Question of the Day: Are Gun Owners More Frightened Than Non-Gun Owners?

Joan Crawford is frightened (courtesy

I’ve read some stupid sh*t blogging for this site. The 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?


  1. avatar Megalith says:

    We’re armed. What’s to be afraid of other than anti-gun retards trying to take our guns away?

  2. avatar BLoving says:

    One side calls us paranoid, we call ourselves realists. We insist that seeing and realising that the world can be a dangerous place is a more practical way to live than pretending it isnt. It’s all in one’s perspective I guess – but as I said the other day, “As long as I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?”

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      We see the world as it is. Not as we wish it to be.

  3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’m definitely more prepared for any sh!t storm that may come. Not out of fear, but out of the old Boy Scout motto.

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:


      How about the new motto: Gender Identity is Fluid.

      Hee, hee.

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Not frightened but prepared. My neighborhood is rapidly going downhill with break-ins,robberies and the occasional rape. And I know of no way to be perpetually “safe” other than being translated to heaven. Imagine whirledpeas…😜😋😢😫

  5. avatar Noishkel says:

    More fake news from a corrupt media establishment trying to shame those they don’t agree with garbage sociology studies. Shades of the Kellermann study all over again. SSDD from the corrupt media industry.

    As kind of an aside… I find it rather amusing that liberal slime balls in the media can go on and on about ‘conversion therapy’ being the most evil thing in the world when it’s involving people sexual preferences. But trying to convert people political ideology with ‘an experiment’ is just find. Personally I think both ideas just as toxic as the other.

  6. avatar Warlocc says:

    A man that fears nothing is a fool.

    There are monsters in this world, and they’re not under the bed.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      The difference between a man and a boy is that a man KNOWS he can be hurt.

      It is that knowledge, no matter how remote the possibility, that drives Conservatives to take measures for the protection of themselves and their family.

      It is the unwarranted belief that the government, like your parents before, can and will protect you from harm that drives Liberals.

      The part that confuses me is why that drives Liberals to demand that no one else is allowed a different opinion.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “The part that confuses me is why that drives Liberals to demand that no one else is allowed a different opinion.”

        Oh, that is easy. Progressives want to eliminate your self-defense options because they think it will generally decrease the lethality of attacks.

        1. avatar General Zod says:

          Oh, it’s more than that. Scratch a liberal and you find a socialist totalitarian, just waiting to enforce his/her opinions with violence…usually perpetrated by a “benevolent” socialist state.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    The thing that really frightens me is that the IQ of the average American has dropped by about fifty points since the Johnson Administration.

    1. avatar Echo5Bravo says:

      Only 50?

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Below about 50, they’re incapable of performing tasks necessary for the continuation of their own existence.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “Below about 50, they’re incapable of performing tasks necessary for the continuation of their own existence.”

          Well, now.

          That certainly explains *why* the Leftists are so adamant a larger and more powerful government with more entitlements for the people is the ‘right and just thing to do’.

          Therefore, elect Leftists…

  8. avatar MouseGun says:

    What I’m saying has already been said in this comment section, and will probably be said many more times; We’re not paranoid, we’re realistic. Bad shit happens, and I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Would these people consider those who own fire extinguishers and alarm systems paranoid? What about people who lock their doors?

  9. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    I’m not afraid of anything, really. Except maybe staying out too late and having to drive in the dark. But I’m smart enough not to get myself into that situation in the first place, much as I prepare to avoid any other predictable danger. The unpredictable I’ll just have to deal with when it comes. And that is, of course, why I carry a gun. You just never know…

  10. avatar AKM Sarah says:

    Liberals and conservatives are both fearful, but they prioritize fearing vastly different things.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      They are scared of us the same way a sheep is scared of a dog; because it looks like a wolf. We aren’t scared of wolves because they are a known variable and can be kept at bay with weapons. The only fear we have is the sheep using our “dog/sheep social system” to take our weapons away because to them (again) we are the same as wolves.

      Good luck with that….. we have over 500 million guns and 16 trillion rounds of ammo… if the “dog/sheep social system” collapses and assuming every desk cop and military toilet scrubber went along with a “sheep” scheme to disarm us, we would still out gun them 10,000 to 1.

      The only option they have is to turn our children in to good little sheep (thank you very much Yale) and wait for us to die off…… and that will teach those nasty wolves a lesson! (Sarc)…… oh, . wait,.. the sheep are in bed with the wolves and without any dogs the sheep get eaten **gasp** there’s a shocker!!

      1. avatar AKM Sarah says:

        The sheep indoctrination factor is one of many reasons that will cause me to keep my kids out of public school.

  11. avatar Shire-man says:

    There’s a solid vein of fear they neighbor with many on the left.
    For the tolerance and hippy dippy hug your enemy garbage they spew they consistently support property rights, weapons, access, movement and travel issues that highlight how much they distrust their neighbors. Especially now when eye constant and mythical nonsense like manspreading have risen to the top of their concerns.

    To this day I have lefty friends in several big cities. They espouse the wonders of their big city lives and the close proximity to “culture” (which means they want brown people serving them ethnic food) while at the end of their days it’s nothing but cursing and venom about the fellow city dwellers they encountered throughout their days.

    They all seem to love the idea of life in the city but loathe the reality and have concluded that if they could only wrangle or appropriately restrict the other peoples liberty they could have the urban life they imagined.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Originally, the plan was to respond to a single sentence, but your entire comment is excellent.

      – “To this day I have lefty friends in several big cities. They espouse the wonders of their big city lives and the close proximity to “culture” (which means they want brown people serving them ethnic food)”
      ^ this !!!

      – “…and have concluded that if they could only wrangle or appropriately restrict the other peoples liberty they could have the urban life they imagined.”
      ^ the entire reason lefties want to confiscate all legally owned guns; lefties believe that because they stay away from parts of the city known for crime, the only threat to their bubble is the widespread ownership of guns by non-criminals and gangers.

      1. avatar Kendahl says:

        “….lefties believe that because they stay away from parts of the city known for crime, the only threat to their bubble is the widespread ownership of guns….” There used to be some validity to that belief. Although most of the shootings in my city are (as in Chicago) between rival gangs in well known, bad parts of town, the criminals are venturing out of their home neighborhoods into previously safe areas. The latest crime wave is bank robberies in small towns up to fifty miles away. The robbers tend to get caught on their way back home.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          As I told my in-law….I want a gun because I want to be able to prepared to walk into crime areas, but crime doesn’t stay in one place anymore. So, I have my .22 plinker handy in the house. Since the pistol is too big to walk around with, I like to stay in the nice areas, where only nice people go. But, hey….I just might have that plinker under my shirt.

  12. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Question of the Day: Are Gun Owners More Frightened Than Non-Gun Owners?”


    “When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.”

    Mark Shean

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ve lived in several foreign countries and didn’t worry about crime there because their culture and society was very safe.
    The us has a multicultural, ethnic, anything goes rule which when combined with a twisted legal system concerns me about safety.

  14. avatar M1Lou says:

    Fear of leftist/socialist/communist ideals is not paranoia, it’s just understanding history and human nature. Look at every place where their ideals are enacted in any large scale fashion. They don’t see that certain decisions have certain consequences and that their ideology has a bad habit of leading to scores of dead people. A loss of the basic right to own firearms is the canary in a coal mine for the loss of the rest of your rights. The leftist/socialist/communists do have fear, but it’s fear of the wrong things.

  15. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    It’s a well-known effect: unexpected associations spill over. One classic demonstration is a simple, written test task after passing someone old n shuffling or young n spry in the hall. Guess who was quicker on the test? (Cialdini’s books on “influence” are excellent – empirical, well-designed experiments, careful interpretation.)

    So, “conservatives” after the batshit crazy programming responded like “liberals” in the wild. Who’s “the reality-based community” again?

