Here’s How ‘Gun Culture’ Is Built – One Law-Abiding Gun Owner at a Time

The gun debate has heated rhetoric on both sides. How can we be better? National Review’s David French wanted to reach out to people who don’t understand why anyone needs to be a concealed carry permit holder, so he wrote a piece for The Atlantic explaining American gun culture to anyone who finds it foreign.

“[M]any millions of Americans don’t truly understand how ‘gun culture’ is built, how the process of first becoming a gun owner, then a concealed-carrier, changes your life,” French wrote. “It starts with the consciousness of a threat.”

For French and his family, the road to becoming part of “gun culture” started with disturbing threats and the realization that they were completely vulnerable until the police arrived. He joined Glenn on today’s show to talk about why many Americans want to own guns and how we can work together to find focused solutions to keep guns away from dangerous people.

“I just wanted to connect people with the real story of people’s lives,” French said.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: David French who is a senior fellow of the National Review, is joining us now. Hello, David, how are you?

DAVID: I'm good. How are you doing?

GLENN: Well, I've been better. I've been better.

Yesterday had to come as kind of a surprise to you because you're a guy who is -- is authoring some of the bills they were talking about yesterday.

DAVID: Well, yesterday, it was one of those moments when somebody takes an idea that you've been talking about, twists it, distorts it, misstates it in such a grotesque way that it's unrecognizable.

It was really an amazing moment. So you had Mike Pence talking about -- in a very responsible and sane and sober way, the concept of the gun violence restraining order.

GLENN: Right. Right.

DAVID: Which allows people to seek an order from a court. And with due process, with a hearing, when someone is exhibiting dangerous behavior, to allow temporary seizure of their guns when there's red flags. And the vast, vast majority of these shootings, there have been red flags, and a lot of times, people haven't had the tools to do anything about it. This changes that. And then Trump stepped in and said, no, no, take the guns first. Then due process.

And you just -- you know --

GLENN: He did say -- he said, you know, there is a different system. Take the guns first, and then due process. And I believe that system is fascism. Authoritarianism. Totalitarianism. Communism. I mean, there is another system, David.

DAVID: Right.

Yeah. Yeah. His views on due process are really interesting. So if you're a credibly accused wife beater in the White House, well, then due process. But if you're a law-abiding gun owner, then no due process. So it's a very strange system. It's a very strain of constitutional thinking there.

But, yeah, you know, look the bottom line is he's not drafting a bill. He's not proposing the bill. He doesn't really know about any of this --

GLENN: Yeah.

DAVID: -- in any detail.

GLENN: No. When he was saying that Toomey was afraid of the NRA, it shows, you have no idea. You have no idea.

DAVID: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, the thing that was stunning to me about -- well, I am on record many times for having low expectations of this president.

GLENN: Yes.

DAVID: But he underperformed even my low expectations yesterday. And the reason is that, the NRA has been probably his most loyal conservative friend. The NRA has been relentless for him. A lot of people have criticized the NRA for taking a turn -- perceived turn towards Trumpism, where they're promoting the president as much as they're promoting the Second Amendment. So the NRA has been ferociously loyal to Trump.

And yesterday, he not only said, hey, take the guns first, due process second, he -- he essentially said, no -- no concealed carry reciprocity. He made fun of a senator for being in that pocket of the NRA, or being scared of the NRA. And then he pulled the idea of an assault weapons ban, all in the space of about 30 minutes.

And my jaw hit the floor. It was an amazing thing to see.

GLENN: So, David, the -- a lot of people will say, nothing is going to come of this, so don't worry.

This was so jaw-dropping that -- I mean, I've said this for years, long before Donald Trump, you have to have a guy in the Oval Office, whose natural first instinct is constitutional. That is -- that it is freedom-based.

DAVID: Yeah.

GLENN: For instance, when you have a problem, who you know also didn't get due process? The Japanese as they were put on a bus for an internment camp. When there's trouble and you are not based in the Constitution, that -- that is -- that is a moment that could go horribly awry, as it has in the past here in America.

When the president says, well, I'm not really afraid of the NRA, I don't think in 2021, he'll be afraid of anybody. And if we have trouble, this is a giant red flag.

DAVID: Right. So not only is it a red flag on poor policy grounds. In other words, how does the president exercise the powers of his office? It's also, look, the bully pulpit matters.

