The Down Range Forum

Flying Dragon Productions ( Michael Bane ) => Michael Bane on the Radio => Topic started by: MikeW on February 05, 2017, 02:58:14 AM

Title: Hunter V. Shooter--DRR#501
Post by: MikeW on February 05, 2017, 02:58:14 AM
In episode 501, Michael posed the question of how the split between hunters and shooters occurred in Gun Culture 1.0......

I don't claim to have the one true answer, but for my money, the split has its roots in the aggressive gun control efforts of the 1980s and 1990s.  The Bush-era bans on the importation of certain rifles, the birth of "Assault Weapon" controls in Kalifornia with Roberti-Roos, and the horrors of the Clinton years (culminating in the federal "assault weapon" and "high capacity magazine" bans) were aided and abetted by a large number of gun owners who self-identified as "hunters." Not all of them, of couse, but a large number of them.

In an attempt to appease the enemy, these folks were content to let the rights of their "assault weapon" / "black rifle" / "saturday night special" / "unsafe handgun" (pick one) brethren be infringed, as long as their deer rifles and sporting shotguns were left unmolested. The phrase, "you don't need an 'assault rifle' to go deer hunting" was (and in many cases, still is) just as likely to come from our side of the picket line, as it was from the enemy's.

Those who self-identified as "shooters" were much more likely to see their guns come under attack than those who self-identified as "hunters," and there were unmistakeable cases where the folks wearing blaze orange failed to support their brothers and sisters in a fight that should have been viewed as common, but was often characterized as "their problem, not mine."

In short, we alowed the enemy to divide and conquer, and create a rift where there shouldn't have been one. Among other things, I think this was a critical factor in the split between these two factions of the shooting culture.

So, why does gun culture 2.0 not continue with the split?

I think a large part of it is that in the ensuing years (and particularly after the sunset of the Clinton ban) the AR went mainstream, and became "America's rifle." So-called "assault weapons" went from being an oddball fascination of a minority, to becoming a common interest of the majority of the gun culture.

Simultaneously, the liberalization of CCW laws launched defensive handguns into the pole position. Concealed carry guns went from being the domain of a few policemen, to being the largest segment of the industry.

Remember the days when the "tactical" and "self-defense" portions of the SHOT Show floor could fit in a small room? The pendulum swung, and now black rifles and defensive handguns rule the roost.  Even the look of today's "hunting rifle" has changed with the advent of the MSR.

All of these changes happened just before Gun Culture 2.0 arrived in the market. By the time they came onto the field, all those guns that had once been treated like black sheep, or discussed in hushed tones, were mainstream.  For a culture who was essentially ignorant about guns but suddenly interested in them, an AR wasn't viewed any differently than a Winchester Model 70, and there was nothing special about a Glock that made it less worthy or less interesting than a finely-fitted K-38. They were all just "guns," and they were all equally interesting to a new generation of egalitarian enthusiasts, who approached them without the emotional baggage of their seniors.

None of the above is intended to say that all "hunters" or all "shooters" acted a particular way. We all know there are plenty of folks who self-identify as "hunters" who were at the forefront of defending the 2A rights of ALL their fellow citizens. I'm just saying that there were enough notable examples of the behavior I described to generate an internal rift in our culture, at the prompting of our enemies.

I hope and pray we're smarter than that now, and recognize that if we don't hang together, we shall surely hang seperately. We're all in the same fight, and I think culture 2.0 gets that.

At least that's how I see it. I'm eager to hear other ideas and explanations from the forum.

Title: Re: Hunter V. Shooter--DRR#501
Post by: Rastus on February 25, 2017, 06:51:51 PM
I think that is a good explanation of what I think happened.  There was a tendency 30-50 years ago to ask, "Why do you need that?" for a lot of things.  It may have been something born of the Great Depression.

I also think that the proliferation of AR rifles was helped by former military guys wanting missing having one around.  Once a few people started getting them it began to legitimize ownership for an increasingly large population. 
Title: Re: Hunter V. Shooter--DRR#501
Post by: Michael Bane on May 29, 2017, 09:40:38 PM
That's a VERY good analysis! Thank you…

Title: Re: Hunter V. Shooter--DRR#501
Post by: MikeW on May 29, 2017, 10:57:13 PM
You bet! Cheers Michael!