This gun thing is still bugging me. I suppose it always will, but the more I think about the various arguments that I have heard against regulations or even looking at regulations, the more my brain hurts.
It isn’t the gun, it is society, it is our culture, this is one of the arguments that I have had tossed at me. Even Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, put that one out in his statement not too long ago. I agree with that, but not in the flat manner in which most pro-gun people use it. It is not possible to blame the ills of gun violence and gun accidents on all of society or our culture as a whole. I am a member of society. I watch all the same movies, play the same video games, and read the same books and newspapers. It isn’t society or our culture as a whole. It is our gun culture. Our gun culture is propelled and promulgated by the pro-gun lobby and those who are pro gun. Hypothetically, if there was a nation of people like myself, we still might watch shoot ‘em up movies and tv, but we would not run out and get a gun. At least, I haven’t done that in my 56 years, and I am not inclined to do so, no matter how many crazy movies I see or books I read.
Often pro-gun folk will say that the gun is just a tool. Guns don’t kill people. People do. I’ll grant that. The person buys or steals the gun, loads it, aims it, and pulls the trigger. Likewise society does not kill with guns except in war. It is the individuals within society that use guns. And with the exception of the rare mental crack, clearly anyone who uses a gun in the commission of any crime was a pro-gun individual prior to that crime. They had to be in favor of the availability of guns in order to obtain one, legally or otherwise, before they committed their act. They are members of the gun culture, the gun society. So I find this idea that it is our culture a bit odd. The only parts of our culture that is really responsible for a wide use of guns in crime are the very people who blame the culture.
This culture statement is really a red herring. It is an attempt to shift blame, thrown out by the pro-gun lobby to try and say that people like me hold some responsibility. However, if gun manufacturers were left to only people like me, they would have only military and police contracts. People like myself do not offer gun manufacturers business of any kind, even in a tertiary fashion. We do not cause the number of guns to increase or for them to be readily available to criminals in any way. The attempt to shift blame on those of us who press for regulations simply does not work, nor should it.
So I will accept that the problem is our culture. It is our gun culture, and our gun culture is made up exclusively of two groups of people: Criminal gun owners and Legal gun owners. Our gun culture is not made up of those of us who do not own guns. So let’s give credit where the credit is due.