The Psychology of Gun Lovers
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.