PDA

View Full Version : Harpers Magazine Article


jdberger
08-04-2010, 10:19 AM
Many of you may have heard that Harpers magazine has an article by Dan Baum titled, "Happiness is a Worn Gun".

I recommend that you buy a copy of the magazine and read the article. It's well written.

What I found most interesting was his "non-gunny" perspective on things. Understanding how non-gun folk think of us and our hobby/passion/vocation can assist us in our quest to normalize gun ownership.

I anticipate that lots of Calgunners are going to ask for a link to the article. It can be found with some moderate searches in Google. I found it online - but I'm not sure if I want to link to it.

First, it's the intellectual property of the author and the magazine. They printed and published it in the hope that people would spend money on the magazine. Hopefully, the more magazines they sell, the more money the author makes.

Second, if Harpers, and other magazines see that publication of pro-gun articles drives up sales, they're likely to publish more pro-gun articles.

Part of our challenge in this fight is to make talk about guns ordinary and mundane. Make guns no more unusual than a lawnmower or 4 door sedan. It's hard to get people riled up about lawnmowers. Pro-gun (or neutral gun) articles in major publications (especially lefty intelligentsia ones) help us to accomplish that goal.

Third, given the latest wave of threatened litigation against forums and blogs for copyright infringement, I don't think that it would be beneficial to CGN to post an article here that's behind the pay wall at Harpers.

I will link to a post-script by the author where he answers some reader questions. (http://www.thewaysofthewoodchuck.com/?p=479)

Maestro Pistolero
08-04-2010, 10:37 AM
Providing a link is not problematic. Cutting and pasting the article IS.

jdberger
08-04-2010, 10:39 AM
Providing a link is not problematic. Cutting and pasting the article IS.

The article is behind a pay wall. That's why I don't provide the link. It's easy enough to find - but I really would prefer that people go out and spike their newsstand sales.

wash
08-04-2010, 10:54 AM
I bought the magazine when I saw it a few days ago.

I can't say I agree with his conclusions.

He's a conflicted gun guy. I think he said some ~negative stuff about "assault weapons" and he carried a snub-nose revolver because he wanted to emulate a cop of the 50's or something.

A lot of the practical issues he had would have been solved with one of the smaller semi-auto pistols that he could have carried instead.

His other issue is that he paints gun carriers as paranoid, having an irrational fear of a violent criminal around every corner. I think it's more that some people prefer tangible security to playing the odds.

What he doesn't address is a situation like Oaklander's. Witnessing a murder, volunteering to testify against the killer and then being denied the tools required to defend yourself. That's not paranoia, that's danger. If "good cause" meant good cause instead of "deny everyone except for judges, celebrities and big time campaign contributors", we wouldn't need shall issue in California.

Very conflicted. I think part of the problem is that he lives in a place where gun laws aren't so bad. He got a CCW license, he doesn't have a stupid roster or AWB, he doesn't know how good he has it. He doesn't know that his idea of reasonable gun laws are not all that reasonable and just a step down that slippery slope that we are clawing our way back up right now.

This guy will never be writing for Shotgun News...

Maestro Pistolero
08-04-2010, 12:00 PM
I think he said some ~negative stuff about "assault weapons"Perhaps the article is different from this excellent interview (http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/news.newsmain/article/184/0/1678024/RadioWest/72110.Happiness.is.a.Worn.Gun), but Baum spoke very negatively about the Clinton AWB, and I think is pretty solidly pro-gun. I disagree with his assertion that many NRA types don't want any training or safe storage around children, considering that no organization on earth has done more in the area of gun safety training than the NRA.

Look, if the guy wasn't a little left of center, he woiuldn't have the credibility with the left that he does have. This kind of article and interview goes a long way toward reaching fence-sitters.

I think we'll see more and more of this as recovering hoplophobes gradually have to begin making peace with the emerging reality of 2A rights.

navyinrwanda
08-04-2010, 2:27 PM
This is an important article. It may be the first serious piece of modern literature that presents a positive view of the “gun culture” (it's certainly the first since Heller). Everyone should read it – even those who could care less about what the average member of the “left liberal intelligentsia” thinks about guns and gun owners.

The author, who says he was “hooked on guns forty-nine years ago as a fat kid at summer camp,” makes some intriguing observations about the divisions between those for whom guns are merely a hobby vs. the hard-core committed:


In [concealed carry training] classes, and in every book about concealed carry that I read, much was made of “conditions of readiness,” which are color-coded from white to red. Condition White is total oblivion to one’s surroundings – sleeping, being drunk or stoned, losing oneself in conversation while walking on city streets, texting while listening to an iPod. Condition Yellow is being aware of, and taking an interest in, one’s surroundings – essentially, the mental state we are encouraged to achieve when we are driving: keeping our eyes moving, checking the mirrors, being careful not to let the radio drown out the sounds around us. Condition Orange is being aware of a possible threat. Condition Red is responding to danger.

