Thursday, November 28, 2013

Random Musings: Gun-Free Zones and the Cargo Cult

There have been a number of commentators comparing Liberal thought to Cargo Cults, the mistaking of the trappings of a condition for the causes of the condition. An example of that is the pushing of home ownership as a means to middle class affluence. The plan was to reduce the barriers to owning homes rather than to develop the traits within people to overcome the barriers. The resulting housing bubble that resulted popped and with echoes that still must be reckoned.

Back to gun-free zones, I think that there is a cargo cult thought pattern at work. The purpose of carrying weapons for virtually everyone who does is to be ready for self-protection at a moment’s notice. That speaks of a sense of insecurity, because if one truly felt secure then one would not bother lugging around multiple pounds of metal on their person. It is the rare individuals who comprise the “virtually” qualification that drive the perceived need. A safe place could be defined as where the perceived need for a weapon would disappear as no aberrant individuals could possibly be about. A place that truly felt secure to all present would de facto be a gun free zone.
So a safe place is a place where people don’t have a need for weapons. For a long time we in America have been accustomed to that sense of safety and security, even to the point of feeling violated when reminded that it is not absolute. Some refer to that feeling of violation as hoplophobia, the irrational fear of weapons and those who wield them. People crave the security we have when weapons are not necessary. True security is difficult and even show security is intrusive (looking at you, TSA). So why not cut to the chase and mandate de jure acting as if a place is secure. If you don’t allow guns, then no one will see guns and not be reminded that there is a reason to feel insecure. They’ll never see the gun until they come face to face with a person who is not part of “virtually everyone”. Not feeling insecure is a far cry from being as secure as possible, and that is the failure of the cargo cult reasoning at work.

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