Communications to Buckeye Firearms Foundation about Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund expose raging anti-gun mentality
by Chad D. Baus
Nearly a decade ago, I came across an article by a Dr. Sarah Thompson, entitled "Raging Against Self Defense - A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality." The article was originally published by Utah Gun Owners Alliance, where Dr. Thompson served as executive director, but I came across it on the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership's website.
In the article, Dr. Thompson discusses some of the major psychological issues that anti-gun rights people seem to be struggling with, as demonstrated by their behavior.
That article came back to mind weeks ago as I read the Internet comments, Facebook messages and emails we received in response to the news that Buckeye Firearms Foundation had launched a (George) Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund after the Florida crime victim was found not guilty in his self-defense case.
I thought it might be educational to revisit that article, and look for examples of the mental issues Dr. Thompson enumerated in the emails and Facebook messages we received.
WARNING: If you prefer not to read violent, profanity-laced language, don't continue reading. You were warned.
From Dr. Thompson:
How does my correspondent "know" that his neighbors would murder him if they had guns? He doesn't. What he was really saying was that if he had a gun, he might murder his neighbors if he had a bad day, or if they took his parking space, or played their stereos too loud. This is an example of what mental health professionals call projection - unconsciously projecting one's own unacceptable feelings onto other people, so that one doesn't have to own them. In some cases, the intolerable feelings are projected not onto a person, but onto an inanimate object, such as a gun, so that the projector believes the gun itself will murder him.
Projection is a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological mechanisms that protect us from feelings that we cannot consciously accept. They operate without our awareness, so that we don't have to deal consciously with "forbidden" feelings and impulses. Thus, if you asked my e-mail correspondent if he really wanted to murder his neighbors, he would vehemently deny it, and insist that other people want to kill him.
Projection is a particularly insidious defense mechanism, because it not only prevents a person from dealing with his own feelings, it also creates a world where he perceives everyone else as directing his own hostile feelings back at him.
Defense mechanisms are normal. All of us use them to some extent, and their use does not imply mental illness. Advocates of victim disarmament may be misguided or uninformed, they may be stupid, or they may be consciously intent on evil, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are "mentally ill".
Some defense mechanisms, however, are healthier than others. A safe general rule is that a defense is healthy if it helps you to function better in your personal and professional life, and unhealthy if it interferes with your life, your relationships, or the well-being of others. Young children utilize projection and denial much more commonly than do healthy adults. On the other hand, "if projection is used as a defense mechanism to a very great extent in adult life, the user's perception of external reality will be seriously distorted."
...Also, it's important to remember that not all anti-gun beliefs are the result of defense mechanisms. Some people suffer from gun phobia, an excessive and completely irrational fear of firearms, usually caused by the anti-gun conditioning they've been subjected to by the media, politicians, so-called "educators," and others. In some cases, gun phobia is caused by an authentic bad experience associated with a firearm. But with all due respect to Col. Jeff Cooper, who coined the term "hoplophobia" to describe anti-gun people, most anti-gun people do not have true phobias. Interestingly, a person with a true phobia of guns realizes his fear is excessive or unreasonable, something most anti-gun folks will never admit.
Because defense mechanisms distort reality in order to avoid unpleasant emotions, the person who uses them has an impaired ability to recognize and accept reality. This explains why...anti-gun people persist in believing that their neighbors and co- workers will become mass murderers if allowed to own firearms.
We found plenty of examples of projection in the comments we received.
In these two examples, the correspondents project their fear about what they would do if they had a concealed handgun:
You are total assholes.
Guns and gun nuts like you are the problem: not the solution. The last thing I want in this world is to go somewhere: ANYWHERE: where one of you idiots are carrying a concealed weapon. I despise what You stand for. Guns are used for killing You are merely stooges for the NRA and gun manufacturers. Go to Hell!
And from "White conservative christian":
When is your next training class on brainwashing Americans into thinking killing children is ok.
Projections of what might happen if they had a gun are obvious in their expressed fears of the rest of us having them. Those are two of the more mild examples, and we're just getting started...
