It’s time for some straight talk about guns in the United States. This is likely to alienate many of you, but we’ve tiptoed around this issue long enough. I’ve been a part of America’s gun culture for two decades, both personally and professionally; I’ve produced, directed, shot, and edited several instructional videos on combat shooting; and I’ve studied firearms tactics, real-world examples of gun violence; and the history of the U.S. Constitution, where the Second Amendment resides. So I know a little bit about the issue of private firearm ownership.
The most important thing to take away from what I’m saying is this: gun owners think that people who want to take away their right to own guns are pussies. Sissies. Cowards. If this is you, you’ve outsourced the protection of your family to others. You’ve abandoned your responsibility as a man. Not only that, but in your pants-wetting fear of an inanimate object, you would make everyone else as helpless as you are. There’s a tiny part of you that knows you’re weak, and this knowledge makes you feel small in the presence of braver men. After all, nobody wants to be the only coward; misery loves company. So you’d enslave us all to your personal weakness. Whether you’re a brother, a parent, a teacher, or a friend, we’ll always have that reservation about you, because you’ve succumbed to an irrational fear and demand that all other men do the same. It’s ugly and mean and unfair, but that’s the way it is, and if you ask any law-abiding gun owner for the honest truth, he’ll say the same thing. We don’t talk about it much, if at all, but it’s always there. Always. Trust me. In a free country like the U.S., your anti-gun stance is entirely voluntary. You don’t have to be a coward. But you choose to. The only way you could invite more contempt is to adopt the mantle of male feminist. Or use the term “toxic masculinity” without irony.
There are some caveats.
- It Happened to You: We understand that if you or someone very close to you has been an innocent victim of gun violence, you might become a gun-grabber as a result. (A gun-grabber is someone who would deny other people their Second Amendment rights.) It’s unfortunate, but we get it. We wish you’d think differently, but we sympathize and hope you’ll eventually come to the wisdom that whatever happened to you was a result of an evil action by an evil person with evil intent. It has nothing to do with the vast, vast majority of legal gun owners who don’t commit murder with firearms.
- You’re a Kid: Young people often think emotionally, not logically. We expect children to act on their emotions, so they typically get a pass on serious issues. It’s why we don’t elect children to higher office or consult them on important policy decisions (unless it’s good PR to take the meeting). They lack wisdom and experience. When children are trotted out in front of microphones to bleat about the evils of firearms, we don’t take them seriously. We do feel bad for them, however, because they’re usually saddled with ineffectual, unwise parents who haven’t brought them up properly. And we contemn the adults who thrust them into the limelight as manipulative, amoral creeps.
- You’ve Got a Uterus: Despite the many, many efforts by our betters in the media, academia, and politics to ignore the basic differences between the sexes, we don’t expect women to take on traditionally masculine roles unless circumstances demand it. However, it’s clear that many gun-grabbers are women. What female gun-grabbers don’t understand is that the gun-grabbing stance feeds into every negative stereotype of women ever conceived of: weak, defenseless, easily frightened, manipulative (“let’s you and him fight”), vituperative/shrewish (“you need a gun because you’ve got a small dick”). These are not traits of strong, independent women, and yet they characterize female gun-grabbers to a T.
- You Ain’t from Around Here: You may live in a country that has disarmed its populace. It sucks. We get it. We understand that you can’t always just pack up and move to a place that respects rights granted to you by your Creator. So we give you a pass…until you start talking about taking away other people’s firearms. People from gun-free Utopias who feel like they have to insert themselves into the gun debates of other countries are subject to the same deserved contempt as the native cowards who would disarm everyone else.
- You Just Don’t Have One: It’s perfectly fine if you decide that owning a firearm and addressing the issues associated with it aren’t relevant to your daily life. It’s a luxury, one you should appreciate. All we ask is that you keep your ambivalence to your own personal sphere, and don’t try to curtail everyone else’s liberties.
What frustrates us about the debate on gun ownership is that the arguments against it are so weak, so foolish, so emotionally-derived that no thinking adult can take them seriously, and yet they come up again and again. These arguments are almost invariably promulgated by people who don’t own guns, have never shot a gun, aren’t familiar with gun culture, and know less about guns than I know about 14th century Swedish poetry. And yet whenever some sickening clot of human debris commits a mass murder with a gun, the same arguments are shoved into the limelight as if they’ve never been addressed before.
