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I was thinking about some of the comments underneath the post 7th Grader Suspended for 2″ Arcade Toy Gun. There was a whole lotta nostalgia going on; reminiscences about toy guns being too cool for school. Only not. Members of our Armed Intelligentsia shared tales of wearing cap guns and holding toy rifles in class and school competitions. These days? ZERO TOLERANCE! And yet gun ownership continues to rise; Illinois gun ownership has risen from 1.2 to 1.6 million in the last three years. Still, the question remains: in the face of all the spree killings and anti-gun agit-prop, are guns still cool? I reckon the ability to defend yourself—personally—will never go out of style. You?

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  1. Interesting question. I often thought that, just before the Aurora and Newtown incidents, gun culture was very quickly becoming normalized, with shows like Top Shot and Sons of Guns that were wildly popular with even non gun owners. Some of my friends who had never even fired a gun wanted me to take them out after watching these shows.

    Part of the agenda has been to demonize firearms and gun owners, and make them appear to be abnormal people who are anything but cool.

  2. I am wondering if the war on guns is having the same effect as the war on drugs. It is bringing more attention to it and more people just want what they can’t have.

    • Oh, now that is a fascinating idea that I have not heard from anyone else. I have to say I think you are right. I imagine a fair percentage of the population didn’t really think about firearms one way or the other. Now that the civilian disarmament advocates are screaming from the rooftops, I have heard people who do not own any guns say something along the lines of, “I am going to buy something before they become unavailable.”

      And that means more first time buyers which means more people signing up to our camp.

    • The demonization of the hippie movement played a large part in catapulting its participants into their modern positions of power. It’s possible (and looking at the cyclical nature of American politics on the whole, likely) that we’ll be seeing the politically polar opposite of this within the next few decades.

      • I was an original, Haight Ashbury Hippie. I can’t speak for all the camp followers that sprouted up after the mid-sixties, but the Hippies I knew in ’65 and ’66 were, to a great extent, sort of goofy Libertarians. The last thing on their minds was social engineering or making up laws for “our own good”

        Truth be told, most of the friends I still have from those days are gun owners.

        • It’s the do-gooders that ruin things.

          Reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote on how, if you have to put up with tyranny, it’s better to live under the merely greedy than the ostensible benevolence of moral busybodies. Greed may be satiated, but the moralist’s conscience never sleeps, and they’ll never stop doing things to you — for your own good, of course.

          Groups like Moms Demand Attention, modern “liberal” progressives, and the many variants of Al Qaida are not so different in that regard.

  3. As our society has become more urbanized, firearms have taken on a threatening aura. No longer are they seen as a necessary tools of survival but ones of danger, violence and death.

    Sure, there are bastions of healthy gun culture, mostly in rural areas. I love living west of the Rockies but east of California…

  4. Brought an M1 Abrams model to school for show and tell back in fifth grade, and I got shit for it lol. Didn’t get suspended or anything, but still…

    • Back in highschool (86-89), me and 4 friends dressed in surplus G.I. uniforms one day (with appropriate period modifications, of course). We were all sent to the office, and were about to be sent home to change, until we explained to them that we were honoring Vietnam Veterans – it was Veteran’s Day – all of our fathers were Vietnam Combat Veterans. They changed their tune very quickly. Shortly after the office incident, there was a school wide announcement commemorating Veteran’s Day. They never gave us shit again.

    • Wait, WHAT?

      Unless you brought tiny working scale shells to load into it, that is just… fully retarded.

  5. I work in a very lefty industry, the film biz. And yet 80 percent of the Obama-voting, ACA supporting, Tax-the-Rich Democrats I meet are fascinated when they find out I have guns. (You can guess how the other 20% react.) They all want to know what I have, see pictures, and go shooting with me. I honor as many of those requests as I can.

    So, yeah. Guns are still cool. Even here in deep blue center of the second most firearm-restrictive state in the union.

  6. “Cool?” At one time pet rocks, hula hoops, fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view, and CB radios were “cool.” In that sense I hope not. I get the feeling that certain yoyo’s that open carry an AR to provoke a police response, film it and place it on the web think guns are “cool.” Do the people in Afghanistan think guns are “cool?” Guns are a tool for self defense in the right hands, or to end somebodies life in the wrong hands. They can be used for sport, too. Are hand grenades “cool?” Sorry if I miss your point, but a lifetime as an EMT and trauma nurse cause a certain visceral response. Seeing several college students die of GSW’s within minutes isn’t “cool.” This is why I believe the argument should pivot towards violence and away from the tools of violence (guns, knives, letter openers, etc ad infinitum).

