The debate over gun control in America is really a fight over how society should operate, risk management consultant David Ropeik writes for The New York Times.The Times asked experts to weigh in on why gun policy is such an emotional topic, and Ropeik wrote of the deep-seated fears the gun control debate stirs up.
Ropeik says humans are social animals who fall into four groups: hierarchists, individualists, egalitarians, and communitarians.
Hierarchists – who believe in fixed social classes – tend to be socially conservative and favour gun rights. Individualists are basically libertarians who also favour broad Second Amendment liberties.
The two other groups favour gun control.
Fair-minded egalitarians think the governmnent should make the nation more equitable by controlling guns, while communitarians think citizens should sacrifice their gun rights for the common good.
“Such deep roots make the emotional stakes in the gun fight really high, especially for individualists,” he writes, “because having any individual freedom curtailed directly threatens the kind of world they want to live in, the world in which they feel the safest.”
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