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“Let me be clear: I’m not decrying any of these shows. Many of them I enjoy. And, again, let me emphasize that I’m absolutely not suggesting that gun violence on television causes gun violence in the real world.

“My point, once more, is the opposite: that such shows are popular because of a deep-set fear that perhaps things might one day spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail. No doubt the fear is stronger in some quarters than others. But in our debate over how best to control gun violence, let’s remember that fear can’t be legislated away.” – Stephen L. Carter in Secretly, Americans Love Guns. Watch ‘The Walking Dead.’ [via]

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  1. “Secretly” love guns? How about openly?

    And the govt institutions MIGHT one day fail? That’s already happened, and continues to happen. I’ll rely on myself, and use the best tools available to make myself more capable, thanks.

    • I thought the pic at the to of the article was of a recent march for guns that I missed. I was bummed. Then I looked closer at the pic.

      Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark. .

      • “Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark. .”

        Well, it did for ‘Coral’.

        A ‘bite-sized’ mark, actually.

        (I’m rooting for Enid being pregnant with Carl’s kid in a few months You know he wanted a taste of that…)


        • I hope not. It would mean Rick would have another dillusional cameo from his dead wife. She was solid at the start but playing both sides broke her. She should have stabbed Shane in the throat with her cheesy Spyderco endure that was way too thick to fit inside the pocket of her skinny jeans. Then maybe she would have stopped making the apocalypse all about her.

    • Fear can be rational and justified as in the case of gun ownership. Totalitarian governments are a reality. In fact, they are the rule rather than the exception. And the Founders knew from personal experience that the best protection against the establishment of such a regime here was an armed populace. Also, violent crime is an unfortunate reality. Evil exists in the world, and as recent events have shown the police cannot be everywhere at once. At the same time, fear can be irrational and rooted in ignorance and ideology. That is what we see with the emotional calls for gun control. And that fear cannot be allowed to cancel out reason.

      • Amen to that Brother! As well, they “Have No Duty To Protect You”! Yes I LIKE my guns but, I LOVE what they can do for me and my family!

    • Secretly, Americans Love Guns. Watch ‘The Walking Dead.’

      “Secretly” love guns? How about openly?

      Secretly, Americans Love Cars. Watch ‘Top Gear’ and ‘The Grand Tour’.

      • I don’t secretly love either. I love cars and guns. I need a mug and shirt to go with that. 🙂

  2. Well to prove your concept that government and police cannot always protect the citizens they allegedly serve one only needs look at the news after a hurricane, earthquake, mud slide, blizzard, or similar natural disaster. One also needs to look no further than the recent BLM riots in Missouri and the Riots in California during the 90s to see that whenever something occurs that upsets the delicate balance of civilization the first things to go are government services. Police cannot be everywhere and they especially cannot be anywhere without having the ability to move on the roads. All it takes is one good blizzard, one large riot, or one flood and all of the sudden Mr. and Mrs. America are on their own for providing protection and security of their property and lives. Perhaps gun owners are not so paranoid as you like to paint us to be, rather we have come to understand and accept that no cop has ever shown up during a crime when we need them most and that once the government services are interrupted folks turn pretty opportunistic and will just as soon murder their neighbors for emergency supplies as ask them to share. The veil of civilization is a very thin veneer indeed.

  3. Simon obliterated the trash people as so as they turned their guns over. Happens every time in fiction and non.

  4. No shit Sherlock. At the end of the day, all the average person is to the government is tax revenue and mindless worker ants. No one gives one good God flying rat’s ass f@#$ about you except YOU. Shit goes south, you’re on your God damn own. And that flock of geese is getting more ready to fly south every day.

    • Since LEOs have ‘no specific duty to protect’ (legal precedent and ruling), I’d say you are not only on your own, you’ve been given due notice of such 😀

  5. Government and law enforcement don’t “protect us”, they protect society in general.

    • They protect themselves and the status quo decided by the rich elitists who appointed their chiefs. Society can go f— itself.

