Guns, tribes, and myths
There is a real sense in which guns divide us into tribes. John Marshall’s tribe is as alien to me as guns are to him.
But belonging to a tribe doesn’t require one to accept its myths, rituals, and priests.
The great myth on the left is that culture can be rewritten with the stroke of a legislative pen. Bill Clinton is wise to warn against that notion. America is exceptional, in how many people own guns, and in the roots of that.
The myth on the right is that they understand and defend America’s origins. The right’s gospel of early state militias doesn’t accommodate their use to preserve slavery, or to squash tax rebellions. The related myth, that their guns defend American liberty, varies from the absurd that Conor Friedersdorf dissects, to the comical and Limbaugh-scale grotesque.
Glenn Kessler fact checks the NRA claim that the Sidwell Friends has eleven armed guards.