What Critics Don’t Understand About Gun Culture
Sometimes another voice is needed when trying to explain why gun rights and the 2nd Amendment are so important to most Americans.
David French, a senior writer at National Review and a veteran of the Iraq War offered that voice in an article he wrote for The Atlantic titled, “What Critics Don’t Understand About Gun Culture.”
French’s personal story is common for many average law-abiding, responsible, and determined handgun owners.
Many gun owners are driven not only by a commitment to their Constitutional rights but by deeply felt personal experience.
According to Miles’s Law: “Where you stand is based on where you sit.” Where you stand politically is generally shaped by personal experience.
For French, like many in the pro-gun culture, his stand on gun ownership is based on intensely felt experience. His wife is a survivor of sexual abuse that culminated in an abusive college boyfriend almost choking her to death.
Over the last five years, French and his family have faced multiple threats that lead him them to recognize, “there are evil men in this world, and sometimes they wish you harm.”
The fact there are good and evil people in this world serves to remind us there are, as Frank Miniter of Fox News points out, two gun cultures in America. Miniter describes the dichotomy as:
“The freedom-loving, gun-rights culture that upholds the responsible use of guns for hunting, sport and self-defense [and] the criminal culture that thrives in the places where government restricts gun rights.”
When speaking of the “gun culture” as the media calls it, one must first explain the difference in the two cultures. Refusing to acknowledge that the two cultures exist isn’t just dishonest, it attributes to good people being killed by evil people.
The media’s refusal to acknowledge this duality asserts that 100 million law-abiding gun owners are to blame for mass murders like the one in Parkland, Florida and Sandy Hook, Connecticut. That lie alienates those law-abiding citizens and draws attention away from solutions to the real problem.
American gun owners know they aren’t the problem and are much needed allies in the fight to combat the other gun culture – the evil one.
While the mainstream media and progressives paint gun owners as a monolithic group who are the cause for the violence in America, the truth is quite different.
In 2015, over 25% of America’s gun homicides happened across census blocks made up of less than 2% of the country’s total population. Over half of gun homicides in America occurred in the only 127 towns and cities and towns that made up less than 25% of the nation’s population.
This disparity is best seen in three major metropolitan areas:
- In Oakland, California, just 1,200 people (0.3% of the city’s population) were involved in about 60% of the city’s murders.
- In New Orleans, 700 people (less than 1% of the city’s population) were involved in more than 50% of fatal incidents.
- In Chicago, 70% of non-fatal shootings and almost half of gun homicides during a six-year period involved just 6% of Chicago’s total population.
French explains how he and his family became a part of the “good” gun culture as many others in the same position might:
“It starts with the consciousness of a threat. Perhaps not the kind of threat my family has experienced. Some people experience more. Some less. And some people don’t experience a threat at all—but they’re aware of those who do. With the consciousness of a threat comes the awareness of a vulnerability. The police can only protect the people you love in the most limited of circumstances (with those limits growing ever-more-severe the farther you live from a city center.) You want to stand in that gap.”
While progressives and an opportunistic media rail against “assault rifles”, they accomplish the exact opposite of what they say they hope to accomplish – they “present only the most minor of hurdles” of the evil gun culture, while those of the “good” gun culture “experience the law’s full effect.
As French says: “It’s a form of collective punishment for the innocent, a mere annoyance—at best—for the lawless.”
The result of the confusion of these very different gun cultures is that the mentally ill and criminals make society more violent while law-abiding gun owners, who might save and protect lives, are vilified and presented with unconstitutional roadblocks to bear arms.