Because some technologies take on a kind of life of their own. If you get behind the wheel of a car, you somehow – have you never noticed? – become part of a symbiotic/composite organism of car-and-driver, with its own psychological characteristics, rather different from your psychological characteristics as a pedestrian. Most of the time, car-and-driver wants to Go Faster and to Get There First. That’s the main reason why accidents happen.
Likewise, the gun-armed you is a composite organism somewhat different from the unarmed you. The gun-part of you wants to be fired. The awareness that you have a gun, and that firing it in anger is an actual possibility, is always lurking somewhere in every gun owner’s mind, just waiting for a suitable opportunity to manifest in the material world. Is it not so?
By the same token, if I happen to have my toolbelt on in the midst of a Saturday morning home improvement project, I do not not become part of a symbiotic organism with the hammer and prowl about looking for nails to hammer. I have the hammer hanging on the tool belt because it’s one of the correct tools for the job I am doing.
I carry a concealed handgun about half the time that I am out in public, and I have not had the feeling you describe. There is a physical awareness of the pistol, in that it has weight and dimension, but after the first week or so (and I’ve now been carrying for six years) that’s all I feel about it: an object in a holster, there in case I need it, just like my cell phone.
Um…no. The car is just a tool. The DRIVER is the one in control and the one making the decisions. If the driver decides to have a few drinks before driving, or decides to talk or text on his or her cell phone, or put on lip stick, or simply drive too fast, those are all decisions made by the driver…the car merely responds to the directions given it as a good too should. Same with a gun. The gun doesn’t fire itself, or point itself at someone…it’s the person behind the gun that does that.
Horseshit. Again, a gun is just a tool. Some people take their tools out and use them frequently…usually at the range, or other types of target shooting. Some take their tools out to hunt. Some pretty much never take them out, and the guns just sit there idly, never or infrequently being fired. And some people, a very small percentage, take their tools out to use to commit a crime or otherwise to intentionally or even accidentally harm someone. But as with the car, it’s the person behind the gun or the wheel who is in control, who is making the decisions…not the tool.
Sure, guns kill people in the same sense that cars go places, it is one of the things that they are designed to do. Just like a car can be driven down the sidewalk maliciously or by accident and kill people in the process, a gun can be used to kill someone who shouldn’t be killed.
Wow. No. Not at all. Is this something people actually think?
Did you get this idea from movies? Kind of like the one where guns just go off all the time for no reason if you look at them funny? Real life isn’t Pulp Fiction.
Have you noticed this kind of behavior in yourself? Are you driven by a compulsive desire to misuse every tool in your possession, regardless of the consequences? Do you subconsciously wish to kick people whenever you put on boots? Or stab people when you are near a knife?
Seriously, if you’ve ever felt the kind of feelings you describe in your OP, you should see a doctor.
You have never used a large angle grinder? There is something pimaeval about grinders, such that once you pick one up, you can’t help yourself from seeking out and grinding metal. Now I don’t know if there is such a relationship between people and guns, or cars, or hammers, by there is with grinders. How the hell do you expect me to finish my day at work, now that every fibre of my being is telling me to head home, grab the grinder, and grind something. BBBRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Having a tool doesn’t just make it possible to use it, it subtly changes who we are and how we move through the world. For example, we control cars far less than they control us, both on the micro and macro level. On the personal level, once you are driving, you focus on what the car dictates you focus on, you see what the car allows you to see, you go where the car allows you to go. The only way to disengage from this car-mediated experience is to stop and get out.
Comparing cars and guns can only be very general, but I have invariably found that every single object I use mediates my experience of the world to some degree. Since guns are so very potent a tool, I cannot imagine they would be somehow exempt.
What is it to “use” a gun, then? The OP speaks of being armed, and I responded in that sense: going about one’s day while armed.
Driving a car, or wielding an angle grinder or handsaw, is rather a different thing. Firing a weapon demands an altered state of mind: concentration on the proper aim and trigger pull, consciousness of the backstop, the hearing protection of those around you, the motion of the target, etc. It is a very focused, tranquil state, which I find therapeutic and calming: the exclusion of all else, just the shooter and the weapon and the target.
Merely attaching my holster to my belt and going out for the evening is totally different. The equivalant would be nearer to owning a car than driving one: it may mark a subtle shift in mindset, but nothing conscious or particularly influential.
Pretty much all of them know that if you point a firearm at a person and pull the trigger you’re in for a world of shit even if the shooting was 100% justified. Any additional knowledge beyond that is frosting, not cake.