Light Over Heat #13: When Violence IS and IS NOT the Answer

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.

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New Data on New Gun Owners and Gun Policy Preferences

Like many, I have been touting the changing face of gun owners, especially in connection with the great gun buying spree of 2020+. I have discussed this in Discourse Magazine in February 2021, at the Outdoor Writers Association of American annual conference in October 2021, in Episode 3 of my “Light Over Heat” video series on YouTube in January 2022, and elsewhere.

In fact, I was discussing the diversity of Gun Culture 2.0 even before COVID, as in my lunchtime keynote lecture to the National Firearms Law Seminar in April 2019.

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.

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Concealed Weapon Carry Laws in the US: A Primer (Updated March 2022)

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the Right to Bear Arms in America, was at the publisher and when it was released several months later, it was already out of date.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.

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Light Over Heat #12: Can Violence Be Virtuous?

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.

But, as I suggest in this week’s video, violence can be virtuous.

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Light Over Heat #11: Chainsaws, Guns, and the Rural-Urban Divide

In Episode 9 of “Light Over Heat,” I discussed guns as tools, and quoted a Forbes magazine writer who criticized guns by way of an analogy to chainsaws:

Some people say guns are tools — but nobody buys 10 chain saws in varying colors and speeds.

Elizabeth MacBride, Forbes (1 March 2019)

This brought the chainsaw nuts out of the woodwork! As a suburbanite who doesn’t own a chainsaw, I had no idea how many “Chainsaw Super Owners” there are out there.

This got me to thinking about chainsaws, guns, and the rural-urban divide in America, the subject of “Light Over Heat” #11.

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Light Over Heat #10: Thanks Given and Input Requested

With this 10th episode of “Light Over Heat,” I am going to call Season 1 a wrap. Three months ago, I had serious doubts about my ability to do weekly videos on this channel. I was fortunate to be able to consult with John Correia of Active Self-Protection who advised, “It is easier to steer a moving car.”

So, I embarked on this trip and am happy to say I haven’t (yet) crashed the car.

INPUT REQUESTED: If there are specific topics you would like me to address in a short video on this channel, please put them in the comments! I would like to organize a future season around these suggestions.

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New Gun Owner Advice from a High-Level Shooter

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.

That said, John Johnston’s Ballistic Radio has been at the top of my diminishing list of must listen to podcasts for some time now. Recently he had on a guest who is an extremely high-level shooter, K.A. Clark. This is not unusual for Ballistic Radio, of course. What I found interesting was the advice Clark had for new gun owners.

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Light Over Heat #9: Guns Are Tools, But Not Just Tools

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.

In Episode 9 of “Light Over Heat,” I argue that guns are indeed tools, but they are not just tools. They are tools that are by design dangerous.

As the smart guys at Open Source Defense say, this is a feature, not a bug. And as gun training old head Tom Givens puts it, “if they weren’t they wouldn’t be useful to us at all.”

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