Cox: ‘Maladaptive Trauma Responses’ Like Owning Guns Only Make Us Feel Safe, But We’re Fooling Ourselves

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With the pandemic, gun sales soared to their highest since January 2013, following Barack Obama’s reelection and the Sandy Hook shooting. Between 2019 and 2021, 7.5 million people became first-time firearm owners, and 5.4 million of those had until then lived in homes without guns.

But to understand how our extended trauma has changed gun ownership, remember that our injuries go back beyond the pandemic. In 2015, aka the last good year, just 8 percent of new gun owners were Black; 75 percent were white and 65 percent men. With Trump’s election, the demographic that had been eager to purchase guns under Obama—white people and men—slowed their roll, a time gun sellers called the “Trump Slump” (a phrase I want to use all the time now). Black people and women became new gun owners in higher proportion. Pre- and post-pandemic, the proportions remained roughly the same: about half women, and only 55 percent white.

Then the Floyd protests kicked off a reckoning. Then Joe Biden won. White men (as you’d expect) saw these as new reasons to arm themselves. And nonwhite, non-male people? They didn’t see any reason to be less threatened than they were before. …

The stories we tell ourselves about what protects us—whiteness, ableism, gender binaries, heteronormativity, and class—are only stories, enormously powerful stories that do offer partial protection as they inflict harm on others. These categories don’t keep people safe; they exist so that some can think of themselves as more safe than other people. These stories create the illusion of security via separation. Privilege may keep you from certain kinds of risks, but it won’t make you resilient. Only community can.

Inviting grace for the people who have done terrible things is another change to the narrative. It might be the most revolutionary one.

Maladaptive trauma responses are difficult to undo because they feel as if they work, sort of. A gun won’t make you more safe, but it might make you feel more safe. Drinking and drugs don’t make you less lonely, but you don’t care as much about it.

— Ana Marie Cox in We Are Not Just Polarized. We Are Traumatized.


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  1. I’m guessing all of her acquaintances are whiny, emotionally broken twenty-somethings so naturally she concludes everybody else is as well.

    • Hey, 18 interdependent postulates based on uncountable unvoiced assumptions can make for the social equivalent of Natural Law, right?

      While if any one of this string of proclamations is wrong, it falsifies the rest, what if ALL of them are complete bullshit? Doesn’t that create a “higher” Truth? Huh? Huh? Ever think of that? Kind of an alchemy of total Crayola.

    • “whiny, emotionally broken twenty-somethings”

      Well, that’s one way to say “city folk” without saying “city folk”. As for “maladaptive”, just look at the Democrat party’s voting roles.

  2. It’s not about ‘feeling’ safe. It’s about having the ability to deal with whatever threat to life and limb that comes your way. The psychobabble spewed by the author of this piece is irrelevant.

        • gunny –

          Such a person already knows it – predatory passive/aggressionism is at work here.

          It would be nice to send such a person back to a time when there were no guns at all – like mebbe the 6th Century. I am certain all that safety would make such a person very happy.

        • Short of a collapse that is a nogo for the willfully blind unfortunately, XZX has the rest of the group that parrots this nonsense covered.

    • “It’s not about ‘feeling’ safe. It’s about having the ability to deal with whatever threat to life and limb that comes your way.”

      I’d like to see the data on the personal savings levels of those on the left and the right.

      Something tells me one of them will expect someone else to save them in a financial catastrophe… 🙁

    • “Victimhood is strong in that one.”

      They consider victimhood to be a badge of honor, while we consider it a badge of shame… 🙁

  3. Looks like she found Hunters stash, or perhaps she is just one of the brain dead leftists MinorIQ is always fawning over.

    • ana marie cox is another high and mighty backdoor Gun Control zealot who uses this group and that group and this president and that president and this and that ingredient to concoct her Hate The Gun potion…It’s like she is trying to convince people that they really do not need a jack, spare tire, etc. By all accounts when it comes to “safe” a roll of the dice is all the criminal coddling ana marie cox wants you to have.

  4. …therapist Paula Atkinson went mildly viral for posting flyers online and in doctors’ offices advertising a “Trump trauma” support group.

    …millions and millions of Americans who have met with increasing levels of trauma since the Trump era began.

    These people LOL! TDS is a serious condition. Please seek help.

    Poor people, people of color, queer people, single people, disabled people, and the very young and the very old bore (and will always bear) a disproportionate share of the pain that wracks us.

