The Europeans have a mythology about the United States, and one of their favorite myths is that Americans are “gun crazy”: our bizarre obsession with firearms can only be guessed at by bewildered academics.
In order to explain to its readership why incidents like the Arizona shooting don’t immediately result in a nationwide ban on guns, as happens in sensible progressive nations, the BBC today uncorked a howler entitled “Why America’s gun laws won’t change,” which cites the quizzical theories of various professors — and somehow manages to never mention the 2nd Amendment. Which is quite a feat, considering that the 2nd Amendment is the only relevant fact.
After recapping the details of the Arizona shooting, and throwing the requisite barb at Sarah Palin, the BBC muses,
America’s love affair with the gun is steeped in the nation’s foundational stories, particularly its history as a frontier society without an established military.
…Americans have a long history of sanctifying all that is associated culturally with “winning the west” and beating back Britain.
Near the end of the article they shift (as always) to NRA-bashing mode, and it is here in the 29th paragraph, amidst a litany of the NRA’s sinister antics, the only marginal reference to something more substantive than frontier psychology appears:
The NRA has a large, extremely well-funded political lobbying operation – deeply supported by weapons manufacturers – that will not brook any infringement on the constitutional right to bear arms.
Stop right there.
Dudes, you could have skipped the whole article and just printed these 14 words:
“…The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
If you want to get wonky, you could add three more: “McDonald v. Chicago.”
Forget about the NRA. Forget about the frontier. Forget about the American psyche.
But no. Europeans need their myths, and the myth of psychopathic American gun-worship is very pleasing to the European, so it shall be repeated over and over, like a bedtime story.