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IMPORTANT READING — 15 Comments

  1. Mas – I read the referenced “final chapter” of his book. Frankly, I am not as enthused over his writing as you seem to be. Don’t get me wrong! I appreciate that David Yamane understands that “Gun Culture” is bigger than just crime and violence. He understands that the focus, by academia, on just these aspects is way too narrow. I get that he is making an effort to be more “Broadminded” than the vast majority of his fellow Sociologists.

    However, he has (in my opinion) still too narrow of a focus. Take the name of the referenced book, for example. It is called “Understanding America’s Gun Culture”. The very title of the book is narrow-minded!

    Suppose someone wrote a book entitled “Understanding European Culture”. Would anyone have any problems with that? If not, then they should. Europe does not have a single culture even in the face of the so-call European Union. Brexit shows that. In point of fact, Europe consists of dozens of countries, each of which has a unique culture, history and (very often) language. How can they ever accurately be described as being part of a monolithic “European Culture”.

    In a similar way, there is no single “Gun Culture” in the United States. Rather, there are dozens of firearm’s-related sub-cultures. There are separate cultures for hunting, self-defense, target shooting, gun collecting, firearm’s sales, reloading/ballistics, firearm customization, etc., etc., etc.

    Even within each sub-culture, there are sub-groups. For example, both Benchrest shooting and Three-gun matches are part of “Target Shooting”. Yet, could they be more different?

    If Mr. Yamane’s mind is too narrow, it still shows up as quite broad in comparison to the single-minded focus of most academics. Mr. Yamane notes and criticizes their single-minded focus on crime and violence. Yet, it is clear that he does not understand it. He seems to think that, by simply pointing out to them that they are “narrow-minded”, that will be enough to get them to change their ways! It is hard to imagine being so naive!

    Most people in academia are infected with the left-wing mode of thought. As such, they view humanity as naturally innocent and view all the world’s problems as arising from social or environmental forces. Their minds are programmed / conditioned to view the world in terms of negative inputs twisting humanity toward evil. They have a long list of negative forces that they blame for all problems. Anything that the left puts on their “negative-influence list” will be automatically condemned.

    Take poverty, for example. The left has long blamed half of the world’s problems on poverty. At least half of the left-wing agenda is justified as “fighting poverty”. Suppose, just to play the Devil’s Advocate, someone was to argue that poverty was GOOD! That a childhood spent in poverty built character, resourcefulness, independence and toughness. That it made one a stronger person as in the following quote”

    “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    To a typical leftist, this is just plain CRAZY! To a leftist, poverty is a BAD THING and it will always be a BAD THING. They could not even “wrap their heads” around the concept that it might not always be a BAD THING.

    For a leftist, it is the same thing with firearms. They are on the left’s list of “BAD THINGS” and no leftist can ever think of firearms in any terms other than as “BAD THINGS”. This is why all these left-wing academics are hyper-focused upon the Crime / Violence side of firearms. That aspect reinforces their “BAD THING” worldview of firearms. It is confirmation bias for their left-wing worldview.

    They can no more see the positive side of firearms then they could see a positive side to growing up in and overcoming poverty. Their only thought is to use the power of BIG GOVERNMENT to control everyone’s lives so as to eliminate all BAD THINGS. With the elimination of all BAD THINGS, the Left-wing Utopia will naturally arise from mankind’s unshackled native goodness. Honest to God, that is what the true leftist believes in his or her heart!

    Note that there is a sub-class of leftist that believes only in acquiring political power and status. These are separate from the above “True-Believer Leftists”.

    David Yamane has, by his own account, lived most of his life among left-wing academics. Even so, he does not understand them at all. Given his ignorance, why would his views offer any great insights on either the non-monolithic gun culture or upon the narrow-mindedness of America’s left-wing academics?

    • On this matter, I have to say I agree with TN_MAN’s assessment Mas. We began this nation with one gun law, the 2nd Amendment. Since that time we’ve allowed thousands of exceptions to this One Law
      and the Left is never satisfied. It’s time to abolish all gun laws and go back to the Original,
      the 2nd Amendment.
      Dano

    • You might be missing the point. The point of Bane’s “Gun Culture 2.0” concept, which Prof Yamane uses, is that the culture of gun users in the US is not a monolith and has, and does, evolve over time. What he has been tracking, via looking at the media used by said culture, is those changes. That there are granular sub-sports under the broad categories is not relevant to the larger topic. Noting for the sake of noting that there are distinctions between formal bullseye vs silhouette participation tells us nothing useful about the change in participation from the primarily “shooting sports” category (Gun Culture 1.0) within which they lie, to the primarily “self-defense” category (Gun Culture 2.0) that we have seen over time within the culture of legal gun ownership and use.

      And lumping everyone who disagrees with you, or does not, in your view, agree sufficiently, under the rather puerile descriptor “leftists,” while simultaneously asserting, contra-evidence, that those so lumped cannot change their attitudes is actively unhelpful.

