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Alan Levinovitz 👹 @AlanLevinovitz
, 10 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
It's fascinating to me, reading @DavidAFrench on gun culture in @TheAtlantic, just how much his description of it parallels "wellness" culture (see also @jameshamblin's recent piece on active shooter drills).

A brief analysis.…
His (moving and illuminating) article begins with personal anecdotes of threat and trauma. This is precisely what you'll see in people who have sought ought alternative medicine--only the threat comes from a diseased and polluted world, not diseased and polluted souls.
Then, as with those who seek out alternative medicine, there's a sense that the "establishment" can't really protect you. You want to be "empowered" to protect yourself--even if the statistics don't say it's protective, it's the emotional security and personal agency that's key.
So you go to the gun store. And just as with alternative health, in the gun store people listen to you. They take you seriously, unlike mainstream culture. Unlike the establishment doctors who don't have time for you.

They offer concrete solutions.
You get talked through a process systematically. ("Take these pills and use this ultraviolent sauna and eat organic.")

And there's a thrill as you buy the ingredients of a safer, healthier life. You think about how you'd stop an intruder--just like you'd stop cancer, yourself.
It's addictive. You want your sense of security everywhere. You carry your gun everywhere, just like the alternative medicine enthusiast carries their lifestyle everywhere in the form of pills or a restrictive diet.
You hear lots of anecdotes from like-minded people. "I protected myself with a gun" is eerily like "I reversed my cancer with X".

Anecdotes are not evidence, but the important thing is a community and a visceral sense of security.
Finally, your life is better. You feel safer, and you have a "burning conviction" that you are empowered to protect yourself and are doing the right thing--despite the establishment's rhetoric. Your like-minded friends confirm it to you...even if establishment statistics don't.
Just like people who oppose vaccines, or subscribe to homeopathic remedies, the gun community gets toxic rhetoric from mainstream culture.
These concluding lines could have been taken from a wellness website. They are emblematic of how people make decisions, and what they need to feel safe. I'd suggest much closer attention to the parallel between gun culture and wellness culture. /end
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