Gun Culture and Gun-Control Culture


Hardly had the blood been scrubbed off the floors in Newtown than everyone who was anyone had begun shifting the blame from Adam Lanza to some intangible social failure.

Back in 2002, Michael Moore trundled his bulk over to Colorado to exploit the Columbine massacre for a general rant about gun culture, American foreign policy and how hard it was to find a shop selling bacon grease by the ton at two in the morning.

In his film, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Moore gave his audience what they wanted, lots of scenes of “hicks and hillbillies” buying, selling and giving away guns all over the place to illustrate the murderous ravages of American gun culture. Some of those scenes were staged, but it didn’t matter since Moore was catering to an audience that had nothing but contempt for working class Americans and would believe any awful thing about them.

What did gun culture have to do with a plot by two disgruntled dorks with tastes in pop culture far afield from the rural gun-loving dystopia that Moore was doing his best to depict? About as much as gun culture has to do with headcases like Adam Lanza or Jared Loughner.

Your average school shooter is unhappy and angry, irreligious, incapable of fitting into a community and filled with rage that he exercises through violent fantasies. His culture isn’t gun culture. It’s loner culture. Video games do not cause him to kill, but they are how he entertains himself until he can get a taste of the real thing.

Adam Lanza, Dylan Kleibold, Eric Harris, Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, One L. Goh and Jared Loughner had as much in common with what the Michael Moore Fan Club thinks of as “gun culture” as Michael Moore does with the working class. Whatever gun culture they had was not the American Scots-Irish culture of the hunter, the rancher and the militia member, but the urban posse of emasculated men of no worth that brandish weapons as a way to get respect.

The gun culture of the school shooter is the lobby scene in The Matrix, the frag or be fragged multiplayer gaming culture of Halo and Doom, and the Joker killing his way across Gotham. None of these products of mass entertainment make one a killer, but they are also far more illustrative of the type of gun culture that defines school shooters, than anything that Michael Moore and the MSNBC talking heads mean by gun culture.

For most Americans there is no gun culture, only the ownership of guns. To the extent that any gun culture has developed it was in response to a gun-control culture that sought to demonize the ownership of firearms. The traditional and religious culture of the American gun owner has little in common with the power fantasies of the school shooter. To the gun owner, a firearm is a necessary tool. To the school shooter, it is a way to stop feeling powerless, a way to get beyond the ersatz joys of killing bots and avatars, of watching Keanu Reeves spin through the air while filling a mob of policemen full of lead, with the joy of the real kill.

For all the loose talk about American gun culture, no one really seems to be able to define what it is. Defining gun culture by the entertainment industry drifts too far into Hollywood and Detroit, and away from the rural culture that is the real target of gun-control culture.

Instead there are a thousand articles written in children’s blood crying out, “We can’t just do nothing.” Something must be done. Now. Last week. If only we ban more weapons, we can be as safe as Norway, home of the worst shooting spree of all, or Connecticut, which already has an assault weapons ban. For the children… who had no one to protect them when a gunman came to their school and will still have no one to protect them when gun-control culture gets its way.

After these come a torrent of armchair psychology analyses of America’s gun culture, which are only slightly more elegant versions of Michael Moore’s thesis about rural America. And those are what gun culture is really about. After all how can you be confident of your own superiority unless you have a documentary and a hundred articles affirming it for you by the traditional method of putting down the people at the bottom of the ladder.

What liberals think of as gun culture is really shorthand for rural America. It’s what liberals won’t say, but it’s what they mean. Americans are still sentimental about the village, so, for now, the number of movies that portray the rural community as ideal, rather than a hive of small-minded bigots, is still rather high. But there are backdoor ways of getting at the same topic, and talking about gun culture is one of them.

When liberals talk about “gun culture”, they mean the same thing that Barack Obama did when he told his San Francisco fundraiser friends about the people out there who still cling to their bibles and their guns. It isn’t about the guns really, though gun-control culture is worried about having that much personal autonomy in the hands of people who don’t share their values and like their independence, it’s about rural America. And rural America, like guns, is another symbol that stands in for traditional America.

The left cannot talk about how much it hates this country. Gun culture is one of its dog whistles. Talking about gun culture allows the left to publicly vent its hatred for America. But the truth about gun culture is that the left has a great deal more in common with Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner. Far more than those shooters had with any phantom conservative gun culture.

The American left, like any high school shooter, is bitter, angry, disgruntled and filled with contempt for the rest of the country. Stuck in a country made of flyover country, the left treats Americans to their own Columbine Massacre every time it defends criminals and terrorists, every time it wrecks American manufacturing and laughs all the way to the bank as it bankrupts Americans.

And both the left and the shooters agree that the people should not have guns.

