Not long ago, I wrote a post about cultural tension between IQ and masculinity — and the related issue of IQ and race.
I realize that I barely scratched the surface, which I think I first touched here:

Just as pit bull owners were once invariably shown as antisocial if not psychotic misfits, gun owners are painted as anything but hip. In some ways, this unfair stereotyping is made easier by the fact that owning a gun is now considered a right wing act. Never mind the fact that Rosie O’Donnell, Dianne Feinstein, Sean Penn and other big liberals carry guns; they don’t admit it publicly. Instead, they think they are in a different league from everyone else and that their gun ownership is not real gun ownership. (This reminds me of religious mullahs who feel justified in executing homosexuals for admitting to something which they deny doing even as they do it.)
Gun ownership needs to be made at least as cool as owning a pit bull. There are many bloggers who do a great job of doing this in their own way — Glenn Reynolds, Rachel Lucas, Jeff Soyer, Eugene Volokh, and Kim du Toit (even if he wants me to fuck off and die) are all outstanding examples. (What I would like to know, is how does one get Reynolds, Lucas, and actor James Woods on the board of the NRA? Believe me, I am deadly serious.)

I wasn’t thinking about IQ when I wrote that, but I sure as hell am now.
What the hell does the term “hip” connote? Is it like “bright?” I do not refer to “hippies” — now an anachronistic collection of mostly wannabe types. When I used the term I simply meant people who are smart enough to be cool, and definitely not dumb enough to be easily led. Intelligent non-conformists. You would think this would be a natural group of gun owners. Yet (and here is my thesis) the unstated cultural tension over IQ is what makes them avoid guns — and avoid especially those they would disparage as “the NRA crowd.”
Despite a diligent search, I could find no statistical studies involving a relationship between IQ and gun ownership.
Anyone who knows of such a study please, please contact me. (And I do not mean anything along the lines of “More Guns, More Stupidity!”)
The closest thing I found was this fascinating analysis by David Kopel, which contained the following gem:


Given the gun’s symbolic and practical role within a culture of individualism and popular sovereignty, gun control in its more extreme formulations may in some respects be out of step with many elements of American culture. In rejecting guns and in admiring the “civilized” foreign nations, some gun control advocates implicitly propose a less American, more European model for the relation of the individual and the state. Bruce-Briggs summarizes it best:

[U]nderlying the gun control struggle is a fundamental division in our nation. The intensity of passion on this issue suggests to me that we are experiencing a sort of low-grade war going on between two alternative views of what America is and ought to be. On the one side are those who take bourgeois Europe as a model of a civilized society: a society just, equitable, and democratic; but well ordered, with the lines of authority clearly drawn, and with decisions made rationally and correctly by intelligent men for the entire nation. To such people, hunting is atavistic, personal violence is shameful, and uncontrolled gun ownership is a blot upon civilization.
On the other side is a group of people who do not tend to be especially articulate or literate, and whose world view is rarely expressed in print. Their model is that of the independent frontiersman who takes care of himself and his family with no interference from the state. They are “conservative” in the sense that they cling to America’s unique pre-modern tradition–a non-feudal society with a sort of medieval liberty at large for everyman. To these people, “sociological” is an epithet. Life is tough and competitive. Manhood means responsibility and caring for your own. (1976: 61).

Reading on, I was also fascinated by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark’s remark that guns “make lions out of lambs,” because he is a guy who wants us all to be lambs.
This is a classic conflict of high IQ people battling lower IQ people, and I suspect that the high IQ people are beginning to catch on that they have been had. They should accordingly join forces with their low IQ brothers — and ASAP.
NOTE: I am not saying that gun owners all have lower IQs, mind you. Only that they are spun that way, and the insecure higher-IQ people buy right into it without understanding the mechanism.
Culturally, this will never be admitted, because IQ is politically incorrect. That fact alone makes it an ideal subterfuge, because everyone knows that there are differences in intelligence between people, and the eggheads who were beaten up in school (or who were no good at sports) all want to get even. So, of course, do many homosexuals.
Could this factor into the more irrational aspects of anti-Bush hatred? That seems somewhat off-subject.
Actually, maybe it isn’t. (Is Bush hated by insecure, higher-IQ people for pandering to the lower IQ people? Is this the hate that dares not speak its name? Are the Democrats in turn hated by the lower-IQ Bushies for pandering to even lower IQ people, and for an inability to admit to their patronizing attitudes? What about the insecurity of higher-IQ people who think they’re smarter than they really are — who know they’re not geniuses and secretly loathe themselves?)
But I’ll stick with guns. I believe strongly that making guns hip is the best way to “permanize” gun ownership. The best way to do that is to remind the lambs that the Second Amendment is their “equalizer” loophole. Why disarm the lions when you can be their equal?
After all, you don’t even have to lose your IQ!
(Unless, of course, it’s written in granite somewhere that a gun purchase automatically lops 20 points off your IQ score…..)
UPDATE: Here’s an interesting exploration of the idea that Republicans are dumber than Democrats:

The numbers are stunning — with 60% of the least educated Americans supporting the President and only 40% of highly educated Americans backing his policies.

Somehow, I am reminded of the study contending that Fox News fans suffered from “misperceptions.”