by Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms:
Some people will never like the idea of owning a firearm. That’s fine. It’s not for everyone. Everyone has their interests and passions, and they should be free to pursue them so long as they don’t include intentionally harming other people or, perhaps, themselves. That’s the kind of thing that happens in a free country.
However, some people don’t want this nation to be free. Not really.
Oh, they’ll say they do. They’ll pay lip service to the idea of freedom, especially this close to Independence Day. They’ll make all the right noises about freedom and liberty and then destroy it all with a “but…” right at the end.
You see, they’re not interested in freedom. They’re interested in taking away yours. They’re interested in dictating not just what you do, but they will even try to control how you think about certain things.
Take retired psychologist Robert Pawlicki, a writer for the Savannah Morning News.
Pawlicki doesn’t like seeing billboards for guns in Savannah. He thinks it’s a bad thing because “gun culture” or something.
Even our everyday grocery stores like Kroger and Publix carry gun magazines that promote assault rifles, the very type of military armament that many in the public find abhorrent.
Compare our omnipresent guns messages with Japan, Sweden, Germany and Italy, where many Americans visit. Tourists virtually never see billboards promoting guns, gun magazines or gun retailers.
Well, of course, we’re not like Japan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, or anywhere else in Europe. All of those countries have a history where the individual is subservient to the government. Each had their time with feudalism, followed by other systems that simply built on the culture in place of people existing collectively. It’s why socialism has been permitted to fester there. People are more inclined, culturally, to accept government curbing certain rights.
Hell, historically, the ownership of arms has been restricted for a large chunk of history even before guns. The idea of gun control probably felt natural to them.
But the United States isn’t like those countries. We’re a nation born out of rebellion. Our Forefathers were the kind of people to take a shipload of tea and dump it into the harbor just because the government decided to tax it. For better or worse, that defiant nature has been passed down to us through the generations.
Part of that history has also been the private ownership of arms. Many people forget that Lexington and Concord, the battles that sparked the American Revolution, started because the British were coming to seize arms. That’s right, resisting gun control is a foundational principle of this nation.
For Pawlicki, though, that’s not important. What’s important is not controlling what people can buy, but also what they think. In fact, he fully embraces the idea of stigmatization of gun ownership.
If we are to have a serious conversation regarding gun laws and regulations, laws that still allow responsible citizens and hunting enthusiasts to own guns, we must begin to recognize that we live in a culture of gun messages. Many years ago we realized the danger of cigarettes, albeit legally sold, and now we no longer live in a smoking culture.
Modifying any addiction — alcohol, drugs or tobacco — begins with the recognition of how present and influencing the substance is in our life and how it alters and damages who we are.
We are culturally addicted to guns. So addicted that we are blind to the signs around us.
No, we’re not blind to it. We just don’t like the idea of likening a constitutionally protected right to something like smoking.
Smoking got the hammer lowered on it primarily because there’s no way to smoke safely. If you smoke, you’re poisoning yourself. You’re also poisoning everyone around you while you do it. This is just how it is. There aren’t any rules you can follow that make smoking safe.
But guns are different. I can shoot my guns and never hurt a soul. I can fire them safely and responsibly. Unlike cigarettes, illicit drugs, or drinking, I can even use it to save human life, including my own.
In other words, guns are nothing at all like these other items, and anyone with a functioning brain and a willingness to use it would easily be able to tell that.
Dr. Pawlicki, however, has opted not to use his. Instead, he wants to run on emotion and simply lump guns with other things he doesn’t like. He calls it an addiction, which is troubling in many ways. After all, as a psychologist, calling something an addiction is tantamount to making a diagnosis, a diagnosis on millions of Americans he’s never so much as met, much less examined.