America’s Gun Culture is an Essential Part of Creating and Preserving a Healthy Civil Society

American civil society gun culture

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America’s gun culture is an integral part of who we are and why this country has been as free and prosperous as it has for over 240 years. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

From the colonists winning independence from Great Britain to African-Americans vindicating their civil rights, the role of the gun is inseparable from American identity. The gun is the ultimate multipurpose tool that empowers its user with the means to put food on the table, as well as preserve one’s life, whether against common street criminals or government tyranny. The philosophical underpinnings and lived experiences that shaped American gun culture all matter (and reinforce each other), but I want to focus on one aspect in particular: the cultivation of civic virtue.

Owning and shooting a gun promotes self-reliance, personal responsibility, and community. Whenever I go to a gun range, I see parents teaching their young children how to shoot, men instructing their significant others, and people of all colors and ethnicities enjoying themselves. Nervous skeptics usually end up leaving with a big smile on their faces.

Further, I am surprised by the large number of foreign tourists eager to learn how to handle and shoot a gun for the first time, an activity that is often out of reach—if not outright illegal—for the average person in their homeland. On more than one occasion, Tocqueville was impressed by America’s numerous associations, which provided the lifeblood for self-rule among its people. I served as an unofficial ambassador and taught European exchange students how to shoot my AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

In my experience, a typical day at the range is an ideal snapshot of American diversity tied to common principles. In the United States, gun culture fosters civic virtue and a healthy civil society as admired by Alexis de Tocqueville, one of America’s best foreign observers. In his classic Democracy in America, he was impressed by the young republic’s numerous voluntary associations, which provided the lifeblood and training grounds for self-rule among its people.

The activities and interactions at gun clubs, ranges, trade shows, and conventions have every effect in cultivating a virtuous citizenry as churches, sports teams, debate societies, and other civic groups do. From lectures on current firearms law to practical lessons on self-defense, experts and ordinary Americans alike freely share their knowledge. America’s gun culture is further reinforced by a vibrant online community that covers gun reviews, custom AR-15 builds, military history, current politics, and virtually every topic one can think of pertaining to firearms.

– Aaron Tao in How America’s Gun Culture Cultivates Civic Virtue

comments

  1. avatar barnbwt says:

    Political power grows from the barrel of a gun, therefore it is paramount that the people be armed before any truly civil society can exist.

    1. avatar Grimaldy says:

      Whether you know it or not, you are quoting Chairman Mao Tse Tung from his Red Book.
      And we all know where that went.

      1. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

        He was right about where political power came from. He just happened to want it all so he disarmed his subjects.

        1. avatar Grimaldy says:

          See, the problem here is not only do you take quotes out of context, you lack any knowledge about the history of the person you are quoting.
          Mao Tse Tung led the revolution against the Kuo Min Tang government, which was the military dictatorship backed by the US. He did that by passing out arms to all of his followers and arming them. When he subsequently wrote his Little Red Book he was offering guidance to revolutionaries the world over.
          So the take away message is be careful about people who tell you to take up arms; they have something in mind besides personal freedom. It is most often their own peculiarly dreams of amassing power, like David Koresh, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, a few other home grown terrorists.

  2. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Christianity created a civil society based on a law. Guns created a culture based on independence.

    As civics turns against Christianity in the west, Guns will be the only way to preserve the western culture.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      “Christianity created a civil society based on a law”

      About that, read some history, just read your Old Testament, yikes.

      1. avatar GridSquare says:

        And subsequently you should read the New Testament. I’m not a Christian, but to deny that Christianity isn’t one of the fundamental pillars of western society that separates it from the rest of the world is to ignore history. The Old Testament is just as brutal as any other religion was at the time, but the Old Testament isn’t what made Christianity and isn’t the major influencer in Christian teachings.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          Old Testament law was more about setting down very basic rules that make civilization possible and allow it to thrive. Christian (ie: Roman) Law was about getting that successful civilization to thrive & accomplish great things for its people (the beginnings of the “works” based ideal, that eventually became the defining feature of Protestantism)

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          Eh, Christianity, in this particular regard, is just the vehicle that’s transported those ideas and made the accessible and understandable to the masses IMHO. The ideas predate the New Testament (obviously since many are contained in the Old Testament) and even the Old Testament itself. Such concepts can be found in other civilizations that the Hebrews encountered and sometimes adopted parts those civilizations as part of Hebrew culture/society.

