Musings on gun issues and political labels
Saw an article, not good enough to merit a link, which referred to NRA and "right wing gun nuts."
Set me to wondering: why would the Second Amendment be seen as "right wing" and calls for more gun control concisely be seen as "left wing," or conservative and liberal, respectively.
Orwell was decidedly on the British left, yet had considerable respect for individual arms ownership. I see this as quite consistent: the working class should have arms for its defense, and almost all disarmament schemes exempt corporation's security guards, so gun control disarms the worker while arming capital, in a left view.
The gun control cause is hardly consistent with other liberal/left assumptions about the world, e.g., the First Amendment. There the assumption is that if the government has power, it will abuse it for its own political ends. As to most civil (i.e., noneconomic) liberties, the same assumption holds true, with the additional Jeffersonian view that the individual is the best judge of his/her needs. If anything gun control would be more consistent with social conservativism, i.e., with John Adams rather than Tom Jefferson: the individual is not by nature virtuous, they are made so by social norms and government). Yet the social conservatives tend to oppose it.
Assune that man is not logical, but psychological. I think certain segments of the modern American left have an emotion-based dislike of that which is traditionally American, and most segments of the modern American right have emotional like of that which is traditionally American. An aspect of what Neitzsche called decadence, using it in a special term: a great fondness for that which is strange, foreign, not-you. Perhaps even the terms used give clues. "Liberal" is now in decline, perhaps since it sounds pro-freedom and open-minded. "Progressive" is rising as a self-descriptor, with its suggestion the the American status quo is at the very least not good enough (and no hint of open-mindedness; only the stupid or evil could resist progress.) Here, non-American is good and anti-American even better; you must tolerate beliefs you would repudiate here (oppressing women, killing gays, mandating religion, violence over trifling things) if they are undertaken by an "other."