Politically liberal Dan Baum and “Happiness is a worn gun”

Posted By on July 29, 2010

danbaum While traveling this week, I enjoy a point of view and odd story for NPR which had self-proclaimed “liberal Democrat” Dan Baum about his Happiness is a worn gun article in Harper’s Magazine on the radio. (currently a PDF version of the article here) He addresses the subject of the love of guns from the political left and living in the city of Boulder, CO which are both normally slanted as “anti-gun ownership” and “anti-conceal carry.”

I live in Boulder, Colorado, a town so painstakingly liberal that the city council once debated whether people are “owners” or “guardians” of their pets. “Guardians” won.

harpershappinessisaworngunBaum doesn’t fit the mold in that he’s both grown up loving guns, hunting and now has a concealed carry permit; in other word in this area he more politically aligned with a pro-gun conservative … generally a Republican or Libertarian.

In writing his article Dan Baum also took a couple conceal carry courses for the article, and although he is critical of the training, believes in the right for law abiding citizens to carry firearms. He admits that he use to agreed with most liberal Democrats that more gun ownership and conceal carry permits would increase gun crime. What he found out, is that he and his liberal friends were wrong — statistics proved the exact opposite. He doesn’t go so far to conclude that the increase in permits has decrease crime, but does say that there isn’t the expected increase (numbers are down).

If you are open minded, his Harper’s article is worth a read and audio interviews are at several radio stations, including WHYY and KUER, are interesting.

I got hooked on guns forty-nine years ago as a fat kid at summer camp—the one thing I coulddo was lie on my belly and shoot a .22 rifle — and I’ve collected, shot, and hunted with guns my entire adult life. But I also grew up into a fairly typical liberal Democrat, with a circle of friends politely appalled at my fixation on firearms.


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