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FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo, firearms are displayed at a gun shop in Salem, Ore. The first legal test of whether a wave of U.S. counties can legally declare themselves "Second Amendment Sanctuaries," and refuse to enforce certain gun laws is playing out in a rural Oregon logging county. The measure Columbia County voters narrowly approved last year bans local officials from enforcing most federal and state gun laws, which includes things like universal background checks or any prohibition on carrying guns. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)
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We sometimes talk about “American gun culture,” but another way of saying “American gun culture” is “American culture.”

As a matter of civil liberty, the Second Amendment is every bit as important as the First or the Fourth or the Sixth, and it is no accident that the semiautomatic rifle has taken the place of the cannon on the Texas revolutionary flag, emblazoned over the slogan that has over the centuries made its way from Thermopylae to Fort Morris to Gonzalez to the bumper of a whole lot of F-150s: “Come and Take It.” At least one of the shoppers looking for ammo over the weekend had the version Plutarch attributed to Leonidas — μολὼν λαβέ — tattooed on his forearm. It’s a popular bumper-sticker, too.

And that “Don’t Tread on Me” spirit matters to a people whose two great formative episodes were the Revolution and the frontier experience. That attitude is an important part of what has kept America free. But it also is bound up in some of the worst aspects of our national character: paranoia, our unarticulated antinomianism, our taste for political and religious extremism, and our horrifying addiction to violence.

Americans are a murder-happy people — not only with firearms but with knives and clubs and hammers, with bombs, automobiles, and standing water. There are lots of countries where people have guns. Switzerland is a gunned-up country, and there are millions of privately owned firearms in France, Austria, and Italy — walk around Tuscany at the right time of year and you can hear the shotguns of the pheasant hunters, a blast in the distance every few minutes.

I hear shotgun blasts where I live, too — but this is an American city, and they aren’t shooting at pheasants.

But this isn’t really about the guns. It’s about a society that is, palpably, wobbling on the brink of something awful, with failing institutions, incompetent government, reciprocal distrust among rival social groups, and widespread simmering rage.

— Kevin Williamson in A Dangerous State of Affairs

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55 COMMENTS

  1. But this isn’t really about the guns. It’s about a society that is, palpably, wobbling on the brink of something awful, with failing institutions, incompetent government, reciprocal distrust among rival social groups, and widespread simmering rage.

    None of which would have occured if it wasnt for the anti-American Demonrat party. For over the 100 years they have worked to get us to this point. Hopefully, the tide is turning and its not too late to right the ship.

    • It’s a mistake to presume that they have the same values you do, or the same goals. If their goals are a socialist tyranny, subservience to even more ruthless tyrannies like China, then their behavior makes perfect sense. Educational institutions aren’t failing to teach Western values, they’re deliberately teaching Marxist values, and they are succeeding. Likewise government isn’t incompetent if their goal is to make the US a second rate country without a prosperous middle class. The economic packages passed without a budget are succeeding at that. The people in power are thinking about more ways to extend their power, they’re not thinking about your best interests.

  2. “Americans are a murder-happy people”

    LMFAO
    I am perfectly happy putting holes in paper. If that’s all that ever happens then all is good. But I am under no illusion from the left and have accepted that there is evil in this world. Evil is not to be coexisted with peacefully. I will not bring the fight to you without it being brought to me first. You have nothing to fear from me and I would prefer to have nothing to fear from you.

    • Yeah, that was the portion of the article that stuck out for me as well, especially the “with standing water” comment. Hmm…so Americans are now murder-happy and enjoy killing each other with anything available to them, including rain puddles.

      Geez. Void of all logic.

      • I think I am pretty much part of the culture, but must admit I never felt any overpowering need/wish to murder anybody in my near-75 years, is it possible this mouth breather might be LYING?

    • That “murder happy” business is ignorant nonsense. The w/w homicide rate is in line with that of the rest of the Western world; the b/b rate is like that of El Salvador, i.e., a Third World hellhole. Obviously it’s not about guns and it’s not about Americans being particularly violent. We need to help the people who need it, and not fight over our rights.

      • I have read “statistics” that said if we removed something like 11 zip codes from the murder rate that the U.S. would rate at the bottom of the scale for murders per 1,000 people.

    • My sentiments as well. I hope and pray I never have to use a firearm to protect myself, family or country, but I’m realist enough to acknowledge that the situation can change without warning. So I practice because I enjoy the activity, and don’t wish what little skill I have to deteriorate. I also practice and carry, so that should the need arise, I’m as prepared as I can be for a situation.
      Old Scottish Proverb: Na Sir, ‘s Na Seachen An An Cath
      “Neither Seek, Nor Shun The Fight.

    • “But I am under no illusion from the left and have accepted that there is evil in this world. Evil is not to be coexisted with peacefully.”

      That is *exactly* the logic they are using against us.

      They are claiming we are evil, and that *anything* they can do to stop us is a morally-correct thing to do…

  3. There is a crazy group of people out there constantly telling each other they’re victims, constantly blaming the “other” for their perceived victimhood and reminding each other they’ll never amount to anything because of said victimhood.

    It’s a 24/7 feeding tube of hate, fear, blame and self-loathing brought to you by ABC, CBS, NBC, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Disney, Apple, Facebook, JPMorgan, Citi Bank, Comcast, Coca Cola, Harvard, Yale, Rutgers, and on and on and on and on.

    Remember kids, you’ll never amount to anything and it’s all your classmates fault so don’t bother being anything but angry. And consume. Consume, consume, consume. If you can’t be wealthy you may as well make somebody else wealthy.

    The guy with the obnoxious “Come and Take It” sticker isn’t going to the problem. It’s the two to three generations of self-hating, heavily indebted and wholly useless developmental retards out there that will be the problem. Yes, Boomers fucked up some shit and that sucks. How about stop listening to Boomers, then? Stop wasting time and money getting meme degrees for starters.

    • But that sounds like hard work and dats racis. Finally got to interview some backfill candidates and only the homeschool kid with an associate’s is worth a damn. New hire probationary year is going to be interesting.

  4. It’s rather remarkable how we can talk about “American culture” in general being especially murderous, particularly prone to violence, but we can’t talk about a particular subculture within it whose murder rate is far above the rest. No, that subculture must be shielded from criticism, camouflaged by the greater whole, or referred to only by the instrumentality of its violence, namely guns. Even in a nominally conservative publication.

    • There is one identifiable group within that American Culture which is responsible for an overwhelming majority of the murders among one certain ethnic/racial minority, and it is not “the police”.

      Is that close to what you are referring to?

    • “It’s rather remarkable how we can talk about “American culture” in general being especially murderous, particularly prone to violence”

      Leftist will never miss an opportunity to excoriate America, just like a disease will never miss an opportunity to infect a healthy host.

      However, point of fact, if one omits just five cities (Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC, St Louis, and New Orleans) from the nation’s murder tally, then the United States is fourth from the bottom among industrial countries. And even in those cities, there are a few localized areas that disproportionately effect the rest of the city.

  5. “Antinomianism (Ancient Greek: ἀντί, “against” and νόμος, “law”) is any view which rejects laws or legalism and argues against moral, religious or social norms (Latin: mores), or is at least considered to do so. The term has both religious and secular meanings.”

    Just gonna leave this hear in case anyone else is as stupid as me.

      • i had already left and returned for that. thanks, tho.
        seems like a term that contradicts itself.
        which makes it appropriate.

      • I needed that definition as well, thank you for sharing. And ignorance is correctable, and I consider the rectifying thereof to be a moral good. You are not stupid my friend.

    • I had an inkling what it meant, knowing my Greek and Latin roots, but I had to look it up to make sure. It’s not exactly a common term.

      I think the author of that piece could have benefited from looking it up, too — or at least thinking about what it really means and whom it can be properly applied to. He’s only saying “respect mah authoritah” and hoping all the deplorable troglodytes in flyover country will be awed into submission by his shiny new five-dollar word.

  6. If you really think about it, the intended audience of National Review have more in common with Bloomberg than they do us. Is it any wonder that they too would (to some degree) share in his discomfort of us? I mean how could Kevin Williamson, a worldly man who is familiar with Tuscany and its various hunting seasons, connect with your average non-urban American outdoorsman?

  7. Good grief. A vast majority of the murders in this country are committed by a very small proportion of the population. These murders occur in just a dozen counties across the entire country, and it seems to be one “community” where violence is endemic. Remove that “community” and the murder rate plummets.

