I enjoyed this video:


Early on, you’ll see the charmingly blurry tattoos on the arms of the proprietor, who is played by none other than R. Lee Ermey.

Gun lovers and Second Amendment lovers will love the video, while gun haters and Second Amendment haters will doubtless hate it. Because after all, it “glorifies” guns, and in the worst way imaginable. It makes a distinction between guns in the hands of good people and guns in the hands of bad people. Thus, it touches on a very touchy subject.

Gun Control.

The new meme among liberals (articulated recently by leading liberal issue framer George Lakoff) is that phrases like “gun control” and “anti-gun” should be strictly avoided:

Last week, numerous news articles in the nation’s largest papers referred to gun safety foes as “pro-gun,” and those championing safety enhancements as “anti-gun.” TV shows, commentators and even senators advocating for safeguards regularly use these same terms. This frame plays right into the NRA’s hands.

One way to undermine the “anti-gun” frame is to showcase conservative, rural gun owners who support targeted enhancements to the law: figures like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, an avid hunter and lifelong NRA member who recently described his personal turnabout on the issue.

Language is also important. Mayor Bloomberg said last Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “gun control” is not a useful phrase for the cause. He’s right.

“Never mention it,” advises George Lakoff, the linguistics professor and progressive language guru. Being “controlled,” he warns, makes people “think Big Brother is coming after them.”

The problem for advocates is that while they believe the term is highly disadvantageous, it’s embedded in our language. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson responded to a wave of assassinations by passing sweeping legislation called the Gun Control Act, and the term has appeared in mainstream reports ever since.

While advocates differ on exactly what the movement should call itself (Lakoff suggests “responsible gun safety”), one thing is clear: The worst thing gun safety proponents can do is accept the “pro-gun” versus “anti-gun” frame.

“Calling us ‘anti-gun’ does us a terrible disservice,” former Brady Campaign President Richard Aborn argues.

“Calling the movement ‘anti-gun’ is a very dumb idea,” Lakoff agrees.

“Really stupid. Never say it.”

This is important stuff. As a lifelong student of rhetoric, I can tell you that the way things are worded means everything. There is a reason why the the biggest gun control push in the nation’s history is not being called what it is. The gun grabbers have learned that ordinary people don’t like gun control, and the fact that 47% of Americans are willing to publicly admit they own a gun makes gun control an awfully hard sell. So they are hiding behind children while packaging the latest plan as “reasonable restrictions” — hoping obviously that people will be dumb enough to accept bans on guns having military appearances — or even the idea of limiting the number of rounds a gun can hold, and not realize the sinister logic involved. What is the logical difference between telling people how many bullets they can have in a gun and how many bullets they can have in a home? What is the logical difference between framing the question as:

“Why would anyone need more than ten bullets in a gun?”


“Why would anyone need more than 20 bullets in a home?”

There is no distinction that I can think of. Besides, two ten round magazines can be duct-taped together so that when one is exhausted, it can be pulled out and inserted the other way, which means the problem that must be addressed involves the number of rounds which can be purchased or owned.

Lakoff is right about one thing. There really is a major mindset difference between those who own guns and those who do not. Josh Marshall does not own guns and clearly does not like guns, but he is far too smart to admit to being “anti-gun.” Instead, he says he is ready to “talk” (at least, to “the non-crazy gun owners”). He says he does not want “gun culture” to ride rough shod over him:

…let me introduce myself. I’m a non-gun person. And I think I’m speaking for a lot of people.

It’s customary and very understandable that people often introduce themselves in the gun debate by saying, ‘Let me be clear: I’m a gun owner.’

Well, I want to be part of this debate too. I’m not a gun owner and, as I think as is the case for the more than half the people in the country who also aren’t gun owners, that means that for me guns are alien. And I have my own set of rights not to have gun culture run roughshod over me.

I don’t have any problem with people using guns to hunt. And I don’t have any problem with people having guns in their home for protection or because it’s a fun hobby. At least, I recognize that gun ownership is deeply embedded in American culture. That means not only do I not believe there’s any possibility of changing it but that I don’t need or want to change it. This is part of our culture. These folks are Americans as much as I am and as long as we can all live together safely I don’t need to or want to dictate how they live.

I could live with that (free people should be free to choose whether to own a firearm), except he sees the carrying of a firearm as an intrusion on his rights:

A big part of gun versus non-gun tribalism or mentality is tied to the difference between city and rural. And a big reason ‘gun control’ in the 70s, 80s and 90s foundered was that in the political arena, the rural areas rebelled against the city culture trying to impose its own ideas about guns on the rural areas. And there’s a reality behind this because on many fronts the logic of pervasive gun ownership makes a lot more sense in sparsely populated rural areas than it does in highly concentrated city areas.

But a huge amount of the current gun debate, the argument for the gun-owning tribe, amounts to the gun culture invading my area, my culture, my part of the country. So we’re upset about massacres so the answer is more guns. Arming everybody. There’s a lot of bogus research (widely discredited) purporting to show that if we were all armed we’d all be safer through a sort of mutually assured destruction, pervasive deterrence. As I said, the research appears to be bogus. But even if it was possible that we could be just as safe with everyone armed as no one armed, I’d still want no one armed. Not at my coffee shop or on the highway or wherever. Because I don’t want to carry a gun. And I don’t want to be around armed people.

I don’t want to be around armed people.*

Well, I’m not one of those guys who enjoys walking around being armed, and the truth is, I kind of identified with my hippie of a firearms instructor who gave me almost a Buddhist explanation for why he went around carrying concealed.

“I carry these things around because I don’t especially like them.” His philosophy was that if the good people who don’t like guns carried them anyway, it would make everyone safer.

There are armed people everywhere, and anyone who does not recognize that simple fact is, with all due respect, a fool. Common sense suggests that it is better to be around armed good people than armed bad people. Increasing the number of weapons in the hands of good people seems like a no-brainer.

Because they want the police and the military to have guns, anti-gun liberals are not really anti-gun, so in that respect Lakoff and Marshall are right. But what is the premise of allowing only cops and military to have guns? That only they are “good,” and everyone else is bad or somehow suspect? No, that can’t be it, for liberals are supposed to believe in the innate goodness of everyone.

Ah, but that’s why the guns must be bad. If all people are good, then what other explanation can there be for shootings?

* Hey, some people don’t want to be around homosexuals too! Does that give them the right to exclude them from the rest of society?