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National Self-Defense Day - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Dec. 9th, 2005

02:01 am - National Self-Defense Day

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In my opinion, U.S. citizens have generally greater access to guns primarily because we have a strong gun culture -- not because of the 2nd amendment (although it acts as a useful rallying point). Lot's of people grow up around guns, and think it's quite normal hunt, shoot, and defend themselves with guns. Unfortunately, that gun culture is fading in many parts of the U.S., as the country has become more urbanized, and fewer people grow up on farms. As a result, to more and more of the population, guns are scary, unfamiliar weapons, which should only be used by intensively trained, heavily regulated government workers. (Witness the recent ban on firearms in San Francisco).

How can we preserve and strengthen our gun culture?

In my opinion, we need to have more opportunities to expose people to guns, to show people that gun owners are safe, responsible citizens, to educate people about the proper use and value of guns. Perhaps we should have a National Self Defense Day? Maybe set up shooting gallery at the fairground? Have parades? Open carry pistols?

Does such a thing exist already?

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From:altamira16
Date:December 9th, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)
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I think there are likely open carry laws somewhere. I was more exposed to guns and gun culture when I was in Colorado than I ever have been in my life. It was interesting. Everyone wanted to go shooting at least once, and there were always some friends going to the shooting range. I find myself defending gun owners even though I am not one.

I remember the police arguing with some guy on the 16th Street Mall in Denver for having his gun sticking out of his pants.

I think there are a lot of people with a real fear of guns and having more exposed guns will bring the conversation to the table and allow them to discuss their fear of guns and if it is something they wish to overcome.

Also, I don't know if you know about meetin.org, but the local meetin crew seems to have a day at the hunting range on the regular list of events. This could get people involved who are curious.
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From:crasch
Date:December 9th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the link.

Perhaps we should take a page from gay activists. Rather than be discreet, we should be "loud and proud".
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From:pixelshim
Date:December 9th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
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How we can preserve and strengthen our gun culture

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From:crasch
Date:December 9th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
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What fun! Thanks.
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From:selfishgene
Date:December 9th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
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America, the Beautiful!
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From:perfection1144
Date:December 9th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC)
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I was lucky enough to grow up in a household full of guns. I have a lot of friends who started out very anti-gun until I took them to the range. Once they actually took the time to hear things from another point of view and learned to shoot, they all fell in love with it. Several even purchased their own guns after a few months of shooting mine.

I'm not sure how it would work, but I'd love to see some sort of program started in schools to expose kids to guns. Not where some cop shows his off, but where the kids can actually shoot one for themselves and become familiar with how they work. Maybe with BB guns or something relatively harmless.
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From:crasch
Date:December 9th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I agree. I'd love to see more gun programs in schools. I think the NRA has a curriculum for just such a purpose (Eddie the Eagle). But government schools are "least common denominator" institutions. If even a few parents stridently object (and they will), then the school administration is not likely to think it worth the hassle.
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From:lds
Date:December 9th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
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I don't know of any organized efforts to spread responsible, respectful culture (including ownership and use of guns), but I'm very committed to that goal anyway, so I'm working at it at a grass-roots level.

I recently bought one of these cheapie .22LR revolvers to play with, and for teaching gun neophytes how to shoot. My circle of friends, however, is largely comprised of gun owners, enthusiasts, or just people whose fathers taught them how to shoot and are not afraid of them anyway.

I suppose if there was to be an organized effort at it, I'd be interested. Keep us posted on what you find.
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From:knova
Date:December 9th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
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I've heard of people trying to get reporters to go out shooting, feeling like that's a good way to get the general public to not hear such slanted journalism about guns.

I've never shot a gun, (though I'd like to try, I've just never had the opportunity present itself), but I think I'm not biased against them like a lot of my friends based on my experience with archery (shooting and teaching). Maybe bows and arrows are a good way to transition people who are terrified about guns.

That being said I haven't gone out to a range in years. I've got to find one in LA.
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