“New research finds the strongest motivation to buy handguns is the vague but deeply held perception that we live in a dangerous world,” psmag.com reports. Huh. Who’d a guessed it?
Ah, but the troika of academics behind Is It a Dangerous World Out There?: The Motivational Bases of American Gun Ownership reckon that handgun buyers are motivated by “two distinct impulses.”
Which would be “the specific perceived threat of assault, and a diffuse threat of a dangerous world.” So it’s the difference between that guy might try to kill me vs. someone might try to kill me.
A research team led by University of Groningen psychologist Wolfgang Stroebe [not shown above] reports that second, vague notion of potential peril is the stronger of the two—and the one most resistant to rethinking.
Wait. Who said that handgun owners need to stop thinking they live in a dangerous world? Why would they want to do that? Oh right.
Someone who doesn’t want Americans to keep and bear handguns! ‘Cause if they “rethought” their world view, seeing the world for the unicorn-pooping rainbows-bedazzled place that it really is, they’d stop buying and carrying handguns and the world would be safer!
Yeah, not buying it.
“This [resistance] could make it difficult to conduct persuasion campaigns aimed at dissuading handgun owners of the need to own a gun (or support limitations on gun ownership),” they write. That’s because “a broader system of beliefs about the nature of the social world, and what people are like, is extremely difficult to influence.”
Not to go all Godwin’s Law, but perhaps Goebbels‘ ghost would like to opine on how anti-gunners could “influence” gun owners’ “broader system of beliefs about the nature of the social world” to convince handgun owners to surrender their firearms or make it exceedingly difficult for a civilian to own one?
No matter how you look at it, this particular piece of academic anti-gun animus is a special blend of stupid and scary.
The Trace pimped the study (natch), characterizing American handgun owners’ motivations as “an overblown fear of violent crime.” The Huffington Post was on the study like Scott Diseck on anything female. New Study Says Fear of Crime, Danger Drives American Handgun Ownership was helpfully sub-headed Handgun owners are more fearful of crime, even when it is unlikely.
“While the primary goal of the research is to serve as a building block for further study, Stroebe does think there’s some practical application. ‘If we want to help people conquer their fears, we have to recognize that a sense of threat can have multiple layers and each layer may have to be addressed separately,’ he said.”
So the German psychologist behind this study — not that there’s anything wrong with being German — wants to peel away handgun owners’ anti-crime and tyranny motivations like an onion. Here’s psmag.com’s final take:
This is frustrating news for gun-control advocates. Clearly, many American men learn early on life that a.) it’s a nasty world out there, and b.) the best way to protect yourself is with a gun. Change may require the coming of age of a new, better-educated generation.
So gun control advocates are hoping for a less fearful, “better educated” generation to support civilian disarmament. Educated by the anti-gun academics that infest the American education system, of course (who else?). And by “better educated” they mean “blissfully ignorant.”
And you thought all that stuff about “government re-education camps” was a paranoid fantasy. Or did you?