The Gun Control State of Mind

by Dean Rieck

Have you ever wondered why Toby Hoover and other gun grabbers have such a problem with your right to carry a concealed handgun? A professor of behavioral science may have the answer.

In an article titled “Explaining the Left/Right Divide” from the May/June 2004 issue of Society, a social science journal, Dr. John Ray offers an intriguing look into the psychology of why people are radical liberals. While he does not discuss guns directly, his observations allow us to draw a very simple and obvious conclusion about why certain people don’t want you to carry.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

Ego Need

One reason people support radical liberal ideas is that they have an overwhelming need to satisfy their own ego. While we all have this need to some degree, true leftists are driven and consumed by it.

According to Dr. Ray, “…the major psychological reason why Leftists so zealously criticize the existing order and advocate change is in order to feed a pressing need for self-inflation and ego-boosting—and ultimately for power, the greatest ego boost of all.”

In other words, radical liberals need attention. And to get attention, they need to show outrage. They need to feel smarter, wiser, and kinder than ordinary people. They are not as concerned with solving problems and making the world a better place as they are with elevating themselves. The warm fuzzy feeling they get from their extreme words and actions are the real prize.


Another reason liberals are often so radical is that they want what they don’t have, namely influence and control. It is, after all, a short step from wanting attention to wanting power.

As Dr. Ray points out, “People who desperately want power, attention and praise envy with a passion those who already have these things. Businessmen, ‘the establishment,’ rich people, upper class people, powerful politicians, anybody who helps perpetuate the existing order in any way are seen by the Leftist as obstacles….”

Radical liberals say they want to lift up the oppressed. But because they view themselves as powerless, what they really desire is to cut those with power down to size. And this desire becomes hatred. And this hatred consumes them. It leads them to advocate massive regulation, high taxes, price controls, wage caps, and draconian legislation (such as anti-CCW laws).

They say they want equality, but like the pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, they really want to be “more equal than others.”


Yet another reason that some people advocate far left ideas is that they need the world to be a simple place. They have an idealist view of how things ought to be, and when reality falls short of their vision they seek to alter the world rather than reexamine their preconceptions.

Dr. Ray observes that “The Leftist may still be…unaware of most of life’s complexities so that the drastically simple ‘solutions’ and mantras proffered by the Left simply seem reasonable.”

Radical liberals disregard facts, scoff at science, and ignore history. Information that threatens their point of view is seen as establishment propaganda. Those who advocate pragmatic ideas are seen as dull-witted reactionaries. In their idealistic enthusiasm, they assume that others are just too stupid or cruel to change anything and that only through enlightened intervention will the world reach some form of nirvana.

The Conclusion

This sort of psychological dissection may strike some people as mean-spirited. And I’ll admit that it would be just as easy to discuss the far right in equally unflattering terms. Yet to the objective mind, Dr. Ray’s analysis reveals more than a shred of truth.

In summary, those on the far left want to feel superior, grab power away from others, and re-order the world to suit their idealistic point of view. It is therefore easy to see why one of their most fervent wishes is to prevent anyone from carrying a concealed weapon.

By calling for politically-correct gun control, radical liberals feel superior and more sophisticated. By disarming us, they rob us of our individual power and true equality and thus make themselves “more equal.” And by attempting to establish gun control as the norm, they ignore facts and human nature and think they can create a world that is as perfect as the one in their imagination.

They are wrong, of course. There is not a single shred of proof that gun control works or that legal concealed carry has ever lead to any problem anywhere in the country. But it’s pointless to argue the facts with someone dead set on taking away your Second Amendment right or your right to carry a concealed handgun.

For the gun grabber, crime isn’t a problem—it’s an excuse. And gun control isn’t a debate—it’s a state of mind.

OFCC PAC Education Guide Lesson #3:
'Raging Against Self-Defense': A Psychiatrist's Examination of the Anti-Gun Mentality

Help us fight for your rights!

Become a member of Buckeye Firearms Association and support our grassroots efforts to defend and advance YOUR RIGHTS!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Get weekly news and instant alerts on the latest laws and politics that affect your gun rights. Enjoy cutting-edge commentary. Be among the first to hear about gun raffles, firearms training, and special events. Read more.

We respect your privacy and your email address will be kept confidential.


Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.