(Because we don’t have enough gun debate threads yet. :p)
Although those who favor gun control usually couch it in terms of public safety, I think there’s at least in part another agenda that is often implicit and sometimes explicit: that progressive leftists see gun possession as a part of a sociological mindset that they are fiercely determined to stamp out.
According to this view, guns were a key part of the racist, imperialist genocidal expansion of European culture at the expense of the rest of the world from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. That in the US they were used by mobs to murder and terrorize the black (and hispanic, and jewish, and native American) minority. That crime by African-Americans is the inevitable result of inequality, and that punishing the underclass as “criminals” is just the bourgeois white middle class, fat and addicted to it’s consumer culture, smugly ignoring the plight of the underprivileged with the aid of its guns.
Further, that as the US moves towards a multicultural society, gun ownership is a pathetic remnant of former white supremacy, that as Obama notoriously spoke of small-town America “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Supposedly then once a sufficient degree of liberalism, pacifism and tolerance is achieved, [snark]Euro-Americans will see the light, give up their murder tools, abolish racist inequality, peace, love and justice will reign, and we’ll all sing Kumbaya together. [/snark]
Certainly in past gun threads a few Dopers have posted opinions along these lines. And certainly pro-gun people believe to an almost paranoid degree that opposition to firearms is due to an ideologically driven agenda, one absolutely opposed to a conservative worldview. Is this then a fair charge to level at the antigun crowd?
While there is some correlation between gun activism (membership in gun organizations, political activity relating to guns, etc.) and conservative points of view – how many pro-life doctors have been shot? – I don’t see this is defining nor a major incentive to gun control laws. One might as well say that anti-marijuana laws are an attempt to force conservative values on the populace: it doesn’t really work that way. Correlation is not (always) causation.
I don’t know that people who are opposed to gun violence are going to get much traction by saying “Hey, now, cut that out.”
I remember seeing several instances (in the recent handgun thread, primarily) in which people stated that guns are part of our country, down to our cultural DNA. So, if the people who are in favor of an armed populace are saying that, I don’t think what you said is unrealistic.
Also in that thread was a big discussion of the difference between “getting handguns out of the populace’s hands” and “getting the populace to stop shooting people.” General consensus, from both sides of the issue, is the first one ain’t gonna happen. The second one would be real neat, but how are you going to make that happen? By changing the mindset.
Why is the thread title in quotes? I suspect it would be impossible to actually find a real person who literally talks (or thinks) in those terms. It kinda sounds like an Austin Powers-style parody of wacky 1960s talk. (And I don’t even care about guns…)
I don’t believe the title phrase so I didn’t want to make it a statement, and it was meant to be hyperbole for rhetorical purposes. (Although I don’t think it’s much wackier than some things radicals actually say).
I dunno, I’ve had a middle aged black man with mostly white friends and white girlfriends tell me to my face that “people of color” lived in peace and harmony with each other and with nature until “the white man” taught them how to lie and steal and kill each other. :eek: If he’d have been an anti-gunner, I could see this argument being part of his repertois.
If guns had been invented by the Mongols, all of Eurasia (and probably eventually all of Africa) would be part Mongol now and there’d be someone somewhere calling them “Tools of the Mongol Oppressors”.
Er… The full suite of conservative values, not merely the tautological value of being opposed to marijuana. i.e., anti-marijuana laws aren’t passed to support a pro-life agenda, or to get creationism taught in schools, or to reduce federal spending on entitlements.
I agree. I’ve never seen this line of argument being made in any of the threads I’ve read here.
The general argument made against guns is that they’re used to shoot people and many of those people didn’t deserve to get shot. Some people feel that if there were fewer guns there would be fewer innocent people getting shot. It’s an argument you can offer counterarguments to, but it’s a lot more rational than the argument the OP is describing.
Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese, who contrary to popular opinion did not use it just for fireworks, but also for military applications. However personal firearms appeared several centuries after the discovery of gunpowder and appeared all over in East Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
If this were a significant reason for anti-gun sentiment, then one would expect that to be much more widespread amongst American non-whites than whites. Is there any evidence that that is the case?
How do you square this theory with the widespread anti-gun sentiment (and not unpopular restrictions on gun ownership) in most of the rest of the first world?
The oddity that needs explaining is not anti-gun sentiment (which simply stems from a rational desire to avoid unnecessary deaths), but the uniquely American fierce attachment (in some quarters) to gun rights. But the explanation is not far to seek. For historically contingent reasons, gun rights got written into the U.S. constitution early on, and Americans have a strong tendency to fetishize their constitution and regard any criticism of it (especially, perhaps, of the Bill of Rights) as deeply taboo. (Many of the effects of this fetishization are good, in practice, but the case in point is one of the more significant bad effects.)
True. I think Europeans may underestimate, however, how fundamentally many Americans really do believe they’re going to need those guns against a fascist government someday. We got distracted there for a few decades by people talking about deer hunting with an Uzi, but Facebook has revealed much to me - it’s not about wanting to hunt, it’s about wanting to keep up in the arms race with our own government in case they come for our wives and children in the middle of the night. I’m really not sure *why *we seem to distrust our government, the one that we elected, so much more fiercely than other countries seem to (and at the same time, we want to bring this form of government to other nations. It’s weird.)
But back to the OP…no, I don’t think that’s a widespread motivation, at least in my neck of the woods. We want brown people to stop shooting at other brown people, but it’s because people are fucking dying, and it’s not always the person who was being aimed at. I’ve not heard anyone propose that if we take the guns away, suddenly equality will flourish, just that it will be a little harder to kill people, and innocent bystanders a block away are rarely hit by stray pocket knives.
(That makes it sound like I’m anti-gun, but I’m not. I am, shockingly, anti-shooting people.)