      • I think the millions of folks who have been literally saved by law enforcement would disagree with your comment about the police. Yea, this stupid ass sheriff and his do nothing deputies in Florida would certainly not help law enforcement in the eyes of the public today. Nor would Comey, Mueller and their butt boys help the folks feelings about the FBI. It’s certainly not the law enforcement at the street level causing the majority of the law enforcement’s problems for the most part. But it does prove that citizens must be able to protect themselves and the best way to do that is with a sound mind and firearms. I know I will never give up any of my firearms and what happened in the Florida school shooting is as good a reason as any. Actually, owning my firearms is my God given right. I don’t need any other reason than that.

        • I’m in no manner casting doubt or blame on law enforcement officers, but their job is not to protect the public, individually or as a whole. They are charged with bringing alledged offenders/law breakers to the courts for judgement in criminal trials. In reality, a law must have been broken or a person has to have conspired fairly openly to break a statute before a cop can make an arrest.

          It is true that in many circumstances, the mere presence of a uniformed officer may somehow cause a potential crime not to be committed at that very place and/or time, but usually that just means the cretin will move on to a safer place to do business. And in that case, the mere presence of a firearm in the hands of the general public becoming suddenly known to the cretin will usually have a positive affect on the public not becoming victims.

          The down side of that is that those who would take our defences from us don’t ever give credit for the firearm preventing crime and saving lives in the process unless there is a dead/wounded crook as a result.

          Seriously, we need more media-types like the late Mike Royko from Chi Trib, who spent the majority of his life working against guns until he became a mugging victim. Sudden big change for the better. But then again, like him or hate him, Mike always had some balls. God, I miss him…

          • You’re correct about most patrol officers not being able to prevent crime except on the rare occasions when their presence either scares off the crook or they actually catch him in the act. On the larger departments the officers run from one radio call to the other for most of their shifts.
            On the other hand, most if not all of the larger departments and even some of the smaller departments have pro active investigations units (under cover) where their function is to investigate crooks and either prevent crimes from occurring and or catch the dirt bags in the act.
            I was still working when that court case came out about cops not being required to prevent crime from occurring. I don’t remember the specifics, but I think it was the result of a civil suit where the cop didn’t do what the citizen thought he should have, although I could be wrong and thinking of a different case. I don’t think the ruling could have gone any other way. Can you imagine the huge number of law suits which would have been filed every time a citizen thought the cop should have done something different or taken different action?
            Law enforcement is by no means perfect, and never will be. Unfortunately, the failure of LE, both at the county and the federal level to act pro actively in the case of Cruz in the Florida high school shooting was very disturbing both in their actions before and during the shooting. I can’t think of why this was allowed to happen, except either incompetence, cowardliness or laziness, possibly all of the above.

        • Except for some rare cases, cops will show up after the crime is done, the criminal gone, to investigate and to trace around your sorry carcass with chalk.
          Your safety is your own responsibility.

        • Marty- I believe the case to which you refer (likely Warren v District of Columbia) involved a couple of old gals who were being raped and held hostage for something like 40 hours by a pair of thugs. Cops were called at least twice and circled the block a couple of times, never got out of the squad to knock on the door or do a “welfare check” in any manner. Of course, this happened in 1975 years ago, police activities have probably changed quite a bit since then. It’s also tre that larger and relavent departments now employ the use of gang, drug and organized crime “task forces” as well as targeting other activities that tend to hit the major news cycles.

          • Craig, the case you are citing does not ring a bell to me. If this the case, I believe the court was horribly wrong in its ruling. I don’t give a damn what the courts say, law enforcement’s job is to protect the public, period. The department I worked on for 31 years believed this to be the case and even mandated officers carry off duty as they were expected to intervene in any violent crimes. Unfortunately, ten years into the job, they relaxed the requirement from shall carry to may carry. Too this day, I go nowhere without a firearm and will intervene any time it’s necessary. Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean I shouldn’t continue to uphold the oath I swore to so many decades ago.

