I fear for his job

Paul Barrett and I have a friendly but somewhat strained “relationship”. But today he wrote something I completely agree with. That he works for Bloomberg means I fear for his job. From his article in Bloomberg Buisnessweek, Why Gun Control Is Basically Dead:

Dispassionate observers must question the simplistic liberal slogan that more guns equals more crime. The U.S. has seen a two-decade period during which private gun ownership has continued to soar (some 300 million firearms are now in civilian hands), while crime has diminished.

The strategy adopted by well-meaning activists post-Newtown may undermine their cause. Consider Moms Demand Action, which is allied with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg Businessweek parent Bloomberg LP). Watts, the Moms leader, describes her campaign as “a war for the culture.” She talks about firearms as a symbol of an America she doesn’t “recognize.”

Watts is fighting on the NRA’s preferred battlefield. Gun rights organizers have become expert at framing any gun control proposal as an attack on their culture. In a Dec. 6 “grassroots alert” to members, the NRA sounded its usual theme that President Obama and gun control backers push an agenda seeking to “fundamentally transform America” and will “exploit any occasion, no matter how crassly, to promote it.”

Gun control advocates often appear not to appreciate that their country, for better or worse, has a widespread and deeply rooted gun subculture that isn’t going away. No lesser body than the Supreme Court, in decisions issued as recently as 2008 and 2010, has interpreted the Constitution as enshrining that reality.

Barrett has spent a lot of time associating with gun people. It would be a stretch to say he is “one of us” but I think it is fair to say he understands and respects us while only partially agreeing with us.

This understanding, his Harvard law background, his living in New York City, and his calm, cool approach means he has a better view into the political and culture gun rights war than most. That he says “gun control is basically dead” is a very good sign we are winning the war more than just superficially.


10 thoughts on “I fear for his job

  1. I find the notion of “subculture” applied to basic human / constitutional rights to be rather bizarre, and disturbing. Is freedom of the press a “subculture”? Is the desire to be secure from arbitrary arrest or search a “subculture”?

    • Exactly the thing that popped out at me. But there has been a long-term tactic at play here, which attempts to alienate the libertarian by refering to him as a pathetic minority, to make him believe that his idealogy is shunned by most and upheld by practically no one. You represent a “subculture”.

      The first time I noticed this as a regular tactic was during the I-676 campaign in Washington State, wherein the left put up a pro I-676 web site showing the many and wonderful people who supported the anti gun initiative, and the pathetic few dunces who opposed it. I-676 went down in flames, nearly 69/41.

      In fact it is exactly the other way around (well, unless you live somewhere like New York City).

    • While I agree it should have been “gun culture” rather than “gun subculture” I think you are erroneously extrapolating. In this particular sentence he is talking about gun ownership rather than the right to keep and bear arms. Yes, he conflates that with the 2nd Amendment in the second sentence but I interpret that as meaning gun ownership is not going away because the right to own guns is protected.

      If he had described Jehovah Witnesses or Christian Science as subcultures yet protected by the 1st Amendment I would not extrapolate to say his conclusion was bizarre or disturbing. Would you?

      • I would. The point is that he says that the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution enshrines the gun subculture. That’s flat out false. Similarly, the 1st Amendment doesn’t enshrine Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists, and especially not their “subcultures” (whatever that term might refer to); it protects individual rights.
        Part of the problem is that “subculture” is a term referring to a group or collective, and there is NO such thing as collective rights, only individual rights.

        • Okay. I understand better now. Thanks.

          I can see how you get there but I think you may be reading more into it that you should. [shrug]

    • The obvious solution is to regularly refer our opponents as the “Hoplophobic Animist Anti-Rights Misguided Subculture,” or HAARMS.

  2. Pingback: SayUncle » Only mostly dead

  3. While some find the whole “subculture” thing offensive or disturbing, I’ve always been baffled by the notion that it is something uniquely ‘Merican. Every country in the world (except maybe Canada and Barbados) has had guns (or other tools) as part of their citizens’ means of determining who was in charge. Even the editor of Pravda has lauded our efforts at retaining our primary tool to ensure our other civil rights, but Russia and most other countries have simply been running roughshod over their citizens and stripped away their formerly unquestionable right to bear arms. We are always prating on about how close we are to the abyss… Well, how many of their citizens were harping on about the same thing before their rights were taken away, too? Guns, swords, what have you, all of them were parts of their cultures, too.

  4. In Connecticut in the 365 days since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown over 147,000 new fire arm purchases have taken place in the state. That would include out of state purchases on sites i.e. Guns Of America, etal. Over 9,000 new conceal and carry permits have been issued to a majority of women: white hispanic black etal, for the first time, 52% versus the men of 48%. An amazing inverse reaction to Newtown’s outward cry. This predictably encourages more ownership and greater safety per individual with women in particular. The conformist policy of Bloomberg has backfired as millions of new firearms were purchased in the nation by citizens and noncitizens alike in 2013. There is no consolation for the victims, nor should there be, when you consider more woman are raped in one day than the 26 victims at that school who were all DEFENSELESS. Now more women and men can protect themselves from usurpers and violators who are as impotent as Adam Lanza was.

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