Gun Control: The Promotion of Denial

Have you ever asked yourself: Why, when evidence overwhelmingly shows gun banners are wrong, do they persist in making outrageous claims about law-abiding gun owners? There may finally be an answer, so read on.

“Protecting your proverbial castle would not only include your home, but also your car and any place you are legally allowed to be. "It would decriminalize the use of deadly force or lethal force in self-protection circumstances," said Wayne Groth – a supporter of [Michigan] state House Bill 5142 and House Bill 5143.” 

“There is no reason to pass a law that sends a signal to the most aggressive people in society that they can act more aggressively than they can now,” said Peter Hamm, Communications Director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. [Emphasis added] 

Michigan House Bill 5142 would allow the use of “deadly force” without first trying to retreat if a law-abiding gun owner is attacked in their home or on their surrounding land. House Bill 5143 goes further by stating that the defender does not have a duty to retreat and is also free from prosecution and civil action if their actions are found to be lawful. Such defense would be allowable in a “dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle.” This bill also mentions conditions under which the use of deadly force is not acceptable. For instance, in the case of simple trespass, the defender may not use deadly force. Thus, the law-abiding gun owner or Right-to-Carry licensee is responsible to understand and follow the law or suffer terrible consequences, which is simply a continuation of current law.

As to Mr. Hamm’s implication that gun owners are “the most aggressive people in society,” we should at least try to determine if Michigan RTC licensees make the state more violent. After all, Oxford English Dictionary defines aggressive as: “ready or likely to attack or confront.” Therefore, thee should be some statistical record to show that violent attacks or confrontations increased after Michigan enacted its RTC law in 2001. Instead, what we find is that from 2001 through 2004, Michigan’s homicide, robbery, and assault rates dropped more than the national average.  

Michigan Vs. U.S. Violent Crime, 2001-2004

Violence          Homicide         Rape                Robbery           Assault

Michigan          -10.0%             -4.5%              +2.8%              -13.6%           -13.1%

U.S.                 -7.7%              -1.8%              +1.3%              -7.9%              -8.6%


All RTC applicants had to pass a criminal background check before they qualified for the license. Is Mr. Hamm thinking that once licensed, they would become violent criminals? Returning to Mr. Hamm’s interview in the Michigan “Castle Doctrine” article, he states:

We don’t think that passing this bill will lead to a large number of incidents of unnecessary violence. We’re afraid it will lead to two or three. And, frankly, that’s far too many.” – Peter Hamm, Communications Director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 

Mr. Hamm has publicly defined his criteria for a bad gun law: “two or three incidents” of “unnecessary violence” are “far too many.”

Why weren’t the gun banners there to protect the Carpenter family children when they were murdered by a madman wielding a pitchfork? Due to California’s Safe Storage law, a 14-year-old girl who knew how to handle firearms was unable to save her siblings.

Here are two more stories to round out Mr. Hamm’s “two or three” criteria:

Despite the presence of her parents and a sheriff's deputy, a 15-year-old Cookeville, Tennessee, teenager was still forced to defend herself from an abusive ex-boyfriend. Confronted by the deputy and the girl’s parents outside of the family's residence, the young man broke free from the deputy, jumped a fence, and kicked in the door of the house where the girl was hiding. There the ex-boyfriend came at the girl to attack her as she held the phone–with a 911 operator on the line–in one hand and a Ruger .44 Magnum in the other. A single fatal shot ended the attack. [The Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, Tennessee, June 13, 1996.]


When two armed men broke into his family's estate home in Arcadia, Calif., and one held a gun to his mother’s head and the other went after his sister with a knife, 14-year-old Chuck Bluth dialed 911. Then he grabbed a rifle, quickly loaded it and fired once as the knife-wielding intruder lunged at him. The shot killed his 220-lb. assailant. The second man fled. [The Star-News, Pasadena, California. September 20, 1986.]


By Mr. Hamm’s criteria, he should be publicly condemning laws that deprive children of the right of self-defense.

Understanding Gun Banner Behavior

In the article On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, Colonel Dave Grossman explains the psychology of a person who fears and hates those who use firearms for defensive purposes.

First, he defines three behavioral archetypes:

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

Next, Colonel Grossman explains the mental state of sheep:

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the  path of denial.

Finally, he explains why the “sheep” react so dramatically when exposed to signs of reality:

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain… It is denial that turns people into sheep.


All true sheep must deny the wolf exists. In order to maintain their denial, they must force all sheepdogs to become sheep as well. The problem is when we allow the inmates to run the asylum. The Brady Campaigns of the world have license to say what they wish, even if it is untrue, as is their First Amendment right. But if you have any inkling towards being a sheepdog, it is time to speak out loud and long to any who will listen, be they family member, mayor, senator, or president. If you do not, you are throwing in your lot with the sheep.