Sunday, January 27, 2013
Is the paradigm shifting?
Even more intriguing, they seem to be playing up the number of incidents highlighting gun owners being idiots. I've noticed an unusually high number of stories describing stupid human tricks that come close to qualifying as Darwin Award nominees except no one has died. You know, gun owners shooting themselves in the hand or other body parts, gun owners reporting weapons missing and then finding the lost Glock hiding in the sofa cushions in their living room, and so on. One article mentioned an idiot who lost a loaded handgun in a movie theater. He apparently had it so poorly secured that it fell out of the holster when he shifted position in his seat. You've got to be pretty damn incompetent to manage to lose a 9 mm Beretta and not notice it's gone until the following day.
Some of these incidents have involved not just any ordinary gun owner, but gun dealers. Gun dealers are supposed to be experts, the guys who really know their stuff around weaponry. So what does it say when gun dealers start accidentally shooting themselves? It's all truly stupid stuff, all of which lends itself to a subtle undermining of the gun owners' preferred self-image, i.e., a competent, responsible modern day version of Marshall Will Kane preparing for his or her personal version of High Noon. You can talk all you want about "responsible gun owners" but when the news media keeps pointing out fools who do stuff you wouldn't think was physically possible -- how the heck can anyone shoot themselves in the hand? Who on earth holds any weapon with one hand covering the end of the barrel?! That's when the collective image of gun owners starts to slide from Marshall Matt Dillon to somewhere in the general vicinity of Festus Hagin's mule.
So what does all this imply? I'm hoping it means the political power of the gun lobby is eroding. When the public starts to mock gun owners instead of kowtowing to them, one can hope it means a paradigm is shifting.