Gun Control is a Proxy for Class Struggle

Americans have never historically liked to admit we have class struggles. I guess it sounds a bit too Marxist, even though now we love ourselves some socialism now. Well, at least we love it to the extent the kids these days even know what socialism is. I don’t really hear too many young people singing the praises of Marx. Socialism has come to mean Scandinavian-style welfare states (which are not very socialist anymore). Do young people who dig “socialism” even know who Marx is? I’ve never had a young person tell me they are socialist and want to discuss Marxist theory. Anyway, I digress.

We don’t historically like Marxist-sounding class struggles, so we use proxy issues. Gun control is one of those fights. For the most part, the monied elite of Silicon Valley and New York City don’t like the idea of ordinary people being armed, and don’t much like the kind of people who insist on it. When I started blogging, we were enjoying a lot of cultural success. What were the elements at work then? In no particular order:

  • We developed shooting sports that didn’t require large amounts of open space.
  • We had found new ways to self-organize on the Internet.
  • We were introducing a lot of people to shooting and promoting an evangelistic gun culture.
  • Gun control forces were disorganized and out of money.
  • The Supreme Court blessed our long-held viewpoint of the 2nd Amendment being an individual right. This worked! Even the reinvigorated gun control movement isn’t talking handgun bans. They want to ban semi-auto rifles now.

The question that I’ve been mulling around in my head is whether our current predicament is a backlash to our earlier success. Back then we were making a lot of noises about bringing our culture to New York City and preaching to the heathen there. We were optimistic. Then the Supreme Court toppled Chicago’s handgun ban, and further guidance from the 7th Circuit forced the establishment of a shall-issue regime. I think there’s a good argument for the idea that our success put people like Bloomberg, and a lot of his very rich friends, into an utter panic about the idea that they might end up living near those kinds of people. The idea that the courts might start letting the wrong kind of people exercise some semblance of personal dignity and autonomy, why, they might start getting the idea that their opinions ought to matter. We might have to endure *gasp* gun talk in our social circles. Wouldn’t that just be the worst?

I understand that Mike Bloomberg is an aviation enthusiast, and I’ve never understood how enthusiasts in anything don’t instinctively get other enthusiasts, because it’s all the same. But aviation is a good way to signal status, I suppose. Not guns. I know plumbers who have collections that put mine to shame. Can’t use that. In this day in age, there isn’t much to signal status for the wealthy. You basically have what? Houses, cars, yachts, and aircraft? I guess if you’re really wealthy, you can signal with your own space program, but I’d say that’s a subset of aircraft. I don’t think jewelry and furs do it much anymore. The rich have stopped signaling with dress in the 21st century, and signaling being very important, they have to make some distinction, right?

The difficult part for us is a small handful of wealthy people deciding to fund a backlash can accomplish quite a lot. Because there’s a lot of people who want to be upwardly, socially mobile, and will imitate the attitudes and behaviors of the Right Kind of People. The rise of the twin evils of the Google search monopoly and social media has had a powerful effect at amplifying elite opinion. Google has been a search monopoly for a while, but I think only recently they’ve started to understand they can use that monopoly to shape public opinion and started using it to that effect. I would argue the elite have never had such an effective toolbox for manipulating public opinion. William Randolph Hearst could have never dreamed about having the kind of power the Silicon Valley elite now wield.

Glenn Reynolds says about gun control, and I think he’s completely right about this: “It’s meant to humiliate the flyover rubies and show them who’s boss.” We don’t like class struggle in American politics so we couch it in other issues. A lot of people I know have gotten more strident about gun control because they are getting a lot of reinforcing signals on Social Media and the Internet that the Right Kind of People support gun control, and the Wrong Kind of People, a Bad Kind of People who want dead children, oppose it. Also, the Orange Man, who is Very Bad, sides with these warped gun people.

