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“If Americans want to move forward in our national conversation about gun control, we need to understand gun culture less as an example of American pathology or a source of US pride (depending on what side of the debate you take), and more as a social practice embedded in inequality, violence, and fear that are aggravated in the US, but not unique to it.” – Jennifer Carlson in Why America isn’t the only country that wants guns for self-defense [via]

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  1. How is violence aggravated in the US, when “violence” (don’t you love ambiguity?) is dropping steadily? Oh, wait, you’re running out of emotion from Sandy Hook, so we’re going for a new emotional reaction.

    • I think this is a comparison of violence in US vs most other developed countries. If you look at murder rates, they are, indeed, significantly higher in US on national level.

      (not to say that this has anything to do with gun politics)

  2. “inequality, violence, and fear” Aren’t these the cornerstones of the progressive ideology?

    She’s more right than she knows. The fight for gun rights did indeed begin with inequality (gun control to prevent blacks from arming), violence (the butchering of colonists and attempt to disarm them), and fear (of the very real threat criminals and our government pose).

    I tell you what, moron. You walk down the streets of gun-free Chicago then walk through any gun show in the US and tell me where you experience more violence, fear, and inequality. Yet another “opinion” from someone who has never experienced the true gun culture but feels the need to voice her worthless, feeble mind anyway.

    • Yes, yes and yes. The very definition of the progressive playbook. Hype up the “inequality, violence, and fear” and then “do something”. I love how she adds that those qualities are “aggravated in the US, but not unique to it.” As if other countries have dealt with violence in a much more civilized manner and succeeded.

      Meanwhile, in Bloomberg “Safest big city” despite all their efforts, they still can’t control the violence. Because why? Because there really isn’t a deterrent when everyone is disarmed. All you really have left are a bunch of potential victims (sheep), surrounded by wolves. When the sheepdogs aren’t present, guess what? You’re on your own. Even New Yorks finest can’t help you.

      That was midtown Manhattan for crying out loud. I wonder if that woman puked or peed on herself to deter her attacker?

    • “She’s more right than she knows. The fight for gun rights did indeed begin with inequality (gun control to prevent blacks from arming), violence (the butchering of colonists and attempt to disarm them), and fear (of the very real threat criminals and our government pose).”

      I clicked through to say exactly this. I read her quote and thought, “Yes, but not in the way you think.”

      • I read her quote and had the same thoughts, as well. She says, the “gun culture [is] a social practice embedded in inequality, violence, and fear.”

        I’m always glad to find someone else who is working against inequality, violence and fear. We need more of us!

  3. Having read the article, it sounds to me like someone needs to read “Why the Gun is Civilization.” By Marko Kloos

  4. Get a load of this quote:

    . In our national gun debate, this means emphasizing the Second Amendment, a hunting heritage, and the general ethos of rugged individualism that set Americans apart. For gun-rights advocates, these are virtues to celebrate; for gun control advocates, these are often seen more as roadblocks in the path toward sensible gun control already adopted by our European counterparts.

    So an ethos of rugged individualism is a roadblock towards gun control, eh? The author treats it as perfectly reasonable to view gun control as an end in itself and rugged individualism as something to be overcome.

    • A counterpart implies an equal object or purpose in a different location, and the traditional American value system, legacy, and opinion on government is most definitely not shared by our Euro friends. However much progressive fascists may orgasm at the thought of a UK-style oppressive police nanny state, that is not an American view.

      If she yearns and desires so much to be a mindless slave, as she obviously does, why not just move over there and rid us of her presence? Then she can sigh in relief at her moral superiority as she’s raped and killed by a chav with a baseball bat in their gun-free utopia.

    • Rugged individuals are not submissive enough to the State. Therefore we must do what is necessary to make them dependant. Only when we rely on the government for all our basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) will we be truely free from violence and the scourge of independant action that runs counter to teh good of the collective.

      That’s what we’re up against.

      • Now now now… THX1138, it’s time to take your meds like a good citizen. (After all, compliance and passiveness is what we get when you take them.)

        ONLY problem there is… in the world of THX1138, they gave up going after him when the costs reached a certain level… ANTI-gunners don’t care one iota about cost… just the benefits of control.

  5. national conversation about guns. national conversation about the national debt. national conversation about entitlements. national conversation about immigration.

    i don’t see any ‘conversations’ anywhere.

  6. Far too many sociology Ph.D.s being produced for far too few jobs. She jumped on the hot political topic of the day, and it landed her a tenure track job. She hit all the right social criticism buzzwords. Cal Berkeley stamp of approval, grade AAA. Yet another budding young leftist released into the world of academia. Nothing to see here. Move on.

