Jan spoke to us today about Gun culture in America. She gave a complete run-down on the laws that affect guns in America going back to the Constitution. The problem, ultimately, is that the gun owners see themselves as the heroes in America. The romance is that culturally, the hero in American literature and film is consistently outnumbered by villains. And in the American narrative, hero(es) must find a way to find victory over the overwhelming number of bad actors (pun intended.) The way our hero(es) equalize their chances is consistently done with firearms.
Today, if you ask why a gun owner does not want any kind of limits on the size of the magazine or the firepower of his weaponry, the answer you will consistently get is that he will need that firepower to protect his community when law enforcement breaks down. The fact that this scenario has rarely happened in American History and it not likely to happen in modern times at all is not an argument that gains any traction. It happens in the movies and that is the story that inspires more actin than does history. Every time the alien’s take over America, it is the guy with the gun who saves the day.
Some point out that we have a very real and ongoing problem with deranged people playing out this scenario with their high powered large capacity magazines. These people are equalizing their chances with law enforcement with the use of these same firearms. It is not surprising that the gun-owners of America would use this as an excuse to obtain even more firepower for themselves. And, in the end, suggest that we put more armaments into the schools.
The only actionable goal is to keep the firepower out of the hands of deranged people. One side says that the way to do that is to identify the deranged people and deny them access to excessive firepower. The other side says the way to do that is to deny all citizens their access to excessive firepower. This isn’t going to end quietly.