    Which of course is why the white male demographic barely trails the American Indian/Alaskan Native demo for the highest suicide rate. But white men are the scapegoat, so we can’t admit that they actually suffer. That’s actually cruel, and really, downright evil when you think about it. “Hey guys. We’ve got a demographic that’s killing themselves off. What should we do about it besides laugh (Dem politico operatives were caught on camera doing that). Hey, I know. Let’s blame everything on them!”

    I’ll have to check out the entire article later. I’m sure it’s full of wisdom.

  5. Other comment awaiting moderation.

    *Just heard on the radio*
    Mitt Romney won’t run for reelection. He knows he’ll lose. His entire legacy as a U.S. Senator was to oppose Trump. He’s still doing it on his way out. Mitt doesn’t care about the country. He only cares about his ego.

    Let’s have a look back at the past Republican presidents and presidential candidates since Bush 2. Do you feel like you were duped if you typically vote Republican? The Bush and McCain families basically came out as Democrats. They did this when they knew the Supreme Court was in play for the 2016 election. So what “conservative” principles do they stand for other than the fake patriotism of invading sovereign countries under false premises? Now look at Romney and Paul Ryan. Amazing isn’t it? But Trump’s the problem…

    • Love watching the neocon establishment of the 90’s-00’s finally die off and fade away. Too bad the democrats have taken up the mantle.

      • Say what you want about some but if Bush II did not allow the clintoon Gun Ban to Sunset and had renewal continued the AR platform, mag capacity, etc. would be much more bastardized than those sold in CA are today.

        • W didn’t allow the AWB to sunset, he said he would sign the bill into law if Congress sent it to him. One of the reasons I count him as a net loss for the country (Patriot Act is another big one).

    • “The Bush and McCain families basically came out as Democrats.”

      They were worse, fucking ‘progressives’, progressive like metastatic cancer… 🙁

  6. Just another social Fascist who presumes her view of existence is the only correct way to see the world. No data, no experience, no observations. Just, it’s right became I said so. And when you challenge her you will first be laughed at and excused because “your dumb”, next you’ll be “re-educated”, and when that fails you will be demeaned and dehumanized. The punishment for nonbelievers is social death, becoming a non-person. To support this claim simply look at every public person who has criticized the social Fascists in the last two decades. What has happened to them?

    • It is fun to make sweeping judgements of the entire population at large, and diagnose them with mental conditions as motivations, while also of course postulating as fact that of course guns “don’t make us safe” because in this person’s mind, they never would.

      This ignores people have many personal reasons for doing things… for me I was a new home owner with a guy dealing drugs across the street, but I decided I didn’t want to just get a gun to feel safe or stick in a drawer, if I was going to get a gun it would need to be a hobby that I would learn about, practice, enjoy, etc. That kicked off lots of study, training, learning how things worked, collecting.

      An AR was on the “to do” list but Sandy Hook and the president and others calling to ban things moved a stripped lower and AR build to top (too late but better than never) priority.

      People own guns for lots of reasons besides feeling safe, there are lots of hobbies within the scope of guns, hunting, training, competitions, building stuff, target practice, plinking, collecting, and you can break those down into even more categories.

      Politicians threatening to ban guns sells guns, because people don’t like missing out on the opportunity to own something, as well as the concept of freedom. Maybe the author should consider the Tyrant effect.

  7. Why do all the unimaginative drones of gun control delude themselves into believing gun owners only want guns for one reason? People don’t own shoes for one reason, they don’t eat vegetables for one reason, they don’t buy underwear for one reason. I wish our enemies weren’t drooling slavish idiots, I wish they were presenting challenging nuances and were worthy opponents.

  8. Ana Marie Cox;

    There are thousands of valid legal defensive gun uses every day across the United States by law abiding armed citizens to defend their self or another.

    In most incidents the bad guy flees when the defender brandishes the firearm.

    For example, considering just home invasion … The FBI says a home invasion happens every 30 seconds in the United States so that’s upwards of 3,000 a day. A little over 75% of those the occupant uses DGU to repel the invaders. But the FBI doesn’t report on those in crime stats because (mostly) the bad guys didn’t actually get shot and were never caught to be arrested and prosecuted and FBI stats are driven by arrests and prosecutions so it doesn’t appear in FBI crime stats and stats in other places, but it appears in various state data bases and police reports that are available for researchers but anti-gun interests ignore these because it does not fit their bias narrative.

