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It’s come to this: GLOCK chronicler and occasional firearms-related commentator Paul Barrett was compelled to put pen to paper over the weekend to express his discomfort with America’s “gun subculture.” That’s right, Mr. and Mrs. Gunowner, the Bloomberg Businessweek assistant managing editor is downright embarrassed by what he sees these days when he looks out over the American scene. At least where firearms are concerned. In a piece, Barret writes, “The weekend’s headlines confirmed my growing sense that the American fascination with guns has reached a crucial inflection point. We are, to put it politely, making ourselves look ridiculous, and sometimes much worse.” . . .

Barrett rips three stories from recent headlines to make his case that perhaps Americans have taken this whole gun-love thing a little too far; Castle Rock, Colorado’s tussle with how to regulate guns in their parks, the Utah National Guard’s frolicking fun with bikini-clad models and the life sentence handed down to hip hop music hater Michael Dunn.

Set aside the merits of the three stories for now. Many, if not most gun owners were troubled by the Michael Dunn case. Reasonable people can differ as to whether there’s anything untoward in the Utah Guard helping out with a revealing calendar shoot. And it’s unclear exactly what troubles Mr. Barrett so terribly about a suburban Denver town attempting, through the legislative process, to decide how they’d like to handle the regulation of firearms in municipal parks and facilities.

The real question is, why is he embarrassed? To experience embarrassment, you have to be concerned with how your actions will be viewed by others. In whose eyes is Barrett worried that, given these three disparate examples and no doubt more he could cite, America is “making ourselves look ridiculous”?

Could he be thinking of more civilized societies with much stricter gun laws than the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? Surely the average Brit or Aussie, upon reading the particulars of the three stores that have Barrett in such a lather, would shake their heads in shocked disbelief at our violent cowboy culture. Our unhealthy infatuation with firearms. Maybe Barrett’s isn’t looking forward to justifying our hoplophilia and occasional poor ballistic behavior to his friends overseas.

Make no mistake, Barrett’s no fan of our Second Amendment freedoms. It’s probably difficult enough for him to make a case to his associates in other lands for the Founders’ obvious slip-up in enshrining the right to armed self defense in the Constitution. So in an obligatory to-be-sure concession, he writes through clenched teeth that,

…I consider it fruitless at this late date to debate the legitimacy of the Second Amendment and unseemly to condescend to the tens of millions of law-abiding Americans who see firearms as necessary for self-defense or representative of their fundamental liberty. We have a subculture of gun ownership in America, and it’s a big country. I say live and let live.

That’s big of him. But before he gets too much farther, condescend, he does.

(I)f we’re going to tolerate a gun subculture—as the current Supreme Court understanding of the Second Amendment obliges us to do—common sense absolutely must be part of the equation.

So there’s your takeaway, law-abiding gun owners. Watch your damn P’s and Q’s. Your betters like Paul Barrett are losing patience with all of you frickin’ gun nuts. Unless you clean up your act and are a lot more careful going forward, something’s going to have to be done about this whole firearms freedom thing. Consider yourself warned.

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  1. You would think he would be embarrassed by the biases of our “free” press instead. After all, it is something in which he has a vested interest.

      • Anyone who thinks this is a real change-of-heart for this guy, just hasn’t been paying close enough attention to his writings. He throws out tiny bits of pro-gun attitude that are seized upon and trumpeted by pro-gun/pro-gun-rights forces, while filling the huge areas between the lines with generalizations that almost shout “I’m not REALLY on their side!”

        If you are one of the people who truly hate the “I support the Second Amendment, but…” lines, and those that speak them, then you should NOT be supporting/encouraging this guy just because he OCCASIONALLY makes A FEW pro-gun points and arguments. Trojan horse in the gun-rights camp, stealth anti-gunner, “reasonable compromiser”; call him what you will, in my view he’s an enemy of gun rights and gun owners, and always has been, despite his mild protestations to the contrary.

  2. I don’t know where Mr. Barrett resides, but he should be embarrassed by the homicide rates in the gun-free utopias that are America’s largest cities.

    • Three guesses. I’d bet that he lives in a gated community in the WAY FAR OUT burbs on the weekend and a guarded penthouse apartment in the “good” part of a major city during the week.

