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    • ChainsawGood

      I’m going to try to explain some of the mentality, if that’s OK. I grew up in the South with some pretty avid gun nuts, so here’s what I know. I do want to say there are a couple perfectly innocent reasons to own guns. Some people are sportsmen and like it as a game of skill. Most of these people are very well-educated about safety and caution, and frankly, as forms of recreation go this one probably still maims fewer people than college football. A second perfectly innocent reason is to put food on the table. There really are people out there in this day and age, though not visible in the media or the public sphere, who have to hunt to get their protein. Some members of my extended family would have starved if members of the household did not know how to shoot. But the most common reason in my family was a fear of Other People, and this fear is so deep that if it wasn’t passed down culturally you could call it an anxiety disorder. To my limited understanding, in colonial times owning a gun was quite literally part of being a good citizen, because it was untamed territory with (understandably) hostile natives and you needed to be able to protect the group. And honestly some people still have that chip on their shoulder. It’s a different world, with different guns and different criminals. But there is still something seen as inherently oppressive about trying to take guns away. It is this idea that some outsider is trying to put you in a vulnerable position, and that you cannot be in a vulnerable position in a hostile and unpredictable world. It’s this idea that someone is trying to make you helpless, and the only reason they could have for that is that they are going to start bullying you or killing you and yours. That’s the way the thought pattern goes. These people feel they are hanging by a thread in an uneasy peace that is only preserved by the fact that they are able to shoot you dead, and if that’s gone all hell will break loose. It’s like this irrational fear left over from times that are long gone. The last thing, really, is the “action movie” mentality. There’s a lot of machismo in the South, and a lot of people have kind of latched onto fictional ideas with that. There is this idea that it’s badass/a measure of your worth to be able to defend yourself. In my experience, these people are generally harmless dreamers who can’t come down to reality with the rest of us and they’re a lot more likely to accidentally hurt themselves than to actually be aggressive. All that said, I think trying to take guns away from America at this point would be kind of like trying to close Pandora’s box. Countries that never allowed it in the first place probably had the right idea.

    • ChainsawGood

      Postsecret is really something special—I feel like it’s one of the most admirable things we’ve done with the tremendous power the internet suddenly gave us. Also, I hadn’t really thought about it but this expresses exactly why I deleted Whisper. I thought it was going to be more like PS, and it was addictive for a while but it really was just people showboating and attention-seeking. The “reward system” of upvotes cheapens the entire idea. Plus the ones from my area seemed to be 90% dumb teenagers looking for hookups, so.

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