    1. avatar BierceAmbrose8 says:

      I know I have to imagine 11 things that aren’t so, before I can respond like a liberal.

  16. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Now imagine the genie promised to make you perfectly safe from everything, and had made that same promise to other people. But the genie lied, you’re not invulnerable and neither is anybody else, but most people think they are and that everyone else is too. Now how do you feel about being surrounded by people who don’t think they need to care about anything or anybody else, when you’re actually just as fragile and vulnerable as you were before?

    Now that you’ve done that … Welcome to the era of big government and big cities.

  17. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Kind of explains why paid liars actors n politicians are so good at spewing “liberal” positions. (Like “The Weinstein” A K A “Poor fern; that’s not water.)

  18. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I’m more afraid of losing my freedom and liberty than physical or emotional or economic harm.

  19. avatar FelixD says:

    Judging from the short synopsis this is really poor academic research. I can’t imagine any faculty who would allow this to move to a peer reviewed forum. Crap like this gives qualitative research a bad name.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Unfortunately the definition of “quality research” has come to mean “research that proves what we thought before we started the research.”

      1. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        @Cliffy Research that proves what we Wanted You To Think.


    2. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      This is not research. This is an immature attempt to convert someone else by trying to get them to think (feel) like a liberal.

      Remember, feelings are what count.

  20. avatar BOFA says:

    So to be a liberal, you just have to live in an imaginary world where genie’s exist and you are completely safe? Sounds about right, until it’s not. Did the participants start blaming everyone else (preferably the Russians?) but themselves when they weren’t safe or when things didn’t go the way they wanted?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      No, they just blame Trump.

      He’s an incompetent moron, hadn’t you heard.

      And a racist and a fascist, as is EVERYONE who voted for him.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        I didn’t know I was until they said and you repeated it. Now I’m going to really work at it because I try not to allow myself to do anything half-sssed.

        All better hope they don’t start calling Trump supporters ‘murderous cannibals’ cause we could go that way if needed.

  21. avatar Ironhead says:

    Nope not afraid. Prepared. Next stupid question.

  22. avatar Tomao Theos says:

    “Ive read some stupid sh*t blogging for this site.”

    My best advice is to fuck off then because what i just read from you was hands down the stupidest chit i’ve read here, ps, asshole.

    Maybe its time i un book mark this website.

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      Threatening to end your patronage isn’t much of a threat when everyone already wants you to leave and never come back.

    2. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Remind me again…who are you and why should I care?

  23. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Fear is why I’ve got a racks full of guns and lockers full of ammo. When I leave the house I’m carrying enuff firepower that the fear from an attacking anti2a is somewhat alleviated. Don’t mess with my guns or My 2 amendment, if you do you’ll wind up swiss cheese.Dumb ass people and their anti Constitution beliefs, it’s why the Constitution was written, to protect my right to own guns. Get real you idiot libtard prog pos Democrat moron

  24. avatar strych9 says:

    I’ve sometimes wondered what would happen if you inserted different choices into this question.

    Do people who practice martial arts do so because they fear fist fights? Do yoga folks fear tight muscles? Do Harley riders fear crotch rockets? Do dog owners fear cats? Do RVers fear houses? Do single people fear commitment or do partnered people fear loneliness? Do Schnauzer owners fear Plott Hounds?

    Or maybe, just maybe people just make choices based on their experience? At least saying such a think doesn’t make you look like a jackass who’s asking stupid questions.

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      Oh those Plott Hounds…

      Rivaled only by the dreaded Labra-doodle.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        Depends on who owns the dog, either breed can be trained to be vicious. Had a Walker that would break chains on a “sic em”

  25. avatar #Merica says:

    Gun Owners Paranoid ??? What do gun owners have to fear? They own guns!

    Liberals live in fear because they depend on the gooberment to protect them which the Supreme Court has ruled in precedent that its not the police/gooberment’s responsibility to protect citizens!

