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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Closet of Self-Censorship

Here's something that frustrates me immensely: As a law-abiding gun owner, I am forced to live in a linguistic closet. I cannot speak my mind and am forced to constantly self-censor because of our society's ridiculous views on firearms and violence.

Examples:
  • If a non-gun owner says "I wish you'd just die," you know they are talking trash because they are frustrated. If a gun owner says the same thing, suddenly they are making threats and are reported to the police.
  • If a non-gun owner says "I am having a bad day and cannot deal with people right now," people leave that person alone. If a gun owner says the same thing, everyone worries if he's going to snap and kill everyone.
  • If a non-gun owner says "I really hate my life right now," people will offer sympathy and advice. If a gun owner says the same thing, practically the first question asked is "Are you sure it's a good idea to have guns in your home with you feeling this way?" As if I couldn't find other ways to kill myself if that was what I truly wanted.


While I am perfectly okay with the added responsibility that comes with carrying, I feel like there is no tolerance or understanding extended when I have an occasional moment of weakness and need to vent some anger or frustration.

Ask yourself this question: If a police officer said any of the above statements, would he get the same response as I? Or would he receive compassion and understanding? If the latter, that's an unfair double standard imposed on me by society.

How would you like it if every time you tried to express your feelings, your past failures were thrown in your face as a reason why you shouldn't be allowed to be yourself? Gun owners aren't allowed to have bad days, or dark feelings, or admit to failure, because the moment we do, those are used against us -- or worse, the police are called.

So I keep my feelings bottled up. I don't admit to problems unless I am around friends that I know support me. And I certainly don't talk to any therapists, because that will lead to the inevitable "Are you sure you should have these around?" Or, worse, I could end up like a lot of veterans being treated for PTSD, who are declared mentally unfit to own firearms. And God forbid I ever admit to being depressed!

Your fear of guns is infringing upon not only my Right to Free Speech, but also my access to mental health care. 



(edited for clarity 2/12/13)

16 comments:

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The national debate/discussion is only going to get worse as guns and their owners get further dramatized and demonized. Working on my conceal carry is the goal for 2013.   Thanks for your comments here.

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  2. This came up on the G+ version of the thread, and I thought it worth repeating here:While
    I am perfectly okay with the added responsibility that comes with
    carrying, I feel like there is no tolerance or understanding extended
    when I have an occasional moment of weakness and admit to having human
    feelings.Ask
    yourself this question: If a police officer said these things, would
    he get the same responses that I would? Or would he receive compassion
    and understanding? If the latter, that's an unfair double standard
    imposed on me by society.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And that's why most of my friends are gunnies with similar political and life views as my own.

    Although even them lately...

    I was in a conversation with a couple of folks recently. Rambling sort of talk. Mentioned made of a couple of my recent posts at Claire Wolfe's blog about the the guys who have given up _already_. One guy asked another if he had a good home defense gun, that guy being on the first floor of their apartment building near the front entrance, and thus the first line of defense. Guy said, yeah, he still keeps a couple of ready weapons. But added that that's all he really bothers with anymore; doesn't even see the point in carrying a sidearm these days, just doesn't care (see above crack about guys who've already lost hope). I guess he keeps the house gun out of a sense of obligation to the other people in his building.

    First guy said something along the lines of: good, we're going to need people like you real soon. Not "It'll get better; hang in there." A little scary.

    Scarier when you realize these aren't gung ho, militia-wanna-be, let's-start-the-revolution-and-save-the-Old-Republic types. These are people who still write polite letters to congressthings*, and go to the State House to speak calmly about legislation. These are the _reasonable_ people.

    Until now.


    * OK, so _my_ letters stopped being polite. I'm the exception.

    ReplyDelete
  4. And for some, it's intentional.   It's public shaming for those they view as socially deviant. And worse it's done by people who will pat themselves on the back about how tolerant and caring they are.


    Hatred is a delightful feeling for some, especially if they can do it in a socially-sanctioned way.  Thus you see the unbridled glee someone has in a gun owner having a bad day.

    You nail it right on with the past failures being used as a way to shame someone from being themselves.

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  5. That is very astute and a sad reflection on how divided the gun issue has made people that otherwise might, not be friends, but would be accepting and supportive.

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  6. Take heart, darlin'...most of what passes for 'mental health care' in this world is propaganda and mind games under a sheepskin cover.  I daresay that you're one of the sanest people I know.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Considering the shit that goes on in my head, that last sentence of yours frightens me terribly.

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  8.  Nah. If you want to know what crazy _really_ is, I could tell you a few stories about some of the psychopathic murderers I've met.

    Unless...   ...well, if you _do_ hold weekly family reunions with the ghosts of your family that you axe-murdered, I _don't_ want to know.

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  9. I agree with Jack. The public shaming is intentional and it is for the sole purpose of making us be quiet and hide.

    I agree that there is an added responsibility and that is life, but as you point out that does not mean gun owners should not be afford the same freedoms of free speech and free thought as every other member of society.

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  10. As I put it, "Who do I have to hate to be considered tolerant?"

    ReplyDelete
  11. I lost a job due to this very issue. I sympathize.

    ReplyDelete
  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84ptFVq22PY&feature=related

    I know how you feel.  I hope, at a minimum, this makes you smile through it with greater ease.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Couple of days ago went through the dance with someone on FB: leftist announces Doc Carson should apologize to Obama for saying something not ass-kissy at a prayer breakfast.  I asked why?  Basic answer: "Because."  This went downhill in a discussion of current society, which led to "So you people WANT a civil war, and you think shooting someone in a political argument is appropriate."  EVERY SINGLE THING had become "You WANT violence, you're threatening me", etc.  Which caused her to declare "You people don't want to discuss things", unfriend the guy whose thread it was. and then e-mail him that she felt threatened by us, etc.

    Idiotic: "Things shall be as I decide, whether it's true or not."
    I'll throw in one more thing, mentioned to someone else the other day in what talking to liberals/leftists is like: they can’t conceive of strongly opposing someone without hating them. As in PERSONALLY hating them.
    Tell them “I don’t hate anyone; I do despise them, and
    most of what they do” and they insist that’s the same as hating them.
    Don’t want to hear it when you explain it’s not the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So, you won the argument and she went away, never to return?  I fail to see a down side here. 

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yep. I've never said "I'm gonna fuckin' kill you!" as an expression of anger since I bought my first firearm.

    ReplyDelete

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