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AvatarComments by pillsy in reply to Andrew Donaldson*

On “Gun Violence: A Cultural Study

Are you suggesting that if roughly 400 people, out of a population of just under 3 million, do something over the course of a year, that's a sign that those 3 million people think that thing is culturally acceptable?

Because that seems like a very strange argument to be making.

On “Reflections on Gun Control

@Oscar Gordon:

Of course this has it’s own issues (all the crazy people could form their own club and be crazy together), but I’m just laying out ideas here, not hammering out concrete policy.

I think that's fair, and the broader idea of making gun owners be better able to advertise their businesses and clubs instead of being relegated to the seamy side of things in the manner of strip clubs sounds like a positive devopment. It's certainly got to be healthier along every axis than having the public face of gun culture be some open-carry activist walking around strapped in Kroger's so they can protect themselves from the Whole Wheat Bandit.

Of course, over the course of the past few months I've come to the conclusion that the "cultural bundling" that Ken White's editorial talked about is actually the fundamental problem with the debate. As long as privately-owned guns are being viewed as just a part of the Team Red uniform, folks on Team Blue are (with some justification) likely to reject the idea that they should have to incur any costs to keep them widely available. and folks on Team Red are (again, with some justification) likely to reject any restrictions on them as being about counting coup in the Culture Wars, rather than realizing public policy benefits.


Apologies for replying a bit late.

As someone who's shallowly but broadly opposed to many gun control measures beyond improvements in background checks, but really detests the way most pro-gun activist groups conduct their business, I expected to be annoyed by this article. I was, indeed, annoyed by it, but not the way I expected.

Frankly, of the two recommendations in this post, the idea of tying handgun ownership[1] to membership in private clubs just seems like a spectacularly bad idea. If we're talking about an actual right here, one guaranteed by the Constitution, you've just made individuals exercising that right dependent on an unaccountable private organization which sounds to me like a recipe for keeping guns away from socially marginalized people.[2] This is fine if you think that guns are a cute hobby, or for that matter something that no one should have ever, but if owning them is a right, it sounds like the exact opposite of what you want to do. I understand and maybe agree with the policy goal here, but the means sounds like a disaster in the making.

[1] Which is, in the minds of the Courts and most GRAs I've encountered, fundamental to self-defense and thus the actual right to own firearms.

[2] I'm forced to think of the periodic stories I see about gun shop owners declaring they won't sell guns to Muslims, or for that matter liberals, for reasons that I'm sure the owners in question somehow believe make them sound like something other than complete cretins.

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