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The conversation with a former gang member that changed the worldview of this pro-gun author


Empower the individual.

A man holds a sign at a gun rights rally at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The rally, dubbed, "Guns Across America", at Connecticut's state Capitol and state capitol buildings across the country to raise concerns about possible new gun legislation that could affect gun owners' rights in the wake of the Dec. 14 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Credit: AP

New York Times bestselling author Frank Miniter's new book, "The Future of the Gun," stresses that there are two gun cultures in America: one of law abiding, liberty-loving citizens who cherish their firearms for self-defense and hunting, and another of violent criminals who take advantage of the stringent gun regulations that disarm those who are most vulnerable.

[instory-book ISBN="9781621572404"]

During an interview with TheBlaze Books, we touched on the notion made concrete by John Lott of "More Guns, Less Crime," and asked Miniter whether this link between guns and crime was a matter of correlation or causation. His response was that looking through the eyes of those who come from violent urban areas -- something he did in researching "The Future of the Gun" -- was not only insightful but even changed his worldview on this question.

Miniter proceeded to tell us about a trip to the streets of New York with former gang members, who told him their stories. One such conversation was particularly eye-opening. Standing with Miniter on a street corner, a former gang member said:

Let me show you what's going on here: Over there you see some stores that are open -- there are shop owners there. They should be the pillars of this society. They should be the leaders...everyone should look up to them. But they don't. They've been neutered, their guns have been taken away. They have to call 911, and hope [someone comes to rescue them] if something happens. So they're victims waiting to happen.


Now look around more: There's a cop. Unfortunately, too often the youth...they don't look up to police officers, and there's all sorts of deep reasons for that...Now look around more, what else do you see? What you see are...gang leaders.

The end result in this former gang member's view is that for the young kid:

he looks around the neighborhood, and he looks for the power...He looks to the gang member who has a gun tucked away in his shorts. He's the power in that neighborhood. Whereas the average person who has been disarmed, the average store owner who has been disarmed are neutered, they don't.

How does he think you can reverse this paradigm?

[sharequote align="center"]The only way I can see to change this is to empower the carry concealed[/sharequote]

The only way I can see to change this is to empower the carry concealed. And then your mother or that store owner or whomever is on par -- is equal to that gang member and so on who is carrying that gun illegally. And you've just then brought mature people who know how to responsibly handle guns...into that society to be good examples of gun owners...and you've changed the whole social dynamic then of that idea of the gun in those bad neighborhoods.

You can listen to this portion of our interview in full below, beginning around 9:18.

During the interview, which coincidentally came in the wake of just-passed more stringent gun laws in Massachusetts, we had the chance to cover a number of other issues, including:

  • The evolution of guns in America, and the link between civilian and military gun development
  • How "assault weapon" is an invented term developed by gun control proponents to use as a cudgel against pro-gun activists
  • The strongest statistic that indicates more guns really do mean less crime
  • The implications of the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases
  • The most asinine gun law in the country
  • The effect of recent regulations on gun manufacturers and the gun economy
  • Intriguing new gun technologies, including the Intelligun, which is being used in some schools, and 3D printing
  • Sheriff Clark’s triumph in Wisconsin
  • How Miniter suggests one can try to move anti-gun rights folks to the pro-Second Amendment position

You can find all of our Blaze Books interviews on Soundcloud and Stitcher, and subscribe to the podcast automatically via iTunes.


Note: The link to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.

Follow Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten) and TheBlazeBooks on Twitter and Facebook.

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