Is Gun Ownership Central to Your Identity?

Virginia gun owner militia open carry

Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

What makes embracing “gun owner” as an identity difficult for me? For one, in certain quarters — notably on university campuses and among sociologists in particular — gun owner is a stigmatized identity.

In addition, certain strains of the gun control movement have also sought to do to gun owners what was done to smokers or drunk drivers previously: make them public health pariahs.

At the same time, some of the people who most embrace the gun owner identity are not people with whom I want to identify. Examples abound from the recent “re-open” rallies in various states.

Last, some “gun owners” are simply assholes and some are idiots. This explains the existence, for example, of a 30,000 person Facebook group called “Gun People Who Hate Gun People.”

– Wake Forest Sociologist David Yamane in Golfers, Gun Owners, and Social Identity

comments

  1. avatar Ron says:

    Honestly, I say to hell with an “identity.” Identity politics is an Obama era creation Thats now dominant on the left, and even creeping into the right. I refuse to be categorized into a race of imagined creation.

    I also refuse to adjust my other beliefs into line with said category because that’s what fits the “identity”. And that, is what the goal of identity politics is.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      I second that!

    2. avatar Dude says:

      It’s sad. I try to explain to my kids how things didn’t use to be this way.

    3. avatar Innocent Bystander says:

      The term identity politics has been used in political discourse since at least the 1970s.

      1. avatar The Grey Man says:

        Shall I guess by whom? Saul Alinsky 101….

    4. avatar DK says:

      I appreciate your moxie. But even if we don’t want to be categorized, or choose not to categorize ourselves, that won’t stop the majority from lumping us all together as deplorable or whatever they come up with next.

      So to all the gun owning folks who are A-holes: cut it out.

      To the A-holes and everyone else: Live Free or Die.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Majority? How many millions of new guns have been sold to add to the hundreds of millions already in American homes?

        1. avatar DK says:

          Yeah. Majority.

          Each firearm does not represent an additional gun owner. We make up a massive population, but we’re not the majority.

        2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “We make up a massive population, but we’re not the majority.”

          Horse-fucking shit.

          Congratulations, you believe the lie that they have been selling, the ‘other-ising’ of gun owners as being ‘yahoos’ no one wants to be around.

          There is a *massive* population of Leftists who own, or have inherited guns from their parents, but they don’t *dare* let their little Leftist buddies know that. So they hide their gun ownership from them, lest they be ‘found out’ and ostracized.

          The article got one thing right – the attempt at ostracizing is very real, and they are using the cigarette smoker playbook to drive a wedge between one group of Americans and the other. It’s our job to not let them get away with it…

        3. avatar DK says:

          Geoff,

          Even if I’m wrong about the “majority”, you’re working against your own perspective.

          A) Your douchebaggery (this post and most others) makes us all look bad. The original author and many other folks don’t want to be associated with it, and for good reason.

          B) All those leftists you speak of won’t lean any further right because: see point A.

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          You’re correct, Geoff. I myself was at a large birthday party with new friends near downtown Los Angeles (a few months ago, pre-COVID era, lol). As can be expected, most of them were vocal about their TDS and such, but I wasn’t there to get into any political conversations out of respect for my wife because they were her friends (and their spouses and families) from the gym. At one point, one of the guys started talking about his golf game and asked me in front of several others if I frequent the practice range. I saw my opportunity and coolly replied, “I prefer the target range”. Instantly, all the men around me perked up and started asking about guns with genuine interest, and it was the topic du jour for the remainder of the evening.

          As the night wound down and some of the men began to leave with their wives, the remaining few started talking about their own guns, as they clearly didn’t want some of the others who were previously there to know. Two of the guys said they own only a single gun that hasn’t seen the light of day for years, but they’d really like to go to the range with me next time I go (after this whole COVID mess is behind us).

          Nobody at that party were what I would ever identify as conservatives, yet some of them are apparently closet gun owners.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Nobody but nobody has a clue how many Americans own perfectly functional guns. If grabbers ever actually understood that they would drop the subject as undoable. Most assume that after a while guns miraculously disappear somehow, we no longer have to worry about that one any more. Which is BS, there are plenty of perdectly functional guns manufactured over 100 years ago.

      2. avatar Miner49er says:

        Not “closet gun owners”

        Just discrete gun owning adults who don’t feel the urge to play dress-up tacticool and parade around the statehouse with their guns on display.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          You’re the kind of bigot that would tell gay folk to get back in the closet.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Was a damn good place or them. Don’t ask don’t tell worked.

    5. avatar enuf says:

      As a named, discussed and written about political concept in our current era, “Identity Politics” goes back about a half a century. It is not a recent invention, and it was not a new idea when it was invented back in the 1970’s.

      The “Us versus Them” or the “Us, who gives a shit about Them” behavior of any particular self identified group is thousands of years old.

