The Logic of the Ignorant

A neighbor of mine has a sign in their yard that reads, “You can’t ban anger, ban AR-15s”. Needless to say, the people that live there are very liberal, probably socialist as they were supporters of Bernie Sanders leading up to the 2016 Presidential election. For some reason, the sign bothers me.

A lot of the laws that have been enacted over the years have dealt with "anger." While not banning it, they are certainly focused on controlling it — i.e. setting limits on what is acceptable and unacceptable for an angry person to do. The laws are designed to serve as a deterrent so when someone becomes angry they consider the consequences of their actions, especially if they result in hurting others or damaging property. But, those laws don’t seem to have been much of a deterrent to those individuals that have carried out mass murders in recent years. They don’t care about the long-term impacts of their actions, only the immediate gratification that comes from carrying out the act itself. Most of them don’t even survive the event. But, liberals and socialists don’t seem to recognize the realities of human nature. Instead they view the world like they would like it to be, not as it is...and they formulate their policies (and laws) accordingly.

Angry people have used many things to carry out their acts of violence against other people (and property). They have used other types of guns, not just AR-15s — they have used knives, screwdrivers, hammers, baseball bats, bricks, rocks, their bare hands, automobiles, and even fertilizer (that is what was used to create the bomb used in Oklahoma City in 1995). Why isn’t my neighbor proposing that those items get band as well? Of course, I know the answer — those other things (besides guns) cannot easily be vilified as they are commonly used and were designed for purposes other than hurting people. If my neighbor would just take the time to gain a little knowledge, they would learn that rifles, not just the AR-15, are rarely used outside of a military or law enforcement context to harm or kill people. But that is the problem with many liberals/socialists—they simply don’t want to learn because it might call into question their basic beliefs. As a result, they have decided to be willfully ignorant. (Someone is “ignorant” when they lack knowledge about something; someone is “willfully ignorant” when they chose not to
seek knowledge.)

Beliefs are our internal assumptions about the world. They lay the foundation for everything we do and say. When beliefs are very important to us — i.e. they are deeply planted and not conscious to our thinking at all — they become values. Our morals are our “gut-level” feelings about what is right or wrong and are derived from our values. Our ethics are the general rules that we use to put our morals into words. Ethics limit our behavior.

Generally, disagreements over ethics are friendly and we may be willing to change our ethics. On the other hand, disagreements involving our beliefs are viewed as attacks on our identity. It is very difficult for us to change our beliefs.

Socialists and many liberals have come to believe that eliminating guns will result in a much more peaceful world. They refuse to believe that some people are intent on doing violent things to other people. These liberals and socialists have gained strength within the Democrat Party and now gun control is a key element of the Democrats’ party platform and their policy proposals.

It wasn’t always this way. Indeed, it wasn’t until the late 1960’s that gun control gained much attention from the public at all. However, the Vietnam War had a profound effect on liberal/socialist thinking in the United States. Symbols of violence became rallying points for liberal/socialist protesters.

When the war ended, their activism moved on to other things, most recently climate control, illegal aliens, social justice (injustice), economic equality, and gun control. Basically, for political advantage, these activists oppose anything that their opponents (i.e. Republicans and conservatives) are in favor of—even if those ideas and proposals are good things for everyone.

So, despite our strong desire to reason with those individuals that want to ban guns, trying to do so is probably a waste of time. They are unwilling to learn facts that might cause their beliefs to come into question. By remaining ignorant they do not have to confront thoughts of being wrong about something. And of course, they could care less about what our beliefs regarding the importance of freedom, self-defense, and the 2nd Amendment are. The only thing that matters to them is their beliefs.

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