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The Psychology of Gun Lovers

March 7, 2014

I happen to swing by the politics section of one of the typology boards, and give my opinion on a discussion fo the gun debate, titled “The Psychology of Gun Lovers”.

I haven’t gone much into this, here or even in Makers-Takers (though I copied over this first two sentences, which themselves were recent edits), because it’s such an “iffy” issue. So I articulated why it was so:

Gun culture is yet another romanticized aspect of the “exceptional” past society that conservatives bemoan the loss of. (like the supposed sexual morality Christians conservatives used to focus on).
Everybody wants to be John Wayne and have the “showdown at the OK corral” and blow the smoke off their pistol and ride off into the sunset; (but it doesn’t usually go quite that way in actual gun battles!)

Being that a lot of gun opposition is from politicians from big cities that have gun problems, and many of these gun advocates are the same ones that look down on other groups (especially in cities) and even gloat “see, look at their violence against each other”, “they’re just takers, leeches, thugs”, etc; I think they want guns to be easy to get for everyone (including the criminals), in part so ‘those people’ in the cities can hopefully kill each other off. (While they then use the statistics to prove their point about these people and their “problems”; and of course, the gun advocate rooting for this hundreds of miles away still has their own guns to feel safe in case any of these people, or the government, ever happens to comes after them!)
Why else would they oppose so strongly just a background check? (or whatever that was the Democrats tried to pass, and was shot down; no pun intended).

Someone then questioned the “they want guns to be easy to get for everyone…” statement. My response:

Nobody’s ever said that (that I know of); it’s not one of those things the average mainstream conservative would ever admit. (we can say it’s in the “shadow” of the debate!)

But the entire ghetto (as well as so-called “illegal” immigrants, now) have become pariahs to this segment of society, and you can hear it in the political rhetoric, especially after Trayvon, most recently (Again, their own shadow stoked up, they fire back “what about Chicago, Detroit”?, etc.)
I got that deduction from the fact that Bloomberg and other northern big city mayors’ concern was people going to these gun areas out of state and bringing them back to use in crimes. They are not trying to take away all handguns, sports rifles, etc. the gun lobby claims the government is trying to take from them (And then comparing this to Hitler and every other totalitarian regime). They’re trying to get rid of powerful assault weapons, and make it harder for people to get other guns illegally.

But the gun lobby, citing the “Constitution — 2nd Amendment”; insist all of this stuff should be readily available. They refuse to address the concern of assault weapons as well as crime, and as much as the same people like to point at urban crime to isolate (splitting, psychologically) “those people” and their “problems”. (If you think I’m exaggerating, go to some conservative Facebook pages, or look at the memes and links. I see it every day, and from one or two “friends” alone!)
So for them to dismiss that concern like that I figure they would probably like for the inner cities to be filled with killing, because it reduced the threat (“those people”) to themselves and supports their projection of violence onto others, and that these people are just “problems”; they won’t help themselves, probably can’t be helped (this is where the statistics come in; the “hard facts” as they call it), so they need to just be eliminated in one way or another; so stop taking our tax money and giving it all to them (which itself is a greatly distorted or overhyped claim).

The past couple of years (and overall, the past 30 or more years), this is what this movement has focused on. So then, they play victim (as much as they criticize others for that), and imagine this scenario where all these ghetto people, illegal immigrants, etc. and a big bad government supporting them led by “Socialist dictator King Obama” are all coming to get them. So they want these assault weapons; so it’s like they’re planning an armed war against the government.

I think they’re really distorting the intention of the 2nd Amendment. I’ve never even seen any of them really even deal with the question of “well organized militia”. It seems every roadside joe wants to be his own militia. So while yes, the people should be free to oppose a tyrannical government, on the other hand:
1) the people need to be sure the government is really tyrannical to begin with, or are they simply exaggerating because everything is not the way they want it.
2) Since a lot of this stuff is a matter of interpretation, projection, exaggeration, etc., the government has the right to maintain some type of order and protect itself from uprisings and seditions (which do affect “the general welfare” of others who don’t want to be apart of, let alone affected by that stuff).

The debate is who is right. Is it genuinely tyranny, or is it a bunch of people who just want more power than legitimately granted them? Like perhaps to subject others (especially since this movement seems to think other people are such a “problem”, and that the nation’s past, ⦅when these people were corralled⦆, was so great, and we should return to it).
These may be the wannabe dictators themselves, but of course no one will ever admit that. So they claim to be the oppressed ones.

