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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:11 AM

Guns Are Beautiful

To stop gun violence, we need to stop fetishizing guns



The AR-15 rifle is an object of undeniable, fascinating beauty. Force glows from its perfect black frame. Its substantial weight is more than physical; it's emotional, historical. Built in the same factory as Remington, which has been building rifles for nearly two hundred years, the Bushmaster is a quintessentially American object. Other countries tend to treat guns as tools, which policy can deal with on the level of their functionality. In America, guns are works of art. They must be treated as such.

In the crisis of conscience brought on by Newtown, many people who should have known better resumed the pathetic mid-nineties debate about the culture of violence in America. The New York Times brought up the (tepid, insubstantial) connection between video games and gun manufacturers. President Obama chimed in his support a week after the massacre. So did representatives of the NRA. They never quote any studies, for the simple reason that no serious studies support them. Young men in South Korea and in Canada play more violent games than American kids and they commit nowhere near the same num-ber of gun murders. In the largest study of the correlation between movie violence and real violence, conducted at Berkeley in 2007, the researchers found no causal link between violent movies and violence on the streets. But what they did find was that violent movies actually led to a decrease in the number of violent crimes committed nationally on the days they were shown. Only vapid, ahistorical understandings of culture believe that the culture of our own period is uniquely violent, anyway. Shakespeare competed with bearbaiting and public hangings for entertainments; King Lear has an onstage eye-gouging; Titus Andronicus reenacts cannibalism. The culture of violence is general; it belongs to all times and all places. But the culture of the gun is uniquely American and of the moment.

Guns are one of the primary avenues by which ordinary Americans experience beauty. Nobody wants to recognize this fact. Why else would Instagram be loaded on Christmas Day with people in their Christmas-morning jammies showing off the semiautomatic rifles Santa left under the tree? Why else would there be PinkGun.com (its motto: Just because it's concealed doesn't mean it has to be ugly)?

Guns have replaced cars as the American machinery fantasy of choice. Just as there is no sensible reason for owning a car with 1,001 horsepower and a top speed of 253 mph, as Jay-Z does, even the most casual examination of a gun like the AR-15 reveals its uselessness in the real world, its status as a fetish object. The .223 ammunition that Adam Lanza used to murder children isn't powerful enough to hunt deer, one reason it's illegal for hunting in some states, for humane considerations. Protection in the home? Houses with guns in them are statistically far less safe than houses without guns. As a safeguard against a tyrannical government? How long do you think the best armed militia would last against a single company of Marines?

http://www.esquire.com/features/thousand-words-on-culture/guns-are-beautiful-0313#ixzz2KnQHUZ7H

19 replies, 2341 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Guns Are Beautiful (Original post)
SecularMotion Feb 2013 OP
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #1
holdencaufield Feb 2013 #12
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #14
holdencaufield Feb 2013 #16
iiibbb Feb 2013 #2
bluedigger Feb 2013 #3
Glaug-Eldare Feb 2013 #4
holdencaufield Feb 2013 #17
SQUEE Feb 2013 #5
Puha Ekapi Feb 2013 #6
slackmaster Feb 2013 #7
Clames Feb 2013 #8
GreenStormCloud Feb 2013 #9
krispos42 Feb 2013 #13
Remmah2 Feb 2013 #10
spin Feb 2013 #11
gejohnston Feb 2013 #15
oneshooter Feb 2013 #18
ileus Feb 2013 #19

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:17 AM

1. So, let's keep the guns, but ban all bullets! You can shoot blanks at target practice and hunt

with a bow and arrow.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:25 PM

12. But ...

 

... bullets are beautiful too.

Especially hand-crafted, hand-loaded to the closest tolerances match ammunition. Whether it's the dull brass of a 5.56, the shiny nickel plating of a .38sp, or the copper jacket or a .44magnum -- bullets are a beauty to behold. Beautiful AND functional -- and how many things can you say that about?

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:28 PM

14. I think you're a tad on the strange side. Do you say, "My precious" to them?

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:18 PM

16. You have a problem with strange?

 

Last edited Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:48 PM - Edit history (1)

How progressive of you.

