14 votes

Gun Shops

Tags: videos, guns, short

16 comments

  1. [6]
    Sahasrahla
    Link
    Reminds me of the gun scene from Samsara. I think, as an outsider, American gun culture is impossible for me to understand. I also think it's impossible for a born-and-raised American to...

    Reminds me of the gun scene from Samsara.


    I think, as an outsider, American gun culture is impossible for me to understand. I also think it's impossible for a born-and-raised American to understand what it's like to grow up without this culture. The disconnect between our experiences is the idea of gun rights as a fundamental human right on par with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or freedom of the press. Though not all Americans would agree that gun ownership should be a right it's still a topic that falls in the category as a right—Americans debate about limits on gun ownership in a categorically similar way to how they'd debate what limits should be placed on free speech.

    Outside of the US, at least in many places, guns rights are not a topic in the same way because owning a gun is not thought of as a right in the first place. Discussing gun rights is a bit like discussing airplane rights; it's nonsensical. Instead the discussion is about how to regulate and license a potentially dangerous tool that people need for both practical and hobby reasons in their work or their personal lives.

    Also missing in many places is the national mythology Americans have around guns. American freedom and America itself is, in the creation story of the American people, derived from guns. In the distant mists of the pre-America times there were a people yearning for freedom and their own nation and they won both with the power of guns. Then, to make sure the American people never lost their freedom to an oppressive government again, the wise Founders gave Americans the "right to bear arms" (just as other more ancient gods might have given their people agriculture or writing) and made this right inalienable. At least, that's how the story goes.

    I could be off base here, but at least this is how American gun culture looks to me from the outside.

    17 votes
    1. [4]
      Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The really interesting part is that a lot of this culture and mythology actually only appeared quite recently (the last few decades), but now most people believe it's always been that way and that...

      The really interesting part is that a lot of this culture and mythology actually only appeared quite recently (the last few decades), but now most people believe it's always been that way and that it was a foundational aspect of the country.

      I link to this article fairly often, but it's a really great read (and I should really read the book it's adapted from eventually): How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment

      20 votes
      1. [2]
        pallas
        Link Parent
        As noted in that article, even the NRA adopted the culture relatively recently. Growing up part of the time in the US, I can remember that elements of the old NRA still existed in the 90s,...

        As noted in that article, even the NRA adopted the culture relatively recently. Growing up part of the time in the US, I can remember that elements of the old NRA still existed in the 90s, primarily interested in promoting marksmanship and shooting sports. They leaned toward social conservatism and traditionalism, but in many cases the politics were not at the forefront of their activities. I likely still have a marksmanship certificate from them in storage somewhere: at the time, unless you looked into their political activities, you might not have noticed them.

        Now so much about guns in the US involves such an extreme culture that I think many people who enjoy shooting sports would find participation easier and more comfortable in Europe, even in countries with strict gun controls. My mother, for example, enjoys skeet shooting. Sadly, in the US, there are no ranges within multiple hours drives of her that don't require NRA membership and allegiance, and don't express extremist right-populist views on their websites and amongst their communities. This isn't even just a matter of being uncomfortable around people with political views she finds abhorrent, but of a culture that verges upon calling for violence against people like her.

        In Europe, she can just shoot, without needing to be around people who despise her.

        8 votes
        1. NaraVara
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          My conservative friend took me to a gun range once thinking he’d convert me by getting me into it. Little did he realize that I actually already enjoy shooting, I just don’t own a gun because the...

          My conservative friend took me to a gun range once thinking he’d convert me by getting me into it. Little did he realize that I actually already enjoy shooting, I just don’t own a gun because the paperwork is a hassle and I don’t feel welcome in American gun communities. In fact, back in India I had family members who used to shoot competitively so I’m already pretty comfortable around them.

          So we go and they’re selling paper targets with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on them. They have a bunch of other targets with random swarthy skinned people that you can shoot at. Dude seriously thought this was going to warm me up to the noxious bullshit in American gun culture. It didn't even register for him as vile until he was forced to go there with me and consider what it must look like to my eyes. He was appropriately embarrassed by it all.

          It’s not about sport or cultivating a skill or any kind of practical utility anymore. They’re selling a misanthropic and violent power fantasy. All the talk about liberty or whatever is self-serving bullshit that they grasp at to mask the gross insecurity that’s actually motivating them.

          12 votes
      2. monarda
        Link Parent
        That was a really interesting piece. When I was growing up, everyone had guns, and no one talked about it, it just was. I don't remember there being any stance on gun rights. Here's another...

        That was a really interesting piece. When I was growing up, everyone had guns, and no one talked about it, it just was. I don't remember there being any stance on gun rights.

        Here's another article about the gun history in the US
        The Secret History of Guns

        7 votes
    2. monarda
      Link Parent
      Wow, I had never seen Samsara. The imagery in that link was, chilling.

      Wow, I had never seen Samsara. The imagery in that link was, chilling.

      3 votes
  2. [9]
    monarda
    Link
    I've always believed in our (Americans) right to bear arms. As I've grown older, my feelings about the issue have grown fuzzier. This video elicited a confusingly amount of emotion in me. From the...

    I've always believed in our (Americans) right to bear arms. As I've grown older, my feelings about the issue have grown fuzzier. This video elicited a confusingly amount of emotion in me.