      As such, nothing has changed.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        “These days everyone carries around an HD television in their pocket.”

        “Big deal. TVs were invented 100 years ago. As such, nothing has changed.”

        1. avatar enuf says:

          The latest group to practice “Identity Politics” is the “THEM LEFTIES ARE PICKING ON MY SPECIALNESS!!!!” group.

          It’s all horseshit, whatever group you think you are in that someone else thinks you shouldn’t be in.

          I’m a gun toting cannoli eater, and the best Mac & Cheese I ever ate was in an Irish pub in America.

          People ought to just get over themselves.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          “that’s a good point, professor.”
          “gilligan, we can’t all be right.”
          “that’s a good point too, skipper.”

      2. avatar A. C. says:

        It wasn’t exactly invented then, it was refined and named then, though. It originated with Antonio Gramsci’s development of Cultural Marxism, and was developed as a tool for spreading Marxism and in propaganda by the Frankfurt School (which was given refuge from Nazi Germany by Columbia University, Barak Obama’s alma mater). Gramsci developed the idea of cultural hegemony, which in Marxist terms is the most common and leading culture in a society coming from multiple cultures like the US and is therefore oppressive if it’s not Marxist.

        YES, you need to know your cultural and political background to fight leftists at all levels, not just with guns but with words and ideas.

      3. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Because identity politics makes it easier for the “Us” group to herd the “Them” group into cattle trucks and the showers for delousing.

    6. avatar A Deplorable says:

      “Once you label me you negate me.” – Soren Kierkegaard. RON shoots a dead-center BULLSEYE in his description of “Identity Politics” and why he objects to that practice.

      1. avatar Porkchop says:

        Nice quote, spot on idea, but Kierkegaard probably did not actually write that.

        https://www.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/3fh9u2/did_kierkegaard_really_say_if_you_label_me_you/

        Just my Danish philosopher identity remarking . . .

        Hav en god dag.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Thanks for the thought, but I already have a good dog.

        2. avatar Porkchop says:

          Jeg er også glad for, at du har en god hund.

    7. avatar LampOfDiogenes says:

      Well, the Lyin’ Hawaiian was CLEARLY the greatest PURVEYOR of identity politics in history, but identity politics is hardly an invention of the Obama Era. He simply took an already-burgeoning movement, and ran with it.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Trump supporters claiming Obama was all about identity politics?

        Perhaps, but the “chosen one” has carried it to new heights.

        And I really dig those cool large format oil paintings of of Trump as a God, or George Washington Crossing the Delaware. Nope, no cult of personality here boss!

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Clearly, no TDS here, boss.

        2. avatar Lugnut says:

          Only done to trigger the TDS infected snowflakes. It is great fun to drop in on a leftist confab and drop a few few “The 2nd is not debatable” or “Abortion is clearly murder” comments and watch the whole damn thing blow up. It’s like kicking over a mound of fire ants.

  2. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Myself, I can relate to gun people more than I can to a star bucks coffee sipping wo po reading city boy or girl. So I don’t know which category this writer would put me in, & I really don’t care.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Everyone doesn’t fit into a neat, tidy category.

      1. avatar David Bradford says:

        I identify as a grumpy OFWG w/guns that doesn’t give a flying Fvck what anyone else thinks I am.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          That has a rather familiar ring to it. I like guns, but they are not a part of my “identity” any more than sports cars, motorcycles or good swords. They are just things. I am more than that.

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        @Dude,

        I fit very nicely into a neat, tidy category.

        But today’s Thursday and tomorrow’s Friday, so depending upon my mood and how my latest stock trade goes, I’ll probably fit into another category. Ya never can tell. So many choices…

    2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      2nd Amendment is for Starbucks-sipping, WaPo-reading city boys and girls as well; no reason they can’t be gun people.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Sure. And the chicoms could be a force for freedom/good.

    3. avatar 9x39 says:

      Same/same. I don’t dovetail nicely with labels. I’m a critical thinker, one who absolutely adores high order physics, bleeding edge tech, history, fact over fiction, and has an immutable sense of honor.

      I just spent an hour breaking down the reasoning behind my statement concerning NASA’s Eagleworks test at JPL of the theory of vacuum energy (or zero-point energy if you prefer) was invalid in it’s methodology. Not critiquing Sonny White, nor anyone farther down the food chain, as the fact of it being labeled inconclusive is spot on. The fine degree of machining required to test properly, simply wasn’t there. Further, it will probably be beyond us as a species for many, many generations to come.

      They shouldn’t have tested, because the technology wasn’t, and isn’t there yet to test. If anyone’s interested, just ask, and I’ll post the extended response I culled back here.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        They need to try the EmDrive somewhere away from earths magnetic field.