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  • Mary Sue

    If what I heard is any indication (and read), the Columbine Shooters were opposed to "gun culture" inasmuch as it would have interfered with their ability to commit mass murder (by other people being armed and being able to stop them).

    • UCSPanther

      Their original plan was more terrifying and the massacre would have been much worse if they had succeeded. They originally planned to blow up the school with a propane bomb, and then go around and murder any survivors, then turn their guns on the neighboring community.

    • Bryan

      In fact, all mass shootings in this country since 1955 (that's over half a century) have been in gun-free zones with only 1 exception. There's been over a hundred mass shootings in that period.

  • IRL

    "If only we ban more weapons, we can be as safe as Norway, home of the worst shooting spree of all [...]"

    Norway has one of the highest private gun ownership ratios in the world, but also strict laws trying to prevent weapons getting into the hands of mentally ill and criminals. However the law most of all harasses the law abiding average hunter, whose rifles are rarely attractive for criminals. (The exception of course being the maniac of 22nd of July last year, who purchased all his weapons legally.)

  • crackerjack

    Its not about the "occasional" massacre by mentaly ill loners, its about the ongoing, continuous daily massacre with firearms in the streets, homes and public areas of the USA. Homicide involving arms is at least ten times higher in the US than in any other comparable nation. The facts are that US citizens kill each other at an alarmingly high rate and they use guns to do it. US "gun culture" is a proven, deadly failure and the great majority of those dying are innocent victims. The concept of free arms for all citizens just isn't working.

    Check out Japan. Private arms ownership is highly restricted. Japans arms related homicides are down to 0.09 per million. The US rate runs at 29,8.

    So the mantra that more firearms lead to more security is proven nonsense.

    • Mary Sue

      Homicide involving firearms on a daily basis in the United States is almost always caused by gang members. That's not a legal gun ownership problem. That's not even a "gun culture" problem. It's a GANG problem. This all happens in jurisdictions where people aren't allowed guns in their homes by local ordinances (or very heavily restricted).

      Tell me, oh cracky one, how it is that Washington DC which banned gun ownership, has consistently had the highest rates of murder in your entire country?

      • crackerjack

        Nonsense. Every country has gang problems, including Japan.

        • Mary Sue

          Not like USA does! At least even gangsters in Japan have some sort of "honor code" that doesn't exist in North America.

    • Mary Sue

      your statistics are rendered meaningless by the fact that Switzerland has by necessity an automatic weapon in EVERY house, and they're not shootemupland.

      • crackerjack

        Wrong again Mary Sue. Swiss military reserves, adult citizens who have undergone military training and scrutiny, hold their weapons at home, but no ammunition. Ammunition sale in Switzerland is highly restricted with each and every single round requiring official registration at purchase and documentation of use. Like in most European countries, holders of firearms are obliged to keep their arms in gun vaults at all times, also during transportation, with regular inspection by state officials with noncompliance leading to confiscating off all weapons and heavy fines, in Germany even imprisonment.

        The result of such sensible restrictions? Swiss arms related homicide rate per million 1,8. Germany 2,0. USA? 29,8.

        • ApolloSpeaks

          29.8? Is that all? Considering that 315 million Americans own 300 million guns with as much ammo as money can buy 29.8 homicide gun deaths per million is amazingly small. This shows how responsible, disciplined and remarkably self-controlled America's millions of gun owners are.

          .

          • crackerjack

            9200 guns deaths a year are acceptable? That's 3 times 9:11 annually? If thats ok, why did we go so ballistic about 9:11.

            Why can you accept a kid shot in Newtown, but not a office clerk crushed in the Twin Towers. Please explain.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            On 9/11 we were under military attack by a savage bloodthirsty ideologically driven enemy hell bent on our national destruction. Big difference from the lone deranged mass killer taking down a few people to achieve a perverse immortality.

          • Mario

            crackerjack,

            Sorry for my bad english, I'm brazilian and there is a very severe restriction on the purchase of weapons in my country, and there are 35,000 deaths annually with firearms. What happens is that the bad guys do not obey the law, only law-abiding citizens. There are real enclaves in my city, Rio de Janeiro, where are the bandits who's boss, the police did not enter, and there they do what they want, rape and kill at will. The simple fact of banning guns is not the solution. If so Brazil would be a paradise.

          • RedWhiteAndJew

            For the purposes of this debate, Mario, places which contradict the leftist bigots' prejudices do not exist.

          • Ricky Michael

            Mario, thank you for your thoughts on this. I agree with all you have said. Banning all firearms would do absolutely nothing to stop this violence. People who would do thing sort of thing would obtain whatever they needed to do it, no matter if guns were banned or not.

          • crackerjack

            Mario

            Why follow the US example? It has lead the US into disaster, with by far the highest murder and firearms related homicidein the whole developed West. Taking the law into ones own hands just doesn't work, period. If it did, countrys like Somalia or Sudan would be crime free, thriving societys.

