|Civic Satisfaction||For all who want to "do something,"|
this central nexus of the active community.
Some gun owners need some socialization. To connect and mature, ask all gun owners to join a militia, gun or hunting club. Then regulations can complement partial gun bans. Even gun owners will become allies since gun ownership is dropping.
Hunter-Safety classes slash accidents. Education mollifies even gun-haters. You don’t point guns at people and I would ask that kids don’t point toy-guns at non-players. More germane, your target’s less important than what is behind your target, because you miss. Gun Culture links guns with camaraderie, safety, service and protecting the innocent rather than mayhem. With gun ownership dropping, clubs collect and preserve mature culture.
Militias who work on tactics should liaise with military or Guard. Hunters have Fish and Wildlife as liaison. Home protection now surpasses hunting and should liaise with police. All militias liaise with some authority for education and to allay fears.
To allay fears government will seize guns, militias help on background checks, supply a character reference and keep gun and education records. Discount background check fees for recognized club members.
Militias are scary. Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch militias terrify. Even mandating democratic organizations won’t fully block rich-guy subsidies. Gun-shop aligned militias may clarify these rules.
Yet, Tim McVeigh failed to incite right wing and religious militants. What if a fellow member asked James Holmes, “why the arsenal and what will you study now?” or asked Eric and Dylan, “what the hell are you doing and can I give you some advice on bullies?”
Maturate all gun owners. What gun bans can’t do, militia regulations can.
For some time now I’ve been thinking that a growth in the militia and gun club membership is an easy way for them to forge the rules as we move to eventually mandate membership. We may easily discount background check fees for members and more with a character reference. Probably, we should peg members with character reference and education at cost plus, as much as double that without the character reference and education record, and as much as double that again without membership.
Reading The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know, Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss, 2014 Oxford University Press. First half was fairly dry, but then more interesting. Reminded that the staggered nature of a militia and club growth, then staggered states mandating membership aligns a great longitudinal study of membership affects on various crime rates across economies and other historical events.
Does the fear of using militias, gun clubs and hunting clubs to socialize gun owners outweigh the utility?
Some Gun Owners Really Need Socialization
A 3rd Way Between Gun Control and Owners’ Rights
Some gun owners really need some socialization. Yet to socialize the immature takes like minds meeting. They could use some social contact with like minded but more mature gun owners. Perhaps we should mandate that anyone who owns a gun must join a militia or hunting club. I bet I’ve just shocked several friends, and I’m speculating, but think it through. To own a gun or buy a new gun, you must be a militia member first. Socializing can be the regulation basis that complements our partial gun bans.
We need to balance gun control and gun ownership with the regulation of militias that flesh out this idea, or find points sharp enough to burst this bubble. Partly scary, yet the idea might have legs. Can we socialize current gun culture to match the rest of the world with gun bans or better? Or do we return to bans. Or do I rush in where angels fear to tread?
Denver’s own Highlander Boys, the inspiration for Boy Scouts, afforded me enough Marksmanship shooting, along with some small game and skeet with family and friends, to keep me comfortable around guns without becoming an enthusiast. Living mostly urban, I’ve never wanted to own a gun, though I built a wilderness living school, still fish, badly, and camp. So I’m easy with interested kids learning with experts at their parents militia, or with their parents permission. As a teacher and researcher in education, math, psychology and social systems, and an activist, I do think about elephants in the room. When massacres and subsequent talk of magazine and assault weapons bans lead to massive gun sales, I know we need to quit ignoring the elephant and balance the interests from people who hate or abhor guns, to people who are a bit too enthused, and the majority in between. I’m much calmer when a driver is calm and when a shooter is calm.
Along with socialization and maturity, education is a key. Hunter Safety classes cut way down on accidents. Most people have no problem with hunting, though we do need to increase our herds and balance them with the earth, but that’s another subject. Most states require hunter safety classes, often include First Aid and First Aid of gunshot wounds. Any militia member should know what to do if he is hit or a buddy is hit. Also a little empathy can go a long way. Old soldiers fight hardest for peace. Education is a major bulwark against stupid or emotionally laded harm, and appropriate in a democracy.
Where and how your store your gun needs education, and sometimes gets boringly redundant. Revolutionary War guns needed special storage to keep powder dry and metal from rusting, which was easier as a group, a militia or hunting club. Is that so much different than sharing education on how to clean, care and safe modern guns? In peaceful times, a militia headquarters, office or club site can be an easier place to store weapons than carrying them back and forth? Does an urban militia, perhaps focused on self-defense, own or gather at a shooting range, perhaps rent time at a police range?
