‘Diversity’ No Guarantee for Enhancing Second Amendment Recognition

Gun owner celebrations notwithstanding, the emphasis is not on Founding intent for the Second Amendment. (Gun Culture 2.0/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)-“Through study and personal experience, I am trying to understand what Michael Bane calls ‘Gun Culture 2.0.’” Wake Forest University Professor of Sociology David Yamane explains on his blog of the same name. “According to Bane, the center of gravity of American gun culture has shifted from Gun Culture 1.0 — based in hunting and recreational/sport shooting — to Gun Culture 2.0 — based in concealed carry and armed self-defense.”

To elaborate, Yamane has posted a series of what he has titled “Light over Heat” videos, two especially relevant to this discussion being “Gun Owner Diversity and the Changing Face of Gun Owners Today,” and “What is Gun Culture 2.0?

In the first, Prof. Yamane presents some interesting numbers in light of the excitement many in the gun industry and gun advocacy camps have expressed about the millions of new gun owners that they perceive as having joined their ranks through first-time purchases. Of these new owners, most coming from previously “gun-free” households, 48% are female, 21% black, and 19% Hispanic. Additionally, 35% live in urban areas, and 61% bought handguns only.

This might be a good time to ask “How do they vote?” before uncorking the champagne. We pretty much have those numbers, and they pretty much tell us we shouldn’t expect a sea change break with the Democrat Party and its “gun control” platform. Guns are simply not the most important identity or political priority for them. They don’t see a problem with that platform as articulated for them by their preferred political leaders and media outlets.

Yamane expands on that in the second video, noting that in the scheme of things, from hunting, sport shooting, competitions, collecting, and self-defense, “Second Amendment advocacy” is a “subculture,” that is not the “center of gravity.”

Yamane elaborated in a podcast interview with Brady United (yes, that Brady), where he said:

“[G]un ownership is not at all part of how they see themselves. You know, I think there’s a lot of excitement among, the gun rights community when they saw all these new people buying guns, but there’s no necessary connection between them buying a gun, them developing a gun owner identity, and then … becoming activated as a gun owner politically.”

I wish he were wrong, but experience says he’s not, and the divisions in the “gun culture” are more than just between longtime gun owners and the “noobs.” There’s also the rift between activists and the “Fudds” that goes beyond the choice of shotgun or Evil Black Rifle and divides politically, with groups like Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden, Gifford’s Gun Owners for Safety, and what I called “Fudds for Chipman.” It’s reminiscent of Michael Bloomberg’s “Average Joe” campaign of a few years before, and the “Astroturf” American Hunters and Shooters Association before that.

What these groups do is feed the “responsible gun owner” meme, convincing those who haven’t looked at the implications of self-proclaimed “commonsense gun laws,” and at some of the more radical goals that the prohibitionists have waiting in the wings once prioritized “doable” hurdles are cleared. That’s not on the new gun owners’ radar, so Democrat platform platitudes (like “[I]t shouldn’t be easier to get a gun than a driver’s license. We believe we should ensure that guns don’t fall into the hands of terrorists”) don’t strike them as deliberate misdirection loaded with hidden traps.

I mean, who wants armed terrorists, right? That the “solution” might be something other than prior restraints imposed in secret and without due process doesn’t have to factor into things if the wrong questions are intentionally asked.

Back to Prof. Yamane, two other things he said point to a new strategy the “gun control” groups are employing designed to capitalize on influencing both new gun owners and the older “sporting purposes” crowd. The first is from his aforementioned blog:

“My approach to Gun Culture 2.0 is inspired by philosopher Baruch Spinoza: ‘I have sedulously endeavored not to laugh at human actions, nor to lament them, nor to detest them, but to understand them.’”

The second is from his Brady podcast interview:

“[F]or those people for whom it is an important part of their identity, you know, I think you want to recognize that if you suggest in any way that there’s some flaw with a person’s identity, or that their activities are somehow, you know, morally problematic, that that cuts to the core of their sense of who they are. Whether it’s, their gun ownership status, or any other activity that they partake in. So, that’s where, where the identity part comes in. Because, again, at the start, I said that the important part of understanding sociology of guns and gun culture is that the vast majority of guns and gun owners are not engaging in harmful problematic activities. And so, if in trying to target those who are, we include the others under that same umbrella, then those people are simply going to recoil from that. They don’t want to be painted with that same broad brush.”

This goes to the heart of a strategy being promoted by a new group that calls itself “97 percent,” and claims:

“97 percent is a bipartisan group of gun owners and non-gun owners representing the vast majority of Americans who believe in gun safety and responsible gun ownership. 97 percent is taking back the conversation from the extreme voices in the gun debate. Working with everyday Americans, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, 97percent is identifying pragmatic solutions to reduce gun violence in America.”

Essentially, they’re pushing the same load as the other grabber groups but being more polite about it.

Meanwhile, the unrestrained and impulsive other hand is out there calling gun owners terrorists, and thinking themselves clever accusing and then ridiculing them of being underendowed. And the push to make incremental “progress” toward the documented end goal of a violence monopoly that they deny wanting continues. Just ask the founder of the Brady group, whose latter-day voices sound so “reasonable” in the Yamane interview:

We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest. . . .  [W]e’ll have to start working again to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again.  Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice.  Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. . . .  The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country.  The second problem is to get handguns registered.  The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition-except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors-totally illegal.” — Richard Harris, ‘A Reporter at Large: Handguns,’  New Yorker, July 26, 1976, at 53, 58 (quoting Pete Shields, founder of Handgun Control, Inc.) (boldface added, italics in original).”

