I repeat: America’s gun laws have always been written BY white people FOR white people, the whole point being to protect WHITE people (from everyone else). In fact, the history of America’s gun laws – after the Second Amendment was written (and the gaming of the Second Amendment began) – is the history of white people attempting to use both the law AND guns to subdue everyone else. You know you’re dealing with a white supremacist knuckle-scraper when they haul out the “well regulated” meant good-working-order” back then. Yes, but, back then “well regulated” also meant “subjected to lots of rules and regs”, same as now. That other meaning is, to be kind, obscure.
But the design of the argument is worth noting. Pro-gun arguments are conservative to the core because only people who think regressively want to live in a hunt or be hunted society. But then, conservatives never expect to be “the hunted”. They expect to be the hunter – and many hunters are conservative. Progressives tend to embrace life, ya see – even if it’s an animal’s life. We don’t see the “sport” in sport hunting. If hunting were a “sport”, the animal being hunted 1) would be in on the fact that there’s a game (called “hunting”) going on, 2) THEY are the hunted and 3) being a sport, they would get to arm themselves in exactly the same way the other team gets armed. Seems that’s never the case though. “Sport” hunters step onto the “playing field” the only team aware that a “sport” is happening.
The deer or grouse or big game being hunted is just out living their lives. If you asked them “Do you want to play a sport called ‘hunting’ where death is the point but, don’t worry, we’ll give you a gun, too?” I’m not sure they’d want to get in on that. I bet they’d shrug at your incomprehensible ass and get back to living their lives. It seems kind of stalker-y then for the hunter to persist in a relationship the other side just isn’t that into. Maybe that’s why it ends in death.
Where people genuinely need to hunt for food, no problem. If you’re within driving distance of a supermarket though, you’re cutting yourself slack. And, hey – maybe the stone cold truth is you like killing things and getting away with it. Hunters have it even better. They get to kill something and then brag as they get away with it. Some hunters get so braggart-y about what murderers they are that they strap their murder victim to their car.
That’s just not “a thing” you see in a whole lot of progressive neighborhoods. It’s not coincidental that you don’t see as many guns in progressive neighborhoods as you see in conservative neighborhoods. In general, in America, the number of gun owners fluctuates between 37% – 47% of us. As of 2021, a number around 42% is the accepted data point. Stick a pin in that number.
Now let’s look at what percentage of Americans are registered Republican. Let’s used “registered” rather than “leaning” because “leaning” is a “term of art” the polling industry uses to describe either a true independent or someone too poorly informed to have an opinion who – because of the way the polling question was framed and worded – the polling organization believes they can predict how such a person might vote. There’s the rub however: how a polling question is worded is key to any answers analysis of the results might reveal.
We do not live in “ordinary times”. We don’t. They are “extraordinary” in myriad ways. Someone who now refuses to listen to the news because it’s so upsetting isn’t going to refuse to vote; the reason the news is upsetting them is exactly WHY they will walk over broken glass to vote. If you frame a question that captures how upset they are but not WHY they’re upset, you could easily mis-analyze their responses. Polling has value but to honestly assess the value, you need to contextualize everything about it. This is why I’m going party affiliation over polling data to make my point.
In 2022, there are roughly 36 million Republican voters all across America. They account for 28.87 percent of American voters. There are roughly 49 million registered Democratic voters (they account for 39.66% of all registered voters). Independents account for 29.09 percent of voters. See what that means? Republicans don’t even come in second anymore as a political registration.
Consider, for a moment, how America’s youth – our next generation – will begin their registered political lives. Per the LA Times, “Pollsters find that most young adults hold positions at odds with those of the GOP”. That’s not a question of framing. Where the next generation of American voters are concerned, “Eighty-three percent support gay marriage, 81% back giving permanent legal status to Dreamers, and 70% would raise taxes on the wealthy. Three times as many young adults say that “bold action” is needed on climate change as say it’s not needed. By seven-to-one, Gallup found 18-to-29-year-olds supported the racial protests triggered by the death of George Floyd while in police custody.” When you then go and take away a bodily right every one of the women in that group has had their whole lives? Do not count on that group of Americans to go gently into that good night. They ain’t going – period. And neither is their friend group or anyone they can reach on social media. It’s a stone cold fact: “the GOP’s agenda has no appeal to most young adults.”
Conservatives (who cynically chose abortion when bussing failed as a rallying cause for their fundamentalist attack dogs who, up until then, had been perfectly fine with abortion) were going to go here all the time. It was never a question and they were never going to have some “crisis of confidence” in the eleventh hour. The conservative embrace of abortion as an issue has not an ounce of sincerity or authenticity to it. If they really and truly cared about babies and/or life, they wouldn’t make it so hard for so many mothers to get basic health care. Horse shit is horse shit is horse shit.
Do the “Republicans Are Increasingly The White Grievance” dot and the “Republicans Are The Majority Of Gun Owners” dots connect? You bet they do. That white grievance is the sound of white hegemony dying like the Wicked Witch into a puddle of goo. They are “melting… melting!”
Ever notice how it’s never progressives arming themselves to the teeth (“for protection”) and then going out and stalking conservatives where they live or shop or pray? Progressives never hunt conservatives at their monster car rallies or country clubs. It never ever happens. Those dots connect, too.
It’s never progressives standing in the way of laws that’d make owning military hardware of any kind absolutely illegal. It’s conservatives. Same goes for any gun law. Progressives want em, conservatives don’t. And then the gun violence begins.
America’s gun violence is a disease of conservative origin entirely. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. But, let’s please, please, PLEASE stop going along with the “death merchant” spin that this is about “freedom”. It ain’t. It’s about racism and protecting the things racism has won for white people. The Second Amendment – as written – is all about gun control. The “well regulated militia” is the arbiter of who gets to “keep and bear” the arms in question.
That’s “keep” and “bear”, not “own”. “Own” was a perfectly good word back then. Just as with now, “own” means one thing while “keep” and bear” mean something else. If the men writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had wanted Americans to OWN their arms, they would have used THAT word instead of the distinctly different “keep” and “bear”. I can keep and bear things though I don’t own them. If my arms’ true owner were to turn around and demand I give them back, I’ll have no choice but to give them back or turn into a thief.
America’s gun laws don’t represent the majority’s thinking about guns. That dot connects to the Supreme Court over-throwing Roe v Wade despite the fact that the majority of Americans DON’T want them to do any such thing. And all SCOTUS gun law decisions are tied to the fact that Mitch McConnell successfully completed the task that the Koch Brothers assigned him: killing Roe v Wade.
White people in America have a lot to answer for because so many of them have consistently treated the rest of us horribly. They’ve relied on us turning the other cheek just to get by. Well, those days are over.
It’s kind of perverse that our news media keeps throwing poll numbers at us because poll numbers supposedly reflect how voters would vote if the election were held this instant. That’s not the reality though. Polling can say that we’re angry. It can tell us we’re angry at Donald Trump and Joe Biden both. But, if it can’t grasp the profound differences in “why” we’re angry at each man – and what it implies about our actions because of that anger – then you really don’t know much about the story you’re supposedly covering.
There is not now nor has there ever been a level playing field in America. One of the main reasons has always been the armed-to-the-teeth white guys guarding the door.