As a practicing Catholic, my wife hosted a party for friends and later in the night, we attended another party by a close friend whose patriarch used to be a bank manager but now an accomplished gun instructor. He has an array of exquisite collections of firearms. He teaches people on how to handle a firearm, make a fast draw and reload an empty clip. He initiates people how to register firearms and keep them properly so people won’t get hurt. But the very essence of the “right to bear” arms itself conjures up an idea of hurting people so you can reclaim your “inalieanable rights” from despotic governments and to use your firearm for defensive purposes is to hurt people who is about to do you harm.
How do people then get out of this moral dilemma?
Psychologist David Smith said that we have to engage in self-deception.
“Perceiving the enemy as non-human would liberate us from inhibitions against killing them. A perceptual shift of this nature would enable human beings to take the lives of others as casually as they would swat a mosquito, poison a rat, or impale a writhing worm on a fishhook.”
Thus explains our tendency to label our despots as rats so we can easily eliminate them and our enemies as mosquitoes provides the psychological basis of getting out of this dilemma.
But Nietzsche warns us:
“He who fights with monster might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”