Like so many of these anti-gun agitprop screeds, 3 Reasons I Went From Being a Gun Nut to Supporting Gun Control [via houstonpress.com] reveals its bias from the git-go. “I have a confession to make,” Chris Lane begins. “Once upon a time, I was a gun nut.” The term “gun nut” isn’t necessarily pejorative. Lots of firearms enthusiasts call themselves “gun nuts.” Used here it is. Of course, Mr. Lane immediately goes out of his way to tell the world that he was a “good” gun nut. Like this . . .
I wasn’t planning for the coming apocalypse or anything like that, but I owned a lot of weapons and ammunition for a guy living in a comfy house in central Houston. People could’ve easily mistaken me for a character from an episode of “Doomsday Preppers,” except I didn’t own a bunker. Yet.
I could field strip Glocks, 1911s, Kalashnikov style rifles, and AR15s almost with my eyes closed, and went shooting at various Houston area ranges weekly. I’d grown up around guns, and felt comfortable with them. I considered them a normal part of my life.
Then at some point I just lost interest in having a bedroom that looked like an armory, and I started to question why I owned so many weapons. Mind you, this change in attitude was not something that happened overnight, but eventually I started liquidating my large collection of firearms.
And what, pray tell, led to Mr. Lane’s change of heart? He lists three reasons, in reverse order. Let’s take them one at a time.
Americans Have Weird Attitudes About Freedom When It Comes To Guns
People willingly submit to rules and limits on their personal freedom in countless ways; it’s the price of living in a civilized society without being a huge nuisance to other people. One day I realized that nudity is controlled more tightly than ownership of deadly weapons, and that seemed absurd to me. The right to own guns is a freedom, but it’s not the freedom.
To paraphrase Janice Joplin,, Lane believes that freedom is just another word for something you have to lose. A bit. Because other things are more important. Like . . . safety. You know; for everyone. (Don’t be a nuisance, m’kay?) Not a new argument, certainly, but you have to wonder what’s more important than the freedom to defend your life against criminals, crazies and government tyranny. Well you do. Lane doesn’t. Not in any coherent way.
Many Gun Owners Believe That They’re Powerless Without Their Guns
Some of the hardcore gun owners I met were convinced that America is heading towards an Orwellian future where no one is free and the government controls every aspect of our lives. To many of them, the only thing standing in our evil government’s way is their personal stockpile of AR15s. They seem to ignore the fact that if the government went to such an authoritarian extreme, it would have the resources to effectively vaporize any suburban “patriots” who decided to raise an armed resistance against it.
Thinking the government is out to get them is a very simple and fairly stupid way of looking at things, and not something the majority of responsible gun owners buy into, but once I found myself encountering a bunch of those characters, I decided I didn’t want to be part of that culture anymore.
Since when does owning a gun mean that you buy into the “paranoid” (Lane’s word) gun culture? If you own a car are you buying into street racing culture? Lane admits “paranoid” gun owners are minority, anyway. What “many” (but not most) gun owners believe is their business, as are their religious or political beliefs (or sexual orientation). As long as their beliefs don’t infringe on my rights, what difference does it make?
Lane buys into the oft-repeated meme that individual gun ownership is meaningless in the face of government firepower. We’ve debunked that asinine assumption many times. Suffice it to say, no. Except to add this: the existence of armed Americans has deterred the government from realizing the ambitions of all governments: imposing tyranny on its people. I’m sure Lane doesn’t accept that premise. So one more word: Taliban.
Guns Are Deeply Entrenched Symbols, And It’s Unhealthy
Too often guns are shown to be totems of power, the only way to deal with a conflict, and as a symbol of masculinity. It’s stupid. I personally began to feel less powerful whenever I carried a gun. Living in fear while going about my business just made me feel weak and paranoid.
Once again, we’re looking at the anti-gunners’ toxic mix of psychological projection and elitism. I don’t feel comfortable with a gun so you shouldn’t have one. As far as Lane’s confession that he went about his business feeling “weak and paranoid” when he was armed I don’t think those feelings disappeared with his partial – partial – firearms “liquidation.” Not judging from this article.
Rather than fighting over what the Second Amendment really mens, perhaps it’s time we should at least look at where we are at now, and try to look at gun violence and our collective preoccupation with deadly weapons, and figure out a better way to do things. Doing nothing isn’t helping, and the body count continues to rise daily.
What, exactly, is Lane proposing to do to reduce the firearms-related body count, the majority of which involves suicide? Nothing. Not a damn thing. His rant is nothing more than an attempt to endear himself to gun control advocates; an empty plea for unspecified action on the issue of gun control based on his own queasiness about gun ownership. In the final analysis, it’s an onanistic exercise in anti-gun agitprop. In case you didn’t know.