Selling Gun Ownership : Culture

As I type this now, in a Sioux Falls South Dakota cafe , there’s a small crowd of well dressed people walking down the street, dresses and suit jackets flowing in the not-inconsiderable wind.

Believe it or not, this is atypical behavior for this state. Show up to your typical South Dakota wedding in a suit, and you’ll be either moderately or extremely overdressed on occasion. Showing up to a Chicago wedding in a mere “suit” would be a slight against the couple.

No , i’m not taking ad money from Bridal Magazine. My point is simple-culture matters.

Culture , in day to day reality, is that unwritten series of social rules by which an area operates on. Sometimes these social codes of conduct have factual basis – example, big pickups are unpopular in Southern California because practically speaking they’re a pain to park in crowded cities. They’re conversely almost a social totem in the rural Midwest and South, used like vehicular statues proclaiming their owner’s prowess -or perhaps only a monument to personal insecurity combined with credit card debt.

In any event, rural folks dont worry about street parking or merging in six lane congestion, so bigger trucks are a practical vehicle choice .

Firearms , like cars and clothes, aren’t immune to the social rules of human behavior. Why it is acceptable to own an AR15 in North Dakota and not so in New York State has less to do with fact , and more to do with entrenched cultures.

The way it works -guns are restricted in a given pro-gun urban area to a limited extent, say minor licensing.

People who live there forget about life before Gun Law X was passed, at which point whatever restriction was last enacted becomes the “New Normal”. The next politican or community activist suggests a stronger law in its place, that law passes , then 5 years or more down the road it too becomes the “New Normal”.

On and on it goes, until you get Great Britian.

I learned this dynamic from an unexpected source. When my grandfather passed, military commitments kept me from paying my respects. Months later when I could take leave, mom filled me in on his life history. As it so happened, Illinois at that time was a relatively conservative state gun-wise.

Granddad kept a 30-30 lever gun in the house , defending the home his job at the Kenosha American Motors plant paid for. No stinkin’ IDs or background checks either- he’d regularly take mom and my uncle shooting at the nearby quarry.

That was in the 1960s . If you’re reading this , you’re likely familiar enough with modern day Illinois regulations to know that’d be totally illegal today .

Because of the gradual nature of this cultural change from pro-gun to anti-gun , arguing directly against its adherents can take on a religious fervor. That’s because Gun Control is likely the only cultural background someone in such a place knows. When a person says being an anti is foolish, its not critiquing the argument-its criticising that individuals very culture. It may be perhaps two or three generations before you’d find a gun owner in a modern day native NYC or LA resident’s family tree.

We won’t be making any lasting changes going down that route.

I submit, what must be done is literally counter-cultural.

We must give the modern generation relateable reasons to consider gun ownership, and ones totally independent of the Constitution, morality, religion, or the color of the current majority US political party.

If we keep insulting the people we need to back us in the polls, the end result will be a nation of rural gun owners being governed by a voting majority of city people who associate gun ownership with the Ford Edsel and Dwight Eisenhower.

Selling Gun Ownership-Necessity.

To understand why I’m going to say the following, some background is in order.

Did your Ma and Pa sit down in front of the fireplace, and review the pertinent details of gun ownership and the importance thereof?

Mine didn’t.

It took a public sector job with the United States Air Force and an attendant trip to Kelly Base Range for my first exposure to guns, at the ripe young age of 23. Prior to that, i’d grown up in Chicago-where gang bangers kill each other almost as fast as the news can blame it on the NRA.

The culture in one of the most anti-gun areas in America is, unsurprisingly, hostile to weapons. Its one of the few common cultural ties in the area. A gang banger’s mother from the rough side of Englewood , a Highland Park IL socialite, and a middle class schoolteacher won’t share much-but they’re likely to share a disspassionate dislike of firearms.

My own family was no different in this area. As such, I came to the People of the Gun as a latter-life convert to the cause. So when I speak about marketing gun ownership to anti’s, it is not from an academic background.

The first place to start is necessity.

In major urban areas -Chicago among them- the only practical use of a gun is the most extreme. Not many deer trample through State Street and Wacker Drive, as it were. Further, 911 really is just a phone call away, and urban areas tend to have massive police agencies with a visible public presence.

In the country ,the necessity of a firearm is much less esoteric.
Most rural parts of America don’t have a deep law enforcement presence. When the local Sheriffs department has 8 people covering 150+ square miles of territory , and they’re operating on a shoestring budget at that, Joe Public in Ruralville USA doesn’t need an active imagination to realize the utility of a Glock in the cupboard. 911? If your device even has consistent service to start with, it’ll take 10+ minutes for LE to get to your location. Out in the country, there’s no illusions against this cold fact ;whatever personal defense problem a household has is up to them to solve.

Making city folk understand this is crucial; the average law abiding soul in Big Cityville never dials 911 frequently, making them unaware of the fact that even a 5 minute response time can be 4.5 minutes too late if Mr Bad Guy is paying them a visit. We need to start with this basic premise-because discussing legalities , rules, the Constitution, or ‘Murrica before laying down this basic fact is truly putting the cart before the horse.

To sell gun ownership to the anti-gun masses, we must first start there.

Selling Gun Ownership-Gear.