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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:42 PM

What are Americans so afraid of?

When all the stats for gun ownership are given and all the rationales for ownership are given, I'm still left with that question. Why do some of us feel that we need to be armed to the eyeballs? What do we fear in this culture?

I keep going back to the neocon mantra of "'They' hate our way of life'" as a justification to take up arms against any one perceived as a threat. What is our way of life that is so threatened? On an international level, Islamic nations have been elevated to the role of "the hated Other" after the USSR collapsed. The USSR was a threat to "our way of life." We developed missile programs and all sorts of weaponry to stave off that threat of a godless economic state. Funny how we replaced that enemy with theocratic nations. But this still doesn't nail down this fearful need for security domestically.

If only half of us own guns, it says that lots of us trust our system to be responsive in a time of true need or we just don't perceive everyone out there as a potential threat. Now I realize that we have people who may own hunting rifles, but that doesn't account for those who seem to not be able to even walk the street without a gun on their persons.

Is it tribalism at its worst? The "Other" as neighbor, coworker, or passerby? What do those who are compulsive in their insistence that we arm our citizenry fear will be taken from them?

Would be interested in any thoughts you may have.

39 replies, 2536 views

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply What are Americans so afraid of? (Original post)
Skidmore Dec 2012 OP
samsingh Dec 2012 #1
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #6
no_hypocrisy Dec 2012 #8
samsingh Dec 2012 #2
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #3
abelenkpe Dec 2012 #4
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #5
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #9
samsingh Dec 2012 #18
meow2u3 Dec 2012 #20
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #7
former-republican Dec 2012 #10
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #11
dionysus Dec 2012 #25
Raksha Dec 2012 #39
etherealtruth Dec 2012 #12
a geek named Bob Dec 2012 #26
Mnemosyne Dec 2012 #13
Initech Dec 2012 #14
99Forever Dec 2012 #15
hack89 Dec 2012 #16
former-republican Dec 2012 #19
former-republican Dec 2012 #17
gulliver Dec 2012 #21
Buns_of_Fire Dec 2012 #22
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #23
marions ghost Dec 2012 #24
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #27
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #28
riverbendviewgal Dec 2012 #29
Dawson Leery Dec 2012 #31
Jim Warren Dec 2012 #30
reteachinwi Dec 2012 #32
ladjf Dec 2012 #33
Rex Dec 2012 #34
Skidmore Dec 2012 #35
Rex Dec 2012 #38
randome Dec 2012 #36
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #37

Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:49 PM

1. each other

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Response to samsingh (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:02 PM

6. ^^^THIS^^^

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Response to samsingh (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:04 PM

8. Yep.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:49 PM

2. actually, the repugs, mentally inferior

are prone to paranoia and fear. this is a biological fact.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:50 PM

3. Right-wingers afraid of brown people.

They want to be able to go Zimmerman on them with impunity.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:59 PM

4. Fear of tyrannical government is the number one reason

I hear from gun owners. Which makes me concerned for their sanity. More reasonable people claim home security or hunting. Interestingly the ones claiming home security or hunting tend to have fewer weapons and are open to reasonable gun control. Only the ones fearing the government are adamantly against gun control.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:01 PM

5. Ding, ding, ding

There is an insurrectionist thread running through the culture.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:06 PM

9. A nation born in rebellion, and yeomanship

The Rebel seeking freedom and the Marlboro Man living it are our heros.


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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:44 PM

18. i don't think their pidly weapons are a match for a US government that becomes tyrannical

protecting voting rights and having an honest supreme court (as opposed to the one we have now) is a more effective way to go.

ironically, supporting the nra has spawned more tyranny in government - see bush years and iran-contra under raygun.

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Response to samsingh (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:59 PM

20. That's exactly their idea of tyranny

They think freedom is the right to oppress people they don't like with impunity.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:04 PM

7. Americans are just plain addicted to fear. n/t

 

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:16 PM

10. A young nation born in blood

 

People oppressed and hanged for the color of their skin.
People born in poverty with no perceived hope of a future.
People being beaten , tasered by police for expressing an anti-corporatist demonstration.
No knock warrants being conducted on wrong address with people being killed in their own home .
Government run by money , power and greed




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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:19 PM

11. They are afraid of Americans.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:41 PM

25. classic tune

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:44 AM

39. You nailed it - they are afraid of Americans.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:21 PM

12. Gun nuts

... and clowns

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:46 PM

26. but you have to hit the nose... n/t

 

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:27 PM

13. Themselves. nt

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:30 PM

14. I fear someone walking into a mall, movie theater, arena, etc.

Last edited Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:48 PM - Edit history (1)

With a semi or fully automatic shotgun.

I fear terrorists sneaking a nuclear weapon into the Port of Long Beach.

I fear a magnitude 9.0 earthquake striking San Diego and it destroys the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.

I fear a power mad, profit hungry CEO firing his entire staff of 50,000 and looting the company for financial gain.



Those are things that I fear.


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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:32 PM

15. The rest of the...

... crazy part of the population that thinks just like them. In other words, themselves.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:33 PM

16. I don't own guns due to fear

my entire family is involved in competitive target shooting. When not at the range my guns are locked up. I live in a save town - only two gun murders in 15 years.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:50 PM

19. Actually most gun owners are the same. Even the ones that bought a single gun

 

for home self defense. It wasn't out blinding fear it was just a feeling of security in case the police can't respond fast enough.


I shoot F class open and Target and even though I have a CCW
I don't carry it to go to my local grocery store.

I actually can't even remember the last time it was out of the safe.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:34 PM

21. It's basic anxiety, imo

Some people learn to deal with anxiety, and some don't. Scratch an assault weapon owner and you'll find an anxiety-riddled personality underneath. They aren't actually afraid of anything real. That is why they are so impervious to arguments about real risk.

So one way to fight the AW possession and concealed carry fads is to reduce anxiety through healthy means (meditation, mentalizing, performing tasks, etc.). Another way is to make the fads more anxiety-producing than they are anxiety-reducing. I argued in another thread that if individual people simply posted the names of "flake weapon" owners on-line somewhere, that would make the fads more trouble than they are worth. Fear of job or relationship loss would outweigh the anxiety-reducing benefits.

But do I believe that the militia types really are afraid of government tyranny? No. Do I believe that the types who want to carry guns at all times have ever or will ever face genuine threats? No. These people just choose to focus their fears on these false rationales. They really fear life.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:08 PM

22. Apparently, whatever Rush Limbaugh and Faux News are afraid of: Everything. nt

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:18 PM

23. I do understand the fear of being home and someone is trying to

break in--I have that fear myself sometimes. I can understand wanting a gun for that purpose. I don't understand any desire to want to carry a gun everywhere one goes, or the desire to have a stockpile of them. That's where it seems unhealthy and obsessive to me.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:21 PM

24. Change

Used to be, a man defended his property. Women & minorities stayed in their place. Gays stayed hidden or suicided. Muslims stayed in Iraq. Everything was nice and orderly. And then all those people got outta their place. So we gotta show em who's boss.

A gun is merely a symbol of "security" that makes people feel better. Doesn't guarantee a single thing about survival. In fact, gun ownership is correlated with a greater chance of death by gun.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:47 PM

27. I was a gun owner for about ten years

Nearly got killed by some drunk yahoos who ran me off the road into a short ditch, and were about to bust open my driver's side window with a shovel, when my frantic honking finally got someone to slow down on the other side of the road. At that point, they took off. I decided I was never going to be that vulnerable again.

In time, I got over it, and a girlfriend I had proposed to wanted me to give up the gun. I did, but I haven't been the victim of a crime in the thirty years since. I suppose I've been lucky, but there are those who see rampant crime all around them, and I don't blame them a bit for wanting one last chance to protect themselves.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:50 PM

28. I think the common thread is tribalism fueled by the 'Hate for Profit' Media. n/t

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:52 PM

29. read in mother jones.

Oath keepers and the age of treason].

March /April.2010

Scared.me a lot.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:52 PM

31. +1

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:52 PM

30. Fear is a product

common, sold in marketplace and apparently a very lucrative one.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:39 AM

33. We've become a nation that thinks like field mice. nt

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:41 AM

34. FUD.

.

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Response to Rex (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:39 AM

35. What?

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #35)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:54 PM

38. Fear, uncertainty and doubt.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:56 AM

36. The world moves too fast for some.

They can't keep up with the pace of change and so they begin looking at things through a prism that divides the world into something they can better understand -armed camps.

I also think the 21st century, more than any other, has seen the weakening of Religion's iron hold on everyone's throats. Just the fact that gay rights and contraception are, in essence, giving the middle finger to the Catholic Church, is a sign that we are, indeed, living in the End Times. It's the end of Religion as we know it, just as it's the end of the GOP.

It's still going to take time. Getting from Point A to Point B will be no picnic. But it is happening. And as it's happening, many will stomp their feet and arm themselves and blather endlessly about it.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 07:11 AM

37. Everything. I blame the TV. Crime rates are lower than they have probably ever been,

 

and they've been declining for decades, but what crime there is is so sensationalized and broadcast over and over that too many, maybe most, Americans believe that there's a mugger-rapist-murderer behind every bush and lurking in every shadow.

Just ask any parent, especially the new ones, and they can relate ever tale they've ever heard to justify their paranoid delusion that if little johnny ever leaves their sight for even a moment, he will be snatched and will never seen again.

Every night the evening infotainment hour tells them that everything can, and probably will, kill you. Your babysitter, your hair care products, the restaurant you eat at, and the little old lady feeding pigeons in the park is really staking you out for the Big Score.

If people would just turn that idiot box off for a couple of months their lives would become so much better they might not turn it on again, and that would be a real disaster.

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