          If you look at what’s going on in the current educational system you’ll find that Progressives are actively attacking not just Christianity but also ancient history and literature. The reason for this is because the concepts in the Bible start out before the Bible is written, well before it in fact, mainly in Greece in terms of “Western Civ” but also over in Persia.

          The Greeks get a lot of their ideas from the Egyptians, a society that in 1000BC had been around for quite awhile, 500-5000 years depending on how you want to count it, though personally I’d probably go with about 500 (around 1500BC), the time of unification and 200-400 years before the Exodus, if I was forced to pick a date because that’s when Egypt as “we usually think of it” kinda starts (kinda not though, like I said, Egypt is fucking old). However, there is no doubt that the non-unified Egypt had already existed as two Kingdoms for a long time before that and Egyptian culture and civilization really started well before the Upper and Lower Kingdoms came to be in a recognizable form of two distinct Kingdoms. Egypt really goes right back to the dawn of human civilization when we look at the archaeological record and is almost certainly, based on archaeology and geography the true “cradle of civilization”. The point being that at the time of the Exodus and, later when the Greeks interact with the Egyptians Egypt is old, existing in a recognizable form for at least 3000 years at that point and for more than 2000 before Semitic peoples really begin crisscrossing some of the deserts to Egypt’s Northeast. Really, it goes back farther but that going too far back for this discussion.

          Anyway, Greeks start to create the literature that forms the basis of both the New Testament and Western Civ between 1000BC and 700BC and do so in a literary style of memorized and spoken poetry that’s easily transmissible across time and space. This coincides, interestingly, with the later part of the Hebrew’s “time of the Kings”. Hebrews already have their own form of writing and history but they interact a lot with the Greeks and Egyptians and are undoubtedly heavily influenced by them. [Insert 50 page paper that barely scratches the surface of that topic here.]

          In fact we can actually date a fair number of early Hebrew folk, Abraham for example lives in Ur and is spoken to by Yahweh during the time of Hammurabi which puts Abraham’s communion with God around 2050 B.C. and at that point Egyptian Civilization is moving right along, has been for many centuries, and the Hebrews haven’t yet encountered the Egyptians, never mind had their Exodus (probably 1300-1200BC but maybe a bit later) and found out what Yahweh wants by wandering the desert as a test. Writings indicate that the original Hebrew people had some rather interesting traditions and were probably heavily influenced later on by the monotheistic portions of Egyptian society (Egypt having an interesting monotheistic religion that’s also polytheistic, see A History of Ancient Egypt by Nicolas Grimal and Egyptian Religion by Sir Wallis Budge if you want a few hundred pages on how to square that little circle).

          Anyway, without rambling on about all of this in terms of the religious history of three different cultures and circling back to my statement about education…

          The reason the Left is attacking religion, history and literature is this: While they claim “separation of Church and State” is the reason for their attacks on Christianity they really are attacking the philosophical underpinnings of Western Civ because they hate the Western world to it’s core. However, they also know that if they simply “remove God” from the classroom it’s still possible to get the same message from Classical Lit and ancient history. The concepts are not as fully fleshed out as in the New Testament, where it all kinda comes together, but the base ideas, and even some rather complex understanding of them is still there and these ideas are still powerful, obviously since they lead to what we know as the modern world. The ideas are also well reasoned in both a logical and philosophical sense and fit within the schema of a number of ancient and modern religions. They are, at their root, a list of hard-learned lessons for what makes a society function.

          Since the idea that the Left has is to rework Western Civ then the whole framework has to go. Religion, the Classics and ancient history have got to go too. No repository of that knowledge can remain accessible to the average person because that might lead to ideas and we know what Stalin thought about the dangers of letting people have ideas.

          Like a pharaoh trying to obliterate any memory of his predecessor, every place you might get this information has to be destroyed or locked away because these ideas are the antithesis to what the Left wants and are therefore, in the minds of those people, dangerous.

      2. avatar FedUp says:

        Which has what, pray tell, to do with the first 150-200 years of this nation’s existence?

        In other words, if you intend to disprove Mack’s theory, your rebuttal has to have some relationship to Mack’s claims. Otherwise you’re just deflecting and distracting.

