Monday, February 18, 2013


No, not the silly Start Trek movie with Shat and Stew.

I'm talking about generations of the Gun Culture.

The topic arose on the WA-CCW Yahoo! email list, in connection with a young man who heads up an organization (or maybe "is", not clear how many members it has) called The Second Amendment Enforcers, and who is organizing what he calls a Day of Resistance to protest current gun control efforts.

Now, to backtrack a bit:
Gun Culture v1 was into shooting, yes, but the members were mostly hunters and target shooters, and maybe collectors.  Concealed carry was very much a thing based on a perceived "need", i.e., bankers, businessmen, people who handled cash, or other precious materials, or who had made political enemies, and might need to defend themselves.  Machine guns might be interesting devices, but really, who would need to own one? Silencers?  Short barreled rifles and sawed-off shotguns?  No way!  Cheap handguns, i.e. "Saturday Night Specials?  Obviously catering to the lower, urban--and usually ethnic--classes, and who cares?

Nowadays we call these guys--almost always "guys", and they're still around--"Fudds." They agree with Vice President Biden that a double barrel shotgun is the best for home defense, that a "military style rifle" is useless for hunting, and that the government must Do Something! to close the gun show, next-door-neighbor, and water-cooler loopholes on gun sales.

Gun Culture v1 watched the Federal government pass gun control legislation in 1934 (in response to gangsterism and racketeering) and 1968 (in response to political assassinations and wide-spread civil unrest) and said nothing --at least, nothing that could have been construed as critical of the acts.

Gun Culture v1 could be summed up in a remark attributed, possibly apocryphally, to Bill Ruger, that "No honest man needs a handgun smaller than a canned ham."

Gun Culture v2 arose in the aftermath of the 1960s and GCA '68, and started to take an active interest in the firearms in the context of the Second Amendment.  The actual term "Gun Culture v2" was coined by gun writer and media host Michael Bane.  In an interview he described the genesis of his show Gun Stories thus:
All guns have their stories. We used to pass those stories down from generation to generation, because that’s how the gun culture “spread.” But as the Elf Queen Galadriel in LORD OF THE RINGS noted, “The world is changing…” The gun culture is changing — profoundly and now very quickly. Think of the new gun culture as Version 2.0…it’s younger, more libertarian than what we might think of a social conservative, more female, with the primary drivers being concealed carry, the training community and the shooting sports. Gun culture Ver. 2.0 isn’t steeped in the lore of guns, and we thought it made sense to, essentially, pass along our cultural waypoints, our lore, our history to a new generation. We also wanted to tap this huge reservoir of knowledge among the Ver. 1.0 experts, essentially introducing them to the new generation of gun owner.
Gun Culture v2 is interested in owning guns for many reasons, self-defense, hunting, shooting, collecting, and, perhaps most of all, "Because I can!"

Gun Culture v2 is far more interedsted in firearms as a civil rights issue than GC 1 is/was.  Gun Culture v2 also tends to be more technically savvy, especially when it comes to use of social media.  (Although, as I often warn young punks who need to get off my lawn people, the tech they're using was invented by people my age, or older.) 

The term "Fudd" was coined by members of Gun Culture v2, and may backfire.  Tolerance, it's not just for school and work!1

The "Zumbo-ing" of Jim Zumbo -- who came to personify the Fudd side of GC v1 by dissing the use of "terrorist" (AR-type) rifles in hunting -- was largely the work of GC v2. 

Is there a need for a Gun Culture v32? I don't honestly think so. I think it would be far to easy to think of this issue in terms of actual generations, as if young shooters shouldn't trust any shooter over 30.  Note that my home-boy Ted Nugent3 was instrumental in opening Jim Zumbo's eyes to the varied sorting uses of Ar15s.

The Gun Culture will continue to evolve, as society evolves, but, frankly, while many of the younger members of GC v2 have far more ink and shrapnel in their bodies piercings than some of us old farts are comfortable with, and you can't hardly call that noise "music", at this point in time, at least, the interests -- and concerns -- are the same.
1. Gun Culture 1.0 v. Gun Culture 2.0 and More on Gun Culture 2.0, both
2. It’s Time for Gun Culture 3.0 | Gun Nuts Media
3.  I graduated from the same high school Ted did, about a decade later.
Some links:
Google search: gun culture 2.0.
The new gun culture | Conservative News, Views & Books
Gun Culture 2.0, Internet Zero - Misfires And Light Strikes
A podcast: Down Range Radio #245: Year 2011 and Gun Culture 2.0 | Down Range TV

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