I know it makes you feel better to think that people who appreciate the beauty of man-made object, be they guns, cars, or a fine sound system, are sick and twisted.

But, I have only ever felt sexual desire for one machine -- my Cherry 2000



(spoiler alert -- do not get her wet)

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)


Response to iiibbb (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:34 AM

3. Spoken like a true fetishist.

When you can accept the idea of life going on without them, just like all those other everyday objects you treasure in your life (family excepted) then you can climb down off that cross you've hoisted yourself onto.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:38 AM

4. Do you wear shoes everyday?

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Response to Glaug-Eldare (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:19 PM

17. No ...

 

... only when child welfare comes to visit

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:58 AM

5. Okay, i'll agree. You are right,

I have a fetish, and have decided to embrace my individual and non traditional sexual attraction, I am constantly hurt humiliated and bullied by many here, the bigotry and constant abuse of the majority, the lack of understanding has led me to feel less than human, to be undervalued, and labeled a deviant, my feelings mocked and even discounted...
I demand TOS protection, and understanding of my alternative lifestyle. I have hurt no one with my "kink", I lead a productive life and work to help others, but am met with animosity, belittling comments and sexist slurs.
Would this be allowed for any other "fetish", or "alternative" life value.. I think not.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:26 PM

6. If you feel that way...

...or imagine that the average gun owner feels that way, you need some help, friend.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:54 PM

7. Anyone who describes the weight of an AR-15 as "substantial" has never picked one up

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:48 PM

8. My 20" bbl AR and my M1 Garand are not very far apart on weight.

 

Loaded they'd be almost even.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:04 PM

9. AR-15 pattern rifles are ugly.

For beauty in a firearms I like the clean lines of an M-1 or almost any high-power bolt action rifle. For beauty in handguns I will go with a 1873 style SAA. A Browning Hi-Power handgun is just about the peak of an elegant blend of form and function.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:27 PM

13. agree

While I can't fault the layout or functioning of the AR, I really like the lines of the Garand or the Carbine.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:13 PM

10. Esquire has really gone downhill.

 

No wonder subscriptions are down.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 03:20 PM

11. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ...

I find firearms like an AR-15 or a Glock butt-ugly. That in no way implies that they are inaccurate or unreliable.

I do see some beauty in Winchester Model 70 or a nickel plated S&W .44 magnum revolver, however I see far more beauty in nature. A fine horse, a Siberian Tiger, a wolf and most of all an attractive woman have far more beauty than any firearm I have seen.

Firearms to me are merely tools. I enjoy target shooting as a challenging sport and own some firearms for self defense. I may have some pride in my firearm collection but no more than a mechanic has for the tools of his trade.








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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:02 PM

15. One of my high school English teachers once noted that

every civilization seemed to put most of its artistic endeavors in two things, its weapons and religious institutions (guns and churches). Using an AR as an example of beautiful art, reminds me of a joke that goes something like "beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone." There are some guns that are functional and all of the gold and engraving can't fix the ugly lines. The AR and STEN are two perfect examples IMHO. If you are going to use "guns are beautiful" rant, perhaps one of these would be better choices.
https://www.google.com/search?q=firearm+as+art&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=bv0bUb3dGJTa8wSBsIDgAQ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=632#hl=en&tbo=d&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=engraved+firearm&oq=engraved+firearm&gs_l=img.3..0i24l3.35830.41559.0.42860.16.16.0.0.0.0.106.1072.15j1.16.0.crnk_timediscountc..0.0...1.1.2.img.YESq_jpCHW0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42261806,d.eWU&fp=8b3ea504b730b8ed&biw=1024&bih=632

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:25 PM

18. When did Remington start building Bushmasters rifles?

"Built in the same factory as Remington, which has been building rifles for nearly two hundred years, the Bushmaster is a quintessentially American object.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:27 PM

19. I finished out my newest AR in magpul OD....a thing of beauty indeed.

You give up your freedoms, I'll keep mine.

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