This issue is at the core of a developing value system that's uniquely urban...

When Portland Mayor Sam Adams recently proposed three new city gun laws and two changes to existing city code, he joined several mayors across the country who are trying to pass gun-control laws that state lawmakers would not — or could not.

"It's amazing to me the denial around the connection between inadequacy in our gun laws and gun crimes on the street. The Legislature hasn't connected those dots," Adams said. "The absence of meaningful gun law changes must end. I'm intent on changing that."

Establishing such gun laws is probably a tall order. Firearms advocates are quick to challenge proposals that limit guns, and some already are calling Adams' effort "laughable" and a publicity stunt.

The absence of strong gun laws within the limits of the city presents one of the significant blocks to a flourishing cosmopolitan sociality. A city has no other end than this flourishing. And there's no higher form of human sociality than globalized cosmopolitism. None. The continuation of weak gun laws represents the the continuation of values that are at root agrarian. It's a form of rural ressentiment expressed as a political program. In short, because of its cultural limits or paucity, the rural (in its American mode) has transferred its failure to forward its actual social interests to a politics of spite—"some already are calling Adams' effort 'laughable.'" This spite is all the more passionate precisely because it is misdirected, precisely because it does not solve actually existing social contradictions.