Firearms / Personal Defense

Gun Culture 2.0 in a Nutshell

In a recent appearance on the Polite Society Podcast (episode 399, 2/5/17), Sean Maloney, founder of Second Call Defense, gave a very succinct summary of the transition from Gun Culture 1.0 to Gun Culture 2.0:

“The NRA is changing, our demographic is changing, and the people that are carrying guns in America are changing. They don’t care about the 300 meter shot at Camp Perry anymore. They care about the 3 foot shot in the dark, at night.”

Screen cap of Second Call Defense home page (



9 thoughts on “Gun Culture 2.0 in a Nutshell

  1. Its certainly good to be detached and study the culture as it evolves from 1.0 to 2.0. One also has to ask if 2.0 is logical from a hazard analysis point of view. I know of people in my town who arm themselves against crime when violent crime is so rare you have to be a historian to keep track of it. At what point are people believing a mythology rather than data?

    I think it was on where it was reported recently that most of the permit applications were from some of the safest parts of Chicago and few were from the parts of the city where you might actually be likely to run into someone against whom you needed to defend yourself or your home. There is a sociological study to be done….

    I’m still a 1.0 guy and find the evolution to “its every man for himself, so lock and load” to be a rather extreme position. Not that I am opposed to armed self defense. I just wonder if the conversation is grounded in reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Or as David once said, “…Of course, the very low likelihood of being a victim of homicide not only argues against excessive concerns about the availability of guns to anyone other than criminals, it can also be an argument against the need for private citizens to keep guns in their home for self-defense or to arm themselves in public by carrying concealed firearms. Why some people do this despite the very low odds that they will need to shoot another person in self-defense will be the subject of a later entry on the issue of risk and risk assessment.”

      I’ll have to dig out that later entry after work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Low odds don’t mean no odds. The odds are low you’ll be attacked by a shark, but the reasonable precautions against that possible eventuality have essentially zero cost.

        Objectively, for people who follow safe gun handling and storage practices, and who are not in any of the know risk categories for misuse, the risk of harm from gun ownership and even carry -also- approaches zero. So why not own and carry?


      • If one likes guns and wants to carry, that is their decision. But the notion that one is unsafe if one is not carrying needs to be quantified if one is to make an informed decision on whether to spend the time and money on a decent handgun and the training/legal requirements to carry it in public.

        The Internet is a blessing and a curse. I’m an officer in my state bicycling organization and a fair number of people will not bicycle because “it is too dangerous” in part decided on the basis of reading internet stories of crashes. But factually, the deaths in cycling per exposure hour are about the same as for driving. Its really NOT dangerous on general statistical analysis, but people make decisions on bad information. In reality, its a lot like crime. If you are in a high risk neighborhood and associated with people who stand a high risk of being shot (based on Papachristos et al work) they you need to worry about being shot. If you ride your bike in high risk situations then you need to worry about being hit. Both high risk situations call for analysis and risk reduction.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, and I’m not making the argument that anyone is “unsafe” if they choose not to be armed, or carry. In fact, I think those that do make that argument are wrong -and- misstating the actual valid point; that for any given having “X,” having it simply gives you options you don’t have without it. That applies to headlamps on bikes and safe riding classes as much as to gun ownership.

        I do disagree philosophically with starting from an implicit if you don’t “need” a given thing on some sort of utilitarian calculus it isn’t worth it, though. As you say, there are many reasons not directly related to mere risk one might want to be armed, and see being armed as a net personal and social good.

        The proper calculus, in my opinion, and personal and political philosophy, is the “default mindset” for free people should be liberty. Feel free to do something, in fact default to doing something, unless and until there is overwhelming reason for you in particular -not- to. Again, just my philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with your personal calculus. It should be a matter of choice. But like a lot of things, I think some thinking should go into the choice. I might choose to get a CHL license not because I think I need one to be safe in my town, but because I simply wanted to exercise my option to get it. If the question was whether I thought it was more important to pay for a new computer for my kid (if I had one) vs. buy a handgun for self protection, and I could not afford both, then in my case, the new computer would take precedence. If I felt the gun was an urgent safety requirement based on different personal circumstance, then my decision might be different.

        I think there is a bit of a bunker mentality going on with gun owners due to the fact that we are always under attack. We feel the need to find justifications for what we are doing rather than simply asserting that we have the right to do what we are doing and don’t need to justify it to anyone other than ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The permit situation in Chicago is not particularly informative, it is, in fact, typical, only moreso. In Illinois a FOID costs money and time, and a carry permit costs even more money and time. The law-abiding poor, those who live in the more risky areas, are of course disproportionately dissuaded from getting them. That was the point of most permit regimes in the first place, to keep “them” disarmed.

      Further, you have a culture distrustful of police in that community, who interact with police more often thus with greater potential for a lawfully armed persons interaction to go sideways (especially with Chicago’s known police problems of corruption, violence, and unfamiliarity with lawful gun ownership and carry). You have their political and religious leaders subservient to the political machine (which in turn appears to have some questionable ties to the organized gangs) who speak out against gun ownership as immoral, if not evil.

      There is a study to be done, but it isn’t on any sort of rational assessment of risk, but rather why those rational assessments are so often actively and deliberately interfered with by the powers that be.


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