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The Suburban Gun Culture

Rahm is looking for help from suburban lawmakers for gun control. People often make the mistake of thinking the core of the gun rights movement is rural. It is not. It’s largely a suburban phenomena, if you have ever taken a serious look at studies that have looked into who the gun culture is really comprised of. In my experience, people in rural areas are less aware of what a contentious issue guns are. A lot of people from my generation who became active in this issue came out of the tech industry.

TFB notes that  “Guns are the new golf,” linking to a story about a reviving of the shooting culture in Silicon Valley, and noting some famous gun wielding techies, like Eric Raymond. It’s worth nothing that ESR is from around here, rather than Silicon Valley, and the Philadelphia suburbs still has a fairly healthy gun culture, whereas California has taken extensive measures to destroy its own legal gun culture. This makes reviving a gun culture difficult, but the seed is there if we can fix California.

Among Gen Xers, tech people tended to be pretty libertarian in their thinking and political orientation. The Millennials who are coming up to replace us are culturally just as tolerant as we were, but identify more with the left on economic issues and on the role of government. I’ve often wondered how much of the current push was to try to pull Millenials, who think quite highly of President Obama, into being the next generation of gun control advocates by using Obama’s cool factor to help make gun control seem cool. As Glenn Reynolds notes, gun control is a movement of old white people, and old white people die off.

10 Responses to “The Suburban Gun Culture”

  1. Bram says:

    From my experience, it is the second layer of suburbs, commuter-towns, and the “x-urbs” where the most shooters live. The inner suburbs close to the big cities are tainted by their politics.

  2. Bubblehead Les says:

    Yeah, I think if we use enough Honey, we should be able to get a lot of the 18-30 year old Crowd on our side. Just keep telling Young Women the Truth about 911 and Rape, just ask the Iraq/Afghanistan Vets to explain that “Call of Duty” is just a Game, but that Guns like the M4s they used overseas won’t leap off the Shelf and Slaughter Nuns and Orphans, it could be done.

    After all, ALL the Anti-Gunners have to sell is FEAR.

  3. Kansas Gunner says:

    Stop, just stop, the grouping of people into monotoithic groups by generation is annoying, inaccurate and played out by this point. As one of the so called ‘millenials’ I am increasingly frustrated by the inability of so many people be unable to deal with people as the individuals they are rpbut instead treat them as if the timing if their birth is somehow relevant to the views they hold, it is not. Where they grew up and wvhat sort of political beliefs their parents had and managed to pass onto them are far mire important than the accident that was the timing of their birth. Far to many people seem to think that because a small radical group of millenials managed to garner media attention for their left wing views that they are something we all share, we don’t.

    • ern says:

      Statistics and social research say otherwise. Grouping people loosely by generation has its uses. There are often generational shifts in policy preferences, and while those positions aren’t held uniformly, no one is claiming they are. What we’re talking about are trends that are very visibly clear in survey data. It’s not made up. And understanding this doesn’t mean we can’t recognize that reality and still treat people as individuals.

      There is definitely a generational shift on economics. Time of birth does in fact matter, because they are entering the workforce at around the same time in similar economic conditions. Us gen-xers entered the workforce during the 90s tech boom. Those circumstances exert strong pressure in regards to political beliefs.

    • Sebastian says:

      This kind of generalization is illustrative. It’s not religion. There are always going to be people, a lot of people, who buck their Demographic. There is a huge number of Millenials who voted for Romney. There are a huge number of blacks who did too. Romney also did better with Jews than many past Republicans.

      But often it helps to break people down into demographics. There’s no getting away from that. People in marketing do it, and people in politics do it as well, because politics is basically just marketing.

  4. Justin says:

    Trying to make gun control seem cool would be like trying to make motorcycle control seem cool.

    It just can’t be done, because the objects you’re trying to regulate are inherently cool, and the people who seek to regulate them are invariably finger-waving dweebs who could give the Women’s Temperance Union a run for their money in an International Dork-Off.

  5. HappyWarrior6 says:

    “Culturally tolerant” == bad things to me. So, no, “we’re” not that.

  6. Skeptic says:

    In my experience, young techies are fearless. So the fear culture / gun lobby doesn’t really appeal to them.

    They also tend to be engineers, and thus rational and not prone to irrational fears.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      So gun buying is simply for the “afraid?” I think not. As “engineers” (your words) you will also find many techies who enjoy pushing the limits and seeing what happens. I myself as a techie enjoy recreational shooting and learning more about the mechanics behind the sport. Oh I know, it may come as a shock to you, but self defense wasn’t even my primary interest when I bought my first pistol.

      Recently, my friend I took to the gun store for the first time in his life, though not a techie, was also interested in perfecting a skill. He doesn’t enjoy golf I guess.

  7. Dean Weingarten says:

    Rational, fact based people like engineers tend to be pro freedom and pro rights. It is fear, particularily fear of the unknown, that pushes people into anti-gun attitudes.

    The whole idea of pro-freedom people being driven by fear is projection on the part of the statists.

    There is also a difference between rational fear and irrational fear. It is irrational to claim that governments can never go bad, that it “could never happen here”, given the hundreds of millions of people killed by governments over the past century.

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