Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Questions About Guns

Cory has nice little dust up going about gun owner rights in the comments section to this post.  In those comments, I contend that all one needs to do to drive traffic is mention guns.  The cynical may point out that I'm merely attempting to drive traffic; other less cynical folk might contend that I'm merely conducting an experiment.

Andrew Sullivan points out that "[t]he Department of Public Safety in Texas have found that 'the fastest-growing group of concealed handgun owners in the state has been, for at least five years, black women.'"  He quotes J. Victoria Sanders who asserts:
For women, part of the tension around this topic is that women with guns are marginalized in a feminist culture that promotes unarmed resistance and "clean" fighting techniques. These send the message that as long as a woman does not have a lethal means of protecting herself, she is still feminine and worthy of "real" protection—either from a man, or from the police. To be a gun-owning feminist, to prepare to protect oneself against two of the most frightening enemies of female-identified people—rape and/or domestic violence—still strikes at the heart of what could be described as a feminist identity crisis, wherein women oppress each other with our inability to make room for alternative models of self-protection.
In the full article, Sanders contends that "[g]un ownership has long been considered a traditionally white male patriotic expression of identity, privilege, and power."  She goes on to assert:
Men with guns abound: Charlton Heston is the pop culture patriarch of contemporary gun culture, but we’ve also mythologized cowboys like John Wayne, action figures like Rambo, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and self-styled wild men like Ted Nugent, to name just a few. The sharp converse of these proud white patriots, of course, are black men with guns, almost always classified in popular culture as amoral gangsters whose firearms are procured for drug trafficking and gangbanging.
Later she claims:
. . . .guns are so closely tied to representations not just of traditional macho men, but also of political conservatives, anti-immigration militias, and law enforcement figures who are just as likely to use their power to hurt women as to help them, there is understandable ambivalence among many feminists about the rising numbers of women participating in gun culture.
Cory's post along with the subsequent comments and Sanders's contentions prompt the following five questions:
  1. How much does race and gender color one's view of "the right to keep and bear arms"?
  2. How much does pop culture affect the views about concealed weapons?
  3. Would white South Dakotans have different views about concealed weapons if the state were more racially diverse or if the state had a higher violent crime rate?
  4. Nearly everyone accepts that freedom of speech has some "common sense" exceptions like refraining from shouting fire in a crowded theater.  What are the similar common sense exceptions to keep and bear arms?
  5. Finally, do the Second Amendment advocates accept any limits to keeping and bearing arms for protection? For example, can Bill Gates or Warren Buffet buy his own armed drones? 

No comments: