Conversations with Gun Owners

To explore the neurological consequences of firearms to see if they show themselves in a day-to-day engagement: god-complex, increased aggression, seeing firearm as the problem solver, decrease of human value, paranoia, and addiction.

1. In all the conversations, each participant had an inherent distrust for our U.S. government. A belief that our government would act like a Totalitarian government, similar to Russia, and take all guns leaving the gun owner vulnerable and exposed.

2. Many of the participants believed that God (the God, the creator of all things) ordained them to have their guns and that is it was a right they were born with.

3. Each group felt that there was a criminal out there who was hell bent on harming their families and taking what was not theirs. 

4. Some of the more aggressive participants resorted to covert threats of violence or the idea that they would kill anyone, cops included, who tried to confiscate their guns. They did not see how this would make them a criminal and law-abiding citizen. 

5. Often times Trolls invaded the coversations making it feel like the participants were in a cyber room of 12-year old boys pissed off because mommy took away their toy guns. It was difficult to tell if these were reactions of addicts or Trolls who were there to create division and distrust.

6. It was clear that many of the participants were repeating the buzz-words of sites that they trusted with their information instead of reading the text of any of the actual laws. The Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Colorado, was retitled “the Red Flag Bill” and the people were led to believe that it would be very easy for a pissed off spouse or lover to call on the authorities and take away the guns. They were not aware of the measures in place that would make faking the reports harder to do.

7. As the conversations continued the participants became more agitated and resorted again to name calling and suspicion. Were these actions of a addict or a cyber Troll? It was difficult to tell. 

Conclusion: The gun owners have been lied to by the groups that profit the most when they buy more guns. If these propaganda machines are addressed, then rational gun reform will be able to happen without people assuming the worst.