The awesome complexity of guns, violence, freedom and America

Eric Garland Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I was super excited to see people take my post on the contradictory culture of guns in Vermont and come up with an analysis that was as sophisticated and subtle as the topic deserves. The thinkers over at Zenpundit have an amazing mix of history, national security, poetry and humanity going. This is what they saw of the gun debate – comparing my contribution with noted Middle East security scholar Juan Cole:

The irritating beauty of these two quotes is that either one taking separately might seem like a “case closed” argument in favor of guns or gun control — but taken together, they show the world to be a dappled place.

Here’s the lead-in to that Vermont quote:

One facet of Vermont life is neither famous nor quaint: Vermonters are armed to the teeth. Guns are absolutely everywhere. Rifles. Pistols. Shotguns. Muzzle-loaders. Semi-automatics. 50 caliber tripod-mount “semi” automatics that could take out aircraft. Every firearm you can possibly imagine. Vermont could be the most armed part of the world per capita, as rife with firearms as Afghanistan, but with trees and cheddar cheese…

Things are weird that way: just when you think you’ve got them figured out, there’s an exception to the rule… a black dot in the white part of the yin-yang symbol… an anomaly that challenges the easy paradigm.