I apologize for the tardy reply; be assured that I do appreciate your comments.
Since I was born when Harry Truman was President, I have a more long-term view of guns in America.
When I grew up, gun ownership was more common. Millions of men had returned from World War II and the Korean War and a fair number of them brought back “souvenirs.” My Dad came back with a Japanese rifle. My grandfather returned from World War I with a Luger pistol he had liberated from a German officer who no longer had any need of it.
Hunting was much more common and the gift of a rifle from father to son was almost a rite of passage. Twelve was considered a good age. There were even ads in youth-oriented magazines promoting this rifle or that.
In some states, it was common to see young men bring their rifles to school on the first day of deer season. Their fathers would pick them up from school and go directly to the lease or preserve.
After World War II and Korea, the U.S. government began unloading surplus rifles. Both M1 Garands and M1 carbines were offered. They were widely available. Even the F.W. Woolworth’s in our town sold them and prices were in the range of $25-$30.
Guns were available by mail order. There were no forms to fill out; no background checks and permits or licenses were needed only in a handful of states and generally only for handguns.
The same 32 states that allow open carry of a handgun without a permit today allowed it back then.
This, to me, is a real gun culture.
What we have today is a siege mentality that is completely understandable due to the constant attacks on gun owners and gun ownership. The so-called “gun culture” is more like a band of brothers (and sisters), all of whom are veterans of these attacks.
If one postulates that violence is something inflicted on one person by another, gun violence in the United States not only is not the epidemic described, it is actually lower than most of the past sixty years.
The current decade still has some time before it ends, but as of the end of 2017, the average homicide rate in the U.S. is lower than any decade since the 1950s.
I am somewhat older than my wife. We have four adult children born over a 15-year period. Using the rates reported by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system, I calculated the average homicide rate over the first 18 years of each family member’s lives. Our youngest’s average is even lower than mine. It is also nearly 43% lower than the average for our oldest.
Yet, in spite of this, gun owners are attacked for no other reason than they own guns.
If gun control advocates were actually interested in reducing violence, they wouldn’t be proposing the measures they offer. Those measures have not impacted violence at all when and where they have been enacted. They serve only to penalize and burden lawful gun owners.
What is called the gun culture today is simply a reaction to the anti-gun culture and calls. like yours, to undermine it will only lead to greater resistance.