Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fear, Desire, and Guns

If you read only five analyses of contemporary American gun nuttery, add a sixth and make it the one recently offered at ludic despair:
Progressives proceed from a mistaken assumption. Those who favor drawing a more reasonable Constitutional line between a single-shot musket and an Uzi often believe that gun nuts are AFRAID the government will try to take away their guns. Gun nut paranoia, in this case, is thought to be a function of FEAR. But that isn't the case. Instead, gun nuts like Jones desperately HOPE that the government will try to take away their guns. It would be the ultimate realization of their most profound fantasy. Gun nut paranoia, from this perspective, is a function of DESIRE. Fear can be conquered with education. But desire cannot be reasoned with. The heart wants to shoot what the heart wants to shoot.
When you're trying to put yourself in the mind of gun fanatics as they wildly overreact to President Chickenshit's milquetoast proposals, it can only suffice to imagine your reaction to correspondingly strong proposals to, say, round up and separate adolescents from their parents in the name of one or another understanding of "promot[ing] the general welfare, and secur[ing] the blessings of liberty."

To say the relationship of guns to owners is not parallel to, and lesser than, that of children to parents is only to beg the question being continuously and earnestly raised in far-right circles.

Back when I used to update this blog, I might have said something like this: if we outlaw suitcase nukes, only outlaws and Big Government will have suitcase nukes.