About this GUN Thing…

pecking order

I have been giving this gun business a lot of thought.  Initially, for me anyway, it was a bit curious to see people flocking to gun dealers to purchase guns after crazy people commit mass murders.  I didn’t understand why people thought that having more guns would result in less people being killed with guns.  I didn’t understand why everyone didn’t see what I saw.  I saw a country with an embarrassingly absurd rate of gun deaths and an outrageously ridiculous rate of gun ownership and put the two together.  It was puzzling to me why everyone else didn’t do the same.  It took a while for me to understand that I was the one who didn’t get it.  I was the one who didn’t understand.

I would like to predict that there will be no new restrictive gun laws.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

America’s slipping position in the pecking order of nations combined with our misguided decision to shield our children from the horrors of academic competitiveness in our public schools, in an attempt to reduce stress, has damaged us culturally, psychologically and economically.   As Dr. Hans Selye, the pioneering scientist who almost single-handedly put stress on the map stated… “Stress IS NOT something to be avoided… Complete freedom from stress is death.”  In our foolish attempt to provide our children and, in many ways ourselves, with a stress free life we have destroyed our ability to thrive.  Without striving to achieve we cannot and DO NOT exercise control over our lives.  There is nothing more damaging to living organisms than a lack of control over their lives.

So, what do rats locked in cages do when they are deprived of control over their lives?   First of all they panic.  Next they go through disturbing changes in the way they see the world and their ability to learn new things almost disappears.  The ability to focus clearly on the facts around them decreases.  To protect themselves against the pain of the fear that comes with loss of control they generate the internal anesthetic endorphin.  Like morphine, its artificial equivalent, endorphin makes reality disappear and soothes by blinding the senses.  Relief is found by closing our eyes to the world around us.  Over time numerous degenerative diseases, neurological and psychological disturbances manifest themselves.

Does any of this sound familiar?

It damn well should.  So, here is the deal.  If you perceive that you have a reasonable degree of control over your life you have no need or desire to “protect” yourself with an arsenal of firearms.   If you consciously, or subconsciously, understand that you exercise little or no control over your life you will act as I indicated above and in panic mode run down to the gun store for another gun and more ammunition in response to hearing that someone else has been shot.

So why do I predict that there will be NO new restrictive gun laws?

Come on!  Do the fucking math.  Are there more americans who feel they have control over their lives, or, are there more who know damn well that they don’t?

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “About this GUN Thing…

  1. Night Ranger

    I see it the other way. Those who run out and buy a gun do so before government tries to take more control away from their lives. Those who sit back and complain about guns are the ones who believe government will do everything for them and therefore need not control their own lives. When the burglar comes into my house and hears the bolt action sound of my rifle, I bet he flees. That is control. When he comes into the gun control advocates house, that person loses all his shit and possibly his/her life in the process. Where is the control in that and where was the government to help?

  2. Ah Night Ranger, but, I bet you don’t get the urge to go out and buy ANOTHER semi-automatic whenever you hear on the news that another group of unarmed people have been gunned down by a crazy person…. do you? That is what I am talking about. That knee-jerk reaction.
    There isn’t going to be any more “gun control” so, don’t worry about it, and besides, nobody has EVER even suggested that americans be disarmed and nobody ever will. Beyond that… I can accomplish what you do with the sound of your “bolt action” with a $10 tape recorder and a recording of someone loading a shotgun. WITHOUT the cost and worry of keeping it safe.

    I don’t think government will do a DAMN thing for me, but, I confess, I do think crazy people have WAY to easy access to guns. As far as burglars go…. one look at my attic and you would realize they would be doing me a fucking favor if they took a whole truck load of “my shit”. Most of the time I don’t even lock the door.

    My point was that without vigorous competition we lose a great deal of control over our lives. That has consequences for animals like us.

  3. bmweup12

    I liked this post, reading it as only remotely related to gun control, which is yet another of many stupefying political euphemisms such as “controlled substance”. We all know how much control the gov’t has over those. The only way to control a gun is intentionally, with one’s body, just as it is with drugs. Otherwise both are simply inanimate objects.