            Gus in the publics hands do not fix or mend social dissorder they increase social dissorder. The US is the working example.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            This "disaster" in a matter of perception that most Americans don't share. Moreover, most Americans reject the European social welfare-security state model that is crashing and burning everywhere from high taxes, over regulation, and out of control borrowing and spending. You want to see "social disorder" just look at Greece-emblematic of Europe's future.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            This "disaster" is a matter of……

          • intrcptr2

            If it is such a disaster, then maybe you can explain how it is that gun ownership is still rising, but since the mid-90s, ALL crime has been dropping…
            http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

            Do note also from my other link, the US does not have the highest murder rate in the world, despite having gunownership rates that dwarf other nations. Murder is murder no matter what the perp uses.

          • mattogilvie55

            It's totally acceptable, as long as the victims are all liberals.

        • WildJew
        • RedWhiteAndJew

          The ammo situation in Switzerland is a relatively recent development.
          http://concealed.wordpress.com/2007/10/27/switzer

          Interesting, is it not, that, historically speaking, crime involving guns is very low in Switzerland, and up until 2007, a great many households had fully automatic rifles AND ammunition for same at hand.

          Although violent crime in Switzerland is still low, since 2007, it has been on the increase.

          • crackerjack

            Neither Swiss history, nor Swiss general raise in crime are of any interest. What is of great interest is that Swiss don’t need guns to defend themselves against each other. Their childrens schools and public places are not armed security zones. Their children are raised in a peacefull enviroment. congratiulations to the Swiss, Germans, Danes, Italians…etc and shame on the USA for the disasterous state of their violent nation and the horror it puts its children through.

          • RedWhiteAndJew

            And yet, you were happy to discuss the Swiss, when you thought a little factoid suited your argument. Of course the rise in violent crime in Switzerland, following restrictions on guns, is of no interest to you, just as the rise in violent crime in the UK and Australia are of no interest to you. You have an axe to grind. You just grind it dull.

            What is of great interest is that Swiss don't need guns to defend themselves against each other.

            Except for those who were victims of violent crime.

            Their children are raised in a peacefull(sic) enviroment(sic).

            It is fortunate that they have a (largely) peaceful culture. Shame about Britain and Australia, where firearm ownership is all but banned, and violence is much more prevalent.

            … and shame on the USA…

            The US has much to be ashamed of, such as burdening the process of seeing to it that the mentally ill get appropriate treatment. The US should also be ashamed of its recent political decisions, at the federal level at least.

            The Second Amendment though? A point of pride for the ages.

          • intrcptr2

            And there are no Danes in der Schweiz…

          • Peter Buch

            Of course there is.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            If this country is such a disaster of violence and crime why aren't millions of Americans fleeing to Europe for safety? Why are you living in this country if it's so deadly and dangerous?

        • fiddler

          I think your logic presupposes the motives for murder in the first place. Gangs commit murder because of the turf wars with rival gangs. Guns notwithstanding, why was there the violence found in the OWS demonstrations? Think for moment about this. There was anger due to JEALOUSY and ENVY. Where do you think that was spawned from? Was this just a spontaneous outpouring of unrest? NO, it was ginned up because a bad economy with the wrong party in the WH. It was encouraged. Gangs are similarly so emboldened. Compare that with someone wanting to protect his/her family. Are they encouraged to attack someone? NO. But because they see abducted children on milk cartons, hear of human trafficing and see how society has changed, they decide to move toward protecting their familiy by providing a measure of rediness. This is not the nation I grew up in where as a kid I could go bike riding miles from where I lived all day long (long before cell phones) and my parents not being worried.

        • Mary Sue

          Switzerland also does not have a bunch of people who are told from birth that "whitey is out to keep them down" and that the only solution to their poverty and lack of a father in the house is to join a gang.

        • Western Canadian

          This 29.8 figures is an outright lie. Typical of an extreme hard-left loon.

    • ApolloSpeaks

      Face up to it cracker: the vast majority of Americans don't feel your childish fear and insecuity over our "gun culture." Why? Because the chances of being gunned down by a loon are no greater than being hit by lightening.

      • crackerjack

        The chances of dying through terror are a fraction of that of dying through a loon with a gun and well below that of dying through lightning. Going by your perspective, we should be far more able to accept terror than to accept loons with guns.

        • ApolloSpeaks

          The Islamic terrorist is an enemy with a global agenda of imperial restoration fighting against freedom for the fate of the earth. The terrorist is a menace to us all. The lone loony gunmen is only a danger to an infinitesimally fewe!

