Like guns, they are tools for sport that can also kill or cripple. In the absence of owning a gun, I’ve thought about keeping a bat or a club by my bed, just in case. But it doesn’t bring me feelings of comfort or reassurance, to play through those images.
I can think about the myriad bad things that could happen to me and my family, to rationalize planning for a self-defense scenario. I can replay scenes from the movie Death Wish, where it brought me joy to watch Charles Bronson kill, because it seemed like the right thing to do (or so I thought, as a 10 year-old).
I’ll take a gun if I go into the wilderness where there are bears that can kill me. But for all the beautiful places there are in this world, why go where you need a gun? Just because you can?
At our core, we have the same instincts toward fear and violence here as other parts of the world. The difference is, we make it American.