November 28, 2011
I heard an ad for a gun Web site on the radio this morning. (They’re having their “cyber-Monday” sale.) I’ve never heard an ad for a gun Web site on the radio before. I wonder whether it’s a sign of a changing culture.
Certainly the different states’ laws have become much more congenial to concealed carry over the course of the last twenty-five years, as shown dramatically in this animated-GIF map from the Wikipedia article on the subject. Ohio’s own concealed-carry law was passed so recently that I remember when it happened.
Maybe a correction in the pro-gun direction was bound to happen. Maybe it was always strange and unsustainable for something that was a part of the lives of so many Americans—gun ownership—to be so alien, even repugnant, to so many others. Gallup reports that from 1960 to now, the fraction of Americans who “have a gun in the home” has ranged between about a third and about half, most recently 45% as of last month, although others argue that only a third of households have guns and that that number is declining.
That Gallup page also reports steadily increasing support for gun rights (or decreasing support for gun control, however you want to look at it) over the past twenty years.
I talk plenty about ways in which American culture has declined over time, but it’s a complex world, and it’s also possible for a culture to improve in a given area over time—even at the same time.