Gun ownership has been under attack quite a lot as of late, with 2020 Democrat candidates like Robert Francis O’Rourke promising to violate the 2nd Amendment and eliminate legal gun ownership of rifles (and he would move on to other things too) and other Democrats supporting ever stricter and more radical gun control policies.
But one of the arrows in the Left’s quiver to attack gun ownership is to insinuate that gun owners are simply “cowards” who are afraid of the real world or own guns as a means of “replacing” missing male genitalia. People like Geraldo Rivera and other Leftists have made this sort of “argument” in the past as a means of mocking gun owners.
However, a study from Florida State University finds that gun owners have LESS FEAR than non-gun owners.
Benjamin Dowd-Arrow, a sociology doctoral student, co-authored the study and said: “There’s a lot of popular rhetoric in the media and among politicians as to why people own guns. The biggest claim is that they’re cowards. So, we wanted to see if owning guns was truly a symptom of fear.”
The research focused on how fearful gun owners were in comparison to non-gun owners, and further investigated phobias and victim mentalities between the two groups.
Regarding fear, the study did not find that there was much relation between a person’s fear and the possibility of that person owning a gun as a consequence of having that fear, but there were exceptions. For example, those who reported having a phobia of animals or being afraid of getting mugged were found to be LESS likely to own a gun as a result of that fear. However, those who reported a fear of being a victim of a mass or random shooting said they were more likely to get a gun as a result.
This makes a good deal of sense to me.
If you’re afraid of, say, dogs, it makes little sense to purchase a gun because of that. Dogs, while they can be deadly, can be fought off against (in the case where it is necessary, as one also has the option of running away). As far as a mugging goes, considering the objective of the mugger will usually be to simply take your stuff and not to murder you in cold blood, it makes more sense to comply and give up your material possessions rather than fight and risk your life. And if one wishes to get something for self-defense due to these reasons, blades and tasers will usually be considered the cheaper and more logical approach.
But for people who fear being caught in the middle of a shooting, it makes more sense to wish to be armed so that they can protect themselves. Not everyone who is armed will be a hero and take on the shooter, but those seeking to protect themselves will fight for their lives.
So the findings from this study make perfect sense to me.
But moving on, the study, as mentioned previously, also focused on particular phobias and fears of gun owners in comparison to non-gun owners. The study suggests that gun owners report suffering from fewer phobias and fear of being a victim than non-gun owners do. The findings, according to the study, were consistent across multiple fears and phobias, such as fear of animals, being mugged or a fear of heights.
Dowd-Arrow further stated: “There’s little evidence to suggest that gun ownership is an effect of fear. However, gun ownership may be associated with less fear because firearms help their owners to feel safe, secure and protected in a world they perceive to be uncertain and potentially dangerous.”
I would like to say that it’s not simply a “perception” that the world is uncertain and potentially dangerous. The proof is in the pudding. No one is omniscient, so there is bound to be uncertainty about many things, until more information is known.
I have never set foot in New York City (and don’t intend to), so there is a lot of uncertainty with the idea of me going there – what would happen, where I would go, how I would fare, etc. And while the city’s crime rates have actually been statistically dropping since the 90s, there certainly is still potential for mugging and going to the wrong neighborhoods on accident.
The fact that murder exists at all is a sign that the world is potentially dangerous, so it’s not merely a “perception” that the world is “uncertain and potentially dangerous.” It IS uncertain and potentially dangerous.
And those who try and “prove” that it isn’t tend to find themselves being proven wrong the hard way, such as the couple who went on an expedition around the world to “prove” that evil wasn’t real and merely a perception of humanity as a result of being afraid of the unknown and the different and ended up being killed by ISIS terrorists.
So the world most certainly is uncertain, due to humanity simply not being omniscient, and the world most certainly is potentially dangerous, due to humanity’s very own nature of evil.
And one way for people to be able to protect themselves from this uncertainty and potential danger is to arm themselves and gaining knowledge as to how to safely wield guns.
People own guns not because they are afraid but because they don’t WANT to be afraid. They arm themselves so that they can protect themselves and their family from potential danger, whether that danger be a robber, a killer, a shooter, or an authoritarian government openly promising to take people’s guns.
Guns help people feel safer, and understanding how to use guns safely helps people to feel even safer than before.
One reason for people to not get a gun is because they think it is dangerous and they could hurt themselves. And while they’re not entirely wrong, learning how to use guns takes away the uncertainty and the unknown behind said guns.
When I watch action movies, I can tell who has held a real gun before and who hasn’t. Those who follow the typical safety instructions surrounding weapons (i.e., finger off the trigger, pointing away from people you don’t want to be hurt, etc.) in the movies have clearly held a gun before and would know how to use one. Those people fear guns less than those who do not know anything about guns.
That’s why we always stress that it’s not simply the owning of a gun that makes people safer, but the understanding of how to safely wield one that gives people more safety and confidence.
For those of you who are gun owners, think back to when you got your first weapon, whatever age it might’ve been. At first, you must’ve felt insecure, maybe a bit afraid, and had next to no confidence, right? If you were being taught by someone else, or were looking up YouTube videos on gun safety, you paid a lot of attention to the instructions they were sharing.
In the beginning, a gun owner will feel anxiety and a bit of fear. But once he or she learns how to use the gun and actually uses it for themselves at a shooting range – once someone gets used to the feeling of firing a gun – they feel far more confident and like they hold a lot more power than ever before.
It’s that precise confidence that I believe is the main reason for the study to have found what it found. People who feel confident in their own safety will undoubtedly report feeling less afraid about certain things than people who are not gun owners or who are not quite so experienced with guns just yet and have not attained that level of confidence (which honestly comes rather early in a person’s gun ownership).
The purpose of owning a gun isn’t to replace male genitalia (otherwise, why would women get a gun?), it’s not to mask insecurity and fear, it’s not because we are cowardly. We own guns to protect ourselves and our families from the dangers we KNOW are present and we do it so that we might not have to be afraid of the dangerous world.
It’s better to own a gun, praying you never have to use it and being ready in the case you must use it than to not own a gun and finding yourself in a situation where you wish you had one.
1 John 5:19
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
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