Henry Allen: Why Do Americans Love Guns? They’re Part of Our Culture





Henry Allen, who won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2000, was a Post editor and reporter for 39 years.

Let me dust off my favorite Sufi parable.
 
A man loses a ring inside his house. A friend sees him crawling around outside and asks, “If you lost your ring in the house, why are you looking for it here?” “You fool,” says the man, “the light is much better out here.”
 
And so it goes with people looking for solutions to gun killings in America.
 
We’re talking about the very best people, the people with statistics and proposals for regulation, crawling around in the sunlight of their social-scientific rationality.
 
They never find a solution because all their legislation, academic studies, mathematical proofs, and proposals for waiting periods, background checks and buying limits aren’t going to do much more than they ever have.
 
Nor are the pleas of the progressives asking why anyone would ever want to own a gun — thereby demonstrating their arrogance toward the people who own the hundreds of millions of guns in the United States.
 
Both the problem and the solution lie elsewhere, in what historian Richard Hofstadter called “America as a Gun Culture.”..


comments powered by Disqus
History News Network