        Tesla is rotating in his grave.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          More like fairly distant from its gravitational field. It isn’t as if the current technology produces a whole lot of thrust. On the other hand, it is a lot safer than chem rockets or Russia’s catastrophically failed test of a nuclear drive last year.

    4. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “So I don’t know which category this writer would put me in, & I really don’t care.”

      You had better care, because your gun rights rely on it. The job is, to not to let them get away with it.

      They are the ones who claim to be all about tolerating and accepting of others not like themselves, and we need to use Alinsky’s rule #4 of “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” to do it.

      Those motherfuckers are going to tolerate and accept us, whether they like it or not… 🙂

  3. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

    I identify with the Constitution. Period. I swore a lifetime oath to defend it. No one has ever relieved me of that.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      Same here. The oath never expires.

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        x3, another here. Not in service anymore, but that fact does not alleviate my responsibility to my Oath.

      2. avatar Paul says:

        “No one has ever relieved me of that.” oath

        So very few seem to understand that. I’m no longer required to attend quarters in the morning. Don’t have to salute the ensign to go ashore, or come back aboard. Not required to salute an officer. But, no one ever said, “You have fulfilled your oath, now go your way, and don’t worry about any silly oath.”

        1. avatar PMinFl says:

          Thank you.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Same here.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I even got evidence that is the way the oath is intended. Y’all recall the day you raised your right hand, I think we all do. After 10 years I left the service. Two years later I rejoined, and I expected to be asked to raise my hand again. Nope. Sent me a letter telling me when and where to report and buy some new uniforms. A couple weeks later I was at the controls of 150 tons of airplane. The oath is for life.

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        Absolutely Larry, I don’t believe anyone who volunteered could ever forget that moment those words crossed our lips. Pivotal moments, indeed.

    4. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

      Amen. Even us Federal Civilian Service folks were required to swear to uphold and protect the United States Constitution from all enemies foreign or domestic. Nothing in my Exit Interview relieved that oath.

      1. avatar LazrBeam says:

        You are correct, BM. Wanna know a real moving moment? Having taken the oath when going into the Army in ‘69 then some years later when entering the civil service world, it never occurred to me that later in my career I would administer that very same oath to newbies. You then truly tend to realize the weight of the words of the oath. You look in their eyes when they take that oath and you hope so very much they understand its sacred importance.

    5. avatar CarlosT says:

      What is extremely frustrating is most politicians swear a similar oath, but almost none of them seem to take it seriously.

      Also, thank you for your service and especially for your commitment to that oath. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are what make this country unique, and uniquely great.

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        “most politicians swear a similar oath, but almost none of them seem to take it seriously.”

        I’d like to add in, public officials largely to that as well. The frustration factor is real, and looming to a greater degree, I think.

  4. avatar Dude says:

    Last, some “[insert anything]” are simply assholes and some are idiots.

  5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Sounds like it’s your friends and co-workers who are simply assholes. And idiots.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I’d suggest you grow a backbone, but you be you.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        It’s time to shame them as being the ones who are intolerant, and ostracize *them* as being the bigots.

        Because no true ‘Progressive’ would ever tolerate hate, bigotry, and intolerance… 😉

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘Because no true ‘Progressive’ would ever tolerate hate, bigotry, and intolerance…’
          🤔
          😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

  6. avatar Jim Perry says:

    There is no identity! We are who we are, like any other group or hobby, bound by some common factor. We have good ones, bad ones, crazy ones, quiet ones, bold ones, timid ones, etc.

    There are some generally common threads amongst “people of the gun” – independent, free-thinking, self-reliant. But as with any group there are always outliers. The MSM categorizes all of us by our outliers, because that makes the best TV, and pushes the anti-gun agenda farther with the Karen’s of the world. “Oh, you’re one of those crazy gun people”.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      ‘There are some generally common threads amongst “people of the gun” – independent, free-thinking, self-reliant.’

      These are the traits that the Democrat Party hates.

  7. avatar Carlos Hathcock says:

    Only the left feels it necessary to categorize…..

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “White Feather” is communicating from the grave?

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        😀 Nice.

  8. avatar Biatec says:

    No more an identity than free speech, religious rights or property rights.

    The Re open rallies are doing good work. There is nothing realistic or justified about these lock downs. It’s a violation of property rights, assembly and multiple other rights are effected.

    When rights become identity to you it’s because you don’t understand rights and believe in privileges.

    Vulnerable people can stay in their homes. It’s not okay to destroy everyones businesses and cause people to lose their jobs. Then nationalize a bunch of businesses because the government is breaking the economy.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Biatec,

      No more an identity than free speech, religious rights or property rights.

      For those of you who are unaware: Progressives reject free speech, religion, and property rights.

      Free speech:
      Progressives want to silence any speech that does not enthusiastically support their near-and-dear causes.