In reality, I think it’s a bit of both; a nation of imperfect people being ruled over by a government of imperfect people, so no one will ever be completely satisfied, and will always want more, blame others, try to take rule over others, etc. So between government and private enterprise or “citizen” movements, you run to one to protect you from the other, and then that one ends up ruling over you with an iron fist, one way or the other. (I attribute to my P preference being able to point out problems, inconsistencies, etc. but not being able to identify much of a better solution).

But the gun issue is something that should be addressed more, as people I think do have a right to be able to be less worried about being shot; but many people want the romanticism of the Wild Wild West, and that’s all that matters to them.

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From → Politics

14 Comments
  1. O’Reilly on Ft. Hood: Only Way to Curb Random Violence Is to ‘Give Up Our Freedom’

    “Bill O’Reilly took on the tragic Fort Hood shooting Thursday night by saying random violence all comes down to “freedom” and the price of living in a free society where rights are upheld is that crazy people will sometimes commit horrible acts of violence without any way to stop them…”

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/oreilly-on-ft-hood-only-way-to-curb-random-violence-is-to-give-up-our-freedom

  2. If Obama Is Actually Coming For Your Guns, He’s Really Terrible At It
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/obama-gun-control-_n_5404854.html

    Then all day I kept seeing this one:

    Joe The Plumber: ‘Your Dead Kids Don’t Trump My Constitutional Rights’ To Have Guns
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/joe-the-plumber-guns_n_5397981.html

    He may be right, but come on, putting it that way to the family? And this all under the premise that Obama’s coming to take away his guns! (i.e. A victim’s father’s words “will be exploited by gun-grab extremists as are all tragedies involving gun violence and the mentally ill by the anti-Second Amendment Left.”)

  3. [Edit: don’t remember what this was. The only one I could find that seems familiar is this one:
    ]

    • They’ve actually answered this one, with this:

      These two makes it even more clear:
      The 2nd Amendment wasn't written so we could go hunting, it was written so that we could shoot at the government if it was ever taken over by tyrants

      The 2nd Amendment is not the right to shoot at a deer; it's the right to shoot at the government if it is taken over by tyrants

      Again, they really seem to be thinking of an armed war against the government, which (think of it!) would basically be a new Civil War, as it’s the same issue regarding the same people (who resent the government and think race issues were better off under their ancestors in the first war, who vowed “the South Shall Rise again”)
      Here’s a great article that answers this sort of mindset:

      Stop Calling Terrorists ‘Militiamen’
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mockaitis/stop-calling-terrorists-m_b_8907404.html

      The contemporary ‘citizens militia’ movement has appropriated and perverted the concept of militias in use at the time of the American Revolution. Lacking a regular army, the colonists initially relied on local bodies of armed citizens to resist tyranny. Despite their celebrated stands at Lexington and Concord, however, militiamen fared poorly against British regulars. The Continental Congress quickly established a conventional army. Militias did play an important role in winning American Independence, but only when they operated under proper authority and in support of regular troops.

      The much debated second amendment declares that: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun rights advocates are fond of quoting the second clause in this sentence while ignoring the first. It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the term “well-regulated.” Militias always operated under government authority, usually that of the state. In case of national emergency, state militias could be brought under command of the small regular army, as they were at the outbreak of the Civil War.

      Militias are thus the ancestors of the modern National Guard, not of self-proclaimed “patriots” who show utter contempt for any form of authority beyond themselves. The extremists playing solider in the woods of Oregon are at best criminals and at worst domestic terrorists, and they need to be identified as such. Fighting extremism requires contesting ideology as much as combating organizations. These people must, therefore, be denied even the shred of legitimacy they try to claim.

  4. “It’s come to this. We’ve now had so many mass shootings that entrepreneurs see space in the market for a bulletproof blanket, made specifically to shield small children from gunfire.”:

    Now You Can Buy A Bulletproof Blanket Specifically Made For Kids To Use During School Shootings (“We’ve apparently decided school shootings are inevitable. Here, everyone…”)
    http://www.businessinsider.com/bodyguard-bulletproof-blanket-for-kids-2014-6

    The irony is that many of the same people advocating guns and the ways of the wild, wild west where everyone is a-packin’, are the same ones who will point to this as proving how good everything was in the past, “when children got into trouble for chewing gum in class rather than [committing or sufferering from] gun violence”.

    I can hear them now. It’s all everyone else’s fault. But I guess these blankets will be a good idea if everyone carried firearms like they wish. Still, just everyone else’s fault.

