I Grip the Gun and the Gun Grips Me

— Wired Science

Is there a sense in which a gun, once put in hand, must be fired? If so, how deeply does this expectation, this foreshadowing of action, soak into its holder? How might the surrounding culture (hunting versus “tactical”) and type of gun shape these expectations? One holds a gun by its grip. Is there a sense in which the gun grips the holder, so that gun begets gunner?

Evan Selinger, a philosopher who focuses on technology, explored these a few months ago in an article he wrote just after the Aurora shooting. The piece demands a bit of us, for it asks us to reconsider the shape of something whose shape we’re certain we already know. But the dimensions of which he writes, being of the human mind, are not as plain as we might like to think. As America now re-examines its relationship with firearms, more seriously, it appears, than it has for many a year, I wanted to put this idea back in play, so I’m posting it here at Neuron Culture.

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