    Instead of blaming guns, let’s concentrate on the “community” where all this violence occurs. But we all know which “community” it is, and in our current political climate, that “community” is untouchable, and it is considered the highest political and social faux pas to hold that “community” responsible for its actions.

  8. right now the most murders are being committed (or will be) by the military industrial complex and big pharma (vaccines) world wide …but they wont ever control them..

    • Is that what it says in your manifesto? ‘Cuz it sounds pretty stupid. Got some evidence that you at least did some research before pooping that out?

    • Lemme guess – you and your friends cooked that hot mess up in your dorm room one Friday night, after one too many bong rips, right????

  9. A typically deceitful manifest. They fail to acknowledge the part this society that is murderous, it isn’t the guys lining up for ammo at the local sporting goods store. The vast majority of them haven’t shot anything but paper and hope it will never be necessary.

    No, the murderous among us can be found in Chicago, Baltimore, LA, NYC, and Atlanta; basically any large city and almost all are run by Democrat politicians who are busily turning loose bad people in the name of “equity.” As soon as they are released, these people will go right back to preying on each other as well as innocent 3rd parties who have committed he crime of looking like a juicy target of opportunity, or are just collateral damage.

    The Left likes to pretend that they are the good guys, but how can that be? They are now supporting a thing they like to call equity, but there is nothing equitable about their Neo-Marxist blame the white guy political screed. These are the same people who point fingers at the suburbanites and at rural Americans as somehow being the cause of the problems and claiming that they are at the root of the nonexistent boogieman of systemic racism. No the Left has foisted on us an old man in major cognitive decline who has become a meat puppet for all the crazy radical Socialist crap they are trying to force us to accept.

    Keep your powder dry!

    • This is the antinomianism Williamson and his ilk support but can never acknowledge.

      (People who have never swilled wine while listening to privileged pheasant-hunters in Tuscany can use big words, too. And apply them more accurately.)

    • “major cognitive decline”, eh? Is that Faux President specific terminology for “doddering old fool”?

  10. What a bunch of over used stereotypes to paint a broad brush of what gun owners across America are supposedly like.

  11. I am perfectly happy to go to my grave as an old man who never killed anybody. However, going to said grave in said aged state takes priority over doing so with a zero body count.

  12. Before that schmuck Williamson claims that American’s are murder-happy, he ought to take a look at who is doing the murders.

  13. So if he says it isn’t about the guns, then what’s his plan to clean up the “failing institutions” and “incompetent government”?

  14. Boys and girls, friends, Romans and countrymen….

    This is an article in the National Review. That word outlet is owned, operated and edited by Never Trumpers and other anti-conservative, Dim-loving scallywags. Let not your heart be troubled….

    And don’t pay to subscribe to that website.

  15. Without guns we are doomed! With guns we are free!

  16. I’ve owned a lot of firearms for a lot of years. Can’t say I’ve ever had a desire to commit murder. Sounds like the fool is still trying to blame the murder rate in the cities on those of us who live elsewhere. Because it can’t be the “Culture” promoted by the same politicians who are demanding we give up our gun rights. Conveniently ignoring the major source of violence in the US are criminal gangs, or at least career criminal individuals, killing, or attempting to kill other criminals. Such people, by the very definition of criminal, don’t care about, or obey the laws of a civil society. We do not have a gun violence problem. We do not have a gun problem. We have a criminal/ people problem. It’s just easier to be lazy and blame the guns, rather than deal with the segment of society that is the major source of the problem.

  17. What our government did to the Native American Indian is actually occurring to all American citizens currently. It’s just a different scale but supress said communication and strips all men of their god given right to protect blood and property.

  18. Any discussion about the total number of US gun deaths is fundamentally dishonest. The US is the 3rd most populous country in the world, which skews the results. And it ignores murders by other means, as if a knife murder is somehow unimportant. And finally it includes deaths by suicide.
    Fact 1: the US ranks 94 out of 230 countries in murder rate per capita.
    Fact 2: half of all US murders occur in 2% of the counties. And those are almost exclusively run by Democrats.

  19. “But this isn’t really about the guns. It’s about a society that is, palpably, wobbling on the brink of something awful, with failing institutions, incompetent government, reciprocal distrust among rival social groups, and widespread simmering rage.”

    Don’t worry, moar racebaiting will fix that.

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