Phenomenology of the Gun

“I should have realized I’d become wary of objects that I was supposed to keep around solely for aggressive purposes.” Full Article, By B. D. McClay

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Gun violence

More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows
More firearms do not keep people safe, hard numbers show. Why do so many Americans believe the opposite?

The popular gun-advocacy bumper sticker says that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”—and it is, in fact, true. People, all of us, lead complicated lives, misinterpret situations, get angry, make mistakes. And when a mistake involves pulling a trigger, the damage can’t be undone.

I have been casually researching psychology graduate degrees, and somewhere on the trail I stumbled upon this Self Awareness Exercise. It’s geared toward practicing counselors and psychologists for their own assessment of their biases toward potential military clients. I thought this prompt was interesting: “Firearms themselves are not inherently dangerous or bad.”

Well… yes, of course guns are inherently dangerous! That’s their whole purpose! “Good” or “bad” is a judgement that each person makes, and is subjective, but the objective truth is that yes, a loaded gun is inherently dangerous. Maybe they mean to say that the hand that pulls the trigger is the dangerous element in the equation (“guns don’t kill people, people do”). However, the same hand making the same motion without the gun, is not dangerous. To me, that method of logic is similar to saying that walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon is not dangerous, but falling is. A loaded gun in the hand of a child is a danger. It can’t be anything else. There is a reason that children (and unlicensed adults, in theory) do not use guns: they are dangerous. The mental gymnastics required to validate the inherent neutrality/safety of a firearm (with or without a hand to pull the trigger) is astounding.