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Response to Gravitycollapse (Original post)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 06:44 PM

89. Knives don't fill the same space in our culture guns do.


I think part of the gap in the conversation continues to be people thinking on one hand about how calm, level-headed people have firearms all around them, all the time, and there's relatively little risk of violence or accident. That's true enough.

But other people see an awful lot of demented thinking surrounding firearms, from pseudo-cops like Zimmerman to militias fantasizing that they can take out the Feds, to your basic idiot threatening to shoot the neighbor's dog or kids on his lawn. That's real too.

Someone handed me an NRA newsletter the other day to thumb through. Sandwiched between a couple of rants about Obama were miles of glossy ads for weapons for sale. I didn't see a single one that talked about advances in deer hunting technology. It was all "tactical" stuff, or handguns. All about the sexy violence available for sale. This is where the gun industry is coming from. Not "tools." Not hunting. They are selling a fantasy of personal power.

We -- not just 'gun nuts' -- but our culture as a whole, fetishize the idea of personal power and autonomous security through keeping and carrying guns. They're symbols of authority, competence, and indomitability. Not to everyone, maybe. But to too many for it not to be a problem.

Knives don't fit that fantasy. Nobody imagines they are a cop, or don't need the cops, or can put a stop to any crime in the area, or are going to war with the government, or will shock the world by wiping out a school or a church or a mall, because they're carrying a knife.

Sure, you get your occasional shirtless weirdo spinning a katana in an intersection now and then or collecting "dragon daggers" in Mom's basement, but it's not the same thing, and those cats are generally not going to wipe out a kindergarden.

It's not just "guns" we have a problem with here. It's the way we think about them. That's why all the comparisons to cars and knives and baseball bats are disingenuous crap. Those things aren't part of our particular violent psychosis here.

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LineReply Knives don't fill the same space in our culture guns do.
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