Integral to President Obama’s push for “common sense” gun controls is engaging an emergent breed of centrist, gun-friendly Americans on the fence about whether new controls will effectively thwart violence or prove a political Trojan horse to disarm lawful gun owners, says the Christian Science Monitor. Judging by the White House use of the term “gun safety” instead of “gun control,” and given the release of a photo of Obama blasting away with a shotgun at a skeet range, the majority of gun owners and sympathizers may hold the key to plugging the safety loopholes in state and federal gun laws.
As people have moved away from rural areas, it seems “we should have less gun ownership and less gun culture,” says Jennifer Carlson, a University of Toronto sociologist working on a book tentatively titled “Clinging to Their Guns? The New Politics of Gun Carry in Everyday Life.” She says, “There’s a lot of people who are turning to guns in response to what they see as the complacency of their parents, that life isn’t a white picket fence, that this isn’t a happy suburbia – Mom and Dad were naive, and I’m carrying a gun because I understand how the world really works. It’s at the epicenter of this urban, postindustrial decay story” of cities like Detroit, where both gun ownership and justifiable homicides are at an all-time high in reaction to dwindling municipal services, including police protection.