        • WildJew

          What do you think about all these violent videos these young killers are into? Why not begin there? Is it possible Obama's liberal and Hollywood supporters would have none of that? And what about parental responsibility. Why did Obama make this a societal issue rather than an individual or a parental one? Was Nancy Lanza (the murderer's mother) a responsible parent, much less a responsible gun-owner?

          • fiddler

            Now THERE is a point. The left is not interested in family stability which would likely in the case of Lanza have helped prevent the hate in the first place. They want us all to throw in the towel and to subject ourselves to their superior wisdom. This is the same stance they take on taxes, etc. They must be in control. Fixing the problem of disfunctional families is for them solved with a necessity of funding for special programs. Since the basic family is for them a work in progress, they need more funds to expand their social laboratory. It amazes me how being in public office somehow deifies a person. They become more "enlightened". It's how some go from being a Community Organizer to an angelic being of a span of an election cycle.

        • RedWhiteAndJew

          How many have died at the hands of a "loon" with a gun (and since you specify "loon," only include those cases where the assailant had a history of mental illness, thanks), and the number of people who died in the Twin Towers and the Murrow Building, since the later event?

        • Drakken

          Yes everyone here undertands that your a puzzy and depend on people better than could ever hope to be to defend you in your time of need, I call you nothing more than a statistic.

    • James Warren

      You are so uninformed it is stunning. The US does NOT have homicide involving guns "ten times higher" than comparible nations–that is utter nonsense. It is about 4 times higher, but then you need to look at where those homicides take place–Chicago, Oakland, Detroit–don't even pretend the majority dying are innocents. Take out the gang related murders, both formalized gangs and the informal. and the US rate is lower. Most of those inner city guns are illegal.
      Poorly informed people like you are why we have the problems in the US. Start researching BEFORE you vote and before you post.

      • Ricky Michael

        Well said sir.

    • factonly

      Actually a Harvard study has produced these results not related to health problems: #1 cause of death in the US – death by poison. Death by firearm falls at number 5. 2,3and 4 if I can remember correctly is death by suffocation, assault without a firearm but with a deadly weapon (knife, baseball bat etc) and suicide.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Sir, most of these killings are executed by criminals using illegal handguns … most of which are of extremely poor quality … bought illegally on the black market. Most of the shooters are either black or Hispanic, and live in cities. A large portion of these murders are committed by very young gang-members, who will not be tried as adults, and will therefore be released from prison by age 21.

      The normal "gun culture" consists of people who regularly go to the gun range to shoot, meet with their friends, and prepare for the hunting season. Some of us like military-style weapons, but that is just a preference.

      In the last year of the Iraq War, more people were killed by handguns on the streets of Chicago than in Iraq. Learn something, please …

    • intrcptr2
    • Ghostwriter

      crackerjack,I'm a loner but I don't have such depraved fantasies as the Adam Lanzas of the world. This guy had a lot of psychological problems and his mother was trying to fix them when she was killed. How about blaming Lanza for what happened because he's solely responsible for this.

  • ApolloSpeaks

    ABORTION AND BANNING GUNS IN MORALLY CRAZY AMERICA

    What are innocent children infrequently killed by gunfire in savage mass murder attacks compared to the holocaust of unborn children-one million a year-brutally murdered in abortion clinics? Which is worse? A senseless AK-47 that can’t shoot itself (and is neither good nor evil) but can be used to protect life from killers or take it in crime? Or an abortion doctor serially killing one unborn baby after another on a deadly assembly line? Now I’m no more for killing abortion doctors for their evil practices and crimes than are people on the Left for killing gun manufacturers or retailers who do nothing wrong when selling guns to law abiding citizens. But those who want to uphold the laws that keep mass murdering abortion clinics and doctors in business-and a president who pours out his heart over young Newtown victims but believes in live birth abortions (the most heinous kind)-are hypocritical for wanting to ban guns, any guns, because they could be used to kill innocent children or anyone. Where’s the moral sanity in this?

    • fiddler

      I think the total is somewhere around 54,000,000. That amounts to entire civilizations of people, mostly without a whimper of protest.

      • ApolloSpeaks

        That's exactly 9 Jewish holocausts.

  • MrWritingIII

    Wouldn't banning mental illness get to the root of the problem?

    • ApolloSpeaks

      The problem of Liberalism.

      • Stephen_Brady

        Hitler and Stalin had solutions for mental illness … except their own.

    • 57nomad

      You are close, but 'mental illness' is too broad a category. For instance, we do not quarantine people who have colds, an infectious disease. But we do quarantine those who exhibit the symptoms of smallpox, or polio, or the Ebola virus. Why is that? It is because there are degrees of the danger involved.

      Laughner, Holmes, and Lanza were all in the throws of full blown paranoid schizophrenia, an organic disease of the brain. And, while it is not contagious, those suffering the disorder are extremely dangerous as we have seen. Furthermore banning guns would do little to stifle their destructive impulses because even if they had not had access to guns they could have built a bomb or they could have put rat poison in the cafeteria lunch food.

