So far, it seems like a slow news day, but because of this, I had an opportunity to read this revealing story in the NY Times about a bunch of paranoids buying slightly less hideous pants. The pants are a pair of chinos that have hidden compartments for a concealed weapon, but unlike most pants that have these kinds of compartments, they aren’t quite as baggy. Here are the pants:
So you can just imagine how miserable the previous options were. Not that it mattered that much, in my experience. The kind of douchenozzles who loved carrying everywhere also enjoyed the big, baggy pants that screamed “I conceal carry and I’m too much of a man for stupid girly stuff like looking like I try to look remotely attractive”. I suppose there was a point where that was unsustainable, and the need to at least be occasional presentable, if still broadcasting that you’re too manly to actually look good, had to come into play. Maybe for going to dinner on your wedding anniversary or something.
As you can tell, I’m not fond of this overbearing anxious masculinity that drives gun culture. It’s the platonic ideal of trying too hard.
This passage is rather important, I think:
Gun experts suggest that there are many reasons for the growth in the number of people with concealed-carry permits. They say it is partly due to a changing political and economic climate — gun owners are professing to want a feeling of control — and state laws certainly have made a difference.
I’m curious who these “gun experts” are, but not because I disagree with them. “Wanting a feeling of control” is a very nice way of describing “in a state of abject paranoia that manifests itself in fantasies that people are coming around every corner to kill you”. So why is this feeling on the rise? It certainly has nothing to do with actual fear of crime, since crime rates are down, not up. Like way down. No, the predominantly conservative white men that are deep into gun culture are feeling out of control for another reason. They see women and people of color slowly making gains in society, and they fear that they are losing their unearned dominance and control over society. So they buy a gun and carry it around to regain that sense of control and dominance. Sure, your wife has more of a right to leave you if she wants and you may have to compete with a black person for a job, but you can comfort yourself by feeling like you could just up and kill someone if the opportunity arises. Which it won’t, but you can fantasize about it all the time. Unfortunately for the rest of us, as the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin situaton demonstrates, for the occasional gun nut, merely fantasizing isn’t enough. The desperation to make the fantasy come true can occasionally lead to extreme measures.