More on Gun Culture 2.0

From Misfires and Light Strikes:

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.

15 thoughts on “More on Gun Culture 2.0”

  1. See, I read your intro and thought, “[My friend] is so not 1.0 just because she hunts and it’s the main sport within the shooting world that she has time for these days!” Her attitude is decidedly not what I classify as 1.0. Of course, this points out how poorly breaking it up into such a simple system works. It falsely assigns people into categories by favored sport rather than attitudes.

  2. 1. Thanks for the link!
    2. I think it’s not GC1.0 vs. GC2.0, it’s both. I want both cultures to flourish and intermingle so everyone can benefit.
    3. I think there are a HUGE opportunities for GC1.0 (RC2) to grow and thrive. For instance: All those AR’s we in GC2.0 (Gold Master) could easily be used to hunt for coyotes and feral hogs.

    One of my local hunting organizations gets it: They’re trying to get shooters of all persuasions to band together against lead ammo bans, as that affects all of us.

    Where things are lacking is getting people like me who didn’t grow up hunting back into the sport. Guided hunts don’t teach me how to hunt, they let me bag a trophy. I much prefer an approach that lets me learn the process of hunting so that I can restart the cycle and pass it on to my sons.

    Arizona Predator Callers is doing something like that with their Hunting Skills Camp, but AZ Game and Fish aren’t yet. More of that would be appreciated and should be encouraged if GC1.0 is going to grow.

    1. There are legislative efforts to make that possible. One of the biggest hurdles is hunter ed, and few people are willing to dedicate hours of their life away on a single use class for a sport they haven’t even been allowed to try. Several states have been able to pass bills creating apprentice hunting licenses. They are basically licenses that allow you to hunt so many times under the guidance of an experienced hunter before you take the class. Some states only allow it for children, others allow it for adults.

      Of course, there is the issue of pairing up the experienced hunter with the apprentice, too. That would be an awesome hunter group opportunity to grow their ranks.

  3. I think most of the lack of tolerance 2.0 types have for 1.0 types has nothing to do with the 1.0 types preferred activities and everything to do with 1.0 types disdain for and willingness to see banned the 2.0 types activities.

    Not all hunters are Fudds and not all Fudds are hunters. To me, anyway, Fudd very specifically means people who are fine with increasing infringements on Second Amendment rights as long as no one comes for their deer rifle or fowling piece.

  4. I think that Gun culture 1.0 attitude towards self defense is probably more a result of being slow to react to changes on self defense laws back in the day. If you had asked the founding father to write in to the second amendment a clause for self defense, they probably would of stared a little slack jawed. Then ask if you want an amendment for the drinking water and breathing air also.
    Gun culture 2.0 is a reaction to the fact that the right to self defense was being restricted towards being eliminated, and to revitalize that right by expressing it demonstrable form of a shooting sport.

    1. Sadly, with what the EPA has done to farmers in California, an amendment protecting water and air might just be in order.

  5. I’d argue that we need one kind of intolerance. The culture is right to despise members who will throw some other part of the culture under the bus to protect their chosen sport. As Jeff says above, what makes a Fudd a Fudd is not that he is a hunter, but that he doesn’t see any 2nd amendment for non-hunters.

  6. I grew up in a 1.0 environment that didn’t despise carrying for self-defense but that viewed it as something we didn’t have to do on our side of the tracks. I was trained first at target shooting and then at the kind of practical shooting disciplines useful for a hunter or an infantryman. But given my father’s background in law enforcement, he made sure I mastered defensive handgun shooting.

    Society has changed. The other side of the tracks often spills over to our side of town now. I’ve trained my son in the same disciplines that my father trained me, but with more emphasis on handguns shooting, especially in self-sefense scenarios. He’s a 2.0 guy who enjoys 1.0 activities.

  7. The most I have seen out here as a difference between GC 1.0 and 2.0 is that the older group generally does not talk about gun issues.

    When I was growing up we were taught to shoot (dad was a cop) and taught the four rules until I could recite them backwards. Dad has a safe full of rifles, pistols and shotguns, but when it comes to actively battling for gun rights, he is fairly passive.

    The 2.0 culture is proud and loud. Where before guns were just part of what we are, now we are having to bring it back after years of the left demonizing gun ownership

  8. Overnight I came up with some random reflections on the evolution of a “gun culture.” As for assigning numbers to it — I dunno.

    My grandfather came from Europe in 1900. Among his stories were several about being constantly in conflict with “the wolf.” One involved getting so excited at seeing “the wolf,” (vilkis) he shot his ramrod away at it. But, as an immigrant in Philadelphia, he was reputed to have used a cheapy handgun to shoot and wound a drunk who was vandalizing his back yard; that in the days when the cops came and arrested the vandal and not the homeowner/shooter.

    My father and his brother grew up in South Philly and spent a lot of time hunting and shooting “Down the Neck” (a swampy area about where the sports stadiums are now.) Bullets fired by kids flew everywhere, and one of their “funny” stories was about my uncle getting shot in the thigh by a .22, at the age of seven, and how the other kids had to chase him down the road and tackle him to take him to the clinic. Such woundings apparently were not regarded as any big deal in that culture, which may be why I was allowed to roam the rural fields of Bucks County with a .22 when I was seven.

    My mother would reminisce that when she was young in South Philly, “all the young men carried guns when they got dressed up.” My father still had a couple, a .25 ACP and a .380 (I think) when I was little, that he swapped off for a liberated M-1 Carbine, because he didn’t have any use for the handguns in the country. My parents bought the place where I grew up in Bucks County, in part because of my father’s Philadelphia-acquired love for hunting.

    I grew up as a country boy, as much as you could be in Bucks County in the 1950s. My sole focus on guns initially was for hunting, but in my teens I got very interested in them just for the engineering aspects of them; wringing the best accuracy possible out of an inexpensive or surplus gun. But I “open carried” a S&W .45 ACP revolver for awhile, c. 1964, until the novelty wore off. No one looked twice, except I remember a family of Puerto Rican migrant workers avoiding me one time and saying “bandido” to their kids.

    I of course was exposed to guns in the Army — but much less than in civilian life back home. I have heard of people becoming gun fanciers as a result of military service, but from my own experience I find that hard to imagine.

    The reason for the above random recital of history is to reflect that while I came to guns largely through the 1.0 path, a lot of it was pretty far removed from the Norman Rockwell version of that, culturally speaking. Among my parents’ generation I knew of people who had deliberately shot other people, for cause, though not in self-defense.

    Searching for a summary or conclusion, I guess it is that not all of Gun Culture 1.0 was defined by the covers of Outdoor Life.

    1. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the 1.0 vs. 2.0 distinction that’s commonly made in the blogosphere, because things are really too complicated to draw bright lines. I do think the culture has changed, and for purposes of examining that, it can be useful to try to draw lines. But I don’t take them too seriously.

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