Media's pet phrase: "Gun Culture"?


PDA






MedWheeler
December 23, 2012, 05:12 PM
If there really is such thing as a "gun culture" in the USA, what the media is lashing out at right now isn't it.

A "gun culture", the way I see it, would be no more than a culture in which the common existence and possession of firearms is integral with society, and living in general. The days in which it was more common than not to see a shotgun leaning in a corner inside one's front door, a rifle in a rack in the rear window of a pickup (perhaps even parked outside a school!), and a sixgun on a man's hip as he went about his business. People didn't fear them; they were as ordinary to see around as any other tool or implement of daily living, such as a stove, washboard, appliance, or a car. Children played "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and Indians" with real-looking toy guns, and even pointed them at each other. If there were "real" guns in the house, everyone knew it, and no one feared them. All able-bodied and responsible members of the household knew how (and when) to use them.
This started well before the year 1800, and continued well into the 1970s, particularly below the Mason-Dixon line. Yes, there were bad guys with guns who used them, but there were good guys with guns to stop them.

Most of us over the age of 35-40 years old, especially those who grew up in the South and West, went through this lifestyle and came out without being drawn into a lifestyle centered around firearms-related violence. We didn't become mass-murderers, spree-killers, or gang-banging thugs. For the last 20 years or so, though, young people have spent far more time sitting at home on their pasty-white soggy rears learning more about weapons and firearms from "virtuality" than from reality. With curiosity sparked by that, and no education or experience with the real thing, they can easily become tempted to "try out the power" of a game's glorified weapon when they get their hands on a real one.
No, I'm not blaming video games at all. But, I believe that young people, whose minds are still so easily influenced, need to be spending time and experience in the "real world" far more than in the so-called "virtual world."

No, there is no such thing as a "gun culture". Since, in those times, firearms were no more than tools for recreation, sustenance, or defense, they can no more be the subject of a "culture" as any other tool. I've never heard of a "hammer culture", or a "rod-and-reel" culture, yet there are at least as many people, if not more, that actively enjoy tinkering or hand-working, or fishing.

Perhaps what the media is actually looking at could more accurately be described as a "violence culture" or a "thug culture"? These types of lifestyles as practiced by enough like-minded people to be indeed be classified as a "culture". The glamorization of violence and death, coupled with the loss of the fear of death (largely due to its perceived glory and the lack of a belief in a higher power to answer to) are what is steering people of that culture. Firearms simply happen to be an available outlet for them with which to carry out their fantasies, which all too often carry from their virtual worlds into the real one.

If you enjoyed reading about "Media's pet phrase: "Gun Culture"?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
SuperNaut
December 23, 2012, 05:20 PM
This is a tactic designed to minimize, isolate, dehumanize, and dismiss gun owners. With over 300 million guns in the USA and over an estimated 80 million gun owners, there is no such thing as "gun culture" there is only US Culture.

mljdeckard
December 23, 2012, 05:21 PM
I very much agree. It is speech to marginalize.

Sacajawea
December 23, 2012, 05:28 PM
Hi there - I'm new around these parts.

Very good post! I think it's part of the strategy to marginalize responsible gun owners, also. Sets up the old us vs them - again.

We should ask them to describe this "gun culture". See what it consists of. Because I probably don't fit their profile. A lot of women won't. thewellarmedwoman.com is running "faces of gun owners" on Facebook. This might help - lots of grannies, like me... young, hipster women... the neighbor lady who volunteers everywhere...

P5 Guy
December 23, 2012, 06:02 PM
Counter Culture was used on the Hippies back in the 60s, this is just the variation the counter culture types are using on what used to be The Establishment?

beatledog7
December 23, 2012, 06:11 PM
Yep, they think identifying a "gun culture" makes us look like some sort of out-of-step fringe group.

Note that they steer clear of terms like "green culture" or "promiscuity culture."

HOOfan_1
December 23, 2012, 06:13 PM
If there really is such thing as a "gun culture" in the USA, what the media is lashing out at right now isn't it.


No more than there is a car culture, a golf culture, a horse culture, a bowling culture.........

no one seems to be offended by those past times, even when someone drives through a farmers market and kills a bunch of people.

yokel
December 23, 2012, 06:30 PM
Indeed, the right to keep and bear arms that is enumerated in the Bill of Rights is not merely some kind of cultural phenomenon, where people tend to do and believe things simply because other people do as well, like a fad.

Cultural phenomena are not deeply rooted and they can change with the wind.