      Far better is to find areas of commonality (not “compromise”) and expose, with courtesy and patience, those who are not dyed in the wool activists to the pro-gun rights viewpoint. As we see from Prof Yamane’s research, and Massad’s experience, Gun Culture 2.0, the recognition of the right to be armed in self-defense, is crossing many of the old demographic and social boundaries. Blithely discarding all those who might come to agree with us is a dead end, far better to use the “Each One, Teach One” philosophy (as well-described by Ranjit Singh and Greg Camp in their book of the same name) to reach out to those whose ‘anti-gun” position might be one of upbringing and habit, a reflex of their situation, not a (falsely) reasoned or deeply held one.

      • @ Matthew Carberry – “change in participation from the primarily ‘shooting sports’ category (Gun Culture 1.0) within which they lie, to the primarily ‘self-defense’ category (Gun Culture 2.0) that we have seen over time within the culture of legal gun ownership and use.”

        All of which is a position or view that I do not accept. You are parroting a position that is doctrine among the Anti-Gun Activists. They wistfully long for the “Good Old Days” when the NRA was tame and inoffensive. At one time, they whine, the NRA was a “Gun Culture 1.0” organization that only concerned itself with the inoffensive shooting sports. They stayed out of politics. Then, in the 1970’s, a bunch of crazy radicals seized control of the NRA. They shifted it into a “Gun Culture 2.0” organization that is now standing in the way of their Firearm-Prohibition agenda. They turned the docile “Cow” of the NRA into a “Raging Bull”. In their view, these radicals made the NRA into the “Terrorist” organization that it has become today.

        Spare me all this chatter about “Gun Culture 1.0” and “Gun Culture 2.0”. It is nothing more then an analysis, promoted by people with a left-wing worldview, in which they try to understand what went wrong with their prohibition strategy. Their sole interest is to “fix the problem” and get Firearms Prohibition back on track.

        Let me make one point clear. There is no middle ground on the 2nd Amendment. Anyone who says that we should all get together, hold hands, sing Kumbaya and then work out a reasonable, compromise deal on the subject of “Gun Control” is either (1) a naive fool or (2) a leftist who is trying to lure the other side into a trap.

        On the subjects of the 2nd Amendment and the private ownership of firearms, the ideology of the Right and of the Left are polar opposites. There is no “middle ground” to stand upon. This is a fight for the life or death of freedom itself. The American Left will never settle for anything short of (effectively) UK-Style prohibition. In our turn, those who support firearm ownership should not settle for anything short of complete support for our 2nd Amendment Rights.

        For over 100 years, this battle has been underway. For a long time, 2A supporters made only a weak defense and the Left steadily “chipped away” at our Rights. I hope that the blinders are finally falling off of everyone’s eyes and that the American People are finally waking up to the threat that the American Left represents to our Freedom. President Trump has truly done a fantastic job in pulling the mask off of the totalitarian Left. That is the true reason that the Left hates him so much. He destroyed their camouflage.

        I pray daily that the result will be a crushing defeat of the Left in the upcoming 2020 Elections.

        So, your view that it is “far better to find areas of commonality” with our anti-gun opponents is not one that I share. There are no such areas of commonality to find. One cannot reason with the activist Left. One cannot make bargains with the activist Left. The only option (short of total surrender) is to defeat the activist Left.

  2. I don’t any particular quarrel with most of what he says but I do think it is not connected with the reality of the situation. The issue is beyond compromise. One side or the other wins or we continue with the current stalemate. All roads lead to enhanced partisan envenomization. It has become clear to me that the Left will honor no agreement they make on any issue for any longer than it takes them to consolidate their gains and gather power for the next move.

  3. This is off-topic but I thought that it may be of interest to the people who read this blog. George Zimmerman has launched a $100 million lawsuit related to the misconduct that occurred during his trial. Here is the story written by George himself:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/12/we_are_all_george_zimmerman_now.html

    I don’t know if it will do any good. Some leftist Judge will probably throw the case out using some technicality as an excuse. Getting a fair hearing in today’s “Two-Tiered” justice system is hit or miss. Mostly “miss” if the leftists have any influence in the process.

    • TN_MAN,

      I read George’s article. What a huge gap there is between his reporting and that of “professional” journalists. I wish him well. If he does not get justice from his lawsuit then the cause of justice has perished in America.

  4. Automatically relating America’s Gun Culture with gun violence makes no more sense than linking our Car Culture (which we are well known for!) with drunk driving. Makes no sociological sense does it?

    Put it in terms that people can relate to in order to make your point.

    • VinFromNewYork,

      Judge Napolitano believes Trump did commit an impeachable offense. I want Trump to be impeached by the House, but not removed from office by the Senate. The same thing happened to Bill Clinton.

      Donald Trump is a magic man. His impeachment will make him stronger and more popular than he is today. He will win in 2020, if the Left does not assassinate him, and he will be the first impeached President to win re-election.

  5. I agree with so many of the comments made by others here about the Left. They will never be satisfied until their agenda has been completely implemented which means socialism in all of its ugly forms. Right now, they need to get rid of Trump. In part, this is to send the message that our vote does not matter- and that We The People will not stop the socialist march.

