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.
I found two articles from Scientific American Mind that outline PTSD and its relatedness to the military. The first article, Troubled Childhood May Predict PTSD, explains how new research concludes that soldiers who experienced a traumatic childhood are more likely to develop PTSD after combat or other violent existential crises.
PTSD sufferers were also more likely to have witnessed family violence and to have experienced physical attacks, stalking or death threats by a spouse. They also more often had past experiences that they could not, or would not, talk about.
The second article, Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Require Trauma?, states that after 9/11, PTSD diagnoses were expected to skyrocket, however people were shown to recover quickly. All but half of the initial 12% who were diagnosed with PTSD were no longer exhibiting symptoms after six months. Why did the civilians recover quickly, whereas 10% to 18% of OEF/OIF (30% for Vietnam) veterans are affected? What is different about the general civilian population of NYC and soldiers?
Herbert writes, “[Soldiers with PTSD] may in reality have been escaping a different war zone: the family.” It seems like the military is often an escape route for abused children. How can the armed forces better recognize and treat these people before sending them into violent combat situations which will lead to long-lasting trauma that is difficult to treat?
I’m currently reading Divine Tempest (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts) by David E. Schoen, a book I picked up at Maple Street Book Shop in New Orleans. The book is an exploration of the hurricane archetype. Schoen touches briefly on the psychological symbolism of colors, namely red and black, the colors of the hurricane warning flag.
Whenever I read a book about Jungian psychology, I always get blown off the current course (pun intended⛵️) by the author’s citations. I blame my mercury placement in easily-distracted Gemini. While reading i’m intrigued by the title of the books in the footnotes, and I find myself on Amazon searching for the cited author and their works. This time it was the symbolism of colors that led me astray.
When I decided that I was moving away from New England in the fall of 2016, I set up at the town-wide yard sale to get rid of my extra clothes. I took a picture of my pop-up tent where I strung up all my extra clothing on hangers. Someone noted that I wore a LOT of blue clothes! That’s something I’ve been very aware of since then– the blue-ness of my wardrobe. This article: COMMUNICATING IN COLOR: THE FOUR COLOR ENERGIES concisely explains the foundations of color theory.
I definitely relate to the Cool Blue energy, which I actually associate more with earth. This is because my understanding of earth is that it is related to consciousness, whereas water is symbolic of emotions/feeling/unconscious (Green Earth energy). Every person’s energy is varied, because everyone’s personality has many factors: their ego/sun, persona/ascendant, unconscious/moon, and thinking mind/mercury. This breakdown is just my personal analysis. I haven’t actually read any books about psychology as it relates to astrology, but rest assured, those books are in the mail! 😉
Irma has arrived in Atlanta, and the winds have picked up here now. We’ve heard three– four now! transformers explode in the last couple of minutes. Obviously our power is out, so there goes our planned X-files marathon.👽
There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness.
Once again, the effect of screen activities is unmistakable: The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression.
If [my undergraduate students at San Diego State University] woke in the middle of the night, they often ended up looking at their phone. Some used the language of addiction. “I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t help it,” one said about looking at her phone while in bed.
Mom and Dad are such good chauffeurs that there’s no urgent need to drive. “My parents drove me everywhere and never complained, so I always had rides,” a 21-year-old student in San Diego told me. “I didn’t get my license until my mom told me I had to because she could not keep driving me to school.” She finally got her license six months after her 18th birthday. In conversation after conversation, teens described getting their license as something to be nagged into by their parents—a notion that would have been unthinkable to previous generations.
–Jean M. Twenge
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.