We Actually Have 'Dueling' Gun Cultures in the U.S.

Some people want to blame the gun culture in the United States for all of our nation’s ills. People like me keep pointing out how criminals won’t obey laws and how new laws will only hurt the non-criminals. But we need to recognize that there are two different cultures that deal with firearms in this nation. We only represent the one less likely to see the inside of a prison.

Frank Miniter, in an op-ed for Fox News, recently pointed out this sad fact (emphasis mine).

When a mass murder happens in our country, like so many Americans I wring my hands and look for answers – for anything that will stop these monsters. I don’t like to speak out at these times, because as Ecclesiastes correctly tells us there is “a time to every purpose under the heaven,” including “a time to mourn.”

But then someone kicks me in the shin.

This time it was CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, saying on CNN’s “New Day” program Wednesday that the National Rifle Association and gun owners don’t want to tell the truth about guns.

No, the truth that is many in the media refuse to cover the truth about guns and the gun cultures in America. They don’t want to admit there are two wildly different gun cultures in our country. One is the freedom-loving, gun-rights culture that upholds the responsible use of guns for hunting, sport and self-defense. The other is the criminal culture that thrives in the places where government restricts gun rights.

Not acknowledging that the two cultures exist separately, and instead pretending legal gun owners are responsible for crimes committed by the illegal gun culture in America, isn’t just a lie. It is getting good people killed.

In the most recent mass murder last week at a Florida high school, where 14 students and three adults were killed, the FBI failed in its responsibility – not guns or gun owners. That was hardly an anomaly. In many other cases a murderer should have been denied legal access to guns, but the bureaucracy failed us.

Miniter is exactly right. The law-abiding gun owners, the very same who will be impacted by any knee-jerk legislation rammed through right now, aren’t responsible for Parkland. The FBI dropped the ball. They admit it.

Yet the anti-gun zealots will continue to try and say the blood is on our hands. Why? Because we aren’t in favor of penalizing everyone for the depraved acts of a handful of individuals.

When we start talking about combatting so-called gun violence, it’s important to understand that the “culture” using firearms for those purposes are people who routinely ignore the law.For them, the gun is an integral part of their culture, too. It’s not just a tool of their “trade,” but also a way to get respect. It’s a screwed up place they live in, but it’s the culture they have embraced.

I resent being lumped in with people like that. I have guns for self-defense and sporting use – in that order.

In a way, the two cultures are dueling with one another, since one is arming up to defend themselves from the other.

None of us have any interest in taking part in criminal activity. We’re not the problem, and we never will be. We’re the law-abiding gun owners that we so often refer to when having these kinds of debates. That’s how we know what’s going on in their heads, because we live there.

If anti-gun activists are serious about combating violent crime, then a good place to start is to stop pretending we, the law-abiding gun owners of this country, are part of the problem. Then, I might consider listening.