Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Gun Owners, serious ones, are generally conservative. They may be socially liberal, certainly, but they are definitely taking a more conservative view of the US Constitution. For the 2nd Amendment, as well as all the others. And they want to limit the power of the government. Gun owners also have a libertarian bent. Also... generally.

There are other conservative types, and these are MASSIVE generalizations. PaleoConservative (a bit icky, and often racist, thankfully these are dying out for the most part.) Country Club Conservatives (they like the old social order and their position in it. They often also bleong to Rotary. Old style Blue Bloods.) NeoConservatives (used to be liberal, saw the light about 30-40 years ago.) Social Conservatives (sometimes they don't mind government power, especially when used advance their goals on abortion, homosexual issues, and church related stuff.) CrunchyCons (conservatives that are big into the environment and conservation. they often wear hemp and eat granola. They can look like a hippy while voting for a Reagan.) Many other types. FiscalConservatives, LibertarianConservative, Anti-CommieConservatives, SoutParkCosnervatives, &c. There is also the subject for my post: MetroCons. Metro-Conservatives.

MetroCons are folks that live in or grew up in urban or near urban areas and are conservative. Examples include Bill Buckley and the staff of National Review, Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin. Conservative that don't reside in "Fly-Over Country."

Mark Levin came out with a book called Liberty and Tyranny that touched on all of the generally appealing principles of conservatives: Fiscal responsibility, low taxes, rule of law - NOT man, don't be beholden the Gaia religionist, elimination of a gov't monopoly on schooling/indoctrination, entitlement reform, a vigorous national defense policy to meet any outside threat, getting a handle on out of control illegal immigration ending gov't hostility to religion, and an almost absolute faith in the Constitution with an originalist interpretation.

He never once mentions guns. Mr. Levin is typical of most metrocons. Metrocons have probably never been deer hunting or to the range or even held a pistol in their hands. They certainly don't mention 2nd Amendment issue much on their shows and in their written columns. It's as if they don't care about gun issues one way or another. Being urban types, the gun activity around them is often of a criminal variety. If not to them, than a few blocks away to other people. Some metrocons are openly hostile to gun rights.

You can read National Review Online for months without seeing a reference to the 2nd amendment. Longer if no 2A cases work their way through the court system. Only one or two contributors shoots a self-defense handgun regularly or has in the past. And it is hard to blame them. By definition they LIVE in the city. And the 2 cities they live in are NY and DC. Neither are known for having lots of places to practice with your boomstick. Or having a boomstick in your house/apartment.

But even the hostile ones can be on 'our' side in the gun debate when you press them. Why? They are Constitutional Originalists. When rhetoric push comes to intellectual shove they line up on our side. Assuming you, the reader, is a single issue person that is concerned about RKBA issues only. And since this blog is about the aspects of ME that is RKBA it might seem that that is all I think about. Relax, dear reader, (all 3 of you) I am more nuanced that that. I just endeavor to stay on topic.

Metrocons might be hoplophobes, but they don't project their hoplophobia onto others.

Technically, I should be a Metrocon. I grew up in the suburbs and had relatively little contact with hunting and shooting growing up. My proclivities lead me to lean toward downtown, not out to the country. I liked the country, but preferred the conveniences of the city. Or close enough to the city. When looking at military service I eschewed Army like activities because I don't like sleeping in the mud. It's a big reason why I liked the Navy. My family did very little shooting growing up, and most of that was BB guns in tightly controlled situation with adult supervision at ALL times. Even when such supervision may not have been warranted. There is no reason whatsoever that I should be interested in firearms.

Had I been more rurally oriented my interest I have now would have happened 30 years ago. 30 years ago my interest was toward larger machines. Combat aircraft.

But better late then never. Getting my first deer 30 years ago might have been better, but hopefully I can correct that omission now.

Would I like it if MetroCons through their more rural minded brethren a Second Amendment bone? Yes. Do they have to? No. As long as they adhere to their philosophy regarding the Constitution they are still on our side. We'll worry about the fight between Metro-Cons and more rural Conservatives later, when it is no longer Democrats on the Left and the GOP on the right in Congress, but Metro-Cons on the Left and 'Rural'-Cons on the right there.


Anonymous said...

If you're looking to make enemies out of allies, you're making a good start. Do you think you're going to bring folks to your side of an issue by insulting them?

If you're trying to move a policy position to statute, the way you go about it is by building coalitions. Let make say that another way - if you want to make an idea law, you need to get as many people as possible on your side.

You start with the art of the possible. Sometimes, it's just small steps, that give you a chance to put your side in the best possible light to folks unfamiliar with your point. Say, inviting someone who's never been shooting out to the firing range. You work up from there.

you'll find that the vast majority of people respond better to a friendly invite. And when you start saying either you're 100% on my side, or you're the enemy - well, you'll find you've got a lot of unnecessary enemies.

Drang said...

I don't think the intention was to insult anyone; if they feel insulted, too bad. Note that there are a lot of prominent conservatives who have shown no apparent interest in guns or gun rights--as described--and have even been hostile to the idea that the Second Amendment is an absolute right--I am thinking Buckley and Will here.

Me, I like the MetroCon tag, since, among other things, it describes not only the condition but the reason for it. I suppose that, having grown up in The Big City one might suspect that I would have turned out that way, except that in Detroit in the era I was growing up, heading off the the Great North Woods ("Up North") was pretty much expected; back then, even in The City Michigan was a Deer Hunting state.

Anonymous said...

Mark Levin used to be an Assistant United States Attorney. Don't bank too hard on his never having handled a firearm, and I am not talking about holding one up in court during a trial.

Mike James

jimbob86 said...

"If you're trying to move a policy position to statute....."

IMHO, there has been WAY to much of that already...... "There oughta be a Law...." or "The Government oughta make sure....." has led us to the mess we have today, where The State is the largest employer and consumer.... If things keep going like they are, it will collapse under its own weight, and a lot of innocent people will be crushed under it's thrashing bulk.

jimbob86 said...

"where The State is the largest employer and consumer..."

Oops- forgot largest lender and car dealer, too!

Tam said...


I don't see where he termed them "the enemy" or was trying to be divisive; it strikes me as a good explanatory essay for why 2A issues don't appear on the radar much at the mainstream conservative journals emanating from the NY-DC axis., while they might be a major conservative issue for a reader in the 'burbs of Dallas or Denver.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's just say that the quip about Paleo-Conservatives is deeply insulting. These folk were conservative before being conservative was cool.

benEzra said...

I would point out that the head of the Brady Campaign, Republican former governor Paul Helmke, is arguably one of your metrocons. So is William J. Bennett, the driving force behind the original Federal "assault weapon" fraud instituted by Bush the Elder, and Sarah Brady herself.

If those of you who are conservative give a free pass to anti-gun conservatives, don't be surprised if you end up following in the footsteps of the UK and Australia, two nations in which sweeping bans were instituted BY CONSERVATIVES as a way to keep "the little people" from owning guns.

Being pro-choice on guns is not an inherently conservative position, and being anti-choice on guns is not an inherently liberal position; new restrictions on the law-abiding are mostly mostly pushed by center-left to center-right authoritarians who subscribe to a communitarian philosophy, and view More Authority as generally a good thing. Those people should be resisted, regardless of where they lie on the political spectrum.

Tam said...

"Well, let's just say that the quip about Paleo-Conservatives is deeply insulting."

Well, I was paying more attention to the "Metrocon" thing, which I thought was a neat descriptor for a certain type of conservative that I hadn't heard used before.

I agree he was pretty off-base on the paleocon thing, but decided not to break a lance on it since it wasn't really the topic of the post.