Gun Wars: An Interview with Larry Correia

Larry Correia is a bestselling author of thriller SF/fantasy fiction.  He’s also a gun enthusiast.  Now he’s written a nonfiction work on gun rights and the Second Amendment.  I read an advance copy and found myself flying through the pages – it’s super-interesting and engaging, even to someone like me who’s been a shooter and gun-rights supporter and part of this world for many years.   The book is In Defense of the Second Amendment, and it comes out on Tuesday.

I thought it would be nice to ask him some questions, which are featured below. As usual, the article is free to everyone, but comments are limited to paid subscribers.

So fiction pays a lot better than nonfiction – as a nonfiction author, believe me, I know – but you took time from writing bestselling fiction to produce a book on gun rights.  Why?  And why now?

This is a subject that I’ve been passionate about my whole life. I’ve joked that I’m getting paid for this book, but I would have written it for free. I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and I’m hoping that this book helps move the needle on the debate. It is aimed at two audiences. For people who already like guns, the truth is on our side, and I want to help them articulate better arguments and arm them with facts. Then I want to help those who are on the fence, who’ve bought into the media narratives, to try and get them to understand why we have our rights and why they are so important.

I love your terms about the “vulture press” and “vulture pundits.”  Tell folks here what you mean by that.

They get that name because there is this awful contingent in media who waits, perched, until whenever there is any sort of tragic or horrific event, they swoop in to feed. They delight in suffering and bloodshed. The more the better. They wait for when emotions are hot and people aren’t thinking to push for the dumbest, most illogical power grabs, because they know that’s the only time a sufficient mass of people are going to be illogical enough to fall for their scams. I’ve got a whole chapter going over how they operate, their usual tricks and scams, and the best ways to deal with them.

I forget who originally said it, but after a shooting, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.  I feel like that approach used to be more effective than it is now.  But they’re also selective about what shootings count.  When gang members shoot black people in poor neighborhoods, there’s no outrage, and if you point it out, you’re somehow racist.

Absolutely. They live and die by their narrative. Anything that doesn’t fit the narrative gets ignored or swept under the rug. I go into America’s crime stats. They love to portray America as a nation with this crazy violent crime problem. Not really. America is a fairly peaceful nation with a handful of zip codes where it is murder city. Then the gun grabbers attack everybody who criticizes their insane ideas as racist, while their policies inordinately harm the demographics they are supposedly championing. It is a sick con game.

One of the things you often hear is that you don’t need an AR-15 to hunt deer.  So why do you need an AR-15?

Joe Biden loves to say the deer don’t wear kevlar, man, right before he jokes about killing us with fighter jets. Only the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting. It isn’t about “sporting purposes”. It is about our right to defend ourselves from threats, up to and including tyrannical governments. The AR-15 is just the most popular rifle in America right now, and if it wasn’t the AR, the gun grabbers would hate that other thing instead. I’ve got a chapter where I get into the history and logistics of what the Second Amendment is really about, and how it is the big red button on the Constitution that we really don’t want to push.

You’ve been a strong proponent of arming teachers.  Why is that?

To clarify, I don’t think this should be mandatory. I think it should be voluntary. Basically if a teacher already has a concealed weapons permit, and they are capable, intelligent, and trained, why wouldn’t you want them armed? They are simply another layer of defense in case something horrible happens. They aren’t cops. They’re speed bumps. We’ve seen over and over that what stops a mass killer is a violent response. That violent response can either be immediate, or it can be when the police arrive. That could be minutes, or as we’ve seen recently, hours. Either way until that violent response happens the killer is going to keep killing. Armed school employees are just another layer of defense.

Inevitably when they hear this suggestion anti-gun people always freak out about how armed teachers will lead to murder and chaos, so on and so forth, except my state has allowed CCW in schools for well over a decade and none of their hysterical predictions have come true.

Will “red flag” laws inevitably be abused?  Or can we trust the government to be fair?

Fair is the last thing anybody would accuse our government of being. Abuse is absolutely inevitable. Imagine giving the worst people you know the ability to send a SWAT team to your house in the middle of the night.

We have already seen abuse of this system happen and I go through some cases in the book. People who get red flagged by someone with an axe to grind, even if they did nothing wrong, now have to spend a lot of time and money fighting to get their rights back.

I also get into how this system falls apart logically. States already have legal methods to commit someone who is deemed a danger to themselves and others, only they rarely do that because it is a difficult process. So instead they think that if we just red flag dangerous individuals and take their guns, now they’re going to be nice? Oh of course not. If they were dangerous before, they remain dangerous, they just need to procure new guns (and the vast majority of guns used in crimes are stolen or bought off of someone who stole them) or build a bomb, or drive their car through a parade. I’m sure getting red flagged isn’t going to improve their disposition.

I’m a competent but not brilliant shooter – at one competition I shot, a judge said I was “pretty good, for a law professor,” which seems about right, and I have an armory that would appall most academics but that counts as “a nice start” by East Tennessee standards – but I’m constantly amazed at how little journalists who report on gun issues know about guns.  I’m not Larry Correia or Tamara Keel, but I know the basics and it’s not even my job.   What accounts for their staggering ignorance?

It is willful ignorance. They are stupid on purpose. By not knowing how things work, they can propose the silliest things and still pat themselves on the back for “doing something.” Gun laws don’t care about history, reality, or even basic physics. Usually the stuff they propose will actually be backwards and make the problem they supposedly want to fix worse. That’s a feature to them, not a bug. Because as long as the problem keeps getting worse they can keep voting themselves more power and authority.

For years the advice to gun owners was to keep their heads down as antigun forces went after them.  Do you think that has changed?

I think it is in the process of changing. Some parts of the gun culture are sick and tired of the Perhaps If We Are Nice They Will Go Away defense. This is the portion that has been fighting and making gains for gun rights around the country. These are the organizations that are actively looking for lawsuits to file. These are the people who open their mouths and take newbies to the range. Thankfully the old fuddy, self-righteous, guns for me but not for thee contingent are dying off.

What should gun-rights activists be working on?

I have a list of suggestions in the book for various laws we can push for at the local, state, and federal level, but far more importantly than the legislative battle is the cultural one. We need to be reaching out to our friends, families, neighbors, and community, spreading the word. Take people shooting. Help get them trained. Gun ownership exploded in 2020. Sales were off the charts. People saw cities on fire and the cops saying don’t bother calling 911 because we can’t come, you’re on your own, good luck, so they bought record numbers of guns. And it wasn’t my people standing in long lines to pay scalpers prices. We’ve already got ours. It was new people, first time buyers, and when you look at the demographics, not at all how the gun banners would present it as something for old white guys.

The best thing all of us can do is keep fighting this culture war, and if you aren’t, I hope this book can help you get started.