      Going after guns is pathetic, cheap political posturing and a new low, even for an administration that could ship weapons to Mexican drug cartels or lie about the slaughter of our staff in Libya.

  • john spielman

    I agree with all of the above, but I can't help thinking that a ban on sale and possession of weapons that allow firing more than 3 or 4 shots before reloading should be considered. I used to hunt and if someone couldn't kill with more than one or two shots , he/ she needed more target practice time. I used to have a BOLT action 12 gauge shotgun with a three cartridge clip that held the slugs. It worked just fine for deer hunting, and probably for home protection.

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      If you don't see the need for one, then don't get one.

      I've never see the need to ban puce Eldorado coupes, for example.

    • Chiggles

      You are what's known as a "fudd". You think hunting is the only reason for owning a gun. Pull your head out and get educated, Elmer.

      • john spielman

        why do you needmore than 6 shots (like the colt revolver of the old west) to stop an intruder into your house?

        • RedWhiteAndJew

          The same reason police rarely carry revolvers, nowadays (as primary carry weapons, anyway).

          It sounds to me, that by your reasoning, six rounds is just dandy, but seven would be bad. Is that an accurate characterization?

    • Drakken

      The 2nd Amendement has nothing to do with hunting, the milita is we the people.

    • UCSPanther

      If you are happy with your bolt action shotty, fair enough, but that is no reason for you to tell people what they can or cannot own.

      I don't exactly care for the "tacticool guns" either, preferring the more traditional style stocks and older battle rifles and carbines, but I will support AR 15 and other "black" rifle owners to the death.

    • http://twitter.com/BlissTabitha @BlissTabitha

      You say you used to hunt so I have to ask myself why you'd think such a thing..Reloading, even for a 5'2 girlie girl like me, only takes about 2 seconds. Please spare me the idea that it would make any difference whatsoever.

  • Vitorino Batalim

    This Shootings are provided by Zionists Nazi Fascist who want themselves to be the only ones to possess guns.

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      And your evidence is, dumbass?

    • john spielman

      That sir, is an example of scary delusional thinking, the likes of which probably caused Adam Lanza to slaughter the innocent.

    • Mary Sue

      spewing the Hamas talking points, are you? They don't know what's going on. They're like Alex Jones in a turban.

    • UCSPanther

      Are you a conspirazoid, or are you trolling.

      Either way, you are a sicko.

    • Ghostwriter

      Mr. Batalim,WHAT does that have to do with ANYTHING? We don't know the religion of the shooter. Your anti-semitism is appalling.

      • http://twitter.com/BlissTabitha @BlissTabitha

        Actually we kind of know his religion.. According to friends of his he had a website devoted to Satan. So I'd call the kid a 'Satanist'. The exact opposite of a 'Zionist'. This guy's a moron.

  • crackerjack

    No, because only a small fraction of the annual 10 000 firearms homicides are commited by the mentally retarded.

    • Drakken

      The only one retarted here is you, but please by all means keep up with the lib/progressive mantra of I feel therefore I am as policy positions.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      But a majority of the mass shootings are committed by the mentally ill.

      • crackerjack

        Mass shootings and the mentally ill account for only a small raction of US gun homicide.

        • RedWhiteAndJew

          Actually, mass shootings, without further qualification, account for only a small fraction of US homicides.

          Sounds like a great argument against considering further, the question of banning these mythic "assault weapons."

        • Mary Sue

          You can't deal with the Gang related deaths by banning guns, it will only make things worse. Gangs like to operate in areas where people can't defend themselves.

          You did not watch enough "The A Team" as a child, obviously.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Indeed they do. Which is why the assault weapons ban is a non-issue.

        • riceball

          Try reading this, it might help enlighten you some.
          http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_...

    • http://twitter.com/BlissTabitha @BlissTabitha

      Wrong;

      "Top Criminal Psychologist on Sandy Hook Massacre: 'Every one of these incidents is preceded with an undiagnosed mental disorder"
      http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/12/criminal-

      And BTW: Liberalism is a mental disorder. Read "The Liberal Mind" & you'll see it's true.

  • reader

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-unlike-the

    Quote from the article:

    As America grapples with gun control after the Connecticut shootings, Israeli experts note that only 2.5% of civilians here are licensed to carry a firearm. Yet mandatory training, and a profound sense of shared responsibility, says one scholar, have seen those civilians frequently intervene to foil murderous attacks

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      I don't know what the rates of concealed carry licensure in the US are, relative to the whole population, but it would not surprise me if the rate were lower than that in Israel.

      The great thing about CCW, is that although a small percentage actually take on the burden of the invasive background checks and training, not to mention the carry, maintenance, and safe storage of the weapon, everyone benefits from the deterrent effect it has. Baddies don't know if the camo wearing flattop is packing, or if it's granny in the funny hat.

      I agree, too, that widespread training in the safe handling of arms is an excellent idea. The NRA makes themselves available to schools to assist in that regard.

  • James Warren

    I live in the Napa Valley of CA–wine country. Blaming gun ownership for mass murder is like blaming the wineries for drunk drives. Drunk drivers do far more damage to totally innocent people than any legal or illegal gun user. I guess we should shut down the wineries.

    • pennylane

      Wine is produced for drinking. Cars are produced for transportation. Guns are produced to kill.

      • trickyblain

        Ironic that the first two manage to do it so much better than the third..

  • tagalog

    Unfortunately, there's a significant segment of American society that defines "gun culture" as something like the shots in the movie North Dallas Forty, where a bunch of drunken football players carrying rifles are depicted as sitting on the hood of a jeep of some kind, drinking and firing their rifles thoughtlessly into the air.

    I think there actually IS a gun culture; that culture contains equal admixtures of attention to safe handling of firearms so as to minimize the risk of injury, contained shooting in places where it is known where the expended bullets will come to rest, and focusing on accuracy for two primary reasons: to insure the bullets are not expended promiscuously and to insure that one hits the target and nothing else.

    The problem is a certain portion of our populace sees gun users as drooling rednecks because they have been trained to be revolted by firearms and because of that they believe they're sophisticated. That learning is what makes people think that guns themselves are bad and that banning them will somehow solve the problem of people killing other people. The problem, in short, is one of ignorance.

    • RedWhiteAndJew

      Anyone caring to get an easy peek under the "gun-culture" hood, should pay a visit to the website TheHighRoad. I suspect many bigots here will be surprised at the rate of multisyllabic word usage.

  • clarespark

    The depiction of rural America as pathological was taken up by me in numerous blogs on popular tv shows. Here is one example: http://clarespark.com/2010/05/20/criminal-minds-a…. "Criminal Minds and the Pathology of Rural America."

  • Jim_C

    Every gun owner I know is fanatical about safety. I don't share their enthusiasm for guns–but I do admire their enthusiasm.

    We have had guns capable of carrying out massacres now for what–80? 100 years?

    So what is happening now? Our culture is sick.

    • tagalog

      The Boston Massacre occurred a year or two before the American Revolution, and was accomplished with flintlocks (Brown Bess single-shot long guns) fired in volleys.

    • Stephen_Brady

      The most casualties in any school homicide occurred in 1927, and was committed by a man with an illegal weapon – a bomb. Forty-five people died.

    • fiddler

      I remember when some of the first fighting video games came out — you know where "blood" spirts with every blow landed by the opponent? Then, when the vanquished is off balance, the game shouts, "FINISH HIM!"

      I shuddered when I saw a small child hearing that who was playing the game. I think you have a good point here.

  • tedh754

    I may be wrong about this but I don't think Japan has many inner-city gangs. Plus, I don't believe we can judge any other country along the same lines as the USA when it comes to murder rates just because of gun availability. There are other factors at work here, of which the willingness of some to commit murder for any reason chief among them.

    • Mary Sue

      the culture of Japan is such that those who are thought to be "delinquents" are harshly criticized and shamed.

    • http://twitter.com/BlissTabitha @BlissTabitha
    • Drakken

      Japan has the Yakuza, which have been around for about 500 years.

  • 57nomad

    Laughner, the Arizona shooter; Holmes, the Colorado shooter; and Lanza, the most recent were all in the throws of paranoid schizophrenia, an organic disease of the brain, ALL THREE OF THEM!! And yet not a word about it. Why? Before the early 1970's every state in the union had a policy of involuntary institutionalization. Had that been in place it is very likely that all there psychotic young men would be in a 24 hour a day facility and all of their victims would still be alive.

    I grow more astonished by the moment as this story unfolds. Is this 'government by Salvador Dali'? What's going on, because this is getting surreal, Laughner, Holmes, and Lanza were all obviously paranoid schizophrenics who were allowed to roam the streets and yet not a word from the administration about the obvious connection, nor a word about the remedy.

    If the administration was concerned about gun laws then why did they ship assault rifles to Mexican drug cartels and then stonewall the investigation? Why are there no hearings scheduled to address the catastrophic mistake made in the early '70's that saw the doors to the mental institutions thrown open on the grounds that involuntary hospitalization was a moral wrong? If someone contracts, say, the Ebola virus or small pox would quarantining them be immoral? Are these the same people that were waxing all victimized about 'politicizing Benghazi'? I think they are. How about these guys try to do something right instead of the cheap political posturing.

    • Jimbo

      Do you know who took charge of shutting down all the mental health institutions that people like Laughner, Holmes, and Lanza would have been in?