        1. avatar WARFAB says:

          Christianity played a huge role in shaping western civilization into the culture that it is today. The philosophical building blocks that gave rise to English common law, and then the US legal system that was based on English common law, started to form long before the United States did. Modern ‘multiculturalism’ dogma denies the fundamental differences between major cultures in the world and it’s proponents have been very successful at perpetuating it throughout academia and pop culture.

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          Well, seeing as every colony in America was founded as a religious enclave for specific Christian sects…I’d say it’s pretty significant. Now, the religious scene in the New World was so diverse, that when it came time to form a unifying government, the religious hierarchies & leadership structures were necessarily excluded or cast aside, but the ideals pursued by those faiths were certainly woven into the core justification for the nascent government. I don’t see how anyone could possibly argue that.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          “I don’t see how anyone could possibly argue that.”

          Because the Spanish colonies are, by and large, a disaster and were founded with a heavy reliance on Christianity too.

          The difference is ultimately politics to which religion is tertiary at best. Those politics have to do with not who came here or what their faith was but why they came here in the numbers that they did. Initially colonists wanted religious freedom but later on the bulk came here to make money or escape debt. As such they realized that a system of laws the valued private property was essential.

          Realistically, religiously there is little difference between South/Central America and North America in terms of religious views. What is different is the high value assigned to private property rights in North America as opposed to elsewhere in this hemisphere. That difference can be seen in the Constitution of the USA and comparatively in the Constitutions of South and Central American nations.

          Where private property isn’t valued individual rights do not flourish because that flower has no soil. Where there is little respect for individuals there is little respect for the law. Therefore capitalism can’t really work because no one has the right to retain what they work for and the laws protecting your stuff are malleable and therefore people resort to corruption and crime to get what they want.

          That’s the difference between North America and the Caribbean/other Americas. Religion has next to nothing to do with it.

      3. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        Judging Christians by the old testament is about as sensible as judging Americans by the British Empire. Sure there is some history but past a point they do cease to be more than tediously related.

      4. avatar Swarf says:

        Or the writings of many of the founding fathers.

      5. avatar S.Crock says:

        @Binder, you know the Old Testament was all pre Christianity right?

    2. avatar enuf says:

      That’s nonsense. No religion ever invented has brought about civil society. Religion has been a major cause of war and violence thru-out human history. Christianity is no exception, been a hell of a lot of blood spilled by people spreading that particular brand of enlightenment.

      1. avatar GridSquare says:

        No, You’re skewing history to fit your agenda. Religion, bad or good, has been a fundemantal pillar of forming a civil society since the code of Hammurabi. Just like militaries, law, economics, farming, and education, it can and has been used to justify war and exterminations. “Religion” didn’t necessarily “cause” those wars. There are exceptions of course, like Islam, who by its very teachings is a combative religion. But humanity, all of us, even you, need a reason to exist, and an asnwer to why we exist, for society to exist. Religion, right or wrong, gives most people those answers. In fact, the decline of religion in the west, is likley a major contributor to the high suicide rates in western culture now. When you take away peoples reason for existing, and tell them there’s really no point to anything, they stop caring if they live or die.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          the way you misspelled answer made me think of lou grant.
          i have issues.

      2. avatar Pg2 says:

        Without religion there are no morals or laws. The state is the law, and decides our morals. You think like a communist, whether you understand it or not.

        1. avatar Swarf says:

          I do perfectly fine without living under the pretend threat of eternal hellfire, thank you very much. Religion is about control and money.

        2. avatar Baflo says:

          Asserting that religion is the cause of evil and violence is historically inaccurate to say the least. Look at Stalin, Mao, and Hitler to see the consequences of explicitly non/anti-religious worldviews.

          Judaism and Christianity provide the foundation for the morals we live by today, the belief that individuals, made by God, actually have intrinsic value.

        3. avatar Pg2 says:

          Not all religion has eternal hellfire, but thanks for sharing your ignorance.

        4. avatar Mack Bolan says:

          @ Swarf

          Right, because Civics (Politics) isnt? I guess I prefer to serve a master than has the potential to reward me for my service.

