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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Controversy or Caviling re Concealed Carry Movement?

Below please find a set of email exchanged between David Yamane, Mike the Gun Guy and myself concerning my book Rise of the Anti-Media.  Also thanks to David Yamane for use of his informative posts! 


Yamane, David [yamaned@wfu.edu]
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To:
 Patrick, Brian 
 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:13 AM
You replied on 7/16/2014 9:08 AM.
Brian -
Thanks for the note and the heads up on your new work. I will look for it!

I don't know if you have had time to look at my posts on your work, but I did get a comment on one of them from someone you may be familiar with -- Mike the Gun Guy, who blogs at the Huffington Post and presents himself as an anti-NRA gun guy. Anyway, he challenged a point you made in your book quite strongly and if you have some time to respond to his point, that would be great: http://gunculture2point0.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/explaining-the-success-of-the-concealed-weapon-carry-movement-and-the-failure-of-its-opponents/comment-page-1/#comment-758
All the best,
David

Rise of the Anti-Media


Patrick, Brian
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 Yamane, David ‎[yamaned@wfu.edu]‎ 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:08 AM
Thanks,  I talked via email to Mike.  i dont think he really understands the book.  He seems to pick out things that he and interprets them in his own way (not mine) and then argues with his own interpretation. e.g, my book's defiintion of "in-formed", which he confuses with "factually accurate" but which is defined as imbued with a shared spirt and sense of direction, being given form and shape.   

The data I referred to are simply stats kept by police and licensing agencies that show how many permits are out and the revocation rates which are close to nil.  So I don't know how he will argue that this isn't supporting the idea of carry, in that it does no harm.  Ot are the agencies just making this stuff up?  which I doubt. He doesn't like the idea of horizontal interpretive communities and compares 2014 blog meandering to  to 1995  e-bulletins and so forth, which are not really the same.  And thinks that CPL was just in the air at the time back in the mid 1990s, which is a mysterious kind of belief to me.  Sent me long emails, and then says he doesn't have time to for such "missives." Seems kind of cranky and I get the impression that he thinks NRA should function as some sort of trade association for gun dealers, of which he is one.  NRA did not invent shall issue concealed carry,  It adapted to it later or maybe adopted it.  

In any case I am interested in what he has to say. but if he is going to attack my book and the ideas in it,  he should probably read and understand it first. He may have done the former , but I wonder about the latter.  I think he may have just looked at the foreword and free-associated from there.  In any case, the book stands.  I don't see that he understands the notion of interpretive communities such as congregations and the many voluntary associations that drove the reformation, the enlightenment and American pluralism that has been so generative of good ideas and American freedom.  He can do as he pleases, of course, but in our last email he told an interesting anecdotes about a business promotion that did not lead to the expected sales of guns and so forth, and made a cultural change argument why this was so, but how this compares to the events I described in my book is unclear , events which took place at a different time and place among different people who were selected by a different set of processes.  

If you write books, especially if they actually say something that is beyond the understanding, predispositions or intuitions of people, you get reviews like this.  Hell, my first book, NRA and the MEdia was reviewed by some academic in MAss Communication Quarterly, and it was clear that the reviewer had never read the book--just looked at the title and reacted to it.  He raised objections, made assumptions, all of which were addressed in the book,  But since he hadn't apparently read it, it was all new to him. In his own mind, I'm sure, he came off as a genius and keen intellect. Perhaps it's nice to be able to maintain such illusions, even if one has to keep powerful filters in place to keep out dissonant information. 

 So let him yowl. He is an American.  Huffington Post is pretty suspect, by the way, on gun matters, as you know.  
Thanks for your email!   Call on me if I can be of service to you.  

BAP      




Mike Weisser [mike@mikethegunguy.com]
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In response to the message from Patrick, Brian, Tue 6:28 PM
To:
 Patrick, Brian 
 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:57 AM
You replied on 7/16/2014 9:17 AM.
Here’s the quote from what Kindle calls Location 211 of your book:  “They [antigun advocates and the media] still decry licensed Concealed Carry despite incontrovertible empirical data gathered by the state-level agencies, data that clearly supports it.”
 
