Social Butterfly

It's Psychological

Psychology Research Helps Explain Why People Bring Guns To Protests



Fear is a tricky thing. Our biology uses fear to help us get safe when we are threatened, and sometimes that means we’ll do anything to feel strong. Our behavior often makes sense to us, even if it seems extreme to others.


That’s because the fear response is deep in our brain circuitry. It happens at a preconscious level, and even changes the way we think. Because the response is unconscious, it takes mindfulness to notice it. If we don’t recognize what fear does, we might think it makes perfect sense to march on the capitol building carrying weapons of intimidation.


But are men with weapons like that actually scared? Yes. That’s why they have the weapons. It’s a fear response designed to make them feel stronger when facing a threat.

Many of us value the stay-at-home strategy as the rational and courageous way to protect each other from a pandemic. And yet, facing a threat as contagious and deadly as the novel coronavirus makes some of us feel small like, well... mice.


And that’s where guns come in. We don’t want to feel like the mouse, we’d rather feel like the cat. When animals are afraid and choose to fight, they do what they can to appear bigger and more threatening. Humans carry guns for this very reason: it makes them feel big and strong.


When we arm ourselves, we are sending a clear message that we are ready to fight. The wisdom comes in making sure we are fighting the correct enemy.

The question remains, who are we fighting?



Full article from Forbes here:





Honored Social Butterfly

They bring their guns to protests because they have no other use for them. Personally, I am going to start bringing firecrackers to those protests. It will make things SO MUCH MORE interesting. 

Honored Social Butterfly

It is interesting to me.   I'm female.   I've worked in a jail.  I've lived in Baltimore City alone.  I've been threatened.   I hike alone.  I bike alone.  Women are at risk walking alone anyway.   Life can be dangerous for women in many different situations.  You learn how to cope -- how to think smart, how to avoid, and how to deescalate.   


So when I see a man carrying a gun in public, I always wonder why he feels so scared he needs to up his defense power to a level higher than everyone else around him.   That somehow he can't function or defend himself on a level playing field.    Unless you are law enforcement and required to carry a gun, I assume folks toting guns are scared to even be out in the general public. 


And hats off to you @MsStretch I've seen bears but never close enough that I have to worry about them.  🙂 

Honored Social Butterfly

Fear can be quite a motivator. And does lack of inner strength or even ignorance produce more fear?

As the protesters, here bringing guns, do not want a discussion, they are looking to intimidate...and they don’t want to understand, they want to dominate. 
The really sad part here, I do presume that trump supports their actions...that is the source of their fear...a president who promotes fear!

Is that how we choose to live?

Esteemed Social Butterfly

I was reading about the fear factor in gun-toting protesters.  Might have been this same article.


Reminds me of when hiking and encountering a black bear, I create a ruckus.  I wave my hiking sticks over my head to appear bigger and start singing (which would scare anyone, but it's the noise thing) to frighten the bear with my 'big bad presence'.   Am I in fear?  Of course, I am.  The last thing I want is confrontation with a big animal with huge claws and teeth.   Even though black bears are generally not aggressive, I'm just putting on a show to hopefully, make him think I'm bigger and badder than he is, so he doesn't sense my fear.  Seems very similar to waving big guns on state capitol steps.

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Does AARP donate to political parties or endorse candidates?

AARP is strictly non-partisan and always has been. We never endorse or donate to candidates, political parties or political action committees.

Learn more.

AARP Members Only Games

Play members only games, like FIll Ins, Lumeno, 2048 and a collaborative, multiplayer Let's Crossword.

Play Now
AARP Members Only Games Logos
AARP Rewards

Solve Crosswords. Earn Rewards. Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts.

Get started with AARP Rewards now!