I’ve always been fiercely independent (throw your hands up at me.) From a little girl running off on her horse alone to explore the countryside, to a young woman moving halfway around the world by herself to start a new life, fear hasn’t ever really been a factor in my decision making. If fear reared its ugly head, I’d squish it and carry on.
I’m now considered middle-age and my decisions can no longer be reckless. After all, there’s just so many years left to save for retirement, I have a family to consider and the bills have gotten bigger. On one hand, a little dose of fear is healthy at my age. On the other, overwhelming fear can be crippling. Fear can stop one from moving forward to a brighter future. That’s why it’s important to keep it in check.
Fear is one of our most powerful emotions. We depend on the fear response to keep us alive. Our biological response to fear, called “fight or flight,” is the body’s unconscious reaction to a threat.
Fear is instinctive and also learned. We learn fear through experiences, like being pushed in a pool by a parent when we can’t swim can cause a fear of the water. We are also taught fear—like being (falsely) told from a young age that bad people put razor blades in Halloween candy.
As a child, our parents, teachers and other elders taught us to fear certain things because they thought it would keep us safe. Telling us tall tales about scary men with candy prevented us from talking to strangers. Our parents were controlling our behavior through fear.
In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, we are closer to more gun control laws than we’ve had since the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act—which included the ‘assault weapon’ ban. And it’s fear that’s driving the anti-gun politician’s agendas.
But it isn’t the same fear they’d like the country to think. Gun owners don’t buy guns because the NRA and President Trump have convinced them every person of color is either a Muslim terrorist hell-bent on forcing Sharia law on America, a Cartel member selling your wife and daughters into sex slavery or a Gat-wielding gangster carrying more than a bag of Skittles. (Thanks, Leftists for perpetuating those stereotypes. —Insert eye roll here—)
No. Gun owners buy guns to keep themselves free from fear.
I’m female and I own firearms for many reasons. Fear isn’t one of them. It’s not gun owners getting duped. It’s those buying into the “guns are bad, mmm’kay” mentality.
Because fear is the best way to control people.
Dealing with a fearful public ain’t our country’s first rodeo. The government and media have maintained power multiple times in our history through fearmongering.
The first newspapers were a cesspool of political opinions, sensationalists stories and #fakenews. Early newspapers provided a platform for those in power and who had influence to reach a wider audience. The war propaganda machine was fully greased leading up to the U.S.’s entry into WWII, when it became clear newspapers could sway public opinion, regardless of facts.
Without going into the entire history of media, in (very) short words, the media makes money through selling advertisements. Advertisers, needing to justify the cost, need to see high readership numbers. To get high readership numbers, you need to provide stories people actually want to read. The competition is so fierce, especially today, that media will write virtually anything to grab our attention. You’ve heard the phrase, “if it bleeds, it leads,” right? Attributed to journalist Eric Pooley in 1989, it isn’t a new concept.
For example, during the Great Depression, trying to stay afloat, the media found a sellable story in Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow Gang. Romanticizing the gangsters, America fell in love with Bonnie and Clyde, despite the fact that they were wanted for kidnapping, burglary and the murder of 13 people—including law enforcement officers. The newspaper that ran the headline of Bonnie and Clyde’s death sold 500,000 copies in Dallas alone. The two became so infamous, in part because of newspapers, that over 20,000 people showed up to Bonnie Parker’s funeral.
“Hysterical episodes,” which left-leaning site AlterNet.org calls these sensationalized media stories, are common. Africanized bees, Satanic teenagers and killer sharks (and many more) are all stories the media have embellished during my lifetime.
No longer just “episodes,” America’s new standard is now living with “fear-based media.”
Especially in times of crisis or unrest, like the Great Depression, fear is a particularly effective method of making people do what you want. Historically, the government’s response during these times is to revoke our liberties. For example, during WWII, the American government imprisoned 10,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Not a one was ever found to have committed crimes against national security. After the September 11 attacks, then President Bush allowed for the permanent detainment of U.S. citizens without due process and the Patriot Act allows the government to gather personal information about us without judicial checks—even the books we check out of the library.
