What If We Made Gun Culture Uncool Like We Did Cigarettes? the headline at talkingpointsmemio.com asks. As you can see from the 1995 video above – featuring the future Attorney General of the United States arguing for anti-gun brainwashing – this is not a new idea. Regular readers will recall that Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has re-started the culture war against gun rights, hiring a former MTV PR flack as their “Director of Cultural Engagement.” No doubt Everytown’s anti-gun agitprop arm, thetrace.org has been emailing its acolytes, urging them to join the campaign to demonize guns and gun owners. A call answered by one Michael Maiello . . .
“Sorry, I can’t bring my kids to your place if there are unsecured guns in the house.”
“Thanks for coming over. Do you mind leaving your shoes in the hallways and your pistol off my property?”
“I can’t stay over if you keep a gun in the bedroom, especially if we’ve been drinking. Guns make things less safe when the lights go out.”
It’s surprisingly easy to imagine a society where gun ownership is looked down upon, if not scorned outright. This already happened with smoking, at least partly as a result of a public education campaign aimed at young people, and it happened when polite society finally came down against people flying the Confederate flag after the Charleston church shootings this year. Sometimes, when legislative action is difficult or downright impossible, a cultural approach works to curtail dangerous behaviors.
In short, we can make gun ownership uncool.
No. No you can’t. For one simple reason: guns are cool. A handheld tool that puts the weak on an even playing field with the strong? One that can save a life in an instant? Save a family from starvation? Prevent or repel government tyranny? How cool is that? Way cool. Get back to me when Hollywood heroes and video game avatars no longer use a firearm as the great equalizer (not Edward Woodward).
Maiello – a standup comic, playwright, Forbes writer and, oddly enough, an unabashed Hillary Clinton supporter – must know that the fight to make guns uncool is a losing battle. Still, there’s [small] money and statists’ attaboys in it for the self-described playwright. Let’s hope he’s satisfied. ‘Cause that’s all he’s gonna get.
On the legislative front it seems America has made its choice and there is little chance for legal reform in the near future except at the margins deemed acceptable by the gun industry and a current generation of gun owners who believe that “things happen” is an appropriate reaction to gun deaths. When lawmakers can’t lead, a social solution is certainly worth a shot.
So to speak.