Weapons: Logical Protection or Emotional Diffidence?
When we discuss weapons, i.e. handguns, shotguns, rifles and other firearms, it stirs two different reactions within the public. One is the reassurance of protection. The other is the diffidence—lacking confidence—in using such weapons.
Psychologically speaking, when a person is trained and conditioned with proper weapons safety and use, they become confident, respectful and less fearful in the use of those weapons. Students learn to properly care and maintain the weapons, to store them safely, to operate them in the proper manner and for their intended use—hobby, hunting, self-protection, and for the protection of others. With proper training comes appropriate use.
On the other hand, if a person fears firearms, lacks the confidence or maintains a diffident nature, they develop a dislike for weapons. It makes no difference if they hate weapons personally or strongly dislike firearms used by others. However, it is a pre-disposition they can overcome, but only if they are willing to learn how to remove their ‘fear of the unknown’ regarding weapons.
Considering the above, let us apply that knowledge to the current weapons used in crimes, especially in mass shootings. Hunters, military personnel, law enforcement officers and others in the protection and security industries receive extensive training in the proper care, maintenance, safety, and appropriate shoot-don’t shoot scenarios.
Hunters, you question? Well, most game enthusiasts receive their training from relatives. The loved ones are usually members of the National Rifle Association. The NRA is the largest proponent of weapons safety. They provide instructors to civilians and military/law enforcement officers/security personnel. Even as a child, I remember my first Daisy BB gun. It had safety instructions printed on the box and on the contents packaged with the gun. My father was adamant that I follow the instructions. He did that by setting an example of the proper use of firearms himself.
When parents fear weapons, that fear is usually transferred to their children or to their associates, who have little knowledge themselves. That ensures the diffidence is regenerated in others. As a result, that expands the emotional fear against the pragmatic use of weapons.
Bringing competent and responsible firearm users together with those who fear guns or lack confidence in their use would be helpful.
Yet I don’t suggest this would be a simple task. It would take effort. In some cases the effort might be insurmountable. However, it is a step in the right direction.
Finally, would it be expensive to implement a program like this? Not if you consider the loss of life due to those who cannot or will not protect themselves or others.
Roger C. Bull – University studies in biology, chemistry, physics, criminology, psychology, sociology, supervision and management. Write poetry, short stories, novels. Experience in electronics, computers, telecommunications. Author of legal thriller, spy thriller, and murder mysteries. Retired sergeant of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Second District. Founder and admin of Metro New Orleans Law Enforcement Officers (32 agencies, federal, state, and local).