Terrifying and true. Thanks for helping me to better understand the changes that have taken place in US gun culture.

I'm 60 and have had a similar experience with the gun culture, learning to shoot before I was 10, had a lever action Winchester 30-30 to use that was originally my grandmother's gun. My father has always had dozens of guns around.

In 1980, I made a deal with the devil. I went in to USAF at 18 to escape my little rural hometown. I can remember the guilt I felt for doing that when I learned of John Lennon's shooting on December 8th 1980, while still in training.

I then spent the next 4 years babysitting cruise missile/nuclear loaded B-52s at two USAF bases.

I carried M-16s, M-203 grenade launchers and M-60 machine guns every day I went to work.

I became cynical about the US government from working for them. I became politically aware in mid the 80s...but didn't start hitting the streets and protesting until Clinton's second term.

Since the days of my childhood, gun culture in the US has drastically changed.

Prior to hearing/reading this, I had summed it up mostly to the Pentagon war machine and the macho-man warrior culture that has developed with the endless US wars, but your explanation for the fetishization of guns being a defensive measure makes so much sense now.

Thanks again

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Yes. It is convenient and useful to keep the underclasses at each other's throats.

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I think it is a divisive oversimplification to attribute it entirely to white fear and white racism. In part the desire for guns is a response to what you correctly identify as a brutal and uncaring exploitative state. People are drawn to guns when they make the same analysis. It would be better to make common cause with those who also recognise that the state is a threat to them, rather than vilifying them all as racists (which some of them undoubtedly are).

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Thanks Chris and Eunice

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Another brutally honest article Chris. At this point gun control is impossible. You can't just ban something people need to feel important and powerful we need to pass legislation to improve the lives of the proletarian.

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I'm afraid to project or see what America will look like in three years, let alone ten.

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I wasn't born in this country and I only came here as an adult. Growing up, my birth country didn't allow guns as a right. Kids did play with toy guns but once they grew up, the guns were gone, and they didn't mourn the lost of a toy and the inability to have the real thing. They actually grew up, became adults, so the silliness of guns stayed n the memories and the past.

People educated in the United States, or culturally Americans, without any basic knowledge or curiosity about the rest of the world are big babies when it comes to guns (and a lot more). They throw temper tantrums if someone even thinks about anything they interpret as "taking the guns away". They interpret like that because they are infantile and, despite the posturing, are insecure about everything. So yes, they cling to guns as a last something they can claim but that's just because the culture in this country os based on magical thinking, not on reality. There are plenty of people in the world who have much less, lose much more, and value more important things in life. Just listen to how people talk about "our troops" and the "victories" in wars, not even realizing that we have lost pretty much every war since I don't even know when, and that "our troops" is a big generalization for a corrupt, disgusting and full of hate institution. Of course there are reasonable, honorable people in such places, but they are a very small minority, and they are not the ones who uncritically praise everything America. Magical thinking, believing that the guns is what makes this country "win" wars - as we keep losing. They think that owning a gun makes them part of the "wining" warriors, even as they not only don't win, they come back maimed, physically, psychologically, emotionally. But THE GUNS! The RIGHTS!

It baffles me how pathetic people who own guns are - without noticing it - and they position themselves as defenders of the constitution or some shit like that, when all I see is an overgrown baby screaming for attention and their favorite toy.

I honestly do not understand the attachment to something so ridiculous as a fire arm - and I include hunters in the category because I also don't understand the desire of killing animals for pleasure or leisure.

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Could we fix this problem with better targeting?

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We must shift from anti gun to govt/ corp collusion and complicity to weaken ALL of the 99% and endagers all.

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