  7. Guns, like cars will always be cool. If for no other reason than they represent personal freedom to people. Wait for AC transit when you need a ride or a cop when someone is looking to ride you and you’ll see the truth.

  8. Illinois’s population is ~12.87M.
    Illinois’s 20 to 89yr old population is ~9.41M.

    At 1.6M FOIDs, that is about a 17% of the adult population with FOIDs. (There is also otherwise law abiding with lapsed FOIDs, and thugs who don’t care. Since I don’t have data, I am ignoring their numbers.)

    There are ~4.77M households in Illinois. At 1.6M FOIDs, that is about 34% of households, but with some households having multiple FOID holders, it will probably be closer to 30%.

    So close to 1/3 of Illinois households are armed.

    • The population of Illinois has been very steady [stagnant depending on POV] for the past decade.

      If the FOIDs have really increased from 1.2M to 1.6M in a short 3yr time, then it has gone from 13% of adults to 17%.
      And has increased from 25% of households to 34%.


      • “So close to 1/3 of Illinois households are armed.”

        Meaning considerably higher proportion of Illinois residents live in legally armed households.

        The larger the household, the more likely it is to be armed.

  9. At the risk of lowering the discourse by a couple of notches, I see a couple of big guns in the above video that are pretty darn cool.

  10. We need to take care.Just because someone owns a firearm does not automatically mean they support the Right itself.

    For a case example,look at California.Much is said about how California is one of the largest gun markets in America, and that is true.

    Yet,look at their laws.A nation of people who dont care because they’ll be grandfathered isn’t what we want.

  11. guns are very cool, especially all of the really fun ones that i can’t afford yet. like a Merkel Drilling

    I’m not big into the sports rifles category, and i wasn’t much of a collector of any firearms until recently, but in less than a year i’ve bought 10x more firearms than the previous 27 years

    • So it’s you. That one guy the grabbers are insisting is buying all the guns while gun owners are dwindling in numbers.

  12. Guns will always be cool. Unless they are bitchen, like any belt fed. Or holy $hit, is that a (insert rarity here).

  13. America is pretty obsessed with guns. Even my most rabidly anti-gun lunatic uncle raved about how awesome Django was. A movie about killing people with guns.

  14. Note that it is not zero tolerance everywhere. There are still many rational school districts where kids play with nerf guns and cap guns as staff smile on. You just don’t hear much about them.

  15. Among kids, guns will always be cool. Bows and arrows may rise and fall with Katniss Everdeen, but when you absolutely, positively have to dominate every Nerf battle in the ‘hood, it’s victory through superior firepower, baby. Try telling your child s/he can’t join the fun because guns are bad and wouldn’t s/he rather play Amnesty International instead. To withhold guns from kids just inflates their curiosity — a lesson lawmakers should remember.

  16. Some guns are cool, some are pedestrian, but shooting any gun is way cool.

    Look at any noob the fist time they put lead downrange and then realize that their hands are still attached to their wrists, there’s a little hole in that piece of paper waaaaay down there and they personally harnessed all that energy. Then tell me if that feeling ever goes away.

  17. The AI that recalled wearing holsters and cap guns in class has got to be of the baby boomer generation. Being in my mid 3Os now, when I was a wee lad, guns were verboten in the classroom. Granted there wasn’t a strict no tolerance policy and cap guns and Megatrons did see their way onto the playground at recess early on (grades K through about 4, by the time I was in 5th grade they weren’t showing up on the playground either), but if any gun saw the light of day in the classroom it ended up as contraband and was confiscated by the teacher.

    • A lot might depend on where you went to school.

      I’m right in the middle of Gen X — only a few years older than you — and it wasn’t until high school in the late ’80s that people started freaking out about guns (mostly out of fear that California’s gang problem might spread). Even then, the most they’d do is tell you to go change your shirt or put the offending item in your locker. In elementary, I went to school with cap-gun revolvers on my hip for Halloween, and most of our recess games involved pretending to shoot each other.

      But I grew up in a part of the Mountain West where the opening weekend of deer season is still a school holiday.

  18. Absolutely cool. Movies have kept it that way for years, and now video games are multiplying the effect. My theory is that gun ownership is going up because the FPS generation is now coming of age to own them.

  19. cool, is a matter of perspective. I would rather not run around armed all the time, but the competition for limited resources will never end.

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