15 Sep 2018

Urban Liberal With a Gun

, , ,

Urban beta-male Oliver Staley decides to dip a liberal toe in the cold, masculine, right-wing waters of the field sports, getting himself taken out as an “apprentice hunter” deer hunting with a shotgun in Northern New Jersey. His goal? Becoming a “liberal hunter.”

I wanted to become an all-American man. So I learned to hunt. …

I’m painfully aware of how much I conform to a stereotype of a Northeastern liberal. I’m a journalist. I drive a Subaru. I recycle assiduously. But I also bristle at being pigeon-holed and having my identity determined by my demographics.

There were other factors behind my desire to start hunting—my eagerness to find a new outdoors challenge; my desire to engage more physically with the world. And if I’m honest, there’s also an element of mid-life crisis, an urge to shake up what about I know about myself and what others think of me. But at least part of the impulse stems from a frustration with America’s polarized political climate, and how uncomfortable I am with the orthodoxies and Shibboleths of our warring tribes. …

I’m not so naive to think that taking up hunting would necessarily make me more convincing. But it would give me more confidence in my own convictions. It’s easy to argue for strict gun laws when you don’t own one; defending a position that imposes personal hardship is more difficult, and makes the stance that much more credible.

Of course, it’s possible to be a liberal hunter. I even know a few—mostly fellow journalists in western states who every fall disappear into the woods in search for deer or elk. Hunting doesn’t belong to conservatives anymore than hiking belongs to liberals. But demographic shifts over the last half-century have made cities liberal bastions, and left rural areas deep red. Hunting and gun culture have become synonymous with conservative politics, to the extent that the National Rifle Association, an organization once primarily devoted to hunting and shooting safety, has become a de facto wing of the Republican Party.

But perhaps the solution, or the beginning of the solution, to America’s gun problem will come not from further entrenchment into our positions, but more crossing over to the other side. Maybe the solution isn’t just more conservatives willing to consider gun control, but also more liberals learning how to hunt.


9 Feedbacks on "Urban Liberal With a Gun"


It’s not a gun problem.
It’s a criminal problem.


i read the whole article. It’s meant well but good grief it’s thin gruel. The dude spent an afternoon in a tree stand and that’s it. He never followed through. When you’re a hunter you keep hunting. If it takes a day, a week, or even several seasons is a matter of skill and chance and that’s part of the challenge. You’re only a hunter if you stick with it. What a lame shallow echo of the real thing.


I usually forget about shotguns for everything back in the wilds of NJ & NY.

If he was was really intersted in the hunting culture, he would have reported make, model and loads, especially the important ammo stashed in the magazine when the toy was hidden from his friends in the bedroom closet for the “suprise” late-night visitors.

Maybe he is too far from Newark or Paterson to worry about such things.

Jerry the Geek

I’m curious whether and how the author will handle the bloody mess when it comes time to gut and skin his kill.

And chop off the head, with the horns (or worse yet, to spit the skull to salvage the horns as trophy).

This Rite of Passage is usually the most difficult for new hunters to bridge, especially if they have never before been exposed to the realities of meat-hunting.

If the author wants to publish a REAL article, I think that the video of that “ordeal” would be more meaningful than a meek commentary about his existential angst.

Are you a hunter, or are you only a writer who doesn’t have the nerve to face the ultimate responsibilities of your day-tripper visit to the bone-yard?

steve walsh

Total poseur. He tries on ‘hunter’ in the same way you would try on a hat; how do i look in this? From the photo it appears he didn’t learn basic gun handling safety.

Dick the Butcher

Jersey. What exit?

Do not shoot a slug (no rifle hunting in NJ) in the ground. You’d likely put a hole in an illegal toxic waste dump.

All the above comments plus.

It all makes sense when you presume that the liberal is dishonest, evil and stupid.


The article started out really good, then devolved into the usual victimhood mentality IMHO.

surfside six

Gun makers and dealerships should stop allowing the gun hating population to benefit from firearms. It never made sense that gun hating personalities, entities and gun banning local governments that work to dismantle the 2nd Amendment would be permitted to acquire firearms themselves. Even security teams and agencies that serve these types should be forced to do so unarmed. Why gun makers would allow people bent on destroying and even imprisoning them access to their productions is one of the strangest things ever done.

Dick the Butcher

“Urban Liberal With A Gun” has displaced “Tits On A Bull” on my list of metaphors.


Please Leave a Comment!

Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark