Guns

Forget D.C., States Take Very Different Paths on Guns

Tighter gun laws or looser firearms restrictions? They're both coming to a state near you.

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Pew Research Center

Is America once again splitting into free and unfree states? At least on the issue of self-defense rights, that seems to be the case—so says Jennifer Carlson, a University of Toronto sociologist who includes gun issues among her areas of study. At the Wall Street Journal she writes that it no longer makes sense in the United States to talk about national gun policy, but instead to recognize widely divergent trends at the state level that are taking Americans in different political, cultural, and technological directions.

In her writings, Carlson has long talked about gun cultures in the plural. Americans in general, she says, generally adopt guns as part of the adoption of a "citizen-protector" role that involves taking on a position of full responsibility in society. But African-Americans also tend to take to firearms as a counter to hostile police and distrusted authorities. Women are sufficiently involved in gun ownership and use that the breast cancer awareness campaign catches their eyes with specially packaged shotgun ammo.

So there's not a monolithic gun culture, there are different people using firearms for different reasons, though with plenty of overlap. But that divergence also involves gun policy, and with the sides dug in different states are headed in very different directions. According to Carlson:

Gun-control initiatives will follow the approach blazed by the gun lobby, shifting away from the national stage and focusing increasingly on state-level efforts in places like California, Colorado, Connecticut and Washington. With the gun debate focused on state-level politics, high-profile shootings will exacerbate the division between these two Americas: in restrictive states, a demand for more laws; in permissive states, a demand for more guns.

That tight national restrictions are off the table seems highly likely. Support for gun rights has trended upward for years, even with gun-controllers pushing to exploit every horrific crime. According to Pew Research Center, "For the first time, more Americans say that protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52% to 46%."

Some states have passed intrusive gun laws, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, and New York. But more states loosened laws after Newtown than tightened them. Texas is on the verge of allowing open carry, the sort of visible firearms presence that Carlson suggests reduces the taboo around firearms and gun ownership and makes them part of the accepted culture.

My own experience mirrors that. Even as a gun rights supporter, and illegal toter of guns in eastern cities, I was surprised when I moved to Arizona and saw guns in plain view on people's hips. Now they're just fodder for show-and-tell at dinner parties.

Gun controllers counter that gun ownership is declining, according to surveys. But that flies in the face of soaring gun sales figures and industry numbers showing that the percentage of first-time owners among gun buyers has been rising and now stands at a bit over 25 percent. Unless the old owners are dumping their guns in landfills, people are probably telling anonymous surveyors one thing while doing another.

But, according to Carlson, that ownership will be increasingly polarized politically and geographically. And Pew numbers reflect just that, with growing support for gun rights among conservatives and moderates, and rising support for restrictions among liberals. Geographically, the South and Midwest show growing support for gun rights, wiith rising support for restrictions in the Northeast and West (I'm looking at you, California).

So that overall national preference for gun rights over gun control reflects real regional and partisan differences. Those are most easily broken down, policy-wise, at the state level.

Which, strictly speaking, is how a federal system is supposed to work. That's not to say that individual rights of any sort should be subject to majority vote. But to the extent there's a critical mass anywhere for more state intrusion that can't just be blocked, authoritarian laws should be inflicted only where they're most strongly favored and not exported elsewhere.

Interestingly, Carlson extends her divergent projection to technology, but recognizes that innovations may not just split along regional patterns.

Gun entrepreneurs will market "smart guns," which use identification technology like fingerprint recognition to make a firearm inoperable in the hands of unauthorized users. However, these efforts may be counteracted by the proliferation of "disposable" guns, which are inexpensive, untraceable weapons created with 3-D printer technology and which often can be used only a limited number of times because of the materials used.

Smart guns will gain some traction in restrictive states, but 3-D printing technology will appeal to do-it-yourself gun aficionados who love to tinker and to the underground market, which seeks untraceable arms.

Different states are choosing very different policies when it comes to private gun ownership (they never disarm their own enforcers, of course), and they may well continue to do so. But those states that adopt more restrictive policies will discover, as always, that actually disarming their citizens is a lot more challenging than revising the law books.

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  1. So there’s not a monolithic gun culture

    Mikey Bloomberg haz a sad.

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      1. Nope, I need to make at least $8597 a month.

  2. and illegal toter of guns in eastern cities

    Isn’t illegally carrying a gun fun? I love the feeling I get when I politely smile and wave at a friendly policeman who has no idea that I’m packing without a permit. Being white is awesome.

    1. Come see the privilege inherent in the system!

    2. You better be careful, unlicensed guns are likely to jump out and start killing people. A license effectively neuters them and takes away their murderous streak so they can be properly controlled.