      Religion:
      Progressives want to squash religion that they do not support.

      Property:
      Progressives want to take everyone’s property (including their money) as Progressives see fit for causes that are near-and-dear to Progressives.

      Since many/most firearm owners reject those Progressive ideas as well as the Progressive notion that only government should have firearms, Progressives hate such firearm owners and try to portray firearm owners as evil and isolate/neutralize them, any way that they can.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        “Religion:
        Progressives want to squash religion that they do not support.”

        Progressives want to squash religion that doesn’t support them.
        FIFY

        1. avatar Dude says:

          It’s never about Principle. It’s always about Power.

          A fine example: The treatment of Kavanaugh vs. Joe Biden. Compare and contrast.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Dude,

          “Progressives want to squash religion that doesn’t support them. — FIFY”

          I can get on board with that rendition.

        3. avatar Someone says:

          Power is The Principle for leftists. Everything else is uncertain and ever changing. Their main drive towards Power is unshakable.

  9. avatar LifeSavor says:

    I suspect most of us do not formulate a single label for ourselves and call it our identity.

    Replacing the word ‘identity’ with ‘how I think of myself’, gun-owner is a small part of that. Husband, father, patriot, someone who tries to do good things, prayerful, politically active, health-nut, athlete, pet-owner, IT guy, home-restorer, annoying at times, someone who makes a lot of mistakes, gun-owner….all in the mix. Is it an ‘identity’? No. Just a modicum of self-awareness. Probably could use more of that.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      A jewel has many facets.

      1. avatar PMinFl says:

        Thank you.

  10. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    it is central to the identity of this country.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This.

      I own guns because I’m an American. Period, full stop, end of discussion. My ancestors fought in the Revolution, and you can see my distant kin’s graves here and there in remote corners of the northeast, from northern NJ up to MA. Both sides of my family have owned guns since forever. One side of the family could afford nicer guns than the other, but both sides owned guns. Why? Because they were Americans too.

  11. avatar dlj83544 says:

    …to answer the main question: no, it’s not central to my identity.

  12. avatar Dude says:

    The Left:

    “You have no right to criticize me because I’m [insert super special identity].”

    “I get to criticize you because you’re [insert undesirable identity].”

    “We must fight for equal rights!”

    *braindead zombie hoard nods in agreement*

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I dunno, maybe somebody hoards braindead zombies. Wrapped in toilet paper, even.

  13. avatar enuf says:

    Agree with the “We are who we are” folks. I enjoy firearms, I believe in the absolute natural born right to own and carry them. The Constitution of the United States of America enshrines that right, a right that is much infringed.

    I also believe in pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, a yummy cannoli now and then and a really good steak cooked with just a bit of pink to it, never well done!

    Golf? A good walk, spoiled.

    Central to my Identity? Nope, just stuff I like and believe in.

    Right along with the need to make health care a protected right and restructure how we pay for it around an approach that works. I lean toward the German approach, market based, capitalist, all costs known in advance, no billing surprises or medical bankruptcies, mandatory insurance, far less expensive than the mess we have, equally world class, superior outcomes.

    Also, I like pie.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Do you find it odd how the left is more concerned about the gun lobby than the healthcare industry lobby?

      “The NRA has donated a paltry $3,533,294 to all current members of Congress since 1998”
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/nra-donations/

      Healthcare lobby totals 1998-2018

      Hospitals/ Nursing Homes: $1,604,696,566

      Pharmaceuticals/Health Products: $3,937,356,877

      1. avatar Enuf says:

        Yes, absolutely I do.

        Just as I find it odd that the Right seems a lot more interested in immigration as a “Border Security” thing than they do about the massive multi-billion dollar Mexican-Central-South American narco cartels destabilizing national governments in countries our economy does a huge amount of business with. The narco civil war Mexican and it’s many side battles and criminal enterprises kills a lot of Americans each year, and costs us billions of dollars.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Good for you. It doesn’t get discussed for some reason. There’s a reason for all things though, and it’s usually money. Left and right doesn’t matter so much in many things. They’ve both failed their constituents in things like healthcare and reining in Big Tech.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        The Progs may be socialists (communists) but they know where to find the big bucks that need tapped.

  14. avatar FL Narcissist says:

    I consider myself a “gun guy”. However, it isn’t central to who I am as a person. Its the hobby I am most passionate and knowledge’able about (and spend the most money on). Its where the majority of my free time goes. But I also have a family. I enjoy watching and playing sports. I play video games, I fish regularly, and I’m also an avid reader. I do meet a lot of cringe-worthy “gun people”, so I understand why the “Gun people who hate gun people” group exists.

  15. avatar Prndll says:

    My ‘identity’ is that I am American. I am American by birth. Long before being a gun owner.