  3. All you authors better mind your Ps and Qs or something will be done about this “freedom of the press” thing. You have been warned.

  4. AND another, paid by Bloomberg, minion makes an attempt! Funny kind of retirement, don’t ya think?

    Bloomberg has NOT RETIRED he’s just gone lower key because of the negative responses and his fumbling attempts at gun control.

    Barrett is the problem! Not the constitution, not the pro-gun types. Voters and writers like him deserve what they get!

  5. Synopsys of Barrett’s statements: “Unless you clean up your act and are a lot more careful going forward, something’s going to have to be done about this whole firearms freedom thing.”

    Translated: Find another passtime because you’re guns are going away if we ‘normal’ people have anything to say about it. To the antis, a gun owners “act” will NEVER be clean enough.

  6. The Castle Rock and UNG stories I’ve only seen reported here. The Dunn case I do recall, but not as one that the POTG rallied around in support.

    If Bloomie paperboy is holding these up as representative of anything, or even noticed by more than half a dozen other people, then I’m embarrassed for him.

  7. The guy looks like he just soiled himself. How can you feel anything but pity for someone like this? Not only is “live and let live”lost on him but he cares what better countries think of us. Well Mr. “I think I need a wet wipe” Barrett, live and let live. You are lucky that many gun owners understand that which you cannot.

  8. Mr. Barrett has a right, A RIGHT I TELL YA, to live free from embarrassment. All you yahoos need to conform.

  9. If we look ridiculous to the Brits, the French, the Aussies, etc. we’re doing something right. And if you’re embarrassed to be an American you can always change that. I’m sure there’s a hard working migrant that will gladly fill your slot.

    • I dunno. I read today that AUS PM Tony Abbott vowed to “shirt-front” Putin at next month’s G20 meeting in Brisbane. Even if that’s just figurative, I would definitely like to see that. Any other day I wouldn’t care what the Aussies have to say, though.

  10. In his defense though, those people he mentioned were being stupid. Then again that’s probably the reason they made the headlines.

    Also, I didn’t do anything. I am not even in Murica. He shouldn’t be embarassed of me.

  11. It always strikes me as funny that the Progressives really think that they have the strength to abolish the 2nd Amendment. We were an embarrassment to the British Empire in the 1770’s, and today, we are an embarrassment to the Obama Regime. If I am an embarrassment to tyrants, then I am happy.

    • “It always strikes me as funny that the Progressives really think that they have the strength to abolish the 2nd Amendment.”

      On a state level, I would say Progressives have done a pretty good job abolishing the 2nd Amendment in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland at a minimum.

      On a national level, Progressives have abolished the 2nd Amendment with respect to foreign firearms imports, and acquisition/possession of suppressors, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and full-auto firearms.

      • Don’t forget background checks and the ever increasing reasons for prohibiting people the right to bear arms.

      • There is no Second Amendment right to import firearms or anything else for that matter. The Constitution clearly gives the Federal Government sole regulatory authority over foreign commerce. They can tax, ban it or do anything else they want it. I am for the Constitution, the entire Constitution and nothing but the Constitution.

        • The line is drawn at the purpose of the ban. The ban on AKs in response to Russia’s recent activities is understandable. The ban on m1s and 1911s strictly to keep them out of the hands of US citizens is not understandable and IMO not a power granted to them under the constitution. It is an effective if minor infringement done for the sake of infringement and little else.

  12. “(I)f we’re going to tolerate a gun subculture …” — Paul Barrett

    Yes, yes you are going to tolerate a gun subculture. And you are going to tolerate a faith subculture, an education subculture, a music subculture, and any other subculture that anyone can imagine or implement as long as that subculture doesn’t infringe on your rights.

    Why is this so damn hard for so many people to accept? More importantly, would people like Mr. Barrett accept our “gun subculture” if we didn’t have the guns to enforce it?

  13. Pffft….. If I ever scratch my 50cal itch it will be with the much better valued Armalite AR50 instead of the pricey stuff he is peddling.

    I’m betting his marketing guys will be smelling this public bowel movement of his until the internet forgets it….oh the internet never forgets?….oh well that’s his problem.

    • This article is about Paul Barrett — an assistant managing editor and senior writer at Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

      This article is NOT about Ronnie Barrett the founder of Barrett Firearms.

