[FoRK] Two Articles on Gun Violence and Gun Culture

mdw at martinwills.com mdw at martinwills.com
Tue Aug 7 05:30:25 PDT 2012

> A couple of recent articles I've read which I've found enlightening:
> http://www.xojane.com/sports/two-tickets-gun-show
> The writer is a woman, who grew up around guns. Her husband has a couple
> of handguns at home and they shoot on the range, and she's at a gun show
> looking for one of her own. She's critical of the culture around guns, not
> gun ownership, and the key quote for me was:
> "That right there is the essential failure of gun culture -- the
> performative belief that one cannot be a victim if one is armed. That
> right there is what gives me hives (also not literally). Guns are tools --
> and our tools cannot in and of themselves protect us. And the
> over-confident (dare I say macho?) posturing that seems so part and parcel
> of gun ownership for so many people reads like a recipe for disaster.
> Violent disaster."
> And FoRKers, I see that pattern here. Really, you gotta stop that. You
> like having a gun, fine, but don't go off on someone who doesn't have a
> gun that they are a doomed sheeple for not owning one, that your gun's
> going to protect you from big government, or that you're going to save
> everyone from the next guy who loses it and decides to kill a bunch of
> people. Read
> http://www.socialjusticeleague.net/2011/09/how-to-be-a-fan-of-problematic-things/
> for some approaches to talking about that without being an ass.
> The other piece is a rec from Ken Macleod:
> http://overland.org.au/blogs/new-words/2012/08/when-the-burning-moment-breaks-gun-control-and-rage-massacres/
> This discusses the history of gun violence, and the sharp increase in mass
> shootings starting in the 1980s. The writer considers gun laws a band-aid
> on top of what they consider to be the two actual problems, alienated
> (mainly white) guys adrift in the post-industrial world, and the
> militarization of the police (more people have been killed by police than
> in mass shootings in the US over the same period.)
> As an aside. I think that's also one reason around the frustration that
> these mass shootings aren't treated as terrorism. The guys killing people
> are acting alone, and while they may have had contact with reactionary
> movements (the officer at Fort Hood, the guy in Wisconsin, and the guy in
> Norway come to mind) but you can't find a solid chain of command from the
> head Nazi, or the radical cleric arming, training and pointing them at a
> target like in the case of the WTC Attack.
> The writer also points out that like so many other things, gun control has
> been one of those things that American society has pivoted on. Early
> attempts to control guns in the post-Reconstruction era were intended to
> keep guns from freed slaves, and even the NRA was supporting restrictions
> on guns as a reaction to the Black Panthers as late as the 1960's. Now the
> sides have pivoted and guns are seen as a way to protect white males from
> big government and black heliocopters (do drones count?)
> I don't think you're going to see a mass killer from Occupy or the Tea
> Party (though it's simplistic to see those groups as mirror images.)
> Because those are mass movements and causes where people can find
> like-minded people and not feel isolated. It's the isolated guy, without a
> job, no friends, and a great deal of resentment that's not being used
> constructively to worry about (so if you see someone in your Occupy or Tea
> Party group that rage quits because "shit ain't getting done," that's a
> warning sign, or he's an informant trying to get you to do something dumb,
> LOL.)

Who do I report Damien Morton to?  The police? The FBI? Whom?  Give me a
name and a phone number and I'll go to court to testify!


But as the joke goes, American Libertarianism supports the freedom
> of the individual to do anything, except collectively organize.
> -- whump

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