Although there are some who want gun restrictions for leverage over their political opponents and some who parrot the anti-gun talking points to appeal to their political peers, there are many who want to ban guns because they simply can’t see the topic from anything other than a manufactured anti-gun perspective. Some are convinced that guns cause people to do bad things. This may come from an inherent sense of irresponsibility; an unwillingness to recognize our own ability to cause change in the world or an inability to believe our actions belong to us. When a victim looks at the world, they see themselves as “a result of it.” They see life from a reactive position. When a responsible person looks at the world, they recognize their ability to make change and affect outcomes.
When you ask anti-gun folks why it is that the vast majority of gun owners never hurt anyone, they are forced to recognize that guns have not actually affected or influenced the actions of those people. When you ask them why it is that some people may use guns, knives, or baseball bats to exercise violence toward others, they admit that it is the will of the person causing the act of violence. They start to recognize that if guns caused violent behavior, anytime a gun was in the hands of anyone, that person would become violent. Logically they understand the behavior is not the gun’s responsibility, but they have been trained to reject this logic and embrace irrational, reactive emotion when considering the topic of guns.
Unfortunately, people are rarely asked questions that help them see the difference between the inability of inanimate objects to “act” and conscious human behavior. These questions uncover what the media has been hiding and reveal the human element, even if only for a moment. Because misguided beliefs about guns are so strong and consistently perpetuated, focus tends to redirect itself to the conditioned belief. This “anchoring” is similar to hearing a song from your childhood and remembering exactly where you were at the time you first heard it.
Neural networks are formed in our thought process through consistent repetition or during times when we are in a heightened state of emotion. When the media wants you to adopt a belief, they use two strategies. The process of repetitively conditioning the viewer with propaganda and talking points is used most often. However, Neuro-Linguistic Programming is often maliciously used to elicit a specific response when an associated “trigger” is installed. An example would be capturing the audience immediately after a school shooting, when emotions are high, and attach the heightened emotion (fear, anger, helplessness, etc.) to a photo of a gun in an attempt to associate the two. The gun is the “trigger” that elicits the desired response. The AR-15 is typically the gun of choice. This is why the shocking stories we see on the news always have a subject of blame attached to them. In this case, guns are attached to violent behavior whenever possible. This is why the term “gun-violence” was created.
Brainwashing is the process of creating new neural networks and beliefs. The strongest component of brainwashing is believing that you could never be brainwashed. The belief that only the other guy can be brainwashed, creates support for the idea that we are “correct” in our assumptions. This creates yet another barrier to seeing things from a different perspective.
There is one factual component that can never change when we discuss the use of a gun during an act of human violence. That unwavering truth is the fact that the gun had nothing to say in the matter. Violence is always and only the result of human behavior. This can never change in reality, only in the minds of those who have been taught what to think.
The teachers of these irrationalities do not have the best interest of others in mind. If we recognize our ability to have an effect on the world, we will get this conversation to a place where it makes sense for everyone.
In the meantime, I will keep my guns and pray that rational thought will prevail when it comes to this particular topic.