        • The only person with any right to be “Embarrassed” in this story is poor Ronnie Barrett, for having the same last name as this steaming New York turd.

          Hmmm, there’s a euphemism in there. “Better let the bathroom air out, I just left a great big steaming Bloomberg in there. I had to flush twice!”

    • Better check yourself. Ronnie Barrett was putting his money where his mouth is long before the recent spate of gun industry relocations, AFAIK startinf with LAPD in 2002. Do a little research on the man and his policies, he deserves your respect if not your business.

  14. ” firearms have transcended their role as weapons in a literal sense to take their place as leading instruments of cultural warfare, we’ve reached the point of self-parody in our neurotic focus on them.”

    – Also from the Bloomberg Business Week article

    Little Pauly may have come closer to the truth than he intended. The irrational fear of firearms promoted by the Hysterical Mother, and others of her ilk, is textbook neurosis. The lies they manufacture are becoming so absurd, self-parody is an apt description.

  15. Looking at this from a communications institution perspective…

    …Businessweek has been trolling for a new demographic for some time now.

    Remember, it is owned by Bloomberg L.P. Which as of 2009 already controlled 1/3 of the global financial data market.

    Business Week (the magazine) plummeted in readership in the Dot Bomb and was bought up by Bloomberg in I think 2009 for pretty much fire sale prices. It was their first foray into consumer financial media. They bought it from textbook publisher McGraw-Hill, which also has a big commodity and capital analytics division.

    Ergo I think it’s safe to conclude that Businessweek is yet another Michael-Bloomberg-bought-and-paid-for propaganda outlet for the globalizers posing as a financial rag of old-timey provenance. And Mr. Barrett knows which side his career is buttered on.

    Sounds to me like, in trolling for a new readership demographic, Barrett is trying the incredibly radical [not] tactic of pretending he’s pro-gun while rebelling against RKBA in the name of “common sense.” This is nothing new as a global media strategy. It’s the same way tobacco companies have convinced millennials that sucking on carcinogens is Sticking It To The Man. The corporate media have been engineering Feisty Rebellion as a product since the 1960s.

    What he’s really saying is the usual Bloomberg message: rank and file Americans cannot be trusted to keep and bear arms, and now it’s a sign of good old rebellious Americanism to hold that position as well.

    In my view he’s a bit like the liberals who are now throwing gays and women under the bus by not wanting to point out the violent homophobia and misogyny in Islamic societies. Hey, we like gays and women, but only to a point! Gotta use common sense!

    • You need to read Dennis Prager’s book:

      Book Review: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph

      It is important to define leftism, Mr. Prager says, because it is what might be called a “stealth religion” (not his phrase) that receives much of its support because the media and academics present leftism as the normal and accepted way to think, challenged only by “rightists” or “conservatives.” Another reason Mr. Prager needs to define leftism is that it usually is not presented as an overall ideology – normally speaking more about goals than about values.

      It is even more important, Mr. Prager says, to define and advocate Americanism because many people who believe in its values do not articulate or teach them. No other country advocates for American values, and in the United States, leftists who don’t share American values dominate the press, the universities and the educational system.

  16. No, selective reporting by those with an agenda makes us look bad. Stop falling for it Mr. Barrett, you’re making us look bad.

  17. Bitter clinger here. I love it when dweebs threaten the armed. He’s embarrassed by the calendar gals? Doesn’t like empowered babes? That ain’t PC. I DON’T agree with the life without parole guy sentence. I think manslaughter would have more appropriate. Whatever-I don’t see this guy as relavent.

  18. Next person to quote bird cage liner buys beer for everybody else.

    That douche got more coverage here than he ever will from the newsstand or electronic media.

    Let the Parrot cover stories like this. The Parrot don’t know what its poop don’t show.

    • Sad thing is, a lot of people read Bloomberg News and its sister publications, even though they are wrong on pretty much everything (I’m talking about economics, not just guns). Bloomberg News is becoming as comically bad as CNBC. I’m not sure how either manages to stay in business, with their Keynesian propaganda and general nonsense.

      • “Bloomie’s Billions” ™ shifted around to cover the losses until he can find someone to buy the property. I hope Paulie has a good 401k.

