Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The "Inherent Pathology" of a Gun Culture

or "Why We Don't Trust Gun Controllers"

I've got a copy of Prof. Saul Cornell's book Whose Right to Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect? (used, via ABE) in the mail, but the next book I'm going to get is Abigail Kohn's Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Cultures. I've been considering getting a copy for a while, but Reason Magazine has a review of the book up in the current edition, and that's sealed the deal for me.

I found this excerpt of that review particularly telling, though:
From "public health" articles proposing gun control as a cure for the "epidemic" of gun violence to highly regarded sociologists who argue that gun research should be informed by "moral principles" rather than hard facts, she confesses her surprise at the ill-informed and often tendentious research conducted by academics. Kohn’s own research for Shooters, some of which appeared in this magazine ("Their Aim Is True," May 2001), elicited predictable responses. One colleague said she was performing a "social service by researching 'such disgusting people.'" Another said that unless Kohn acknowledged the "inherent pathology" of gun enthusiasm, she was disrespecting victims of gun violence.
A quote from the earlier Reason piece by Ms. Kohn:
There was a time when I would not have wanted to touch a gun of any kind, much less spend part of an afternoon riding the back of a rocking mechanical pony and blazing away at a series of targets with revolvers, rifles, and shotguns. But that improbable picture is the culmination of a journey that took me from the ivory towers of academia to the shooting ranges of Northern California. Bluntly, I was surprised by what I found there. As a practicing anthropologist, I had set out in search of gun crazies, but what I found were regular folks -- enthusiasts who relate to their guns in generally socially positive ways. These people are usually ignored by most media accounts of America’s "gun culture." What follows is the story of how I came to make that discovery, and some brief sketches of the sorts of people who make up America’s much-maligned and misunderstood gun culture. Or, perhaps more accurately, America’s gun cultures.
Nice to know what some of them really think of us while they claim they only want to implement some "common-sense" regulations. And another example of people fearing what they don't understand - and why, if we're going to save our "gun culture" we need to be taking non-shooters out shooting.

(I thought it was Freud who stated that fear of weapons was a sign of mental aberration?)

UPDATE: I'm reminded by Denise of The Ten Ring of an op-ed first pointed to by SayUncle. The University of Conneticut's Daily Campus printed a piece entitled Gun-nuts have no real excuse in their Feb. 1 edition. Money quote:
At first glance, the term "gun nut" would appear to be nothing more than an ad hominem against the more enthusiastic weapon owners of this country. However, as one reads the literature espoused by gun nut organizations, the reasoning behind this term becomes startlingly clear. Gun nuts are called as such because they are incontrovertibly insane.
The "gun enthusiasts are insane" meme is hardly a figment of Reason's imagination, and apparently the author, one Robert Schiering, hangs around a lot of people like OSU Associate Professor Saul Cornell.

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