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Stand your ground is not about guns.
Neither is the obsession about stand your ground.
It is about freedom.
Just not your freedom.

I need to back up a bit and tell you what it is about.
It is about the freedom to interfere in other people's business.
Ok, I know, they claim to be all about individual rights.
The right to own a gun.
The right to own any gun.
The right to own dozens, hundreds, thousands of guns.

It isn't, not really.
And it is not about fear, or power (in the strictest sense) or racism (in a literal sense).
It is about the right to correct, interject, DISCIPLINE other people's behavior.

Think about the 3 big cases. Zimmerman believed he had the right to decide who belonged in "his" neighborhood and to correct the behavior of those who entered his sector. Dunn believed he had the right to determine what music should be played in the parking lot of a business he did not own, and to demand that it be played at a "proper" volume. Reeves had the right to demand that a man in a theater stop using his cell phone.

These men believed that a) they had the right and responsibility to control and correct the actions of those around them, b) they deserved respect and deference for their efforts, and c) any hostility toward their stewardship of the public sphere should be considered dangerous and must be squelched.

There is more:

This is all part of the authoritarian/punishment model prevalent in the southern culture in general and specifically among cultural conservatives. The sense that the world around them is protected from whirling out of control by their stewardship.

It is also part of the "if someone bothers you, you have to hit them" value system. I first recognized this system when I was teaching high school special education in a mill town. There was a big fight in my class because one boy was "flicking" paper footballs at a classmate all the way across the room. The footballs were not even landing close to the intended target. But it led to a fight, a concussion, and two days in in-school suspension. Always alert to a teachable moment, i decided to talk to the other students about what happened.

Why were Obie and Henry in in-school suspension?
There was a fight.
What could Obie have done other than fight?
Nothing. If someone bothers you, you have to hit them. End of discussion.
There it is. If someone bothers you, you have to hit them. With words, with fists, with guns. Nothing can be left unchallenged. And because your own rage is barely contained, you know, without debate, that the one you are facing is also filled with rage.

Regardless of his response, it will be seen as disrespect or rage. So you have to challenge disrespect with demands of compliance. And you have to meet rage with force.

Originally posted to vickijean on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Existential Angst (10+ / 0-)

    I agree with the post but I want to point out another element.  Many of these gun people have so much of their identity wrapped up in guns that threatening to take them away or even require them to be responsible feels like a threat to their existence.  Even not being able to enforce your views has such an existential element that it drives the shootings.  It's life and death on both sides, physical for the victim and psychological for the shooters.

    Mandatory Gun Insurance would provide for victims, encourage safety and not be an excessive burden on gun owners. How to do it at Gun Insurance Blog. I also make posts at Huffington as Tom Harvey.

    by guninsuranceblog on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:08:15 PM PST

  •  perhaps (6+ / 0-)

    But it is also about the right to interfere, intervene, correct, control, manipulate strangers

  •  A few months ago I read an analysis of (4+ / 0-)

    tipping on this site, and how some people reacted to restaurants that did not allow tipping. They were outraged. This was interpreted to be b/c they typically used tipping (or not) as punishment, and if they couldn't punish, correct, feel superior to, the waitpeople, well, they weren't going to spend money there, that's for sure.

    It's not the same - I doubt it springs from the rage culture you wrote about - but the right to control of other people's behavior struck a chord.

  •  I believe it's much more simple. (4+ / 0-)

    I believe at its core lax laws concerning guns a) keep manufacturers rich b) keep politicians rich with party donations and most importantly c) keep conservative constituents loyal and in the "fear zone."

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:30:54 AM PST

  •  It is about guns because using it fixes their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Duckmg

    Problems. There is one less uppity negro in the world thanks to an evil white man & evil white Anerican man's culture.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:33:43 AM PST

  •  Can you clarify one thing for me? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kasoru, FrankRose, KVoimakas

    Does your insight about my motivations as a gun owner come from your own personal experience as a gun owner, or are you speaking with the exact same level of moral authority on the issue as these people had on birth control and women's rights at Issa's congressional hearing:

    After all, I'm sure that all of them deal with hosts women on a daily basis, so that should give them the insight and personal knowledge needed to make their pronouncements without any sort of bias or error, just as your personal experience with gun owners has made your broad brush an equally infallible painting tool.

