This is a tale of two gun owners. Gun owner A is a bit meek and a bit of a geek. Deep down, he’s a mess. His father was cold and distant and slightly embarrassed by his son. His mother was profoundly . . . unreliable. Gun owner A suffers from self-loathing and anti-social tendencies; based on an unconscious belief that people don’t like or respect him. At the same time, gun owner A’s something of a Clint Eastwood wanna-be. He dreams of vindicating himself by taking down a bad guy. Bottom line: he’s got simmering anger issues . . .
At some point, an interpersonal conflict escalates out of control. Could be a parking lot dispute or a domestic disturbance. He snaps, draws and fires; killing an innocent person in an uncontrollable rage. He knows he shouldn’t have turned to his gun but he couldn’t control his temper.
Gun grabbers think all gun owners are some sort of variation on this theme. Not to put too fine a point on it, they consider armed Americans ticking time bombs. Spree killers like James Holmes and Seung-Hui Cho are just like you and me, only slightly more unstable. But not like them (gun control advocates). Obviously. Because they don’t own guns.
In other words, “there but for the grace of gun control laws go thousands of potentially murderous Americans.” Whether that belief is based on psychological projection or a profound [mis]understanding of the human condition depends on your perspective. But there’s no question that antis believe in restricting gun ownership to prevent “senseless” tragedies born of unchecked emotions.
For contrast, let’s imagine gun owner B . . .
Gun owner B is a bit of a nerd and a non-conformist. Deep down, he’s a survivor. His father was proud of his son but was busy putting food on the table. His mother worked hard for the money. Over the years, gun owner B has learned how to cope with stress. Despite his expertise with firearms, he doesn’t see himself as society’s “sheepdog.” Bottom line: his family is his first priority.
At some point, an interpersonal conflict escalates out of control. Could be a parking lot dispute or a domestic disturbance. He does whatever he needs to do—walk it down and/or walk away—to keep the situation from escalating to physical violence. He’s not a coward. He simply know that an uncontrollable emotional/ballistic outburst would endanger himself and his gun rights. And thus his family.
Gun grabbers scoff at this characterization. They consider it delusional; gun owners who believe they can control their temper and not go off half-cocked are kidding themselves. We’re all amoral animals underneath. All it takes it the right stimulus and BANG! The red mist comes down. How many bloody news reports or episodes of Jerry Springer does one have to watch to establish that “fact”?
Having lost numerous battles to ban guns in America, the gun control industry now attempts to thread the needle on the issue of psychological fitness. They claim they want to craft laws that prevent the “bad” (i.e. mentally unfit) people from getting guns while allowing the “good” (i.e. sane) people to have access to armed self-defense. To the point where psychological testing is on the table.
No really. Here in Rhode Island local police chiefs attempted to include a formal psychological test in the concealed carry permitting process. That didn’t fly, but the Providence cops still interview applicants to determine their suitability. And personally interview the applicant’s three references.
Make no mistake: when licensing authorities ask for letters of reference or reserve the right to deny a license to carry based on the applicant’s “character,” they are operating under the assumption that the applicant is crazy until proven sane. Because gun control advocates genuinely believe that we’re all crazy, underneath.
There’s a wider point here about the antis’ view of society. They consider government a necessary restraint on the individual’s fundamentally amoral/selfish underpinning. Without government—complete with a monopoly on force—chaos. You can see this perspective in the MSM’s coverage of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, with their focus on government aid (or lack thereof), rather than individual and communal self-reliance and initiative.
I digress. When it comes to guns and anger, there are two truths which I hold to be self-evident. Shooting is an extremely good way to relieve stress. And the government has no business trying to prevent mentally unfit Americans from becoming legal gun owners or obtaining a concealed carry license.
As Cybill and the girls prove in the clip above, the first proposition is easily proved by a trip to the gun range (as scary as antis may find the anger management piece). The second assertion is not provable per se. Nor does it have to be. According to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, the government is barred from infringing on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
Psych evals are a clear infringement on our Constitutionally protected firearms freedoms. Who would do the testing? What criteria would they use? Who rates the tests? What’s the appeal process? How long would a “ban” last? Would anti-depressant medications be considered? There are lots of ways it could go wrong.
In fact, the whole “common sense” psychological evaluation process is guaranteed to run afoul of the antis’ Catch-22. Anyone who wants a gun for personal protection is mentally unstable. Hence they shouldn’t have one. Application denied.
I’m a cynical person. I trust no one unless I have to (e.g., airline pilots). But I have faith in my fellow man. There are plenty of people I could depend on in a crisis to help me and/or my daughter, as I would help them. People with both character and self-control.
Despite what you see on TV, as the entitlement class shows its ingrained passivity in the face of life-threatening danger, I’d go so far as to say that most Americans have these qualities. Strangely enough, the ones I know who possess them to the greatest degree carry a gun.