Saturday, March 09, 2013

Dan Baum sticks to his guns...

... in this excellent interview in Atlantic (pun absolutely intended). Maybe they thought he would back down; because of the current climate, because-- I don't know, he hadn't spent many years coming to his conclusions? No fear: "I'm no less a Democrat than I was, but I am more attuned to the gun guy complaint -- "I am over-managed and I am under-respected as a citizen and a human being." I think the right has a point there. We need to stop fearing capable, empowered, independent-thinking individuals. "

Above, with Broomhandle Mauser, making me green with envy; below, having fun with full auto fire.


WilhelmDurand said...

That was a really excellent article. It rounded out an opinion suspiciously close to mine. Dan is clearly paying attention.

I could hear a bit of a scoff in my head coming from the hypothetical leftie reader when he talked about gun owners deriving some of their pride from owning a gun, but that's something that deserves more attention, I think. Gun owners often consider themselves to be the spiritual descendants of the frontiersmen of the 19th and 18th centuries, as well as the descendants of the American revolutionaries. For them, their first defensive firearm (typically bird shotguns and .22s don't count, unless the owner is younger, but nice hunting rifles do) is a reaffirmation of their heritage, and accompanies an unsaid oath to defend themselves and their loved ones.

Beyond that, a gun is no cheap thing. For a working man, a good firearm, even a run-of-the-mill Glock, will set him back two week's pay or more. He takes pride in his gun like he takes pride in his racing bike, his car, his computer, or whatever other objects of expensive hobbies he has.

Some of the pride, yes, is derived from the gun being a weapon and thus it making the man himself formidable, but for most men, it's much more than that. And, of course, all of this goes for the fairer sex, too.

Reid Farmer said...

Baum is having a book signing here in Denver at the Tattered Cover - Colfax this coming Wednesday March 13 at 7:30 PM

Anonymous said...

Excellent points, Wilhelm.

Certainly describes my outlook. Firearms are a connection to my heritage. I take pride in my skill, which I've worked hard to acquire, and I do, indeed, take a certain pride in my capabilities to defend myself and my loved ones (and not just with a gun).

However, everything I value in firearms and the "gun culture" is morally, ethically and legally threatened by the criminal use of firearms. I continue to insist that the gun culture has responsibilities for leading the way in "separating the drunks from the car keys." I use the analogy with intent. Our culture has done a lot to reduce drunk driving without banning either alcohol or cars. Part of it is legislation and part of it is a cultural shift that means we don't accept drunk driving as in any way OK.
We can do the same with firearms. There are appropriate regulatory solutions that can be undertaken without in any way infringing legit Second Amendment rights. The gun culture should welcome universal background checks and cracking down on straw purchases, even though such regulation is inconvenient for us.

We should resist bans.

Ideally, I would like to see the entire population of gun owners "well regulated" through mandatory licensing and training, though I recognize that that poses logistical challenges and would be burdensome to those of us who live lower on the income scale. It's a moot point; none of that is on the table.

Gun ownership should not be a left-right issue (and all of my shooting buddies are what most would call lefties, though they are really "moderate" independent thinkers with socially liberal attitudes and serious environmental concerns). Gun ownership should be a pro-social thing; it's our responsibility to make sure it is.

Thanks for indulging the rant. This stokes my passions.

Jim Cornelius

Steve Bodio said...

With respect, Jim, I disagree re "universal" checks- perhaps could accept such for commercial exchanges, but no way can I see having to ask the government to intervene if I give a gun to my son, or you. This is true for philosophical reasons but also practical. To bring a gun to the most sensible place to sell one to my son is 100 miles-- 2 1/2 hours for me and half that for him.

Meanwhile, without paying a cent or any attention, every gangster is happily armed, as always. Got a story or two about that, long for a response.

Anonymous said...

You can simply exempt intrafamily sales, which I believe current proposals do. Trust me, I don't WANT to do any of these things I propose. I wish there was no need for action at all, that we lived in an armed and polite society.

Eg. — I just sold a pistol to my good friend and don't want to go through a rigamarole.

My question for you — in all seriousness and respect — is, if we agree that the criminal use of firearms is a bad thing and creates a threat to our gun rights, what do WE do about it?


Steve Bodio said...

Dan actually has cultural rather than legalistic ideas on that.

Anonymous said...

OK, sold; I'm getting the book.