The Psychological Origins of the Gun Control Fantasy

In December 2015, the state of Delaware (where I live) received 348 concealed carry applications, more than double the 155 from the previous December.

There were 2,614 permit applications in 2015 as opposed to 1,674 in 2014. Each month last year had more applications that the previous year.

“It seems like years ago you had to have a specific reason to want to conceal a gun, like you were working late and in a dark place or carrying money from a business,” one gun sales store owner said. “Now it seems like people are getting them for basic personal protection.”

Also, the store owner believes gun sales in general have risen due to concerns the federal government may legislate stricter laws in the future, and perhaps infringe on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, according to some.

People who advocate gun bans often have an irrational fear of guns. They do not like guns, and therefore they do not own guns. Consequently, nobody else should either. If they took the time to own a gun, go to target practice, take classes, and the like, their fear of guns would undoubtedly reduce. They would become less fearful and, in fact, feel more empowered as they’d learn that guns are just as much about self-protection as they are about the initiation of criminal violence. Most of them never will own a gun, of course, and are indignant at the suggestion. Instead, they will use intimidation against you, a gun owner or a person friendly to legal ownership of guns, by threatening to vote for candidates who seek to outlaw your right to self-defense.

The issue goes deeper than laws. It’s also psychological. The underlying assumption in gun control/gun bans involves a subconscious fantasy. It’s basically: “If guns are against the law, then I will not have to see them or think about them. It will be as if they don’t exist.” End of story, psychologically.

Yet the reality is otherwise. People will continue to acquire and own guns, and use them, whether the government outlaws them (or further restricts them), or not. If guns become completely illegal, then peaceful gun owners will go underground, and millions of Americans who would never harm a fly will become potential criminals overnight.

To fantasize about government ridding the world of guns is an absurdity. The whole perceived need for gun control in the first place is based on the fact that some people are violent. It takes more than a childlike, naïve trust in the capacity of government to eradicate violence by eradicating guns.

It’s fascinating, yet somehow logical. The people who most fervently favor gun control and gun bans are usually the people with the most faith and trust in the government to do infinite good. Whether it’s eliminating poverty, making sure everyone has excellent, free medical care, or signing peace treaties with nuclear-toting religious fanatics who laugh openly at your weakness, such foolishness all stems from the same, unthinking faith in the infinite power of Government. Sign a law, even against all the facts, and this will make it true.

In developmental child psychology, there’s a concept known as “conservation of mass.” Before a certain stage of psychological and brain development, you can play “peek-a-boo” or similar games with a child. When you cover the child’s eyes, he thinks you’re gone. When you allow him to open his eyes, he sees that you’re still there, after all. Once a child passes through a certain stage of cognitive development, he starts to grasp that you were there, all along, whether you cover his eyes or not. At this point, he has grasped and internalized the concept known as conservation of mass.

When I witness the condescending anger and subtle insults coming from people who support gun control, especially every time there’s some awful shooting, I think about conservation of mass. I see that we’re dealing with a person who has not fully made the connection that guns will exist whether government passes a law saying they’re illegal, or not. It’s a little comical, quite a bit frightening and more than a little sad. We have let the psychological mentality of children take over the world, not just on the issue of guns, but on so much else.

Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael  Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1

Dr. Hurd is now a Newsmax Insider! Check out his new column here.