Everyone knows that you don’t point a gun at people unless you are willing to shoot them. I’d extend this to play, where kids don’t point toy guns at people who aren’t playing - only the ‘bad guys.’ If you don’t let your kids play with guns you may still clarify that if they do when you’re not around, they will not point toy guns at others, or you’ll shoot them. Building a culture of gun safety needs humor.
More germane is that your target is less important that what’s behind your target. You know from the gun range that you miss. This is gun culture and gun safety, and begins the process of associating guns with safe use to counter the mayhem image of some gun careless. Only Hollywood actors and kids always hit their targets. Fantasy game masters roll the dice on every shot you take. Cops know to let anyone get away before they risk an innocent bystander. In most situations, cars and even houses are not worth most collars, the paperwork is huge and soon enough, you’ll get a better venue to capture the perpetrator. So part of education and gun culture is how to protect the innocent. Safety culture and pride in protecting the innocent is the exact antidote for mayhem. Even protecting your home and loved ones, you better be able to account for every round, if only to show that you were in control of yourself. This is Gun Safety Culture, within Gun Culture.
Some people, like Bob Costas. speak of the ‘gun culture,’ but rarely look at how to enhance maturity. So, on the side and important, what did your grandpa teach you about gun culture? The military includes service as a strong component to their training. We need to include service and protection of innocents, family and more, and earth as strong components of gun culture. Where and how your store your gun needs education and gun culture may provide a way to get storage off the boring.
Pew Research says that overall gun ownership is dropping. Yet population is increasing. We have known for a long time that school violence has remained roughly stable for decades, only slightly influenced by good or bad times and very often a function of bullying, which I’ll get back to. The largest factor that has changed is the firepower available. Modern weapons are a lot more dangerous. Light enough for a kid. Education and gun safety culture are more important than ever. Else we go back to bans.
Second, I wonder if some of the older gun culture and its safety aspects haven’t been fragmented by the scarcity of gun owners. With less learning from family and friends, more of the wilder side of guns is not maturing, a factor leading to massacres perhaps? Grant this is also a good argument for gun bans. Yet by concentrating and connecting the remaining owners into militias and clubs, the all-important gun and safety culture is less likely to diffuse into ignorance and more likely to strengthen and mature.
If a militia really wants to work on tactics and strategy, as we typically think of militias, they should liaise with military or National Guard to get the real training. Even without guns, paintball and Risk enthusiasts, and historical reenactors will agree strategy and tactics education can be fun.
Hunter clubs should liaise with Fish and Wildlife, and Forestry. Beyond Hunter Safety Classes they do have many good hunters, outdoorsmen, trackers and environmental connections people who can tell you how this species looks for this to ripen. They might have some information on where the herds are.
Reminds me of a friend who insisted on bringing guns on a camping trip. A few of us hiked up the stream, as soon as camp was set, looking at the animal tracks and bear clawed trees. A shot rang out. Naturally, we froze, locating. It was about our camp. Another shot filled the valley. We were high enough up the valley to just see some large game heading for the ridges and the next valleys. Hunters know not to shoot until you have a good target, though some need even that education. We were only figuring to shoot targets so we shrugged it off, sad. Then we heard leaves tearing over our heads followed by the rifle report, and ducked. More tearing leaves and we ducked lower. More tearing leaves, and we rose and yelled back down. More tearing leaves. Of course he had the rifle next to his ear and couldn’t hear us way up the valley. With friends like this, who needs enemies? The issue arose several more times and somewhat soured that trip, though even I got some practice. Did I mention some gun owners really need some socialization? Don’t you love finding a dead beaver dam with beer cans, rifle and shotgun shells all around? Can Fish and Wildlife mark such a spot for cleanup and reintroduction? Mature hunters are a core of earth, environmental and wildlife groups, and are needed for perspective.
Home protection has surpassed hunting just in the last decade, according to Pew surveys, and such a militia or gun club should liaise with local or state police and perhaps share those town and inside-house shooting ranges. Might even help cops develop their in-house training, though waiting and negotiating generally do well. The case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman marks my case that some neighborhood watches need more education and training, liaised with local police and following their orders if they are going to carry guns.
