Why men feel the need to carry guns

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by tallbump, May 26, 2015.

  1. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Intersting (?) Op ed from the LA Times


    Since the 1960s, the national conversation on firearms in both political and academic circles has revolved around one main question: Do guns increase crime or reduce it? Are guns tools of escalation or deterrence?

    Lately, however, social science researchers have become interested in a different question — not the relationship between guns and crime but the relationship between guns and people.

    A new generation of sociologists takes as its point of departure the sheer preponderance of guns: an estimated 300 million firearms in the hands of civilians, and more than 11 million concealed carriers. We want to understand why Americans do not just own but also carry guns. To us, cultural politics matter at least as much as instrumental value.

    Gun-carry culture is actually a relatively recent phenomenon. Many cite Florida's 1987 "shall-issue" law as the turning point. Now states as diverse as Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon and Pennsylvania have laws on the books that make it relatively easy for residents with clean criminal records to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon.

    I set out to Michigan — an unlikely pro-gun state given its reputation as a politically liberal place — to interview gun carriers. I spent time on shooting ranges, at "open carry" picnics, at activist events and firearm instructional seminars.

    Carrying a gun has become normalized in Michigan; it's a way of life for hundreds of thousands of residents, partly conditioned by the idea that crime could happen anytime, anyplace.

    One man with a concealed-carry permit likened his gun to a wallet: "You know, anytime you're without, you never know when you're going to need [a gun]. So it's best practice to have it at all times.... Just like carrying a wallet." Others told me they felt "naked" without a gun.

    Crime has dropped in much of the United States, but this decline has been uneven. Although Michigan does not rank among the 10 most violent states, Detroit and Flint still top lists of "most violent cities." In 2012, Detroit had its highest homicide rate since the early 1990s. For those who live in these cities, crime is an everyday reality; for those who live outside them, crime is a highly charged — if often abstract — concern.

    But the appeal of guns is hardly reducible to fear of crime, whether rational or irrational. I found that men — the vast majority of gun owners are men — may also carry weapons as a reaction to broader socioeconomic decline.

    When I asked Corey, a Flint resident, why he carried a gun, he said, "Before, it was all blue collar, shop workers and a little bit of welfare. Now it's all welfare, and things are different."

    The men I interviewed discussed Michigan's past nostalgically, not only as a place that promised safe neighborhoods but as one in which their fathers had clear, vital roles to play. Men were entrusted with supporting their families; they made happy suburban home life possible.

    Corey and others suggested that breadwinning now is harder than it used to be. Indeed, men's participation in the labor force has been on a steady decline since the 1970s. Well-paying manufacturing jobs have dried up.

    Frankie, a retired Detroiter, told me that in the 1970s he "got a job at General Motors, and they were hiring people off the street with zero education, and they could work 20 years, and they could make a living. You can't do that now."

    As men doubt their ability to provide, their desire to protect becomes all the more important. They see carrying a gun as a masculine duty and the gun itself as a vehicle for a hardened kind of care-work — caring for others by shielding them from danger, with the threat of lethal force.

    Brad, another Flint resident, told me, "The child's born. Mortgage, marriage. I have a kid. I'm paying for all this stuff on a truck driver's wage.... I wanted to protect them all, so then a firearm comes along."

    My interview subjects cast themselves as "good guys with guns" tasked with assisting the vulnerable among us. As they practiced shooting their firearms, they imagined scenarios in which women and children might need their help: a man with a rifle in a schoolyard full of kids; a woman being raped in an alley; an armed robber targeting a diner waitress.

    The gun carriers I met did not frequently attempt to stop crimes, but when they did, they tended to play the role of hero, defending a damsel in distress. Two gun carriers told me they had intervened in domestic disputes, both relying on their firearms to persuade the assailant to desist.

    We tend to get mired in public policy debates that isolate the impact of guns on violence, and nothing more. We wonder to what degree they contribute to suicide rates or homicide rates. But firearms have a larger purpose in our postindustrial society. In Michigan and other places hit hard by the economic downturn, men's guns can address social insecurities far beyond crime.

    The gun rights platform is not just about guns. It's also about a crisis of confidence in the American dream. And this is one reason gun control efforts ignite such intense backlashes: Restrictions are received as a personal affront to men who find in guns a sense of duty, relevance and even dignity.
  2. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    The Cliffs Notes version:
    "Men carry guns as a penis extender and penis "replacement" because they feel emasculated by the decline of the male role in society."

    Peace favor your sword,

  3. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    Summarize, dood... :rolleyes: (for TB)

  4. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

    i carry a gun because the judge asked me to please stop waving my penis at people.
  5. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    I carry a gun on my left side to counterbalance the weight of my penis, which hangs to the right side.
  6. I found this article debases American civilian concealed carry. If you are sane, adequately trained, can use your pistol effectively to five yards, and carry, then I consider you a person that helps make America better place.
  7. I am pretty sure people carry guns because bullets are pretty useless on their own.
  8. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    They also couldn't resist throwing in a dig about the "gun owners fantasy world."

    Peace favor your sword,
  9. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    People who don't understand guns, or real life, coming up with ignorant left wing thinking BS......
  10. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Tall that is interesting, and I believe for some people that is a good explanation of why they carry or own firearms. It does not cover people that just like to shoot for shootings sake and carry due to the lack of law enforcement in their area. There are several other reasons that were also not covered. But the article was fair in the aspect that it gives a reason for some to carry and did not make them out to total wack jobs.
  11. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    It didn't portray them as whack jobs... I'll give them that..... But the psycho babble BS about inadequacy in men's fragile egos is ignorance at best, flat out insulting at worst.
  12. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    But probably true for SOME people. Maybe not many, but some.
  13. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    You have to remember theses guys got an education on mind fu%kery. Its been my experience dealing with Psych Drs is they go into the field because they are trying to fix there own crap. Which doesn't make them worth a crap.
  14. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    In my experience it is true for some gun owners, it is also true that they are in the minority. Most gun owners I know are more into the enjoyment and hunting aspects of shooting than any other reason. Personal defense is a consideration to vast majority, but it is not the main reason most of us own guns.
  15. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    It's just a continuing attempt to marginalize gun owners and cast them as feeling emasculated by their betters (notice how many times the following article talks about "educated" and those with 'real power'). Remember when "O" yammered "It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Same thing.

    Peace favor your sword,
  16. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Supporting Member

    my problem, they wanted like for like............so they only allow me to have a derringer
  17. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Supporting Member

    The reality, I carry for many reasons

    1) because the justice system is not blind, and the reality it favors some for political correctness over others
    2) we have no idea who comes over the borders, and locally, we have had too many crimes where they run across the border, and come back under another name
    3) bad guys dont follow laws
    4) I have gotten old and damaged, the last armed robbery I got the **** kicked out of me, I am too old to run, too injured to fight back

    God made man, colt made man equal
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    Um, me and my PhD in clinical psychology are feeling a bit conflicted about that...I imagine my shooting buddy (also PhD clinical psychology) would have a similar reaction. Of course we are both neuropsychologists and my primary practice is forensic psychology so maybe I get some points for that. And prosecutors like me.

    Attached Files:

  19. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    I carry a gun because all those little penis guys worry me.
  20. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    So what's your take on the two articles... I'm not trying to be a smart ass, or a douchecanoe over it.... Just curious as to someone who shoots AND has an edumacation in the field this is coming from...