Gun-Culture Turns the Tide
Hold up your hand if you’ve shot a gun before.
I thought so. That means you’re in the right place and I’ll count you as someone who respects the right of armed self-defense. You know the courts and politicians are a weak defense for our civil rights, let alone the individual right of self-defense. It is a good thing we are stronger than the courts and politicians. I mean it, and if that comes as a shock, then let me remind you how things have changed in the last few years.
Think back only a few months to the murders at Sandy Hook. That is when the anti-gun media launched every smear they could imagine. The media is nothing if not creative when they want to make up a story. Anti-gun billionaires also threw millions of dollars into politics as they supported anti-gun politicians and anti-gun legislation. Together, their tactics worked in a few states, and failed miserably in most. There has also been a backlash in support of the human right of self-defense. The “we will not comply” movement of non-violent resistance sprang up in the face of the new anti-gun firearms laws. The culture of responsible gun ownership grew despite the best efforts of these anti-gun journalists and politicians.
The gun-culture grew because of you.
The gun culture is changing, and culture drives politics. When I grew up, gun culture was centered on hunting in rural areas. Now the gun culture is focused on urban concealed carry for personal protection. That changed everything!
That shift from country to city explains why women of all ages and backgrounds are the fastest growing segment of today’s gun culture. Women’s shooting leagues like A Girl and a Gun Club have sprung up across the US. So have women’s self-defense websites like Girls Just Wanna Have Guns. Female competitors and instructors are accepted and welcomed in this new gun culture. That cultural shift has long-term implications as women influence their families for generations to come.
We also see confirmation of this cultural change in the popularity of different shooting sports. Handgun and self-defense competitions are growing faster than the field sports of trap, skeet and long distance target shooting. That is true no matter where you live.
Looking across the country, we find that anti-gun enclaves are shrinking. Illinois is pro-gun once you get outside the dying city of Chicago. Now Illinois citizens can carry a licensed concealed firearm right down Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago. The anti-gun county of Los Angeles is bordered by pro-freedom neighbors of Kern County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County who issue carry permits. The anti-gun cities have to adjust to their neighbor’s new habits. The police chief of Detroit now supports armed self-defense. All that changed in the last few years.
Public support for “gun control” is falling over time. 78 percent supported more gun control back in 1990. That point of view fell to a low of 44 percent in early 2010, and has risen to 49 percent as of October 2013. It is good news, but a crude measurement at best. We don’t know if more people approve of armed civilians. We don’t know if they see “gun control” as useless bureaucracy at best, and perhaps dangerous authoritarianism at worst. We simply don’t know. We know that a record high 74 percent now approve of civilians owning handguns.
Anti-gun states like New York, Illinois and California are shrinking as citizens leave those states for better lives elsewhere. These states are losing their young adults to pro-gun states like Texas, Florida and the Carolinas. These young people will return home with new attitudes, if they return home at all. From personal experience, I know young engineers who won’t move to Silicon Valley or New York City. These young men and women have a live and let live attitude, and don’t want to live with a nanny state telling them how to live, how to work and how to play.
Add how you can’t defend yourself to the nanny state’s repulsive features.
Entertainment is changing too. On TV we now have Top Shots, Shooting USA, Sons of Guns, and Duck Dynasty. They won’t replace NFL Football and the Walking Dead just yet, but at least they are on air and making money. They were not there ten years ago, but culture changes with time.
Another indicator of the growing gun culture is increasing NRA membership. Like the rest of a culture shift, NRA membership is both a cultural indicator and an incubator for future growth of the gun culture. We need organizations like the NRA, the SAF and the GOA to fight for our rights in the courts and legislatures. The gun-culture is a political force even in anti-gun states, but more about that next week.
Until then, put not your faith in judges or in liberal politicians. Simply take a friend shooting and be a good ambassador of the new gun culture.