sunshine goes a long way.

  6. Human Events article very good

    I have to agree with the preposition that the power of the internet has completely reformed the battle over guns and the gun culture.

    The power to find like minded people of our tribe, “The People of the Gun”, is truly great. That really helps us penetrate into areas of our nation where the anti-gunners were having the greatest success in stamping out the gun-culture. Now those isolated people can easily find allies and friends, and join the larger gun-culture. Or even just get exposed to the non anti-gun side in the first place.

    And how helpful was the internet in destroying propaganda like the award winning book, “Arming America?” Or in fighting sneaky legislation which anti-gunners try to slip through while the News Media sleeps? Or in spreading other information useful to the pro-gun cause?

    I don’t think the escape from the stranglehold on information that the anti-gun News Media once held can be over-appreciated.

  7. I’m actually thinking that we might be coming out of the Dark Ages. I’m seeing the Anti-Gun Movement more along the lines of the old Southern “Segregationists” and “Jim Crow.”

    Think of it this way. One can go down to the South and find lots of Senior Citizens in the African- American Community who can tell you first hand about the “Colored Only” Water Fountains and Poll Taxes, etc. Yet if one told an African-American College Student in Atlanta today to “Get to the back of the Bus,” It’d be on the news so fast that one would think the TV would melt.

    Now, take that same College Student, and tell him that not that long ago, he couldn’t Carry Concealed, he had to use 10 round Magazines, his AR Rifle would be nearly unrecognizable with Thumb Hole Stocks, etc. So that student would most likely not be Politically Active regarding the RKBA, because he is reaping the Fruits of those who suffered before him, and laid the foundation for his ability to enjoy the RKBA, like those “Freedom Riders” in the 60’s. For the 2.0 Generation, I’m sure they see no need to get active, except in those States and Regions where his RKBA is being suppressed, like California.

    But if the day arrives that the Anti-Gunners regain Power and try to restrict the RKBA, I think Gen 2.0 won’t be Fudds and Compromise. Let’s hope that day never arrives.

  8. Some comments re: waht Gene said, out here in CA the Youth Movement is taking GunCultuire2.0 forward.
    The on-the-ground conditions are changing as the CA economy collapses. The Establishment Liberals are aging (Pelosi is 72 and Feinstein is 79) and vastly out-of-touch. Following the Long March of the Left through the Institutions, what they leave behind is a obvious and visible wake of garbage, failure, and disruption most like the Occupy (bowl) movement.
    After years and years of constant and invasive and pervasive Lefty political activism, when absolutely EVERYTHING is politicized from childhood onward, from Holidays (Earth-Day anyone?) and labeled with/by Identity-Politics; from toothpaste-brand to hair-color to clothing – when they have normalize politics so much, it’s no surprise to expect that we MUST engage in a political fight.
    After ten years of war and learning, a lot of young men from California have fought overseas and seen and been exposed to Guns and their own Rights, as well the now obviously decrepit and narrow-minded political machinery run by the Liberals. People are fed-up with Establishment policies that are blatantly anti-Rights and anti-Individual, and that which they have engendered politically has dripped into the GunCulture 2.0 and it’s the young people who want it.

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