    Nancy Pelosi made that clear today in her press conference- that they are proceeding with articles of impeachment. It should already be clear to most that this is a complete charade. There simply is no EVIDENCE or FACT witnesses for ANY impeachable offense. Pelosi made it clear today that they remain pissed off that Donald Trump was elected POTUS- which put a halt to their agenda.

    Interestingly, as she continued to talk to the media, she indicated among other things how upset she was that Mr. Trump does not take “gun violence” seriously. And there you have it- this is not actually about valid impeachment- it is and always has been a coup. The Left hates Trump and they hate us- supporters of freedom, who elected him POTUS and REJECTED their socialist agenda.

    The farce and hypocrisy of the Left is very evident every time Pelosi the Pious opens her mouth. I refer to her comments today (made to James Rosen) about being a righteous catholic. Really, Nancy? Religion matters to the Left? Since when? How about your stand on abortion? I didn’t hear you yelling and screaming about that- but a civil right like the 2A? Self-defense- which has a basis in the Bible? THAT’S heresy?

    Wow…If there is any hope for compromise in politics, it’s a long, long way off.

  6. The creation of the terms Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0 did not originate with the anti-gun Left. Those terms were coined by Michael Bane, whose credentials as a pro 2nd amendment activist are beyond question. Michael has put more quality hours of pro 2nd amendment content on national television than any other firearms industry media figure. Multiple shooting and gun related shows on the Outdoor Channel plus his podcasts, books and other output.

    I’ve spent the past several years compiling information to write a book on the history of handgun training. If you go back and read what was written: books, articles, training films, etc. it’s blatantly obvious that the focus of “gun culture”, changed. First when Jeff Cooper and Massad Ayoob and others created the entire private sector self defense training industry (which led to the creation of USPSA and later IDPA, which mainstreamed defensive pistol, not “target” shooting, as the main activity weekend shooters engaged in), and then the concealed carry movement which has led to millions of people carrying concealed public. Talk to any professional that’s been in the firearms industry for more than 20-30 years and they will all agree that the shift in demand for products, training and even the style of shooting people practice have all changed.

    • I wish to make clear that, in my previous comments, I am not throwing aspersions at David Yamana, Michael Bane or anybody else. I am simply trying to make the point that this “classification” of so-called “Gun Culture” into different generations or versions is an artificial or manufactured way of looking at firearms. I don’t see much point in it unless it is to limit or diminish firearm ownership by means of segregating it into various boxes.

      The interest in defensive shooting was not something that Jeff Cooper invented. It has always existed since the invention of handheld firearms. Prior to that, the interest was in use of swords, spears, etc.

      There were people like William Fairbairn and Rex Applegate that taught it in WW II. Fairbairn was active in this field back before WW I.

      Naturally, as America shifted from being a rural, agricultural nation into being an industrialized nation, during the 20th Century, there would be a shift from the predominate use of firearms for hunting, target shooting and survival towards use of firearms for self-defense in the large, crime-ridden cities that grew under industrialization. It should not be a great revelation to anyone that the self-defense and training aspects of firearm use have grown sharply as America became more industrialized and as the urban population increased.

      While not taking any credit away from the accomplishments of either Jeff Cooper, Massad Ayoob or any other recent firearm trainers, it is clear that they choose to exercise their profession during a favorable moment in history.

      Human society is never static. Society constantly changes over time. America today is not what it was during the early 20th Century. Who knows what it will become in the late 21st Century? All we can be sure of is a constant pattern of continuous change. What purpose is served by trying to classify so-called “Gun Culture” into artificial “Versions” other then, perhaps, to sell some more books or have a subject for some written papers?

  7. Having spent years working on a Master’s Thesis*, I can appreciate what the gent is doing. He does comment on the problems with academic “scientific research” and the underlying assumptions and prejudices that they start with. He deserves support for both his effort and the fact that he doesn’t view the “gun culture” as a monolithic, slightly moronic group.

    That said, one of the curses of the professorial class is that they over intellectualize everything. There MUST be an underlying drive to everything one does and it (almost) always has dark roots. He’s at least trying to point that out and doing his best to present another viewpoint. He’ll doubtless be pilloried for it. There is nothing so vicious as academic disputes.

  8. It looks as though the educational establishment has failed David Yamane. Despite all his years of schooling, he decided to seek the truth on his own. In the process, he became educated. This is an unacceptable outcome.

    The purpose of school is to produce Leftists, who will revere the teachings of Karl Marx. What happened to David Yamane is clear. Instead of following his teachers, he tried to educate himself. That is conduct which results in heresy. This must not be allowed to happen to any more students in American government-run education. He chose the path of error.

  9. OT but…”That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

    To a typical leftist, this is just plain CRAZY! To a leftist, poverty is a BAD THING and it will always be a BAD THING. They could not even “wrap their heads” around the concept that it might not always be a BAD THING.”

    TN-MAN…I think that is said from someone in the First World who has three squares a day and a place sleep no doubt. Have you ever been poor…most folks who romanticize poverty as a character builder haven’t and if they do, it’s in retrospect when they forget the grinding soullessness of hunger. Living through it and watching family suffer sucks. That is one of Nietzsche’s dumbest statements and, from my perspective of fifty years as a psychologist, wtf false.