skip to Main Content
… Because Shut Up, They Explained.

… because shut up, they explained.

David Yamane is somewhat amazed that elite, left-leaning publishing houses had little to no  interest in his new book

“These book editors — and other liberal cultural elite gatekeepers like those at the WaPo, NYTBR, Atlantic, and New Yorker — are definitely among the firearms skeptics I had in mind as an audience for my book.

What I miscalculated was the lack of desire of firearms skeptics to understand gun owners and gun culture on its own terms.

I have often said that one of the challenges we have in the U.S. today around guns is that many people only see one side of their paradoxical existence. This week I realized that it is not just a matter of seeing only one side of the paradox. Many people only care about one side of the paradox*.”

I was not steeped in American gun culture during my formative years. I grew up in Canada, and had no gun culture experience, good or bad. Yes, there were murders committed with guns in my city and yes, I went hunting gophers with my cousins, but the reality of having guns around me just wasn’t a thing until after I turned 30. 

After I bought my first gun, I started talking about my journey towards becoming a responsible gun owner with my other people in the online forums I frequented at the time. I quickly found out that some people were absolutely appalled that I owned guns and considered them to be my first line of defense, and no amount of persuasion could convince them that I saw guns as a way to protect my family from harm. Rather, they focused on the gruesome side effects of improper gun ownership, such as accidental shootings and all manner of heinous crimes. There was no kind of gun other than guns which kill, a message that is reinforced in our media over and over again. To these people, a “conversation about guns” consists of them yelling at gun owners, letting them know that everything they believe is wrong. That’s not a conversation, that’s admonishment. 

Now to be fair, this kind of thinking exists to a certain extent on the pro-gun side as well. Gun culture has deep roots in the  libertarian movement, and anything that even remotely appears to be anti-gun is quickly greeted by jeers of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!”

However, we emphasize such things to our own detriment. Consider this: Many current members of “Gun Culture 2.0” started out their concealed carry journey by carrying a pistol, and that’s a good thing. The next thing to be added to this is usually a spare magazine, as if 10-15 rounds wouldn’t be enough to solve the problem at hand, and then maybe a backup gun, because two is one and one is none. Pepper spray? Nope, don’t carry it. A tourniquet? Why, for the bad guy after I shot him? 

The idea that things could go bad in a gunfight is blissfully free from their minds, as is the idea that there are solutions to violence beyond “BANGBANGBANG!”

So what problems are we trying to solve here? A pistol is very useful and should be carried whenever possible, but it’s a solution to one problem: The use or threatened use of lethal force at distances beyond three feet. Closer than that? That’s a knife problem, and if you use lethal force as a response to a less-lethal threat, you’re going to learn more about our legal system than you’ve ever wanted to learn. 

And we haven’t talked about other ways to reduce your chances of being a crime victim, such as strengthening the lines of communication inside a neighborhood so you have each other’s backs, something that everybody should be able to agree on. 

Guns are not a “one size fits all” solution to personal defense, which means there is some room for agreement with our opposition. If they reject our overtures and continue to insist that there are no tigers in the jungle, (or insist that the jungle itself doesn’t exist…), then that’s on them. They made their bed, they can lie in it. At least we did our part. 


* Slight edit there for brevity and relevance.