I’ve read some stupid sh*t blogging for this site. The washingtonpost.com post At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions certainly qualifies. Check this out . . .
But before they answered the survey questions, we had them engage in an intense imagination exercise. They were asked to close their eyes and richly imagine being visited by a genie who granted them a superpower.
For half of our participants, this superpower was to be able to fly, under one’s own power. For the other half, it was to be completely physically safe, invulnerable to any harm.
If they had just imagined being able to fly, their responses to the social attitude survey showed the usual clear difference between Republicans and Democrats — the former endorsed more conservative positions on social issues and were also more resistant to social change in general.
But if they had instead just imagined being completely physically safe, the Republicans became significantly more liberal — their positions on social attitudes were much more like the Democratic respondents.
And on the issue of social change in general, the Republicans’ attitudes were now indistinguishable from the Democrats. Imagining being completely safe from physical harm had done what no experiment had done before — it had turned conservatives into liberals.
When I read that the researchers asked subjects to close their eyes and imagine a genie I knew the study was complete and utter bullsh*t. The researchers inflicted their bias on their subjects, probably without even knowing it.
Idiots. But there is a question worth addressing (somewhere) in this academic asshatery: are gun owners — conservatives in the main — more danger driven than non-gun owners?
I know the answer seems obvious. But it’s been my experience that gun control advocates stoke the fires of fear just as violently as, say, the NRA’s mailers, emails, phone calls, bumper stickers, beer coasters, etc.
And while a relatively small percentage of gun owners are paranoid preppers, every anti-gun progressives I’ve met or read loves them some impending doom, be it global warming or Donald Trump.
So who’s more fearful: unarmed gun control advocates or well-armed gun rights advocates?