My apologies to Jane Austen as I use her alliterative title. It just seems to fit this post. Fear as it relates to firearms has both prideful and prejudicial elements that have fueled and help perpetuate the inflammatory nature of the topic. I am going to touch very briefly on the subject because it is part of the social reality we live with.
I am not going to take sides or try to sway anyone’s opinion. I believe it is a complex topic that has many possible combinations and viewpoints, but has very often been reduced to extremes and oversimplified into being “FOR” or “AGAINST.” You are either for Gun Control or for 2nd Amendment Rights. That demand to “choose” basically pits the rights and needs of an individual against the rights and needs of the society.
And because we live in a country that recognizes certain inalienable rights and the attendant responsibilities of exercising those rights with respect for others, we have the freedom to have that debate.
It is difficult if not impossible to have calm and rational discussions where people hold powerful emotionally based positions.
“Pride” comes into play as people take sides they identify with, and gain the approval and empowerment from shared positions.
“Prejudice” where dehumanization of the perceived “opponent” becomes possible, and projection of rigid and untested labels become applied without regard to what an individual or group is actually bringing”to the table.”
The heated topic of Gun Control vs. 2nd Amendment Rights often presents with the hallmarks of fear based rhetoric. I think “Primitive fear” is evoked to maintain the fervor on both sides, and “Generalized Fear” is utilized in “spreading the word.”
I recognize there is an “elephant in the room,” and that it lurks in the back of the mind of anyone considering owning and carrying a firearm. It will temper if and how you speak with friends and acquaintances.
The societal element is also a very real factor to consider as it relates to legislation and regulations that are applied to firearms in different jurisdictions.
I am going to “park” the societal examination of the topic for the duration of my discussion of fear and firearms. Rather, I intend to look into some potential causes and effects of an individual’s fear of weapons on a personal basis, and hopefully help a person looking to make a decision to own and carry a firearm unravel and demystify “Guns.” And that is, as I have stated before, a Process.
Happy and Safe shooting – Peggy