- If You Loved Your Kids as Much as You Love Your Guns, You’d Repeal the 2nd Amendment: Gun owners are as horrified and dismayed at what happens during a mass shooting as any normal human being. We grieve terribly for the murdered children in Parkland, Florida; Newtown, Connecticut; Virginia Tech; etc. It’s a nightmare too horrible to contemplate: to kiss your child goodbye, send him off to school, and learn that he’s never coming home again because a monster shot him to death. I’d die in place of my little boy in a heartbeat. So it’s a malicious, inhuman assumption among gun-grabbers that gun owners love our guns more than we love our children. Note also that gun-grabbers are typically pro-choicers (abortion enthusiasts). More unborn babies are murdered in the womb each year than are killed with firearms by a factor of over 400, and yet we’re the ones who don’t love our children? We love our children so much that we’re willing to risk our own lives to protect them. Gun-grabbers have abandoned that sacred duty, not us. If gun-grabbers loved their kids more than they love living in fear, they’d stop infringing on everyone’s right to self-defense.
- What About Common Sense Gun Control Laws: When you’re a coward who demands that other men risk their lives to protect your family, your definition of common sense is far, far different from mine. Not only that, but gun-grabbers never stop; the ambition of every gun-grabber ever minted is to outlaw all private firearms ownership. They won’t admit it in public, but it’s true, and we all know it, and that’s why we will never ever give an inch on this issue. No more new laws. No more curtailing God-granted liberties. Gun-grabbers will never be satisfied until everyone’s as disarmed and helpless as they are. They won’t stop, so we won’t budge. We’re not as stupid as they imagine us to be.
- Who Needs a Military-Style Assault Rifle, Anyway: Just using the term “military-style assault rifle” shows you to be unserious and ill-informed, but we’ll set that aside to address the wider issue. You don’t get to determine the nature and style of the tool I use to defend my family. Do I get to choose which car you drive? Which house you own? No? Why not? Cars aren’t mentioned in the Constitution, but guns are. You don’t have a right to own a house or a car. The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs. So if I decide that I need an AR-15 to protect myself, that’s my decision, not yours. No, the Framers of the Constitution didn’t conceive of 30-round magazines, but they also didn’t imagine the internet, either. And yet you’re on it, spewing out ill-informed buffoonery in the wake of a terrible event. The First Amendment actually covers that, so go for it. But if I decide that I need an AR-15, and it’s legal for me to own one, get out of my way, coward.
- The Only People Who Should Own Guns Are the Police and Military: For childish, emotionally-derived thinking, this one tops everything. Even if you do repeal the Second Amendment and outlaw private firearms ownership (which will never, ever happen), how are you going to enforce the ban? One of the things that makes America great is that we won’t allow our God-given rights to be stripped away, and we definitely won’t offer up our firearms to be confiscated. So what are you going to do, go to every house in America with armed men and search for guns? Doesn’t that go against the Fourth Amendment? Are you going to repeal that amendment, too? How will you enforce this country-wide gun seizure to achieve the violence-free Utopia of your dreams? Doesn’t this kind of thinking make you a dirty, nasty, authoritarian little fascist? Even if your gun confiscation fantasy somehow comes to pass, you’ve only disarmed the law-abiding part of the population. The criminals, who by definition don’t follow laws, will still be armed, leaving everyone else at their dubious mercy. Not only that, but if we’ve learned anything from the last couple of years, it’s that the police are corrupt racists who love to shoot people of color. Black Lives Matter and its accomplices in the news media, entertainment sphere, and political office taught me that. And you want the police to own all the guns? Do you see the contradiction here?
- Unilateral Disarmament Works in (Insert Utopian Country Here): The U.S. is not Australia. Or the UK. Or France. Or Norway. We have different people, a different culture, different mores, and a different form of government. Our Constitution enshrines inalienable rights that no other country allows. So what works in your overseas Utopia won’t work here. If the people of Australia are so much more enlightened and violence-free, what’re you doing with us gun nuts, anyway? Don’t you care about your children? If you loved your children you’d get them away from the gun-crazy lunatics in this country, wouldn’t you?
If any of this upsets you, good: growth only comes from discomfort. Gun-grabbers always want to have a conversation about guns, but they never want to talk about the things that actually contribute to gun violence, like the dangerous effects of psychoactive medication on young people. Or the increase of graphic violence in popular media. Or the embrace of disgusting, violence-soaked rap culture. Or the deliberate destruction of the traditional family. Not only that, but if you dare to mention these issues in public, you run the risk of social and professional ostracism: it’s racist to criticize rap culture. It’s bigoted/homophobic/sexist to support traditional families. It’s anti-science to question the wisdom of drugging difficult children. So the gun-grabbers get to control the conversation: defend your gun fetish on our terms, you child-hating, death-loving reprobate, and don’t bring up anything else because it’s racist. Sexist. A distraction. Whataboutism.
There really is no point to debating gun ownership. Gun-grabbers dishonestly misrepresent the argument at every turn, wave children’s bloody shirts before the red has dried, and are motivated by Utopian fantasies better suited to John Lennon-esque song lyrics than serious policy. Cowardice is a choice, not a necessity.