    And the media doesn’t report on them but they still happened and there is usually a record some place like a surveillance video (e.g. or in a police report someplace or in a state database someplace (less than 28% of the country actually reports all crime incidents to federal systems, and none of them report incidents for which an arrest is not made and the majority of criminals are never caught to be arrested). In 2021, valid legal defensive gun use by ordinary armed citizens being present in public spaces helped society avoid over $120 billion in adverse crime effects by stopping the bad guys, collectively, in cities and communities across the nation and not only saved lives but made the communities safer. There is a lot of DGU that goes on you never hear about, but its out there happening across the country thousands of times every day and that gun ownership did and does indeed make people safer and you can ask the victims of these crimes if that gun ownership and its use made them safer when the criminal was stopped or repelled when time came for that defense to be needed.

    No, we don’t tell our selves that guns make us safer to make us feel safe. We know they will be our best chance to be safe when the criminal threat comes to us, the criminals that idiots like you want to embolden and facilitate by not actually really doing anything about them.

  9. Millions of people have defended their lives with Arms and millions have died from not being able to defend themselves with Arms. We don’t need a study to understand nature, self defense is a right of everything living…

  10. Sorry, I actually live in the REAL world, where bad things happen to someone everyday. Having a firearm on the ready allows me to be prepared when someone attempts to cause violence to me. I also have a fire extinguisher, it’s all about being responsible for yourself.

  11. Good grief. “Traumatized.”

    The most comfortable civilization in the history of the species, even for the poor, even enough for whiners like this to write tripe like this.

    It reminds me of the scene from The Matrix when Agent Smith said the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world, but humans are naturally miserable so it failed in spectacular fashion.

    This … THIS is the crap you get allowing women political power. Nauseating, whiney, b**chy, hand-wringing that leads to the soft tyranny of nanny state. God save us all.

    • “most comfortable civilization”

      It really is striking, isn’t it? Great-grandpa and Great-grandma Applepie must be shaking their heads up there. They spent their lives making a better world, and succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of all the ancients. Now everybody is TRAUMATIZED, I tell you, just TRAUMATIZED.


      And worthy of scientific study, imo…

  12. ” Inviting grace for for the people who have done terrible things is another change to the narrative “. I don’t even know where to start on that load of liberal gibberish….

      • “My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem,” President Biden said at the time. “He’s overtaken it, he’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him.”

        Why am I convinced that none of HB’s “former connections” are enduring focused attention from the narcs? Dunno, must be somebody something something invited grace…

        Or something

  13. ‘In 2015, aka the last good year, just 8 percent of new gun owners were Black; 75 percent were white and 65 percent men. ‘ – Sounds a little racist.

    If there’s one thing the ‘pandemic’ (scare quotation marks intentional) taught us is to just blindly trust the government with our health and well-being. Imagine being one of those tinfoil hat people who took horse dewormer to beat COVID. Never knowing what kind of side effects they’ll experience down the road. Yep, better to just mask up, get the jab, and call 911 when you’re in trouble so the government can send the recently defunded police to rescue you. That’s the way to BE safe and not just FEEL safe

  14. “Maladaptive trauma responses are difficult to undo because they feel as if they work, sort of.”

    ya know, for example, like that biological male who stands in front of a mirror looking at himself while putting on makeup and recites over and over again in his mind “I am a real female, I am I am I am.”, he needs that constant re-affirmation from himself and others (e.g. desired/demanded pronoun usage) because he thinks himself a victim and wants others to acknowledge that to ‘affirm’ the ‘victim hood’ he inflicted upon him self and somewhere in his mind there is this soft voice going 🤣

    yeah, that type of “Maladaptive trauma”, the type self inflicted and embraced that implants its self when you make yourself believe you are always a victim and live your life that way and it makes everything else seem like its wrong and you are right just like you are doing now for gun ownership Ana Marie Cox. Oh poor little you…you want to be a victim so stay a victim, but don’t expect me or others to be your emotional support animals and re-affirm your own self inflicted victim hood or be such a hypocrite and pretend that’s its every one that has your contrived “Maladaptive trauma” because it isn’t.

    • @.40 cal

      Your whole comment is excellent!

      With your permission I would like to copy it and send it to my group of retirees. It bears repeating.

    • “ya know, for example, like that biological male who stands in front of a mirror looking at himself while putting on makeup and recites over and over again in his mind “I am a real female, I am I am I am.”, he needs that constant re-affirmation from himself and others (e.g. desired/demanded pronoun usage) because he thinks himself a victim and wants others to acknowledge that to ‘affirm’ the ‘victim hood’ he inflicted upon him self and somewhere in his mind there is this soft voice going 🤣”

      That was very detailed and awfully… specific.

      Is there any chance you’re currently ‘conflicted’? 🙂 🙂

    • Nope, us OFOG’s in Alabama don’t have that kind of discretionary cash to spend. Had to have OFWG’s around Richmond Virginia or the Gangsta’s around the dem controlled cities.

  15. A “recovering alcoholic” with bipolar disorder and two divorces is the perfect clinician to diagnose “Maladaptive trauma responses”.

    The adage: “Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it” is sounder advice.

    • lol. So she’s one of those “I’m in therapy for my own issues so I’m an expert” people. Figures.

  16. Studies show you are 35 times more likely to have a suicide in the home if there is a gun present and you are 3 times more likely to have a homicide or fatal accident.

    Of course the very first thing that is rejected by the Far Right is “Science” because it does not fit in with their out of control paranoia and racial hate.

    Have you noticed that both the German Nazi’s and the Far Right in the U.S. both burned books and persecuted LGBT people and all Minorities and Non-Christians. Yet the Mentally Challenged and ignorant of History Far Right scream that Hitler was a Liberal. It would be hilarious if it were not for the disgusting seriousness of the situation.

    From Stanford University (Nothing terrifies the Far Right more than a University Study, because its Science.)

    • This “study” only applies to California, and “associated with” is not the same thing as “caused by.”

      It found that there is a “lower risk of all-cause mortality detected among handgun owners.”

      The study authors state that “we were not able to adjust for mental illness,” and admit to other limitations:

      “First, we will have misclassified some handgun owners as unexposed because, for example, they acquired their handguns unlawfully or before our data on acquisition histories began. … Second, we only partially accounted for long-gun ownership … Finally, generalizability outside California is unknown.”

      CA also leads the nation in the number of mass shootings since 1982.

      • Surely you’re not accusing the venerable Dacian of telling a half-truth? For shame, for shame!

        CA is, was, and always has been the land of fruits and nuts!

  17. It’s “A” Xanex not “an” Xanex… (pronounced Zanex not EXanex)… Ooops must be that “White privilege” causing my heteronormativity to override my sense of extended trauma to display a Maladaptive response to incorrect grammar… Tested negative yesterday afternoon, Wuflu all gone…

      • George has the cure for the flu, “One bourbon, one scotch, and one beer” :

        • According to doofus author, George is just engaging in a maladaptive response to trauma. Maybe flu is a trauma, apparently she thinks everything else is.

        • Patron Tequila is my weapon of choice, chilled (I keep mine in the freezer) with a slice of lime (gotta get that vitamin C) with sea salt on the rim of the shot glass (replace salts lost during the initial sweats)… Never cared for Scotch…

  18. I’m still waiting for the government to let me enroll in the “White privilege” thing I keep seeing all these mentally defective left wing people write about. Where do I sign up for that? From what I see in what these mentally defective left wing people write, it must be a grand thing to have “White privilege”.

    And “Maladaptive trauma responses”? Hmmm… should I wear a mask or get vaccinated against it ’cause it sounds from her writing like its really going around. Maybe if I stand 6 feet away from everyone, that’s sure to make sure I don’t get “Maladaptive trauma responses”, right?

    How about ‘Welladaptive trauma responses” like ya know, actually shooting that criminal that wants to kill you? How about that? I’m pretty sure that will work to prevent a case of “Maladaptive trauma responses” for me and maybe others ’cause you know being alive and unharmed and safe as a result is a great cure for being dead.

  19. It is so sad to see that all too often the leftist indoctrination is schools actually works. This one needs deprogramming badly!

  20. Not feeling safe is why I carry. The Shit is going down everyday in every neighborhood. Just a couple of blocks from us the other night. Two scumbags broke into a single mother’s home and beat her up (Domestic). Then hid in an empty house even closer to ours. Thanks to the local LE and their K9 (Chase). They were both apprehended. Being prepared for a SHTF incident makes me feel safer.

  21. It is an awesome thing that more black people are becoming gun owners. It would be lovely if every black adult in the United States was armed and trained.

    People keep talking about reparations but as a “white dude” I personally could get behind the Federal Government giving every single Black American over the age of 18 their very own full-auto or select-fire M-16 or M-4 from the surplus warehouses. If there aren’t enough then contract for more to be built until every single adult black American has one of their own. While they are at it issue them a half dozen standard capacity 30-round magazines and a couple of ammo cans of .223 for starters.

    It’s not quite 40 acres and a mule but it would probably do.

  22. Ms. Cox will be the same woman (if she actually identifies as a woman) who will learn the hard way that the police will not be there to defend her when SHTF. Only then, will she realizes too little, too late, that maybe having a gun (and knowing how to use it) might have actually kept her safe.

  23. “The stories we tell ourselves about what protects us—whiteness, ableism, gender binaries, heteronormativity, and class …”

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? I don’t tell myself “stories” about any of these things. For that matter, I don’t tell myself any “stories” about what “protects” me.

    I suppose that if you think words are violence and that people who merely disagree with you about something hate you and are “literally” putting you in danger, well, then, I suppose “stories” might offer you some form of perceived safety. Out here in the real world, however, I don’t really worry about what people say or think about me and what they say and think has little impact on my safety – real or perceived. There are enough things out there that actually impact my safety (weather, bears, ladders, bad people, lousy drivers, fire) that I don’t have time to concern myself about what some 24 year old gender studies grad thinks of me.

    I have suffered real live trauma in my life – the kind that requires surgery. I have experienced emotional turmoil, loss, pain and grief as well. Certain kinds of physical protections can help with the former. I don’t expect a rope or a helmet or a seat belt or a gun to do much about the latter.

    The direct comparison of gun ownership to substance abuse is an interesting twist by the author. Not-so-subtly implying that gun owners are suffering from mental and emotional illness. I’m sure some are but gun ownership in and of itself is neither a symptom of nor evidence of “maladaptive” response. If it were, given that there are hundreds of millions of guns and gun owners, I think we’d notice.

  24. “Only approved followers can see @anamariecox’s Tweets. To request access, click Follow.”
    Huh. Imagine that.

  25. Good grief, I just read her whole article. I don’t think she left out any of the current psychobabble or trigger language. Lots of words about getting past being a victim and then right back on how to be a victim and how to exploit it.

    This lady is a mental basket case. She is in no position to tell the rest of us how to live our lives considering how F’d up hers is.

    • Good grief indeed! I just went and read the whole thing as well. (several minutes I’ll never get back) This woman is way more screwed up than the excerpt above indicates. Her credibility is now even lower. Apparently, according to her, being tired and not wanting to go to work today is a trauma response. Work itself may, in fact, be the trauma. She even goes so far as to concoct a notion of “collective trauma” that we have all been subjected to so, conveniently for her, even if you tell her that you yourself are not traumatized, because you are part of this collective, you are living with trauma and your unhealthy trauma responses. (sound anything like implicit bias and collective guilt?) This woman is prima-fascia evidence that some people are just too stupid and weak to take a warm bath.

      She even says cynicism is a trauma response. Well, then, color me traumatized.

  26. KFF poll numbers seem way to high. For example, 4% of people say they’ve been injured by a gun, and 4% say they’ve fired a gun in self defense. Multiply by US population and that’s 13.2 million of each. Divide by 38-year average age and we get roughly 347,000 gun injuries and self defense shootings each year???

  27. Pre 1994 I owned 1 scoped .22 Bolt action rifle, 1 12 guage pump shotgunm, 1 RSBH and 1 bolt action .243.
    Then The Greatest President that ever lived Joseph Robinett Biden revealed the light of truth
    to me and I sold all of those and purchased false hopes and dreams and a wheel barrow full of bullshit.

  28. Blah, blah, blah, blah…

    Cox and her ilk have no agency over how I choose to protect myself and my family. Whatever means I choose has no effect on her or other so long as they don’t violently attack me or mine.

    STFU and mind your own business.

    • Well, good news. This woman appears to be one of the stupidest people alive so, you won’t have to. Reading her article it becomes apparent that this is the type of woman that has a reminder on her phone titled “Breath.”

  29. This thread has given me an idea for a cartoon – maybe Grace will draw it for me.

    Picture a hospital ER entrance with “Trauma Ward” written above the door. Standing in line are several people who “need” treatment. Each of them are wearing a T-shirt with their particular trauma written on it.

    First in line T-shirt: Misgendered
    Second: But Trump
    Third: Climate Change
    Fourth: LGBTQ
    Fifth: BIPOC
    Sixth: ?
    Seventh: “Literally” in fear for my life.
    Eighth: A dude with a partially amputated leg, standing on the one foot, covered in blood, holding his severed limb in one hand and a phone with “911: On Hold” on the screen in the other. T-shirt reads “FJB”.

    I can’t draw well, someone make this please.

  30. This is just placebo for Leftists. Bruen removed all the feel good justification for firearm restrictions. Only an attempt to amend the constitution (or a stacked SC) can give us pair-o-dice.

  31. “A gun won’t make you more safe, but it might make you feel more safe.”

    Correction: taking away guns from law-abiding citizens won’t make you more safe (it will make you less safe), but if you’re an anti-gun idiot, it might make you feel more safe.

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