      1. I’ve never seen it explained scientifically before….thank you!

    3. ANARCHY!!!!

      1. Good.

      2. Not quite, but it’s a start.

        As an previous illegal-toter myself, it’s funny how you stop being nervous about it right away as soon as you realize that there’s no way in hell they’re going to find you out. Fuck you, people who tell me I can’t carry!

        1. The funny thing is, I have everything I need to get the permit, but I just don’t feel like going to the courthouse to get the fucking thing because fuck that.

          1. I totally understand that attitude. I got mine because it’s absurdly easy in WA and if I ever need to use it I’d like the legal cover, but the real thing is, no one can tell you you can’t defend yourself, and if they do? Fuck them.

            “I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

            1. I had one when I lived in PA, because all you have to do is go to the courthouse, no training or anything needed. But here, you have to do training, have papers certifying it, then you have to go to a county office to get your picture taken (NOT the courthouse, actually, which makes it even more annoying), but you can only go there if you’ve made an appointment weeks in advance, and there’s some other stupid shit.

              So fuck it. Criminals and police don’t fuck with me because I’m a gigantic terrifying-looking white dude, so my odds of ever being found out are slim to none. And if some crackhead attacks me, or if I shoot a rabid dog (Cleveland has a problem with packs of feral dogs. Srsly.) or something when I’m out walking the spawn, I’ll deal with the consequences.

              1. You want to shoot dogs?

                #joinClevelandPD

              2. You’re white?!?

                1. Horrific encounter with bleach?

                    1. We are mostly water. Therefore, we are bleach.

              3. I thought you were in the PRC….

              4. Cleveland has a problem with packs of feral dogs. Srsly

                Is this why they call it the Dawg Pound?

                Also, aren’t there packs of feral people?

          2. The funny thing is, I have everything I need to get the permit, but I just don’t feel like going to the courthouse to get the fucking thing because fuck that.

            And according to Bo, that’s the reason why carry permits are racist.

  3. “But those states that adopt more restrictive policies will discover, as always, that actually disarming their citizens is a lot more challenging than revising the law books.”

    See New York and Connecticut for very recent examples.

  4. I can’t imagine that newly enacted gun laws won’t be going to the SCOTUS on droves after the Heller and McDonald decisions.

    I have no problem with states enacting their own laws, but the bar is pretty high and the standard used tough to get around, which is exactly as it should be when the 2A includes the very clear phrase “shall not be infringed.”

    1. They were talking about the GOVERNMENT granting ITSELF the right to have a standing army, dummy!!

      /progderp

      1. Delusion, thy name is Monty Crisco.

        1. Scanning retiredfire…
          Module SarcasmDetection.exe not found
          Please redownload SarcasmDetection.exe to restore full function

  5. Speaking of the Bloombergousie- I just flipped on Bloomberg News for a couple of minutes, just in time to see one of the butt shaking chicks pummeling a guy from Calpers about why haven’t you divested that evil gun company [Freedom Arms] which is actually owned by Cerberus (which they hold)? He finally had to just say, “I am a fiduciary.” Implying, of course, that dumping Cerberus just to make a “statement” would be a dereliction of his duties, however much it might play to the peanut gallery.

    1. How about dropping them because they fucked up Marlin?

  6. “We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,”

    1. Too late?

    2. Hey, holding a differing viewpoint has been verboten in the PRC (People’s Republic of California) for a while.. remember Donald Sterling?

      Driven from his position for PRIVATELY DISLIKING POPULAR BLACK CULTURE….

    3. In case anyone doesn’t know, the spewer of that utterance is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  7. If I had any sort of entrepreneurial spirit, I would make and sell a new gun accessory called Gun Nuts. I would be a little ballsack that you could attach to the barrel. Kinda like the ones you see people putting on their trucks.

    1. I buy a lot of stupid accessories (pistol bayonet, anyone?) and…. I wouldn’t buy that.

      1. I have an XPS2 on my M4 Carbine. I can’t for the life of me figure out why. Impulse buy, I guess.

        1. Eotechs are too fucking expensive!

          1. + ALL OF MY FUCKING MONEY

    2. Maybe you should sell little plastic guns to attach to the back of trucks.

  8. “But African-Americans also tend to take to firearms as a counter to hostile police and distrusted authorities.”

    This is gibberish. The comparison of blacks shot by police compared to blacks being shot by blacks is as wide as the distance from D.C. to Pluto.

    How convieeeenient the author did not compare crime in high gun control cities and pro 2A cities.

    Did I miss that?

    Crime in Chicago has dropped 26 percent since Concealed Carry was allowed, last year.

    1. I see a TON of CCW course signs posted on telephone poles when I drive through the worst hoods in Cleveland. Things are improving. Quickly.

