Pulling The Thread with Elise Loehnen

Solving the American Gun Crisis (Ryan Busse)

Solving the American Gun Crisis (Ryan Busse)

Pulling The Thread with Elise Loehnen - December 2, 2021 - 54:08

“The NRA and gun owners then signified, you know, the sort of comradery, responsibility, safety, sort of a bygone, I don't know, sort of an Americana, right? The Campbell soup can sort of Americana. I don't remember ever seeing or hearing about the impending demise of the Republic, or how evil every Democrat was, or how we should hate our neighbors, or how we should arm ourselves for an eventual civil war or an insurrection. That was never, that was never a part of my upbringing.” So says Ryan Busse, author of GUNFIGHT: MY BATTLE AGAINST THE INDUSTRY THAT RADICALIZED AMERICA. Busse, who spent decades running gun sales for Kimber in Whitefish, Montana, which focused, until recently, on crafting hunting rifles and other firearms for sportsmen, quit his job last year after he realized that his dreams of transforming the gun industry from inside—or at least being a consistent voice of reason and morality—were fantasy. He watched as the industry he used to love became increasingly toxic, distorted, and militant.In his book, which is a fascinating look at the forces within the NRA and the way they’ve radicalized America, he deftly explains all the reasons we are where we are today: Where our children are forced to practice active shooter drills at school, and where other kids—like 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse—can buy a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle and kill two people while wounding another. And then be acquitted for self-defense. As he argues, we are on the brink of a Civil War with gun-owning, far Right militants. I know we’re scared, and he believes we have every reason to be.Like Busse, I’m also from Montana, and know many people who hunt—growing up, guns were present but never abundant. Now, responsible gun owners are being pushed aside by militant couch commandos, who are desperate, to quote Busse, “to shoot a democrat.” While Busse is no longer in the industry, he is firmly in the movement for common sense gun laws, arguing that our best chance for reform is to bring hunters and sportsmen on-side. As he explains, it can be done—and we can bring the NRA to its knees. EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: Exploring the cultural connection to guns…(12:12) Hate, conspiracy, national tragedies and gun sales…(16:56) Profiting off of fear…(32:06) What do we do?...(40:04) MORE FROM RYAN BUSSEGunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized AmericaRyan Busse's WebsiteFollow Ryan on Twitter and on InstagramDIG DEEPER:The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael PollanFBI background checks, a proxy for gun sales, surged in 2020 - The Economist, January 2021GET INVOLVED:Mom’s Demand ActionEverytown for Gun Safety

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