    Gun ownership is one of many aspects of being American…as a culture.

    There are many things in this world that are ‘stigmatized’. Like having a high IQ or being self-educated. There are quite a few religious ideals that get treated with a nose-up attitude. Let’s not forget that stigmatize comes from stigmata.

    I do not accept the premise that this article attempts to convey.

  16. avatar M1Lou says:

    You will find assholes anywhere, not just gun owners. I was in a Ford Mustang club for years. We had to kick some assholes out of the club. The F-body club had assholes. Their club kicked them out also.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Mustang owners pulling out of car shows on Youtube. Now there’s some entertainment.

    2. avatar enuf says:

      Good point. Seen that effect in volunteer fire departments, SAR teams, other public service organizations where you’d think everyone was there for the common goal of saving lives.

      But, no, there’s always a few……….

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    Nope.My “identity” was sealed when JESUS CHRIST became my LORD & Savior. Only owned a gun for 9 years. I’ve only been “political” for maybe 10 years. I’m a happy husband,father & grandfather. Who owns some guns…

  18. avatar st381183 says:

    Essential to my identity:
    1-God
    2-Family
    3-Integrity
    4-Honor
    5-Self-Reliance

    Guns are not on the list of what identities me. Guns are a tool and a fun hobby but they don’t make me anymore or less “me” at the end of the day. They are merely a very useful possession for self defense.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      1-God
      2-Family
      3-Integrity
      4-Honor
      5-Self-Reliance

      But guns were an essential tool in history to 1- Protect one’s freedom of religion. 2- Protect the family. 4- Protect one’s honor if it came to it(duels), or even protection of others. 5- Hunting for food, protection of self from preditors and self protection(police are minutes away when you need them in seconds)

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Agreed.

        “Hobby”?? Hobby is for gadflys with too much idle time on hands. Get a job/community vol/something useful to do.

      2. avatar PMinFl says:

        Thank you.

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      What do you think the difference between integrity and honor are? Dictionaries seem to indicate that they are synonyms.

      1. avatar HoundDogDave says:

        “What do you think the difference between integrity and honor are?”

        Integrity is a character trait.

        Honor is a choice you make.

        1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Honor can be either noun or verb. All of the other items in his list are nouns too. Either way it is hard to see how honor and integrity in this context are not the same, but it is his list, so he gets to interpret them as he wishes I suppose.

  19. avatar Bill says:

    I would no more deny”gun owner”than I would Southerner. Malapropiation of my heritage and symbols, does nothing to change me, or my lifestyle. If people misidentify me or attempt to prejudge me,that is their failing, not mine.

  20. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    A lot of people have it exactly right here. I love guns (and hunting, and archery, and fishing, and live music, and all kinds of food, and my wife and family, not in that order). I am a multi-faceted person and have many interests. At work, I have done enough to be identified as among the best at what I do, and I keep politics and personal stuff out of it. To my friends and family I’m something else. There are common threads throughout, and I hope positive ones, but I’m a private person and I keep work and personal separate as much as possible, it has been that way for many years. There are a lot of liberals and progressives in my line of work and it does not behoove me career-wise to be MR. GUNS. If asked, I don’t hide it, and you find out who has similar interests and beliefs. But I keep work focused on work and there’s a time and place for the other.

  21. avatar jwm says:

    Our identity has been established by the left.

    Now line up quietly and get your yellow star.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Good point. But what if we don’t play? One of my favorite “field tests” is to bring up Bundy Ranch when talking politics with progressives. Yes, it’s intentionally polemical but I’ve found an interesting commonality of responses: the more ideologically Left a person is the more the very thought of the well-armed militias spontaneously showing up to defend the Bundy family against an illegal BLM takeover is absolutely terrifying.
      The idea of an armed citizenry actively resisting tyranny is simply beyond their comprehension. They’re genuinely afraid of us. These “Jews” can shoot back.

      1. avatar Dahmer Berkowitz says:

        Most of ’em never even heard of Bundy Ranch. Maybe Ted Bundy or Al Bundy. Barely penetrated the zeitgeist and not remembered much outside of sites like this.

  22. avatar Don Nelson says:

    Yes, it is. I’m not opposed to “identity politics,” as it tends to use stereotypical traits to correctly predict behavior. Usually “identities” are unweighted and useless to amateurs, but are of great use to professional demographers and statisticians.

    But in addition to, and more important than, “gun owner,” I also fit into identities “father, Marine, voter, home owner, of Norwegian descent, retired old single guy, libertarian, etc., and on the Venn diagram where all these categories overlap, there’s me!

    A demographer viewing my place on the diagram would truthfully know a lot about me.

