From TPM Reader SS …
I cannot do this argument justice, but I’m a fan of historical firearms and the engineering that goes into them. I’ve grown up around guns, I understand how they work, I have fired them at the range, but I don’t own any because I’ve never bought into the self defense argument.
One has to realize that the NRA is not about gun owners, it is a group whose purpose is to promote the interests of gun makers.
When you realize that guns haven’t changed much in 100 years, and unlike a televison they are a pretty durable object that with proper care will last a very long time. The .30-06 cartridge developed for the Army in 1906 is still made today and is still a common round used for hunting. And all those guns made to fire that cartridge are not obsolete. Unlike the prior muzzle loaders and such.
So I think the gun makers at some point started looking for a marketing campaign to increase the sale of firearms and the NRA has played their part.
It involves convincing people they need a gun to protect themselves. It also involves selling guns as a fashion accessory. And most importantly it wasn’t enough to just own one, you needed a dozen. That’s where we are today, with a relatively small percentage of the population owning a rather large percentage of the guns.
I don’t think the solution to the problem is gun control. And I say that as someone who really doesn’t see a need for people to own most of these weapons. But fundamentally the real problem is the underlying culture. I believe this was actually a point that Michael Moore made in Bowling for Columbine, although I’ve only seen parts of that movie and so can’t confirm.
I want to add something anecdotal… I’m actually a fan of a couple of gun channels on youtube that mostly deal with historical weapons. These channels often end up with NRA ads on them. Starting in around December of last year, these ads got dark… very dark and deeply disturbing. And in the comments on these youtube channels, people have noticed and are talking about it. The NRA is really beginning to turn off the “responsible” gun owners through this latest marketing campaign.
There really are pretty clear differentiation between responsible gun owners and the kind of assholes who buy bump-stocks. The NRA is on the side of the bump stocks, and I think the time is ripe to drive a wedge down the middle.