Again, I would very much appreciate it if you could point me towards that data, and if you are referring to John Lott I am sorry but you are sadly mistaken.
 
MW



Your book on gun culture
Patrick, Brian
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 Mike Weisser ‎[mike@mikethegunguy.com]‎ 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:17 AM
OK  I did say that   The reference, as you see in the text, is explicitly toward state level stats maintained by state agencies, e.g. Michigan State Police, that show very very low levels of revocation.  People are not killing one another in droves. That is all.  Lott is no state agency, he's not even a professor. He is not the referent.  Neither is Kleck a state agency, although he is a professor.  This is not a claim that CPL lowers crime, just that it is harmless and has not increased crime.    I am not mistaken. The stats exist.  You can look them up now on the Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Texas state websites, and elsewhere, although not all states keep the same statistics.   They are updated annually, at the least.  Unless you believe that the various State police agencies have been keeping bad numbers.  You again are misattributing opinions to me.   Read the book.   

Thanks,

BAP




Patrick, Brian
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 Mike Weisser ‎[mike@mikethegunguy.com]‎ 
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 6:28 PM
You are misattributing opinions to me.   My book talks about, in essence,  a method participatory democracy and the process of the accretion of individual level opinion into group opinion via anti-media in roughly the mid 1990s to about 2004 or so. I am not at all talking about idiots prattling today on facebook and blogs.   It was early groups like MCRGO in Michigan and Buckeye firearms in Ohio and ogher state associations, citizens groups, that created an maintain blocks of informed voters and regrasped contol of the meaning of the second amendment  That a bunch of cattle should have frightened by the Boston bombing is beyond the scope of my book, especially in time.  

I never say it was absolute truth in which anyone dealt, nor do I say so now, but they had better information than the people informed by mass media, and hence could act in concert effectively.  

Nor do I ever claim that CPLs drive down crime, I just don't think they increase it. (It's in the book)   And traditional media still don't handle gun culture stories very well. But anti-media add another side, another dimension.  Example.  Do think that Luther's theology was any better than the Roman Catholic Theology to which he reacted?  It was just different and represented different interests.  As you know, about 50-80 percent of news coverage originates with "official" sources which of course represent official views and story frames. Jefferson though that people who did not read newspapers were better off because those who did were misinformed. 

The only way a person in Michigan or Ohio got another story on CPL, back in the day when the laws were being changed,, and a more politically useful story at that , was through anti-media. It certainly wasn't intelligently coveregd by the Detroit News or Free Press.  

The blogs today are very different than the e-bulletins and such of earlier times, more trivial, and the early adapters of concealed carry were likewise different.   I read learned gun reviews from people who I know cannot hit an oil drum at ten yards with a 1911. The only place in which I have encountered more stupidity than on modern blogs is in academia. 

And I too am often interviewed by clueless reporters   The Al Jezeera guy hung up on me last month because he was horrified that I said things that suggested the NRA was a citizen's voluntary association instead of a raving psychopath's lobby (his story angle) .  So what 's your point?  Truth is hard to come by in the media world.  All we have in the end seems to be opinion. Facts? Not in most articles. You seem to be disagreeing with opinions that I do not have, which is fine, but as I said this is a misattribution. 

Again, I would like to read your books. 

BAP


Patrick, Brian
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In response to the message from Mike Weisser, Tue 2:14 PM
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 Mike Weisser ‎[mike@mikethegunguy.com]‎ 
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 5:12 PM
Please do send me copies of your book.  I will be grateful.    Mailing address: Brian Anse Patrick Department of Communication, MS # 505, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606.   Thanks!

