A Brit Comes To Terms With American Gun Culture

From Takimag.com:

In summary, I am pro-gun, as I am, for example, pro-car, and didn’t see my belief in licensing users with a mandated level of skill, sanity, and noncriminality as making me “anti” either of them. I had assumed—and here lay my error and arguably my arrogance—that a similar sort of belief existed among “reasonable” gun owners in the United States: that they too thought it seriously worrying that they were 33 times more likely to die by someone else shooting them in their country than I am in mine, and if only someone who actually liked guns and knew a bit about them made a sensible case then they might listen. I see much similar commentary in the center-right press today.

I was wrong—and not just in my belief about the pro-gun lobby listening, but in the very fundaments of my argument. Here is the first thing that many anti-gun Americans and almost everyone else in the civilized world does not understand, not least because it is seldom explicitly acknowledged: A significant number of U.S. citizens, perhaps even a majority, are willing to accept these levels of gun violence as collateral damage for a greater good, the liberty to own arms.

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