Handguns, of course, are what the new folks who don’t know about any of this are buying.

In a way, it’s good that more people from across society are getting into some form of the “gun culture” because it’s more likely to stoke resentment and resistance if you’re trying to take something away from someone who has skin in the game. That said, joyous anticipation is unfounded, premature, and more than likely to disappoint.

If owning guns was all it took, we’d have no better pals than David Chipman and Lon Horiuchi.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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David, I think this is one of your most important paragraphs: ============================================== I wish he were wrong, but experience says he’s not, and the divisions in the “gun culture” are more than just between longtime gun owners and the “noobs.” There’s also the rift between activists and the “Fudds” that goes beyond the choice of shotgun or Evil Black Rifle and divides politically, with groups like Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden, Gifford’s Gun Owners for Safety, and what I called “Fudds for Chipman.” =================================== Sadly, for too many gun owners, Guns == good Weapons == bad Keep and Bear Arms… Read more »


True. Entitlement is key to understanding the neurologically driven reactions of Progressive New Left types. Mark and Gabby Giffords shoot their AR-15’s on their property in Tucson. That is because they are part of the ‘kewl kids’ and are entitled. Rednecks like me up here in the canyons of Northern Arizona, not ‘kewl kids’ in the Progressive New Left tribe hence no guns. Were it not for double standards the Progressive New Left would have no standards at all.


sad the nut case did not finish her, need to outlaw privet army’s like bloomberg has for protection make him defend himself. he would never go out in public, become a recluse…good for US

Wild Bill

Mark and Gabby Giffords shoot!!?? I did not know that. How elitist of them.


Mark found somebody that would sell him a gun? Awesome!


It is unfair and unreasonable to expect the products of American Public Schools to react to any philosophical question with reason. Since the early 1970’s critical thinking has been displaced by critical theory. Young people are no longer taught the disciplines of expository writing and speaking, they no longer learn the discipline of structured debate and no longer learn formal logic as the foundation of critical thinking skills. In lieu of that classically liberal education kids are taught to lead with emotion, shout down and turn away from contrary notions and are taught to seek privilege. Many new gun owners… Read more »


you can still debate them, i do it all the time, and it is fun. phrase it as a moral question, it gets them thinking. why do you think you have the moral authority to tell me how i am able to defend myself of family against someone who is attempting to harm us? are you going to ensure i cannot be harmed? if they speak out forcefully on the subject and don’t want to debate me/engage in dialogue, i just laugh, shake my head and walk away. they are closed minded. remember facts and data has no relevance in… Read more »


there are a lot of close minded people, often mistaken for self centered; we have some that post or down vote here!

Wild Bill

Critical thinkers might ask themselves, “What is really being voted against, here?”


why do you think you have the moral authority to tell me how i am able to defend myself of family against someone who is attempting to harm us?”

“Because I have a ‘right’ not to be afraid. Because I have a ‘right’ not to be murdered. Me, me, me.”

You can’t argue with these people. To quote our scattered old pal James Brady, “it’s like barking up a dead dog’s butt.”


are you old enough to remember critical thinking and debate as classes in high school? thought I was one of the last trexes here

Wild Bill

What are “trexes”?


The matter is pretty simple. Women, blacks and Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Democrats because at best gun rights are a distant secondary issue for them. The only group that reliably votes with the 2A as a signature issue are White men.


You have not met my wife.

Wild Bill

Mine, either.


i think that is changing or is going to change. people don’t look very far from themselves, but with the state of the nation the way it is today that is changing, they are focused more outwards. possibly, because it affects them personally. hopefully, they see our freedoms being stripped away by governmental entities and big corporations.


they have been lied to so much they believe it rather than look into weather something is true or not, Repeat it enough and they believe it. sad truth is most conservatives live by if you dont have something nice to say dont say anything, demoncrats sling lies and rather than trash them with the truth did anyone ask hillery how much she liked working on Wallace for president ..no I lived by the no mud moral for most of my life no lies ever another reason I got out of le they expect you to lie always


Hmmmm……”Diversity”…….always struck me as Liberalism concept for “Dilution” of any trait related to traditional American values.


Two ways of looking at this. One is that non-rabid liberals buying guns will ultimately improve the national dialog on guns once they have some direct, personal experience with getting screwed by new laws that their side claimed were “strictly common sense.” Of course, this won’t happen tomorrow — more like 10 to 20 years out, which is beyond the horizon that we need to survive politically. (According to the globular warminists, the earth will be dead by then anyway.) And secondly, it requires these people to actually realize that the new laws are making them felons, which the vast… Read more »


I agree, but even a simplified categorization of firearm owners includes four categories:

1) Democrats/Socialists/Communists

The rest are split between:
2) Fudds
3) Statists (who like many aspects of socialism, but say they don’t like socialism and who worship all state/local GLEs – even those in NYC)
4) Freedom-loving Americans who don’t make apologies for oppressors

Note: many of the statists were fudds not that long ago, they also thought G.W. Bush was a righteous dude and still believe John McCain was a hero.


True story. Most are products of public education. Critical thinking skills not present.


It is not socialism they worship, Sweden and Switzerland are socialist and almost everyone is armed, these people worship a police state where they are in control


The people I was referring to worship Gun Law Enforcers.