Metzl: Don’t Underestimate the Psychic Power Guns Hold Over Mere Mortals

Jonathan M. Metzl
Courtesy Vanderbilt University

After years of interviews for the book, I have seen how owning a gun can make people more conservative, and more concerned that liberals will impose laws that leave them unprotected. I spoke to one man who was an “anti-gun liberal” for the first 35 years of his life. Then he started carrying a gun at work. That then developed into his feeling that he could not go anywhere without a gun. He couldn’t get his mail without a gun. He wouldn’t leave the house without a gun. When he heard that “the liberals” are coming to take away his guns — which is what Trump said at the NRA convention — that terrified him. He supports whoever lets him keep his weapons and his power, as he sees it now. There’s something about being a gun owner that makes many people turn into Republicans.

Then there’s the story I tell in my book, about the Waffle House mass shooting in Nashville in 2018. This is another complex story about white male gun ownership. The man who is at the center of my book is the shooter, Travis Reinking. I show his secret home movies – where he talks about his homosexual desires. He would have all these psychotic dreams and fantasies about having sex with other men—but that was not OK in the conservative world where he lived. The gun became his symbol that assured him that he was still a man. As I show, Reinking was literally sleeping naked with his AR-15. A Bushmaster, just like in that ad. The man card could not be more explicit from a psychoanalytic perspective in the story I tell. The “man card” theme literally reassured him that he was the ideal heterosexual man that he really wasn’t.

Then he got arrested and the FBI took his guns away. He basically had a psychotic break, which caused him to move from Illinois where he couldn’t carry his gun to Tennessee. He got his guns back and became a mass shooter: Masculinity restored.

—  Chauncey Devega in Expert: “There’s Something About Being a Gun Owner That Makes Many People Turn into Republicans”

6 Responses

  1. Sounds a lot like Metzl cherry picked people who would fulfill his confirmation bias yearning. Seriously, if you talk to say 100 gun owners that carry a good portion of them will tell you they carry

    But this is the Salon, a far left wing ‘rag’ that is full of employees and writers who their selves have had no problem going out in public to push and enact an agenda of violence against anyone who is not them. And the author

    Notice this > “When he heard that “the liberals” are coming to take away his guns — which is what Trump said at the NRA convention — that terrified him.” > well first of all look what has happened, the liberals have indeed come right and and said ‘we are going to take your guns’, Trump just said what was happening. But Metzl didn’t go deeper though did he, he stopped right there at his confirmation bias and doesn’t realize that everyone should be terrified that the ‘liberals’ are trying to take away any constitutional right, can try to control the exercise of any constitutional right. So it sounds to me like this guy being interviewed despite having been, supposedly, a ‘left wing liberal’ in the past has woken up and realized the truth that we are all in danger from the left wing liberals and maybe that does terrify him especially when the left wing liberals are all over social media calling for and threatening violence against everyone who is not them especially the left wing liberal ‘trans’ community who, overall, on an organizational level have partnered with ANTIFA with a publicly stated goal of raping and murdering people. But more also, that Metzl also should be terrified because once “the liberals” get the second they will be coming for Metzl and Chauncey Devega’s and everyone’s first and fourth and all the other rights as well.

  2. Is it “what Trump said” or is it what liberals say every time they’re in front of a camera or microphone? Lord Biden said as much during his angry old ranting man SOTU speech.

    Don’t fucking gaslight me. Unlike most of the voting public I have a memory that spans longer than five minutes.

  3. “Then there’s the story I tell in my book, about the Waffle House mass shooting in Nashville in 2018”
    What has that Waffle House shooting have to do with POTG who were no where near the Waffle House?
    Nothing is the answer. This is as .40 cal Booger pointed out, another cherry picked singular incident chosen to represent
    the whole. A generalization with no where near enough examples to reach a logical conclusion.
    Chauncey Devega is just another example of someone wanting to ignore the criminal and punish POTG.

  4. What an uneducated idiot with a degree. 1000 monkeys with a typewriter could have written something more factual.

    1. “1000 monkeys with a typewriter could have written something more factual.”

      It wasn’t written and published to be ‘factual’.

      He was emotionally exploiting his own side to get out and vote.

      He was preaching to his own choir…

  5. Like many (all??) other anti-gun fascists, Metzl refuses to recognize his own inconsistencies, and the obvious disagreement of his “premise” with reality. His Waffle House shooter was a “closet” homosexual? The man was obviously unhinged, and in denial. How seriously should we take ANYTHING he said/believed???

    OK, I guess it’s possible that a closeted homosexual harbored deranged beliefs that the “cure” for their derangement, but . . . what about the MANY uncloseted (and quite proud and comfortable about their orientation) homosexuals who are avid gun owners/shooters? What exactly is it that THEY are “compensating for”???? Given that Metzl is an unabashed gun hater, I can see how it’s an easy leap, in his mind, from “gun owner” to “deranged right wingnut” – intellectual rigor and consistency is NOT a characteristic of the Left, generally, or the anti-gun zealots, in particular.

    Overall, Metzl, your position regarding guns is simply deranged. I didn’t “become conservative” because I acquired a gun (and I know quite a number of VERY liberal gun owners); I acquired a gun (OK, multiple guns) BECAUSE I am a libertarian/conservative. Y’all need to get that horse in front of your cart, half-wit.

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