Strong opinions, weakly held

The 100 year gun control project revisited

After the Newtown massacre, I wrote about a 100 year gun control project. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

I would suggest that those people lengthen their time frame. What if we came up with a plan to fundamentally change America’s gun culture over the next 100 years? There are policies that we could start pursuing today that would move us in that direction, and taking those steps beats giving up in every way.

The New York Times reports today falling household gun ownership is already a long term trend:

The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.

Gun control advocates would do well to pursue cultural change rather than legal change. Rather than banning handguns or changing laws around concealed carry, groups should be working to stigmatize both. The idea that people should be responsible for defending themselves with firearms in public places should rightly be considered a fringe view in a civilized, urban society.

1 Comment

  1. Maybe the rational response is simply to accept a couple of facts:

    [1] the horse is long out of the barn: instead of gun control, we need gun training (something the NRA used to do before it became an industry puppet)

    [2] we’re all latent killers, regardless how civilized and urban we think we are

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