        5. avatar barnbwt says:

          Communism is a religion, btw…granted, it’s a pretty crappy one

        6. avatar Kenneth says:

          Religion had nothing to do with morals or laws. Belief in a Creator who created everything did that.
          Organized religion is just the evil in men’s heart seeking a way to use that belief to control the sheeple for their personal benefit. If one has a personal relationship with the creator of everything, then Priests, Rabbis, Imams(or whatever) and all the other stupid trappings, just become rituals to trap the sheep into supporting those who’ve assigned themselves to rule the rubes.
          Its a great deal for them, so long as the sheep continue to buy into their confidence game. Remember the first rule of the con man. You have to awe the mark and get his trust. And isn’t every organized religion on Earth concerned first with a really impressive building and special clothing, and blind faith? Just how obvious do they have to be to wake the sheep up? I know, more than they are now…

          “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
          ― Mark Twain

      3. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        Take the ten Commandments and remove it from the context of any religion. They are still 10 rules to live life by in a responsible manner.

      4. avatar Mack Bolan says:

        Yet every 1st world nation is Christian and became that way because Religious law, and then subsequent civic law was enforced and defended by men with arms.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Japan is not a Christian nation and never has been. It is very much first world.

        2. avatar Mack Bolan says:

          Yet without Christian influence they would either still be working under a feudal system or have remained a smoking radioactive crater.

          Dont get me wrong, there is much to admire in Japanese culture, its just even their high functioning 2nd world country wouldn’t be what it is without the West.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          There is no reality in which Japan is not a first world nation. Japan is not a Christian nation. Your statement that every 1st world nation is Christian is false.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          Yet there are tons of “Christian Nations” that are total third world shitholes and as JWT points out Japan isn’t Christian and never has been but is decidedly 1st world.

          Religion is nothing more than a sidebar in this discussion. The Chinese ruled the world and even had ships visit the West Coast of Africa and the Mediterranean before Christianity developed and after Christianity developed.

          China declined because it’s leadership decided to “look inward” and withdraw from the rest of the world, not because they refused to adopt a specific religion. The same is true of Japan. Japan just closed off the rest of the world a bit more for longer but in reality the “true” closing of Japan to the outside world happened because Christians were showing up, preaching and upsetting a homogeneous society.

          People think Muslims are warlike because they conquered most of the known world and spread “Islam by the sword” but in reality it was just a bunch of high-quality warriors who happened to be run by Islamic rulers. Lots of those armies were made up of a high percentage of non-Muslims who were conscripts or even mercenaries. Politics and trade are what spread Islam, the wars fought by Islam were rarely “in the name of Islam” but rather in the name of resources, money and prestige. Islam just happened to come along with the deal because that was the religion of the people with the most powerful militaries. Later on many people converted to Islam because it was politically and economically expedient to do so.

      5. avatar jwtaylor says:

        enuf,
        Yes, religion has often been used as a justification for violence.
        It has also been the justification for compassion, generosity, service, and charity. It still is today. All across the world, the people who work without pay, and give without return to feed the needy, house the poor, and heal the sick, are predominantly religious.
        If you are going to denounce the evil done in the name of religion, praise the good as well.

    3. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The Law of Athens, or the general ancient Greek legal system, existed at least 400 years before Christ was born. The processes of that system laid the foundations for British common law as much as anything else, and is responsible for many, if not most of the western world’s legal foundation. The US legal system is a unique blend of aspects from the Iroqois Confederacy, Norse legal traditions, and British common law.

      1. avatar GridSquare says:

        This is true. But without Christianity there is no unified “west” as we know it. “The west” was made up a of a few fundamental pillars, and Christianity is one of them. Take that away and you’d have a very different Europe, one that’s made of more nations that are much smaller and less significant, less powerful, and less explorative.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Agreed. I’m just not sure it had to be Christianity that was the unifying religion. Glad it was, we just have no way of knowing if it had to be. I mean, I see no real reason some version of the Greek or Norse religions couldn’t have taken Christianity’s place.