Our current media climate is clearly anti-gun, disseminating incorrect information and even out-and-out lies about firearms, firearm ownership and the number of mass shootings in America.
- Stories advocating more gun control outnumbered stories opposing gun control by 99 to 12, or a ratio of 8 to 1.
- Anti-gun soundbites were aired almost twice as frequently than pro-gun ones (228 to 134).
- Gun control advocates appeared as guests on 26 occasions, compared to 7 times for gun rights advocates.
The proliferation of the terms “assault weapons” and “weapons of war” are evidence the media doesn’t care what’s true and what’s false about how firearms function. These politically motivated, made-up words are meant to scare people into jumping onto the gun-confiscation bandwagon.
Here is a prime example:
Despite the non-partisan facts that year over year violent crime is decreasing in America, the majority of Americans (6 out of 10) surveyed believe our cities are unsafe, crime rates are increasing, the world is dangerous, and they are likely to be victims of crime.
And no wonder. A Google search done on August 20, 2019, asking, “How many mass shootings in America?” The top three headlines were:
- Mass Shootings on the Rise
- Reaching Critical Mass on Mass Shootings
- Mass Shootings are an American Epidemic
An Inconvenient Truth
Gun violence isn’t an “epidemic.” FBI crime statistics show crime decreased in 2017 from 2016 and 4.3% in 2018 from 2017. Even super liberal and leftists-leaning media are pointing out these facts:
- Vox writes, “Since the 1990s, crime rates in the US have plummeted—with the murder and violent crime rates dropping by more than half.” And “While tragic and shocking, public mass shootings account for few of the murders or non-negligent homicides related to firearms that occur annually in the United States…”
- Rolling Stone reports, “According to Lewis & Clark College president Barry Glassner, one of the country’s leading sociologists and author of The Culture of Fear, “Most Americans are living in the safest place at the safest time in human history.” (2016)
- NPR has also written about it: “Despite Heightened Fear Of School Shootings, It’s Not A Growing Epidemic…”Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s.”
Rolling Stone’s article reveals the motivation behind making people scared, “Scratch the surface of any pseudo-fear and you’ll find a wide array of groups that stand to benefit from promoting the scares, including businesses, advocacy organizations, religious sects and political parties,” Glassner said. His research finds school violence: “More than three times as many people are killed by lightning than by violence at schools.”
Even though all the evidence points to the contrary, why does the media still perpetuate the ‘gun violence epidemic’ myth?
The media doesn’t want you to know the truth because it doesn’t align with their agenda.
Listen, there are many folks that want to take away your guns. Ultimately, anti-gun extremists wish we lived in a completely gun-free society.
Here are a few examples from some very influential people:
- “Australia got it right” – Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.
- “Well, you’ve just maybe changed my mind. Maybe we won’t have a fine at all. Maybe it’ll just be confiscation and we won’t have to worry about paying a fine.” -Illinois state lawmakers Sen. Julie Morrison
- “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…. Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in. I would have done it.” -Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- “Banning guns is an idea whose time has come.” – Joseph Biden, former Vice President of the United States and 2020 potential presidential candidate
The fear seems to be working. A February 2018 poll published in The Economist found that 73% of Democrats who responded said they favored banning semiautomatic firearms.
Guns aren’t what we need to fear. We need to be scared of those in political power who start taking away our liberties. (Do you watch the Handmaid’s Tale? Heed the warning.)
Gun Rights Are Women’s Rights
I am a gun owner because as a fully independent woman, I am solely responsible for my own safety. Gun ownership has played a role in me becoming a self-confident, strong and empowered woman. Knowing I am able to protect my body, possessions and my family provides me a level of confidence, power and security that many non-gun-owning women don’t experience. Many are left feeling vulnerable, powerless and afraid…because they don’t own a gun.
We are a country founded on freedom—which, without guns, we might still be under the rule of tyranny. Fearing the gun doesn’t solve whatever problem you perceive is happening in our country. The dissolution of our rights is the only thing we need to be afraid of.