A Swim in Denial

What we can't think about and how it shapes us.

Terrorism in the Checkout Lane

The gun debate is really about passive aggression. It's a gun barrel pointed in your face with a smile. Read More

Where are these people

Where are these people pretending not to be angry that some knuckle-dragging moron can get his hands on a military-style weapon and go swaggering into a public place with it? I would have been out of that store and calling the police as fast as possible. And not pretending to be other than furious. And not returning to that store.

If this peabrained tiny excuse for a human being cited the Second bloody Amendment, I want to know which "well-organized militia" he belonged to and where the threat to the community was. Because that's what the Second Amendment is about.

Any time I see the word "denial" I know that some bovine excrement is coming down the pike.

The real reason?

Very sensitive comment and to the point.

On the other hand it is quite obvious that people who need to evoke very basic principles in order to defend their behaviour are not open to arguments. This is a sign of deep-seated anxiety.
So the real question is: why are so many millions of people scared to death in a country that is not threatened by war and that is affluent?
Time and again we hear the refrain: I need to protect my family!
Protect from what? Bad Luck? And from whom - a terrorist 10.000 miles away?
To put the question differently: who is interested in keeping up this widespread suspicion and paranoia and the countless conspiracy theories? This would make sense in a war-torn country with many warring fractions and lots of assassinations - but in the US?
This is a very uncomfortable state of mind; still millions accept it and live with it their whole lives. They congregate with like-minded people so they can assure each other that paranoia is actually being smart and alert and something positive. Thus creating a culture where it is considered 'normal' to be in an abnormal state ... if that is not crazy!?

Merchants of Fear

Where do the irrational fears of gun adovcates come from?

As has been said in the previous comments Americans feel justified in needing to protect themselves from some imaginary evil. They fear their neighbors.. they fear terrorists and they fear their own democratic government.

The fear is real in the minds of so many and yet the reality is they live in one of the safest and most democratic countries in the world.

So who is responsible for instilling this irrational fear that drives people to want to own assult weapons with high capacity magazines?

It is the 'merchants of fear' (those who stand to profit by the sale of weapons of war and death) Here are my leading contenders for that title....

The NRA who gets most of its monies from gun manufactures and the gun sellers. No, they don't really represent gun owners. The proof of that is that over 70% of NRA membership is for background checks. The NRA is opposed to background checks or anything that might slow the profits of gun manufactures and gun sellers. The wishes of the membership are secondary to their real mission.

The media who run with a shooting story for months as long as its still pulling ratings. The more tragic the better for advertising revenue.

The politicians who give up any backbone or morals they might have because they are getting donations from NRA or similar lobbying organizations. Or who fear the NRA or Tea Party campaigning against their re-election. Just once I'd love to see some conservative politician stand up and renounce the gun lobby and reject their filthy money. (In fairness there are liberal politicians just as guilty though not near as many)

The talk show crazies. You know the ones that make their money spouting off conspiracy theories about the government coming to take your weapons and put you into slavery (or something like that). The more they can gin up the fear factor the more audience and thus advertisers they attract for their shows.

So it all comes down to money (as usual). You just need to ask yourself who profits from the (irrational) fear generated?

So your fear is perfectly

So your fear is perfectly rational and mine is irrational, is that right?

The gun debate is still in debate because there is no solution.