      1. when I drive through the worst hoods in Cleveland.

        Wouldn’t that be… Cleveland?

    2. What article did you read that gave you the impression this line about blacks defending themselves from hostile government forces was a bad thing?

    3. This is gibberish. The comparison of blacks shot by police compared to blacks being shot by blacks is as wide as the distance from D.C. to Pluto.
      J.D. stated what research reveals blacks think. There can be a difference between what they think and what you believe they ought to think. Even if your position is more reasonable, it doesn’t mean they agree with it.
      How convieeeenient the author did not compare crime in high gun control cities and pro 2A cities.
      The article is about what people’s attitudes on gun control are, not on what they should be.

      1. ‘Not buying it.

        “Even if your position is more reasonable,”

        Blacks aren’t stupid genetically.

        But, like any other group of people, when the resources are available, they can be brainwashed or influenced with free stuff.

        I am suspicious of anyone telling me what people think. Especially, when it’s as nutty as a squirrel’s breakfast: “But African-Americans also tend to take to firearms as a counter to hostile police and distrusted authorities.”

        The PEW poll reflecting as crime has risen more people are calling for gun control. ‘Not buying that either as gun sales are off the charts, shooting rangers are packed and we are paying more for less city services.

        Lastly, rather then the author telling us what people think, the author ought to inform and educate the reader by giving crime statistics on Cities/States with heavy gun control as opposed to a City/State like Utah where former felons can carry.

    4. Who’s dumb enough to listen to a woman researcher from Canada, about guns?

  9. However, these efforts may be counteracted by the proliferation of “disposable” guns, which are inexpensive, untraceable weapons created with 3-D printer technology and which often can be used only a limited number of times because of the materials used.

    I want to see somebody just go for it, and publish the prints for a side by side 20 gauge throwdown coach gun with twelve inch barrels, just to hear the wailing from the likes of Chuck Schumer.

    1. 14 inch pump action magazine fed shotgun.

      NOW WE’RE COOKIN’ WITH GAS, MOTHERFUCKER!!!

      1. You shoot it first.
        /crouches behind brick wall

        1. “Hey Y’all! Watch this!!”

          1. Literally broke out laughing upon reading that line.

      1. Two through the door, and your troubles are over.

        Joe said so!

  10. Unless the old owners are dumping their guns in landfills, people are probably telling anonymous surveyors one thing while doing another.

    People who lie to surveyors about possessing guns?

    Say it ain’t so, Shoeless!

  11. I just don’t feel like going to the courthouse to get the fucking thing because fuck that.

    One more list I don’t feel like putting myself on.

    1. NSA: “There’s really only one list. You’re all on it.”

  12. According to Pew Research Center, “For the first time, more Americans say that protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52% to 46%.”

    Interestingly enough, that kind of shift happened under the watch of nuestro exaltad?simo y querid?simo se?or presidente Obama. One has to wonder if there’s a correlation between electing in a government openly hostile to gun ownership and gun ownership. Are Americans that disloyal to nuestro amad?simo y valiente se?or presidente?

  13. in the unlikely event you need to use it, having the magical permit may make your legal defense somewhat easier.

    “I was in fear for my life.” That’s all you need to say.

    1. You’re still on the hook for illegal carry. In CA, they’ll make an example of you.

      1. NY too.

        1. Google “Bernhard Goetz.”

    2. Brooks, I don’t know if that’s correct.
      Anyway, be careful.

    3. “I was in fear for my life.” That’s all you need to say prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court six months later to a jury who will believe cops and the prosecutor more than they will someone who was illegally carrying a handgun and had never taken state-mandated training about where you can legally carry and what will legally justify the use of deadly force. Unless you shoot an unarmed teenager who was turning his life around.
      There are no magic words.

  14. So that overall national preference for gun rights over gun control reflects real regional and partisan differences. Those are most easily broken down, policy-wise, at the state level.

    At the state level “policy-wise” because most states have firearm law preemption, prohibiting city/county gun laws. However, there are big “preference” differences within states. As in Chicago and the rest of Illinois, or Houston and Austin and the rest of Texas.

    In the Texas House of Representatives open carry debate Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio Democrats seriously wanted to opt-out.

    1. Democrats can’t have the inner city captives being armed. What if those morons actually woke up one day and had guns? Dems would lose control overnight.

    2. In the Texas House of Representatives open carry debate Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio Democrats seriously wanted to opt-out.

      I would imagine most of the Democrats wanted to opt out, not just the ones in these cities. The progs here in Austin would love to make it a 2nd amendment free zone.

      1. True. I was referring to the proposed amendment to HB 910.

      2. And Austin was in the list.

    3. The Second Amendment, unlike the First, does not state that the prohibition, on infringing on the right of the people to “keep and bear arms”, is restricted.