So what do we do? One thing is for sure, we can’t just shut up. We have to keep doing what we were doing that built on our initial success. But I have to admit, I don’t really engage in open political discussion on Facebook, and I deleted my Twitter presence a while ago. I have taken a course of disengagement with Social Media, except for a handful of communities that are carefully cultivated. It’s not that I shy from debate, or want to live in a bubble. I miss intelligent disagreement. I’m happy to advocate for things I believe in. But I can’t tolerate the mindless conformity, self-importance, and virtue signaling social media promotes. I’m always willing to discuss an issue. But I’m not willing to subject myself to being called a monster for disagreeing, or to waste my time watching other people preen for their peers. Social Media is full of that. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by disengaging? What is a winning strategy in today’s world? Is there one? These are things I wrestle with.

46 thoughts on “Gun Control is a Proxy for Class Struggle”

  1. Excellent post!

    Bloomberg is constantly surrounded by armed bodyguards (former NYC police).

    Bill Gates’ security reputedly has machine guns.

    These aholes think guns are for people like them, not peasants like you.

    1. It’s laughable that these fools think all those guns can protect them. It’s been proven time and time again that that strategy doesn’t work very well against a determined foe. Unless of course they want to hole up in their castles, which eventually become prisons.

      1. Why are we fighting so hard for our gun rights if guns can’t protect us from a determined foe?

        1. We’re talking about individual elites (such as Bill Gates) taking on large numbers of people.

          Elites want to take away the gun rights of the little people so that the little people can’t be as effective, even if they are determined….

          (Of course, the elites are also delusional to believe that just because they’ve banned guns, and have taken a lot of them away in various raids, that this means the little people are no longer armed….)

          1. Ever since the first peasant with a “hand cannon” knocked a knight off his horse, the elites have hated the idea that the common people could dispose of them if they became too much of a nuisance.

            And that goes for any other disruption that moves power down to the common people, from printing on down.

  2. Americans don’t talk about class except by proxy; because we don’t want to think we have an inheritable aristocracy (and our inheritable aristocracy is pretty weak beer, in fact.) Instead we use other “markers” of class: how we live, where we live, what we look like, what we wear and consume. Elsewhere these are secondary to who is doing that. Here it’s primary. You can be “aristocratic” by doing Aristocratic Things. You don’t have to forge a genealogy to become a Senator, you can just don the Senator’s Toga and talk and act like a Senator, and as long as you don’t screw up your act, hey presto, you’re a Senator.

    The Senators have decided the Populace does not need firearms (for their own reasons), and thus they are trying to get rid of them via SPQA.

    The Populace is having none of this…

    1. Which can get /interesting/.

      Take Gov Inslee of Washington. He just announced that he’ll be going into the Dem Primary for president.

      But right now over a dozen county Sheriffs (a bulk of his state by landmass and county count) are refusing to enforce the gun control laws enacted last year.

      And he’s been pushing for /more/ gun control this year. (Interestingly the AWB did not make it out of committee but a mag ban and a mess of other stuff /did/)

      Given gun control is “meant to humiliate the flyover rubies and show them who’s boss” what does it mean when an executive with the highest of ambitions enters a national stage for a hard intra-party fight…

      Against people who, to a wo/man, do not have executive experience…

      When a good chunk of his enforcement arm is… disinclined to show those rubes who is boss.

      The other Dems in the primary could ask “How can we trust him as a president to enforce something like a Green New Deal, if he can’t even get proles in his own state to do background checks.”

      Sure all those gun owners are still breaking the law, but more importantly from the elite standpoint, the actions of these LEOs (who they see as low class) are causing them (of high class) to lose face.

      And /that/ cannot be accepted.

    2. “You don’t have to forge a genealogy to become a Senator, you can just don the Senator’s Toga and talk and act like a Senator, and as long as you don’t screw up your act, hey presto, you’re a Senator.”

      Another factor of this is education. Get a degree /any/ degree or even better a graduate degree, and presto you’re of the “Learned” class. And better than those icky proles.

      Who cares about job prospects or debt, or if you didn’t go to the /right/ school the elite will /still/ look down their noses at you.

      In fact a lack of “proper” employment a bounty of debt, could increase the amount of “class consciousness” and drive to “do something”.

      And I say this as someone with a Master’s in Engineering, so I can fully grok how much someone can wrap their identity in such things.

