Friday, July 11, 2008

Gun Fetishists

It has been an ongoing theme since the supremes handed down the Heller decision - every gun hater, and grabber, and suckler at the teat of state power is trying to make their case that the court got it wrong, and the country will now descend into a hellish pit of animal violence.

I have guns, most of my friends have them, and no one I call friend would advocate forcible disarmament. But for all those guns, not one owner believes them to be anything but inanimate chunks of metal and plastic. They may think of them as elegant machines, means to defense, or artifacts requiring skill to master, but never a thing possessed of power in itself. The true fetishists are the Bradys, and the Sugarmanns, and the Helmkes, for they are the ones who see what is essentially a mundane tool as a magical idol which can take over the mind of whoever holds it.

This isn't to say there is not a philosophical aspect to the decision to go armed. I think about it every day, and more eloquent people than I, have put words to the thoughts of everyone who carries a firearm for defense. But a philosophy is a human thing, and my firearm does not have one. In truth, it would make things easier if it did - we could simply prohibit the possession of evil guns and limit people to owning the good ones.

It is commonplace to note the use of projection by the gun controllers - even that term implies that guns are capable of independent action - it is obvious that many of of them distrust themselves and cannot conceive of people who think differently than they, thus everyone should be disarmed for the good of all.

I think there is some validity in the projection argument, but in the end it leads nowhere - as true as it may be, it is still a form of name calling and will convince neither the anti-gunners nor have much affect on the uncommitted.

But there is a corollary argument: While Paul, Sarah, and Josh, do not go home every night filled with rage and glad they do not have a gun handy, they do lie, misrepresent, and slander. They do those things because they believe their means are justified by their ends, and believe, or have convinced themselves, that their opponents do the same.

It is this projection which is the most egregious and makes them most vulnerable, for it can be countered most effectively not only by letters to the editor, or comment thread flame wars, but simple everyday actions - every time we take a new person shooting, or engage in community service, we give lie to the claim that gun-owners are bitter knuckle-draggers one step away from being mass murderers. Lies and slander consist of words, and should be responded to with truth and goodwill, but they are also actions, and can be defeated by actions.


Old NFO said...

Excellent points! It is sad that we are forced to continue to prove we are not the loonies the liberal left portrays us as being.

The Captain said...

Well said. I know my guns didn't kill anyone yesterday. I think the vast majority of gun owners can say the same thing.

redneckinny said...

Captain, I think you meant to say "law-abiding gun owners..." because a criminal gang-banging mutant scum-sucking dreg of humanity can own a gun illegally and use it to kill someone.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Just one little editorial niggle.

You say in the the second to last paragraph;

"They do those things because they believe their ends are justified by their means,... "

I think you meant their means are justified by their ends.


kaveman said...

" is obvious that many of them distrust themselves and cannot conceive of people who think differently than they..."

Nailed it.

There is something sad about a person who distrusts themselves so much when it comes to personal protection yet will freely and gleefully hand over that responsibility to some beuracrat they've never met.

Mike said...

Dear anon, thanks for the correction - I'm changing it now.


The Duck said...

Wish words Mr Mike, it's no wonder that Breda Married ya.

Ted said...

Good post - your point on introducing new shooters to the sport is really important.

I'd like to suggest that many of us look at guns as more than physical tools. There is symbolism here that is perhaps more important than the straight up utility of the tool. Viewed symbolically, firearms = freedom.

I don't hunt, I'm an infrequent target shooter (IOW, not in a competitive club). But I HATE some government flunky telling me that I *can't* do something (I live in Massachusetts, so it happens distressingly often).

Don't underestimate how many non-gun owners feel the same way. It may be this, rather than the passionate involvement of the gun community, is why public attitudes have shifted our way.

Mattexian said...

redneckinny, I think time has proven that those inclined toward illegal possession will find the means and the way to it, no matter the laws. And usually, the laws aimed at banning possession are passed claiming to restrict the criminals, while only affecting the law-abiding.

Mike, great post, Xavier recommended you.

red said...

Great post!

For more on projection and a few other psychological tidbits check out:

jigsaw said...

great post.