So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”
Let’s all take a deep breath and shake off the mental discomfort I just induced in half of my readers. You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use, but keep in mind that my point is about psychology and about big group averages. If Republicans think they need guns to protect against Democrats, that’s their reality. And if Democrats believe guns make the world more dangerous for themselves, that is their reality. And they can both be right. Your risk profile is different from mine.
So let’s stop acting as if there is something like “common sense” gun control to be had if we all act reasonably. That’s not an option in this case because we all have different risk profiles when it comes to guns. My gun probably makes me safer, but perhaps yours makes you less safe. You can’t reconcile those interests.This inherent viewpoint of Democrats (that guns are only used to shoot innocent people) showed up plainly in a couple of articles at The Truth About Guns today. In "Quote of the Day: The Boston Globe’s Advice for Anyone Thinking About Buying a Gun", TTAG quotes Isvari Mohan as writing: “The only purpose of guns is killing. And the only purpose of the gun industry is to sell them. Next time you think about buying a gun, think about that.” Similarly, in "New England Journal of Medicine: Doctor Knows Best! Gun Control for Everyone!," the portions quoted by TTAG show that the authors of the article in the New England Journal of Medicine believe that it was easy access to firearms that allowed the Orlando killer to make his attack, and conclude that "to consider this scale of death the price of freedom is a perversion of the notion of liberty." These are Democrats just as Adams described them: they only see guns as a threat.