Let's be honest. He's scared of the thing. That's understandable, so am I.
But I'm a girl and have the luxury of being able to admit it. I don't have to
masquerade squeamishness as grand principle -- in the interest of mankind, no
A man does. He has to say things such as "One Taniqua Hall is one too
many," as a New York radio talk-show host did in referring to the
9-year-old New York girl who accidentally was shot earlier this year by her
12-year-old cousin while playing with his uncle's gun. But the truth is he
desperately needs Taniqua Hall, just like he needs as many Columbines
and Santees as can be mustered, until they
spell an end to the Second
Amendment -- and not for the benefit of the masses, but for the benefit of
He often accuses men with guns of "compensating for something." The
truth is quite the reverse. After all, how is he supposed to feel knowing there
are men out there who aren't intimidated by the big bad inanimate villain? How
is he to feel in the face of adolescent boys who have used a family gun
effectively in defending the family from an armed intruder? So if he doesn't
want to touch a gun, he doesn't want other men to either. And to achieve his
ends, he'll use the only weapon he knows how to manipulate: the law.
This is not to say that sexual and psychological insecurities are the sole
motivations driving the antigun male, or that they explain all men against guns.
Certainly there must be some whose motives are pure, who perhaps do care so much
as to look tirelessly for policy solutions to teen-age aggression and domestic
negligence where none exist. But for a potentially large underlying contributor,
it's gone unexplored and unacknowledged.
People are suspicious of what they do not know -- and not only does this man
not know how to use a gun, he doesn't know the men who do or the number of
people who have successfully used one to
defend themselves from injury or death. But he is better left in the dark;
his life is hard enough knowing there are men out there who don't sit
cross-legged. That they're able to handle a firearm instead of being handled by
it would be too much to bear.
Such a man also is best kept huddled in big cities, where he feels safer than
he might if thrown out on his own into a rural setting, in an isolated house on
a quiet street where he would feel naked and helpless. Lacking the confidence
that would permit him to be sequestered in sparseness, and lacking a gun, he
finds comfort in the cloister of the crowd.
The very ownership of a gun for defense of home and family implies some
assertiveness and a certain self reliance. But if our man kept a gun in the
house and an intruder broke in and started attacking his wife in front of him,
he wouldn't be able later to say, "He had a knife -- there was nothing I
could do!" Passively watching in horror while already trying to make peace
with the violent act, scheduling a therapy session and forgiving the perpetrator
before the attack is even finished wouldn't be the option it otherwise is.
No. Better to emasculate all men.
Because, let's face it: He's a lover, not a fighter. And he doesn't want to
get shot in case he has an affair with your wife.
Of course, it wouldn't be completely honest not to admit that owning a
firearm carries with it some risk to unintended targets. That's the trade-off
with a gun: The right to defend one's life and way of life isn't without peril
to oneself. And the last thing this man wants to do is risk his life -- if even
to save it. For he is guided by a dread-fear for his life and has more
confidence in almost anyone else's ability to protect him than his own,
preferring to place himself at the mercy of the villain or in the competence of
authorities (his line of defense consisting of locks, alarm systems, reasoning
with the attacker, calling the police or, should fighting back occur to him,
thrashing a heavy vase).
In short, he is a man begging for subjugation. He longs for its promise of
equality in helplessness. After all, only when that strange, independent alpha
breed of male is helpless along with him will he feel adequate. Indeed, his
freedom lies in this other man's containment.
Julia Gorin writes satire and political commentary for JewishWorldReview.com
and does stand-up comedy from New York City.