Friday August 28, 2015
How did gun culture get this far?
Whenever gun violence shakes the United States, the same question reemerges: will this be the turning point for gun control?
Following Wednesday's shooting in Virginia, A.J. Somerset isn't convinced that change is coming anytime soon. He's a sport shooter and former Canadian soldier who has written about the evolution of gun culture in a new book, Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun.
Somerset says that the U.S. is too deeply embedded in gun culture for these incidents to be catalysts for change; that change will be a "project of decades", and it may never materialize at all if the U.S. doesn't confront gun violence.
"[Problematic gun culture] is fetishizing the gun itself so that you invest your identity in the gun and the gun becomes a symbol of a bunch of values and beliefs that you hold. When you reach that point, then what happens is when anybody threatens any kind of gun regulation...they're threatening your very identity." - AJ Somerset
He joins guest host Gill Deacon to talk about what's really at the heart of gun culture and why he considers the Virginia tragedy "a mass public shooting without mass casualties".