Only in Hollywood would a neighborhood watch find an alien weapon. But they nailed it when the watch blasted the woods. I mean, I mean, you have to check it out. You and I would probably do the same, immature as it was – it was fun. Yet the real part of maturity is knowing that the first order of business is to get the feel of a weapon or any tool. Then you start working out how to blast stuff well. Then tactics and finally strategy. And many militias need to review those steps.
I wonder if anyone makes a ‘popper’ round that sounds like a cap gun and shoots a low velocity paper wad or mini wiffle ball to show that you just shot your wife’s favorite lamp rather than the militia friend playing burglar for you. The wiffle round should move straight and with no more harm than a bb, until it catches a specified lower speed, then drop. Different openness could control range, which is easier than speed for our purposes. Also adjust for Denver’s thin air, then drop. Stubby round with thin powder for any caliper and you can see through the holes to the solid back hollow that seals the charge. [Also you may pay me 10% for a worked out idea, thank you] While we need to dial down the tension and desperation in our society, we also need to acknowledge and train these fears.
The fun of shooting is right up there amidst home protection and hunting, again according to Pew surveys. Some folks just want targets, so their militias and clubs must clarify their purpose and amend as needed when members grow new interests or easily let folk shift to a more apt militia or club. If hunters also want home protection or home protection clubs also want urban tactics, there should be no reason they can’t liaise with several authorities. Liaised as in someone who can walk in and say, “Hey George, what the hell are you doing?” and not necessarily get shot. More likely invited to coffee since the speaker has also been a teacher.
Will Left and Right Wing militias watch each other? Will poor militias watch rich militias? If rich militias take their guns to church, we definitely have a problem. If a biker club forms a militia, is that double thunder? Will they work on shooting on the move, at moving targets? Yet like more peaceful bike clubs, who just love to ride, most militias will be just into their guns and shooting. If Mafia gunmen form a militia so they can buy guns, the police (?) liaisonship should be interesting, but might be a better tactic than convicting them for not paying taxes. We all know some militias will be little more than a cover to buy guns. Yet the potential for some growth and maturity, education, knowledge and experience exists, and some is better than now. Still this may be a point that bursts my militia bubble and returns us to bans.
Urban militias will need different regulations than rural, just as urban fowl and goat raising needs hygiene and containment rules that rural do not. So too ranges. Urban tactics are very different from historical reenactors.
All militias or clubs should liaise with some authority. They should provide a character reference, help confirm that this member is well trained when authorities run a background check, and maintain gun records for members. So too, if a person’s interests change and they shift to a new militia, their records come along.
The Pew surveys also point out that while the vast majority of gun owners agrees with gun regulations and background checks, few believe they will be effective. Yet that is my point: Militias and clubs with education and social contact would be much more effective. This mandate for the militia to compile members’ gun and education records is a key that makes this work by adding a responsibility to the militia and giving them records to wonder about why some members need an arsenal. Your records are in the hands of at least nominal friends. If police or other authorities want to search your records, they would need a warrant and thus evidence of wrongdoing. You would also have allies to back you up or advise you. Part of the background check to buy a gun would include inquiring with your militia or club that your have the character and education required to acquire this gun and forwarding the sale record of what transpired to your militia or club.
Mostly it means that, again, someone is looking at your records, seeing a huge arsenal and is in a position to say, “Hey George, what the hell are you doing?” and not necessarily get shot. More likely invited to coffee or, this time, beer. Collectors and their militias are different and maybe more mature than arsenal builders and manic enthusiasts.
Veterans discharge records, including weapons the vet is rated on, may always be forwarded to a militia or hunting club to cut repeating classes. Even a veteran rated on assault weapons may need some training in civilian milieu. A great many veterans keep a gun, though I know a former mercenary who say he wants to stay away from guns, and yet owns a 38 and a 9mm. By the way, we are seeing that people helping service is about the best cure for PTSD. Militias may provide a venue for many unfinished discussions. Most vets can still use tactics and strategy classes, and more First Aid than military gives.
Militias might also be a ready reserve if, like the new version of Red Dawn plots, those pesky North Koreans have taken out the military, National Guard and state and local police. When a militia or club come out unarmed to help search for a missing kid, they’ll be known as a large branch on the phone tree. The opposite is also true and even belligerence with an undrawn gun will act as proof to many that this militia experiment is not working, and we need to join most of the rest of this crowded planet in bans.