        2. avatar GridSquare says:

          I love alternate history by the way, here’s how I see it:

          Let’s say we just take away Christianity from history, and that’s it. Jesus dies at birth. Everything else remains in place. Rome largely continues on a similar path, similar outcome. Dates may change and what not. But after the fall of Rome, I just don’t see any pagan religion uniting Europe like Christianity did in the dark/Middle Ages. But you’re right, there is a religion that would eventually dominate the region…. And that religion would most likely be Islam. This time frame we’re talking about also coincides with the rise of the first Islamic Empire, right at the time Europe is at it weakest and has no unifying religion. Islams rise wasn’t dependent on Christianity’s existence even though they are both an “abrahamic religion.” Norse religion and others were very susceptible to being dominated by another religion because ultimately they believed in their own destruction. I believe Europe would’ve entirely been dominated by Islam had Christianity not been there, and subsequently the entire world, minus perhaps east Asia, would be an Islamic one.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Gridsquare, but it was Christianity itself, delivered through the power of the Roman government, that ended Paganism. The very fact that Paganism was so malleable could have united the Norse and Hellenic traditions, creating an even stronger Europe. After all, there would have been no dueling Pope’s, no Catholic sects, no Heretics Crusade, etc. Of course, without Christianity, there would have been no Crusades at all. No contest for Jerusalem, and possibly no Black Plague spreading through Europe killing much of the population and resources.
          I also wonder, without the rise of Christianity, would the Roman empire itself have lasted longer, keeping Jerusalem whole and under Roman military rule, ending the possibility of a Muslim rise at all?

        4. avatar GridSquare says:

          I doubt Rome would’ve been more successful without Christianity. Rome’s rot was deep, and ongoing for generations. The process of its downfall predate its conversion. Though I do actually agree that Christianity played a significant role in its collapse. Due to how when nations, (of whatever founding principles they start from) abandon their core foundations, tend to collapse aftwerwards. After that collapse though, I just don’t see anyway Europe would be united in facing the Islamic empire. Perhaps Northern Europe, like Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia would be able to successfully advance, but, still, you’re then talking about a Europe with no Spain, France, or Russia as we know them today. All those nations specifically arising from the ashes with Christianity as a central driving force. Southern Europe would be Islamic and explorations to the new world would likley still happen, but by Islamic explorers. The Norse ones were largely unsuccessful and would not inspire a competing force in North America.

        5. avatar strych9 says:

          The root of Rome’s demise starts well before the birth of Christ or the conversion of the Empire to Christianity in 313AD. It has little-to-nothing to do with societal rot but rather the political system that was created at Rome’s foundation that wasn’t nimble enough for what the Republic became.

          Rome’s main problem was the political system set up near the beginning of the Republic which was created specifically to address the issue of not allowing a single political entity to attain too much power while also balancing the interests of the City against those of the outlying pastoral areas that fed the City. It worked well to address the issues of Rome as a city state.

          However, the issue rapidly became that as Rome grew from a city state into a full fledged country the political system remained the same and the ensuing splits in interests between city-dwellers in Rome vs those in Capua or Brundisium grew larger while the agricultural areas also grew increasingly politically disparate with those who grew olives not having the same political interests as those who grew wheat or artichokes. Basically these differences were geographic rather than crop oriented because the geography determined the crop.

          What results is a system meant to keep a few major factions from seizing power being applied to a comparatively massive country where there are many different groups. The whole thing rapidly became realistically ungovernable and Rome was often raising and sending out armies to crush insurrections within the Republic or try to passify an area of historical instability, particularly in the highlands of central Italy and in the fertile lands between the modern cities of Venice (East) and Turin (West). This, religiously speaking didn’t present the problems that going to war with a foreign power presented at the time, and was therefore strictly a political/governance issue.

          Cicero in particular knew this was a serious issue but he was stuck between a rock and a hard place philosophically. He knew the system no longer worked and might well destroy the Republic but he also had a significant attachment, as many Romans did, to the historical roots of that Republic and was unwilling to significantly alter the way things worked. Instead, due to the fact that pretty much everyone knew things didn’t work well, especially for the middle and lower classes and simple shit needed to get done that the patrician class had no real will to do, when the First Triumvirate fell apart, partially because Pompey was arrogant and Crassus wasn’t real bright (and possibly in Caesar’s pocket from the jump) the Republic fell into a civil war that ended with the dissolution of the Republic the creation of the Empire. After the war between Caesar and Pompey was over Caesar turned his attention to addressing the issues that plagued both Rome the City and Rome the State. He said at the time that he didn’t want to be Dictator for Life, the title he was er, um… granted for lack of a better term, but rather wanted to restore power to the people after fixing what was broken. He was assassinated before he could accomplish enough for us to find out if his claims here were true or not but he did enact quite a few useful reforms so maybe he was telling the truth.