  26. avatar Joe R. says:

    I’m afraid that liberal are not afraid enough of Conservatives crushing the living xhit out of them, and that these epic bouts of “fake news libs talking xhit out their sss” continue until conservatives really do crush the living xhit out of them.

  27. avatar notguiltfree says:

    I like to think we have more situational awareness then liberals which prepares us for more possible real world experiences rather than dreaming we can fly like Icarus till the wax melts.

  28. avatar Defens says:

    Liberals are ridden with fears – streets running red with blood, “virtually Hitler”, the list goes on and on. The big difference is that their fears are unfounded, phobic, projections. You knew the experiment was biased from the words “imagine you were physically safe” – the whole premise of liberal Utopia is based on imaginary tenets.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Funny thing, if you read their forums you’ll find they say the same thing about us living in delusion.

      It doubtful about how long the overall situation can persist.

  29. avatar Kendahl says:

    I’m reminded of the story about an old lady who was stopped by a cop. When he asked her if she had any guns, she admitted to several on her person, in her purse and in various places in her vehicle. The cop asked her what was she so afraid of. The old lady replied, “Not a damn thing.” That’s why we own and carry guns.

  30. avatar Jackass Jim says:

    If a person is of such deficient intellect as to be oblivious to danger – then you know they are liberal.

  31. avatar Anymouse says:

    The study shows the opposite. Conservatives seek ultimate freedom (flight) while the liberals wish for ultimate protection. They wish to return to the womb, which they ironically make very dangerous if the mother doesn’t want the baby. Since they can’t return to the womb or have a genie, they want government to make then “safe,” which is just as magical thinking. They then fear anything that lessens governments power that they mistakenly believe protects them. Conservatives want government to butt out of their business and let them be free.

  32. avatar MDH says:

    Not generally fearful. However I do deeply distrust liberals in the same way I distrust Jihadists. Both operate on the assumption that everyone who isn’t them needs to convert or (ideally) die. Both want to disarm me, and deprive me of my rights, and liberties so that their version of ‘convert or die’ becomes less problematic for them to accomplish. And finally, both are basically mindless drones, intellectual zombies, who are conditioned to absorb and parrot dogma, and are guided not by logic and reason, but by blind faith in, and adherence to the creeds of their respective faiths (cults).

  33. avatar Mad Max says:

    As the the old lady with the car full of guns told the state trooper when he asked what she was afraid of: “Not a f***ing thing”.

  34. avatar cc says:

    The fact is the “gun owners” group is solely comprised of people willing to tell a stranger they own a gun

  35. avatar Martin B says:

    Interesting comments. There is possibly nowhere safer to live than where I do, in New Zealand, and yet every year people manage to die in new and baffling ways. There are idiots everywhere, and no amount of education will save them.

    Like many other Kiwis, I consider it my God given and male tradition right to possess and use firearms, but this is not related to any concerns for my safety. I rely on common courtesy, common sense, and if necessary, I am big enough to look after myself. We have no predatory animals save great white sharks, and the majority of us are related to each other somewhere in our history. A strong shared culture is your best protection. Maybe it’s time we all spend more time in our neighbor’s houses (by invitation, of course).

    1. avatar ironicatbest says:

      Yes indeed, good idea I think

  36. avatar Ing says:

    Neither side is more fearful. The real difference is in what they fear and how they deal with it.

  37. avatar Anonymous says:

    Imagining being completely safe from physical harm had done what no experiment had done before — it had turned conservatives into liberals.

    LOL! Gut buster, these ones.

    News flash liberal (leftist) cupcakes. You are all going to die. Everyone dies. Embrace it. There are no genies. Look fear in the eye and say FY, and then do something productive, you little whinebags. You’ve got an infinitesimally small lifespan the fraction of a blink of eye compared to life on earth, and you guys want to waste it trying to be safe instead of living your life. Jesus Christ.

  38. avatar MyName says:

    The way I see it, the antis fear a myth and the POTG fear a couple of rare, but serious, real possibilities.

