...it’s about the gun owners. According to Wayne LaPierre (head of NRA), “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” It’s hard to argue with that, just as it is hard to implement an “only good guys may have guns” policy.
Proponents of gun control will say that access to certain (or all) weapons + ineffective buyer "qualification" are the issues. This might be true, but so what - it will not prevent gun violence in a country where there are ~9 times more gun dealers than McDonalds restaurants; where there are already ~300 million guns in circulation, and where 5-10 million guns are purchased every year.
The American Bill of Rights protects an individual’s right to bear arms; changing that is nigh impossible, so the real question is not how to prevent gun ownership; it is akin to what LaPierre said, how do we prevent bad guys from wanting to use guns.
I think the anti-gun lobbies/organizations are wasting their time and money. They ironically draw strength and impetus from killing sprees (especially where young people are involved), and sure they create a feverish signing of anti-gun petitions and calls to Congresspeople, but in the end, the outcome is status quo. And then comes another spree, the process begins anew, with the same outcome - status quo.
Back to LaPierre, who are these “bad” guys? The killers are almost always male, they often are killed or kill themselves in the process (society gets no justice), and they are deranged.
So most gun violence is committed by men; these men buy/get guns as an extension of their penis/machismo. They use guns to assert their maleness, and as a conduit for their anger and bravado. Their role models are gun-toting archetypes, like John Wayne/Rambo/etc., revolutionaries, survivalists, gangstas, soldiers, other spree-killers, etc.
Rather than relentlessly pursing the pointless cause of legislative relief, let us instead change the perception of guns. Let us reposition gun ownership and gun usage as something other than an expression of machismo.
It would take time; it would take persistence; it would certainly take creativity; but compare that to the multi-decade failure of every anti-gun organization to meet its goal. It is time to try a new approach.
Positioning is a powerful, powerful tool. It allows a thing to be conceptualized or re-conceptualized in a way that will endure. I wrote this a couple of years ago - if you have a moment, read it, and more importantly, watch the two videos. They are outstanding, and they are exactly what is needed to redefine the lure of “bearing arms.”
How would “men” feel if guns were associated with tampons, or as an indicator of erectile dysfunction? Will this happen overnight? No. But look at how we view cigarette smoking today vs. during the era of Mad Men.
If America’s love of guns is to be diminished, it will NOT be with laws; it will be because we redefined the notion of gun ownership to be insipid.