In the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment “A well regulated Militia,” meant they trained regularly, well trained and disciplined to be an effective fighting force, on orders. Yet, in this modern context, we do also mean that civilian militias must follow regulations, especially those of the authority they liaise with.
Militias are a scary subject. I don’t worry about right and left wing militias as much as a Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch sponsored militia. Modern US militias frequently are afraid of the rich, or the government the rich have co-opted. Militants of both Left and Right fear the rich and their government, too. Isn’t it nice when they agree? Indeed, many agree that we need to tax the rich and secure the stability of the 99%, and that stability would go a long way to ease their fears and their need to mobilize. So maybe recognizing and regulating militias is a key, to involve and mature these most militant.
Even mandating democratic organizations won’t fully block the power of rich guy subsidies. Though, full democracy is the final key. Yet, don’t forget that Caribbean pirates were more directly democratic than our republic. And not to say that a gun shop, pawn, range or any other business can’t sponsor and maintain ties to a democratically run militia. Yet anyone who buys, sells or loans guns is a gun owner, and must comply with several levels of regulations.
My point stands though: Even now militias do talk about issues, educate themselves and discuss. Tim McVeigh tried to incite the right wing and religious militias, and failed. He knew them, traveled and stayed with them. Whether more mature heads prevailed, no clear objective or way out, or whatever, they did not rise. None of the recent slaughters would have happened if a fellow member had asked, James Holmes why he was building such an arsenal and “what you’re going to study now that CU is easing you out of that program?” Or asked Eric and Dylan “what the hell you are doing and can I give you some advice on bullies?” Can militias become a mature partner across the political and every other spectrum, or am I begging the question, since I started here?
We already know that bullies should be eyed by teachers and parents, but also by the more social kids, generally popular, who understand the need to organize with loners and shy kids. Well-socialized kids understand to push back exactly as hard as they are pushed, to show a strong response without escalating into worse. Like adults, kids who are bullied need to form groups, especially including more social, popular kids, who are more available than underpaid school faculty and staff. These groups are part of the socialization of the bullied. Many forget that bullies want to be popular but haven’t yet mastered the give and take of conversation, get frustrated and sometimes violent. Good place for roll playing.
Mostly bullies push loners and shy kids to see whether they’ll react violently or socially. Bullies are actually trying to understand why they aren’t popular. They’ll throw any line they can think of, any accusation, to see when people flinch and show vulnerability. They actually do observe well when they’re pushing, which is a strength that can be built upon. We teachers, parents, etc. are still getting better at this understanding. Watch out for kids who hurt animals, a very telling early sign of nascent bullies testing limits and how it feels to push around a very safe target.
Similarly, socializing bullies will often be a part of a militia’s hope. The Spartans and the Cossacks were where their peoples sent bullies and troubled kids to learn technique, discipline, hopefully control, and often religion. Ancient trick to channel and direct bullies. We often suspend sentence on bullies if they join the military. Martial arts training is another avenue. Bullies who own guns can use some gun culture and safety orientation before they unleash.
Ironically, the tribal and warlord militias of Libya were instrumental in securing their Arab Spring but then hindered the drive to democracy. Tribal and warlord militias are rarely democratic, though again, pirates and bandits are often democratic. Again the hope and the fear, and will we get the balance right? Yet we understand most of these dynamics.
The NRA always mentions defense of the nation, even while we are The Superpower. Fear mongering sells guns though the gun makers’ lobby started before we were a superpower, and history shows us that superpowers come and go. I already mentioned those pesky North Koreans. Remember too that while the Revolutionary War couldn’t have been won without the Continental Army, the larger weapon was the boycotts that drained British coffers.
So even as gun ownership drops, militias and clubs can provide a corps of understanding on the civilian side, which is a weak argument when some just want to go shooting. Still, when the NRA does videos on how this gun is good for shooting an assailant through your car door window, another is good for shooting through your own windshield and this one is good for shooting an assailant through your walls, we know they’re just trying to sell guns.
NRA LaPierre’s call for a national database of mentally ill probably started as a bully toss-off jab. Yet enough people flinched and so it became an attempt to divide the nation on an issue marginally related to guns, to make what he’s saying more complex appearing and divert attention from his hateful message. NRA also includes suppressing insurrection, I guess besides stopping those pesky North Koreans, but I’m not sure which side the NRA is on, or whether they want to sell guns to both sides. We need more articulate gun owners and gun safety speakers to balance the gun makers lobby.
