The American Obsession With Firearms: Being Held Hostage by Gun Nuts and Fear
Gun Fanatics: No One Wants to Take Your Guns!
Confiscation of firearms will never happen in the United States. It isn't constitutionally legal. But, that doesn't stop gun fanatics from obsessively anguishing about it. Almost any conversation about new gun laws in response to a mass shooting, if there is a gun zealot present, you'll get the standard admonition: "We won't give up our guns!"
It is their way of shutting down any conversation about restructuring firearms regulations to avert mass shootings. Mass shootings, more times than not, committed by people that should never be in possession of a firearm, let alone several high-powered automatic weapons.
NBC News reports that eighty-two percent of the firearms used in mass shootings over the last thirty years were obtained legally. Nikolas Cruz, perpetrator of the latest mass shooting, killing seventeen high school students in Florida, legally obtained the AR-15 assault rifle he used. It is reasonable to believe that more than three quarters of those mass shootings could have been avoided with stricter, uniform, firearms legislation, a waiting period, and broader, deeper, background checks.
Mother Jones published an extensive database of every mass shooting from 1982 through 2017, including data on the legality of the firearms used in the shootings. The spreadsheet data can be accessed here.
Fear. Paranoia. Insecurity. Impotence.
What is the basis of the gun extremists' neurotic, phobic delusion about having their precious firearms confiscated by the government?
Fear of confiscation is an irrational fear of an action that has never been suggested by anyone with the power make it happen, never. The fear stems from deep seated insecurity. The country is changing, fast. Firearms seem to be a security blanket, the white male's mental fortress, against time and societal change. Black and Latino communities have guns too, a lot of guns. But for a much different purpose, foremost personal and family safety. There isn't the paranoid, "tyrannical government," fear of others and change, that seems to run through white patriot groups.
The collective psychology of this is interesting. Black and Latino communities never felt a sense of collective privilege. Many whites, tea-party and patriot militias exhibit an undercurrent of insecure fear that a demographically changing America, where they will not be the majority, will undermine their privilege, their preferred cultural supremacy.
It is irrational, but it's real for them.
They're arming themselves against a paranoid mental construct of their own making. This collective phobic delusion is fed by the right-wing, 'patriot', tea-party\libertarian media information bubble. This fear-based rage was put on steroids November 4, 2008 with the election of President Obama.
The right-wing panic industry cranked into high gear the November night of Obama's first election. CNN reported in November 2008:
> "I have been in business for 12 years, and I was here for Y2K, September 11, Katrina," Conatser said, as a steady stream of customers browsed what remained of his stock. "And all of those were big events, and we did notice a spike in business, but nothing on the order of what we are seeing right now."
> Weapons dealers in much of the United States are reporting sharply higher sales since Barack Obama won the presidency a week ago.
> Buyers and sellers attribute the surge to worries that Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress will move to restrict firearm ownership,despite the insistence of campaign aides that the president-elect supports gun rights and considers the issue a low priority." (emphasis mine)
What was it that whipped up the fear-frenzy of conservative, right-wing whites...?
Fox News, internet 'patriot' sites, demagogues like Sarah Palin with her "take our country back" rhetoric and "2nd amendment solutions" flag-draped, bible-thumping, cloaked threats. All endorsed by the GOP/Tea-Party/Libertarians and...the NRA...
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