Saturday, December 19, 2015

America’s gun problem has everything to do with America’s masculinity problem


Over the past few years, far more women have favored banning semi-automatic weapons. A full two-thirds of women favor a ban compared to only 48% of men, according to a 2013 Pew study. Indeed, women tend to prioritize gun restrictions over gun rights generally, unlike their male counterparts. Couple this with the fact that the vast majority of mass shooters are also men, and a pattern emerges. America’s gun problem can’t be distilled down to one single issue, of course, but it’s clear that on top of crime and fears of terrorism and insufficient mental health resources and the Second Amendment, America’s gun problem has something to do with America’s masculinity problem.

As Alankaar Sharma, a social worker and researcher, tells Quartz, “Possessing a gun is considered by many men, if not most, as a straightforward way of subscribing to dominant masculinity.” In his view, the patriarchal system, which privileges a certain set of masculine behaviors, values, and practices, provides men with “a clear and justifiable reason to own guns.” It cements their identity as masculine men.

And for many men today, it’s an identity in particular need of cementing. In this May 2015 op-ed for The Los Angeles Times, sociologist Jennifer Carlson argues that men are clinging to guns as a way to address a broad range of social insecurities. Author of a book on the social practice of gun-carrying in America, Carlson found that gun owners often characterized their fathers’ generation as an era when men had important roles to play as providers and breadwinners.


  1. No, No, No! The problem is women and their attempt to pussify men and all of America.

    It starts in school:

    orlin sellers

  2. Not only is this article attempting to include every gun control claim being spouted in the media, its also using out of date information.

    "A majority of Americans oppose banning assault weapons for the first time in more than 20 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, with the public expressing vast doubt that the authorities can prevent “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and a substantial sense that armed citizens can help."

    In fact, this more recent polls shows a marked drop in the percentage of women in favor of an assault weapon ban from the two thirds mentioned in the posted article to just over half.
    They also seem to again use outdated data when it comes to women owning firearms. However, they do at least acknowledge that the percentage is growing. And of course, increases in gun ownership also translate into increases in those who carry for self defense,

    "It showed that the rate of women and those younger than 50 has grown since 2010. Five years ago, less than 12 percent of permit holders were women and about 30 percent were 50 or younger.
    Since then, female permit holders have grown to 19 percent and those younger than 50 grew to slightly more than 35 percent."

    And of course, this also helps to disprove the myth that gun ownership is declining since the growing percentage of women gun owners means more new gun owners.
    This growth also disproves the claim that the gun industry is invested in supporting the "patriarchy" since they have also been marketing firearms to women,

    The article might have been able to sell the male dominance thing gif they had been able to show how evil men are keeping women from owning or using guns. However in the real world, quite the opposite is happening. Women who want to get involved in the shooting sports and become gun owners are encouraged and mentored.
    So given time, with the current growth, women will achieve parity in the world of gun ownership and the claim of patriarchal gun culture will be a moot point.

    1. I don't know about that ss. I would imagine many men who are gun owners are of the mind that it's a man's thing and women should stick to cooking and the like.

    2. "I would imagine many men who are gun owners are of the mind that it's a man's thing and women should stick to cooking and the like."

      I honestly cant recall ever running into one of those guys Mike. But then most of my experience with firearms revolves around teaching soldiers. Of both genders I might add. I think the guys your thinking of might be part of your personal stereotype that you like to label those in the gun culture with.
      However, as I've shown, that stereotype is becoming less and less true. And I'm personally working at making it that way.

    3. Sure. Just keep believing that. Just don't mention your beliefs to the woman, you may get your ass shot off!

  3. Yes, men are more violent than women. Just like every other place in the world and throughout all human history. But, guns... America...

  4. I too noticed when I followed Kurt's link on this question that the three groups that mostly still favor an assault weapon ban were women, blacks and democrats.

    Do not these three groups typify a more cerebral and sober electorate? It's easy to understand why women oppose these types of weapons. In my imagination, black people, particularly those of faith, are very tired of seeing their young mowed down before they even get a start in life. (I know they are not generally shot with assault rifles, but I think it follows.) And democrats. Well... We are obviously a great deal smarter and more compassionate than republicans as a group, at least as evidenced by their politicians and political leanings.

    1. You forgot the seniors, Flying Junior. You also have the senior vote- and that's good for another 5-10 years. You better strike while the iron luke warm.

      Barely more than a third of men favor banning assault weapons, compared with more than half of women (35 percent vs. 53 percent). Seniors are most likely to favor banning assault weapons, while – despite their greater liberalism on many other issues – nearly six in 10 young adults oppose it.

    2. Do not these three groups typify a more cerebral and sober electorate?

      I would say not. There is a hefty appetite for misleading and downright ignorant information regarding "assault weapons" well as a dedicated effort to propagate such misinformation.

    3. Here’s some information. July 20, 2012 James Homes brought a shotgun, a Glock and a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifle into a crowded theater. He shot off seventy-six rounds. Sixty-five bullets were fired from the Smith & Wesson before it jammed. He killed ten people and injured seventy-two.
      Any misinformation here? I can think of a type of misinformation that is quite common on the web. Someone always says that if semi-automatic weapons or large-cap magazines are outlawed, criminals will still be able to purchase them on the black market. Maybe career criminals. Connected guys. Your basic lone wolf domestic terrorist or mass murderer generally obtains their guns legally because it is far too easy to do so in the U.S.A.

    4. The misinformation, as I'm sure you are aware, is the propaganda emitted from the gun control industry regarding alleged "assault weapons"....with the reflexive litany of emotional qualifiers; all regurgitated by the minions who cannot even explain the item that they're demonizing.

      Further, how exactly do you propose to confiscate the semi-automatic rifles [why not handguns?] and standard capacity magazines that are in current circulation?