Again, from Dr. Thompson:
...Victimhood is good business for organizations that foster victim status. As victims, the members depend upon the organization to protect them, and the organization in turn relies on members for funding and political power. In the interest of self-preservation, these organizations work hard at preserving hatred and bigotry and at keeping their members defenseless - and therefore dependent.
...In our current society, victimhood has many perceived benefits, but there are some serious drawbacks. Victims tend to see the world as a scary and threatening place. They believe that others treat them differently, unfairly, and even maliciously - and that they are helpless to do anything about it. This belief, that they are being mistreated and are helpless to resist, generates tremendous rage, and often, serious depression.
...So, unable psychologically to cope with such rage, people who view themselves as victims: (1) use defense mechanisms to displace it into irrational beliefs about neighbors killing each other, and the infallibility of police protection, and (2) attempt to regain control by controlling gun owners, whom they wrongly perceive as "the enemy".
A certain segment of raging correspondents mainly resorted to name-calling:
K.J. Lanz wrote:
Keep your nose out of this issue !!!! You are only adding fuel to an already burning issue !!!Dp the sensible thing and stay the hell out of it!!! This is none your concern !!! Jerks !!!
You are disgusting! You are what is wrong with our country!!! You are afraid he doesn't have a gun to defend himself! Well guess what? Neither did the child he killed!! I hope your members that find this offensive and drop their memberships. I can't believe I live in a country filled with so many idiots, it makes me sick!! You are all nothing but disgusting pigs and you are ruining America you spineless cowards!!!
Eugene Mead wrote:
Are you guys crazy givin that gun tootin viggilaty money to get another GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOU IDIOTS!!! First you want to buy Zimmerman a gun and now training teacher to be armed in classrooms!??! I am ashamed to be a resident of Ohio and a teacher and have you guys even be in the same state. You are vile and just as bad as those who are murdering our kids. Zimmerman can buy HIS OWN GUN! Teachers DON'T NEED GUNS in schools! I am all for hiring ex-military to guard schools to give them jobs after coming back but what you are doing is plain stupid. If I hear of you arming teachers at any school, I will go there and stop it. Have your guns for home protection and have them for going to the range or hunting but leave them out of schools you fools. And PLEASE remove yourselves from Ohio. Your kind of ignorance and stupidity isn't wanted here by the majority of sane Ohioans. Please and thank you. May God have mercy on your souls.
Benjamin Panthera wrote:
are SICK in the head to be touting your effort on buying a murderer a new gun!! YOU ARE SICK AND TWISTED and IN NOW WAY REPRESENTATIVE OF REAL AMERICANS!! YOU ARE PATHETIC AND SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES! GOOD LUCK TAKING YOUR GUNS INTO HELL/HEAVEN!! YOU DUMBASS COUNTRY REDNECKS! THE NORTH WON- LET IT GO!!
And there were the raging people expressing death wishes and/or death threats:
"Bandhomosexuality" directly threatened George Zimmerman's life:
FUCK YOU ASSHOLES HE WILL BE DEAD SOON.
Lloyd Lachow prayed someone will murder George Zimmerman:
I pray to Our Lord Jeesus every day that He protect George Zimmerman and keep him safe and whole so that the blessed person who shoots him in his fat, racist face gets a clean kill.
Will Coning likewise expressed a death wish for Zimmerman:
I'm a firm believer in the Constitution and will die protecting it! Zimmerman is guilty and deserves to die for his terrible crime. He needs no gun for he is a walking dead man.
Cynthia Smith wished Buckeye Firearms Foundation volunteers would "reap what we sow":
TO WHOM THIS MAY CONCERN, I READ YOUR TRYING TO HELP GEORGEZIMMERMAN GET A NEW GUN. WHY YOU DIRTY LOW DOWN PIECE OF CRAP. HELPING A ILLEGAL ALIEN WHO KILLED A UNARMDED BLACK TEEN. YOU SEE WHY I CANNOT STAND YOU DIRTY WHITE BASTARDS. IF HE WAS A WHITE BOY YOU WOULD THINK DIFFERENT. WELL JUST REMEMBER I WILL BE READING PSALM 37 ABOUT YOU AND THE FAT GREASE BALL. YOU SHALL REAP WHAT YOU SOW. ASS HOLE.
