The observation that most humans are “pack animals” and conformists leads me to conclude that in addition to having the obvious detrimental effects of forcing conformity to harmful and even dangerous beliefs there are ways this human characteristic can be exploited to the advantage of freedom loving people. In essence we need to align the pack norms with our principles rather than let the anti-freedom movement align them for us.
I haven’t read it, but I suspect Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes would be very insightful. In the absence of my doing the proper research here are my speculations on the gun issue and how we might take advantage of this human characteristic:
- The more gun owners “come out of the closet” the more difficult it is for the anti-gun bigots to herd the pack in the desired direction.
- The more times you take a new shooter to the range the less people there will be who accept the implied characterization by the bigots of all gun owners as actual or imminent criminals.
- Every time you speak up when someone else is denigrating gun ownership you make it more difficult for others to agree with the anti-gun position.
- Every time a piece of pro-gun legislation is introduced and/or passed it makes it harder for the anti-gun forces to introduce their legislation even if it is mostly unrelated to the pro-gun law. Hence getting a state preemption law passed (YEAH Mike!) helps prevent “assault weapon” legislation from getting a toehold. Another example would be a law requiring the ownership of firearms in one city throws into question a proposal in another state or city to limit gun ownership.
- Every court ruling that says gun ownership, no matter how narrowly defined and incremental from the existing group think, is a right protected by the constitution it makes it harder for the bigots to get critical mass for restricting some other aspect of gun ownership.
We need to create a “pack” where gun ownership and freedom is the predominant viewpoint. When the forces of anti-gun bigotry and socialism are viewed with justified contempt the forces of freedom can then advance and turn back the terrible cloud hanging over our country and the world.
Are there any pro-freedom psychologists and sociologists out there that can contribute more on this topic?