    I do take issue with the idea that competetive decline in the U.S. is “combined with” our effort to anesthetize ourselves from life’s vicissitudes. The decline is a sequela to social engineering by the Mental Health movement; i don’t think it’s a coincidence. It’s an important distinction.

    Is it a coincidence that this decline roughly parallels the exponential expansion of the DSM? They’re even talking about making normal grief a diagnosable disorder now — and yet, not a peep of outrage.

  4. Well, bmweup12, I think the “controlled” thing, with drugs and guns, is just a silly call to make a problem involving a (thing) go away by making the thing itself go away. It never works.

    With regard to the DSM and the folks down at “Mental Health”… I honestly don’t know who should get the lions share of the blame for thoroughly fucking-up american education. Maybe I deserve it for refusing to get a haircut back in the 60’s. Maybe my generation deserves it for raising our kids to have zero respect for “authority figures”. I mean, how does a culture get to the point where 3rd grade Little Billy can tell his teacher to “Go fuck yourself” and the parents reaction is… “Billy was just expressing his frustration and, besides, the teacher must have done something to push him to this point… I want an investigation!”

    I think there is no “peep of outrage” over the expansion of the DSM because americans love their illnesses. It’s the only identity they have left! I stand in line at the supermarket and listen to mothers compete with each other over who has the most fucked up kid.

    [Mom #1] My little Jimmy has ADD, food allergies and we are having him tested for Bi-Polar.

    [Mom #2] Well, Little Jason IS Bi-Polar, has peanut allergies, ADHD, dyslexia and, oh my goodness, we are almost late for his speech therapist.”

    It makes me want to puke listening to them. If they were puppies we would drown them at birth. I can cure 98% of ADD in 48 hours. All I need is a belt and a promise I won’t be sent to jail for child abuse. Hey, they cure ADD down at Marine Boot Camp every day of the week. They do it the same way humans have done it for 50,000 years… maybe more. As the saying goes, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
    Anyway… thanks for your input.

  5. My Dear Mrs. N, How are you?

    Gun control now has become a monolith for a tighter pen striped suit to argue about, I agree gun laws will change little if any. Competition does keep us on our toes, ensures we can bite the tail right off of the porker next to us and indeed without it, our control becomes lax, lounge like.

    I’m intrigued at the gun debate of “when” the intruder enters. That’s when the competition is truly on, not the pre-invasion trailer, rather the mano a mano. I’ve yet to know anyone who has been murdered by an intruder, confronted an intruder with a weapon or engaged them with said weapon.

    A quick story if I may. My dying friend’s mother, she worried all of her life that, “They would break in, rape and kill her” needless to say it never happened. While on her death bed her son asked her what she thought of her unfounded fear, she responded….if it weren’t that….I’d have made something else up to worry about.

    I’m afraid, those who run down and purchase more guns and ammo after news of a mass killing are completely unaware of what little control they have….yet see their control as enormous.

    Be well Mrs. N, as always, a pleasure.

    • I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear from you RR Old Bean. I attempted to comment on your High Desert blog the other day and nothing happened. All my well chosen words were apparently sucked into an alternate universe. So sad. But, never mind…

      The story of your friends mother is instructive. Perhaps the “worry” itself is a form of control. If you have no other I imagine it’s better than nothing. The interesting thing to me is the political/philosophical bent of the gun wanters -vs- the gun don’t wanters. It’s certainly NO coincidence that Southerners and country/rural republicans need guns to feel they have some control and urban, northern democrats don’t. The whole concept of protecting yourself from someone “taking something away” from you so fits the white “conservative” apposed to the idea of change, or, dare I say it… progress.

      I look around my house and ask myself if there is ANYTHING I own that I would kill someone to keep and the answer is no… with the exception of my “Mr. Coffee” and the break-in would have to take place early in the morning before I had put it to use.

      But, I do get it. When animals like us feel they don’t have control they self destruct, their immunological systems break down and they fall apart. So, if my friends and neighbors here in Dixie NEED guns to feel they have some control I understand. Gun laws WILL NOT fix the underlying problem. The problem is cultural and marketing to peoples fears and vulnerabilities certainly comes into play.

