IRONY or PSYCHOLOGY?: Is There a Psychological Basis?


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SharpsDressedMan
January 23, 2013, 06:19 PM
Is it irony, or is there some kind of psychological basis for either rabidly anti-gun advocates having a death wish, or otherwise law abiding gun owners provoked by the anti-gunners to the point that they want to kill the them? I'm seeing a trend in the escalation of emotions on both sides, with the anti's aparently not aware that they are goading the gun toters into a "high noon" of sorts. Neither side wants to back down, and the temperature is rising. I'm beginnning to wonder if this is a definable psychological phenomenon on both sides. It is possibly just ironic that that which the left leaning gun haters fear most is now being caused by their psycho-social attack on people with guns? Will we see otherwise rational and law abiding gun owners be pushed over the edge?

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Skribs
January 23, 2013, 06:29 PM
My psychological response is that I am threatened and insulted. My rights are under attack. If guns go away, what rights are next? If my guns go away, how will I defend against armed attackers? There are multiple problems at play for me.

I can't speak for the psychology of the other side, but I do see your irony. I'm not calling people to arms (well, metaphorically I am, but I'm calling people to the pen, not the sword), but you make a fair point. If you want to divide the country, why do it on weapons, and put yourself on the side without a lot of them? Yeah the government controls the military and police...until they say "I want my rights, too" and refuse those orders.

I don't think we're going to civil war or even civil unrest (depends on how bad things go in DC tomorrow), but there are a growing number of states and counties telling the feds that they will not prosecute anti-2A laws, and some even say that instead of just not helping the feds, they will prosecute anyone seeking to enforce anti-2A laws. We are in strange times, indeed.

HorseSoldier
January 23, 2013, 06:35 PM
Both sides equate guns with death, just in different ways. The anti-2A side are terrified of guns as lethal implements. The pro-2A side are terrified of lethal threats if deprived of arms. How it all plays out from there is probably textbook terror management theory.

buckeye8
January 23, 2013, 06:44 PM
I'm not a Psychologist, though I have taught the subject. Some basic themes are evident.

Projection:

A good deal of 'projection' is inherent to the anti-gun belief system. People tend to project thier values, beliefs and worldviews onto others, and presume that those others would deal with a situation the same way they fear that they would (i.e. "if I owned a gun, I would kill people when I got mad... therefore anyone who owns guns might do the same thing, therefore they should not have guns").

Schemas, Accomodation & Assimilation:

When people's belief systems are threatened with new information, they tend to defend their existing schemas (knowledge structures), because accommodating a schema to new information is very difficult to do. This is why people will defend their (religious, political, etc.) beliefs assiduously even after a fact has proven the belief to be wrong. Most people will easily adapt their way of thinking on issues that they don't already have a particular belief about, but will almost never adapt their way of thinking about something they believe strongly, no matter how much evidence is provided to discredit it.

Rather than accommodating their existing schemas to new information, people tend to seek out information to assimilate into (but not threaten) their existing schemas. They find ways to make the new information fit their schemas (belief systems) rather than the other way around.

These are common defense mechanisms, and emotional topics exacerbate their effects.

Confirmation Bias:

People also tend to interpret information in a way that confims previously existing beliefs, a phenomenon known as confirmation bias. Two people can see the same set of facts and come to wildly divergent conclusions due to confirmation bias. This is why it often feels that we live in entirely seperate intellectual (and sometimes actual) worlds from people who do not agree with us.

AlexanderA
January 23, 2013, 08:19 PM
I'm seeing a trend in the escalation of emotions on both sides, with the anti's aparently not aware that they are goading the gun toters into a "high noon" of sorts.

The irony is that the pro-gun side is the side that has the guns! Provoking a man with a gun doesn't seem a smart thing to do. Or maybe the antigunners think that in the end, all the police and army will be on their side. That assumption is questionable at best.

itchy1
January 23, 2013, 08:54 PM
I think most gun owners would tend to have an internal locus of control. They would tend to view themselves as having control over the outcomes in their lives. A person's actions and applications determines the path of their life.
I also beleive the opposite to be true that most anti-gun people would have an external locus of control. They view themselves subject to whatever the world throws at them--a tendancy to view things outside of themselves as having the power to determine their fate.

No facts, figures or scientific data, just a hunch.

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