Is there any logic to the fear most liberals have of guns?
The citizen who open carried this week at a health care event in Portsmouth has sparked national debate about the concept of open carrying a gun. The discussions I've had and read have two parties objecting to the behavior.
The first are the liberals who object to all guns and would see to ban all guns if they could. These are the same people who also attempt to claim the 2nd amendment does not apply to citizens or that the Constitution is out dated and needs to be rethought, or worse yet the ones who consider it a "living document" that should be reinterpreted over time. There isn't much to debate with that group as they are fixed in their ways and will never see eye to eye with those who feel we do have a right to own and carry a gun. They are the ones who do not understand that gun laws wont take away guns from those seeking to break other laws but instead only disarm those seeking to protect themselves from those criminals. Not to get off focus but a perfect example of this is the fact there is no discussion about the SECOND person who showed up at the Obama event in Portsmouth with a gun. The difference between the two is this second guy had his gun and a knife hidden and attempted to sneak into the forum where Obama was. He didn't alert or panic anyone because he hid his gun, the only reason there was any alert at all was because he was caught going where he wasn't allowed and from what I understand his gun was illegal. But I digress.
The second group are more reasonable people who do agree that we have the right to own and carry guns but they feel there are places that are not appropriate. This is the group I hope to reach out to here.
The event that started debate is that the gun was open carried at a political event which was attended by the president. The same argument is used to prevent guns from school, government offices and a number of other locations. But is this logical? Should rights be limited to certain locations or prevented from others?
Let's start with the idea of law abiding people legally carrying a weapon near or around an event where the president is attending. If you search the web I would be willing to bet $100 that you will find pictures of not only Obama but Bush I & II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter and other presidents surrounded by US citizens carrying guns. Of course these citizens are wearing either military uniforms or police uniforms but they are armed citizens of this country never the less. They are citizens first and working men and women second. No one fears the military or the police yet there have been cases of police officers and military personnel attacking the innocent yet there are numerous cases of people impersonating police who in turn cause harm to others. Just because someone is in a uniform does not mean they would not harm you.
Now let's go further, if we do over all trust the police and military with a gun on their side while in uniform then what changes when they retire or take off the blue shirt and badge for the day? If someone is wearing jeans and a tee-shirt while walking down the street with a gun at their side we don't know if they are a police officer by day. Is there logical reason to fear that same police officer who was handing trading cards to kids in the park earlier that same day with the same gun because he's no longer in his uniform?
It would make no sense. If someone can be trusted with a gun then it doesn't matter if they are in a uniform or wearing jeans and a teeshirt.
Going even further think about this... when you walk down the street and pass 100 people do you have any reason to fear them? When walking in the mall do you panic over people passing you? It is very plausible that at least some of those people walking past you were carrying a weapon. Most who carry do conceal so you aren't even aware of their doing so but it doesn't change the fact they have weapons.
The key difference is when someone carries the same weapon where you can see it. Then suddenly people panic. Police are sometimes called in and in at least a few cases in NH the people who have done nothing wrong are stopped and questioned by the police. Why? That same person could walk by you in the same way or attend the same political event with the same gun but somehow your knowing about it makes it wrong? We've become conditioned over the years to trust police and distrust our fellow American. That is wrong and we need more peaceful, lawabiding people to show that Americans can be trusted and that simply walking down the street with a gun is not something that should cause panic.
Hoplophobia, n. Irrational, morbid fear of guns (c. 1980, coined by Col. Jeff Cooper, from the Greek hoplites, weapon; see his book Principles of Personal Defense). May cause sweating, faintness, discomfort, rapid pulse, nausea, sleeplessness, nondescript fears, more, at mere thought of guns. Presence of working firearms may cause panic attack. Hoplophobe, hoplophobic.
Hoplophobes are common and should never be involved in setting gun policies. Point out hoplophobic behavior when noticed, it is dangerous, sufferers deserve pity, and should seek treatment. When confronted about their condition, hoplophobes typically go into denial, a common characteristic of the affliction. Sometimes helped by training, or by coaching at a range, a process known to psychiatry as "desensitization," a useful methodology in treating many phobias.
Hoplophobic behavior is often obvious from self-evident irrational responses to real-life situations, and is frequently seen in the news media and public debate. When a criminal commits a crime using a gun, hoplophobes often seek to disarm, or make lists of, innocent people who didn't do anything, an irrational suggestion.
The idea of creating an enormously expensive government-run 90-million-name database of legitimate gun owners -- which by definition would not include armed criminals -- is a prime example of an irrational hoplophobic response to the issue of crime. How the writing of your name in such a list would help stop crime is never even addressed. (See, "The Only Question About Gun Registration")
An effort is underway nationally to have hoplophobia recognized in the DSM, the official directory of mental ailments. Resistance from elements in the medical profession suggest this may be quite difficult, but that does not reduce the importance of recognizing a widespread, virulent, detrimental mental condition commonly found in the populace. The actual number of undiagnosed hoplophobes is unknown, but believed to be in the tens of millions.
Read Dr. Sarah Thompson's brilliant essay on the medical nature of this afflicition, the article that got the ball rolling on serious medical study of a condition affecting millions of Americans.
Hoplophobes are dangerous. They should not be involved in setting public policy.
Hoplophobes are victims. They are sick and need help.
Hoplophobes deserve sympathy. It's not their fault they are afflicted.
Hoplophobes should seek treatment. Help shoot for a cure.