Pete D.
December 23, 2012, 06:45 PM
No, there is no such thing as a "gun culture".
I agree that it is or has become a loaded expression as it is used in the press and that it has acquired negative connotations.
That being said, it is almost silly to state - on a website devoted completely to the detailed analysis of virtually every conceivable aspect of firearm ownership and use - that there is no such thing as a "gun culture".
And this is just one of many similar fora.
No gun culture? You gotta be kidding.
Pete

MedWheeler
December 23, 2012, 07:13 PM
That being said, it is almost silly to state - on a website devoted completely to the detailed analysis of virtually every conceivable aspect of firearm ownership and use - that there is no such thing as a "gun culture".

Okay, on a website dedicated entirely to firearms and their enthusiasts, there might indeed be a "gun culture", but it is real only in the "virtual" sense. We are not all meeting in person every time we log on, and actually doing things with firearms and with each other. I'm trying to stay in the "real world", known sometimes as 3D, as outdated as it appears to be becoming..

jason41987
December 23, 2012, 07:56 PM
video games have nothing to do with violence or gun crime... millions of people play shooter games and most of these own guns of their own... its a form of entertainment and little more to most people and advocating any kind of blocks or sensorship on these would be smacking the first amendment in the face which is something i refuse to do just as much as i refuse to restrict any other amendments

Pete D.
December 23, 2012, 08:56 PM
We are not all meeting in person every time we log on, and actually doing things with firearms and with each other.
Maybe you are not. Maybe I am not meeting with the individuals who post on the fora to which I contribute but I sure am meeting on a regular and frequent basis with other gun enthusiasts in that 3D world to shoot and to discuss. I am at a gun club meeting twice a month. I shoot ATA trap with friends every Wednesday. I practice for Bullseye competition with another set of friends a couple of times a week and shoot a match every Wednesday evening (after Trap). So.....there is a gun culture and I am involved in it.
Pete

jmace57
December 23, 2012, 10:01 PM
My Dad grew up in West Texas in the 1920's. He said he didn't know any man that DIDN'T carry a handgun. Was THAT a gun culture?

MedWheeler
December 23, 2012, 10:47 PM
My Dad grew up in West Texas in the 1920's. He said he didn't know any man that DIDN'T carry a handgun. Was THAT a gun culture?

No more than it would be a "pocketknife culture" if they all also carried pocketknives. But, this is an example of the point I'm making, that a large number of people owning guns (and even using them) does not make a "gun culture" in itself, especially if the presence of the guns is not a driving force influencing activities of daily living, or an intensely-pursued hobby or passion.

And Pete, I was referring to the difference between the "virtual world" (such as this board), and the real one. It would seem that you do in fact participate in a "gun culture" in both realms.

beatledog7
December 23, 2012, 10:57 PM
The variation in other, non-gun-related interests among gun owners is as broad as it is among antis. Some of us raise horses, some of them do. Some of them sing in a choir, some of us do. And so on.

What they want each other to believe is that all gun owners are interested in nothing but fondling our guns and planning our next kill. In other words, "gun culture."

toivo
December 23, 2012, 11:12 PM
It's just another of the buzz phrases that the media and the general public like to substitute for actual thought. Another is "We have to get these weapons off our streets." They're not ON our streets. They're in the woods and on rifle ranges and in people's homes. I've never seen anybody on the street with an AR-15, have you? Maybe at an open-carry demonstration, but they're not exactly commonplace.

beeb173
December 23, 2012, 11:15 PM
it's as racist a term as hip hop culture. it's meant to mean hill billy.

Pete D.
December 23, 2012, 11:18 PM
It's just another of the buzz phrases that the media and the general public like to substitute for actual thought. Another is "We have to get these weapons off our streets." They're not ON our streets. They're in the woods and on rifle ranges and in people's homes. I've never seen anybody on the street with an AR-15, have you? Maybe at an open-carry demonstration, but they're not exactly commonplace.

+1. Great post.
Pete

Knotthead
December 23, 2012, 11:28 PM
From Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals (http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/alinsky.htm):

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

"...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

"One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other."

If you are not familiar with these rules, you need to be in order to recognize them when they are employed.

breakingcontact
December 23, 2012, 11:59 PM
Socialists are smart and patient.

Hijack the language of the debate, marginalize your opponents.

Rinse and repeat.

Kim
December 24, 2012, 12:58 AM
They are making it a "Culture War" slogan and their side is of coarse and full of absolute truth. They we say the pro-gun side uses it as a wedge issue. Their view is NEVER used as a wedge issue.

Risky
December 24, 2012, 01:25 AM
No more than there is a car culture, a golf culture, a horse culture, a bowling culture.........

no one seems to be offended by those past times, even when someone drives through a farmers market and kills a bunch of people.

That happens when cultures mix and blend... in this case, cars and bowling.

MachIVshooter
December 24, 2012, 05:27 AM
There isn't a gun culture in the USA; The USA is a gun culture.

gc70
December 24, 2012, 06:34 AM
The USA is a gun culture.