    The antis fear that guns, especially a lot of guns, will lead to violent crime and, therefore, that increasing gun ownership leads to increasing violent crime – this is a myth.

    POTG fear someone trying to individually harm themselves or their loved ones in a violent crime and they want to be prepared for that. POTG also fear a government that pushes for too much control and becomes tyrannical and they want to be prepared for that.

    This is why POTG use analogies like fire extinguishers – the likelihood one is needed is low but the consequences of not having one is high.

    Antis, if they were to try to extend that analogy, would be forced to imagine that increasing ownership of fire extinguishers creates fires.

  39. avatar Silentbrick says:

    Who the heck picks flying or being invulnerable? I’d pick a real superpower – Vaporizing anyone who annoys me or creating anti-matter. Why think so small and selfishly:p

    1. avatar ironicatbest says:

      A Vick ers Vapo rizer. Rub icon

    2. avatar Roymond says:

      Yeah — flying would be a lame power with nothing else to go with it… fun, for a while, but boring.

      I’d pick being a Druid Lord Adept, with power over living things, so I could repair my own body, tell my hair how long to be, maintain muscle tone easily… and heal wounds by laying hands on, banish plant diseases, turn invasive species into native ones…
      and use the equivalent of “Jedi mind tricks” to change the minds of congresscritters to support the entire Bill of Rights more strongly than Jefferson.

  40. avatar Badwolf says:

    “…imagined being completely physically safe… significantly more liberal — their positions on social attitudes were much more like the Democratic respondents.”

    This isnt just an experiment. This is what Liberals do now… imagine being completely safe.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      Yes: in order to be a liberal, you have to imagine something your own propaganda decalres to be false.

  41. avatar Lhstr says:

    Only thing I fear is using two bullets rather than one. You know they cost $2.00 appice. Oops, hmm that’s 50 caliber. Should only need one.

  42. avatar adverse5 says:

    I can be scared shitless with or without a firearm.

  43. avatar Roymond says:

    I don’t think gun control advocates are any more or less afraid than anyone else. But they’re in love with fear; they use it to try to take away liberty.

    They can’t even see the contradiction clamoring about the violence and a deep need to control it and yet telling people to trust government to protect us.

  44. avatar Big Bill says:

    Not going to pay.

    “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.”

    So the people they surveyed somehow only chose those two superpowers? Their imaginations are obviously not very powerful.
    IOW, I call bullsh!t. If those were the only two superpowers imagined, it was because they were told to choose between those two, and none others.
    Which makes their entire experiment invalid, because they made up what those superpowers meant.
    For example, they completely ignored that flight would enable me to escape most dangers at will, while being invulnerable would be completely boring (imagine, if they will let you, never feeling adrenaline coursing through your veins).
    This is nothing more than a hypothetical, where they get to set the parameters in such a way as to reinforce their ideas.

    Sort of like how TTAG gets to set up the comments section so it works so poorly.

  45. avatar JoeVK says:

    Do I own guns? Yes. Do I carry them? Also yes. Do I honestly think I’ll ever need them for anything more than range toys? No. But, rising crime in the entire county that I live got me thinking about taking steps to protect my family and myself. What finally convinced me was the fact that my parents decided to get their CCWs. My parents are laid back, live-and-let-live types. If my parents decide to start packing heat, you know it’s bad.

  46. avatar adverse5 says:

    If you are not scared, you are not paying attention.

  47. avatar David Walters says:

    I’m an ex-Marine (who doesn’t care one bit whether you like that term or prefer former-Marine, instead).

    I just don’t have the capacity to fear anything anymore.

    It’s not braggadocio. It’s just true.

    Every situation has a solution in your favor. You just have to believe that statement is true and work to find the solution.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Every situation has a solution in your favor. You just have to believe that statement is true and find work to find the solution.”

      I read somewhere, once, the claim made by an elite European military unit:
      “There is no problem that cannot be solved with a sufficient amount of properly placed explosives.”

      Always wondered about that.

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