Understanding The Paranoia Of Anti-Gunners

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People come to different political views in different ways. That includes anti-gun views.

Some people become gun control advocates after losing someone they care about to violence committed with a firearm. Some of us, including our own Ryan Petty and myself, don’t.


Yet one doesn’t need to be touched by so-called gun violence directly to develop a bizarre sense of paranoia about firearms.

After all, the mastermind of the student walkout for gun control from several years back isn’t even in the United States anymore, yet claims to still be touched by that paranoia.

Lane Murdock sometimes finds herself preemptively looking for emergency exits even though she now lives and studies in a country where mass shootings are rare.

More than five years after leading a national student walkout following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,the 21-year-old from Connecticut occasionally looks for open windows and other potential escape routes around her Scottish university campus.

“Most of America is still having to deal with daily mourning,” Murdock said of her native country, where nearly 1,500 children and teens have been killed by a gunfire so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

I’m going to break in here and point out that no, we’re not dealing with “daily mourning.”

Yes, people are killed with guns every day, but people are killed in car accidents every day. People die of heart attacks and cancer every day.

Unless we’re made acutely aware of those deaths, though, most of us aren’t really mourning. We don’t know these people and while we can intellectually know it happened or even read about that death, but we’re not mourning in the least. We can feel bad about it, but that’s not quite the same as mourning.


And the fact that Murdock thinks we are leads us to the fact that she’s still looking for escape routes in a country that doesn’t have a lot of mass shootings.

Now, I’m not actually bothered that she does it. I think it’s particularly wise to do so because there are all kinds of other horrible things that can happen beyond something like Lewiston.

But I am bothered by the fact that this is presented like some natural part of being American, that we all do this and simply have to do this as a matter of survival and that anti-gun policies are the only sane way forward.

The truth is, the vast majority people aren’t going to be caught in a mass shooting. Most won’t even know anyone who was involved in one. It just looks that way because they do happen more often here than are reported in other countries and we’re a pretty big country. On a per capita basis, we’re always going to have more mass shootings than some other places.

Further, we’ve seen mass shootings in this country in states as varied in their gun control policies as California and Maine. If anti-gunners are right, then surely we should have only seen Maine, yet that’s not how the year started out, now is it?

Murdock’s anti-gun paranoia–and this isn’t simple caution based on “just in case” but a deep-seated fear that there will be a mass shooting–is a big part of what is driving many in this country to adopt anti-gun policies.



Because the media sells them on this idea that it’s really just a matter of time before we’re each caught in such horrific circumstances. They treat these incidents like they’re as common as stubbed toes, then we’re supposed to react to assuage those feelings by capitulating with those who have them and those who helped create them in the first place.

Screw our rights, someone’s feelings are in an uproar.

And Murdock is just a prime example. She’s far from the only one, either. We’re seeing an entire generation who can’t understand the statistics of so-called gun violence, thus are convinced they’re unlikely to escape it despite all the evidence saying they will.

But we’re supposed to ignore that evidence and play into their psychological issues. Sorry, hard pass.

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