In a recent online debate about gun control, I sensed the way the gun advocates were actually “hostile” in a very specific sense. Hostility in the sense I think usefully defined in George Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory as what results when someone’s theory of how the world works is serially invalidated. When it no longer works as a predictive method.
The rather fragile self view of many men based on unquestioned dominance over women is now being indeed serially invalidated, as women overtake men in educational attainment in many countries. Take on more senior roles in work. And expect to be equal emotional partners in marriage, or live their own lives, and certainly have control over reproductive matters, and not just be emotional props to fragile male egos.
If creating an equal playing field has had this effect, it maybe suggests we need to reconsider how we raise boys to help them be less scardy pants about themselves, the world and their place in it, so needing to be less hostile in Kelly’s sense. Less oppressive.
It has certainly occurred to me that 10,000 years of societal structures to oppress women (and for that matter minorities) are driven by feelings of personal inadequacy by their largely male architects. Why create oppressive structures if you aren’t scared? And in the case of the violence against women (and minorities) type of men, yep they do seem indeed to be inadequate. Mistaking power for love. Hence the need for guns. Better to remove the need for guns than threaten them with taking them away while they are still scared.
And I don’t propose crop dusting men with unjustified self-esteem either, as the education system seems to. Self-esteem to be valuable has to be earned and based on realism and not encouraging narcissistic grandiosity. Teach boys (and girls for that matter) how to achieve realistic, earned self-esteem and compassion for self and others maybe? Men need a men’s movement of some sort to support this. It is not up to women to do this, though in helping men raise boys differently they can help. But men need to be different role models showing compassion for self and others. Hunt if you must, but spare us the gun as crutch for your mental fears.