:)

Unlike many other countries, firearms have been integral to our society throughout US history. Some folks think that societies should grow out of the need for guns and those people do use "gun culture" as a derisive phrase to convey their idyllic concept.

Double Naught Spy
December 24, 2012, 07:12 AM
And based on a search of THR, we use "gun culture" to describe ourselves as well.

76shuvlinoff
December 24, 2012, 07:48 AM
Since when should I be ashamed of being part of a gun culture? Was that moment Sandy Hook last week? I am very tired of the inference that because I own and ENJOY firearms that I am somehow complicit in the murders of those children and educators.

Bull****.

My firearms don't define me, they are part of the package of my interests and my hobbies. It's not like I sit around talking to myself and mentally masturbating while cleaning my property.

Too much caffeine?

robhof
December 24, 2012, 07:54 AM
I always get peeved with the medias statistics of "gun violence", hidden in those are the many legitimate shootings by LE and self defense by armed citizens. All the self defense shootings that you read about in the NRA mags are lumped in with the stats to add weight to the Looney left wingnuts arguement.:banghead::cuss::fire:

Dr_B
February 18, 2013, 06:28 PM
The term reminds me of the old police training video "Surviving Edged Weapons." They constantly refer to the "knife culture" as something that has existed among people since the first caveman discovered he could chip a sharp knife out of a piece of rock.

I hate the media. Never trusted them, but I have genuinely hated the media since a couple of years ago when a colleague of mine did something truly awful and the media literally made up stories about it to sell more papers.

taliv
February 18, 2013, 06:54 PM
i disagree with most views in this thread.

there certainly is a gun culture in the US. Just like there is a hip hop culture. There is a hippie culture. sport (nascar/football) cultures etc.

to the extent stereotyping is useful, it's easy to identify people in these cultures by their speech, their dress, their attitudes etc.


i consider the "gun culture" a good thing. to my way of thinking, it consists not so much of the people i see at gun shows, but to a large extent most of the shooters i see at IDPA/IPSC/3gun/and many other matches. these people identify with and participate in the gun culture. it is a small community.

i think the useful distinction is that there is very little overlap between the people in the gun culture and the "culture of violence" the media participates in. people in the gun culture rarely glorify violence. they don't revel in it like hollywood movies and video games. they view guns as tools, not symbols. and they definitely have a different mindset.

Smokin Gator
February 18, 2013, 07:23 PM
Maybe the anti's should be refered to as "victim culture". It's been pointed out that they really don't hate guns, it's gun owners. It upsets them that they know they aren't prepared to defend themselves or their families and they can't stand the fact that other people are willing to defend theirs. Of course, I don't know their families, maybe they aren't worth defending. A lot of us have decided ours are worth it. Mark

Double Naught Spy
February 18, 2013, 10:59 PM
Maybe the anti's should be refered to as "victim culture".

Who says they are victims? A lot of them are very concerned about self defense which is why they dislike guns. I've known several martial arts instructors who were anti-gun and they certain were not part of any "victim culture" and did care about the safety of themselves and their families.

Who says gun owners aren't or haven't been victims? I have seen a variety of new CHL students who happen to be the recent victims of crime. Would they not be part of a victim culture as well?

I think the phrase you are looking for is "anti-gun culture."

Queen_of_Thunder
February 18, 2013, 11:19 PM
Well the "Gun Culture" in my area raises and collects toys for the Toys for Tots program, fund raising for local schools and JR ROTC, not to mention the vast conservation gains hunters and groups like Ducks Unlimited have managed to get done without the government and this is just for starters.

OcelotZ3
February 20, 2013, 12:00 AM
If you think "Gun Culture" is a media-concocted term, think again. Michael Bane (a firearms writer/blogger/podcaster/etc.) has been using the term for years (at least since 2008).

In fact, he has been using the term "Gun Culture 2.0" for everything post-2008.

BigBore44
February 20, 2013, 12:46 AM
MachIV said it well. But we (THR) are a subsidy of American culture. We don't have 80 million members on THR. What the media is trying to do is create a new American culture devoid of guns.

Guys and Gals do some math here. And use some logic. 80 million gun owners. 300,000 standing military, +\- 750,000 LE. So 80 million vs 1 million.

Now on to the logic aspect. How many members of our military and LE know (good friends with) or are related to people who legally own firearms?
Answer: Almost all of them.

And do you really think that they will go to their friends and family and say "Sorry, gotta take away your ability to defend yourself. Give us your guns". Answer: NOT A CHANCE!!

Its not because the military and LE are afraid to do it. It's because they swore an oath to SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC!

Now some may say that the oath (military) goes on to say that they also swore to follow the orders of POTUS. That's true. But when the orders go against the constitution, they do not, and will not be followed because they are illegal orders.

And one more thing. The members of the military and LE are also members of our "Gun Culture" and I'm happy to have them as members.

Ken70
February 20, 2013, 04:00 AM
I've hearing "gun culture" for at least 50 years. Wasn't a part of it until 20 years ago. Started reading gun books, gun shows, checking out the gun dealers, talking to people that were already in the culture. When I started I could identify a Luger pistol and a Thompson sub machine gun and an M16. Nothing else, cowboy pistol? Didn't know it was a Colt Single Action Army.

Had squirt guns that were shaped like a 1911, but didn't know that's what it was. Get interested in guns and you join the culture.

Hacker15E
February 20, 2013, 07:44 AM
If you are spending your time on a firearms forum, you are most definitely part of "gun culture".

baz
February 20, 2013, 08:25 AM
If you think "Gun Culture" is a media-concocted term, think again. Michael Bane (a firearms writer/blogger/podcaster/etc.) has been using the term for years (at least since 2008).

In fact, he has been using the term "Gun Culture 2.0" for everything post-2008.Not to mention John Ross' Unintended Consequences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unintended_Consequences_%28novel%29), published in 1996. I'd like to see specific examples of the OP's claim that this is a favorite term or pet phrase of media. I do not doubt that it has been used by the media, but they didn't coin it, and do not own the meaning of it. But they might well use it as a pejorative, they same way they seem to speak at other times of the values of flyover country and traditional American culture. There is a serious cultural divide in this country, but it is more related to urban vs. rural/surburan values, and cuts across a variety of issues and circumstances, of which guns are just a part. Think "blue" and "red" here. I make no more apologies for being a part of the "gun culture" than I do for living in a "red" state, and being a "flag waving" patriot. The question I have, for our detractors, is why aren't they any of these things?

Checkman
February 20, 2013, 08:36 AM
I don't agree. There is a gun culture and I've been a part of it for the past 33 years. I don't think the media made it up. Now the term "gun nut" is one that I do find offensive.

larryh1108
February 20, 2013, 08:49 AM
Personally, I don't feel offended when they use the term gun culture. We are part of the gun culture. To me, it is not a negative term any more than a car club or biker club would be. Offensive terms would be gun nuts, gun thugs, gun hicks or gun billys. A culture isn't a derrogative term as it actually sounds civilized, like we truly are.

W L Johnson
February 20, 2013, 09:11 AM
It's the Thug Culture in this country that worries me.

shafter
February 20, 2013, 10:28 AM
Read the novel Unitended Consequenses by John Ross. It's an enlightening book that deals with America's "gun culture" and the steady assault upon it. It's very much worth reading although I don't necessarily agree with all of it.

baz
February 20, 2013, 10:58 AM
Read the novel Unitended Consequenses by John Ross. It's an enlightening book that deals with America's "gun culture" and the steady assault upon it. It's very much worth reading although I don't necessarily agree with all of it.Ditto this. The sexual assignations in the book border on puerile, and seriously detract from it overall (and I'm no prude), but the book is still full of interesting history and fascinating speculation.

HankR
February 20, 2013, 11:43 AM
Not to mention John Ross' Unintended Consequences...

I heartily approve of the way that Mr. Ross used the term. Each time he would say "and so and so was a member of the "gun culture", I would think "Heck Yeah" or "Me too". He described normal people doing things that were once considered normal with their guns. He went on to show how these people were later marginalized by society. He does post here sometimes, maybe he'll give us his take on the term?

I also recommend reading the book. If nothing else for the historical information. When my wife read it, she asked me several times "did that really happen" (Bonus March, Warsaw Ghetto, Battle of Athens). For some reason the government schools are not teaching this material these days. Sure, there was some sex in the back story, and maybe not exactly the types of sex that 100% of us approve or, but life is kind of like that sometimes.

There was talk of a (shorter) sequel a few years ago. Maybe Mr. Ross will chime in on that also?

Akita1
February 20, 2013, 05:58 PM
i disagree with most views in this thread.

there certainly is a gun culture in the US. Just like there is a hip hop culture. There is a hippie culture. sport (nascar/football) cultures etc.

to the extent stereotyping is useful, it's easy to identify people in these cultures by their speech, their dress, their attitudes etc.


i consider the "gun culture" a good thing. to my way of thinking, it consists not so much of the people i see at gun shows, but to a large extent most of the shooters i see at IDPA/IPSC/3gun/and many other matches. these people identify with and participate in the gun culture. it is a small community.

i think the useful distinction is that there is very little overlap between the people in the gun culture and the "culture of violence" the media participates in. people in the gun culture rarely glorify violence. they don't revel in it like hollywood movies and video games. they view guns as tools, not symbols. and they definitely have a different mindset.
Amen brother. Proud to be a part of it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Media's pet phrase: "Gun Culture"?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!