Stone cold fact: a significant chunk of America really and truly thinks that having more guns around makes everyone (and America) safer. Never mind that every scrap of data screams the exact opposite. People compelled to own guns don’t care about statistics. Even “responsible gun owners” increase the chances that something bad will happen inside their home because they now have a gun inside it. Actuarial tables say so. The responsible gun owner who thinks it can’t happen to him (because he’s “responsible”) is guilty of the same magical thinking as the gun nut arming himself to the teeth out of sheer paranoia.
Guns Are Death Machines
Want to be real about guns? Then let’s call them what they actually are: death machines. What did the gun’s inventor want to achieve? What did their invention innovate? Answer – more, better death on the battlefield. The first gun – like every gun – has a simple purpose: to kill living things. That means that any firearm that killed someone did the thing it was invented to do! Designed to do. Purchased to do.
Anyone who buys or possesses a gun – who doesn’t admit that they’ve invited the potential for violent death into their lives – can’t even be honest with themselves. This is where the magical thinking begins.
Why Do Americans “Need” Guns?
If we had the balls, we’d ask everyone who says they “need” a gun why they think that. Of course, we wouldn’t let anyone get off with the lame “for security”. That’s horse shit. Why do Americans need more security than any other civilized nation on earth?
Answer: magical thinking.
Hunting And Death
Let’s say the answer is hunting. Okay – fair enough. But, let’s admit, please, that hunting is a death sport. Hunting to eat because you have to is one thing. Hunting to eat because you like it – that’s a little different. You like to kill what you eat and eat what you kill. By comparison, sport hunting drips with as much irony as it does blood.
It ain’t a sport if only one of the players – the hunter – thinks it’s a sport. Trust me on this: none of the animals being hunted think it’s a “sport”.
I’m not judging hunters or hunting. I’m not a fan of hunting, but I’m not judging it. I just want hunters to admit a truth: they like killing things that didn’t want to be killed. That deer? It was happy just “being”. Same goes for the exotic trophy animals game hunters pride themselves on hanging on their walls. Want to really make it a “sport”? Give the animal fair warning, explain the rules, arm it to the teeth just like you, and give it a fair chance to win.
How many hunters would hunt if they thought the animals could fight back?
So, when we ask hunters why they think they “need” guns, it would be nice if they answered more honestly. “We ‘need’ guns because we like killing animals”. Fair enough.
The “Safety” Delusion
How about the rest of us – who don’t hunt? Do some people live in crime-ridden neighborhoods? Absolutely. Will having a gun solve their larger problem? Absolutely not. It probably won’t solve their immediate problem either. So, what problem is the gun actually solving? Fear. The gun is assuaging the fear – which is all perception to begin with! Even the feelings of safety are a delusion. Those actuarial tables I mentioned? They prove my point.
Our gun laws flow more from our mythology than our actual quotidian experience. Sure, folks buying into Manifest Destiny and heading west needed weapons (if only to eat!). But then, thinking we could take land belonging to others because some sky deity in our heads said we could – that’s as magical as thinking gets!
Cutting a deal with slavery as our founders did, that, too, was magical thinking.
Racism IS Magical Thinking
Magical thinking happens when our desire for something supersedes its reality. No one wants to die. Christianity found a way to “magical think” death away. Their pitch is “if you believe in Jesus exactly the way we tell you to then, like Jesus, you can defeat death!” Isn’t that really the ultimate goal of any magic?
America’s gun laws are directly tied to our racism – the ultimate magical thinking. There’s no fact basis for anyone to be racist. There’s only magical thinking (that others are different or less than us). But, racism in America insists that white people are superior and therefore should hold all the power and wealth.
FFS, that isn’t just magical thinking, it’s stupid on steroids.
We’ve dug ourselves into quite a hole. Magical thinking helped mightily. That slice of us who believe most in magic – they also believe guns will solve their problems. Guns never solve problems, of course, they cause problems.
Alas, magical thinking is magical thinking is magical thinking.
To think otherwise?