  23. avatar The crimson Pirate says:

    Yes, gun nut is central to my identity.
    So is Husband
    So is fisherman.
    So is kayaker.
    So is kayak fisherman.
    My profession in healthcare
    My religion
    Student of economics
    free market anarchist
    Avid podcast listener
    Cat owner
    Native fish Aquarist
    political activist
    Pen and paper RPG gamer
    Video gamer
    gardener
    Lots of things are central to my identity. when I meet someone who shares any of those identities it immediately gives us a connection. It does not mean we agree on everything or even on many things. It just means we have one thing in common we can talk about and that opens the door to a better collaboration.

    I have had very good conversations with the son of one of my regular patients who is a black political activist. Turns out we agree on more than we disagree on. There are still some key disagreements, mainly about the role of government in solving problems, but sharing the common identity of political activist, even on widely different subjects, allowed us to talk rather than just shout slogans at each other. It allowed us to see each other as real people and not just members of opposing teams. When all of the kung flu panic is over I am taking him shooting, and hopefully adding “gun owner” to his venn diagram of identities.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      From your EDC posts I guessed that you were a ‘traditional’ RPGer:-) That is not a jab.

  24. avatar GS650G says:

    Labels are for soup cans.

  25. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I dont have an identity.

  26. avatar Juice says:

    Look, a lot of you are getting defensive about it for one reason or another, but if family, friends, coworkers, or possibly even strangers would describe you as “he’s the gun guy,” then that is central to your identity. My uncle wears nothing but drag racing and American flag shirts, and while he also likes Jesus and fishing, nobody would be incorrect as describing him as “drag racing guy” or “patriotic guy.”

    I’m sure you know “football guy,” “Harley Davidson guy,” “bible-thumper guy,” and “talk radio guy.” And if you don’t know that guy, then maybe he’s you. Whether or not there’s a positive association with that label, or with you, is as much about how you personally conduct yourself as any of the other person’s prejudices.

    1. avatar Prndll says:

      It’s one thing to be a gun guy but being a Tackleberry type is a completely different issue. It is the Tackleberry types that scare people. Most people see that as something of a problem that no one wants to be seen as.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Dafook is Tackleberry?

        1. avatar Dave G. says:

          Ya got me???

        2. avatar Someone says:

          Police academy series?

    2. avatar DK says:

      Juice gets it. Why can’t everyone else?

  27. avatar Fred says:

    I would not say gun ownership is Central to my identity. I would say there are aspects at the core of my identity that make gun ownership a natural outcome.

  28. avatar Daniel S. says:

    Of course there is one truth to this, there are Numbskulls and unmentionable characters of every type, in every walk of life. From the highest Office is the Country to the lowest . Trump is not Mr Clean and we all know about the character of Slick Willie, and Creepy Joe the new Demogod. It’s not even the Gun that is the issue, it’s the amount of Negative media coverage that is pushed. That’s why we as Firearm Owners, need to maintain the high road, and be examples of what honorable citizens are. After all, when you let someone take control of your emotions and begin flipping them off, or calling them names, etc., you’ve let them have what is called: Free rent in your head.It is so much better when the anti-groups call us names, slurs, etc . . . what the firearm owners of the nation need, is a respectful media source that exposes all the good about firearms, and firearm owners.

  29. avatar MouseGun says:

    I tend to disregard anything said by someone with a title ending in “-gist” these days. They are almost always Uber-partisan hacks that use their title to push agendas.

  30. avatar Biff says:

    The author of this might be an ok guy, but I’d rather hang out with gun people than with his co-workers.

    I have a much more negative view of college professors and the education industrial complex that is turning our youth into ‘Woke’ imbeciles. That so many people have been duped into taking out ruinous loans to get degrees that have a negative return on investment boggles the mind.

  31. avatar Ing says:

    Writer says some gun people are assholes: “This explains the existence, for example, of a 30,000 person Facebook group called “Gun People Who Hate Gun People.”

    I say we now know where the assholes congregate.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Time to start lurking on the group and injecting the odd comment here and there. Unless the group is private and invitation only. But that would make them an echo chamber constantly repeating the same statements over and over to an audience that wants to confirm their own bias.

  32. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    No identity, just a double naught number that is secret.

  33. avatar LampOfDiogenes says:

    The quoted piece has all the intellectual heft of your average sophomore essay in a Gender Politics class.

    “Last, some “gun owners” are simply assholes and some are idiots. This explains the existence, for example, of a 30,000 person Facebook group called “Gun People Who Hate Gun People.”

    AYFKMRN????

    Name ANY group, of ANY identity, that doesn’t feature a number of “assholes” and “idiots”. Based on my own (lifelong) association with POTG, I would argue that, in my experience, POTG feature a smaller percentage of “assholes” and “idiots” than average for our population. Generally speaking, the gun owners that I come across, in shooting and safety classes, at the range, etc., TEND to be:

    1. Quite knowledgeable about their hobby;
    2. Eager to offer (not impose, but OFFER) assistance to newbies;
    3. Generally quite friendly;
    4. More than averagely aware of current events and politics (and NOT simply those related to gun rights), because we have to, for our own protection.

