We are in uncharted territory here: Fake media aside, the tide IS turning on guns, but the recent ginned-up outrage over the slaughter in Parkland (and the shameless use of children to push gun control) has knocked us back a bit.
We don’t know how to win the war on guns, and I’m not sure we CAN know how to win, because the whole purpose of Gun Culture 2.0 is to prepare for something really bad happening to us.
We have a defensive mindset instilled in us from our first CCW class. We think in terms of protecting what is our most dear to us. No wonder, then, that we think of gun politics in defensive terms.
How do we flip that into a message of hope?
We are, quite literally looking to evangelize people and change their way of living. Speaking in terms of saving souls, yes, it’s good that people “come to Jesus” to prevent something bad (namely, hell) from happening to them, but any pastor will tell you that sort of conversion has little effect in changing someone’s life over the long term. The change sticks when the convert sees the positive aspects that come from their conversion experience.
Can we talk about that and still show people that just owning a gun isn’t enough, that they also need training and more practice? Gun Culture 1.0 did exactly that with things like the Boone and Crockett Club and modern conservationism, and that helped create <Sam Elliot Voice> a storied tradition of hunting, passed on from generation to generation </Sam Elliot Voice> and a positive view of hunting that has lasted for decades.
Is there a Gun Culture 2.0 version of such things? Can that even exist?