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ninjadude

Paranoia Feeding American Gun Culture

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Today something stronger than the hunting culture or nostalgia for an adventure-filled frontier past is keeping gun fetishism alive -- social paranoia. A dread of unseen threats against one’s personal safety feeds the demand for automatic assault rifles and handguns, much to the delight of obliging firearm manufacturers.

Up to 47 percent of Americans reported owning firearms in 2011, according to the Gallup Poll. Consequently, the U.S. has the highest rate of gun-related homicides among the industrialized countries. Changing these statistics is a formidable challenge.

Widespread anxiety over perceived impending violence explains why there are 89 guns for every 100 American civilians, as reported in last year’s Small Arms Survey; that’s some 270 million guns nationwide, the highest rate of gun ownership in the world.

Many believe the high-caliber handgun or automatic rifle is their best defense against crime. Someone may want to invade your home, rape your wife and kill your children. A gun would enable you to “stand your ground,” many are convinced.

The gun is also a tool for projecting personal power. This function has even spawned an “open-carry” movement that would allow men and women — who no one should try to “mess with” -- to walk around like gunslingers of the old West.

And while no one really believes the United States is in danger of a military invasion by any foreign power, a good many gun worshipers believe that they need to be prepared for a social cataclysm of sorts, like mass unrest or a catastrophe that ultimately leads to widespread looting and depredation.

At its core, then, is a lack of confidence that the state can provide sufficient protection to its citizens. Tied to this is a profound sense of individualism, of a deeply held belief that only the individual, not the community or its laws, is the real guarantor of one’s safety.

Thus, while liberals may share some of these same insecurities, the cult of gun ownership is, as most observers already know, conservative at heart.

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/paranoia-feeding-american-gun-culture

I found this an apt description of the differences between "gun culture" and the rest of us. These beliefs and fears are deep seeded and generational. I don't agree with this paranoia but there it is.

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Not true, we just know for a fact those aliens are gonna invade us soon. We seen it on TV.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.:D)

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That's a pretty large "cult" Ninja. Obama is about to hit a brick wall if he tries to push the gun owners of this country too far. I'm guessing that the vast majority of law enforcement officers and military members who would be needed to enforce some draconian seizure are themselves believers in the second amendment. And before you start in with ridiculing me for using the term seizure, save your breath. You and all those on the left in this issue would take away our right to own weapons in a heartbeat IF it could be done without personal risk. That's just how they roll.....

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Posted (edited)

I don't own a gun, never have but hopefully will. My appreciation for the second amendment isn't deep seeded and not generational. I have an uncle who owned a couple rifles 15 years ago but no longer. Over 50 peeps in my immediate family and not one gun, rifle, handgun or otherwise. Far as I know nearly all of us appreciate amendment number two. I'm not sure I even know anyone close to me who owns one. We are all just Americans but not all conservatives who like the constitution as it is but we, I, are hardly part of the 'gun culture' and there is nothing deep seeded and generational, except maybe patriotism, about our support for gun ownership so your statement is wrong and purely opinionated.

Gun crimes are the absolute highest in concentrated areas of big cities. In fact in cities of 250,000 or more gun crime is double the national average. Point is that pound for pound the most crime happens in areas that consistently vote liberal. Chicago, Detroit, D.C., LA, NYC... Get my point? Perhaps instead of demonizing conservatives for everything bad and gun related you should be preaching to your liberal brethren about how entirely irresponsible their own constituents are. That goes hand in hand with everything else wrong with modern liberalism mainly No self responsibility or looking in the mirror to see the problem. So if you want conservatives to give up their guns you're going to have to actually have a reason why they should. Simply put, they're more responsible with them. It's your ilk that's a problem.

Edited by -Mr_Fess-
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About the article...

High caliber and automatic are absolutely efficient at defense. However, very very few people own automatics due the the extraordinary time and expense of the special permit process and the cost of ammo. It would cost you hundreds of dollars to have a few minutes of target practice with an automatic and most high caliber handguns are six shooter revolvers except for maybe the desert eagle 50 cal semi which only holds a small clip and is also very very expensive so those weapons aren't a big issue with crime. Any automatic gun crime you here of is rare and certainly from an illegal gun.

Gun owners in this country are hardly creating scenes akin to the old west.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared for disaster. In fact, the gov recommends it.

Yes there is a lack of confidence in the state. Minutes, hours and days are useless when seconds matter. Not even your local police can help when seconds truly matter. So yes, to many individuals they are their own best guarantee for the safety of themselves and their families.

This article is blind and does more to feed into paranoia then the 2cd amendment ever could. Seriously, look how scared you are over this exaggerated liberal propaganda. As I said before, you're preaching to the wrong people. It's your guys.

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Also, on one hand you libs are demonizing the gun crowd as overly paranoid about finding themselves in a bad situation while at the same time on the other hand you are saying crime is way to high and all over the place. The intent of the former is contradictory because it's justifiable by the latter.

I'll support the banning of guns when all guns disappear, the means to create makeshift guns disappear, murder, rapists and violent criminals disappear, the secret service feels they don't need them, law enforcement feels they don't need them, wars end for all time. I think you see where I'm going with this but so long as there is any of the above still in existence it's only fair that I have an equalizer on my side if I want. Otherwise, I'm defenseless and they're not. It's only fair and aren't you all about fairness? And by disappear, I mean vanish completely and entirely from the entire world.

Ok, I'm done for now...

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Well, if there are two well defined traits of American culture it is fear about everything and complaining about everything. While the article in the OP might be right in a case to case basis, I tend to think that it is overdoing the reality.

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" Today something stronger than the hunting culture or nostalgia for an adventure-filled frontier past is keeping gun fetishism alive -- social paranoia. A dread of unseen threats against one’s personal safety feeds the demand for automatic assault rifles and handguns......."

Stopped reading right there.

If you want people like me to come to the table to talk about reasonable ways to lower violent crime in the US, then at least do me the courtesy of educating yourself and knowing what in the **** you're talking about.

I just spent an entire election season hearing from liberal women about how white men without vaginas should not be making laws about their "lady parts".

Well, if you know nothing about guns, then don't be proposing laws about my "gun parts".

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While I think that social paranoia is a facet in our gun culture, I don't think it's the only facet. There are indeed people that buy guns in a sort of paranoid response. The gal that gets a handgun for her purse after a lot of gun violence on the news. The guy that goes out and buys a couple new guns just in case legislation goes through and he might not be able to buy those guns at some point in time. Folks who have worries that some sort of crap is gonna hit the fan in their lifetime, and firearms are part of the preparations.

But there are also lots and lots of folks that own firearms for other reasons. There are a lot of people that don't own guns out of social paranoia too. And a ton folks deal with dread of unseen threats in ways that have nothing to do with firearms.

I'm curious... What does "the differences between "gun culture" and the rest of us." mean?

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Well rashore, ninja has defined gun owners as mentally ill in another thread. So by the rest of us he means sane people who rely on the state to protect them from crime.

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Paranoia? LOL.

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I just spent an entire election season hearing from liberal women about how white men without vaginas should not be making laws about their "lady parts".

Well, if you know nothing about guns, then don't be proposing laws about my "gun parts".

Lady parts don't kill people.

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Lady parts don't kill people.

Ever heard of AIDS? It's not impossible.

Other than that, I'd bet good money they're responsible for more than a few deaths.

Edited by -Mr_Fess-
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While I think that social paranoia is a facet in our gun culture, I don't think it's the only facet. There are indeed people that buy guns in a sort of paranoid response. The gal that gets a handgun for her purse after a lot of gun violence on the news. The guy that goes out and buys a couple new guns just in case legislation goes through and he might not be able to buy those guns at some point in time. Folks who have worries that some sort of crap is gonna hit the fan in their lifetime, and firearms are part of the preparations.

But there are also lots and lots of folks that own firearms for other reasons. There are a lot of people that don't own guns out of social paranoia too. And a ton folks deal with dread of unseen threats in ways that have nothing to do with firearms.

I'm curious... What does "the differences between "gun culture" and the rest of us." mean?

A few thoughts on paranoia:

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

The way I look at it, the paranoid will inherit the earth.

The law of understated paranoia: No matter how bad you think it is, it's always worse than you think.

And as Lily Tomlin said, "I get more cynical, but I just can't keep up", or a paraphrase to that effect.

OK, maybe I'm a cynical old *snip* but I think that comes with studying history.

The one lesson we learn from history: We don't learn from history.

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I'm deeply supportive of guns because of my family.

My brother was military, brother-in law, cousin, grandpa, great-grandpa, ancestors, friends, family of friends, etc.

For me it's generational, from Vietnam to World War I to The American Revolution.

My grandfather was tough as nails, but kind and firm, being a Colonel in the Air Force. He taught me a man had a right to have a gun.

This was a guy who designed rockets and could have been an astronaut; a farm born engineering genius who flew Jets and taught the Luftwaffe Air Force in the early 1950's how to fly Jets; contemporaries with Chuck Yeager and Buzz Aldrin.

He always had a loaded rifle at his back door and a pistol on him or on the table. He had an unlocked gun closet, and I often slept in that room.

I knew very well there were more than ten guns in the same room as me; pistols, hunting rifles, shotguns, and a hell of ammo.

But did I ever think about looking at them or messing around with them? Or to touch the loaded gun? Hell no. My grandfather trusted me.

I knew guns are dangerous when mishandled. As a young boy I was taught, "Never, ever aim a gun at any one under any circumstance unless it is a life or death situation. When you aim a gun at someone, you can accidentally shoot them." That was something reinforced into me by my older brother when he taught me how to shoot a gun for the very first time..

