There’s this ridiculous argument made by anti-gun-freedom-denier types of the line of “what are you afraid of” about people who choose to be armed for self defense. Implicit is that you have to be afraid or you wouldn’t take the precautions.
Let’s look at that:
- Why do you have a fire extinguisher? What are you afraid of?
- Why do you buckle your seat belt before driving? What are you afraid of?
- Why do you look both ways before crossing the street? What are you afraid of?
- Why do you clean, disinfect, and bandage wounds? What are you afraid of?
- Why do you wash your food before eating it? What are you afraid of?
In which of these is “What are you afraid of?” a legitimate argument to say that you shouldn’t do the action? Leaving aside the fact that in some circumstances, being afraid is an entirely rational reaction most of those things aren’t about being afraid, but simply recognizing that there exist bad things that can happen and taking steps to avoid them.
In at least one case the person said “well, if you weren’t afraid of death….”
Well, let’s start with the fact that a lot of my armed friends signed a check to the United States Government “payable for any amount, up to and including my life” and then went places where that was a very real possibility. Hardly something someone “afraid of dying” to the extent that it would trump other things would do.
One doesn’t have to be afraid to prefer one outcome over another. I don’t have to fear chocolate to prefer vanilla. And I don’t have to be afraid of death to prefer life. And I certainly don’t have to be afraid of crime to prefer defense. That a person cannot grasp that speaks volumes about them, and nothing about the people to whom they attach the “what are you afraid of” argument. I suspect they are engaging in what psychologists call projection, either that or in what ordinary people call “lying”–they are well aware that one doesn’t have to be “afraid” to take precautions against bad outcomes, but it is convenient to their attempt to denigrate their opposition to pretend they do.
I am not afraid. I simply prefer some outcomes over others. And I take steps to increase the likelihood of outcomes I prefer and decrease the likelihood of those I do not.