If there's one thing we know for a fact, it's that people who don't understand gun owners are always attempting to put us into some sort of box and label us. A recent article published on phys.org had the following title: Gun culture 3.0 is missing link to understand US gun culture.
Essentially, the article breaks us down into three different sections, based on where you live and according to a Boston University School of Public Heath study recently published.
The three different cultures out there are the following:
The study goes on to break your culture down by the state you live in, and is somehow apparently based on NRA numbers.
As someone who is largely entrenched in all aspects of “gun culture all point O” I can say that studies like this are usually flawed and this one is no different. There are a few points that I think are accurate, and a few that I think need to be taken with a grain of salt.
There are a few reasons why this is, but let's start with Mississippi's HB 753 that was recently introduced. Here's the first paragraph from the bill:
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI TO ENTER INTO AN INTERSTATE COMPACT WITH SOUTHERN STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF OPERATING AS SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY STATES; TO ESTABLISH THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION ON SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY AND PRESCRIBE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES; TO EXEMPT CERTAIN FIREARMS, FIREARM ACCESSORIES AND AMMUNITION IN THIS STATE FROM FEDERAL REGULATION; TO DECLARE CERTAIN FEDERAL STATUTES, REGULATIONS, RULES, AND ORDERS UNCONSTITUTIONAL UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND UNENFORCEABLE IN THIS COMPACT REGION; TO REQUIRE THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL OF COMPACT STATES TO FILE ANY LEGAL ACTION TO PREVENT IMPLEMENTATION OF A FEDERAL STATUTE, REGULATION, RULE OR ORDER THAT VIOLATES THE RIGHTS OF A RESIDENT OF A COMPACT STATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
By the way, Mississippi is not listed as an activist state on the above map.
To my knowledge as of this writing it hasn't come to fruition yet and may never be put into law. But it's essentially a proposed compact between southern states that promises to protect both the Second Amendment and the citizens from these states that form the compact from anti-gun stuff.
They chose the states they did for that bill based on their stance on the Second Amendment, not recreational shooting or for self-defense. Though, the people in these states also enjoy shooting and protecting themselves, they were chosen because they are pro-gun, they're clearly mislabeled on the map.
The states are as follows:
- West Virginia
As far as I'm concerned based on the above pictured map, they've got some labels on some states that should not be the color they are. But hey, what do I know? I just have years of experience living in three different states in the last decade or so, with guns, and have experienced much of this stuff firsthand.
I digress …
But the people and lawmakers from the states who are on board with HB 753 understand that the three “gun cultures,” being shooting for fun, self-defense, and the Second Amendment are all intertwined and cannot really be separated.
The main reason why, of course, is because of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And, newsflash, you can't really do the first two if the last one goes away.
This is important because the [proposed compact] states in the above map are mostly listed for recreational use or for self-defense, with the exception of Georgia, and not for Second Amendment activism.
I'd argue that they chose the states they did for inclusion into that bill for a reason, and it's not because the people there are primarily into shooting skeet. Do they enjoy shooting? Sure. Do they want to protect themselves? Most likely. But that's not the primary reason.
You can't really separate the three and I've never really subscribed to the gun culture theory. You're either pro-gun, or you're not. To me there is no in between. You're either on our side or you need to get out of the way until you figure it out.
Another reason why this information can be flawed is because of where they're getting their information and, of course, blaming the NRA for all this political activism centered around the Second Amendment.
While it's true that the NRA is the largest gun organization in the country, most gun owners do not belong to it. I, for example, do not and haven't looked to them for guidance in years. I have not been a member of the NRA in several years and have no interest in becoming a member.
I believe strongly that the organization is corrupt at the top and refuse to give them any of my money until they fix themselves.
Therefore, using some information based on that organization when there are millions more gun owners who are not a part of the NRA than there are, I'd say it's flawed.
The people who conducted the study had this to say:
The NRA has been spreading insurrectionist rhetoric for the past few decades, undermining Americans' trust in their legislators and the federal government, while passing for a patriotic organization. The result is a few million people who are convinced that any genuine firearm violence prevention effort is the first step in a scheme to take away all of their rights and disenfranchise them.
Well, I've got news for them — I don't need the NRA to tell me not to trust politicians. And in all honesty, I question the intelligence of anyone who does blindly trust politicians.
It's hard to see why, when there is other stuff that can be done to curb violence but the only “answer” is to do what they want with red flag laws and making it so people can only buy a certain number of so many things each month, anyone with a functional brain could trust them.
Also, as someone who has lived in numerous states and has experienced first hand, I can say that some of the info presented is not right. Pennsylvania for example is probably equal for recreational shooting and self-defense. I traveled around the entire state for almost two years helping teach US Law Shield classes and met thousands of gun owners.
Each of our classes would be filled with self-defense minded people.
I have not lived in North Carolina long enough to say, but it seems like it's pretty much split down the middle, at least in my part of the state, Western NC. There is a heavy emphasis on all aspects of gun ownership and I'm not sure which one is dominant.
I will say that there are some things that are right on the map, though. In states like New Jersey, where I've also sadly lived in the past decade or so, has to be 2A activism. The reason why is because you really can't be anything else. Only like three people have a concealed carry permit (okay, more like 1,200) and there aren't that many places where you can go shooting for recreational purposes.
The only thing left for the people who live there and are into guns is 2A activism to try and change things. It's because they want to do these things like carry a gun for self-defense, and really cannot.
In an attempt to stay out of the mess that states like New Jersey and California have gotten themselves in, as well as to protect what we can for them as a whole, we are politically active.
None of us wants to have to be in the political side of this with the exception of maybe a few people. We HAVE to be in the political aspects of this. Because if we aren't it all goes away. If we aren't in the political side of this, the entire country will begin to look like New Jersey.
We cannot have that, and that's why all gun owners should be Second Amendment activists, and many of them already are. And, if you've got friends who are just into one of the parts like rec-shooting, I'd encourage you to help them realize that if it goes away it's a bad thing for all of us, to include target shooters.
The place where the gun grabbers get us wrong is that they put us into a box assuming there is a difference when for most of us, there isn't.
I, for example, am obviously very much into guns at all levels. I've been to large 2A rallies, carry a gun for self-defense at all times, and one of my favorite things to do is go to the range to shoot. Most gun owners that I know are like me. Very few are only into one or the other.
And the ones who are only into self-defense or recreational shooting must be brought over to the 2A side so we can continue to protect our gun rights.
And, getting back to the title of the article we've been talking about, if you really want to understand gun culture, which I don't think you do (meaning the people who conducted the study and similar thinkers/politicians), it's as simple as this: Just leave us alone.
All we want is to be left alone.
You don't need to be labeling us, there is no missing link, just leave us alone. Leave the gun laws alone.
We're not hurting anyone. And if you really wanted to help fix the “gun violence” problem as it's always so inaccurately called, take some of our advice on how to fix things instead of just trying to punish all of us for the actions of others.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.