GUN GRABBING & PARANOID DELUSIONS
For an exercise in futility, there is nothing quite so worthless as talking with a rabid right wing gunster about any issues related to their fetishized guns and bloodthirsty defense of the Second Amendment to our Constitution.
These gunsels first response to protective gun laws is to obfuscate any rational argument that might be logically offered to make guns and their possession more safe. The gunsels always trot out the canard that gun deaths would be significantly reduced if and when we, as a society, somehow manage to cure all those mentally ill whom the gunsels claim cause mass deaths: Not the gun but the person.
It is not my intention here to fight old battles other than to say that other industrialized nations keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them while we do not.
We can not work towards safety for all by engaging the rabid right gunsels. They insist on several lies to back up their deranged intransigence.
To wit: If any law proposed to enhance gun safety, like mandated universal background checks for each gun sale, the far right immediately shrikes in unison: “Slippery Slope, Slippery Slope.” This is simply a canard. No one is working to strip guns from these people. All we want is sane laws to protect all of us. We don’t want to “grab” their guns or overturn the Second Amendment.
The second prominent lie: President Obama and organizations like The National Gun Victims Action Council are not just interested in safety, “No,” they shout enraged,” they want to grab our guns. That’s the bottom line, they want to disarm us.”
These fantasies are, of course, delusional. Neither is true, but to far right gunsels it’s dogma that the president and gun safety groups are out to harm them.
Delusions bring us back to mental health, or ill health among these virulent gunsels. A look at the criteria for Delusional Disorder as illuminated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (American Psychiatric Association) might shed light on the apparent delusions of many paranoid gunsels.
“Delusional Disorder;Persecutory Type: This type applies when the central theme of the delusion involves the individual’s belief that s/he is being conspired against, cheated, spied on, followed poisoned or drugged, maliciously maligned, harassed, or obstructed in pursuit of long term goals.”
As gunsel delusions are shared across a subset of our society and that they often group together around this delusion, this fixed idee, is akin to a folie a deux writ large. A folie a deux here is the sharing of a delusion between two closely related people. I say “writ large” as this delusion of gun confiscation is shared by a small boisterous and angry group.
One possible meaning of this can be found in group solidarity. I think that there is a fairly large number of men and women who feel threatened in all kinds of ways: economically, racially, socially, and in other ways that they feel threatened by larger, impersonal forces. Belonging to these far right, angry radical gun groups, even if mostly on the internet gives these “oppressed” people a sense of belonging to a like minded group of people who share their fears and their guns.
Disenfranchised people generally feel powerless against larger forces impinging on them. They feel cast aside and often unimportant to a society that’s left them behind. Belonging to a group that organizes themselves along paranoid lines, in this instance, paranoid ideas of government infringement on them, especially in the guise of President Obama “maligns and harasses them with efforts to control gun violence.” Their overvaluation of the 2nd amendment and their allegiance to it and to fellow gunsels gives them a feeling of importance that doesn’t exist in other areas of their lives. If the president is after you, maligns and harasses you, well, you must be very important.
This allegiance to the Constitution and to fellow gunsels opposed to a rapacious president gives them a notoriety, a visibility for which they pine along with the strength and camaraderie they find nowhere else.
I am not offering a diagnosis as much as a framework, a way of understanding not only the intransigence of these gunsels but as a way to understand that they are outliers. These are not people with whom we can engage in a rational conversation to bring sanity to our gun culture, to decrease the deadly violence of guns. These delusional people will never back off their delusions to join with to work towards making us and, yes, them safer.
Simply put, delusions can’t be engaged, they must be defeated.