Another NRA point startled me into chuckling at my own narrow view. The NRA also defends the right of people to organize a militia. I was chagrined to realize much of this can start without any legislation. Silly of me not to think of it earlier, but militias do exist and may form. Indeed, their existence and forms will help shape the rules that may become law if the independent gun owners organize. It’s a movement! Now lets sing a few bars of “Alice’s Restaurant”
Just as liberals and conservatives and the majority in the middle often keep each other honest in their balance, so do gun owners, gun haters and the majority in that middle. Please assess each point. Watch for points that are meant to muddy the waters. When you can’t quite wrap your head around an idea but it does raise emotions, it’s probably spacious, or time to craft a joke. Some points are a bit off but show the fears behind a slight mask. Some points are valid, though we need to weigh how important they are. Please assess this piece too.
Militias are easier to regulate than guns and without limiting gun owners’ ability to keep and bear arms. However roughly, local, state and federal government can see increased gun sales and with the help of liaisons and politicians eye for public sentiment see where problems need to be addressed before they grow further. Some politicians will try for one-sided fervor, while smarter pols will become mediators to solve the problems. Hey, it might even work.
Assault weapons really bring out non-owners fears. So do large magazines when we think about it. Why do they need all that firepower? If this is mostly play, do they have to do it with real weapons in situations where accidents are likely? This is where militias get scary. This is one of elephants in the room that gun owners ignore. Even in the Wild West a shooter wore a gun exposed in pride and shooting an unarmed person was very uncool, cowardly and illegal - gun culture - except for shooting First People, Mexicans, blacks and a few others. Rural gun carriers are visible in the window of a truck or car, or not handy in the trunk. Or are you trying to intimidate the unarmed? If we can’t mature the gun culture to sooth enough of those who fear guns, then we may have to go back to bans. That’s democracy.
Blacks and Latinos generally avoid guns. So proving education and safety culture to militias is key with blacks who remember their gun toting masters and perhaps with Latinos who remember marauders. Wide ranging groups share with many whites a distaste for having guns around and will have to be won over for many years. Many folk will just say No to guns, for all my logic and hope. Perhaps if cops want to speak with us inside our homes without a warrant, we can ask them to leave their guns outside. Balance.
Gun advocates love to point out that tyrants often try to collect all the weapons and then subjugate the people. Hence the current run on guns, before more bans. While blown way out of proportion, historical bans led to boxing and savate in the west, the martial arts of the east, more around the world, and then to exercise and sport techniques. Kung Fu teachers say that in the time spent learning to master any weapon, you can learn to take the weapon away from an opponent. More to the point, education and training are keys that lead to better safety. Prove to the experts that you know how to handle, clean, safe and care for a weapon and its wounds, know the safety, tactics and strategies of a weapon, and I’ll feel a lot better about letting you buy it. Again, keep gun and education records in militia and club hands to ground fears of gun roundups.
So, for those who fear guns around them we point out that since we can’t regulate guns well, yet we can regulate the hell out of militias. Responsible gun owners cringe when they hear of another massacre. For gun enthusiasts and those who fear someone wants to take all the guns away, we offer militias and clubs who are part of the background check loop and who will keep the gun records. When a militia or club is well regulated, in the older sense, and back up the police, even some who fear guns may start to quell their objections. I still don’t like guns in theaters, my classroom or other gatherings with non-gun agendas.
Much of the military and police have historically opposed militias, but with budget or fees to liaise with militias and clubs, and especially input into training, they might strengthen their own place and mission. Indeed, police are a militia already. Modern data indicates that cross training of different units and even with Emergency Medical Technicians, fire and state police can increase the depth of understanding, improve performance and like all education, stop problems before they start. Perhaps the move toward militias and their democracy of training will give cops more say in their training, a move the Brotherhood would like. More choice in training and career path and especially working with civilian militias might even inspire some cops to refuse to beat a civilian who mouthed off.
I expect most militias and gun clubs will be non-profit, and we might make non-profit a requirement. Always seems a democratic way to go. Again, I can easily imagine a shooting range, gun smith, gun or sport shop or pawn will sponsor a militia or club, partly as a local expert and partly expecting patronage. I can also imagine a democratic militia funding itself with non-member or other militias access to a shooting range or shop their collection of guns. Often a member discount is easier.
