In Light Over Heat Ep 12, I talked about how violence can be virtuous and my life-altering realization that I might need to use it to protect my children or myself.
A commentator on that video distinguished between violence being virtuous and violence being desirable. I don’t see violence as desirable, i.e., being subjectively pleasing or worth seeking in and of itself. It is a means to the end of protecting life, family, or friends. That is what makes it virtuous.
This reminded me of Tim Larkin’s book When Violence is the Answer, about which I have written previously. Larkin argues BOTH that when violence is the answer, it’s the only answer, AND that violence is rarely the answer.
Beyond recognizing the diversity of new gun buyers, I have also argued that being a person who owns a gun does not automatically make someone a “gun owner” in terms of their identity. Not developing a gun owner identity could limit new gun owners’ engagement with gun culture more broadly or with Second Amendment advocacy specifically (per political scientist Matthew Lacombe).
Some recent data on new gun owners and gun policy preferences (H/T The Trace’s Daily Bulletin) show that I may be, as is often the case, only half-right.
In January 2021 the manuscript for my small book, Concealed Carry Revolution: Liberalizing the Right to Bear Arms in America, was at the publisher and when it was released several months later, it was already out of date. In the first months of 2021, five states passed permitless carry laws: Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Montana, and Texas. I brought out an updated version of the book later that year. Alas, it appears that events in 2022 may necessitate a second update. Ohio, Alabama, and Indiana have recently passed permitless carry laws, and Georgia seems likely to join them soon.
These developments provide a good occasion to review concealed weapon carry permit laws in the US.
In Light Over Heat Ep 11, I mentioned that some people address their needs via outsourcing, including outsourcing their violence to others like the police.
Related to this is the fact that there are many people who have little-to-no direct experience using violence. These people often only see the downsides of violence and, by extension, think of guns as fundamentally bad because they see violence as fundamentally bad.
So, I embarked on this trip and am happy to say I haven’t (yet) crashed the car.
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Now that I have been wandering around American gun culture for over a decade, I consume fewer gun-related podcasts than I used to. Time is my scarcest resource and as podcasts have proliferated, the signal-to-noise ratio is often too low to merit the investment.
People in the gun culture often talk about guns as tools, and those outside gun culture reject the idea that guns are just another tool. As is often the case with guns, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.