Montana – -(AmmoLand.com)- I am asked why some people fear and hate guns – why others think we shouldn't be allowed to have firearms. One answer has to do with poor impulse control and the psychological phenomenon of projection.
We know some people have poor impulse control. They have potent urges to fly off the handle with minimum provocation – perhaps are offended by the smallest thing. They know themselves and also see that they shouldn't have a gun because sooner or later they'd run amok and misuse a gun in a sudden fit of anger matched with their poor impulse control.
With projection, people genuinely believe that all others are like them. One example used is that a person colorblind from birth will always believe, deep down, that everyone else sees the world in shades of gray or with limited colors. That is their own experience, the only experience they can *know* for themselves. They project their personal experience onto everyone else when believing that others seem like they do.
People with poor impulse control project that characteristic onto others too.
They cannot grasp or admit that there are other people so stable that we wouldn't run amok and injure innocents if we are allowed to possess guns. Therefore, they want laws to prevent everyone from possessing firearms, ostensibly to protect the public from the poor impulse control they witness in themselves.
Let me offer you an example of poor impulse control by an anti-gun person. I testified on March 12th, 2019 as an opponent of HB 477 before the House Judiciary Committee. Much of that testimony was describing MSSA's (Montana Shooting Sports Association) long history pushing Be Safe, our gun safety program for kids. Later that day, a former Democrat candidate for the Legislature from Helena posted this on Twitter:
“Marbut isn’t human. He is filled with black sand and NRA hush money. Cut him open and it gushes out.”
This outburst might not have seemed such a good idea to this guy in a more sober moment, but he was overcome with anger that anyone would oppose a bill he liked. He just couldn't contain his unseemly outburst.
Others criticized this guy on Twitter for his irrational, possibly slanderous comment. He emailed me, asking if I insisted that he pull the comment. I responded that the comment said more about him than about me and that if I were him, I'd be embarrassed to have made such a comment in a public place. But, I informed him, I wear big boy pants and can stand criticism even if it's an irrational display of poor impulse control. Pull or leave the comment for your reasons, not mine, I said.
So, many anti-gun people with poor impulse control project that onto everyone else. Therefore, they truly believe that nobody should have guns because it's just a matter of time until everyone with a gun misuses it in an uncontrolled fit of anger. And, there is simply no way to inform or persuade such people that most others don't share their poor impulse control.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
About the Montana Shooting Sports Association:
MSSA is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit: www.mtssa.org