I always advise against profits and non-profits offering below cost items to managers or anyone. The great folk who helped build an organization can usually be trusted not to abuse the privilege, but later generations of leaders may find the perk just a little too temping or biasing. Not all the organizations I’ve helped build have followed this advice and some contention has arisen.
In the late 1970s we finally started to tease out major principles of classroom management. Note that classroom management is different from teaching and learning. Classroom management is avoiding the disruptions that interfere with learning. Later I understand these also came out in business and organizational management.
Clarity of rules
On the other hand they turn into a joke when we think about legislation and government. Clarity in law and governance is a joke. Consistency is a joke until you look at rich vs. poor justice or rich interest groups vs. the overly polled will of the people. While many levels of authority do care, without the first two principles they get short shrift. And some make jokes about the government causing problems. Yet, it’s not about whether we trust the government, as how we build a government we can trust.
And there’s a major elephant. Yet we all still speak of building a more perfect union. Well, the radical left says, “Tear it all down.” I say that violence is the last resort of the incompetent. Well, the radical right calls for shrinking the government down until we can flush it down the toilet. Yet that toilet is hooked to a municipal sewage system. And the center is quiet, too quiet. The ironies abound. Still, perhaps the militia as a nexus of people’s groups within our democracy will help build a better government that is worthy of trust, because we built it that way.
While we’re talking a very democratic base of militias and clubs, we are also talking about liaising with authorities and major regulations. Add that over the last few hundred years we have seen more clarity, more consistency, more caring and more problems stopped before they got completely out of hand. At historic levels, things are getting better. Two steps forward and one step back?
So maybe this is a chance for the moderate right to speak more of their own thinking, for the moderate left to meet with equal force but not more, and the center to call the balance. Maybe this is a time to edit both the talking points and the media articles, maybe through social media and meetings of people with ideas. Can we clarify more law? Have we reached enough education to tackle this unresolved gun issue that has lingered since the Constitution was written?
Part of the reason to open the clarity and people speaking issue is one knothole that could jam the works. Security guards are not at all the same as police. Not all wear guns but some do, generally for slightly better pay. Many perform vital services and make a career. Many are the very few night watchmen seen as important but rarely seen unless trouble erupts. On the lowest end many are grossly underpaid for long, boring hours and bosses who are nasty and greedy enough to dock them for trivia. I’ve known a few who were too poor and desperate for any job to object. On a different continuum we get the armed bullyboys of Pinkerton’s infamous past, who beat or killed as instructed and stole peoples’ land. No different than the palace guard of old. Private investigators are as varied as the authors who tell their stories.
Military and police and all the other professionals have training in their budget and won’t be affected much at all. Most can fairly well call the training they want beyond certain minimums, so whether or not a militia is officially formed within these forces will make little difference. Actually reputable guard services mostly include training in their budget. I used to know several security guards but I’ve lost contact with all of them and so I’ll leave this tentative. Looks like we may have to say that if you are paid to carry a gun, even an issued gun, your employer must pay your training or militia dues. I’m not sure why this feels a bit jagged to me.
For similar reasons as rich guy militias, democracy might be a saving grace for security guard militias. Still, desperate folk in low paying security companies won’t dare speak up for fear of their job, even in a supposedly democratic militia. At least I can’t see militias making things worse. While I’d love to get rid of desperation jobs, ironically, militias seem easier at this point.
Another concern I have is neighborhood watches that this militia discussion may embolden to carry guns before education and training are sufficient. We could see fiascos worse than Zimmerman and Martin. Again, education and train safety culture before you may buy.
Make my day or stand your ground laws generally feel good but seem to have been used as a way out of what should be murder. They get really absurd when an intended victim feels he or she can’t walk away.
I prefer the old open carry to concealed carry, but we’ll probably have to develop militias before sneaking guns around gets opened.
Europe, Australia and Asia’s gun bans have deeply cut gun violence and suicides. Will our balanced militias do better? We’ll certainly get talk of those crazy Americans. If this Gun Social Experiment does not work as well as the rest of the world, then we need to expand our bans. We see results in a decade and we may take a generation or two to fully level out gun violence and misuse rates. Happiness and satisfaction are also important scales. Still the militia idea continues to take on flesh. Leadership will be needed to more than mouth talking points. Results will tell whether militias or bans will work better. Just as we built a democracy without royally to keep folk under control, and a slightly freer economy, can we include a gun culture when we no longer have a frontier, slaves to control and First People to displace?
