On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times ran a column by Jennifer Carlson claiming that men carry guns because they are insecure over the size and sustainability of their paychecks.
The article begins by admitting the existence of studies into whether armed law-abiding citizens reduce crime, but suggests these studies do not reach to the core of the issue. Rather, the correct tact is to ask why someone is so driven to carry a gun in fist place.
Side note: the column breaks down at this point if you posit your unalienable right to do so as the reason you carry a gun.
But if you play along with the article you are told the reason men want to carry guns is because of insecurity. And the whole idea of carrying a gun was born in 1987, when Florida legalized the concealed carry of handguns as a last gasp effort to deal with a crime spree that was shutting down tourism throughout the state.
That being said, the author of the column did not travel to Florida to investigate why men carry guns, although it is allegedly the birth state of the idea, but went to Michigan instead. And there, amid the rubble that labor unions are slowly leaving behind, she found people who were spoke longingly about the way things once were.
A Flint resident named Corey said, “Before, it was all blue collar, shop workers and a little bit of welfare. Now it’s all welfare, and things are different.” And this was echoed by many other men who spoke of “Michigan’s past nostalgically, not only as a place that promised safe neighborhoods but as one in which their fathers had clear, vital roles to play. Men were entrusted with supporting their families; they made happy suburban home life possible.”
Boom — that’s it. Insecurity is driving the push to get a concealed carry license. Or so the Times’ thinking goes.
The author bolstered the theory by talking to a Detroit resident named Frankie, who referenced the 1970’s and how he “got a job at General Motors, and they were hiring people off the street with zero education, and they could work 20 years, and they could make a living. You can’t do that now.” Then the author tells us about a Flint resident named Brad, who said, “The child’s born. Mortgage, marriage. I have a kid. I’m paying for all this stuff on a truck driver’s wage…. I wanted to protect them all, so then a firearm comes along.”
Here’s the synopsis: Men thought they would have jobs like their fathers had, but after watching welfare rapidly expand they realized they were wrong, and it made them insecure. Then they reflected on how good things used to be before labor unions’ tab came due, and the longer they did that the more they realized how bad things are now, and it made their insecurity grow.
So they bought guns and carry one to cement and sustain their position as defender of the home. Doing that is a prerequisite to preserving what little dignity they have left, or so the Times’ thinking goes.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.