Culture clash

by Andrew Gelman on May 2, 2013 · 14 comments

in Blogs

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 10.13.04 PM

I had no idea this sort of thing even existed:

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 10.14.43 PM

I’m reminded of our discussion of Charles Murray’s recent book on social divisions among Americans. Murray talked about differences between upper and lower class, but I thought he was really talking more about differences between liberals and conservatives among the elite. (More discussion here.)

In this particular case, Murray’s story about irresponsible elites seems to fit pretty well. At the elite level, you have well-connected D.C. gun lobbyists opposing any restrictions on personal weapons. As Murray might put it, the elites (Phil Spector aside) may be able to handle their guns, but some lower-class Americans cannot—-they do things like give real rifles to 5-year-olds (!). As Murray writes, it’s a combination of cultural ignorance and a permissive ideology: I assume the senators who voted against the recent gun control bill wouldn’t give live weapons to their kids (or live in neighborhoods in which kids have access to guns at home), but they don’t feel right about restricting the rights of others to do so.

{ 14 comments }

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: