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Web letter: Equating guns, violence distorts ‘gun culture’

Recently, there have been many references in the media to the “gun culture” in America. The “gun culture” being referenced by the media bears no resemblance to reality. From the days of the dime novels that sensationalized the events of the Old West, right up to today’s shoot-’em-up cop shows and video games, the media has never, ever, realistically portrayed guns.

Worse yet, the media has glorified violence and then gone on to equate guns with violence. Guns and violence are two separate issues. Anyone who believes that violence is an inherent part of the gun culture has never read an NRA magazine, been to a gun show or shooting range, or had a loved one be forced to use a gun to protect her life against a criminal attacker. The gun culture abhors criminal violence.

The actual gun culture in America can be roughly divided into four overlapping groups of people who use guns for various purposes: hunting, sport shooting, personal protection and collectingHypocrites in the media glorify the misuse of guns and then use their own misrepresentations as evidence to impugn the character and motivations of millions of law-abiding gun owners. It is a classic con game, and I hope that the American people don’t fall for it.