You know, this is a nominal theory on the part -- many parts of the public, that what the president says doesn't really matter. Which is just a rationalization and an excuse. The bully pulpit matters. When you're talking about the person, when perhaps the greatest public platform in the world. And they're indifferent at best to the Constitution. They're obviously here, seem to really not care about the Second Amendment all that much. Those things matter, especially when the other side is locked in. I mean, the other side is locked in on messaging. It is locked in -- has extraordinary party discipline right now. I believe it was 156 of the 193 members of Congress signed on -- Democratic members of Congress signed onto the assault weapons ban legislation that was just introduced.

So the other side is focused and locked in. And, you know, when the bully pulpit is occupied by somebody who is not as focused -- focused -- not as locked in, and apparently indifferent to core constitutional values, that's a problem.

GLENN: We want to talk to -- we're talking to David French. We want to talk to him about a story he wrote in the Atlantic. What critics don't understand about the gun culture. We'll go there in a second.

GLENN: David French, who has just written an article for the Atlantic. What critics don't understand about the gun culture. And he really tried to reach out to the other side and said, look, I know there aren't people that don't understand guns or the gun culture. Let me try to demystify this a little bit so you can at least understand the other side. David, can you take us through this rather quickly?

DAVID: Yeah, absolutely.

See, what I wanted to do was talk to folks, the Atlantic readers are mainly progressives. And I wanted to walk them through how you -- of how a person enters gun culture. And how it begins often with an actual threat or a perceived threat, where you realize that the police can't protect your family in time. And how actually walking through that process of buying a gun, learning how to use a gun, going to concealed carry permit class, getting training, actually brings you into a new community of folks. And also changes your outlook on life in a significant and positive way.

And so I wanted people to understand that this isn't a product of, like, NRA lobbying or congressional actions. It's a product of people's lived experience and how they respond to threats to their safety and their family's safety.

It just -- I just wanted to connect people with sort of the real story of people's lives.

GLENN: Yeah. You know, I just had a friend of mine say yesterday, Glenn, I -- I mean, I'm not worried about my family. And I don't -- it's just not part of anything. I don't worry about any of this.

Well, some of us do.

DAVID: Yeah.

GLENN: And some people -- mainly Hollywood and people like me have the money to be able to have an armed security guy with him the whole time. But that's not the average person.

I mean, my daughter, you know, if she had a stalker, she would want a gun. And I will tell you this, I am -- I am somebody who felt I was not responsible enough to own a gun, what? Twenty years ago. And I had to -- you know, I had to have serious threats in my life. And the gun was the last step that I took myself.

And then I really took it seriously and became responsible enough to own a gun. I know everybody isn't like that, but they should be.

And in your article, you -- you point out that we were -- as gun owners, we're horrified by the -- the killer in -- you know, at the high school, having these guns. And all of the warning flags. And the system failed. And we were horrified here in Texas, when the system failed.

DAVID: Right. Right. Exactly. You know, there's this perception. Odd, strange. I mean, how evil do you think your fellow citizens have to be, to believe that you're indifferent to what happens in Texas? But you get that rhetoric all the time, that people who belong to the NRA have blood on their hands, they belong to a terrorist organization. When the fact of the matter is, as I related in my piece, I'm not someone who can afford armed security around my family. A guy came to our house. He blocked our driveway. He walked straight up to my wife and kids when they were in the backyard. And I was -- and the police and I were many minutes away, demanding to see me. He had an empty holster in his hip. He had just been driving slowly through any kids' school. So this kind of thing focuses the mind pretty -- pretty intensely. And that's what -- you know, it's those kinds of things.

And, look, there are a lot of people who are not in the public square, who are not out there tweeting and writing and doing TV appearances. Maybe it's an ex-boyfriend. Maybe they live in a dangerous part of time. You know, there are lot of reasons why people quite reasonably say, you know, when the police can't be there instantly. And the police can't be there everywhere. I kind of need a first line of defense, and that is not unreasonable at all.

GLENN: So I've got about 45 seconds here, David. Can you tell me -- what has the response been from those who read this?

DAVID: I would say, overwhelmingly positive. Of course, some people have been very angry. One person said it was like white privilege on steroids. Something like that.

GLENN: Whatever. Whatever.

DAVID: Yeah, but overwhelmingly positive. Not so much that they say, oh, I want to join -- I want to buy a gun. I get this.

GLENN: That's all we have to do. And, look, we're never going to convince, nor do I think we have to make the effort to go after the most staunch people. Because they're never going to change their mind. But we have to at least reach people so they hear the reasonable, rational argument on the other side. And we can learn from them. They can learn from us. And maybe we can pursue, you know, truly common sense things, that will -- will protect our families and our children in school. David French, thank you so much, appreciate it.

DAVID: Thank you.

GLENN: You bet.

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

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BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

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