      Imagine if semi-automatic assault weapons were available right after the Civil War (for Southerners that’s “The War of Northern Aggression”). Imagine they were mass marketed to black people and black people had the money to buy them. Do you think the primary motivation for purchase would be to “stop people from breaking in to rob their stuff”? Or, would it simply be….. Control Baby!

      While we are imagining stuff Robert, imagine if Jesus knew Kung-Foo.

      Once again, wonderful to hear from you. Perhaps you can determine “why” my comment to…December 4, 2012 Thoughts from the “Tinman” slipped, unnoticed, into another dimension.

      Be well
      Mrs. N.

  6. lifewithoutinstructions

    Ah so that is it then! I believe your assertion is correct. I however have always had a fear that somehow my four beautiful children would find the gun, and outsmart my parental ass, thus playing with it and causing a terrible accident. Once that fear sets itself up into a Mom’s brain , a reasonable human would never own a gun. It has nothing to do with reason and logic, as I would hope that most gun owners have taught their kids proper gun etiquette.

    It simply has to do with a basic parental knowledge that kids will do whatever they want, with little fear. What happens next usually doesn’t intellectually occur to children.

    I am not concerned that as an unarmed citizen that I am not in control. I would feel far less in control with a gun in the house considering the welfare of my children. Also to add another thought to this argument, I often feel as though once a gun culture is introduced to the family, then human nature takes over. I mean if there is a gun available, then it becomes easier to solve one’s problems with the gun. I do believe our culture promotes this idea. We as humans will always take the easy way towards resolution.

    I come from a hunting state, and I love game meat! More and more I believe in assault gun control, serious background consideration and control , and a complete ban on selling any kind of weaponry over the internet. I do believe that as a country we need more proactive mental health!

    As a mother I would pose this question. What the hell was that Mother in Newtown Conn. thinking? Unlike others, I feel as though this Mother had a hand in at least encouraging her son. She did not think ahead and likely knew him best. That’s called hiding under the blankets.

    • Thanks for the input [Lifewithout]. It’s always good to hear from you.

      I’m with you on Newtown, Conn. Mom. By all accounts she was a “survivalist” kind of character. Loved her guns. They made her feel more secure and… (wait for it)… “in control”.

      I also believe our culture promotes this nonsense because it is a failing culture. Humans CRAVE control, real or illusionary. Without it we cease to thrive biologically, heart attack rates go up 3 to 400% and our immunological systems falter. It doesn’t have to be real control. I just have to “believe” it is real. The NRA helps with that. BUT, they are no more to blame than the NUA… “The National Umbrella Association”. If I headed the NUA I would NEVER miss an opportunity to warn people that if they care at all about the safety of their family members they will be sure that they have an umbrella handy in case it rains. But, Hey, if they are dumb enough to let their loved ones get soaking wet and get pneumonia and die because they weren’t protected….. I really can’t feel sorry for them. It’s not like I they weren’t warned. I mean, when your children are caught in a rain storm without an umbrella… call a cop… see how THAT works out for you.

      Happy New Year to you [Lifewithout] and I hope it’s a good one.
      All the best
      Mrs. N.

  7. bmweup12

    Welcome to what psychiatric critic Thomas Szasz described as “the Therapeutic State”. On the subject of child control, he wrote:

    “Control communicates care and devotion to children, condescension and disdain to adults. Herein lies a fundamental dilemma of society: it ought to encourage parents to love and control their children, and politicians to respect their fellow citizens and leave them alone.
    “We are well on our way to inverting this arrangement: We encourage parents to fake respect for their children and thus justify their failure to control them; and politicians to fake love for their fellow citizens and thus justify their efforts to excercise capricious control over them.”

    That was over FORTY YEARS ago; I think he nailed that one. In a similar vein, we often hear the lamentations of the mental health community calling for the de-stigmatization of mental illness. Cui bono? I wonder where we’d be, vis-a-vis the mass murderer, repeat rapist, child abuser, et al , if the Storm Troopers of Pharmageddon put their paternalistic efforts into de-stigmatizing suicide, or if Hollywood would glorify suicide as much as — or instead of — assault and murder? What does it say about our so-called leaders — or our own fears — that nearly anyone can buy a deadly firearm with a 1,000-yard range, but not a vial of life reliever with a 1-inch needle?