        • Google Warren v District of Columbia. It happened in 1975, court decision was later.

          Most departments mandate off-duty carry as far as I know. Intervention? Not sure, got to ask Broward Co Sheriff Israel.

          That “to protect and to serve” thing is all great, but real protection starts with one’s own self. I also carry everywhere I am legal and… There are also some places I choose not to go. Still, bottom line for LE is that if no crime is committed or no outright conspiracy to do so, it’s pretty tough for cops to do much until afterwards. Add an uncooperative neighborhood or culture and things really spin out of control.

          • Craig, fully agree with you. The Warren case still doesn’t ring a bell. My guess there were more than one on this matter.
            If there are business that declare themselves a gun free zone, I simply don’t do business with them. They need us more than we need them. For this reason, I haven’t flown on any airlines. If I can’t get where I need to go in my truck, I don’t go. Luckily most friends and family live in the west, and there’s no place I can’t get to by vehicle. My motto is ‘If it’s gun free, it’s without me’.

            • We have very similar outlooks, Marty. We’ll be driving from Des Moines area to Dallas first weekend in May. Drove to Houston the last time…

  6. The thing is, if you have serious concerns that the government and/or modern infrastructure may fail, guns become only a small portion of the preparations to think about.

    For instance, where we live there are serious threats from nature including wildfires and earthquakes. (Not to mention snow, flash flooding, etc.) History has shown we may need to evacuate with little to no notice. So every vehicle in our household has a small survival bag, there’s one in my office, and we keep a bigger set near the gun cabinet.

    Guns are, in this context, parts of the toolkit, no more nor less. In everyday life, they’re the same – tools.

  7. …things might one day spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail.

    They fail daily. Police can’t protect you. They respond to what has already happened. Even in the case of the Orlando and parkland mass killings, the police wouldn’t respond. Like four hours they waited in Orlando. At parkland they waited outside till it was over. All the institutions that exist to protect you, don’t protect you at all, and was never intended to. Those institutions are for pursuing and capturing the perpetrators of crime. Not protecting against it.

    • What’s the saying? “when seconds count, the police are minutes away”

      That’s good enough for me to need the best tool to protect me and mine!

  8. “..because of a deep-set fear that perhaps things might one day spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail.”

    One day?

    I haven’t even hit the half-century mark in my own lifetime and I can think back to several instances where those institutions did indeed fail. Sometimes partially, sometimes completely.

  9. Stephen L. Carter apparently has no experience with “Be Prepared.” Perhaps he was never a Boy Scout. Perhaps also he is some millennial who does not recall the Rodney King Riots or Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps he lives somewhere where power never goes out, roads are never blocked, and other people unfailingly supply all of the services he needs. If that’s the case, then he is in no position to provide advice to many Americans.

    • I remember the Rodney King riots. I laughed at all the unarmed citizens that went running to gun stores to buy something with which to protect themselves. California had/ has a ten day waiting period for all firearm purchases; plus the state will not allow any sales while a emergency is in progress. If you are not prepared ahead of time for the riots/ floods/ other forms of impending doom, than it is too late get a gun after the incident has already started!

  10. I agree with those that have commented that the government and even constitution have already failed and the fear part is pure projection, the only thing I really fear in life is that my family will suffer awful health problems in the world as it is and I will have to watch them suffer and die. It has already happened a few times. Dying by violent attack is something that doesn’t even cause an inkling of fear in me because it is much less likely and something I can do something about however uncertain. As for loving objects, I love my swords more than my guns even though they have much less utility. I am indeed a hoplophile but a much different one than they imagine. I fancy the Scarlet Pimpernel more than John Wick and certainly way more than imbecile Rick Grimes.

