Anti-Gunners And Psychological Projection

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I’m often amazed at how ugly anti-gunners can be. Think about how many times you’ve seen a screenshot of one threatening to kill pro-gun people or knock out someone carrying a firearm to steal their gun? I’m not saying those are common, but we can agree that even one person is too many people, right?

Many pro-gun advocates believe the anti-gun Left is guilty of psychological projection. Anti-gunners imagine we would do the same things they would do if given a chance. The reason they don’t trust us with guns is that they don’t trust themselves with guns.

Of course, that’s a pile of armchair psychology, which one should never take as gospel. However, it’s hard to ignore it when they publish some of the stuff they write.

The website CBR posted a review of the latest episode of “The Twilight Zone” which featured a firearm. Admittedly, the new incarnation of the classic show is rather “woke” in its politics, so an episode on guns isn’t surprising. However, the writer, Renaldo Matadeen, says some things that are more than a little concerning [emphasis mine]:

Ultimately, just as he sits outside his wife’s home, a home invader tries to rob him in his car, causing the weapon to go off on its own, shooting the robber named — you guessed it — Jeff. His wife ends up thanking him for “saving” them by dropping the 50/50 deal and his school promotes him for heroism. Still, Jeff can’t help but fell the gun almost turned him into a vengeful killer. It’s here the series really illustrates what guns mean for the everyday person in the real world — it empowers them to think they do have a right to pull the trigger.

Owing a firearm provides the option to walk over to the dark side, and really comes off as an unnecessary tool if you’re not a cop. Jeff accepts it shouldn’t be in the hands of an ordinary citizen and, seeing as it’s finished with him, he throws it into a lake, only for it to wash up days later when two boys are playing on the shore. One of the boys takes it up, calling out to his friend Kyle, and ironically, we witness a bullet now with Kyle’s name on it (which only he’ll be able to see).

The problem is that no gun owner remotely thinks like that.

Do we feel like we have the right to pull the trigger? That’s a broad question that is lacking context. Saying that it empowers us to think we have the right to pull the trigger implies that we somehow divorce that context from the act itself. I don’t know of a single gun owner who does, and I suspect I know a whole lot more than Matadeen does.

If pressed, sure, the answer is “yes,” but only in an act of self-defense or another lawful purpose. The idea we would think anything else is downright insulting.

Further, no gun owner I know ever thinks about “walking over to the dark side” in any way. It’s not an option, despite Matadeen’s claim that it is. Oh, there may be nothing physically preventing us from doing so, but there’s nothing physically preventing Matadeen from becoming a rapist. That doesn’t mean he considers raping people, now does it?

So what is with Matadeen’s comments? Why would he look at gun and gun owners in such a way?

There are multiple possibilities, but at this point, one would be hardpressed not to at least consider psychological projection. Matadeen says guns do this because it’s what he thinks guns will do if he has one. He’s suggesting that if he had a gun, he’d be tempted to use it improperly. Because of this, he’s convinced that we all react the same way, that this temptation is always there, lying beneath the surface like Jaws or something.

If that’s what he believes, then maybe it’s for the best that he doesn’t have a gun. If it’s not, then maybe he should at least consider talking to gun owners and find out what we think and feel on the topic.

Jul 27, 2021 12:30 PM ET