Why the “gun nut” stereotype persists

I’m still not sure I agree with the Journal News’s decision to take gun permit records (public) and publicize them. Journalists haven’t been unanimous in their thoughts — Poynter’s Al Tompkins had the best critique of what the paper could’ve done differently.

But the response — death threats, publishing Journal News employees’ children’s elementary school addresses, white powder, etc. — is just feeding the stereotype that gun owners are crazy. If I were a gun owner (like the original reporter on the story!), I’d be annoyed to have people like this speaking on “my” behalf.

It’s not changing the conversation. It’s just bullying by people projecting their insecurities and delusions on others.


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