Trusting my fellow human beings

I’ve had more comments than usual to my post, Guns and Democracy. Some of them were rude and insulting so they got deleted, but there have also been some thoughtful pro-gun commenters. I want to answer some of the questions posed by one of these people, Josh.

Q. Why you don’t feel safe around your fellow human beings simply because they may or may not be carrying a gun?

A. First, I find this question ironic because I am the one who trusts your average fellow human enough to walk around without carrying a firearm. That being said, my trust is limited and I don’t think whether or not they are carrying a gun has much impact on my faith in humanity. In short, I trust my fellow human beings slightly less than I trust myself, based on context and whatever cognitive proceses are affecting my perception. Read more about that here:

Q.Why are you teaching your children to fear guns?

A. I didn’t teach my children to fear guns. They are rational people who know what guns can do.  They have friends who are refugees from war-torn countries. They once saw a demonstration of cannon exercises and felt the shockwave hit them. But, they also know they will take a gun/hunting safety course when they are older. They are eager to go hunting with their grandfather. They don’t watch television and I think the only books they have read that have anything to do with guns are Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger, another book about a kid who goes bear hunting and comes home with a cub, and the Little House series. In fact, I am so keen on my kids not being paralyzed by fear of guns and gun violence that I actually talked to that guy with the gun in hopes of the kids hearing him say something halfway intelligent and reassuring.

If that is not a demonstration of trust in my fellow humans, I don’t know what is.

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