This started out to be a comment in response to ubu52 who said:
Since this is only part one of a four part series, how do any of you know she didn’t get training?
The response grew and the links increased to the point I decided it really should be a post on it’s own.
At the time of the writing of the post being discussed she had no training. Perhaps she attended a class this last weekend and just hasn’t made a post about it yet. We’ll see what she says in her next post.
She is playing a very risky game. She is in “danger” of having her beliefs shattered. It is my guess that she had a set of beliefs totally at odds with reality.
In effect she was challenged by Wayne LaPierre:
Wayne LaPierre, told the country, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I wondered what would it be like to be that good guy with a gun? What would it be like to get that gun, live with that gun, be out and about with that gun. Finally, what happens when you don’t want that gun any more?
I decided to find out.
There are at least three ways to interpret this.
- She is doing this to further proselytize about the hazards of private gun ownership from a position of “greater expertise”.
- She is sincere in her claims and really wants to understand more about gun ownership and what it is like to carry a gun.
- She has doubts about her beliefs and is doing this to confirm, or possibly refute, them.
The first post, in what is planned as a four part series, clearly fits interpretation 1. That she is so certain she will not want the gun after a month is very telling of her predisposition.
But read the first page of this website. She was (and probably still is) firmly committed to a set of beliefs and has relevance to action (condition 1 from the website). She has taken actions that are difficult to undo. These include being on the board of directors for the Brady Campaign and writing a book advocating more restrictions on gun ownership (condition 2). Her beliefs are almost certainly sufficiently specific and refutable by real world evidence that given sufficient contact with the reality of gun owners and gun ownership condition 3 will be met.
There are at least two paths for the future of Yewman’s relationship with gun politics. We have some control over which path is taken. Conditions 4 and 5 from the website hold the key to which path she will take.
Condition 4 states that undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief. Condition 5 states that if she has strong social support for her faulty beliefs, even in spite of and in fact because of, the disproving evidence then she will increase her anti-gun activities.
She admits she didn’t know what it feels like or means to own and carry a gun but she surely had some preconceived idea or she would not advocate against gun ownership. I believe those beliefs can only flourish in those that are ignorant, malicious, or mentally defective.
From reading her writings (this is not the first work of hers I have read) I’m nearly certain she is not mentally defective (on the other hand Joan Peterson clearly is). I also believe she has the best of intentions. She is not in the same category as those that advocated for gun control so people of color could not defend themselves from the KKK.
I believe ignorance is her only defect. But ignorant beliefs, absent mental defect, do not long survive contact with reality unless there is extensive social support for those beliefs.The more contact she has with the reality of gun owners and gun ownership the greater the chance she will have sympathy for our culture and the more likely she recognize the flaws in the gun control culture. The very fact that she is censuring sincere helpful comments must raise the intensity of her cognitive dissonance.
If we wish to divert her path to one which is not hostile to gun ownership then we should be doing two things. The first is we should give her undeniable disconfirmatory evidence that her beliefs are faulty. The second is we need to give her an alternate source of social support rather than her ignorant, malicious, and mentally defective fellow travelers. If we can do that then the chances are very high that she will discard the erroneous beliefs. If we don’t then she will be an even stronger advocate for restrictions on gun ownership.
Are we up for the task? Or will we blow it by attacking her every misstep and error thus confirming beliefs that gun owners are belligerent, rude, and angry people that cannot be trusted with sharp objects let alone guns?