  11. Fear that the government might one day fail? Leaving aside the big, honking, multi-agency systemic government failures that allowed Parkland to happen, has Mr. Carter ever called the police during a home invasion? To report a drunk driver? To ask for help during a potentially violent incident? You don’t need to be at Parkland or in a zombie apocalypse to come to realize how very limited the government is, and honestly, nearly all of the government apparatus we do have is not intended to protect you anyway.

    You don’t need to watch post-apocalyptic fiction to recognize that the government fails individuals quite frequently. Perhaps Mr. Carter needs to watch a little less TV and get out in the real world more often and he’ll understand why people provide for their own self-defense.

    • and honestly, nearly all of the government apparatus we do have is not intended to protect you anyway.
      That is an understatement!
      The government apparatus is to empower and protect the government.

  12. Of course the world is spinning out of control. Government is often the problem-not the solution(turn in your guns teenager). Be prepared. And Happy Easter! HE is Risen! And returning very soon…

      • Amen Brother Tom. I don’t post on here too often but, this subject hits home. Yes HE is risen! Thank God for the sacrifice. Had a wonderful church event today. God Bless You Brother.

  13. Perhaps that fear that government might fail to protect us is justifiably based on a rudimentary understanding of history and the many examples of governments not only failing to protect their citizens but being directly responsible for their abuse. Even this country’s government.

  14. Remember that Walmart where their “system” was not accepting EBT cards for part of a day and what happened? The near rioting and looting. Imagine when that happens nation wide. Think of the locusts swarming outside of their living areas to loot and pilage the unsuspecting worker bees.

    With 21 trillion dollar national debt going up still a trillion plus a year, unfunded liabilities estimated at over 100 trillion dollars, medicare and social security broke, several blue states in dire financial straits, a political party determined to allow as much third world population to invade as possible, and insane health care system insurance costs how can any informed and sane people not realize the government has already massively failed and that total disaster is not that many years away? Yet the vast majority of people are only concerned that their wifi works and the local Starbucks is open for business. Good luck with that.

    • Our cities have a total of 3 days food supply on hand in their grocery stores. If that supply line ever got cut you wouldn’t want to be there on day 4.

  15. The core of this person’s argument is that raw fear is the great driver for American’s love of guns. Also, seems to believe it is reasonable to think “that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail.” which implies he actually believes they “exist to protect us”.

    First, I NEVER bought any firearm I own out of fear…and I will bet the majority of TTAG readers would say the same. I could cite a number of other reasons, including an interest in self-defense capability, which shockingly enough I regarded as a matter of reasonable preparedness, and, see 2 below.

    Second, and most laughably, he believes the Leftist Myth that the “Government can/will protect you”. Survivordude1090 explains the falseness of that Leftist Lie to the Sheep quite concisely and accurately above.

    This guy must have set down and planned his propaganda piece carefully to make sure he pushed all the “Bloomberg Buttons” to frighten all those living among us nowadays who as Ben Franklin is being famously quoted recently,”.. deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”*

    I am certain some people do acquire guns out of fear, but I do not accept this guy’s conclusion that fear is a major driver for the acquisition, nor our “Love of Guns”. It’s a deliberate lie on his part.

    *”Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin.

  16. IF Progressives don’t like the the meaning of a word they just change it:

    “Soon after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary changed its definition of “assault rifle.”

    noun: any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire; also : a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire

      • 1984……….

        “Straight out of the progressive’s playbook. Change the definition so you can change the terms of the debate.”

        • “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — George Orwell, 1984

  17. such shows are popular because of a deep-set fear that perhaps things might one day spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail.
    Top Heavy Government Institutions have failed and preyed upon their citizens in the past.
    Top Heavy Government Institutions will fail in the future.
    The USA is no exception.

  18. I work for the government, and a competent agency at that, and I’ll be the last one to tell someone that they should rely on us not to break down during crisis.

