Thursday, February 9, 2017

Guns, Politics & Donald Trump

I just have to share this January 20, 2017, article published in The Plaid Zebra by Victoria -- 

What a gun auction taught me about ‘middle America’

Note: The Plaid Zebra is an unconventional lifestyle magazine that aims at broadening the horizons of potential lifestyle choices and uplifting the autonomous with inspiration and example.

[Excerpt] An America divided.

Although I didn’t grow up in Virginia, I’ve been visiting since I was a child and attended Virginia Tech for college. This state is a prime example of the rural/urban divide witnessed across the country. Locals understand the stark contrast between the more liberal and urban, northern Virginia – known as NoVA – and the more conservative and rural, southern Virginia – known as the “real” Virginia. As a user on Reddit pointed out: “I was taking classes over the summer in Blacksburg, and this guy asked me where I was from. I replied Northern Virginia. He referred to people there as Communist pricks…Well, that escalated pretty quickly.”. . .
On the way home, I sympathetically examined the rolling hills of Rocky Mount, Virginia and I tried to make sense of it all. The relationship between God, country and guns no longer sits well in my heart as it once did when I was a little girl. How could a community that evoked the name of Jesus in prayer – a divinity I always believed promoted peace over violence – do so minutes before bidding on guns? Machines built to kill. How could a community similar to the one I hail from, embrace a man like Trump, and all that he represents?. . . 

Comment by J.P. McJefferson:

Nice article Victoria. Can't believe there's only one comment. You have really captured the same feelings I'm having of late. I too have friends and family on both sides of the divide. And you have correctly identified the elephant in the room -- guns. So long as the direct popular vote doesn’t count (which it doesn’t under the Electoral College system) and until Democrats understand guns and the gun culture, they may never win another Presidential election. All you have to do is look at the last election results, i.e. red v. blue by counties 

and you will see the urban rural split amplified. It troubles me that there can be so much hate and vitriol between the two sides. Is this what it was like at the dawn of the Civil War where over 600,000 Americans died killing each other. Democrats, even with the backing of 80-90% of the electorate on background checks, have never been able to deliver a credible, believable or incontestable message on guns – that is, a message that Republicans and rural America could buy. There’s always the argument that ANY regulation or control will lead to another, and another, and another, etc. and NO incident, however horrific, can justify regulation or control. The NRA, for decades, and now Donald Trump, of recent, have tapped into the rural America gun culture and it will be exceedingly difficult, going forward, for any Democrat to ever win their trust.

P.S. For the record I have lots of guns myself: a 410 shotgun; a 22 pistol; a 22 rifle; a 38 revolver; another older revolver; and an old Indian trade musket.


Analysis | Gun ownership used to be bipartisan. Not anymore.…, The Washington Post,  


  1. As the Follow-up Update article above points out: "We posit that gun ownership represents a cluster of values, such as strong individualism, distrust in government, and personal freedoms that are important to many people. This constellation of values can shape political attitudes and perceptions. The values intersect with conservative ideology and, increasingly, the Republican Party, but are more deeply held and practiced by gun owners. A gun owner is also supported by gun interest groups and a larger gun culture. . .

    "Across 11 presidential contests, gun ownership was more strongly linked to vote choice than such well-known predictors as gender, age and education. . ."

    As I emphasize in my post, "So long as the direct popular vote doesn’t count (which it doesn’t under the Electoral College system) and until Democrats understand guns and the gun culture, they may never win another Presidential election." Just look at the map!

  2. "Guns and religion: How American conservatives grew closer to Putin’s Russia" There was this interesting article back in April 2017 regarding the Russian, NRA, Trump connection. #BetterGovmt. This incredible web of connections and activities between Trump, the Russians and the NRA seems to add another layer of Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential election. I haven't seen a lot of investigative reporting about information sharing between Russians and NRA and related targeting of social media activitiy during the election campaign; particularly in key states like PA, OH, MI, & WI.

  3. May 18, 2017: "Three Weeks Later: NRA Still Refusing to Discuss Blockbuster Report Uncovering Alarming Ties Between NRA Leadership and Putin’s Russia." Washington Post Found NRA Leadership Expanding Ties With Russia, While Putin Was Orchestrating Covert Campaign To Influence Our Elections. NRA Spent a Reported $50 Million On 2016 Elections – More Than Double Their Previous Spending; NRA Spent More For Trump Than Any Other Outside Group.

  4. November 9, 2016: "The NRA Placed Big Bets on the 2016 Election, and Won Almost All of Them" "The organization’s radio and television spots sought to cast Hillary Clinton and the Democratic rivals of its preferred Senate candidates as an existential threat to the Second Amendment, and national security. It is a message that resonates in the gun belt, a swath of primarily Southern and Midwestern states where Trump achieved some of his most consequential victories."

  5. Oct 04, 2017: "To Russia With Love Why the GOP, NRA & Christian Right Support Putin & Russia." " I decided to explore a few peculiar stories that keep exposing links between the NRA, the GOP & members of the far-right wing of U.S. Christianity. What seems to be very strange bedfellows begins to make a lot of sense when we Follow The Money."