  19. I agree completely. Open Carry Texas and every gun group like them are only hurting our cause and embarrassing us. How are we supposed to be able to tell people “we’re the good guys” if our krap stinks? MDA and others like them will latch on to our mistakes. Is it logical how MDA bashes us? No. It amounts to character assassination. But what’s the bottom line? The less stupid we look, the easier it might be to convince the sheeple to respect the 2nd amendment rights we believe are handed down by God (cf. Declaration of Independence).

    • Indeed! Let’s fight for our rights by hiding them. Out of sight, out of mind, right? This is why I hide my books, and only write in my diary in the small unlisted alcove away from the television.

  20. Aw, F*** him. Anyone who is embarrassed by our country is welcome to leave. I’ll even buy their one-way ticket. I’m sick to death of idiots like that who apologize to the world for the US’s internal business. Say or write whatever you want; I fought for your right to do so. But if being an American is so embarrassing as to be painful, then renounce your citizenship and GTFO. Then you won’t have to suffer.

    • I understand that Liberia is in need of another migration of former North Americans. Has been a dieoff of late.

  21. Mr. Barrett is welcome to his PC-squishy-fruity opinions. The man probably drinks white wine.

    Everyone, every single person, I’ve met or had contact with since I took up target shooting have been as nice as they could be. Every one of them responsible and helpful. I feel like I’m in pretty good company, from the LEOs and military types along with the families shooting together, the LOLs (little old ladies) I see at the range — I like taking my kids to the range and I like seeing a kid with his father there. Every last one of them, very nice people.

    • Same here, I know there are unpleasant folks with guns but wherever guns are out in numbers it seems those people either stay away or modify their attitudes suitably. It’s almost as if an armed society is necessarily a polite society.

  22. No, homey, only you look “ridiculous.” A grown man talking like a eunuch. I’m perfectly happy with how guns make me look, thank you very much

  23. There are undesirable elements of most cultures. Sports, music, hollywood, basket-weaving… why should guns be different?

  24. So Mr. “live and let live” finds it a politically inopportune time to make his argument that the Second Amendment is “illegitimate”, and demands that if America is “obliged” by it’s Supreme Court to “tolerate” gun ownership (“a subculture of gun ownership in America”), we should at least dispense with the Second Amendment to enact “common sense”, which probably means seizing all firearms and other weapons percieved as too weaponlike. “I say live and let live”, indeed. How does my gun ownership interfere and worsen your life, Mr. Barrett? Odds are you rarely if ever see a privately owned firearm. We’re happy to not invite you to the shooting range and not force you to own a gun. Will you ever tolerate us and let us live the lives we want to live?

  25. This just goes to show how desperate the anti-gun people are becoming. They have to get this guy to “think-up” some moronic argument about an American gun subculture that is “embarrassing” to the Nation because, for all their lies, twisted statistics, infantile insults and emotionalism, they have lost ground in the past few years and their President Oblivious has managed to spur gun sales beyond anything imaginable.
    Maybe they are embarrassed, but it is for themselves, and they have got nothing left but to try to project onto us gun owners. It’s laughable and pathetic.

  26. It’s OK Mr. Barrett. Do I feel embarrassed by the gun-culture in the US? Nope. In fact, I feel sorry for the world because over six billion of it’s people live in the darkness of servitude and outright enslavement because they are denied the Right to keep and Bear Arms.

    I see America as the last beacon of hope for all the peoples of the world as to what true freedom means. But it is because of statists/elitists like yourself that despise Americas freedoms that are trying to make the land of the free and home of the brave into the land of the powerless and the helpless.

  27. “(I)f we’re going to tolerate a gun subculture—as the current Supreme Court understanding of the Second Amendment obliges us to do—common sense absolutely must be part of the equation.”

    Have these so called “intellectuals” ever read the federalist and anti-federalist papers? It shows exactly what they founders were thinking and what their beliefs are. That belief is what the current Supreme court interpretation of the second amendment is. It’s really easy to do a little research on what the framers were trying to do. I guess this guy isn’t into history much.

  28. So in his mind what Amendments need to go next? Would that be the Freedom of the Press? Freedom of Speech? Religion? What a D A@@….

