Letter: Why gun control measures rarely pass
Nate Peterson’s recent column on gun violence and the King Soopers mass shooting was poignant, with heartfelt biographical allusions, as well as powerfully convictional about policing assault weapons.
Still, such writing and thinking are usually overpowered by the guiding myth that supposedly makes America great: The cowboy who won the West packed a six-gun in his holster. This image is branded in the American psyche. That’s why Barry Goldwater wore a cowboy hat. Ronald Reagan did him one better by chopping wood at his California ranch after dismounting his horse. Reagan wore a cowboy hat and jeans, with a bolero spiffing up his western shirt.
This is why gun control measures rarely progress. Americans get defensive when they believe such a policy will make their heroic cowboy myth disappear because the cowpoke has his gun rights infringed on.
I don’t have a clue how to reform this deeply entrenched, honored, and religiously defended myth of the armed cowboy. Until, then, assault rifles will continue to be fired on our streets and in our grocery shops.
Jack Van Ens