  5. Gun Fetish Group Exercises Gun Rights at Kennedy Assassination Site

    Why Are Anti-Gun Control Memes So Bad?
    http://politicalomnivore.blogspot.com/2014/06/why-are-anti-gun-control-memes-so-bad.html

  6. New round of gun debate, with the latest shooting. Someone posts this meme, which was very familiar from before:
    US is 3rd in murders, but take out Chicago, Detroit, etc. it's 4th from bottom

    But what is ignored is what I alluded to earlier; that the big cities may have the toughest gun laws, but most of those guns are coming from places with lax gun laws, and that’s the whole complaint of gun control advocates. Btut again, they get to kill two birds with one stone with memes like this. Lax gun laws in their own states or localities allows these guns to proliferate in the cities, and then they can simply point out the urban violence as “those people” and their “problems”.

    A good article:
    If We Treated Other Public Health Issues The Way The Pro-Gun Crowd Treats Shootings
    Because saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people,” isn’t good enough.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/guns-dont-kill-people_560ea4fbe4b076812701ad40

  7. Is gunslinger Christianity even actually conservative?
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mercynotsacrifice/2015/12/05/is-gunslinger-christianity-even-actually-conservative

    It’s the Christianity of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood (at least before the chair incident). It’s the Christianity that likes to talk tough and feel tough. It’s the Christianity that believes in the absolute truthiness of being caustically politically incorrect instead of the lukewarm relativism of cultural sensitivity and other such nonsense. It’s the Christianity that takes pride in how hard its children get spanked. It’s the Christianity that thinks pastors are ruined by seminary education.

    In other words, it’s right-wing cowboy populism which is often conflated with conservatism but really isn’t the same thing. It’s a perversion of conservatism to conflate political incorrectness with integrity. Donald Trump is the perfect example of this conflation. He’s very “truthy” in his daringness to “talk straight” about Mexican immigrants and Muslims, but he isn’t being truthful. A real conservative cares immensely about truthfulness even if it’s nuanced and confusing and boring, while a right-wing redneck populist loves the ballsy one-liners of truthiness even if they aren’t fair or truthful. A true conservative scriptwriter would never make it in Hollywood; only gunslinger populists can come up with the bad-ass one-liners that the hero says while sucking on a filter-less, hand-rolled cigarette before blowing the enemy’s brains out.

    I really think that evangelical megachurchianity’s uncritical embrace of celebrity culture has produced an idolatry of tough-talking, ballsy, bad-ass alpha males.
    I’m not sure what any of this has to do with Jesus.

    http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/12/05/jerry-falwell-jr-liberty-university-and-a-hateful-christianity-off-the-rails

    There’s a sad, pathetic irony at play when the loudest, most brazen gun advocates, are those whose faith tradition rests solely on the shoulders of a man who allowed himself to be unjustly beaten, tortured, and executed; who never used his power to do anything but heal and feed and bring peace.

    If we can no longer see this as a profound disconnect, if we no longer see the massive chasm between the two, we are simply devoted to worshiping a God of our own design, one who caters to our fears and preferences; most certainly not the one from the Gospels.

    Falwell and so many white Evangelicals like him have existed so long in a cloistered religious bubble, hunkered down in a fear-filled bunker perpetually preaching to their own hateful choir, that they’ve lost any perspective on the Jesus they’re supposed to be living for, reflecting, and sharing with the world.

    They have gone so fully off the rails as an institution, that Jesus is no longer a concern. His actual life, ministry, mission, and manner are inconsequential and frankly bad for business, because they are based on faith that transcends fear, on gentleness in the face of oppression, on benevolence as a response to violence.

    It should be pointed that those virtues are only useful to be preached to other people suffering oppression or other problems, especially if it’s at the hand of the systems they believe are godly, such as capitalism).

    See also: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/book-review-dog-whistle-politics/#comment-3343

    • Nails the issue:
      http://www.missioalliance.org/advent-herod-and-liberty-university

      Jerry Falwell Jr. said, “I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.”

      There are multiple points of concern with this line of thinking. One is the notion of “more good people.” Mr. Falwell’s line of thinking presupposes that good people (however we are defining this) are morally capable of administering justice and peace if only they were armed. What this quote fails to acknowledge is the mixture of good and evil that characterizes every human being. As the great Russian writer Aleksander Solzhenitsyn has said, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.” Every human being is capable of doing the same acts we find revulsive in others.

