When I first started this blog, I wrote a lot more essays than I do now. Lately, I’ve become a bit more of a news/current events/opinions blog; but every now and then I have essays that I want to write. A lot of the time I don’t publish them here – but today I’m going to make an exception to that. An editorial in a Wales paper got me thinking about “the gun culture”. While the author never explicitly uses the phrase “gun culture”, it is exactly what he’s talking about. Well, not exactly I suppose. What he’s talking about is his perception of the American “Gun Culture”, which more often than not is an incorrect perception. This quote at the end of the article pretty much sums it up:
…but the gun will remain a regrettably destructive but enduring symbol of a nation’s otherwise admirable romance with liberty.
He’s right – not in the regrettably destructive part, but that for a lot of Americans, firearms are an integral part of our “romance with liberty”. As an aside, I really love that last phrase, “romance with liberty”. It really does describe how I feel about personal freedom; I am deeply in love with the concept and ideals of liberty.
However, I digress from the subject at hand; which is that of “my gun culture”. What is “gun culture”, anyway? Webster’s says that culture is a lot of things, actually. The two definitions that I believe describe my gun culture best are these:
3: expert care and training
5 d: the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic
If the word “culture” is used in “gun culture” as the first definition, than what we have is “gun expert care and training”; I like that. It indicates that my gun culture is one of safety, professionalism and courtesy. The second definition I listed supplies the usual context in which we use the phrase “gun culture” – i.e. the set of values that gun owners all share.
However, the phrase “gun culture” doesn’t come together until you combine the two definitions – yes, the gun culture shares a set of values, conventions, and practices amongst ourselves, but what are those? Well, they’re clearly laid out by the first definition I listed: Expert care and training.
That’s what my gun culture is all about. People from diverse walks of life, men, women, college grads, military personnel, dedicated to preserving a group, a culture built around expert care, safety, and training.
My gun culture started with my father, and the words “Son, you don’t mess with these without my permission. A gun is something to never be handled irresponsibly” – since that time it’s grown to include many friends and fellow bloggers.
What is your gun culture?
I’d say you’re about dead-balls on with it. My wife really shines in it. I’m a gun nut. I love ’em, and I spend much of my time doing somthing gun related. She on the other hand is not. Where we are similar shows what “Gun Culture is” She may not be all about the latest 1911 or the ballistics of 10mm Auto vs. .45 Auto, or quoting Jeff Cooper. But she understands personal responciblity, safty, self respect, respect for others, and human rights, and somthing to pass on to others.
That’s our Gun Culture
These guys had the right idea:
“Civilized people are taught by logic, barbarians by necessity, communities by tradition; and the lesson is inculcated even in wild beasts by nature itself. They learn that they have to defend their own bodies and persons and lives from violence of any and every kind by all means in their power!”
“The said Constitution shall be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
–Samuel Adams, Massachusetts’ U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788
“The possession of arms is the distinction
between a free man and a slave.”
– Andrew Fletcher, Discourse on Government (1695)
My “gun culture” is one of self-reliance, personal responsibility and skills development. I will be taking Eldest (age 11) out this weekend to harvest Thanksgiving Dinner. It will be her first “big game” tag…..
While in the UK, the gun culture or lack thereof, gives us this:
“A UNITED Nations report has labelled Scotland the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America.
England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest. ”
I guess those Irish still have their guns.
Romance with Liberty? Its a full blown love affair for me. This statement coming from a writer in a nation that was flirting with socialism but decided it was more romantic to get in bed with communism instead-long after the funeral for communism was held. How does one manage to feel “civil” after a tawdry affair like that? Quite frankly I am grateful for a society that still values liberty and individual freedom.I am with jimbob86 and thank God for personal responsibility,integrity, and the culture and People of the Gun.
Many outsiders consider gun owners a monolithic culture, when in fact it’s really a collection of overlapping communities, such as hunters, sport shooters, “self defenders”, gadget freaks, “tuners”, collectors, libertarians, etc.
There better not be anything growing in a culture on any of my guns.
Oh, wait, that’s not what you meant, is it?
For a look at my gun culture, look no further than the Northeastshooters forum. It’s a collection of MA/New England gun nuts (with some transplants and other kindred souls) whose common love of all things that go bang has united them into one big, heavily armed family…
It’s sad when a culture like Britain which used to love and cherish Freedom and Liberty, now is surrounded with thousands of peering but ineffectual surveillance cameras and a do-nothing, mop-up police force – and has only an ironic, post-modern harlequin romance with Liberty…
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