MIDDLE GROUND: Mass Shootings, Gun Owners and Gun Control

pistol duel

Simply put, more shootings do not mean support for more gun control.

Vox’s David Roberts argues that much of the chasm that seems to be growing larger and larger between liberal and conservative personality types has to do with cognitive science and emotional dynamics.

What does it mean in terms of the current gun debate? It means despite assumptions that an increase in mass shooting will lead to more calls for gun control, mass shootings lead many to believe we need more guns; and fear is the prime motivator:

Heightened sensitivity to negative stimuli can mean a propensity for anxiety, fear, and occasionally alarm. If fear threatens loss of control, many traits common to conservatives can be seen as efforts to reassert control. As Jost and colleagues summarize: “Research consistently finds that conservatism is positively associated with heightened epistemic concerns for order, structure, closure, certainty, consistency, simplicity, and familiarity, as well as existential concerns such as perceptions of danger, sensitivity to threat, and death anxiety.”
…Most of all, with his already heightened sensitivity to threat further aggravated by economic uncertainty, they finally help him see who’s to blame. They show him the immigrants crowding in, using up jobs and benefits that were promised to American workers. They show him minorities demanding handouts that are paid for with his taxes, even as they riot, even as they kill each other and the police. The show him terrorists making a mockery of weak American leadership. They show him elitist liberals, professors and entertainers, disdaining his values and mocking his religion.

Read the rest of the article here: Why mass shooting don’t convince gun owners to support gun control. 



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Maizy Stone

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