There is a fear that the media doesn’t seem to recognize. It isn’t Islamaphobia. It isn’t homophobia. It isn’t xenophobia. Journalists love to discuss those because they primarily generate negativity towards conservatives and Republicans.
I am talking about an irrational fear of an inanimate object. It is an item that will neither move on its own, nor explode or damage anything by itself. I am talking about firearms. This irrational fear is called hoplophobia. It is not a recognized medical illness. The term was coined by legendary U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, a World War II and Korean War combat veteran. He initially described it as “an irrational aversion to weapons.”
The basis of this irrational fear may lie in a fear of responsibility. Many people do not want to accept the fact that they may have to depend on themselves to stay safe in certain situations. They do not want to consider that dialing 911 may not always be a solution. It is much easier to bury their heads in the sand, thinking that things will work out fine and someone else will come to help.
Yet this is not always the case: “As of 2013, the reported national average for police response time was 11 minutes.” Many serious criminal acts could be committed in such ample time.
A Person’s Instinct Towards Fight or Flight
Most of us have heard the term “fight or flight.” This instinct determines what we automatically do when faced with critical decision-making. A situation may force a person to act to prevent injury or death to themselves or loved ones. These reactions are limited.
You may fear responsibility, hide from it, and push it off to someone else. If this describes you, and you find yourself confronted by a violent attacker, you may run or freeze, hoping someone else takes care of the situation. This illustrates man’s “flight” instinct.
You may fear responsibility, but accept it anyway. If this describes you, and you find yourself confronted by violent attacker, you may rise to the occasion and do what is necessary to defend yourself or your loved ones. This is based on man’s “fight” instinct. In accepting responsibility, you may thrive and succeed, or you may flounder and fail. Either way, you made your decision to stand.
Owning and carrying a firearm acknowledges the individual responsibility of protecting one’s self, loved ones, community, or even strangers. This fact in no way guarantees the correct reaction or successful defense during the situation. However, the armed person is at least taking the initial step towards his obligation to do this for himself.
Which Philosophy Supports Personal Responsibility?
Leftism seems to be rooted in the opposite behavior, a rejection of responsibility. Here are just a few examples taken directly from the 2016 Democratic platform announced during the Democratic National Convention.
Minimum Wage: Setting a $15 per hour minimum wage guarantees the individual working for that money does not need to worry about working harder than his peers to attain a raise. Currently, people who work at this salary level would have to rise above others’ performance to get recognized and rewarded. The burden would be on them to prove they deserve a higher wage.
Abortion: All the sex and pleasure you want without having to worry about the consequences. What’s the value of new human life? In the leftist’s mind, not much compared to physical freedom and an unencumbered, carefree existence.
Welfare and other government assistance: These programs were designed to give people “a hand up, not a handout.” They were for people who may have fallen on hard times and needed an opportunity to get their situation fixed. Yet for some these programs have turned into a lifelong career, removing their responsibility for their own subsistence.
Criminal Justice: In our constitutional republic, we must follow the laws and apply them equally to all. In our current “social justice warrior” climate, some leftists believe some crimes, no matter how vicious, violent, or deadly, should not be subject to the use of force. Some on the Left accept riots and attacks on political opponents because they feel both are deserved.
Immigration: Refusing to enforce our border and immigration laws has removed responsibility from people who want to come to this country. You don’t have to prove who you are or why you want to be here. No matter your criminal history, political affiliations, or motives, the Left wants us to welcome you with open arms and closed eyes. The opposition to President Trump’s executive orders on immigration exposed the Ninth Circuit Court as politically motivated judicial opposition to the responsible vetting of those who want to travel here.
This backwards mentality has somehow transformed into an attack on those who have, or value, responsibility. Somehow it has become “cool” to be apathetic. Work hard your whole life, succeed and make money, and the Left will say you have taken advantage of others. Study hard while in school and get a scholarship based solely on your academic performance, then you must be privileged. We see it in pop culture with concepts like “snitches get stitches,” which prevents responsibility of communities who merely want to reduce criminality.
Guns Are a Tool Responsible People Own
Attacks on the responsibility of being a firearm owner are never more vocal than when some sick deranged criminal or terrorist commits any type of mass shooting. Calls for repealing the Second Amendment start soon afterwards, as well as shouts for new laws and regulations. It does not matter that homicide is already illegal in every state, city, and county. It does not matter that firearms are used hundreds or thousands of times a day to protect lives and property.
Somehow the responsibility is ascribed to the inanimate object a murderer uses as a tool rather than to the killer himself. When a gunman brutally murdered 26 innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there were immediate calls for more stringent gun laws. The manufacturer of the weapon used, Bushmaster, was scathingly attacked by the media and leftists, and even sued by the survivors. However, in the same year as the Newton tragedy, there were more than 10,000 DUI deaths, and there was no national shaming or attack on any car, beer, or liquor company.
For some reason, when “anti-gunners” call for new or stricter gun laws, they seem to not recognize the one most blaringly simple fact. Anyone intent on causing the death of others undoubtedly does not fear breaking laws that are substantially less consequential than homicide. Laws do not stop any crimes. Their sole purpose is to merely define these crimes for our legal system.
We are Americans. Our forefathers risked everything to challenge the mightiest force in the world to become free, so that we could determine our own destiny. Our obligation to them is to accept the responsibility of keeping this country and our communities safe. I proudly embrace the duty to defend my country, my life, and the lives of my family, the lives of my neighbors and community, and even the lives of strangers. Do the same. Don’t fear your inherent responsibility.