    • I written a reply to Ms. Carlson’s essay directly to her and the editors of the CSM here. Contrary to the logical fallacies with which she’s been indoctrinated, Rugged Individualism is an Egalitarian characteristic; furthermore, that assertion is backed up by science. Peruse at your leisure, gentlemen.

      • Then you read her piece. It’s titled “Why America isn’t the only country that wants guns for self-defense” and it has some fairly balanced pro-2A remarks. In the same article Ms. Carlson wrote:

        As one armed, Indian woman said to a reporter for The Guardian, “I don’t have faith in the police to protect me. There are so many attacks on women these days. It’s everybody’s right to defend themselves. I think all women who are vulnerable should be carrying guns.”

        Guns may be as “American as apple pie,” but they are not exclusively American because the problems that drive people to guns are not exclusive to the US.

        So what problems do you think she is talking about? The approach this article takes seems to be exactly the way to have *common sense* discussions about guns with people who are predisposed to limiting RKBA, ignorant of the data and reacting emotionally.

        • While she concedes there is a legitimate reason to have a gun, her article is primarily anti-gun, and I specifically address her mischaracterization of “rugged individualism” that stands as a “roadblock” the way of “sensible” gun control.

          And I checked out the rest of her blog on her website too. She trots out the old bromide that guns are for hunting, and while guns could reasonably be resigned to us rural clingers, but they’re “irrelevant” for the civilized.

          “[U]rbanites should see guns either as a hobby (for some urbanites) or a hazard (for most urbanites…)”

          She’s definitely not pro-2A.

        • Update: Ms. Carlson was courteous enough to reply to my letter, and I’ve posted it on my blog. And you’re right, she’s more “balanced” than I might have given her credit.

      • > The approach this article takes seems to be
        > exactly the way to have *common sense*
        > discussions about guns

        Don’t get in the way of the circle-knee-jerk going on in this thread.

        Her comments that most people here find to be so offensive seem to be more observations rather than advocacy.

        • Who gives a sh!t? You could “observe” the merits of eugenics without necessarily advocating for it, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a horrible person for doing so. Take your snark elsewhere.

  7. Let’s have a national *conversation* about all kinds of tools. Americans are not alone in trying to choose the right tool for the job. Choosing the right tool for the job is *common sense.*

    Did you know that people all over the world use scissors to cut paper? Use rulers to measure short distances? Use sewing machines to attach pieces of fabric to one another? Use hammers to drive nails? Use safety glasses to protect their eyes?

    Why should we be surprised that humans worldwide choose the most efficient tool available for protecting themselves from bad guys?

    • Isn’t it ironic she wants to curb inequality by creating two vastly unequal classes of citizen (armed government and unarmed subject), curb violence by giving sole control of violence to an entity responsible for more violent death than any other entity on the planet (government), and curb fear by leaving everyone helpless at the hands of law-breakers? Sounds like the kind of irrational stupidity only a progressive fascist mind could concoct.

    • Liberals don’t like it when I point out that several of my ancestors were property about as recently as any African descended slave. Or did they forget the emancipation reform act of 1861 in Russia? Oh wait, liberals don’t actually care about history when it contradicts their world view.

  8. from the linked article:

    “Guns in America, India, South Africa, Britain, Mexico: What do these societies have in common?

    All are dealing with the unfinished business of racial and gender inequality that have been exacerbated by economic austerity measures, a renewed focus on crime and criminal justice, and public services in crisis. These are societies that breed rampant fears and concerns about insecurity (if at times disproportionate to the actual rates of crime) and the sense that the police cannot, or will not, provide protection to the average citizen.”

    — She got the last part right about the police not usually being able to be there on the spot to protect the average citizen. Security is of course 24/7 there to protect the elites.

    I really got a laugh reading about her tie-in blaming “gender” (a more fluid political word the Left uses to replace defining a person’s s-e-x on one of two biological realities). So now another reason for violence and civilian demand for guns is because of um discrimination against womyn in America? Excuse me, in America womyn (and girls) are the special-class privileged s-e-x err I mean gender to be politically-correct. In America, just how are womyn discriminated against? Let’s use real facts and numbers here, and not feminist math and statistics.

  9. This is an interesting talk given by a social psychologist.

    Section III Subsection 3)- Closeted Conservatives

    I think you will laugh when you read what he compares being “conservative” in “liberal” social sciences is like, he uses a “liberal” struggle that has been becoming more mainstream recently. I will not even begin to comment.

  10. If Americans want to move forward in our national conversation about gun control, we need to understand anti-gun culture less as an example of American pathology or a source of US pride (depending on what side of the debate you take), and more as a social practice embedded in inequality, violence, and fear that are aggravated in the US, but not unique to it.