      1. There’s a lot to this.

        I work in Silicon Valley, in the shadow of Stanford University. The IT industry here has a bizarre affinity for Stanford graduates, to the point where hiring committees often start to resemble claques of teenaged girls crushing on a pop icon when they consider candidates with a Stanford degree.

        However, my experience in the industry over the last quarter-century has been that, while a lot of smart people go to Stanford, a Stanford education isn’t really qualitatively better than one you’d get from J. Random State University. Aside from access to alumni networks, the primary value of a Stanford sheepskin appears to be as a status indicator: because you went to Stanford you’re one of the “right” people, a conferee of elite status, someone who’s entitled to have his views and preferences taken seriously and catered to — as opposed to those plebeians who went to a “lesser” school like San Jose State or (Heaven forfend) didn’t go to college at all. Those people are fit only to be condescended to.

        The really interesting thing is that those people are frequently a lot more enjoyable to be around. They tend to be a lot more comfortable in their own skins and so they’re not condescending a-holes to people who they disagree with.

        1. This is a double-edged sword, though. I currently work with someone who won’t interview anyone from an elite university unless they had a STEM degree….

          That caused me to raise an eyebrow, because I had applied to Harvard at one point. They didn’t accept me, and had they done so, it would have been for Mathematics, so the “snobbery” wouldn’t have applied to me….but even so, I can’t say that I entirely blame him for the anti-elite snobbery.

        2. There’s a lot of confusion of cause and effect going on today.

          In your car “smart people go to Stanford” has been interpreted as “Stanford people are smarter.”

          In our case “criminals have guns” is being interpreted as “people with guns are criminals.”

          In both cases, it’s based on Small Sample Size. The people they know from Stanford are smarter, and the people the know with gives are criminals. But they don’t have representative samples of the entire population.

  3. Another dimension for the proxy class struggle is that the “Wall Street Financiers” are one of /the/ main boogieman to Progressives and the new Socialism-without-Marx.

    (Granted they’re always portrayed as Puritanical manipulative Republicans)

    Silicon Valley elite are not quite as tarnished, but even among the left they are generally seen as exploitative, responsible for horrible working conditions, “gentrification”, and a myriad of other sins.

    (Just because they’ll rage against the Silicon Valley elite does not mean that they won’t eagerly emulate them and covet their power)

    So much of the “wokeness” both groups do can be seen as a way of payment to stay in the good graces of “the new Moral Majority”.

    Look at the raking Amazon got when they pulled out of NYC and scaled back Seattle operations.

    Expect Bezos to do something to make up for it and try and score some brownie points.

  4. Our upper class is somewhat heterodox. Prestige University association is probably an essential glue which holds them together.

    Aside from New Money Billionaires, many of the upper class seems composed of: trust-fund pinkos (who were well indoctrinated in college by anti-capitalist professors who came of age during the Cold War); or pink-diaper babies indoctrinated by their parents.

    I think the poison surging in our education establishment is under appreciated. Several notable violent Left-Wingers of the 2017 Berkeley violence, were employed by local schools. Including one middle school teacher and one junior college teacher.

  5. As long as we play defense we are eventually lose. We have to take the fight to them. Use any issue as long as it matters to them. Ally ourselves with any one available no matter how loathsome.
    Use any technique available. Above all hurt them and keep them busy away from gun control. To give a few concrete examples. Support AOC on whacking Amazon. Support and emulate the EU on restricting Googlebook. Defunding Johns Hopkins will keep Bloomberg busy. The list is endless but we have to take the offense and not be bound by any notions of fair play. It is an existential struggle.

  6. You’re missing the big reason the upper class wants to confiscate firearms. Without exception, they want to either (a) outright exterminate the white working class, or (b) bring about its demise through forced abortions. This is because due to their “roofie, abort, repeat” lifestyle–I’m looking at you, Bill Maher–they are not repopulating themselves. Thus they want to make sure that we don’t repopulate either.

    If they ever succeed in confiscation, our extermination will follow in short order.


  7. Overturning Citizens United would be a good first step to lessening the political influence of our wealthy overlords, but it’s hard to imagine that happening unless the supreme court becomes more left-leaning.

