I have noticed that there is insidious anti-gun indoctrination experienced by many people, and that it happens from an early age. I believe this to be a serious problem, not just for the future of the 2nd Amendment, but for society’s ability to solve its social problems, such as violence. I’ve seen this anti gun indoctrination from first and experience, through the attitudes of many otherwise reasonable people, and from the news. Allow me to elaborate:
My first hand experiences with anti gun indoctrination
I grew up in an anti-gun family. My mother once remarked how scary and deplorable it was that a neighbor owned a handgun. It was impressed upon me that hunting was morally wrong, and that guns kill people. In particular, I was told that handguns are tools expressly designed for murder, and that there is no legitimate reason to own one. No mention of self defense, defense of another, the Second amendment, or the other benefits of gun ownership were made.
I now know these anti-gun statements to be untrue, but it was not until after I was an adult that I even thought to reevaluate my beliefs on guns and gun rights. Indeed had I not attended law school, I would not have been exposed to the legal issues and facts surrounding gun ownership. Nor would I have had the chance to speak with law abiding and morally upstanding citizens who I knew to be gun owners.
In short, I received anti-gun indoctrination as a child/teenager and but for discussion of the subject with people I met as an adult, and perhaps my tendency to question restrictions on constitutional rights, I would likely still be a non-gun-owning, anti-gun person.
The attitudes of many otherwise reasonable people
I have seen many otherwise reasonable people who are vehemently anti-gun. These are bankers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, construction works, programmers, and janitors. They are skillful at their professions, and can debate complex social issues, yet seem as though they have given almost no thought to the gun rights issue. I’m sure they recognize that criminals will disobey gun bans just as they disobey other laws, that guns can and do enable people to defend themselves, and that the gun ownership for self defense is a constitutional right. I imagine they intellectually recognize that guns are the “great equalizer“, allowing small women to prevent large men from raping them. They also seem to understand that gun control laws give corrupt police an excuse for violating citizen’s civil rights.
Unfortunately, these otherwise reasonable people disregard these facts, and proudly proclaim that they are anti-gun. When crime occurs, they place the blame on inanimate objects, while the true causes of crime go uncorrected. When cities with strict gun control (such as the District of Columbia or Chicago) have record high murder rates, they argue in favor of more gun restrictions in other parts of the country, despite their proven track record of failure.
Anti-gun indoctrination & bias in the media
The media tends to have a noticeable anti-gun bias. This includes the omission of stories where citizens have used guns to defend themselves, ignoring the true case of crime, failing to give equal time to the pro-gun-rights side of the argument, and over reporting anti-gun demonstrations while virtually ignoring pro-gun political speech, and not mentioning that the sites of virtually every mass shooting are “gun free” zones by law. If I had to hazard a guess as to the reasons behind this bias, I would guess that it relates to the politics of the media organization owners, and to their desire for profit. Many of the large media company owners are anti-gun themselves, and this has an impact on the news they choose to report, and the spin they choose to place on it. Furthermore, it makes a better sound bite to say “gun crime” than it does to say “criminals who used guns to commit crimes”. Furthermore, media companies seem to rely on scaring their viewers into watching, be it over terrorism, guns, gas prices, etc.
The anti-gun bias discussed above worries me. I am concerned that it will continue to affect the right of law abiding citizens to defend themselves. I also worry that it shifts the focus and energy from the real causes of crime, to guns.