Quantcast
Connect with us

Emotional vulnerability that is at the source of male gun ownership explored in new documentary

Published

on

On the surface, the gun debate almost appears on the surface to be a debate between men and women, as Moms Against Gun Violence dominates the anti-NRA conversation. It’s given the pro-gun argument a twinge of masculinity at the heart of gun culture, but it’s taken out of the debate about gun violence.

A short Washington Post documentary explores the statistic that more than 80 percent of the mass shootings, suicides with a gun and homicides with a gun are committed by men.

ADVERTISEMENT

“American masculinity is closely tied to gun culture and violence, but is rarely discussed,” The Post wrote in its teaser about the documentary. “As traditional masculine expectations are being challenged in Hollywood, politics, advertising and beyond, some gun policy experts are asking, is it time for this examination to reach gun culture?”

Whether it’s violence against men, rural or urban, homicide or suicide, men are disproportionately represented. Men as a whole are five times more likely to own a gun than women, the documentary cites. While both men and women include “protection” as a reason to own a gun, most women list it as the sole reason for having one.

(Photo: Screen capture from Washington Post documentary)

Scott Melzer, Professor of sociology at Albion College remarked in the documentary that when mass shootings occur Americans seek easy fixes like fixing mental healthcare or fixing the gun show loophole, but fixing the way we view boys and men with guns is never part of the conversation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Josh Cast is one of the founders of FourGuysGuns, a YouTube show that gives tips, tricks, product reviews and more to men about guns. He noted in an interview that masculinity is not the focal point, but it’s certainly where other men get their knowledge and experience from when entering the gun culture.

He explained that a lot of people assume he and other men in the pro-gun movement are viewed as, “right-wing, anti-everything” and “I don’t have a large penis if I don’t have a gun.”

However, he also admitted that guns also play into his identity “with, kind of, my gender role,” he said. Noting that “genetically” there are “caregivers and worriers.” He hates the label the NRA ascribes to its members and to gun owners. He was just as horrified by the school shootings as others and wants to see action to stop school shootings.

ADVERTISEMENT

Melzer explained that for men, guns are a symbol of protection and providing. He said that the idea of masculinity surrounds men being in control, powerful, independent, tough and strong. His research partner, Jennifer Carlson, professor of sociology at the University of Arizona, agreed, saying it all adds together for a “recipe about how to be a good man.”

He said that when society expects men to be “dominant, powerful, in control, in charge, to not give in,” we’re setting them up for acts of violence when they feel like they are not in control. The vast majority of mass shooters seek some form of fame, which they feel will prove they are masculine and strong. They tend to be white, heterosexual men who have experienced “downward mobility” in their lives, the documentary states. They then often find someone to blame for their problems and lash out.

Rob Pincus, executive vice president of Second Amendment Organization explained that many men grew up with an image of manliness being associated with guns.

ADVERTISEMENT

While Pincus is an avid gun owner and teaches defense, he’s also a radical opponent of the NRA. In the 2019 convention, he criticized the group for their lack of transparency and for only representing “certain types” of gun owners. He said that they pander to one particular demographic. He went on to say that the NRA helps perpetuate the stigma of gun ownership by associating gun ownership with “a scared, angry, fearful person.”

Melzer described the NRA position as being about both victims and heroes, who believe that if they are regulated in any way then they will lose all of their rights and freedoms.

Laurinda Bellinger, Chapter President of Well Armed Women, said that most women she teaches are coming out of domestic violence situations or are fearful for one reason or another. She said that guns aren’t even made to accommodate women’s hands, so they often need extra training to help with learning to use them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Professor Carlson explained that it’s a lot easier to blame the object and fight the war against it rather than to deal with the psychology and vulnerability which is actually at the source of gun culture. Until we do, however, America will never fully resolve the gun problems.

Watch the full documentary at The Washington Post or in the video below.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Bill de Blasio learned of federal investigation — and suspended his 2020 bid the next day: report

Published

on

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that he was ending his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

There may have been more to the timing than previously reported.

"Federal election officials asked Mayor de Blasio for more information about his presidential campaign fundraising after he used a state political action committee to pay for expenses related to the bid – seemingly against the law," the New York Daily News reported Friday. "The Federal Election Commission demanded that de Blasio 2020 clarify a debt the campaign owed his NY Fairness PAC in a letter Thursday – the day before Hizzoner dropped out of the race."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

White House Counsel busted working to keep whistleblower report from Congress: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump's White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

"The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president," The Washington Post reported Friday. "The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Watch Ex-CIA official break down the ‘three crimes’ Trump committed if Ukraine scandal is true

Published

on

President Donald Trump could be charged with committing three federal crimes if the whistleblower reports involving the White House seeking campaign interference from Ukraine are correct.

MSNBC "Deadline: White House" anchor Nicolle Wallace interviewed Jeremy Bash on Friday -- and worried about the safety of the whistleblower.

"The stakes could not be any higher, the risk to his career -- or her career -- and reputation and perhaps legal standing could not be any higher for this whistleblower. That's why we’re glad to be joined by national security analyst, former chief of staff of the CIA and Department of Defense, someone I wanted to talk to about this story all week, Jeremy Bash," Wallace said.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image