Coping With Self-Righteousness About Gun Control & Much Else

An opinion column by Tomi Lahren reads: “‘Self-Righteous, Gun-Hating Liberals’ Using Texas Tragedy to Push Gun Control.

Lahren is responding to the self-righteous tweet by Chelsea Handler on Sunday that read: “Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot [and] killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.”

Anyone who knows an advocate of gun control has experienced this sneering self-righteousness. The self-righteous basically say that if you’re a pro-Second Amendment, pro-Trump, pro-Republican advocate of individual rights to self-defense, you are a murderer. Talk about an argument from intimidation!

What causes self-righteousness? Is it certainty? No. Certainty is not a bad thing. I am certain that one plus one equals two. My confidence is not a bad thing, and it’s not self-righteousness.

Self-righteousness stems not from knowledge, but from uncertainty – desperately seeking to present itself as certainty.

Self-righteousness conveys two things at the same time. One, anxiety masking as certainty. A kind of false certainty. If the anxiety could speak freely (released from the subconscious) it would say something like, “OK, I’m not sure of this. But I will compensate for my lack of certainty with bluster and intimidation.” Kind of like the intellectual equivalent of, “I will huff, I will puff and I will BLOW your house down!” Wow, that’s convincing.

The second thing that self-righteousness conveys is an arrogance combined with entitlement. I find this not only with gun control proponents, but people who hate Donald Trump and/or Republicans.

It goes like this:

Me: “I have read each of Donald Trump’s books. I agree with many things and seriously disagree with others. But he’s not in any way a fascist, a totalitarian or a racist. He’s a pragmatic Republican who leans, on some issues, toward individual rights and capitalism. Have you read any of his books? Or have you watched – on YouTube, not a biased news network – any of his significant speeches all the way through?”

“Of course I haven’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I already know he’s a fascist and a racist. And anyone who likes him is just as bad.”

It’s the same with gun control. Or socialized medicine, or “global warming”, or any of these issues people fight over.  If you point out FACTS such as the gun controls being proposed would not have stopped the most recent shooter at the church in Texas, the facts fall on deaf ears. It’s almost as if those facts don’t matter. “My mind is already made up, and I’m right. I don’t have to counter your facts and arguments. I’m above all that, because I’m right.”

A sense of being right without having earned it – and with no sense of obligation that one has to earn it, by proving one’s conclusions with facts, and meeting counterarguments: That’s what self-righteousness is. And boy, is there a LOT of it on the pro-gun control side – as well as the anti-Trump, anti-Republican – side of things.

How to fight self-righteousness? It’s not yours to fight. It’s up to the person suffering from it to diagnose and treat it. It’s probably not going to happen. Your job? Just to see it for it is. You don’t owe another’s self-righteousness anything. It comes from weakness, ignorance and fear. Hold to reason, facts and logic. You’ll be just fine!


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