    It is about the freedom to interfere in other people's business.
    A distasteful freedom that you would never stoop to wanting to use, I presume?

    To be slightly less snarky about it, if you thought that too many young women were having abortions, would your best solution be to ban abortions and teach young people afraid of sex? Or would it be to improve education and work to change the cultural attitudes that lead to negative outcome you are trying to reduce?

    •  So you think criticism of shooters in public place (4+ / 0-)

      is criticism of gun ownership? Because I didn't read it that way. I read her analysis as a critique  of a culture that thinks society will whirl out of control without strict control by its self-appointed stewards and swift, severe punishment of any who defy its authority. Sort of get-off-my-lawn writ large.

      Granted, it is only so deadly because these jerks are walking around with loaded guns.

      The past 50 years we: -Ended Jim Crow. -Enacted the Voting Rights Act. -Attained reproductive rights (contraceptive & abortion). -Moved toward pay equity. Republicans want to take our country back. I WON'T GO BACK!

      by petesmom on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 05:42:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are right (5+ / 0-)

        I was not talking about owning guns, I was talking about stand your ground. And I really wasn't talking about individual motivation as much as a broader cultural context. Much similar to the often panned statement by Obama about clinging to guns and religion. I can only speak for the South but there is a subculture here of people who are very angry that they cannot actively control those around them. They were raised in an authoritarian culture and longed for the day when they would yield the strap. They were robbed of this by what seems to them to be an overturning of the social order.  Guns are merely a tool.

      •  He seems to think that his gun corresponds to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        any woman's vagina, and his analogy depends totally on that distorted correspondence. It's an unintentionally ironic validation of the author's point. His freedom with his gun corresponds to a woman's right to control over her body...

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:48:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Certainly the Zimmerman/Dunn types reflect the (4+ / 0-)

    need to control as you say. And if you listen to them talk or read some of the writings of the "gun nuts," they seem to think that concealed carry gives them some sort of authority coupled with a duty to mess with people who, in their view, are out of line.
       And they seem oblivious to the possibility that the other guy might also be armed.
       There are also people who are simply attached to their firearms for some indefinable reason. They don't want to leave the house without it. I've known some that keep a gun in their laps while they watch TV. Many have shotguns or other firearms concealed throughout their house.
       They don't seem to be actively afraid and except for their strange fetish, seem to be nice people otherwise.
        If the objects of their affections were not lethal killing machines, we might view them as having an interesting paraphilia.

  •  Kudos to you, vickijean (0+ / 0-)

    for daring to take on problems you observe happening in your regional culture.

    This is all part of the authoritarian/punishment model prevalent in the southern culture in general and specifically among cultural conservatives. The sense that the world around them is protected from whirling out of control by their stewardship.
    Expect the usual cast of characters to accuse you of painting with too broad a brush, but you nailed an important aspect with this post. The right to carry is becoming a perverted extension of the legitimate "right to be free in my home and secure in my person." It is being vigorously pushed into the public sphere by those who self-deputize and assert their own JJE* degree.

    There is stark contrast with with silent majority of responsible gun owners (some of whom I know) who go about their lives in public without drawing attention to themselves and their gun. Most people around them will never know that they have a gun in their home, or a CCW permit, or when they are carrying.

    Caveat: I am a strong supporter of the individual right to keep an bear arms for self-defense as articulated in Heller & McDonald.

    *JJE is Judge, Jury, Executions (h/t 88Kathy)

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:38:14 AM PST

    •  I also support the right to bear arms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I said clearly and directly my point was not about guns other than as a tool of authoritarian rage. I am an Army brat. A native of West Virginia. Lived my entire adult life in the deep south, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi. So nearly everyone I know has guns. My point is that stand your ground is not about guns or protection. It is an aggressive confrontational approach to interacting with a changing world

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