Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hatred of guns and gunners

There is seething hatred at the bottom of some people's anti-gun, anti-2nd Amendment feelings. I have touched on that in prior posts, for example here and here. Kill the NRA! Pro gun? That makes you an accessory to murder! Since I cannot peer about inside other people's brains to see how they work, I can only guess at where the hate comes from.

It's something I have not yet figured out entirely. I was startled when first I met with it. Years ago, an otherwise promising romance was poisoned when she found out that the guy thing I like to do on weekends is to take my gun case, proudly emblazoned with the insignia of an NRA Life Member, down to the local gun range to pop off a box of practice rounds and hang out with the bubbary (the class of the citizenry composed of Bubbas).

The matter seems to involve class consciousness and something else besides, perhaps a deep mistrust of the idea that anyone should on his own recognizance wield such power. But there must be more at work. Feelings of self-superiority and comparative inadequacy are not in themselves enough to motivate hate. The simplest answer, though rather a strange and curious sounding one, is that what is underlying it all is a religious motivation. Haven't religions always been at the bottom of the bitterest feelings?

I refer to the faith of secularism, in which the government is the biggest and most powerful thing on the scene, thus the object of worship. The right to arm to defend yourself, viewed as a matter of natural law or God-given right, is in direct contradiction to the idea that the individual is to be managed and directed (for his own good of course) in collective actions that serve the whole. The secularist's concept of the world he lives in stands in contrast to a God centered view, which the secularist dismisses as a crutch for the weak and an opiate of the masses. Why would anyone look to a God they can't see when there is something mighty and gift-giving that you can petition right here and now? Like I said, that explanation sounds at first a bit daft, but bear with me for a moment.

Nothing declares one's independence of the statist religion as thoroughly (or at least as loudly) as a long magazine filled with .308, thus it is something like a horrible pagan practice to go to the range and practice with such things. Efficient arms in practiced hands are the only means by which the consent of the governed might conceivably be withdrawn, if the state ever becomes too big for its britches and voting and suing no longer work as the means of protecting essential liberties. Thus the American rifleman's very existence is an affront to what some people hold most dear, the idea of an all powerful state. Have I hit on the wrong explanation here? It may well be so, for there are aspects to it that do not altogether make sense, but how else do you explain the hate?

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