    That’s my experience. YMMV. Come on down to my local range, Professor Yamane. Or, and I promise none of us will treat you like a flaming asshole simply because you are a Sociology professor, and wrote a really STUPID article about gun ownership and identity politics. Now, if you ACT like an asshole at the range? Well, you’ll probably get treated like one – we’ll mostly ignore you, and if you get really out of line, someone may POLITELY suggest that you find another range to attend.

    Question, Prof. Yamane: Would you find it offensive if I wrote an article premised on a belief that liberal arts professors are flaming socialist assholes, and don’t know what they are talking about most of the time, and promote the most errant bullshit imaginable???

    Yeah, that’s what I figured. I suggest I have more factual support for my hypothetical than do you for your insipid, shallow and inaccurate “observations” about gun owners.

  34. avatar Debbie W. says:

    I hate rain on the parade but there are some worthless bigoted gun owners out there and on this forum that don’t deserve the time of day. These self absorbed potty mouth azzhats give gun owners who play by the rules a bad name just like biker thugs give motorcyclists who play by the rules a bad name.
    If you are a bigot claiming to be pro gun rights how can that be when Gun Control is Rooted in Racism and Genocide?

    1. avatar Someone says:

      There are good rules and than there are bad rules. Most of the state imposed rules are shitty ones, rooted in a shitty ideology, by your own (often repeated) admission.
      We don’t have to agree with each other. We should be civil towards each other, but hey, this is internet! In any large group of people you will find some assholes. Why should gun ownership make any difference?

  35. avatar Jimmy James says:

    Is Gun Ownership Central to (my) identity? it didnt used to be but is now more and more. If for no other reason than that I go shooting on average every other day now that I am retired. It’s my golf and my other wife. I dont know what to do with myself on a Saturday when there are no matches ( a lot of Saturdays lately). On the other hand I can unfortunately identify with the with the statement about gun owning assholes and gun people who hate gun people. There is a reason I dont go to gun shows anymore. The last one I went to some years ago,as I was walking out, I silently thanked God that I could own guns to protect myself and family from half the people that were in that building.

  36. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    Who is Karen?

  37. avatar onestab says:

    Damn if it ain’t Ayoob and Hackathorn in the photo! Would you believe…?

    1. avatar onestab says:

      I didn’t think Ayoob and Hackathorn subscribed to open carry.

      1. avatar onestab says:

        Only kidding!

  38. avatar Ralph says:

    Well, I have my balls and my guns. Don’t touch either without my permission.

  39. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

    Every morning our US Flag goes up on the front of my house. Next to it, and slightly below, the Garden Flag is up as well. I’m known in our neighborhood as the “Gun Guy,” mainly because they see me loading up for a range trip.
    Interestingly, I’ve been approached by more neighbors in the last 6 weeks for advice on purchasing a gun, than in the last 20 years. I like my neighbors, because we all watch out for each other and have done so for a long time.
    I know the trend is to be the “Gray Man,” but I’ve no problem advertising my support of the 2nd Amendment through the NRA, GOA, FPC, RMGO, Oathkeepers and similar groups. I get more “right ons” than negative comments and the negative Nancy’s know better than to debate with me, because of my penchant for remembering facts and statistics.
    PC Culture may label me a Redneck, and I’ll proudly wear that label.

    1. avatar Someone says:

      Screw the “grey man” idea. It brought us to today’s situation where mainstream media claim with straight face that there are no regular gun owners left and 3 old fat white superowners (who are racist btw) buy 99.9% of all firearms. It’s why leftists feel like the time of the final disarmament is here. There is nothing wrong or shameful in gun ownership, no matter what CNN says.

      Am I identified mainly as a gun owner? No, I see myself much more as a shooter and reloader. In order to keep these characteristics (and because of my aquired hatred for communism) I find myself more and more involved in political struggle. I wish I didn’t have to fight tooth and nail to protect what’s left of our constitutionally protected human rights.

  40. avatar hal26 26 says:

    I have %K ammo and guns everywhere, including AR’s. AK’s etc. I would GLADLY surrender them (except my Garand and a few old Colts if that would get rid of the bloated, lying orange reptile in the White House. Bone Spur, my ass. COWARD

    1. avatar Mark says:

      Your response is illogical. That imperfect man in the White House vs Clinton is one of the reasons you still have any of your guns at at. If sleazy Joe gets in, he wants all of them.

