I don’t expect fair coverage of the gun debate from the media, but especially not from the British media. They’ve gone down the gun control rabbit hole so far that even their right-of-center publications tend to support gun control to some degree.
Yet I was surprised to find a column that sought to poke some holes in some sacred cows many on the left have. Of particular interest, was the section on guns and gun owners.
Gun owners are crazy people
On “an ordinary day” in 2011, writes criminal justice scholar Connie Hassett-Walker, she found her husband watching a firearms video. She sat down with him, and that moment was the beginning of five years of research into videos made by gun owners that culminated in a book.
“For all the noise around gun control versus gun rights, there was a story that was missed by non-gun owners like me: how much these guns mean to those who own them,” writes Hassett-Walker.
Americans live in a time of political polarisation on a variety of social issues, she writes. “Both gun control and gun rights supporters would benefit from understanding how those with opposing political and social views see their identity and their culture.”
The thing is, I know how those with opposing political and social views see their identity and their culture. I’m inundated with it. Those with opposing political and social views tend to dominate the national media and not just the news. I see it in film, television, music, and so on. I know how they expect me to live my life because they have every opportunity to tell me just that.
But the rest of it? Oh, that I agree with completely. I mean, why wouldn’t I?
Look, we’re not unhinged people. We’re not expecting the government to become tyrannical overnight and we’re not expecting society to collapse next week. We’re not even expecting a home invasion or to be mugged at gunpoint. We’re not expecting any of that.
For most of us, it’s a matter of taking steps to prepare for the unexpected. We keep fire extinguishers in our kitchens even though we’re not expecting a fire and we keep guns despite not expecting to need to use it.
None of us expect everyone to embrace guns, either.
Some people have no business carrying a firearm on a day to day basis simply because they know they wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger. We all know that simple fact, and most of us tend to agree that there’s no point in carrying it if you’re not going to use it.
The thing is, we want people to have the right to decide for themselves.
We own guns because we decided for ourselves and we want others to be able to decide for themselves. It’s just that simple.
Additionally, for many, guns represent freedom. While some supposedly free societies may restrict guns, there are no tyrannical regimes that permit them. That’s something very important to consider when you start talking about restricting gun ownership in any way.
It’s only too bad that those who are painting us with the broad brush are usually those who have never talked with any of us.