Colorado has plenty of guns, millions of gun owners and not a lot of gun laws. So what up with denverpost.com? Their article Why Own a Gun? Colorado gun owners speak out seems like a non-problem in search of an already implemented solution. To his credit, writer Monte Whaley knows he’s dealing with a straw man. “Granted, whether someone owns a gun doesn’t matter to most people most of the time.” And then . . . Columbine! Aurora! And yet gun sales surge! “Who are these people?” Whaley wonders. “Anarchists? John Wayne wannabes? The unhinged? That’s something The Post wanted to find out when it asked on Facebook: ‘Why do you own a gun?'” Ah. Facebook . . .
The resulting article is best described as NRA lite. It reads like a collection of “I Am the NRA” profiles that touch on every possible reason to own a firearm save defending your illegal drug territory from gang-banging N words. Some of the gun owners’ comments are slightly tilted to the left, a couple are anti pro-gun, but there’s nothing in the piece to scare the horses. For example . . .
[Gary] Reed enjoys the elegance of guns and how they feel in his hands. He participates in — and often wins — Cowboy Action Shooting contests around the country.
He believes most gun owners represent the down-to-earth values of middle America.
Reed, an Army veteran, sees himself as a member of the well-armed militia described in the U.S. Constitution.
“I am ready, willing and able to come to the defense of my country, my state and my community should that ever become necessary,” he said.
But Reed also has little use for most gun-rights groups, many of which gave up talking to the media and putting out a positive message about gun owners.
Reed also wants to take the mystique out guns.
“People need to be taught how to handle guns and take away the Hollywood image of owning a gun,” he said.
Interestingly, Monte Whaley forgets to include a link to the Facebook question for jobbing journos who want to see if there are any unhinged minds amongst respondents. (What are the odds?) Sorry. There was only so much I could take of the post’s
MySpace Facebook page.
So I guess we’ll call this a victory for gun rights: an article that presents Colorado gun owners in a flattering light. Part of the normalization process which defends and extends our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
But I can’t help wonder which barbarians Whaley left outside the gate. And how the gun owners selected for the article feel about gun control in general and President Obama’s call for a renewed assault weapons ban in particular. Not as antagonistic as one might hope, methinks.