Guns and fear

This morning while doing my rounds to the blogs I read, I was struck by two stories and posted about them here and here. While reading Midnight Rider’s recounting of his story, this part struck me:

Be prepared to pull that trigger. Strangely I felt no fear during the incident and knew I was ready, had I seen someone within my home, to counter that threat.

It’s then interesting that yet another blog posting from Rebecca also made this morning was also dwelling on fear. Her fear was different:

To keep a handgun in one’s house insinuates, in my opinion, a certain amount of fear, which is why guns are so scary.

A few hours after reading her article it was still rolling around in my head and it hit me. She’s afraid of guns. She’s afraid of bad people and that they use guns to obtain power and control over her and her family. She’s afraid of her child becoming a bad person. She’s afraid of her child being hurt or killed, due to guns. She’s afraid that mere presense of a gun in a household means death for her child. She implies that those who own guns are afraid — and likely some are — but maybe here we’ve got the old “spec in their eye, log in your own” situation.

If someone does own a gun out of fear? Is that bad? A woman that’s been raped and fears repercussions or another attack because the rapist got away. Is her fear an unjustified reason for owning a gun? The woman with the abusive husband or boyfriend, has the restraining order but pieces of paper only do so much good, and fears for the lives of herself and her children. Is her fear an unjustified reason for owning a gun? Or even big strong me. If fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat” then I guess I may well have some fear that motivates me…  knowledge there are evil people out there that have no qualms about bringing injury to myself or my family, and my fear of losing them to something so senseless, especially when I have the power to do something about it.

In me, I know where my fear comes from: it comes from how I was raised. My mother was very protective. What underlies protectiveness? Fear. Fear of harm, mostly. Could be simple things like fear of falling out of the tree and breaking your arm. Or it could be worse things. But I know that given how I was raised, fear can be a strong ingrained reaction in me. Now I’m not blaming my childhood as some horrible thing that has scarred me for life boo-hoo me. Nope. I’m just accepting how things are, and trying to better my situation. I’m not letting my fear control me, I’m controlling my fear.

Martial arts study? It gets you over the fear of being hit. Sure you still don’t want to get hit, but you accept you will, you learn how to defend (block, avoid, etc.), and when you do get hit it’s no big deal.

Motorcycles? Well, I don’t ride a crotch rocket, but there’s still a level of fear you have to overcome because there’s no question you’re more vulnerable out there. But you can take riding classes, wear proper gear, and expect the cagers to be stupid and thus ride defensively.

Guns? I hope I go my entire life and my use of guns is nothing but training and recreation. I hope I go my whole life and never have to defend myself in such a way. Was I afraid of guns? Sure. I remember the first time I handled a handgun and how I felt. My friend that introduced me told me at first to just load one round at a time: one in the magazine, seat the magazine, rack the slide, fire. Many reasons for doing that for a first-timer, but my friend expected me to do that a few rounds then load up the magazine and go. Nope. I went through a box or two of ammo one round at a time. My friend didn’t believe it, but I admit I was afraid and wanted to take it slow. All those years of conditioning to be afraid of guns took a little time to get over.

Do I fear guns? No. Do I respect guns? Yes. They are powerful tools. In the wrong hands they can be used for great evil. In the right hands, they can be used to fight that evil.

Fear is a natural human emotion. Fear in and of itself isn’t good nor bad, it just is. Like everything in life, it’s what  you do with things that determine if that thing winds up being put in the “good” column or “bad” column of your life. I have chosen to take my fears and not let them control me. I work to control my fears, to overcome them, to channel them into positives that will work towards my success in anything and everything in life. I admit I will have fear, but I cannot let fear have me.

2 thoughts on “Guns and fear

  1. Once had a psychology teacher who said “Fear is ALWAYS real; the question is whether the fear is rational, and if your reaction to it is.”

    Once a friend, something of a GFW, asked the snarky “So when are you going to shoot someone?” and was surprised at the answer “I devoutly hope never.” Some folks put so much of their own fear and uncertainty upon a tool, they lose track of the people using it.

    • I like how your old psychology teacher put it. It’s what you do with it.

      As well, you’re also right about your friend there. People impress their modes of behavior and standards upon others — we all do it, and have to be mindful and aware of ourselves so as to not. Often tho this is OK, as such things speak more about that person and gives deeper insight into them.

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