      To repeat something I’ve said elsewhere. This reminds me of fundamentalist leaders being cited as trying to slow down both abolition and Civil Rights pressure with “give ‘good men’ time to work these things out”. As fundamentalists, they were the ones lambasting “Modernism” or liberalism, humanism, etc. for teaching the “goodness of men” instead of the Bible’s concept of “sin”; i.e. the sinfulness of all men. But we see, every time, when they are defending something sinful or at least questionable (as this current gun issue) then the sinfulness of man goes right out the window. Or, I guess it’s only everyone else besides the conservative “faithful”. This is what has to be taken into consideration in order to understand their mindset.

  8. 5 Gun Facts Conservatives Don’t Want You To Know
    http://modernliberals.com/5-gun-facts-conservatives-dont-want-you-to-know/
    The 2nd Amendment calls for a 'Well regulated militia'. Nowehere does it state 'let any idiot have a gun'

    I’ve seen a conservative meme pass around that argues “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” separates “the people” from “the militia”. So it’s not limiting guns only to a militia,

    Like this site: http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html points out that for both the second and fourth amendments, “‘the people’ means each citizen. Would anyone seriously suggest that Article XII protects only a ‘collective right,’ or that the people’s freedom of speech and writing is limited to those who posses a printing press or to works appearing in the news media?”
    It also suggests, citing the Federalist Papers and a couple of others, that “well regulated” mean “a state of preparedness obtained after rigorous and persistent training”, or simply “disciplined” or “well trained”.

    So any “people” not necesarily in military service, if they are simply “well trained”.
    (But it also cites a source saying “A militia is always subject to federal, state, or local government control. A ‘private’ militia or army not under government control could be considered illegal and in rebellion, and as a result subject to harsh punishment.” Many of these gun advocates seem to think that just their proclaiming the government “tyrannical” by fiat legitimizes their wanting to fight against it. If that were the case, then anyone could walk up, make some claim, and try to overthrow the government, and the government protecting itself would only prove his case).

    The five facts are:
    5. “The 2nd Amendment is not a limitless right.” Your rights end when they infringe upon the rights of others.
    'SAYING GUNS KILL PEOPLE IS LIKE SAYING SPOONS CAUSE OBESITY' THE DAY SOMEONE WALKS INTO A RESTAURANT AND MAKES EVERYBODY OBESE WITH A SPOON IN 30 SECONDS IS THE DAY I WILL AGREE WITH YOU
    4. “Gun show loopholes do exist.” Private sellers can still set up shop at the shows and sell without requiring the background checks. He gives the example of someone with Nazi tatoos buying a sniper rifle. ” I think it’s safe to bet that he didn’t buy that rifle to shoot deer or hogs, but people like me should the occasion arise.”

    3. “Loose gun laws allow for violence in other areas.” A point I made recently with this meme:

    2. “Liberals own guns too.” Uses himself as an example. Not realized “likely due to the fact that we aren’t waving our weapons around every 5 minutes like NRA nuts do – because Wayne LaPierre told them President Obama wants to take them away”
    remember when the government took your cars away by requiring license and registatration? Neither do I
    1. “The 2nd Amendment will not protect you against the government.”

    A popular reason gun fanatics give for owning assault weapons is that they’re needed to protect against a tyrannical government. This argument would have made sense in the first 2 centuries of America’s history when civilian and military weapons were on a more equal footing, but modern military technology gives the government an advantage owning an assault rifle or ten cannot counter. In the hands of even the most skilled marksman, a .223 assault rifle is still ineffective and inaccurate beyond a few hundred yards. A Hellfire missile launched from an unmanned drone can hit a target from up to five miles away, well beyond the range of any weapon available to civilians. Plan on hiding in a bunker with a year’s supply of rations purchased at Alex Jones’ recommendation to fight off that evil government? Don’t bother, because a B-2 bomber can drop a GBU-57 MOP “bunker buster” from 50,000 feet which will annihilate the deepest bunkers you and your uncle-daddy could ever fantasize of building.

    Of course, these are gun facts and logic that fanatics refuse to acknowledge, because they don’t want to have an honest conversation about guns and needed regulations. Perhaps that is because if we required background checks, training and psychological evaluations for owning certain firearms, they would be the first to be disqualified. Now that’s another fact that will make NRA members squirm.

  9. The Cowboy Fantasy of a ‘Good Guy With a Gun’
    https://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/10/04/cowboy-fantasy-good-guy-gun/

    The NRA’s New Scare Tactics
    With Trump in the White House, the gun lobby has transformed into a right-wing media outlet.
    https://newrepublic.com/article/145001/nra-new-scare-tactic-gun-lobby-remaking-itself-arm-alt-right

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