BAP 

Mike Weisser [mike@mikethegunguy.com]
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In response to the message from Patrick, Brian, Tue 2:39 PM
To:
 Patrick, Brian 
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 5:47 PM
You replied on 7/15/2014 6:28 PM.
I have written over 60 blogs for Huffington and I get roughly 400 comments for each.  That totals 25,000 and I would say that it’s a 50-50 split between pro-gun and anti-gun commentators.  I can also tell you that at least 90% of them – on both sides – have absolutely no ability to distinguish between facts and opinions.  You seem to venerate the information that moves horizontally as if the manner in which it moves makes it valid or at least worth repeating and moving.  Sorry, but I don’t buy that.  If I had 10 cents for everyone who has walked into my gun shop and repeated some absolutely uninformed statement as a ‘fact,’ (often beginning the statement with, “The fact is…”) I’d be wealthier than Croseus. 
 
As for traditional media not getting the story right about guns, why pick on guns?  Most reporters have 24 hours to write a story about anything.  They go to the archive, read what was previously written get a few names on either “side” of the issue and that’s that.  You seem to think that because the traditional media is vertical and part of some kind of elite, let’s hand it down to the masses conspiracy, that they go out of their way to give the wrong side of the gun argument.   I was interviewed by every radio, television and newspaper up here after Sandy Hook; somewhere around 10 interviews.  None of them had the faintest idea what they were talking about.  The fact that some editor then took the story, added on a few clichés that usually reflected a standard, non-gun view, gee what a surprise.  But if you really believe that the new anti-media corrects these mistakes, as my grandmother used to say, I got news for you.
 
Right now the NSSF has a graphic on its website that shows that violent crime has declined by 50% in the last 20 years while the sale of guns, particularly in the last 10 years, has gone sky-high.  The caption: crime goes down while gun sales go up.  There’s only one little problem, the decline in crime was over by 2004, since then it is stable or even a little bit higher.  And if you look at their graphic, you can see it! Meanwhile, the big gun sales started in mid-2008 when all of a sudden people began to realize that a Black guy could get elected President, even if he had a middle name like Hussein, which Fox News reminded us about every 5 minutes over the course of the entire campaign. And the big increase in CCW also began to occur after violent crime stopped falling, despite what John Lott continues to claim.  Do you have any idea how many people have come into my gun shop and told me that they “know” that CCW is a good thing because the more people who carry guns, the more crime goes down? And they read it every day on all those horizontal CCW blogs that you believe are in-forming the gun culture about guns.  Yea, right.
 
I appreciate your comments and I’ll send you one more detailed comment later but right now I have to go teach my LTC class.
 
MW

Patrick, Brian
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 Mike Weisser ‎[mike@mikethegunguy.com]‎ 
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:39 PM
Interesting examples, but I'm not saying that horizontal communities were invented by the gun folks, only that they were facilitated, and that to my knowledge the first groups that took to the catacombs of virtual space were the gun people.  I would also guess, concerning the antiwar movement, that it had campuses (don't forget churches) as the forum for meeting and discussion.  The gun people had no such thing or place.  Not until Computer Mediated Technology came along. And they quickly adapted. 

I don't think I ever mentioned "irrefutable data" and would be surprised if I did. I don't use terms like that and you might be confounding me with some other writer. To me all data are highly refutable. I teach research methods,  I am very suspicious, especially of survey data, especially in matters of the alleged validity of its measures/operationalizations.  i agree it's very difficult to form accurate estimates of the numbers of legally carried guns out there, but the numbers have certainly increased.  I also agree that the effects have been benign, or at least not harmful. But none of this is any major part of my argument in the book.  I look, essentially at the informational sociology of the concealed carry movement and the new American gun culture.    The fact that gun culture succeeds in the face of professional, overwhelming and well entrenched opposition (often tax-payer funded) is due to its anti-media , to being in-formed, and especially due to the behavioral aspects of its horizontal interpretive communities (as opposed to the merely attitudinal beliefs of most people with antigun sentiments ).   See also my chapter on the First Amendment which discusses how gun culture succeeded because the new technology allowed it to return to the social action schematic laid down in the First Amedment, a schematic that had been largely compromised under the Mass Democratic information systems.  

BAP  

From: Mike Weisser [mike@mikethegunguy.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:14 PM
To: Patrick, Brian
Subject: RE: Your book on gun culture
I’ll give you some examples of post-internet horizontal organizations when I have a chance, but since I’m a little older than you, I’ll give you one from the pre-internet and for that matter the pre-computer age, namely, the anti-War movement, which I was involved in from 1963 until I went to Europe to do graduate work in 1969. 

As late as 1966 there was an absolute consensus on the part of the entire establishment that the War could be won and the worst thing we could do was pull out.  Meanwhile, there was an active anti-War activity on virtually every college campus, even the most conservative campuses, and anyone who tells you that he/she was on a campus that didn’t have an anti-War movement before it became fashionable (in 1967) is lying.  And when, after Tet in 1968, it became fashionable to be anti-War, whether it was part of the Democratic party, or the college faculties, or the media or (at the end) members of Congress, they joined something that was already there and in-forming (as you like to say) everyone in a very horizontal way. 

I have a very different take on CCW, and by the way, I am a Lifetime NRA member and a senior LTC NRA instructor, having taught the required gun safety course to more than 800 people in the last 18 months.  Two weeks ago I sent out an email to 650 former students asking if they had gotten their LTCs (in Mass. the gun license and the LTC are the same thing) and if they had gotten their licenses, how often did they carry a gun.  Now because the two licenses are the same, there are many people who get the license and never have any intention of carrying.  Be that as it may, at best the number of people carrying in any conscious, deliberate, self-protective way was around 10%.  And I can tell you that this is a high percentage because they are new licensees so the thrill of going out and getting a banger and walking around with it hasn’t worn off.  But give even the dedicated CCWs six months, and the gun’s heavy, and a pain in the ass and one night you forget to take it with you completely and when you get home the old lady gives you hell because the gun was left out.  And you know what?  That’s the end of that.

Incidentally, I own a retail gun shop and between 2001 and 2014 I sold 15,000 guns to more than 5,000 customers.  So I know what I’m talking about.  Anyway, I say the above because everyone from John Lott on down assumes that they can use the number of CCWs that have been issued as a way of telling how many people are walking with guns.  Sorry, you can’t.  And even if the number that have been issued has gone up substantially over the last decade, that still doesn’t tell you how “armed” we are, and if you want to use CCW as some kind of cultural artifact, it doesn’t tell you how much this “culture” has really spread.  The biggest single error in Kleck’s survey, and God knows there are plenty of errors, is the fact that he didn’t ask the respondents a single question about the gun they allegedly used, other than whether it was a long gun or a handgun.  And the fact that his survey was more “accurate” than NCVS because ‘everyone’ knows that people won’t tell the government the truth about anything, particularly gun ownership, was all the more reason that he should have validated his private polling by at least asking how often the respondents walked around with a gun.  You mention somewhere the existence of “irrefutable” data that shows that we are safer when we are armed.  I have read virtually everything that has been published on the gun “issue” since the late 70’s and I have yet to come across such evidence.  Did I miss something?  And by the way, don’t get me wrong, the gun control folks also haven’t produced any irrefutable evidence to back up what they say.  But since you seem convinced that the pro-gun people have produced such evidence, I’d love to know where I can access it.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to continue this missive but look forward to any response you care to give.  I have published 3 books on guns, they are all on Amazon both paper and kindle but if you send me a mailable address I’ll send you all of them. 

MW

PS – I realize that you were looking for examples that would make your case but let me give you a contrary one.  Back in October, 2013, I was knocking around in Pennsylvania and wandered into a gun show in Lancaster.  Ended up having a conversation with the sheriff who told me that there had been a tremendous spurt in the county for CCW and the only thing they had to do was give a reason for wanting the license; didn’t have to be anything more than that.  And he told me, because he saw that I was from Massachusetts, was that the #1 reason was because of the bombing at the Boston marathon.  That’s what people said in Lancaster, Pennsylvania!  Have you ever been to Lancaster, Pennsylvania?  Do you have any idea how absolutely crazy it is to imagine that there would be a bombing in Lancaster, PA?  So when you talk about this horizontal transmission of information, what you call in-forming, be careful.  I’m not sure that much of this ‘information’ qualifies as anything remotely close to reality. 