    1. I have to disagree about overturning Citizen’s United. If you look at the details of the case, you’ll find a non-profit specifically organized to collect money to create and distribute a documentary critical of a major political candidate. Considering that they weren’t beholden to any particular candidate, claiming that they had disproportionate influence on Capitol Hill due to their efforts is rather dubious.

      McCain-Feingold made it illegal for Citizen’s United to distribute their documentary during a campaign season.

      Elites would welcome the overturning of Citizen’s United!

      (Incidentally, the candidate in question was one Hillary Clinton, and the campaign season in question was her first attempt to run for President.)

      I’m not convinced that there’s a good way to get money out of politics. I would go so far as to say that there’s even a fine line between donating to someone because you appreciate their policy positions (or you merely just want to be left alone) and donating to someone so that they’d adopt policy positions you’d appreciate — and even in the latter case, I fail to see it being a problem, so long as the money donated represents a major viewpoint held by the population at large.

      I would even add that the cozy relationships that major companies have with regulators is a far greater problem than money donated to politicians so they could campaign. (And this is such a large problem in no small part because the legislature has ceded so much of their responsibility to unelected bureaucrats, and the Courts have inappropriately upheld such ceding as Constitutional.)

    2. Overturn “Citizens United”? NO WAY!

      The NRA was one of the folks who got Citizens United!

      One of the stated goals of the ban on political advertising was to shut the NRA up and stop them from running negative campaign ads against incumbents.

      There is no way in hell banning political speech by groups like the NRA is constitutional.

      Read here about the effect of Mcain free speech ban on the NRA:

    3. LOL! Citizens United is NOT our problem, nor anyones. Complete misdiagnosis.

      And if you think you’re getting ANYONE out of politics, be they rich, poor, famous or obscure, you’re living a fantasy. Power attracts all kinds.

    4. Without Citizen’s United, the press would have a near complete monopoly on political communication. The press — who are related to Democrat politicians by blood and marriage (often both), who rotate in and out of Democrat administrations or Congressional offices — would not give opposing views ANY time, or at least not fair and honest time.

      Citizen’s United said that you don’t lose your free speech rights when you get together with other people. It says we can organize and get our message out when no one else will help us. Because a “corporation” is just a bunch of people who agree to work together; it’s not some demonic entity summoned from the pits of Hades.

    5. Citizens United has nothing whatsoever to do with Michael Bloomberg playing Daddy Warbucks to the gun control movement. Please drive through.

  8. “So what do we do? One thing is for sure, we can’t just shut up”.

    Subscribe to your local/nearest city newspaper on-line edition, and post reader comments to rebut gun control arguments. Up vote other comments you agree with to show support/provide moral support.

    Newspapers run relatively neutral forums that are moderated and allow all well-articulated points of view.

    If you want to get ambitious — write Letters to the Editor.

    All gun control legislation and/or gun control referendums are PRECEDED by news/opinion propaganda campaigns. A dedicated group of freedom advocates can poke these campaigns full of holes and shame legislators and voters to reject them.

    (you can use either your real name or a pseudonym)

    1. Our local newspaper’s online edition does not allow comments of any sort, unless you count Facebook.

      They also do not allow unsigned or pseudonymous Letters to the Editor.

      1. Do they publish editorials of their own without an individual name on them? I get that the theory is those pieces “speak for the entire editorial board”, but the insistence on individual accountability when they won’t apply it to themselves is galling.

      2. “Our local newspaper’s online edition does not allow comments of any sort, unless you count Facebook”.

        Our two main city newspapers use the Disqus reader comment system. I can understand the reluctance to be a Facebook user, and to use Facebook for reader comments.

        “They also do not allow unsigned or pseudonymous Letters to the Editor”.

        No newspaper that I am aware of accepts Letters to the Editor from unverified anonymous sources.

        1. Unless it’s the NYT with “unnamed senior Trump administration officials.”

          Maybe we should make that “reputable newspapers…”

  9. The big problem with Citizens United is that it allows unlimited spending by 501(c)4 corporations in support of political candidates yet individuals are limited to $2,800 direct and $5,000 to PACs.

