Saturday, February 2, 2013

Guns- a love story

The archetypal and psychological valence of guns.

It is pretty clear that our gun debate has little to do with reason. Even less with the consitution, militias, self-government, or self-protection. It is about psychology.

In this fallen age, when the old patriarchial verities are in decline, men marry other men, women run for president, bromances dot the cinema, and sources of virility are thin on the ground, guns stand forth as an undisputed fount of macho manliness, projecting potent globules far and wide.

Far more than a simple tool, guns are civilizationally transformative, and blatantly symbolic of male power. Owning a gun is deeply personal, conferring on the owner and the home the combined potency of fire and phallic symbologies. Can you say "pump action"? Not to mention the flirtation with killing and murder, the most potent act of all. One never forgets that a gun is in the house.

Therefore, taking guns away from people conjures up castration anxieties, prompting endless rationalizations of how many armed intruders one might have to battle with one's pleasingly long AR-15 with plenty of juice in its thirty or ninety-round clips, holsters, and bandoleers.

Unfortunately, once we are in this kind of twilight territory of the archetypes, the attraction of guns for unstable, embittered losers looms even larger than it does for the usual red-blooded male. Which then leads to the occasional complete breakdown, enacting a fantasy of glorious retribution for all the belittling, emasculating affronts that the world, and especially females, have heaped upon this frustrated male.

Obviously, then, the answer is to test each gun owner with a simple, if paradoxical, question: may I take your gun away? If the answer is no, then the gun really does need to be taken away. Can our social collective transcend this psychological difficulty? Can the superego rule the id, to continue with this Freudian line? We shall see.


  • What I am talking about..
  • Department of injustice.
  • Treasury gave $37 million to bankers bank accounts.
  • Is crony capitalism now hopelessly entrenched?
  • From the Atlantic- the most knowledgeable investors and analysts have no idea what lurks inside the banks.
  • Are things not getting worse all the time?
  • Reform, or serfdom for a select group of immigrants?
  • The coming storm in Afghanistan.
  • Who is running the show? Afghan conference of clerics to condemn suicide bombing... cancelled by the Taliban. Islam seems more than a little conflicted.
  • Cats kill billions of birds in the US each year. Feral cats need to die.
  • The wild and wooly world of atheism.
  • Economics quote of the week, from Bill Black:
"The liar’s loans “crisis” of 1990-1992 in Orange County, California was stopped in its tracks without any expensive failures because we (the OTS West Region) realized that such loans inherently would lead to endemic fraud and losses."
  • Bonus economic graph of the week: GDP has been dragged down by declining government spending, of all things. 

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