Interesting examples, but I'm not saying that horizontal communities were invented by the gun folks, only that they were facilitated, and that to my knowledge the first groups that took to the catacombs of virtual space were the gun people.  I would also guess, concerning the antiwar movement, that it had campuses (don't forget churches) as the forum for meeting and discussion.  The gun people had no such thing or place.  Not until Computer Mediated Technology came along. And they quickly adapted. 

I don't think I ever mentioned "irrefutable data" and would be surprised if I did. I don't use terms like that and you might be confounding me with some other writer. To me all data are highly refutable. I teach research methods,  I am very suspicious, especially of survey data, especially in matters of the alleged validity of its measures/operationalizations.  i agree it's very difficult to form accurate estimates of the numbers of legally carried guns out there, but the numbers have certainly increased.  I also agree that the effects have been benign, or at least not harmful. But none of this is any major part of my argument in the book.  I look, essentially at the informational sociology of the concealed carry movement and the new American gun culture.    The fact that gun culture succeeds in the face of professional, overwhelming and well entrenched opposition (often tax-payer funded) is due to its anti-media , to being in-formed, and especially due to the behavioral aspects of its horizontal interpretive communities (as opposed to the merely attitudinal beliefs of most people with antigun sentiments ).   See also my chapter on the First Amendment which discusses how gun culture succeeded because the new technology allowed it to return to the social action schematic laid down in the First Amedment, a schematic that had been largely compromised under the Mass Democratic information systems.  



From: Patrick, Brian [mailto:brian.patrick@utoledo.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:33 AM
To: Mike Weisser
Subject: RE: Your book on gun culture

You are right I do not define it.  But I do not (intentionally) imply that anyone who owns a gun is part of the new or the old gun culture.  Gangbangers are not for example.  Just got back from the National matches at Camp Perry, and  there the remnants of the old gun culture mix with the new. But even the old ones are much more politicized than in the former days.  

If there is a social movement (a real one, not some simulated top-down PR event run by professionals) that utilized anti-media like the new gun culture , at that time, not now, then I am unaware of it.  The model has been copied or aped.  Can you perhaps give me an example?  Also I define a social movement as a product of identity, perceived conflict (grievance) and solidarity.  This triadic dynamic is much different and edgier than a bunch of people sharing recipes and pictures of grandkids and pets on Facebook.

Your definition of culture is as good (or better!) than any.  I am more interested in the plurality of horizontal interpretive communities, the covenants, empowered by anti-media that serve a the forums for true small group participatory democracy.  Lacking this kind of forum, as has been the case in the mass-style democracy, with its degraded group structure (many listeners and few speakers= vertical), that has dominated the mass media age, there is no effective way for individual opinion to coalesce into group action.  This is healthy.  You recollect in the book that I compare such horizontal interpretive communities with the early christians meeting in the catacombs.     The result is of course in-formed, directed individual action in solidarity. 

I attach a reading by James Luther Adams that may interest you.  The new gun culture has carried on with the voluntary principle, while many other cultures or organizations have merely professionalized, disappeared or become hobby groups without significant social effect.

Thank you for writing.  It is good to hear from a serious reader like yourself.  I agree with you re Kindle.  It's not my first choice, but better than nothing  I like a book in which I can scrawl notes on the inner covers and margins to my heart's content.  Plus you can throw books at the cat. 

Oh, by the way, culture is created and spread within and by these horizontal interpretive communities, via dialectical rhetorical processes. You don't think the old NRA invented the new gun culture?  To the contrary New gun culture and the CCW movement in-formed NRA, and reinvented it, which is a much different organization in its aims, means and outlook than it was even back in the early 90s. It's very democratic and responsive.  This is the connection: culture is spread, at its root, through conversation among individuals--like us--vastly facilitated by the new communication technologies.