      The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no laws”, the Second says no one shall infringe.

      The Tenth Amendment grants powers “not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States…to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      How can the Second not be read as something prohibited by the Constitution, to the states?

      Any State law that infringes on the right of the people to “keep and bear arms” should be, IMO, considered unconstitutional.

  15. Texas is on the verge of allowing open carry, the sort of visible firearms presence that Carlson suggests reduces the taboo around firearms and gun ownership,/i

    Texas already has open carry for long guns — I’ve walked around downtown Austin toting a camo Benelli shotgun — the current fight is to get open carry for handguns, too.

  16. Gun entrepreneurs will market “smart guns,” which use identification technology like fingerprint recognition to make a firearm inoperable in the hands of unauthorized users.

    This is some of the dumbest technology around.

    1. You said it.

      If it’s sooo safe and sooo reliable, how about Obama and company lead us by example and have all of their Secret Service agents use them? How about the police use them?

    2. I’d be in favor of personalized guns provided:
      1. They work reliably
      2. They aren’t mandated

      Not holding my breath.

      1. A third requirement would be having no one else in the household you want to be able to use it in an emergency. Of course, that’s a good reason for not wanting their use to be mandated in any fashion.

      2. The side plate key locks on certain Smith and Wesson revolvers have locked with the hammer back rendering the gun useless and creating a safety issue for the smith that will need to work on it to correct it.

        Adding extra parts will negatively affect the reliability of the gun.

  17. In California, it’s easier to get a gun in a Republican county than a Democratic one (unless you’re rich, famous, or connected).

    And we know which counties have higher crime…

  18. ” Unless the old owners are dumping their guns in landfills, people are probably telling anonymous surveyors one thing while doing another.”

    I think this is a,trend we will be seeing affect more and more issues in the near future. I don’t believe that gun ownership is falling, or that teen smoking or drinking are on tye decline. I believe that the willingness of random citizens to answer the questions of some nosey stooge truthfully is approaching an all time low.

  19. The restrictive states are those where the people most wish to be sheep — and their Leaders most wish to be sheep-shearers. As for smart guns, I doubt they will be reliable any time soon (which just makes them even better for the gun prohibitionists). And what if the owner wants to let a family member (say, his wife) protect herself using it? Oh, sorry, tough luck. Just more collateral damage in the liberal war on freedom.

  20. rising support for restrictions among liberals

    You see that, you proto-Commie proglodytes? How you can use that adjective honestly without bursting into flames immediately just shows how utterly degenerate and putrid your positions are.

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    1. Sounds like a great idea, if it actually works, and I cannot say, with evidence, that it won’t. That being said,the relationship between this money making proposition and the subject under discussion escapes me. Could you explain the connection, if there be one? Thanks.

  22. “Gun Control”, the darling of pie in the sky theorists has yet to really work as promised anywhere it has been installed or inflicted as some would have it, on the citizenry. Seems that there just aren’t any pat, simple, readily available solutions to difficult problems. By the way, this business of Gun Control, as some describe it would, if ever actually installed, come to be the total elimination of privately owned arms, how about looking at things as they are. Additionally, the nirvana of peace and love, promised by the Gun Control Sales Force would require the unlikely to be achieved reform of the criminal element, a laudable though not likely to be achieved goal. Who knows, but at some point in the future, this obvious conclusion might even make it’s way through the minds of lawmakers in place like California. Given the fact that holding my breath for long periods of time is something I find uncomfortable, and in view of the fact that blue is not my best color, I won’t hold my brea

    1. Generally good work with the commas. Still needs two or thee to be clear, but, overall, a pretty good effort.

  23. Pardon my keyboard clumsiness, the last word appearing should have been “breath”.

  24. The state with the lowest violent crime rate happens to have constitutional carry for residents and non-residents:

  25. uptil I looked at the paycheck which was of $6898 , I have faith …that…my father in law was actually erning money parttime from their computer. . there neighbor had bean doing this for less than nine months and at present cleard the loans on there apartment and got a great new Nissan GT-R:…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  26. Surveys showing lower gun ownership? get real!! Don’t ever tell anyone who is a stranger that you have guns in your house. That could make you a target for theft. Particularly in a state such as CT where I lived until it chased me away with a tax burden of enormous weight.

  27. African-Americans also tend to take to firearms as a counter to hostile police and distrusted authorities.

    I think if you look at the Chicago stats you will find that the people who have guns are killing each other not the “hostile police.” But those seem to be crimes that are okay to ignore.

  28. my roomate’s half-sister makes $71 /hr on the computer . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay was $17321 just working on the computer for a few hours
    …… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

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