Another book about the evils of gun rights advocacy

Well, I endured reading Sugarmann’s torturously written Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns–now maybe I should see if my school library will get Joan Burbick’s Gun Show Nation: Gun Culture and American Democracy.

According to the review linked to above (which by the way, refers to the book in positively glowing terms), the gun rights movement (for which the NRA seems to be a synonym, in the minds of those who disparage the idea of gun rights) is rooted in racism, misogyny, and religious intolerance (oh yeah–I think homophobia was mentioned, too). The review ends on this note:

By the end, you get a lucid, thoughtful understanding of why the “gun rights” culture and the NRA are so tied at the hip to the Bush Administration and the Republican Party, because they both yearn for the day when the white male reigned supreme.

Obviously, I haven’t yet read the book, so I’m not really in a position to critique it, but if the BuzzFlash review above is very accurate about the book’s contents, it would seem that Burbick is rather far off base. NRA members who are also members of ethnic minorities certainly don’t see the NRA as a racist organization. The NRA’s efforts to recruit women are coming along nicely, and I doubt NRA president Sandra Froman is much of a woman hater. There are also gun rights groups like the Second Amendment Sisters. As to religious intolerance, the gun rights movement includes Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (considered, by the way, a much less moderate gun rights advocacy group than the NRA). I certainly wasn’t asked about my religious beliefs when I joined the NRA. The gun rights movement also includes the Pink Pistols–whose motto is “Armed Gays Don’t Get Bashed.”

Being a gun rights advocate does not imply any of the social evils the book seems to associate with it. Our backgrounds are diverse, but we are united in our love of freedom, and our knowledge that freedom can only be protected by those who are free. Argue against gun rights if you must, but argue the issues, instead of inflicting groundless attacks on the character of those of us who have committed ourselves to the fight for the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

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