Quote me as you will.  Look forward to hearing from you again.  And thank you for reading my book!  Incidentally, my new one is just out in print: Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns) by Arktos Media, available on Amazon.  

BAP  

        

From: Mike Weisser [mike@mikethegunguy.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 8:42 AM
To: Patrick, Brian
Subject: Your book on gun culture
Dear Professor Patrick:

I purchased and just finished reading Rise of the Anti-Media and wanted to ask you  a question. In the interest of full disclosure I may review the book on my blog but will not, of course, quote anything you say if you decide to reply to this email.  (www.mikethegunguy.com)

What confuses me is your definition of ‘gun culture.’  You use the term throughout the book but you never really define it except to imply that anyone/everyone who owns a gun is part of that culture.  You differentiate between the ‘old’ culture (hunting, etc.) and the ‘new’ culture (CCW and the ‘right’ to own a gun) but you never define the word itself.  Or did I miss part of the text?  (I don’t particularly like using Kindle but I do appreciate your decision to make your book affordable.)

To me culture is the way that we define a society or a civilization through a common language, common social norms, common historical events and myths, etc.  The rise of anti-media via the internet is hardly a new way to analyze the spread of information; frankly, there are many social-political movements that have utilized this method to a much greater degree than the CCW folks.  But I still don’t see the connection between that activity and the spread of ‘culture.’ 

Care to explain?

Regards,

Mike Weisser

10 thoughts on “Explaining the Success of the Concealed Weapon Carry Movement (and the Failure of Its Opponents)

