Recently, without fanfare equivalent to its significance, the Liberal Gun Owners launched a new website, LGO Lens.
The site is a content hub on which people can access blog posts, learn more about the LGO and allied organizations, link to the Liberal Gun Owners Lens Podcast, and download the long but very important Anthropology Pillar of the LGO Lens (read: foundational perspective) on “The Human-Weapon Relationship – Evolution, Anthropology, and Human Innateness.”
It’s no secret that I am a liberal gun owner myself and have published an article analyzing the 20% of American gun owners who self-identify as liberals. Drawing on the publication, the notion that “Gun owners are all conservative” was included as the first of “Five myths about guns” in the Washington Post last year.
So it perhaps goes without saying that I am on board with the Liberal Gun Owners Lens project and have consulted with LGO Executive Director Randy Miyan regularly about it. I’ve participated in the LGO’s annual firearms training event and Miyan has guest lectured twice in my Sociology of Guns seminar at Wake Forest.
This is to say: I’m not a neutral analyst of the Liberal Gun Owners. I am a contributor to and a fan of the work.
In my view, the most significant contribution of the LGO to date is the aforementioned Anthropology Pillar of the LGO Lens exploring the very deep roots of “The Human-Weapon Relationship.” It’s not an easy read. I can’t say I even understand all of it. But what I can understand is important.
The Anthropology Pillar holds that firearms are a continuation of an unbroken 300,000-year history of involvement with “The Advancing Projectile Weapon,” and “The Human-Weapon Relationship” is behaviorally normal for Homo sapiens as a species. As paleoanthropologist John Shea observes, “Projectile weaponry is uniquely human and culturally universal. We are the only species that uses projectile weaponry, and no human society has ever abandoned its use.”
To write this nearly 200-page document, Miyan took a two-year-long deep dive into the ocean of transdisciplinary scholarship on human origins, including work in archaeology, paleoanthropology, and evolutionary biology. He returned to the surface, in Jacques Cousteau fashion, teeming with information that lays a solid foundation for my own orienting claim that guns are normal and normal people use guns.
In fact, I intend to dedicate a chapter of my book-in-progress on American gun culture to the idea of the human-weapon relationship and also integrate it into an article I am writing for the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. That’s how important I think it is.
Another aspect of the Liberal Gun Owners that I appreciate is its MISSION:
The Liberal Gun Owners 501c4 Mission is the simultaneous and equal support of both Firearms Ownership Rights and Public Safety (through the mitigation of Firearms-Related Injury and Death.) We call this mission-scope: Simultaneous Proponency. The main point of operation for Simultaneous Proponency is the nexus point between Firearms Ownership and Public Safety – which we call The F.O.P.S Nexus.
As the saying goes, Why not both?
Because its approach differs, the Liberal Gun Owners 501C4 as an organization provides an excellent complement to the Liberal Gun Club. Unlike other gun organizations working in the same space, these two (often mistaken for each other) organizations of liberal gun owners seem to play nicely with each other. I hope that continues.