          During that time Cicero had ample opportunity to restore things because of his respected rank in Roman society and the Senate but his fondness for the past prevented him from doing so. Eventually he got his head cut off as part of the price for his dithering because he spoke from both sides of his mouth instead of truly picking a side which resulted in both sides thinking he couldn’t be trusted and was too powerful and well liked to be allowed to live. This allowed Clodius to have him murdered for a previous slight that had happened a couple decades before. Cicero could have saved the Republic and had years to do it. He couldn’t decide if he was more loyal to Rome the country or Rome the Ideal and so he dallied. The price was that the Republic did indeed fall but Cicero didn’t even live to see that since he was murdered about a year before the final battles were fought in 42BC.

  3. avatar GlockMeAmadeus says:

    When they came for the bumpstocks, I said nothing, because I didnt have a bumpstock…

  4. avatar Dan in Detroit says:

    That picture is a great example of what happens when you let a photographer’s artistic vision override standard gun safety rules.
    Let’s have you backlighted… but let’s also have you hold a mirror behind your target so we can light up your face. But let’s also have you pointing your gun at the lanes beside you…

    1. avatar foo bar says:

      yeah, and that grouping sucks too

      1. avatar VicRattlehead says:

        Well, not everyone is the expert marksman you are; myself included.
        She looks like she’s having a good time though and that, in and of itself, will improve grouping through the enjoyment of practice alone.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Nothing in that photo is unsafe.

    3. avatar WaXman says:

      Lighten up Francis!!

  5. avatar DerryM says:

    A “Quote of the Day” that does not piss me off first thing in the morning! Thanks Dan Z. More of the same please.

    The American “Gun Culture” is endemic to the essence of being an American. It is a natural part of the “certain unalienable Rights” with which all Humans “are endowed by their Creator”. One cannot freely exercise the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” without the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the defense of one’s person and Liberty.*

    *The Declaration of Independence from which the above quotes are drawn is not Law. They are protected and their enumeration expanded by The Constitution which is Law.

  6. avatar Jacob says:

    The sloppy editing on that photo is embarrassing. Seriously, did you guys get the photographer off of Fiverr? Standards matter if you want to be taken seriously.

  7. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Agree with almost everything – my range is overwhelmingly OFWGs.

  8. avatar possum says:

    A Healthy Civil Society. Guns or no guns, unobtainable. Silly humans.

    1. avatar Eli2016 says:

      “A Healthy Civil Society. Guns or no guns, unobtainable. Silly humans.”

      Careful Possum. Logic in these forums is prohibited. Guns are not a religion. The phrase “God, Family, Guns” was not created in America. Oh wait…

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Operationally define “healthy civil society” and perhaps we can go somewhere.

      One of the problems with our modern world is that people use words in ways that don’t mean much and without any thought as to what they’re actually saying.

      If we don’t have a commonly agreed on set of terms we can’t even start to think about what makes a “civil society” into a “healthy” civil society or an “unhealthy” one.

      1. avatar Eli2016 says:

        “One of the problems with our modern world is that people use words in ways that don’t mean much and without any thought as to what they’re actually saying.”

        “A healthy, civil society…” seems self-explanatory to me. Walking around my neighborhood, talking with people without fear of reprisal (physical or otherwise) is I think civil and healthy. Walking around East LA or the Tenderloin in S.F. is not. Unless of course you’re a dealer.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          You make my point. What’s “healthy” depends on your point of view when there is no particular definition for the group to go by. The dealer views society as healthy where you do not and vice versa. A Christian sees the world differently than a Muslim and both see it differently than a Taoist. A Communist sees the world differently than a Fascist and both see it differently than a Nihilist.

          So, no, it’s not “self-explanatory” because then I’m left to decide what I want entirely on my own which is exactly how you generally get pirates. The parameters need to be defined otherwise the goal is in the eye of the individual beholder and that person has no particular reason to gravitate towards Western society because at that point, ultimately, “Western Society” means nothing because, by definition, it’s not a society. If we can’t define what we want then our civilization lacks a goal and therefore a structure to achieve that goal and without a structure, by definition, cannot be a society.

