Hey, plenty of gun owners support gun control, you know
News flash: most gun owners support common-sense gun-safety laws. I should know; I’m one of them. I own so many shotguns and rifles it’s a veritable arsenal. I used to hunt with my father and grandfather as a boy, and now I love taking my sons hunting with their grandfather and uncle. When I hear the words “gun culture,” the first image that comes to mind is not a crazed loner. I think of cold, crisp mornings riding a horse out into a Georgia field, feeling the thrill as an English Pointer snaps to attention at the scent of a bird. Or long hours sitting in a Texas deer stand with one of my sons, waiting, wondering if a big buck will arrive before the dying of the light. I taught each of my boys about the birds and the bees in a deer stand. Taught them how to respect God’s creation, honor the wild things we harvest, and thank the Creator humbly for our place in the food chain and the ultimate free-range, organic meal…
My gun culture emphasizes tolerance. As a pro-Obama, pro-gay-rights progressive whose boys share the same political views, we are frequently in the field with ultra-conservative Republicans—and yet we hunt together, swap lies around a campfire, and depart with mutual respect. I ask the same of folks who do not appreciate gun culture. I know lots of liberals who would never pass judgment on someone’s sexual habits or faith choices or cultural preferences but who sneer at the thought of armed, ignorant rednecks tromping through the woods to murder Bambi. The left should not turn common-sense gun safety into a gratuitous attack on a culture they don’t understand.
As strongly as I support gun safety—a term I prefer to “gun control” since it is both more accurate and less threatening—restricting access to guns alone will not solve the problem. Which is why President Obama was wise to charge Vice President Joe Biden with looking at the entire toxic, tragic stew that allows mass killings to occur—not just guns, but also the inadequacies of our mental-health system and the celebration of killing in our culture. The media could do its part as well: given the evidence that some mass killers seek fame, would it be so hard for journalists to refuse to publish the names or images of mass murderers going forward?