    Our Founders were some of the sharpest men ever to be put in a group. They new that the only way to guarantee the Freedoms found in the 1st Amendment was to empower Armed Citizens via the 2d Amendment.

  29. “If we’re going to tolerate a gun subculture…”

    You have it all backwards, Paul Barrett. America IS gun culture, and it is we who tolerate you and your fellow travelers. For now.

  30. “the legitimacy of the Second Amendment” oh FFS. He doesn’t like it, so the mighty Paul gets to question it’s legitimacy? They come in a set along with the Constitution. Support it and defend it, or bugger off.

    • They imagine they are in the moral position to wag their fingers at the constitution, to set its attitude straight. After all, popular mythology tells them that their “movement” has righted so many of the stubborn wrongs of our nation up to this point; slavery, child labor, suffrage, worker rights… when you have such a rich history (read; trail of BS) it is no wonder that every rough edge on the culture starts to look like a nail for your army of hipster douche bags to pound on.

  31. “common sense absolutely must be part of the equation.”

    I completely agree on that point. So, the only problem is which gun control laws to repeal first and in which order. I say we look at Lott’s studies and a few others and figure out which gun control laws are actually causing the most deaths (maybe Gun Free Zones?) and repeal those first.

  32. he’s a collectivist POS, that’s why he’s embarrassed by an imaginary group he fears he was painted by those in MSM to be connected to.

    basic childish, insecure peer pressure. plus, the whole jewish grandma guilt-thingy.


  33. If he is embarrassed by his own country he is welcome to leave and live in another country he can proudly call home.

  34. To Mr Barrett. On behalf of all Americans, whom you apparently believe you are responsible for, to feel embarrassment on our behalf, just let me say, speaking for myself I appreciate your concern.

    Duly noted and can you please go away, on over to the White House where the Divider In Chief is probably loking for someone like you to share his views on bitter clingers, and will set you up you to do the Turnip Dance with MOTUS who was never proud of her country before.

    And send you over to commiserate with his Actvist AG who called us Americans all cowards. I am sure he has a get out of jail free card for his secret journalist investigations program, and your advance ticket to a seat at the WH Correspondents Dinner.

    You’ve earned it.

  35. If Mr. Barrett imagines his approval or disapproval matters to me, then he is deeply mistaken. Like all of his ilk he defines his sense of self approval by strict and absolute conformity to a Statist Leftist agenda. His delusion is his alternate reality. Arrogant, insular, and self important he suffers from the ulcerative leprosy of narcissistic commentary.

  36. Embarassed? Have you seen the pretty young lady representing ‘vote no 594’ in WA state? I’m not embarrassed. The folks around my gun club are pretty high caliber.

  37. Granted there are new stories of idiots with guns (and without) that embarass us all. But forntunately is a very small percentage that we really have to becareful of. For the most part the majority of gun owners are responsible people and the biased news outlets always make the best of a good opportunity to make a big deal about it. But every group has their “few monkeys in their tree”, gun owners group is not exempt from this. My knee jerk reaction is maybe Barrett has spent too much time in California fighting with the wackos there and it has polluted his view of the free country we live in. Maybe because he’s getting a god complex like Bill Gates. Either way he only another citizen of this country like the rest of us, teach your friends on how not to be the goofballs of the group and cringe everytime a new idiot makes the news.

  38. “Surely the average Brit or Aussie, upon reading the particulars of the three stores that have Barrett in such a lather, would shake their heads in shocked disbelief at our violent cowboy culture.”

    Err, no.
    In fact many of my fellow Brits think our draconian gun laws & restrictions on self defence are BS.
    Unfortunately we have a large urban population on this overcrowded isle that sees all guns as bad, as they only see guns used by bad people & the media feed this right back at them.

    IMO Dunn was a dolt, there’s nothing wrong with the military helping out with props for calendars & if Castle Rock repeals a pointless restriction on the open carry of firearms by law abiding citizens, then that’s absolutely a good thing too.

  39. Perhaps the most fundamental error you make is referring to a gun subculture in America. We do not have a subculture of guns here. There are some 300 million guns. Half the adult population is armed. That is not a subculture. At those numbers, guns are the mainstream, rank-and-file American culture and ethos.

    The war against guns is not against political entities or corporations. It is a war against the heart and soul of America. And that is why they continue to lose.

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