    If campaign contributions are speech that are protected by the 1st Amendment for 501(c)4 corporations, then the individual limits are unconstitutional.

    Corporations should not have more rights than individuals; that is Corporatism.

    1. So the solution is the removal of individual limits, not castrating our ability to organize.

      1. The oligarch are always going to have money than us. Our strength is having actual grass roots.

  10. “Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by disengaging? What is a winning strategy in today’s world? Is there one?”

    Yes, we absolutely are shooting ourselves in the foot by disengaging. We need to reengage and absolutely do what we did initially and do it more, constantly, nonstop, reach everyone. Get back to being the most visible people out there, to where the anti gun people and politicians can’t marginalize us. Re-integrate ourselves into society, the classroom, the workplace and boardroom, the church congregation, the PTA, arts and music, etc. Refuse to be bullied and stigmatized. Instead, answer it word for word, step for step. Accept nothing they want.

    You’re exactly right that the anti gun people and their media complex and activist groups push the narrative that we’re the “flyover rubes” and Wrong Kind of People– we need to smash that with a sledgehammer. The reason that Facebook and Google started censoring us is because we were succeeding at showing people that we’re doctors, psychologists, engineers, lawyers, IT guys, bankers, investment brokers, etc. As you point out, we were starting to organize and have an evangelistic movement of Gun Culture 2.0. That built on one major thing: the guns and the sports aren’t boring anymore! EBR’s and fast running double stacked poly frame’s and 2011’s are social media friendly, not boring thin barreled wood stocked Fudd guns.

    People can go the the range for the first time and shoot stuff that’s fun and that they want to own. Modern guns fit PERFECTLY with modern life. Combine that with shall issue CCW being the norm and you have a vibrant, modern and relevant population that isn’t grey bearded and living on the outskirts. You have something you can invite your friends, coworkers, and neighbors into no matter where they live. We can actually get soccer moms and their kids into what we love.

    We were winning with that. That’s why Bloomberg et al. stepped up. If left unchecked would have burned their world down–not just putting them in the middle of gun owners, but completely destroying the modern left and its sociopolitical machine. That’s why CT, MD, and CO flipped to the bad column and NY &CA got worse. Somewhere in the process Zuckerberg got talked to and flipped–I honestly think he was on our side.

    WE are the right kind of people. You know who was really good at getting that point across? Johnny Noveske. He was on Facebook, Instagram, etc. being a badass, making EBR’s a lifestyle that you wanted to be a part of, being the real American man for the 21st century. He was a likable figure you could point to, the complete opposite of Pajama Boy. Him combined with Chris Kyle were/are the faces of the Real American Man which can utterly obliterate the push by the left to castrate our youth and young adult men. Ditto the ad/PR campaigns of Magpul and Silencerco, and what AAC had until being bought by Remington. You want to know how to win today? Keep doing what we were doing and do what they did. Be badass. Be awesome. Be the guy with a Shadow 2 or Tac Sport or Akai Custom 2011 in a hip holster with a Traeger grill cooking 4 slabs of ribs with a custom made axe sticking out of a stump nearby –on the back lawn of a $500K house in the Philly suburbs. Be the guy that writes a $80K check to your university alumni association or church CONDITIONED UPON that they spend the weekend shooting a 3 gun match in order to collect it–sending them a picture of the unsigned check laying on your AR. Hand your coworkers each a bacon topped venison burger or wild pork loin BBQ sandwich and show them pictures of you having dropped that deer or pig with a PTR91 or AR10. Weld your own fence on your side yard and do other stuff that the stereotypical urbanite doesn’t but should aspire to.
    Wear Silencerco, Geissele, and Lancer shirts and hats to the gym or biking and walking in the neighborhood–have your wife and kids wearing them too. Be the guy with the $6 beer and the $300-500 custom knife. WE ARE the right people, the anti gun, anti American crowd are not. BE THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

    Cultivate a friend, coworker, and neighbor base that exceeds the people trying to force us out. Be sure your education and intellect exceed theirs. Rub that in face of any snot nosed soy boy/girl who talks down about us ON THE SPOT. Refuse to be labeled as the out group, connected to murder and violence, racism, etc. You hate being called a monster, racist, ignoramus, hick, redneck, etc? Me too! Backing away from it has only gotten us more of it. Shut that **** down right then and there. Do not be out-grouped. Tolerate not a minute of it. The idiots who do that to impress their friends need to be shown it isn’t impressive and that we outnumber them. Of course be friendly and be polite and show us to be the better people. But accept it? Hell f***ing no. Not once, not ever.

