As somebody that has lived in the northeast and in the south, I’ve learned a bit about the different cultures. Both regions and the people who live there, have their quirks and idiosyncrasies.
Interactions with people are different based upon situations. For example, the term “southern hospitality” lives up to the name. I’ve lived in Atlanta for nearly two years and when dealing with people at stores or restaurants, they truly are some of the nicest people. When they say, “Have a nice day!” they really mean it. In New York or New Jersey, you’ll get a terse, “Thank you” and that’s about it (for the most part).
However, people in the south, outside of their work environment are often pretty guarded. If you try to strike up a conversation with somebody at a park, you might be greeted with an odd look, a mumbled answer and that’s about it. In New York City, you can strike up a conversation with almost anybody and in minutes be talking like old friends.
Obviously, without stereotyping, it’s easy to see the two regions are different, culturally. We see it with entertainment, food, sports and more. A big area where the northeast and the south differ culturally (for the most part) is over firearms. Contrary to what many people believe, there is no “gun culture” rampant throughout the south. Having several or more firearms is common because people enjoy shooting different types of funs. Many of them are also hunters. Friends of mine own them. That being said, it’s not some weird kind of cult where everybody sits around talking all day about their guns. That’s nothing more than a goofy stereotype. For many, owning a bunch of guns is something they cannot understand and that’s fine. It happens.
Where the mindset goes off the rails however, is when you come across the attitude of the everyday northeastern left-wing liberal. Not only do they “not get” gun owners, their condescension is obvious and they’ll openly sneer at them. The attitude they have for gun owners was revealed recently by a Media Matters own, Oliver Willis. After he and I had a discussion about guns in the state of Maryland (for which I reminded him that despite such stringent gun laws, Baltimore, remains one of the most dangerous cities in the United States) , he dropped this on me:
@JayCaruso no, out of touch with the avg maryland voter, who isnt some gun nut compensating for something missing. @JeffQuinton
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) March 24, 2014
The “compensation” silliness is a familiar trope with the left. If a dude owns a lot of guns, the only “logical” explanation is that he has a small penis and has to find a way to deal with that.
I asked how this applies to women. It was largely a rhetorical question, but Oliver decided to answer with this howler:
@JayCaruso no, w women its the endless ads in gun magazines telling them some scary black guy is about to rape them
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) March 24, 2014
There you have it ladies. Apparently one day you just happened to walk past a magazine rack, pickup an issue of Guns & Ammo and when you started thumbing through it came across an ad from Smith & Wesson that implies you should buy one of their guns, otherwise some scary black guy is going to rape you!
Of course, Oliver was asked to offer said evidence of these “endless ads” but he never did. He couldn’t. Because he was full of it.
Let’s pretend for a moment such an ad did exist at some point in a firearms periodical. If so, MSNBC would have provided 24/7 coverage for a month. Media Matters themselves would have done everything they could to associate the ad with the NRA. It would be fodder for every left-wing publication there is on the Internet. That’s how you know he was just making stuff up.
That being said, the real issue here is not so much these nonsensical reasons about why people want to be gun owners but rather the overall attitude the left has for gun owners (and even for those, who like Charlie Cooke are not gun owners but have respect for the second amendment) in general. In the mind of the left, people who support gun rights are not people who respect the constitution, but instead, militant extremists always looking to hunt down the ‘New World Order’ and who don’t care if kids are gunned down in schools.
Their condescension has only gotten worse over the last 10 years and do you know why?
Because they have lost.
It is a debate they have lost. And they don’t like it. It started 10 years ago with the end of the 1994 “assault” weapons ban. It continued on in the states as more of them became carry states. The biggest blow came in June of 2008 when the Supreme Court ruled in Heller the second amendment, does indeed protect the individual, not collective right to own a firearm. In a stunning decision, even the 9th Circuit Court of appeals got it right, ruling that the state of California, denying people the right to carry firearms, violates the second amendment.
Since then, the left, with no shame whatsoever, has looked to capitalize politically on tragic mass shootings, arguing for more laws that would do nothing to prevent these crimes but would chip away at more second amendment protections. They’ve tried. And they have failed.
But they’ll keep trying. And for all of their talk about “the children” and “saving lives” and “common sense gun laws” keep in mind that from to time, the veil drops and their true feelings are revealed.
Keep that in mind.