          If you can’t tell people what it means to be “Western” then they have no reason to desire to be “Western”. Instead they’ll look for how to exploit the situation for their own maximum benefit with no thought to the “greater good”. Laws become meaningless and any social order that might be in existence rapidly crumbles. That’s exactly what happened near the end of the Roman Empire and today, how many people call themselves “Roman” in Republican or Imperial sense of the word? None.

        2. avatar Eli2016 says:

          “So, no, it’s not “self-explanatory” because then I’m left to decide what I want entirely on my own which is exactly how you generally get pirates.”

          You’re splitting hairs… According to dictionary.com – “Civil, affable, courteous, polite all imply avoidance of rudeness toward others. Civil suggests a minimum of observance of social requirements.” To varying degrees, most of the “civil” world would agree. Yes, I get that each of us 5 billion (or is it 6 billion?) is an “individual” but most people do not want to track what each of us thinks. Frankly, I like being an individual and an independent thinker. I just happen to enjoy shooting and hunting. But I’m not a pirate and neither are my friends. The “Civil” War was started by people who refused to compromise. If we can’t compromise with people who have a different view of life than us, then we’re all damned. A point made by Possum.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          No, I’m not splitting hairs I’m using a different and more correct definition which is as follows:

          Society: “the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.” (Emphasis mine.)

          The use of the word “order” means something here. Specifically it falls under the 7th definition of the word according to Webster’s “the state of peace, freedom from confused or unruly behavior, and respect for law or proper authority”. Now, you can argue that’s the wrong definition to choose but I’m picking it because that’s what you said you wanted.

          So, again, it’s not splitting hairs. It’s the actual fucking definitions of the words we’re using.

          What you’ve done here is essentially like me asking you “Want to play a game?” to which you respond “Which game?” and I rejoin “This game that, ya know….”. No, you don’t know. You have no idea what the game is or how it’s played nor any concept of the rules to say nothing of the nuance of those rules, so how the fuck could you decide if you actually want to play? Maybe it’s football, maybe it’s soccer, maybe it’s cricket or maybe it’s Calvinball. Maybe it’s a coin-flip game with a rigged coin and if you lose, which you 100% will, I get to cut your leg off. Now I’m telling you (really, you’re saying this to me) “Don’t ask silly questions like what the rules are! That’s hair splitting! Just play!” Uh, no.

          You can’t make a rational decision based on what you know and so will tend to avoid playing the game based on those unknowns. That’s what we’re doing with Western Civilization right now. Asking people to join a system that really isn’t a system and therefore no rational person would agree to join because it effectively has no actual rules that they can understand. It has no rules because it lacks a goal and therefore a structure which would create a set of rules to achieve the goal. That’s why the Western world is teetering right now. Pure and simple. It’s also exactly why the Roman Empire fell. Because the main question wasn’t “Should I fight for Rome?” or “How shall we defend Rome?” but rather “I don’t know what Rome is any more, why would I bother fighting for it? What about Rome is worth defending?”.

          Asking someone to play the societal version of Calvinball, where the rules change constantly and they’re nearly assured to lose, is a fool’s errand and that’s what we’re doing. The difference is they don’t just lose in some cases, people from another “society” show up and murder them. Just like the Visigoths did to the citizens of Rome.

  9. avatar ItIsNeverSimple says:

    I live in a college town and one of my best friends works with international students through a church outreach program. Two to three times a year they go shooting. I always get invited a long to bring several semi autos and as someone to teach them how to shoot safely and have some safe fun. Skeet shooting is always a hit as well.
    We get told from the students, guys and girls, that is one of their favorite events to do. They always are respectful and amazed at how “it’s not as scary” as they thought.
    I’m hopeful getting my tax stamp for my first suppressor next month. I’m the first all my shooting friends to get a can and I can’t wait to have a group shoot and enjoy it.

  10. avatar Jason says:

    One in six people now living in the USA weren’t born here and my personal experience has been that our millions of new citizens and resident aliens are in general appalled by the amount of freedom we have with the 2nd Amendment.

    They come from countries where these rights don’t exist and they would love for them to be eliminated in the USA so that they can enjoy a false sense of security.

  11. avatar JungleCogs says:

    The primary purpose (if not the only purpose) the Founders placed the Second Amendment in such a position of prominence in the Constitution and Bill of Rights was to dissuade and prevent government tyranny.

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