Contempt for Condition White unifies the gun-carrying community almost as much as does fealty to the Second Amendment. “When you’re in Condition White you’re a sheep,” one of my Boulder instructors told us. “You’re a victim.” The American Tactical Shooting Association says the only time to be in Condition White is “when in your own home, with the doors locked, the alarm system on, and your dog at your feet… The instant you leave your home, you escalate one level, to Condition Yellow.” A citizen in Condition White is as useless as an unarmed citizen, not only a political cipher but a moral dud. “I feel I have a responsibility, and I believe that in my afterlife I will be judged,” one of the Boulder gun instructors said. “Part of the judgment will be: Did this guy look after himself? It’s a minimum responsibility.”


Condition White may make us sheep, but it’s also where art happens. It’s where we daydream, reminisce, and hear music in our heads. Hardcore gun carriers want no part of that, and the zeal for getting everybody to carry a gun may be as much an anti–Condition White movement as anything else – resentment toward the airy-fairy elites who can enjoy the luxury of musing, sipping tea, and nibbling biscuits while the good people of the world have to work for a living and keep their guard up. Gun guys never stop building and strengthening this like-minded community. When I mention that I’m carrying, their faces light up. “Good for you!” “Right on!” “God bless you!” The owner of a gun factory in Mesa, Arizona, spotted the gun under my jacket and said, with great solemnity, “You honor me by wearing your gun to my place of business.”

It goes without saying that everyone should respect copyrights and the ownership of intellectual property. Go buy a copy of the magazine, or if you can't swing $7.99, look online for the PDF (I'm a subscriber). But don't post more than short excerpts here or elsewhere.

luvtolean
08-04-2010, 7:18 PM
First, it's the intellectual property of the author and the magazine. They printed and published it in the hope that people would spend money on the magazine. Hopefully, the more magazines they sell, the more money the author makes.

It would be pretty unusual if the author was paid anything but a (probably small) flat rate for the article.

Very unlikely he's getting residuals from the sale of the mag.

If it's behind a pay wall though, it is probably naughty to post.

An interview with the author- http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/news.newsmain/article/0/184/1678024/RadioWest/72110.Happiness.is.a.Worn.Gun

2009_gunner
08-04-2010, 7:40 PM
It would be pretty unusual if the author was paid anything but a (probably small) flat rate for the article.

Very unlikely he's getting residuals from the sale of the mag.

If it's behind a pay wall though, it is probably naughty to post.

An interview with the author- http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/news.newsmain/article/0/184/1678024/RadioWest/72110.Happiness.is.a.Worn.Gun

The audio interview is pretty interesting; I'm just 6 minutes into it, but it is an almost surreal experience to hear an NPR style interview about guns that is not from a Brady perspective.

The author is waxing poetical about guns in ways I haven't heard in traditional gun media. Good stuff.

And as many point out, we have Heller to thank!

Steyr_223
08-04-2010, 8:43 PM
I read some of the article while in line at Borders getting "Day by Day Armageddon, beyond exile". Should have bought it..Maybe during lunch..

jdberger
08-05-2010, 9:36 AM
The audio interview is pretty interesting; I'm just 6 minutes into it, but it is an almost surreal experience to hear an NPR style interview about guns that is not from a Brady perspective.

The author is waxing poetical about guns in ways I haven't heard in traditional gun media. Good stuff.

And as many point out, we have Heller to thank!

The interview is awesome.

We all need to listen to it. The author, Dan Baum, restates a lot of things in his article, but what's most interesting is his view of the gun culture from someone not immersed in it.

Here are some things that he nails:

*The "sensual" experience of gun handling. He doesn't say "sexual", he uses sensual as it's meant to be used. "Pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses". Guns (at least well made guns) are masterpeices of craftsmanship. Finely selected and carved stocks fitted to the hand, rich deep bluing, polished free of machine marks, and parts fitted to infitesimal tolerances ...of course there's a rich sensory experience to holding a gun. It even involves smell. How many folks here have joked about the ultimate woman using Hoppes #9 for perfume? We (as gunnies) don't like to discuss this aspect with non-gunnies because they invariably accuse us of having sexual fantasies about guns (three cheers for pop-psychology).

*There's the "Condition Yellow" part which is just spot-on...

*I have to agree with him regarding the "training" classes. I hope that he has the opportunity to learn from a nationally reknowned instructor.

Skidmark
08-05-2010, 5:17 PM
Bought this today at Walgreens on Market street, and am working through the article. To the point where he's passed his training and now dealing with wild-eyed tinfoil hats at gun shows. Good writing, and lots of parallels to my own history with firearms. I definitely concur on the sensual pleasures of handling guns - the attraction to smooth machined blued metal is a strong one for me, and is a significant element in why I own guns. I try to explain this to people, and most just roll their eyes... but artists and people who craft/repair mechanism with their hands always get it. Maybe the article will help me articulate some of what I feel.

SanPedroShooter
08-06-2010, 5:34 AM
The npr article is very good, well worth the listen. I am impressed and will buy the harpers mag and probably this guys book. It seems like the logical conclusion to come to for anyone who has a shred of intellectual honesty.