April 21, 2010

My new favorite song!

Some Thoughts on "Paranoid Gun Owners"

First, consider this: Paranoid Personality Disorder
I'd like to highlight just a few of the seven symptoms listed:

A. A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

(1) suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
(4) reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
(5) persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
(6) perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

Among those few media outlets that reported on the April 19th Second Amendment March activities, almost everyone labeled the participants "paranoid" because Pres. Obama has not yet signed into law any of the dozen or so bills presented to limit the rights and freedom of gun owners. Bills such as these:

H.R. 45 - Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act 2009
H.R. 2324 - Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2009
H.R. 2401 - No Fly, No Buy Act
H.R. 4298 - Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2009

If just these four House Resolutions were to pass and be signed into law a firearm owner could not give his son a .22 rifle for a birthday present, could not give his college-age daughter a .32 ACP to protect herself from rapists, and in order for his children to inherit his collection of firearms, every single weapon would have to be taken down to a dealer and be put through the same background checks as an original purchase. The firearm owner could not trade guns with his friends, or take them to gun shows and sell them. If someone with a similar name joined a group such as the Hutaree, a law-abiding firearm owner would suddenly find he could no longer buy guns at the local gun shop and would also be in danger of having his entire firearms collection arbitrarily confiscated.

And those are just four of the dozen or so House and Senate resolutions being considered in Congress right this minute. Clearly, the firearms advocates who gathered in Virginia with weapons ready at hand were not paranoid. They listened peacefully to pro-Second Amendment speakers, talked guns with one another, and at the end of the day went home without engaging in a single threatening action or violation of local law. They even cleaned up after themselves.

So who is paranoid, the gun owners or the frenzied media ranting and raving about treason? By the DSM-IV definition, it is not the gun owners who are displaying symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder. Not at all. Rather, it is the wide-eyed and fearful media folks like Rachel Maddow and Joy Behar who rail against them. Consider, for example, John King of CNN. He also reported on the gathering in Virginia, but his report contained none of the fear and ranting expressed by so many others.

Also, consider this: Student Suspended After Finger Gun Incident

In this article a 13 year-old is suspended for three days and labeled a terrorist for pointing her finger at the front of the class and making play noises meant to imitate gunfire. The teacher's and principal's actions clearly represent, "reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events", in short, clinical Paranoid Personality Disorder.

It is not the people "clinging to god and guns" who are displaying clinical Paranoid Personality Disorder. Their freedoms are, in fact, under threat every single day. It is not paranoia if you are genuinely under threat. Quite the contrary, genuine paranoia is in fact being exhibited by everyone who refuses to enter Starbucks these days on the off-chance a gun owner might be having a quiet cup of coffee with her favorite Kimber Commander .45 ACP holstered on her hip.

Round up of a few articles about the events on April 19th, 2010:

Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner: Peaceful pro-gun rallies
Associated Press: Advocates carry rifles, handguns
Washington Post: Militia movement packing heat
AFP: Gun-toting activists rally
CNN: Gun rights advocates rally in Washington & Virgina
And finally, a listing from Google: Gun rights advocates rally in Washington and Virginia