    There, fixed it. (hint: look for “anti-“)

  11. “a social practice embedded in inequality, violence, and
    fear that are aggravated in the US”

    I actually think she may be right, though possibly for
    different reasons than she understands.

    On inequality: There’s a reason the saying “God made man,
    but Sam Colt made them equal” exists. Ms. Carlson hardly
    looks like she could hold her own against a Chuck Liddell
    wannabe….unless she had a gun.

    On violence: without guns, how long could many African-
    American families have held out against the violence of the

    On fear: it is ingrained in our history that a benevolent
    government can turn tyrannical. Our forefathers lived it.
    It is this fear of governmental control that caused firearms
    to become enshrined in our national conscience.

    If you read her linked article there is this:
    “Taking a global look at guns reveals the folly in gun debates
    that focus merely on regulating and restricting guns themselves.
    To address guns, we must also address why people – in America
    and elsewhere – are turning to them in the first place.”

    After reading this maybe Ms Carlson isn’t a complete a loss on
    the topic, but the cynic in me thinks she’s just hedging her
    bets and putting up the appearance of objectivity and rationality.

  12. All a study you understand. In this case a study of those who don’t understand what they’re trying to study and make a point of letting everyone else know about it.
    Whatcha got here from one perspective, is more or less the fairly self evident truth about what the academic-types might point to as a classic example of the Tabula Rasa Syndrome.
    That would be the blank slate part of the bio-brain onto which limited experiential memory is writ and some agent either within the brain or external to it — the brain / mind debate — is acting upon info as assimilated in an ongoing process of tryin’ to arrange impressions present in the retrievable part of memory in some cohesive fashion.
    In short, the Mindless over what doesn’t really matter.

    Problems for the academic-types only begin with starting their lines of inquiry from a reality that’s been fashioned almost exclusively within the confines of their own brain based on obvious-to-everyone-but-them limitations imposed by an absence of their own actual-world experience.
    Filling the brain with terminology then tryin’ to go about fitting whatever it is they experience into the myopic confines of impressions based on terms is what some might recognize, identify and describe and define in colloquial terms as well, just about almost nearly if not nearly entirely …bass-ackwards.

    Oh, and on that ‘gun culture’ thing, heard about that idea years ago. Set a big petri dish off to the side and been waitin’ for a gun to grow out of it ever since.

  13. Thats what you get for reading the rabid anti-gun C.S. monitor there not even mainstream but far fascist that the fascist media is.

    • Once upon a time the CSM had a reputation for being least politicized and in Europe at least the best surce of news on the US. This was 30 years ago. After 30 yrs of Progressive pomo transnational Foucaltian mush this is what you get from Phds and news outlets looking for content = mush.
      Keep up the good work TTAG and Brian; engaging them with facts. There might be some with the intellectual capacity to examine the inconsistencies with reality and somee will finally hit the wall of cognitive dissonance internally that your patient conversation helps along…and in the meantime thrre is an entire generation of young people hip to the media bs who never did buy into the mush offered at school. You dont see them in the surveys or these self referential navel gazing articles because they are living in the real world not some ivory tower. And I suspect from comments like the ones above they are coming to TTAG for info and truth.

  14. “Every person is born helpless, totally dependent and devoid of any practical knowledge. The difference between ‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’ is the former manage to retain this natural state of arrested development and cling to their status as victims, while Conservatives deal with it, get over it and grow out of it.”

  15. If she (or anyone else) thinks that Europe is so enlightened on these (or any other) subject, STFU and move there. I’ll pay for her one-way plane ticket, with the contractual understanding that she cannot return to the US without repaying me.

    Funny thing: When I offered “progressives” this same deal in the 90’s in California and the AWB debate back then… none of them took me up on the offer. I have the money to pay for the ticket…. and the people then knew I had the money to pay for the ticket, so they knew I was serious. California being what it is, I even offered to drive them and their luggage to the airport, park and walk them to their gate to see them off.

    No one would take me up on my offer.

  16. How does one “embed” a culture in “inequality, violence, and fear”?
    I don’t understand. I assume there is an actual meaning behind this that can be explained through clearer word choice.

    • No, the social critcism and deconstruction approaches that are dominant in modern humanities (and the largely non-empirical branches of the social sciences) are entirely based on fuzzy concepts. Clarity and formal logic are bright sunlight to their fog. Try asking, for example, a cultural anthropologist of sociologist to clarify their terms without using jargon. It’s great fun. They will either squirm or try to attack in some way if they are experienced, or sit there like a deer hit by headlights if they aren’t.

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