This is a continuation of the topic of fear and how it drives so much of our country and world.
I have been cruising some of the “gun rights” websites lately. The reason I am paying attention to this group is to try to understand the thoughts and mentalities of the people in them and how fear appears to play such a strong part of their adamant refusal of any kind of gun regulation.
It appears that many from this group have a basic fear of their fellow citizens. They just don’t trust anyone they don’t know. They see bad guys around every corner. They think they need a lethal weapon to protect their families for the almost imminent invasion of their homes. In other words they are a paranoid group with a very negative view of mankind. They see the worst in everyone. They call those of us who are not driven by their overwhelming fear naive as to the real world. They say we just don’t “get” it.
Most of the other ninety-five percent of us outside these gun rights groups see all the damage done to this country by the preponderance of guns in our culture and we can’t understand why the gun rights groups can’t see what their almost idolatrous attachment on guns have done to our country. We see all the innocent people being shot down daily on our city streets. We mourn all the seemingly unending massacres happening today and mourn all the loss of so much innocent life. We see the unending supply of guns in this country purchased with drug money flooding across the border into Mexico making the drug cartels even more powerful than the police.
But I think one of the most basic differences between many of the gun folks and the rest of us is that at one level or another, we are more likely to help out a stranger than to point a gun at him. Our first inclination is to give someone that seems down on his luck a helping hand. We just don’t have that underlying fear of the unknown or unseen that they seem to have.
We are a country that is currently divided into many different factions and many of these opposing groups are primarily driven by fear. They see everyone they don’t know as a possible attacker. How do we convince these fearful people of the damage their obsession with guns is doing to all of us?
From past experiences one thing you won’t hear from this group is an admittance that they are fearful. They will proudly say that guns eliminate their fears because now they can take out anyone who will surely be attacking them. Fear is such a powerful motivator for division and mistrust.
Am I putting all gun enthusiasts in the same basket? Absolutely not! I understand that there are many, if not most, who are willing to have things like universal background checks and some sensible gun regulations. But, like it or not, the leadership of the NRA is currently the face of all gun owners. Until the responsible owners come out from behind that group they will continue to be identified with that radical organization.