The Useful Conversation About Guns

Generally, whenever a lefty says “it’s time for a conversation about guns”, they mean “conversation” in the same sense that the crazy guy in the back of the bus means it; they talk (at full bellow), you shut up and listen.

Anthony Bourdain, of all people, sounds off with a useful contribution, by way of some notes about an upcoming episode of one of his foodie shows:

I suspect what people are going to talk about when they see our New Mexico episode is the sight of me; socialist sympathizer, leftie, liberal New Yorker, gleefully hammering away with an AR-15, an instrument of mayhem and loathing that also has the distinction of being America’s favorite weapon.

I like guns.

His next lunch in TriBeCa is going to be interesting.

But he carries on:

I like shooting them. I like holding their sleek, heavy, deadly weight in my hands. I like shooting at targets: cans, paper cut-outs, and—even though I’m not a hunter—the occasional animal. Though I do not own a gun—I would, if I lived in a rural area like, say…Montana—consider owning one.

And – this is really unusual – he actually holds up both ends of the conversation, from the perspective he already admitted to:

 Whatever my feelings about gun regulation—and my worries, as a father, about what kind of world my daughter will have to live in, I think I should have as many guns as I like. Even Ted Nugent should have guns. He likes them a lot. They make him happy—and as offensive as I may find a lot of what comes out of his mouth, I’m pretty sure, based on first hand experience, that he’s a responsible gun owner.

You, however, I’m not so sure about. And my next door neighbor. I’m not so sure about him either.

 He wants background checks.  As do, I’ll point out, not a few gunnies – who do you think supported the current NICS system, anyway? – provided it doesn’t turn into a tool for the world’s Michael Bloombergs to use against us.

But Bourdain notes exactly why it’s so hard to actually have the “conversation”:

The conversation so far has illuminated, instead of any substantial issues, mostly the huge cultural divide between those like me who live in coastal cities with restrictive gun laws—and that vast swath of America who live very differently. We don’t understand how they live. And they don’t understand how we could POSSIBLY live the way we live. A little respect for that difference might be a good thing. The contempt, mockery and total lack of understanding for all those people “out there” by deep thinkers and pundits who’ve never sat down for a cold beer in a bar full of camo-wearing duck hunters is both despicable and counterproductive. We are too busy expressing disbelief at the ways others have chosen to live to ever really talk about the nuts and bolts of making America safer and less violent.

No middle ground is possible when even the notion of a sane, reasonable person who likes to shoot lots of bullets at stuff is seen as so foreign—so “other”. Maybe we would be better off– safer, kinder to one another if we were Denmark or Sweden.

But we are not.

It’s worth a read.

4 thoughts on “The Useful Conversation About Guns

  1. Bourdain may claim he’s a lefty (I suspect it’s very much in his professional interest to do so), but it’s impossible for someone as hard working, as fond of the good life and as generally no-bullshit as he is to actually and in reality BE a leftist. Socially liberal, sure.

  2. That’s pretty interesting. I actually like Bourdain’s shows. His analysis is spot on, too. Too many urban liberals, think that they know what’s best for everyone else. I have mentioned a couple of times all of the women that shoot at the range in Prior Lake. Among them are lawyers, doctors and other VP level executives. Although we don’t usually discuss politics, I’m thinking that a few of them vote for the Jackass party. They don’t seem to mind rubbing shoulders and talking guns and ammo with us camo wearing hunters over beers after we’re done shooting.

  3. I agree that there is far more interest in firearms than is admitted to. If you left most people in a closed room with a pair of Luger P-08 pistols and the latest version a new camera on a table, most people would gravitate to the pistols first and examine them.

    Guns are cool, asthetically pleasing, and inherently interesting. Not unlike a $10,000 Rolex or 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard; objects that can be had in cheaper versions that do pretty much the same thing (Timex, Indonesian Strats., etc). The key to the experiment is that the closed room and privacy allows people to demonstrate their true feelings. Probably could do the same with a Playboy magazine and a copy of People Magazine though …

    I was happy when the NICS checks were first being discussed. I assumed that I would have access to them. I could use NICS if I were to sell a Glock to my neighbor’s brother-in-law – someone I didn’t really know. With a simple call (and no other information other than an ID, name, and DOB) I could get a Yes or No to his/her elligibility to buy my gun. How great is that? Too great apparently.

    The registration aspects of the “common sense” regulations proposed are obvious. Most gun owners have their own screening practices when selling a gun to someone they don’t know that include getting much more data than law demands – a (disenfranchising) ID, purchase permit (de facto background check), and contact info.

    Unfortunately, such usage of NICS is not punitive and potentially damaging enough to the gun “culture” for the anti-gun minority to accept …

  4. Pingback: LIVE AT FIVE: 10.07.13 : The Other McCain

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