      That's right. Reagan.

      • 57nomad

        No, he did not. You'd be well advised to brush up on your basic civics before you do any more posting. Laws are made by the legislature in the United States, not the executive. The laws that released the inmates were written by the democrat controlled legislature.

  • Gos

    Take GOD out of America and you will reap the horrific rewards. There a killings everyday because we are not taught decent values or to respect human life anymore and that is exactly how the "fat controllers" of this world want it.
    Every mass murder of citizens by its government was preceeded by a disarming of its population.
    Still think banning guns is a good idea??
    USA has probably the worst system for care of mental illness and we wonder why lunatics snap and kill people.
    LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE NOT THE ONE TOUTED ON THE TV (TELL-LIE VISION)
    if anyone says "the world is really going to hell" they are damn right but ask yourself why?
    remove GOD and what do you get??
    G

  • Karrah

    my buddy's step-sister makes $65/hr on the internet. She has been without a job for five months but last month her pay check was $14336 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site……… BIT40.ℂOℳ

  • JacksonPearson

    Year in and year out, the average deaths in car accidents, on U.S. roads are about 40,000+. Yet, people continue to recklessly pack vehicles, and add, they even drive, and text with concealed cell phones. {{{Sigh}}}}, nary a peep or knee jerk from Washington.

  • Dave

    I used to think that Mr. Greenfeild had half a brain and made sense when commentating about the threat posed by Islamic issues. But now seeing his commentary in opposition to gun control, I see that he suffers from the same stupidity as does the so called leftists who support for Islamic take over. To me, its a no brainer about the need to take high powered assault type rifles (not necessarily all guns) out of circulation from the general public. To suggest that teachers should be armed (as per the sign) is a similar stupid circular arguments that muslims use to demonstrate the infallibility of the Koran (its from god because its in the koran etc). Mr. Greenfeild's arguement goes…we dont need gun control and really need more guns because its the only way to defend ourselves since all the bad guys have weapons also. The bad guys have guns because its easy for every one to get guns. Hence the circular arguement

  • LTCB

    Article makes sense and explains why I don't like the mindless violence movies and games. I served in the USMC 4 years and the US Army 31 years and retired after my second tour to Iraq. I volunteered for that and had to have a Major General sign the papers so I could stay in the military long enough to pull the second tour. I love shooting fully automatic weapons. I love hunting. I love plinking at the local range or wherever there is a legal location to plink. No skeet for me but, if I was any good at it I might like it. And I LOVE violent movies the portray ACTUAL HISTORICAL WARS ACCURATELY. I don't care how much violence or profanity is in a movie like that because the point isn't entertainment. It's education. I think that is the difference between folks like me and the nut-jobs. I'm not destroying the nation I live in.

  • Tom222

    First of two parts: I’ve been annoyed for decades with the subtlety and growing effectiveness of American media propaganda. I’m now deeply offended by the politicization and media treatment of the Newtown tragedy. The term that moved me to write something is “gun culture.” It’s a pejorative term used by politicians and anti-gun activists, little different from personal smears except that it uses a nationwide brush to smear all of us. To balance the discussion, perhaps we should include the term “public school culture.” I’m particularly interested in the innate reaction to threats, usually labeled “fight or flight.” Although “flight” sometimes is prudent, “fight” occasionally is a better option. We need to bare the truth about these facets of our nation without consideration to political correctness and without political bias.

    I’ve also been concerned for decades with the massive failure of American public schools. A central reason for my concern is they’ve become overwhelmingly staffed by teachers and administrators whose first loyalty is to the government and who now lean far to the effete, perhaps overly effeminate, left wing. One consequence of this trend is a change in the “fight or flight” instinct. Public school officials have repeatedly demonstrated that their first and only instinct is “flight.” In other words, the only option considered is to run and hide, a reaction amply proven again in Newtown. I’ve concluded that public schools now overwhelmingly belong to a “flight culture” without the balancing instinct to “fight” even when the odds are in their favor. I’m suggesting that the “public school culture” is married to the “flight culture” and the consequences have been unfortunate.

    It seems to me that one should make a rational decision when threatened with bodily harm. In the Sandy Hook Elementary School, confronted by a skinny, deranged kid, public school officials were so witlessly frightened, they ran and hid in the nearest closet even though they outnumbered him by fifty to one. In my outrage, I was reminded of the Singapore disaster in February 1942. Unbalanced by a too-strong “flight” instinct, General Arthur Percival surrendered 100,000 combat soldiers to 30,000 exhausted, ill-equipped Japanese who were almost out of ammunition and food. Unlike The President who said, “Our playgrounds have become battlegrounds,” it’s not my intent to commingle the Newtown tragedy with war. My intent is simply to emphasize that the mental process is the same regardless of conditions that produce the threat.

