The new “gun nuts”: media elites, locavores, and hipster hunters.
On a Sunday morning a couple years ago, Brooklyn journalist Foster Kamer and a few of his “particularly liberal” blogger friends decided to skip brunch and hit the shooting range instead.
“We said, hey, let’s do something ridiculous,” he recalled. “Let's go shoot guns.”
They chose the nearest site they found, a range that operated out of a basement in midtown Manhattan. “The first thing that happened when we got there was we heard some guy hammering away at a target with what sounded like a cannon. It was just in such tight quarters. It kind of freaked us out.”
It didn't keep them away, though.
One 30-minute gun safety lesson and a few bucks later, Kamer and his friends were blasting away at their own targets — the first of many. “Sometimes we go bowling, sometimes we eat together, and sometimes we go shooting,” he said. “It's something to do.”
The current flare-up in the long political battle over gun laws is coming at a moment when American gun culture is more expansive than ever, having gained a foothold among the type of coastal elites that, just a couple decades ago, would have dismissed the very idea of holding a rifle as obscene and offensive. Hunting and recreational shooting, once viewed by the left as backwater pastimes, have won over a liberal coalition of eco-conscious locavores, hipster hunters, and adventure-seeking New York media elites.
Since that first experience, Kamer has made a handful of trips to a New Jersey shooting range, bringing along a cadre of Twitter-savvy media types — including New York Times columnist David Carr and Reuters social media editor Anthony De Rosa — who post photos of themselves posing with guns and tweet trash talk about each other's shots.
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