Thursday, September 24, 2009

The marketing of fear

According to this piece in the Houston Chronicle, gun dealers and ammunition makers have been doing lights-out business marketing to the right wing's fear that the Obama administration will make it harder for citizens to exercise their second amendment rights.

The fear-mongers only serve to make all gun owners look like clowns and wingnuts.

Jason Gregory, who manages Gretna Gun Works just outside of New Orleans, has been building his personal supply of ammunition for months. His goal is to have at least 1,000 rounds for each of his 25 weapons.

“I call it the Obama effect,” said Gregory, 37, of Terrytown, La. “It always happens when the Democrats get in office. It happened with Clinton and Obama is even stronger for gun control. Ammunition will be the first step, so I’m stocking up while I can.”

The real clash isn't between the right and the left on this issue. What we're really witnessing is a clash between two ways of life -- rural and urban. Traditionally gun ownership has been highest in the rural parts of the country; after all, it's hard to hunt deer inside the Loop. As these rural areas become suburbanized, and as the younger folks move to more urban areas, the impetus to own guns diminishes.

This cultural gap also manifests itself in the longing for "the good ol' days." The same "good ol' days" that brought us "separate, but not equal," Jim Crow and glass ceilings.

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