I (used to) Love Guns
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As someone mentioned, one of the differences is cultural, but it’s not because Americans are blood-thirsty, indifferent to death, or deluded. It’s about conjoint vs. disjoint agency. America’s culture is built on a very different set of principles and a unique history relative to older cultures which have more socialist forces (indeed, socialism is in those places because of their notions of agency and we reject it for the same reason). Self-determination, individual responsibility, and making your own way are the seeds of America. In other countries, conjoint agency (relying on each other) is woven into their fabric. It’s that ability to feel they can trust one another to do their part to keep society together that makes them not care about guns. Even countries with class-based cultures have systems in place that helped protect disadvantaged people (e.g., noblesse oblige). It’s the individualism and “every man has to take care of himself” aspect that keeps gun support alive. Also, there is a fundamental difference between lifestyles (rural vs. urban) that factors into this. People who live in isolation with few law enforcement resources cannot rely on the police to get there fast enough (or sometimes at all) if they are threatened. This is not a paranoia for rural people. It’s a fact of their circumstances. Being able to fire off a gun if only to scare people is not a reflection of being overly zealous and loving guns, but their situation. We can’t have meaningful conversations about gun control without looking at the historical and regional aspects that influence opinions, but we continue to pointlessly pretend otherwise.

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