    2. avatar Lou says:

      I like that well said I’m commenting on the orange reptile on the White House and I don’t agree that Beden will be able to take guns any more than Obama couldn’t do it if he wanted to. There aren’t enough law enforcement in the country to carry out a confiscation order and they tried it by other means there won’t be enough body bags for the losers

      1. avatar Someone says:

        Just keep telling that to yourself. You hate Trump, who didn’t make things better for us gun people and even banned bump stocks. Biden (or his woman-of-color veep) and his gun czar Beto can’t wait to get their hands on our guns. They said it repeatedly, loud and clear.

        Obama sucked at everything, no wonder he also sucked at public disarmament he wanted so much. But hey, at least he got 30 times richer while in the oval office! Meanwhile the orange one refuses his presidential salary and so far he lost half of his fortune.

    3. avatar PMinFl says:

      hal 26 26, you have posted the same remark several times, just turn in your guns at the police department and then you can beat your chest. hero

      1. avatar jwm says:

        As if he has a gun. Just another proggie troll.

      2. avatar Southern Cross says:

        He can also beg to be arrested and cavity searched.

  41. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

    Gadsden not Garden. Stupid Cauto Erect. 😠

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      HA!! I read “Gadsden” the first time, had to go back and look to see “garden”.

      1. avatar Dave G says:

        I was wondering what a garden flag is. Gadsden flag never occurred to me.

  42. avatar Mark says:

    I am a sociologist, therapist an an ordained minister and our culture was conceived in liberty. 2A is about keeping it this way.

    People like to label others because it gives them the illusion that others are bad and they are good which is a false sense of security. It’s called depersonalization.

  43. avatar TheTruthBurns says:

    Try growing up on the streets of Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, Bronx, Houston, Miami & you will understand that Fists, Feet, Knives, Clubs, Bats, Nunchuks, Tasers, Glass Bottles, Rocks, Bricks, Machetes, Hammers, Screwdrivers, Hatchets, Tomahawks, Bows & Arrows, Crowbars, Gasoline & Matches, Blowtorches, Rebar, Shuriken, Tacks & Yes Guns are Very Helpful. I Love All kinds of Weapons – Guns are just More Convenient but Try & Take My Gun & I Will Give You the Bullets First. Only 2 Good Amendments left The 1st & The 2nd. Cheers!

  44. avatar Paladin says:

    Funny how a lot of the lib dems spew against guns using the first amendment, but are totally reviled by the we the people that want to exercise our 2A RIGHT ! Let’s subject their right to our restrictions, permit, prints, speech free zones…

    1. avatar bill knight says:

      Been,to a college campus lately? First Amendment is under assault from LibTards everywhere. I remind them to Fuck PC on a daily basis!

      1. avatar Dave G says:

        Paladin:
        I have heard it said that to own a clandestine printing press in Soviet Russia was death. I don’t know how true that is, but I wouldn’t want to be going down that road either.

  45. avatar J Star says:

    I mean, how many labels do you want to hang on my neck? Gun owner, gamer, geek, coffee snob, beer snob, DIYer, Hiker, Musician – oh, but you can’t just be a musician, that’s broken into camps as well, so singer, drummer, bassist – Cat person, dog person, bunny person, former smoker, Corgi owner, writer, reader, home owner? None of them alone is me, just things I do or own. Am I a GUN OWNER – as in that’s my main hobby and what I build my self-identification around? No. I spend quite some time in classes and at the range, but it’s not my biggest hobby.

    I think we spend too much time trying to pigeon-hole people. Everyone wants a label they can summarize someone with, but people are (mostly) complex things and not easily summarized.

  46. avatar Tommy357 says:

    I’m puzzled by the need for a grown man to search for an identity to embrace.

    To me, it’s a ludicrous concept.

    It is enough that we have a common interest and are willing to work together to protect it. Left, right, R, D, straight/gay, rich/poor, white/black/other, christian/atheist/muslim/other, youg/old, M/F. What do I care? If you want to fight for the 2A, I’m glad we can stand together.

    Let’s don’t let “identity” get in our way.

  47. avatar The Grey Man says:

    Boomer, Fudd, whatever…. Homey don’t play that game….

  48. avatar MADDMAXX says:

    “NO”

  49. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I don’t identify. But I am an American citizen who’s ancestors survived forced travel on an african slave ship. And some of my ancestors also ran away from Scotland.
    Two shit hole places where you can’t get legal guns very easily.
    Murica!

  50. avatar Barry Hirsh says:

    You bet’cher ass it is.

    “[S]ome ‘gun owners’ are simply assholes and some are idiots.”

    ‘Looked in a mirror lately……?

  51. avatar Hydguy says:

    I identify as a Constitution loving American.
    Guns are as much in the fabric of America as apple pie, baseball, and killing commies.
    Leftists are not ‘Americans’. They happen to be born here, but reject the very documents and ideals that America was founded on.

  52. avatar tmm says:

    No, but gun ownership is essential to my liberty.

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