Gun Magazines & Gun Owner Psychology
I was in a drug store the other day, and while waiting for a prescription I decided to thumb through a gun magazine. I confess, I’m certainly not the demographic for this publication. While I spend hundreds (thousands?) of hours virtually shooting bad guys in games like Call of Duty, I’ve only ever touched a real gun once – my late grandfather’s (unloaded) handgun.
I grew up with almost no toy guns, and while I’ve been exposed to tons of violent media and have a history buff fascination with war (particularly World War 2), it isn’t like guns mean anything to me.
So I open up this magazine and basically its selling its readers a nightmare world in which armed gangs are invading their homes and attacking/killing/raping their families. And of course, the supposed salvation is a handgun.
This is basically telling all gun owners that on some given day in the future they’re going to be Dirty Harry/John Wayne/etc. The problem, of course, is that most of the time when people get shot in the home it isn’t because they gunned down the mysterious dark figure assaulting their families.
This is like me thinking I wouldn’t poop in my pants because Call of Duty prepared me for actual war. So dumb.
Gun owners, particularly the diehard ones, are being sold a bill of goods. We have people in our society that are generally pretty good at taking down the bad guys – the police. What’s better is that they’re actually trained with their guns rather than simply having enough money to give to the teller at Wal-Mart.
The gun magazines show off their product in the same oddly fetishistic way car and gadget magazines do, except it’s a weapon designed to kill people. In addition to all the lax laws, etc. around the world of guns, there is a cultural problem that I doubt can be fixed.
Maybe just having less guns for people attempting to compensate for something else missing in their lives would be a start.