    From the video page:
    "This film shows 2,328 firearms, out of the 393 million currently in the US. Arranged in a dizzying 24 frames per second progression, from handguns to semi-automatic rifles, "Gun Shop" encourages viewers to critically examine America’s love affair with guns.

    Director Statement:
    Over the past few years I’ve learned the striking visual power of objects. The every day objects that surround us in our lives, or are displayed in the media, are a credible vehicle for expressing many ideas about our world, if organized to do so. They are very often mundane, but sometimes extraordinary. I discovered that a simple 24 frames per second juxtaposition and choreographed audio sync can bring these objects to life, creating a mesmerizing effect that has the distinct ability to convey complex ideas, and concise visual interpretations of culture, economics, personality and philosophy."

    6 votes
    1. [8]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      The video is pretty striking. The thing that has really caused me to second guess my opinion on guns lately is the realization of just how little utility they provide compared to the risk they...

      The video is pretty striking.

      The thing that has really caused me to second guess my opinion on guns lately is the realization of just how little utility they provide compared to the risk they expose to the general population. We accept the danger posed by cars because they enable us to travel places in minutes that used to take hours. The only real use we get out of guns is recreation. A gun in the home is more likely to kill a resident in a suicide, accident, or incident of domestic violence than it is to be used in self defense, rendering a negative ROI for the one practical use-case often cited for allowing them in the first place. At what point do we decide that the number of people dying to gun violence every year is too high to justify keeping them around for a hobby?

      I don't really have an answer to this. We need a way to quantify a tool's utility so we can make fair apples-to-apples comparisons. Then we need to decide as a society, what is an acceptable amount of risk per unit of utility provided by a tool, so we can craft laws from there. At that point, should we weigh recreational utility the same as practical utility?

      6 votes
      1. [7]
        monarda
        Link Parent
        There's a real difference in gun utility that is split urban / rural. Rurally I might need a I need a gun for a few things: livestock euthanasia, kill a predator, defend the home when police are...

        There's a real difference in gun utility that is split urban / rural. Rurally I might need a I need a gun for a few things: livestock euthanasia, kill a predator, defend the home when police are half hour or more a way.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          The sentiment is nice, but statistically that gun is more likely to hurt someone living in your home in an accident, suicide, or homicide. So in this particular use case, it provides a negative...

          defend the home when police are half hour or more a way.

          The sentiment is nice, but statistically that gun is more likely to hurt someone living in your home in an accident, suicide, or homicide. So in this particular use case, it provides a negative value. I would think that keeping your guns in a safe when not in use (as every gun owner I know including myself does) makes them borderline useless in a home invasion scenario.

          I think for most of these use cases, we have tools that provide a better risk-to-value ratio. Taser guns and other non lethal weapons can be reasonably effective for self defense. There are many humane methods of farm animal euthanasia that do no require firearms. Dealing with predators attacking livestock is a unique use case though, a gun is probably the best tool for the job.

          I'm not trying to propose any policy changes mind you, I just think these are the things people should be talking about. Most people think with their emotions on this issue. I'd like to see more of us take a scientific approach.

          7 votes
          1. Keegan
            Link Parent
            Fair points all around, but as far as home defense goes, a gun is more versatile. You can't really defend yourself with a taser against multiple people. Even against one, if you miss, you are...

            Fair points all around, but as far as home defense goes, a gun is more versatile. You can't really defend yourself with a taser against multiple people. Even against one, if you miss, you are screwed. Maybe a bladed weapon is better? I'm starting to sound like a mall ninja haha.

            4 votes
        2. [3]
          Thrabalen
          Link Parent
          I live in the heart of one of the nation's largest cities, and police are more than a half an hour away. Of course in your case, you're speaking geographically.

          I live in the heart of one of the nation's largest cities, and police are more than a half an hour away.

          Of course in your case, you're speaking geographically.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            monarda
            Link Parent
            Fair! And goodness gracious, our need to protect ourselves from each other is horrifically sad.

            Fair! And goodness gracious, our need to protect ourselves from each other is horrifically sad.

            5 votes
            1. NaraVara
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Our need to protect ourselves from each other is vastly overstated. Crime rates are not much worse than the “good old days” and if you feel less safe it’s because we interact with our peers and...

              Our need to protect ourselves from each other is vastly overstated. Crime rates are not much worse than the “good old days” and if you feel less safe it’s because we interact with our peers and neighbors less.

              10 votes
        3. ubergeek
          Link Parent
          If police are half an hour away, the chance of needing a gun to defend from a human is slim to none. Your other arguments are pretty valid, though. But one does not need an AR15 to accomplish...

          If police are half an hour away, the chance of needing a gun to defend from a human is slim to none.

          Your other arguments are pretty valid, though. But one does not need an AR15 to accomplish those, or even the last point, really.

          2 votes
  3. papasquat
    Link
    I loved the glock section taking up such a big part of the video. I was kinda surprised the AR section didn't last longer though, and it was cool seeing the random bubba'ed up pistol in there for...

    I loved the glock section taking up such a big part of the video. I was kinda surprised the AR section didn't last longer though, and it was cool seeing the random bubba'ed up pistol in there for a single frame.
    Kinda sad that M&P pistols weren't well represented. I love them and think they're a better alternative to glocks in just about every way.

    2 votes