  1. Let me offer another thought on “gun culture”.
    It used to be that most High Schools in the USA had shooting ranges or access to shooting ranges. Students could bring their own guns to school to participate in marksmanship courses. They carried their rifles on the New York subways, on the school buses and kept them in their lockers.
    Students were taught adult responsibility with firearms. They were taught safe handling, mature behavior and were inculcated with a Gun Culture that made them into the sorts of children who could carry guns around without causing undue concern in others.This extended to their adult lives as well.
    Now, if a child were to carry a rifle to school just about anywhere in the USA, the predictable response would be sheer terror in much of the teaching staff, calls to police, SWAT teams arriving, a school lock-down, arrest and punishment of the student. Many school teachers today seem to lack the maturity that the CHILDREN had just a few decades ago. When immature, cowardly sorts impose their fears upon our children, the outcome is predictably a deterioration of the level of maturity in society.
    I submit to you that what has been lost is the Gun Culture and accompanying Maturity that once made our society sane and safe with firearms, even in the hands of children. In schools.
    Concealed Carry is proven to reduce violent crime, though it does obligate one to develop a skill set. I’m a big advocate of training and want everyone carrying a firearm for self defense to develop the skills to effectively do so while minimizing the risk to others. Find a local trainer at:
    http://GunTrainers.net
    And as we are improving societal safety by expanding concealed carry, let’s see what we can do about restoring our Gun Culture as well. It begins at home. Schools are also critically important to teaching it.
    • Thanks for the comment. Many people who are younger or not familiar with guns personally/historically — myself included — have no idea how common it was for people to have long guns in and around schools (and other public places) not so long ago. My wife regularly talks about the hunting rifles/shotguns in her high school classmates’ cars in the school parking lot back in the 1980s. And up until 1968 people used to be able to buy long guns by mail order?!?!
      Also, I think about the number of firearms-related deaths for juveniles declining from 392 in 1993 to 83 in 2009 (Table provided here: http://gunculture2point0.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/the-most-rational-fear-according-to-michael-glassner-guns/). This says to me that most gun-owners are practicing (and hopefully teaching) safe behavior with their firearms, and initiatives like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Program might make a good situation even better.
      Both of these thoughts highlight the fact that we don’t really have a gun problem in America, we have some very serious social problems that manifest themselves in violence and that violence is often enacted with guns.
  2. a successful new social construction of reality. Could you tell me exactly what this “new reality” is? I carry my wallet and keys in my pocket because I need my credit cards, driver’s license, etc. That’s a reality. What reality is being fulfilled by carrying a gun? Does the author explain that? Can you? I await your response.
    • Sorry for the delayed response to this. I believe Patrick’s argument is that the concealed carry movement both reflects and fosters a new reality — for some in our society, not all, to be sure — that owning and carrying firearms is an individual, not a collective right (tied to militia service). I would guess that if we studied people’s ideas about this over the course of history, this notion of the individual right is relatively now. Hence, I think Patrick’s argument that this is a new social construction makes some sense.
  3. I was actually going to read Patrick’s book in a couple of weeks when I write a chapter for my next book on John Lott but I downloaded it last night and began looking at it. I’ll hold off most of my comments until I finish it but in the early pages I noticed two statements that I wanted to bring to your attention:
    “As the U.S. Constitution is now being interpreted by the Supreme Court and other Federal and state level courts, the people, as individuals, have the right to keep and bear arms in the form of concealed weapons inside and outside of their homes, for their own protection.”
    That statement is simply not true. Or to put it more concisely, it is false. The 2008 Heller decision explicitly states that the 2nd Amendment gives citizens the “right” to own and keep a gun in their home. These aren’t my words or my interpretation, this is a direct quote from Scalia. Since 2008 there have been 4 appellate decisions and 1 district decision in the Federal court system as to whether the 2nd Amendment should be extended to CCW; 3 of the 4 appellate courts said no, as did the district court; the SCOTUS has refused to hear any of these cases. If the dopes who walked around Target with their assault rifles want to believe that the Constitution “guarantees” them the “right” to behave in that way, fine. But a University professor like Patrick should know better and should stop promoting such bullshit.
    “They [mainstream media] still decry licensed Concealed Carry despite incontrovertible empirical data gathered by the state-level agencies, data that clearly support it;”
    I notice that this statement does not carry a footnote or a source. Know why? Because it isn’t true. There is no ‘incontrovertible” evidence that demonstrates any social utility for CCW. Don’t get me wrong. There’s also no incontrovertible evidence that proves otherwise. And the reason is very simple; because nobody has ever done a study to determine how many people really re walking around carrying a gun. That is, nobody except me. And unless you really can determine the size of the CCW population, not the number of licenses but the actual number of people, any attempt to create a representative sample of people to interview is an exercise in futility, if not stupidity.
    I’ve read about 1/3 of Patrick’s book and for all his reference to Aristotelian logic, etc., I’m afraid that it’s turning out to be just another bromide for the gun lobby. But I’ll hold off until I finish it before saying anything further. So far I’m not impressed.
