Thursday, October 16, 2014
The Left seems to have convinced themselves that firearms have somehow acquired their own agency. That they have the power to act independently of human beings. Or, as Bob Owens says, in his entertaining article they are believed to have cargo cult properties that -- via magic -- take possession of persons who touch guns and cause them to make murder and mayhem. But I find myself wondering if, instead, gun haters don't bring the "possession" to the gun and not the other way round. Breaking that down, what people often bring to the gun is a combination of fear, hostility and the illusion of superiority. I'll get to that later, but now I want to discuss the simple fear of guns.
Persons who have been taught to fear guns may do so for "good" reasons in the context of their indoctrination combined with their real ignorance regarding firearms and the responsible use of them. Those fears, it seems to me, are normal and healthy. Any instrument that is easily capable of doing great bodily harm to ones-self and others when carelessly or recklessly handled deserves to be approached with caution. Chainsaws, meat slicers, industrial and landscaping explosives and a wide range of machine tools come quickly to mind. Persons new to guns need to learn how they operate, how to maintain them, what can go wrong and, above all, how to handle them safely.
Instructors will occasionally encounter students who arrive with deeply embedded gun-phobias and the irrational but unshakeable belief that guns are animate objects. It might be useful for, say a pistol instructor, to bring two guns -- unloaded and cleared -- to the table for the first orientation session. The second gun, at the beginning of the session, might be placed on a sheet of paper while the instructor traces its outline with a pencil and calls attention to what he's doing without further explanation. After covering and repeating the gun safety rules, showing the student how the gun works, how to load, clear and dry-fire the gun (usually about an hour's sit-down time) the instructor pointedly calls attention to the second pistol, noting from the outline that the gun has not moved and observing that, barring human or natural intervention, the gun will remain in place until it rusts away to become a pile of iron oxide. Putting to rest, he hopes, the notion of the gun's independent agency.
Fearful first-time shooters are dangerously unpredictable. When the first charge explodes and sends a bullet down range the pistol kicks back, there is a big concussive sound, fire is seen at the muzzle and a hot casing may be deflected down an open-collared shirt or blouse. Any, or a combination of these things, can induce panic. A prudent instructor will allow only one round in the magazine (or cylinder) for the first shot, increasing loads only in proportion to the shooter's ability to adapt and gain confidence. So much for new shooters presenting with a fear of guns ranging from normal to phobic. Add Marxist ideology to an obsessive fear of guns and the plot thickens.
It happens occasionally that a person will -- counter to all preconceptions, reluctantly entertain the idea of purchasing and learning to use a gun when the fear of himself is overtaken by the fear of others. People who are compelled to change the behavior of others are often hostile, self-loathing elitists who project upon society at large their own weaknesses, inadequacies and temptations. Persons of this ilk fear guns because they fear themselves. They believe that others harbor similar hostilities, but, because they exercise inferior self-control, they will act out the fantasies that they, themselves entertain. Self-control, or the sudden loss of it, is the key. It may be very like the fear that acrophobics have when they imagine themselves standing on a high ledge, unable to resist a compulsive urge to jump. These persons are well to be avoided, and better, remaining unarmed. Leave them to be awakened by strange noises from the parlor during the wee hours at Christmastide.
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