Sunday, April 15, 2012
There was a discussion on Up with Chris Hayes Saturday morning on gun control. A reporter that attended the recent NRA convention in
commented that most of those in attendance were old white men; and from
conversations he overheard the consistent theme seemed to be that these men needed
to be armed because at some time in the future they would have to defend
themselves from some imaginary threat.
The liberal consensus on the program seemed to be that the people at the
convention were afraid of the rise of minorities and saw that as a threat to
their way of life. St Louis
I don’t necessarily agree with that. I have known many men who rode around with NRA stickers on the back window of their trucks. None of them were afraid – but all of them entertained a fantasy of Armageddon: a time of a breakdown of law and order when they could emerge, regardless of their age or lack of physical prowess, with their guns blazing to become the hero and powerful leaders of their imagination. In this scenario they all see themselves as the gun slinger that young girls would cling to (note: in their fantasies they do not liberate the old ladies in the rest home, but the young girls in the college dorms.)
Many of the people that go into police work are of the same ilk. In high school they were the prey of the alphas and as marginal students were lost in the back of the room; but with a badge of authority and a gun on their hip they achieve the longed for identity of macho. The permission to carry a gun and the authority to shoot transforms the sexually insecure male into an alpha want-to-be.
Now, here we intersect with the Concealed Carry and Stand Your Ground Law. Thousands of would-be alphas are walking around armed looking for a chance to live out their fantasy of being feared and admired because of their ability and readiness to kill with a firearm.
In the old 1950 novel Battleground when a recruit would call his rifle a gun the DI would make him grab his crotch with his left hand and hold out his rifle with his right hand and repeat “This is my rifle and this is my gun – this is for fighting and this is for fun.” I truly believe that gun mania is a substitute for lack of sexual prowess.
In the military I was on the station pistol team and qualified to compete at All Navy competition, but could not attend because of deployment schedule. I was awarded both expert rifle and expert pistol ribbons. I do not have a concealed carry license and do not need one. I know the difference between my rifle and my gun and don’t need to carry one to compensate for the other.