One might assume Psychology Today would be adept at understanding and/or analyzing human fallacies and instinctive emotions. Then PT could pass along the dynamic to readers leading to a better understanding of life and its myriad of personalities that cross our paths daily. Instead I read here nothing more than another lopsided, bigoted essay pandering to a certain class of Americans.
There is nothing in this article but an example of one person's poor judgement leading to the pampered, narrow-minded and obviously insulated denizens of a certain social class to look down their noses at others.
To claim the useless endeavor of fighting our powerful government is an admission that tyranny has taken root. If one thinks it through then one will realize only agreeable speech will be tolerated. That outcome occurs already on any anti-gun web site if one disagrees by commenting as such. Comment is deleted.
The fallacy that this is a Democracy is supported here in a comment. It is not a Democracy. Study that on your own since you missed it in Civics class. Stating America is the safest country without validating any reasoning is yet another waste of time for the reader.
The anti-gun people never can grasp nor agree on "militia" and that is why they become angry at any target available. Using the term "debate" is the final indication of what a woefully uneducated society we have become. Uneducated, unarmed and at odds with each other is simply the "divide and conquer' strategy of those who seek to take what you have. Lawmakers devise every possible method to imprison citizens so that we now have over 2 million people in prisons. Second only to Russia if not passed yet. This is often cited by other countries as proof we have a "culture of violence". That is dead wrong! About 60% of those imprisoned are guilty of non-violent drug offenses. Those type of offenses began 100 years ago as a way of legally killing black men. President Nixon changed all that in order to target his opponents which he deemed were mostly pot smokers. He classified marijuana as a narcotic in the same league as heroin. Drug offenders are now in reality political prisoners. There cannot be any argument about that. 2% of those in prison are actual violent offenders. "Culture of violence"? 2%? Not hardly.
Who did that one person say they would call about a man with a gun? The police. Why? Because they have guns! So this person admits guns are useful and necessary. Do not think that this is true only for trained police officers. Many do not care for firearms and are police officers because of the perks and pay with early retirement. Now, name the last time you recall a police officer pulling a sidearm, firing and killing a "bad guy" to save a citizen. Think all day if you wish. The fact is that police have no duty or obligation to protect you from anything. The Supreme Court has ruled on it so live with it. Police departments would be buried in litigation if they were required to save lives because usually they fail if they try. Nobody asks where were police when a school shooting occurred. At Columbine High School first responders waited an hour for supervisors to arrive. Gun control works and the proof being in an Aurora Colorado theater- only one person had a firearm. The victims were in fear. Not imaginary either. They did not have weapons because they fear the police! Plus they feared the gunman. Lose lose. Very real and very bad policy that created this scenario thanks to outspoken fear-mongers such as those on this page.
The reason one can say this a safe country is only due the numbers of people who have concealed weapons, permit or not. You do not know who they are and neither do bad guys. Bad guys know that there is one way to find and that is the only thing they really fear: an armed citizen.
The "militia" mentioned is the sound advice from The Founders not an order. Putting government in charge of any militia is quite obviously contrary to the Second Amendment. Well-regulated is required for success. The Founders did not give us the Right to self-defense and freedom, your creator did. The Founders only gave us the guarantee when they gave us this REPUBLIC not democracy. The Bill of rights are not laws, they re not debatable or up for a vote as this is not a democracy and it would be a disaster if it were.
The Japanese had already taken over China and much of the Pacific islands when they bombed Pearl Harbor. The one reason they did not attempt an all-out invasion of the US is solely due to our Right to bear arms. That we have some in Congress seeking to remove our Rights is an abomination to patriotic Americans. The NRA being demonized for defending every Americans Rights is either out of sheer stupidity or the desire of some to socialize our country. That, I assure you, is never going to happen. Thank the person who walks into a grocery store with a weapon. It is brave men with firearms that have fought and died for our system, the system that allows you to have a choice at what market you wish to visit, none of which are called "The Peoples Market". Thank them that you are able to sport flimsy footwear as opposed to work boots, those that would be issued and mandatory for everyone except the truly rich.
A free society giving up the Right to keep firearms is a mistake they can only make once.Using the term assault weapon is ignorant and the AR-15 is one of the least potent firearms around. The "AR" stands for "Armalite" not "assault rifle". The AR-15 was invented by Eugene Stoner who sold the patent to Colt which in turn contracted with the US military to to supply them. They were then called the "M-16" and used since 1963. A small caliber which is illegal to use for hunting big game in most states. The familiar hunting round is 30.06 which was used in WWI and WWII. The 30.06 overshadows the M-16 round by leaps and bounds:M-16 has about 700 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards while a 30.06 is close to 3000. Believing the M-16 is devastating and banning it will quickly lead to a ban on all calibers because they all are much more powerful. Therein lies the first ploy to inch toward outright bans. It also leads to ignorant articles that I just read which supplied no usable or sane information what-so-ever. I have given you more here than PT will ever supply. It is propaganda PT feeds you. Total irresponsibility and deleterious to your very health, safety and well-being is what they would have you think they are all about.
Nobody has to own a firearm and some fear them to phobic extremes. I would suggest that you find a competent instructor and learn a few things then go target shooting with them. You will find it to be challenging and not the chaos PT and others would like you to believe. Using a firearm for self-defense is the last resort but read Masaad Ayoob's "In The Gravest Extreme" first and foremost. Finally contact all your media outlets and insist they stop the ridiculously overdone amount of time devoted to mass shootings. That, I believe, is the main catalyst a mentally altered person needs to perform a hideous act that no sane person would or will ever commit.
It is of no concern what anyone else thinks what I should want or "need" in a firearm. My Rights shall not be infringed. I can explain the Second Amendment to you but I cannot understand it for you.

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Kirby Farrell, Ph.D.'s most recent book is Berserk Style in American Culture.


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