There has been alot of buzz on my social media lately about an opinion essay published by the Los Angeles Times by William Alexander. Alexander wrote about his experience as a 60-something liberal who has just gotten into guns and attended his first NRA annual meeting this spring.
Suffice to say he didn’t have a good time at the meeting. He concludes his essay with a question, “I returned home with a new question: Can one be a responsible, guiltless gun owner who keeps up his skills at the range, or does the mere act of joining the gun culture and economy, of bringing another weapon or two off the assembly line, make me complicit?” His answer: “Perhaps golf’s a better hobby, after all.”
Alexander is the latest old liberal white guy to try to understand American gun culture. He joins the likes of Dan Baum who wrote Gun Guys and Craig Whitney who wrote Living with Guns. His unique take is perhaps best captured in the biographical note that followed his essay: “William Alexander is working on a book about his indoctrination into America’s gun culture.”
Indoctrination. Interesting and telling choice of words.
Alexander’s essay about attending the NRA annual meeting for the first time made me think about my first NRA meeting, back in 2013. I have created a separate post in which I list and link every post I have written about the NRA annual meetings. Suffice to say my take on getting into gun culture as an old liberal differs quite a bit from Alexander’s.