  19. There is a mistaken conception that is prevalent among liberals that a law-abiding citizen carrying a weapon makes one more aggressive and likely to incite violence. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, those of us who chose to carry a weapon are more careful NOT to instigate a situation, but preserve the ability to react to save and preserve life, if necessary. Civilians who choose to carry a weapon are true “first responders”, unlike police, who only arrive “after the fact”, are not there to defend individuals, but to protect society at large (in which they fail miserably).
    Concealed weapons holders NEVER reveal the fact that they are carrying a weapon UNLESS they are put in a situation where they have to defend life.. THAT is the reason for concealed carry. The person in front of you in the supermarket or the person behind you at the bank may be carrying, but, you would never know, and you should never know. The concealed weapon carrier is defending YOUR life as well as his own, because the criminal elements who would harm you have to “guess” as to who is carrying. Concealed carry makes us all safer.

  20. I bought my first gun out of fear. A rational fear due to a witnessed threat of workplace violence and police saying they could do nothing until the looney carried out his threat. I still have that fear, which ought to be considered a natural instinct yet proggies don’t. I also have the CC guns and permit.

    Anyone been following the hack of Atlanta’s computer systems? Does anyone except the most naive proggie believe that the next time the hackers won’t shut down the water supply as well? I am not sure the National Guard could contain the chaos, much less the police. I only hope it happens in NYC, LA, or SF so we see exactly what happens in otherwise disarmed societies where criminals are heavily armed.

    • “Anyone been following the hack of Atlanta’s computer systems?”

      Just the basics, and it’s enough to worry me.

      Those that are doing it are just probing, learning what they can accomplish.

      Someone, somewhere, is building a how-to guide to slam the US.

      At a minimum, it’s China, the Soviets, and then any number of lesser but still nasty players. It’s wise to be personally prepared for at least a few weeks of mayhem…

  21. Fear Feeds Our Love of Guns: Quote of the Day

    “Fear Feeds Our Love of Gun-Owner Control” would also be a valid headline, but Bloomberg would never publish that.

  22. It’s not “fear” to acknowledge reality. The reality is that society, government and ye olde police force “function”, mostly, to the degree that they do because we believe that they will. Sure they fail and fuck up but generally people believe that they work and so they do work to one degree or another.

    In essence they all function like a fiat currency with value assigned by, for lack of a better term, faith. Just like a fiat currency though, when people stop buying in…

    • you couldn’t possibly mean our own currency could you? You mean that dollar bill I stuffed in that stripper’s G string wasn’t worth more than a dollar? Damn I told her that since I drew 2 zeros on it that it was actually worth 100 dollars and a private session in the VIP boom boom room with her and 4 of her closest friends. I am shocked I tell you shocked that my money is only valued on trust and faith that any denomination is worth what’s printed on it because someone says it is rather than having some sort of finite material backing up that value!


      • Most modern currencies are fiat.

        The Chinese, shrewdly, are trying to move away from that which is why they are grabbing up mines, telecommunications systems and other objects of actual value all over Africa and Asia. They’re even doing it in South America and, to some extent, here too.

        Their usual way of doing business is to offer to build infrastructure in terms of roads, water distribution and electricity in return for very long and very generous lease programs for the things they want, usually with options for extension (options on THEIR end). That way they put in fiat currency to build the infrastructure and get hard assets like gold, bauxite, silver, rare earths, iron etc out while simultaneously setting up a system where they can treat the whole situation like a reverse ATM even if a currency crashes. Pretty smart planning.

        They’ve been criticized for doing business with countries that have bad human rights records (as if China’s is great) and their response to the UN and the rest of the international community was, and I quote, Business is business”. Meanwhile our dumbass pols sit around and say “They need us as much as we need them” which might be true but it won’t be much longer.

        At this point they have more faith in Capitalism than we do and our lack/decreasing of faith in the systems we developed, which put us so far ahead of the rest of the world, is part of why we’re starting to fall apart/behind.

