Cultural shift.
Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:10pm

One thing I didn't get into in my previous, over-long post (that only David replied to, citing stuff I'd already stated...good ol' message boards!) was my belief that the only thing that will reduce in any statistically meaningful way the number of firearms in civilian possession in the US is a reduction in demand for firearms...and that will require a not-insignificant cultural shift. Moreover, I don't think it can be achieved in a manner similar to that which so greatly reduced smoking. That is, gun owners won't respond to shaming and attempts to turn them into pariahs by giving up their firearms. The (very large) majority will simply dig in their heels.

Instead, any such cultural shift must proceed from lessening gun owners' perceived need for firearms. For those who possess firearms for personal defense, that means reducing their fear of victimization. That this fear persists in the face of a decades-long reduction in violent crime in this country demonstrates how difficult a task that will be. Our news media does us no favors in its often near-ghoulish preoccupation with fearmongering (hey...fear sells...). Most folks are actually surprised to learn of that statistically inarguable reduction in violence, convinced that "it's getting worse all the time." It isn't. So perhaps one early step in attaining this cultural shift is to figure out how to get the media to be more responsible in its reporting without compromising freedom of the press (which would probably have an even worse outcome than is produced by the media's irresponsible fearmongering).

Gun owners who have weapons for self-defense do not in may cases consider the only threat to be from criminal elements, but from their own government. So figuring out how to reverse the utterly poisonous notion that the government is the enemy, which was boosted enormously in the Reagan era and has only gotten worse since. Of course, I personally don't know how to do that, as I consider the US to be well past the tipping point of any possible taking back of political power by the people via any method short of outright revolution...so perhaps I'm not the best person to advance ideas along that particular tangent. Hell...I'm emigrating in a couple years.

And of course there are millions of hunters, and they form a pretty big part of "gun culture," albeit one that is (like their type of firearms) only rarely involved in violent crime. I hunted as a girl, but stopped in my early teens (and am actually vegan). So again, I may not be the best person to provide insight into that subculture, other than to state that as acceptance of plant-based diets increases, there will obviously be fewer hunters..

  • It is indeed practically impossible to get all Americans to relinquish their guns immediately. What I am suggesting is a long term series of incremental legal and production restrictions that over a... more
    • Cultural shift. — Poppet, Sat Jun 16 4:10pm
      • Interesting insight.Anonymous, Sun Jun 17 5:10am
        Culture is the key but it will be a long haul. It seems the first hurdle would be to convince people that fewer guns makes for a safer society. One common response to the last school shooting (at the ... more
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