Miriam Green warned "you'll get yours":
YOU'RE NOTHING BUT DISGUSTING PIECES OF SHIT. THE SCUM THAT FEEDS ON SCUM. HOW THE FUCK YOU DO YOU ASSHATS SLEEP AT NIGHT? YOU'RE FUCKING PATHETIC COWARDS THAT HAVE TO HIDE BEHIND A GUN. JUST REMEMBER FUCKTARDS, YOU'LL GET YOURS.
On Facebook, Leslie Steele said she is praying for BFF volunteers and everyone who donated to be shot - in this case by Zimmerman himself:
My prayer is that Zimmerman will move to Ohio and provide everyone last one of you who supplied a killer a gun the opportunity to share Trayvon Martin's actual experience with you literally and that you return him the favor and see who is the last person standing. Sad and embarrassing day for the state of Ohio.
Also on Facebook, Joe Wells expressed his hope that everyone who donated to the fund be hunted like animals:
You dumb stupid Ohio thoughtless monkeyes. What an embarassment you are to the greatest of all states.. Ought to be a season on every dumb sh.... member who donated to this glorified mall cops bank account.. You people embarass OHIO.. Stupid dumb corn shuckers..
Y. Jiminez wished the worst for BFF volunteers and hopes our children are shot:
It is one thing to support ownership of guns. It's another thing to be insensitive about the death of young boy and to encourage the purchase of a gun to an irresponsible user. I hope that one of your children is shot by mistake and that everyone goes out and buys the killer a gun. What you are doing is just completely insensitive and outrageous and I can't even understand how you don't see it that way. Regardless of the verdict, George Zimmerman followed a young kid and did so because he felt comfortable that he had his gun with him. He instigated a fight and killed a young boy. This is exactly what groups like yours get such a bad reputation. It's not about gun ownership anymore and protecting one self. You are supporting irresponsible gun use. Disgusting and despicable and I wish the worst for you deep from the bottom of my heart.
Mikes Jones hoped BFF volunteers would receive "all the wickedness that comes your way":
You guys are a bunch of idiots and I hope you rot in hell once you get there. Hopefully you being an idiot now, you will pay for later since you think its up to you to play god and support harm. May you receive all the wickedness that comes your way. Smoochies
Commenters at the Huffington Post also seethed with rage:
I would like to meet this coward in a ring no guns,And see who walks away standing,
James Adam Carrington
With any luck, the next time he stalks and attempts to kill an unarmed person, that target will take the gun away and use it on GZ. THAT would be justice.
Maybe the next person in an accident, once looking up and seeing this child Killer George Zimmurderer staring down at him or her, will have a gun on their person, and seeing this murderer looking at them, will blow him away.
If it had been me he was stocking the dark and rainy night it would have been Zimmerman on the end of stand you ground.
Commenters at ThinkProgress were also raging:
There is no limit to stupidity. I hope Zimmerman feels threatened when they give him the gun and shoots them all.
Including their whole families and everyone who comes to the funerals...
That same gun given to GZ will be his downfall,ppl r out there that is sharp shooters n will not hesitate to waste this big blob.Hope the gun shop furnishing him the gun will pick up the pieces.
And More Rage!
And then there were the calls to personal cell phones of various BFA volunteers:
"Aaron", calling from a blocked number, chastising us for "re-arming a killer."
A self-described "angry African American" called from a 622 area code to say he "may want to purchase a gun someday but I'm not going to buy it from you all because you supported the murder of a young man." (we don't sell guns)
"Curtis Alexander" called from a 419 area code and threatened a volunteer with death - and even cocked his shotgun to prove he had a gun.
And that, folks, is how this "peace-loving" bunch rolls.
Dr. Thompson offers various techniques on how to speak to persons like this, and I commend her article to you.
In an piece such as this, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the many more of the positive, supportive messages we received, including offers to buy or donate guns or gear, offers to do free FFL transfers, etc. - all accompanying donations that amounted to over $12,000!
Given the overwhelming level of support we received through this endeavor, I remain convinced that our country should not be judged by the types of people represented above, who are often given the most attention in the news media, but rather by the humble masses who prove every day through their actions that they love freedom and justice.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.