    • There is substantial evidence supporting the social benefit of widespread CCW issuance. That is why nearly all US States have adopted “shall issue” policies for concealed weapons permits – the evidence is overwhelmingly positive. As more and more people carry guns around in public, violent crime declines. One need not be a genius to understand the cause and effect in play here.
      A terrific reduction in violent crime came after the massive gun-buying spree of 2008. It has dropped by 15% since then.
      Not per capita violent crime, I’m talking about the raw number of offenses. This information is freely available on the FBI website.
      Real world experience shows that guns “on the streets” reduces violent crime. Why? Criminals have explained this again and again in prison interviews. The one thing they fear most is the likelihood that the man or woman they are about to assault is going to pull a gun and shoot them.
      That’s why they flock to places like Chicago.
      Those predatory criminals who DO have such an experience often don’t live to commit more violent crimes or they have an epiphany and decide it’s not worth the risk to try kicking in someone’s door again. It’s a matter of “gun violence” being a benefit to the law-abiding Citizens.
      …. During 2008, with national gun sales rising dramatically, the national murder rate declined by 7.4% along with other categories of crime which fell by significant percentages (FBI). 450,000 more people bought guns in November 2008 than November 2007 which represents a 40% increase in sales. The drop in the murder rate was the biggest one-year drop since 1999, when gun sales soared in the wake of increased calls for gun control after the Columbine shooting and the Y2K scare. From 2008 to 2012, violent crime including murder declined by 15%.
      • Guntrainers – Thanks for taking time to comment on this post. It is hard not to notice the dramatic expansion in shall-issue concealed carry from 1986 on, and the decline in homicide from 1993 or so on. I wasn’t aware of the dramatic increase in gun sales during 2008, but know that homicide rates continued to decline from there forward. These things do seem to go together. The challenge is trying to determine if there is a CAUSAL relationship between one and the other. That is methodologically very difficult to do, as we see in the back and forth between John Lott and his critics. There has been a long-term trend toward a decline in violence — discussed by Steven Pinker in his book *The Better Angels of Our Nature* — and so homicide rates might have declined after the crack induced rise through the 1980s even without an increase in the number of guns/carry. The more specific connections you mention — lost of gun sales in 2008 and a big drop in the murder rate that year — suggest a more tight connection. But for me, at least, the jury is still own on the causal argument. I am convinced, however, that an increase in the number of guns owned by law abiding citizens and an expansion of the right-to-carry them for self-defense in public does not clearly and consistently cause an INCREASE in homicide. But do I do have much more to learn and I appreciate your contribution to the discussion here.
    • Mike – Thanks for the comment and apologies for delayed response. To your second point first: I agree there is no incontrovertible empirical data that establish a clear and consistent causal link between concealed carry and crime. For a multitude of political and methodological reasons, I don’t think there will ever be.
      There has actually been at least one study that I know of that did attempt to figure out how many people carry guns for protection, a paper published by Kleck and Gertz in 1998 in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/35/2/193.abstract). I know there is alot of dispute about the Kleck-Gertz estimate of defensive gun USES, but I have not seen any criticism of their estimates of defensive gun CARRY (though there may be). They estimate that in the preceding year, about 3.7 percent of American adults carried a gun on their person. (If you can’t access the paper, let me know and I can help.) I can’t look at the paper right now, but there is also a more recent paper by Felson and Pare that looks at weapon carrying using a different dataset than Kleck and Gertz (2010 Social Forces article: http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/88/3/1357.short).
      To your first point, I am not a major court watcher, so I will see whether Professor Patrick might want to respond to this criticism.
  4. We can hope & pray that the “gun culture” that reflects our agenda & opinions will do so in a positive manner. I can’t say I am all warm n fuzzy over much of the pro gun agenda I see these days. Some of the OC stuff that has & is taking place doesn’t exactly paint a stellar reputation of pro gun folks.
    While the Internet has positive aspects, it has become an outlet for all manner of YouTube experts who in my opinion do more damage than anything else.
    As for point #2 : (2) Gun culture is stronger than anti-gun culture…… I “somewhat” tend to be skeptical. I submit that these anti gun cultures have more strength than we may care to realize, or admit to. With people like Bloomberg on their side pouring millions into anti gun campaigns,,, who knows what lays around the bend. While it “appears” at this time pro gun is stronger than anti gun, I see a danger in becoming too complacent to anti gun cultures. But much larger than Bloomberg, the antis have Big Brother on their side. Oh we may talk big,,,” I will this and that”,,,,, but when it comes doing time, it may be a horse of a different color.
    Erosion often happens slowwwwwllllyyyy folks.
    • Ron – Thanks for this comment. It is interesting to think about whether a huge influx of money can foster a grass-roots culture of gun control, or whether Brian Anse Patrick’s argument for why gun culture is stronger (in terms of being FOR something and “organic”) is more enduring. The “anti-media” that Patrick describes (which now includes a vast social media) is as robust as ever, but is also something at the disposal of both sides. And money can definitely buy social media influence — again, whether that translates into grass-roots mobilization as a culture is an open question.
      One consideration is this equation is whether what people call “Gun Culture 2.0″ is going to be politically active or not. If Gun Culture 2.0 is more diverse in background and ideology than Gun Culture 1.0, then it may not have the political focus or will to fight the gun battle that the earlier gun culture did.
      I guess in the end I think of Thomas Jefferson’s phrase, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”