Gun rights are sacred rights, forever enshrined in our constitution and upheld by recent Supreme Court decisions. However, that doesn’t stop some people from trying to usurp those rights in a hysterical need to control anything and everything a human being does in the course of their day.
Luckily, the tides have been against those folks for quite a while, at least on the national level, and this has some gun grabbers determined to figure out just why.
Back in 2006, one of the country’s stellar gun violence researchers, Kristin Goss of Duke University, wrote a book in which she tried to explain why there was no mass movement for gun control in the United States. As opposed to mass movements which sought to end the Vietnam War, or reduce drunk driving, what she found after mass shootings like Columbine was the following pattern: “collective outrage, followed by a momentary flurry of unorganized calls and letters and donations from thousands of individuals, and then a quick return to the status quo.” Otherwise, the issue of gun violence would lie dormant between the random, high-profile shooting events.
Goss argues that the pro-gun folks were much more successful than the gun-control crowd in building a mass movement for two reasons: they were funded both by industry and private sources whose resources the gun-control groups couldn’t match; they took advantage of a fragmented, federalist political system which rewards political initiatives at the local level but frequently restricts the implementation of national policies even when such policies gain broad, popular support.
Or, conversely, people settled down to recognize that guns don’t act on their own and it would be far, far more productive to actually focus on the maniacs involved in these shootings rather than the tool used. Just offering up that bit of thought.
However, the author does kind of touch on something interesting.
The idea that you can have a good time by being a member of America’s “oldest civil rights organization” is an important aspect of the pro-gun messaging strategy that I’m not sure the GVP community understands. It certainly isn’t mentioned or analyzed in Kristin’s book. But later today I’m going to drive over to Marlborough where the semi-annual gun show is going on, and the reason I’m going to the show is the same reason that millions of people attend gun shows all over the country every weekend – the shows are fun. I can wander around, play with lots of guns, eat a hot dog and wash it down with a full-calorie drink and buy a Make America Great Again baseball cap for under five bucks.
Yes, being part of the pro-gun movement is fun. It’s fun because it fights to support fun activities that you can share with your fellow members. Going to the range is fun. Hunting is fun. Collecting guns is fun. Even defensive handgun training is fun. All of it is a freaking blast.
Sitting around and complaining about how guns are “da debil” is about as much fun as a prostate exam during an insurance seminar.
However, “fun” isn’t the driving force in the pro-gun movement’s success. It’s freedom.
Anti-gun efforts are anti-freedom efforts. They’re proposals to limit the freedoms of law-abiding Americans some suburban housewife or some middle-aged guy are terrified by the idea of guns.
American sense that. They know it deep down in their core. Even if they don’t want to own a gun, many of them understand that all such measures are invariably about taking away their right to make that determination for themselves.
The “gun violence prevention” movement acts like a group of people who are focused on violence, but they’re not. They essentially do nothing to combat violence except fight against our gun rights. The word “guns” in their name isn’t really the adjective, modifying the word “violence.” It’s the noun. It’s everything they’re focused on, and screw the rest.
They don’t want to prevent violence, they want to prevent guns, and people pick up on that.
While being pro-gun can be fun because of the fun things pro-gun people do, that’s not why we appear to be winning. We’re winning because we’re pro-freedom, and Americans tend to like their freedom.