Gun Social, as a name, crosses these two continua. Still kind of a clumsy name. Should I have called it Militia Experiment, or Gun Social Educate Liaise Character Records Democracy Culture Mandate Experiment? It’s so crazy it might work, or burst the bubble? I know it’s a lot to take in at once, but do get back to me. All are invited.
Psychologically, sociologically, politically and democratically militias have legs. Politically some major divisive forces who want folk distracted with salient controversies to cover their actions and profit taking, will mount well funded smoke and mirrors. Yet Gun Social crosses many of the usual divisive lines. Keep your eyes open. Just as hunters are an important part of the environmental movement, militia members should help balance between gun haters and gun makers. Might even get some better guns made.
Again, militias are a scary idea. If you can think of other ways to socialize and mature the gun owners in need, do let me know. You must play with fire and ice to make industry and balance? Is this a reasonable set of regulations to build trust with gun owners, rebuild gun culture to protect and actually work with the gun bans?
I’ve been surprised at others thinking along the same lines, all gun owners must belong to a well-regulated militia. Socializing enthusiasts, education and culture, liaison, friendly records, and democracy are key elements if we are to keep guns in a crowded democratic society without massacres. Can we turn this polarizing issue into unity across all our spectra? Maybe grudging acceptance?
‘We’ll give up our assault weapons when the rich are controlled by taxes and the economy stabilizes.’
Some gun owners really need some socialization. To bring these in social contact with like minded but more mature owners we could mandate that anyone who owns a gun must join a militia or hunting club. Then we need to balance gun control and gun ownership with the regulation of militias that flesh out the idea, or find holes that burst this bubble. Militia regulations should complement our partial gun bans.
Education is one key. Hunter Safety classes cut way down on accidents. Everyone knows that you don’t point a gun at anyone unless you are willing to shoot them. I’d extend this to play, where kids don’t point toy guns at people who aren’t playing - only the ‘bad guys.’
More germane is that your target is less important that what is behind your target. You know from the firing range that you miss. This is Gun Safety culture, which associates guns with camaraderie, safety, service and protecting the innocent, rather than mayhem. With gun ownership dropping, we can collect and connect the owners to preserve mature gun culture.
The military includes service as a strong component to their training. Likewise, we need to include service and protection of the earth, innocents, as well as family and more, as strong, growing components of gun culture. Boring but germane topics like gun storage should blossom with gun culture.
If a militia really want to work on tactics and strategy, they should liaise with military or National Guard. Hunter clubs have Fish and Wildlife, and Forestry as liaison. Protection has surpassed hunting in the last decade and this gun club should liaise with local or state police and perhaps share those town and house shooting ranges. All militias or clubs should liaise with some authority.
To allay fears of government seizing guns militias should hold members’ records of gun buys and education. Then when authorities run a background check for a new gun buy, you have a friendly but knowledgeable aide to provide a character reference and from records confirm you are well trained. They may see a search warrant if a member goes postal, or just does something stupid. This is not precisely the original meaning of “A well regulated Militia,” but it should be the modern version.
Militias are a scary subject. I don’t worry about religious, right and left wing militias as much as a Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch sponsored militia. Even mandating democratic organizations won’t fully block the power of rich guy subsidies. And not to say that a business can’t sponsor a democratically run militia, but anyone who loans guns is a gun owner and must comply with several levels. If a bike club forms a militia, is that double thunder and do they liaise with the state police or highway patrol? If Mafia gunmen form a militia, the police liaisonship should be interesting, but might be a better tactic than convicting them for not paying taxes.
Yet, Tim McVeigh tried to incite the right wing and religious militants, and failed. He knew them. Whether more mature heads prevailed, no clear objective or way out, or whatever, they did not rise. None of the recent slaughters would have happened if a fellow member had asked, James Holmes why he was building such an arsenal and “what you’re going to study now,” or asked Eric and Dylan, “what the hell you are doing and can I give you some advice on bullies?” Can militias become a mature partner across the political spectrum, or am I begging the question, since I started here? Contrarily, the tribal and warlord militias of Libya were instrumental in securing their Arab Spring and then hindered the drive to democracy. Again the hope and the fear, and will we get the balance right?
Can we blend these regulations with our partial gun bans to make a working system that will compete or top the record of the banning world? Gun Social crosses these two continua, guns and maturity. It’s so crazy it might work… or burst the bubble? All are invited.