It is impossible too, while writing a post about an extremely political topic, say I will remain completely unpolitical. But I’m going to do my best. I am going to try to write an unbiased post about American Gun Culture. Past, present, and future.
In the early 1700s, guns were a necessity, not a statement. Settlers needed guns to protect themselves and hunt. No one ever associated a gun with a statement. But in the 1770s, American colonial settlers became wary of the English Crown. Guns became a way of defending yourself. During the revolution, the so called “minute men” (named so because they could be battle ready in 1 minute) used muskets as a symbol of self defense and independence. Throughout rural America people began to think of guns as their right. This thought embodied itself in our constitution in the form of the 2nd Amendment. It, along with multiple other amendments, was a way of defining America as an independent nation.
Throughout the 1800’s Americans separated themselves increasingly from the “decadence” of old Europe. There was a potential in the new world. Guns were the outlet with which they shrugged off England, Spain and France. In 1803 they bought, explored, and occupied a massive chunk of the south in the Louisiana purchase, pushing the French out of North America. For a short period of time in the late 1700’s they thought of Britain as a possible ally; but in 1812 the British reminded them of it’s colonial ambitions with the war of 1812. The occupation of Washington broke their ties with the British. For 34 years their confidence grew until they fought their first war of aggression against another major power: Mexico.
Texas was and is the heart of American gun culture. It is the state which has always been the most pro-gun. They thought of the Mexicans as an extension of Spain, a decadent, rotting hulk of a nation trying to seize North America. Texas, at the time, was completely independent. It thought of even the United States as a possible aggressor and embodied the 2nd Amendment full-heartedly. Tension had been growing between Mexico and Texas for a long time, with the U.S. watching and waiting. Eventually, a political scuffle caused Mexico to invade Texas, and the U.S. in turn to invade Mexico. Despite it’s eventual entrance into the U.S, Texas still valued and still values an extreme sense of independence. And in 2022, that sense of independence is getting out of hand.
Guns weren’t very relevant to the individual citizen in America in the 20th century, but in the 2000’s, as assault rifles became cheap and easily accessible, the gun rights issue flared. Recently, it’s seems like we have another horrendous mass shooting every day; the issue is turning on the American right. Despite the fact that I am liberal, most of my life I have been fairly pro-gun, (I go to the range a few times a year.) But these recent shootings have made me realize that you REALLY don’t need to be able to buy an AR-15 at a Walmart. I understand that I probably have readers on both ends of the political spectrum; all I ask is that you consider how important the right of gun ownership is to you.