    • I think he nailed that one too bmweup12. …[“Since theocracy is the rule of God or its priests, and democracy the rule of the people or of the majority, pharmacracy is therefore the rule of medicine or of doctors.”]… is a favorite of mine.

      …”“Control communicates care and devotion to children, condescension and disdain to adults. Herein lies a fundamental dilemma of society:”…

      That is great stuff. Discipline and control of children (and dogs, for that matter) permits them to “control” their life by giving them clear choices that will always result in clear consequences. Mammals THRIVE under conditions that give them this kind of control. It’s funny, you know, so called “experts” will tell you that spanking a child will cause them irreparable psychic damage. Just about every man my age I know will tell you the story about when they, as a kid, REALLY screwed up and got the living shit beat out of them by an adult in authority. They are always smiling when they tell the story. They clearly tell it as a moment that “made” them, not a moment that broke them.

      I thank you for your input. I totally agree with you also about suicide. If I don’t control my life/death I control nothing. I think Ernest Becker in “Denial of Death” hits the nail on the head too. Humans just are not capable of dealing with the issue of death… of imagining the universe without them in it. If you can…. well, it pisses other people off no end.

      Again, thank you for your thoughts
      Respectfully
      Mrs. N.

  8. You are right Mrs. N., the theme of ‘control’ is useful to understand a lot about gun culture and a whole lot of other things.

    I have had a lot of people ask me about my thoughts on this Connecticut shooting… “What makes a person do that kind of thing?” … “They must be delusional, have a mental disorder like schizophrenia, etc., etc., etc.” We see in the questions people ask, their desperate need for simple answers or an easy explanation that provide a sense of control amongst the chaos. A DSM diagnosis would be helpful to them, because that could in part ‘explain’ the tragedy with something tangible and concrete. But the medical model of mental illness is a human invention – it tells us nothing, but the illusionary label provides comfort in thinking we have an ‘objective’ cause. Again, “If I can can account for all of those unseen variables, understand cause-effect relationships, I can feel safe… I’ll be prepared, I can avoid it, or I can defend myself against it, or as a society we can perhaps treat it.” People don’t want to hear that schizophrenia does not cause mass shootings… that would be a scary thought. But the reality is that many people are at risk of doing these sorts of things when they are emotionally disjointed and find themselves feeling detached from a meaningful worldview. They are estranged from and disgusted by what exists, so with their indignation seek to destroy it and themselves in the process. Distrustful and isolated communities, with dog-eat-dog worldviews and protectionist attitudes, in my view contribute to the problem – they don’t help. We don’t need better drugs or more diagnostic labels… we need to build supportive communities that can identify and offer help to someone who is struggling.

    Despite what others might think of him, I believe Michael Moore had the gun culture mostly figured out in his documentary Bowling for Columbine. One of the ways that the United States government exerts control over its population is by utilizing the media in such a way as to keep the people in a constant state of fear. The persistent state of anxiety helps fuel the need for control. If we believe that death is potentially lurking around every corner, then we need big government to protect us, and when that fails, guns, so that we might have a chance of getting them before they get us.

    As a Canadian, I have always found it difficult to understand the American attitude about guns. It would not be uncommon for us to leave our doors unlocked overnight. We don’t spend thousands of dollars on security systems for our homes. Nobody worries about someone breaking in and getting murdered. But perhaps this will all change. We are seeing more handguns and assault rifles on the streets – it has been estimated that 50% of our illegal guns come from the US. There is reason for us to be worried about what the US does with gun control, but like you, I doubt very much that anything will change.

  9. All beautifully put Brad. America is a crazy place. We are living in crazy times. We spent the night with old, old friends we grew up with in the New York Metro area. We all live down in Bible Belt Virginia now. We are sitting around in our jammies drinking coffee and discussing how totally fucked up things have become. None of us can think of a single thing we own that we would shoot someone to keep them from taking. We also realized that in 50+ years of living up north we never knew anyone who went to jail. Here we all know dozens! America is a bizarro archipelago of conflicting sub-cultures and world views kept at each others throats by the “owners” for control and profit.

    The middle class in America is a dead dog. Soon it will be as it almost always was with humans…. Rulers & Peasants. Guns or no guns, control is an illusion.

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