This one is bothering me for a lot of reasons. It makes me sad to think of the injuries and deaths occurring because of gun violence, naturally. More than that, it makes me very annoyed and afraid that this seems to pop up at least once a week on the local news.
Just this morning I heard another one, and you can sum it up like the newscaster did: last night, two men were arguing in a Walmart when one of them pulled out a gun.
This scenario, where the gender or location may change, has played out far too often in the news media. Two people are arguing (alcohol consumption or drugs optional), one pulls a gun. Sometimes a person runs off, sometimes shots are fired, sometimes someone ends up dead.
It used to just lead to brawling. Two people arguing and here comes the brawl or catfight. Cops may be called, egos bruised, some bloody knuckles and noses. Eventually they’d go to jail, pay a fine, part ways… maybe even have a beer together after tempers cooled way down and they could reconcile. But no body bags. Now there’s a gun involved far more often.
The senselessness pisses me off the most. It makes me incredulous, because I want to know two things in all these scenarios. I want the person pulling the gun to answer these questions, and to see if they even CAN answer them:
- Do you think you automatically win the argument because you pull a gun out?
- You just pulled a gun out: is this bickering really worth life and/or limb, you asshole?
Other than tempers becoming literally “hair-trigger” these days, it’s the casual use of a gun to settle matters that makes the alarm bells go off. I mean, you’re losing a VERBAL altercation and your answer is to pull out a GUN?
Wonder what the NRA has to say about that? I hear crickets…
It makes me shake my head a bit now to think about that, and then you hear people say that “violence is not the answer.”
Try telling that to these guys.
But then again, what do we see all the time in the media and in government?
According to the news and movies and social media, violence actually IS the answer.
I still want the person who pulls a gun during an argument to tell me what’s going through their head in that moment, because sometimes it ends up deadly. And I highly doubt the “win” was worth rotting in a jail cell for years.
When losing an argument, why is the response to pull out a gun? What is that person afraid of?
It feels like a spin-off of the question “what is the hardest three word phrase to say in the English language.” The most common answer was “I love you.” But actually, the hardest three words to string together (according to social scientists) are “I don’t know.”
Risking being wrong is suitable grounds for violent retaliation for some people. I think we all need to calm down and take a crash course in discussion, decorum, reflection, and constructive criticism. People can’t let themselves be wrong, and will defend their views to the death.
That’s also a person who cannot be taught, which makes me damned scared considering the anti-reflective and anti-intellectual strain that’s been running through society more and more the past few years.
Anybody ever wonder why a person’s first response might to pull out a gun when losing a verbal argument? Anybody know someone that did that? What do you think?
4 thoughts on “Q#119– What is going through the mind of a person who is arguing with another in public, and then pulls out a gun?”
The root of rage is fear. The person carries the gun out of fear, the expectation of threat. When the confrontation is perceived as a potential existential threat, out comes the gun. Once the gun is in the hand and the Fight Or Flight Syndrome is in full action, any move by the other person that can be interpreted at the lower brain level as attack (word or deed) will be. The trigger is pulled without conscious deliberation. The rational mind is essentially shut down. The explanations of “Why I thought my life was in danger” are rationalizations after the fact.
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As a former counselor, my clients always had a “good reason” to pull a weapon. It mostly boiled down to two “thoughts”. 1. “He was going to hurt me so I had to stop him” or 2.”I have the right to force you to agree with me”…with that second fallacy being the one most often mentioned. It’s all rage and control…using a weapon means they are “taking back control of whatever”. Hasn’t got a damned thing to do fear.
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or at best, a fear of losing control? I hate those news stories. Wish they’d never happen. And odd how just about every time these confrontations come up on the news, it’s men doing it. Reminds me of that old saying, “men are afraid women are going to laugh at them. women are afraid men are going to kill them.”
perception and control issues are a crazy combination.