  • Tom222

    Second of two parts: To clarify, it’s not my intention to minimize the heroics of Sandy Hook teachers, particularly the ones who shielded their children with their own bodies. Further, I recognize fully that many women are more physically capable than men in war and all other venues where firearms are present. That said, and with no disrespect intended, the vast majority of teachers, especially at the elementary level, are women. It’s pretty clear, in our society, they’ve had little experience or training with physical confrontations, let alone firearms. Notably, except for the head custodian, all six members of the Sandy Hook Office Staff are women. Based on a cursory review, 27 out of 28 teachers, from kindergarten through the 4th grade are women. All 16 members of the Specialty & Support Staff are women. Even the substitutes that day were women. In summary, 48 out of 50 employees, 96 percent, are women. Not surprisingly, every teacher killed was a woman.

    It would seem sensible to balance the workforce with a few more men. Not only would they serve as role models for male students, they might balance things a bit for female students too. The large numbers of single-parent homes add credence to the claim that we need better gender balance in our schools. Few would argue that schools are not highly liberalized and promote a strong anti-firearm agenda. A few men, perhaps from the military, and perhaps even with combat training, might balance things a bit. I know most schools will be repulsed by this concept because they’ve often labeled firearm owners as paranoid. Of course that claim is specious because bad people, even competent grown-up sociopaths, exist and occasionally carry out terrible deeds. The left wing on many occasions also has labeled military men as mentally compromised. That too is a specious claim because the average education in the military exceeds the average for the nation. And mental disease, drug use and other crime rates also generally are lower than the national average. However, in spite of the carnage and absence of resistance, the media have been relentless in their descriptions of courage by Sandy Hook teachers and the numbers of lives saved. It’s from a strong sense of courtesy and respect for the victims and their families that I fully embrace those statements.

    Because we’ll not disarm bad people in the foreseeable future, at home or abroad, the need to protect ourselves is absolute. The “flight-first, flight-only” people seem to be the paranoid ones because they wish to disarm the only ones who would never harm them. And they fear the only ones who have the wherewithal to protect them. I’d just like to balance all these discussions with terms like “mental health culture” and “public school culture” and perhaps put them together into what our ancestors called the “American Culture.” It’s a term worth conserving.

  • Mark

    Excellent article, by the way. It explains the contempt that the progressive anti-gun people have for the rest of America, who they wish to put under their dictatorial thumbs.

  • SDK

    Okay, so you have two things that have NOTHING to do with each other — elitism and gun control. Sure, they sometimes go together, just like gun ownership and Christianity. But they are not the same.

    Elites are obnoxious. Let's all just agree on that. They look down on the average American. They look down on Southerns, rural people, hunters, etc. They have a lot of money and power and they don't use it the way I would prefer. That's true.

    But these shooters don't come from "real America" — people who own guns for hunting, sport, or personal protection. No, they come from the suburbs. If Nancy Lanza was not a member of the elite — who is? Did Nancy Lanza hunt her own deer and skin it herself? I don't think so. She owned those guns for fun.

    That is what I object to. I object to sacrificing my child so that some bored, suburban woman can have a hobby. I object to gun owners who talk about overthrowing the government. I object to gun owners who have no sense of their responsibilities to their communities. I object to gun owners who have lost any traditional sense of what owning a firearm should mean. I object to irresponsibility.

    I'm sorry, but those are traditional values, not elite ones.

    People do not want gun control because they hate hunters. People want gun control because an idiot suburbanite trigger-happy second amendment booster like Nancy Lanza should not be allowed to endanger our children.

    If you want a real gun culture, look to Israel, where guns are tools, not toys and where strong civilian gun control keeps everyone focused on the real threat, not their fellow citizens. That's not what we have. We have a nation of whiners. My rights, my rights, my rights to own Bushmaster. My right to fire it and carry it however I want. My right to store it on my kitchen table. My rights. Owning a gun is responsibility. Your job is to make sure it is used for its intended purpose and NO OTHER. If you don't want to store it safely and control who uses it, don't own one. Take responsibility. It's that simple.

    If you think I'm going to support a gun culture full of traitors and haters, of boys and girls with toys, because some I'm afraid that some New York journalist might call me "elitist" — you're very wrong.

    I'm here to protect my child. The only way to do that is the way Israel does it — they have a threat, they try to disarm and neutralize that threat. In this case, the threat is not from criminals but from gun owners like Nancy Lanza.

    I don't hate this country. I don't hate gun owners, hunters, sport shooters, rural people, Southerners. I don't hate people who believe in God. But I hate whiners. I hate people who want rights without responsibilities. I hate threats to my child. And if you want to tell me that "nothing can be done" to force people like Nancy Lanza to stop abusing her Second Amendment rights, you are very wrong.