  11. And make sure you donate to election integrity organizations like True the Vote. If we don’t get a handle on illegal voting, nothing else will matter.

  12. I would suggest that another cause of the cultural progress loss is the distance in time from the real pivot point of modern times: 9/11.
    This was pivotal because it drove home to many millions that being armed was important.
    So many of our fellow citizens give little thought to the concept of being armed- the vast middleground people in the gun rights debate. This attack on ordinary Americans did a lot to wake up the sense of needing to be armed and so we saw large numbers of the middlegrounders trend towards the side of desiring gun rights.
    As the shock of 9/11 fades from the collective memory, and a new generation grows up without having experienced it, the culture has trended away from the right and necessity to be armed.
    That makes it much easier for the elite media to push back against ordinary citizens’ urge to take security into their own hands.

    1. Very closely timed with that was the expiration of the Clinton AWB in 2004. Put those two together and you had people who not only wanted to be armed for the first time but also those who had something to be curious about and own something tied directly to the War on Terror. 9/11 stirred a pro military sentiment so the AR became the good guys’ gun instead of something obscure or evil. That idea carried for a very long time and was a strong vaccine against the anti gun sentiment. The anti gun people have now hitched their wagon to a flavor of anti American sentiment which seems to make inroads for them in blue states.

    2. Something else that got a lot of people’s attention including mine was the Virginia Tech massacre. Like 9/11 this happened where we normal people were, not where lowlifes and criminals were supposed to be. I was taking college classes and my wife was teaching them and taking grad school classes at the time. The Facebook group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus was formed and activism thereof started. I joined immediately. It had never occurred to me to get a carry license (didn’t really know they existed) and it absolutely had never crossed my mind that politicians and school administrators actually had strong objections to me defending myself against psychos. Worse still that said politicians and bureaucrats could actually get me killed by prohibiting me from being able to protect myself–and they were proud of it! Playing god with people’s lives, basically determining who lives and dies because of their hoity toity attitude–this enraged me beyond anything else, even further when getting to CA and finding out that someone who was rich and famous could carry but an average person couldn’t because some sheriff could pick and choose. Pretty much that on its own turned me from being a casual gun owner (pretty much defacto Fudd) to a gun rights advocate.

  13. Holy Crap! We may have just gained another State for Constitutional Carry.


  14. Don’t over think this. The purpose behind “gun control” is and has always been CONTROL. They seek to disarm us because they intend to RULE us….and wish to do so with
    impunity. It’s tough to be a tyrant when your intended slaves can kill you and your hired muscle. So they seek to disarm us. IT’S THAT SIMPLE. And since the commie left seeking to rule us will NEVER give up, NEVER quit and NEVER go away we are left with only ONE effective response to their efforts. We must KILL THEM ALL. Just as with Islam it is IMPOSSIBLE to coexist with the left. They will NEVER give up their desire to RULE OVER EVERYONE.

  15. “Talk is Cheap!!!” Ammo is expensive!!

    “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons!!”
    -Douglas McArthur-

    Audentes,Fortuna, Ivat,

  16. I was reminded that I wanted to reply to this:

    I understand that Mike Bloomberg is an aviation enthusiast, and I’ve never understood how enthusiasts in anything don’t instinctively get other enthusiasts, because it’s all the same.

    I think you’re misunderstanding the nature of Bloomberg’s enthusiasm. He’s first and foremost a control freak. His passion for aviation rates a distant second, and likely derives from his control-freak nature.

  17. If guns are a class marker Make it OK to enjoy gun sports as an elite. Get shooting sports in schools in Manhattan In High schools in NJ,MA, Md and Pa. Change the culture.

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