In Defense of AR-15 Story Hour
Broadening gun culture's tools of propagation through idea theft
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is a brutally effective culture war weapon. Dating back to 2015, this vector of attack turned into a culture war lightning rod in 2022 and 2023 because of certain evolutions within the TERF Wars, and now the practice is front and center in people’s minds.
Herein, we will set aside the issue of whether DQSH is right or appropriate, and instead examine what makes it so effective. Then we’ll make the case that gun culture could and should steal the idea part and parcel, and adapt it with almost no change whatsoever to the overall format, to be its own brutally effective weapon. We begin by looking at DQSH.
Culture War Vectors
I told a man once that “racism is going to go away once we get one good generation with no racists in it. After that all we have to do is wait for the older racists to die.” He didn’t take that statement particularly well, because he was a 2016 pre-Woke and I at the time didn’t understand the five different confusing definitions of “racism”, but I stand by the statement when it comes to the problem of individual racial prejudice.
Prejudices are almost entirely learned behaviors, either from direct bad encounters with [those people] or from your parents and peers imparting a prejudice against [those people] that they acquired, from either direct bad encounters or their parents or peers. Prejudice is like a gene that passes down, or like a virus that passes sideways. At some point in our recent past there were English settlers in the USA who were prejudiced against Irish settlers, but they basically all went away over time because eventually nobody cared. We had one good generation without that particular prejudice, and voila, up it went like smoke.
This is the culture war vector DQSH is attempting to leverage, officially at least. One good generation where nobody is prejudiced against transgenders will mean transgender prejudice goes away, and then poof, up like smoke. And the way you get that is to acclimate children to transgenders.
But transgenderism is a behavior, not a race, so people who oppose that behavior take the position that DQSH is not merely acclimating people to [those people] to reduce prejudice, but it is in fact planting mental seeds of that behavior in order to spread that behavior. It’s “grooming.”
I don’t know how we could know for sure.
I suppose it’s possible. But the entire argument for or against DQSH revolves around this fulcrum, which creates a giant Scissor Statement, which in turn gets the drag queens more media coverage, which makes people talk about drag queens more, which is basically just free press. And largely positive press at that, because the people opposing DQSH are funneled into a “Dilemma Action,” where they are stuck with choices that are all bad for their position. Either they allow the DQs to indoctrinate children, or they oppose it with protests which make them look like bigots or laws that make them look like fascists. It’s a no win situation. Which is why gun culture should steal the idea.
AR-15 Story Hour
“Guns are normal and normal people use guns” is a regular mantra by David Yamane, sociologist professor at Wake Forest who studies the sociology of guns and has coined the term “Gun Culture 2.0” to describe how today’s modern gun owners are shifting from hunting motivations to self defense motivations. I chat with David. While he’d probably be terrified of the heat he’d pull by endorsing an AR-15 Story Hour, the idea fits right within his wheelhouse. Here’s the idea.
Get a guy in a Hawaiian shirt, a desert camo plate carrier, a helmet, night vision goggles, and an unloaded and safely carried AR-15 battle rifle, to sit on a chair in a library and read kids books to them, totally unrelated to guns. Fox in Socks, Berenstain Bears, whatever. Acclimate the kids to being around an AR-15, the way DQSH acclimates children to transgenders. That’s it. Nothing more.
The first DQSH was in San Francisco because it’s transgender home turf. Librarians who bought into the idea were easy to find, and nobody was going to protest it there. For the same reason the first couple of AR15SHs would need to be in Oklahoma or Alabama.
The national blue media would latch onto the thing because it outrages their base, just like the red media did with DQSH, so would turn them into national stories and culture war nexuses to farm the clickbait profits from the story. Everyone on Twitter would argue about them for two days, with public figures being forced to take a position on them they don’t want to take. The blue reaction to AR15SH would mirror the red reaction to DQSH almost perfectly. I built you a table:
If any blues decided to oppose AR-15 Story Hour, either by protest or law, they’d be in the same pickle than the reds are today reacting to DQSH. In the end, the entire national dialogue about AR-15 Story Hour would boil down to every egregore captured pundit shouting some version of the above table back and forth at each other. The net effect would be to promulgate the position that guns are normal and normal people own guns, over and over, into the collective zeitgeist of the United States.
Sweet, sweet, normalization.
It doesn't work because the framing around trans rights is that they protect something that a person *is* and not merely what a person *does.* You can't adopt that same framing with gun ownership, it's a fundamentally different *kind* of individual liberty. Anyone who hates AR15SH can ban simply guns in the library (if they're not already) the same way they already ban guns in your local post office or courthouse, without messing with any questions about whether you are suppressing a sincere form of personal expression, or worse, a key aspect of personal identity inseparable from the person.
This is aside from the other objections about how it won't work simply because you're trying to do a 5GW cultural victory in a world where your opponent controls the propaganda machine necessary for a 5GW cultural victory. You live in a world where setting fire to a police station is a peaceful protest, definitely not terrorism, and millions of dollars in bail funds and legal aid are standing by to ensure that you face no consequences for it, but taking an unguided tour through the capitol gets you locked up for years without charges while every single entity nominally devoted to civil liberties and justice system accountability, who will stick their necks out for actual murderers, looks the other way.
As the saying goes, the master's tools will not dismantle the master's house
Y'all got any more of that there normalization?