I'm not a violent person;I just know history and I don't want the same thing that's happened to other countries to happen to America. Because of the sacrifices of people, including my grandpa's best friend and mom's best friend's father, I feel deeply about rights others have fought and died for. But I get frustrated that people are so deluded to trust government when hard cold statistics and most of western civilization's history soberly support governments have no conscience.

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Im not paranoid. Just come try to bust down my door and well see whos scared and paranoid. :gun:

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Im not paranoid. Just come try to bust down my door and well see whos scared and paranoid. :gun:

And people wonder why the world thinks Americans have a sick obsession guns...

Ironically enough, I don't even see this type of obsession when it comes to third world countries full of war lords. In the rest of the world, guns are seen as a tool for killing, which they are. In America, they seem to be seen as a toy to play revolutionary with. Complete with accessories and customizable with pink handguards.

As much as people claim its for self defense, I feel that that is a minor reason when contrasted to the main one: guns are cool.

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And people wonder why the world thinks Americans have a sick obsession guns...

Ironically enough, I don't even see this type of obsession when it comes to third world countries full of war lords. In the rest of the world, guns are seen as a tool for killing, which they are. In America, they seem to be seen as a toy to play revolutionary with. Complete with accessories and customizable with pink handguards.

As much as people claim its for self defense, I feel that that is a minor reason when contrasted to the main one: guns are cool.

Guns are cool. And all of these people who say...you'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands...not so much. When push comes to shove the vast majority will register their guns and think it is a good idea. And if the government banns certain guns...the vast majority will turn them over and think it is a good thing...because the vast majority of Americans are Proles.

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Lady parts don't kill people.

And using the most recent estimates on firearms ownership in the US vs deaths by firearms, 99.978 percent of guns don't kill people either.

And yeah, lady parts do kill people.

And the point is still valid. If folks want to have a serious discussion about firearms usage and reducing the level of violent crime in the US, then educate yourself and know what you're talking about. For example, all of this talk about so-called "assault weapons" - the damned things are hardly ever used to kill anyone. So why so much focus on them other than they look scary to the uninformed and make good political hay.

Edited by Rafterman
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And using the most recent estimates on firearms ownership in the US vs deaths by firearms, 99.978 percent of guns don't kill people either.

And yeah, lady parts do kill people.

And the point is still valid. If folks want to have a serious discussion about firearms usage and reducing the level of violent crime in the US, then educate yourself and know what you're talking about. For example, all of this talk about so-called "assault weapons" - the damned things are hardly ever used to kill anyone. So why so much focus on them other than they look scary to the uninformed and make good political hay.

For the same reasons I suppose that no one seems to give a damn about the 1000+ people who are killed in car crashes everyday in America. But have ONE airliner carrying 245 people go down and it's: omg...what can we do about this?!

Edited by joc
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Sorry for posting rather gross images, but this is one of the (many) reasons I believe in gun ownership. I realize that if they had been armed, it might not have meant they would have avoided death, but which is better, to put up a fight, or to submit meekly to being turned into soap or worse? I realize too that gun confiscation doesn't necessarily mean genocide will follow, but my thinking is, once private gun ownership is illegal, there is nothing to STOP genocide (short of fighting with knives and sticks and what-not).

http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/gallery2/66297.htm

That made me wonder how many Jews did survive and I found this:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080919072615AAgknCw

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have American Indian ancestry then I would know how to make a bow and arrow from scratch, although I suppose I could still learn how, I wouldn't think it would be too difficult.

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Sorry for posting rather gross images, but this is one of the (many) reasons I believe in gun ownership. I realize that if they had been armed, it might not have meant they would have avoided death, but which is better, to put up a fight, or to submit meekly to being turned into soap or worse? I realize too that gun confiscation doesn't necessarily mean genocide will follow, but my thinking is, once private gun ownership is illegal, there is nothing to STOP genocide (short of fighting with knives and sticks and what-not).

http://fcit.usf.edu/...lery2/66297.htm

That made me wonder how many Jews did survive and I found this:

http://answers.yahoo...19072615AAgknCw

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have American Indian ancestry then I would know how to make a bow and arrow from scratch, although I suppose I could still learn how, I wouldn't think it would be too difficult.

There was an underground effort I think in Western Europe, during the 2nd World War to arm free Jews with small .22 cal handguns. "For every Jew, a .22", the idea being that fighting back against the Nazis became possible. If they were caught and going to be taken, they'd be able to pull their weapon before a weapon was pulled on them. Or more heroically, they could actively hunt Nazis one at a time, pursuing them in the streets, shooting them in the back of the head.

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Guns are a deterrent to tyranny. No brainer

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Guns are a deterrent to tyranny. No brainer

as convincing as I'm sure you expect that to be ... there is staggeringly little tyranny in Australia.

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