  23. I find it comical when some leftist bubble inhabiting journalist sticks their head out of said bubble and then thinks they are some sort of genius when they write down some deeply insightful statement like, “Sky blue in much of the nation.”

    What a maroon.

  24. Say “prudence.” They say “fear” to cast the opinion as reactive & devalue anyone holding it.

    “…deep-set fear that perhaps things might one day spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions that exist to protect us, might one day fail.”

    “… a deep-set prudence, knowing that occasionally things spin out of control, that government, law enforcement, all the institutions occasionally fail us.”

    “Sometimes the institutions have no boats. Better to have your own boat & know how to use it, to take care of yourself, and maybe help others when things break down. Organize with others, and you can be the institution that covers the gap for a while like The Cajun Navy.”

    “Arms are prudent, because sometimes things break down all the way to violence coming your way, that will only be stopped, only if you can stop it. Citizens’ arms means guns these days — at least until a “phased plasma rifle in 40 watt range” becomes an arm in common use. Then, I want one of those.”

  25. Promiscuous sex has done more harm, killed more people, injured more people than any gun has. The Sexually liberated are the ones in leadership positions working to disarm the civilian population. Just look at San Francisco California or any other city with those kinds of people are in charge.

    • If anyone has a problem with the term “those kinds of people” then send me a Link showing how “those kinds of elected people” have support the Bill of Rights.

    • You speak a truth most are loathe to admit. Consequences, especially unintended ones, are a bitter pill to swallow.

  26. It was fear that kept me away from guns. When I suddenly had a little spending money, I went into a hunting shop, and talked to the people behind the counter. They didn’t chew tobacco, there were no animal heads on the wall, and they spoke clear English. I received good advice and was set on the path to become a qualified firearms license holder. I passed examinations on firearms safety, and was approved after an interview by a Police firearms officer. It was with great anticipation that I went back to the hunting shop to actually buy my first firearm. I walked out with with a Maverick 88 and an arm stretching amount of ammunition. And then repeated this exercise (different guns, obviously) several more times until my gun safe was full. No fear involved at any stage, just a growing appreciation for functional, useful firearms that all have a place in my current and future life style. We watch our governments on TV. They are not impressive enough to place any faith in them. The greed of our large businesses and their wish to keep making fistfuls of cash from every man woman and child, is a much more reliable commodity. The fact that we survive on their efforts is sufficient. Basing any life decision on a bad TV show is inadvisable – perhaps the stupidity of the gun control lobby leads to them grasping at this straw?

    • The system isn’t failing. It’s solid as fuck.

      We’re misusing it due to greed, stupidity the McD’s society and a lack of education.

      Sticking a paper clip in a wall outlet and getting shocked doesn’t mean your electrical system has a problem. It means YOU have a problem.

  27. Water. It will be the nail in the coffin of this facade we call civilization. With three or four days of no electricity, and no water coming out of the tap, you have to go looking for water. If you find someone with water, you will ask for some. If they say no, you will immediately begin to calculate how to take it from them. And that’s where the hinges come off. It will be ugly, and not something anyone will ever forget.

    It’s some thin ice we live on.

    • I try to stockpile a reasonable amount of water. My wife thinks I’m crazy, maybe so, but she will be the one crying when the tap goes dry.

    • Depends on where you live. Some of us have wells. 80 gal. in my water heater. Also, there is lots of water in lake Michigan.

    • Yup, water will be of most importance. I have a 5000 gal tank on the highest part of my property. When all is ok, we use it just for servicing the horse barn. When we lose electricity, I turn a valve which also gravity feeds the water to the house. During a huge wild fire several years ago, we lost power for 14 days. Taught my wife how to use and fuel the generator and we did fine (as a volunteer fire fighter) I was away helping to fight the fire. We also have a hand pump on our well head. It pumps about 3 GPM and can even pressurize the pressure tank in the house. Thankfully, except for yearly testing, we haven’t had to use it yet but it is a good piece of mind.

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