I have a suggestion for you, Mr. Culleton: Get to know some actual gun owners. Talk to some actual gun owners.

Your conversation will get exactly nowhere with your current mindset. As long as you continue to fetishize about us fetishizing guns, you’re dead in the water.

First, a couple of quick facts:

  1. India doesn’t have the second-most guns after the U.S. Canadians own an estimated 7 million guns. There are three million registered guns in Australia. Germans have 5.5 million, the Swiss have about 2.33 million; Norwegians have almost 1.33 million. It took me all of five minutes on Google to get those numbers.
  2. One of the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution is the right of the people to keep and bear arms. But that right has nothing to do with the Constitution: it would exist even if the Second Amendment were to be repealed.
    The right to be armed for self-defense or for communal defense is one of those “inalienable” rights with which all men are endowed by their creator. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were also among the rights as were the rights protected by the First Amendment. They weren’t individually listed because Thomas Jefferson was writing a declaration, not a laundry list.
    Until you understand this, you will never be able to have a productive discussion about gun laws.

Now we come to this gem: “At the same time, the Right could stop treating guns like status symbols that make men feel more manly. Sexism and misogyny are widespread in gun communities, as anyone who is in those communities will acknowledge.”

Remember my comment about you fetishizing? Here you are, projecting your fantasies onto more than 80 million men and women. In case you ever actually talk to a gun owner, I would strongly suggest you do not open with that line. The gun owner will either laugh at you and think you are a clueless moron or decide you’re a clueless moron and not worth talking to. Either way, you wind up being regarded as a clueless moron.

There are undoubtedly some that do fit your description. However, having been a part of the gun community for the majority of the past half-century, I can confidently say that they are not representative of the majority.

It’s true that in the most basic sense guns are tools. But just because you don’t appreciate them doesn’t mean others don’t appreciate them.

There are some guns that are status symbols and deservedly so. Steven Spielberg has a collection of custom Fabbri shotguns. I don’t know whether he still does this but he would commission a new Fabbri when he completed a movie. The base price for a Fabbri shotgun is about the same as the base price for a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. He doesn’t just admire them: Spielberg is said to be a competition-level skeet shooter.

You aren’t really ready to talk to gun owners about mass shootings in America. You don’t know enough about either gun owners or mass shootings to be worth talking to.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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