Some more thoughts about the role fear plays in motivating people to protect themselves and maybe buy a gun. Yes, there is an element of fear to it, especially at the beginning. I am quite fearful of getting shot to death.
But more importantly, I was (not am, was) fearful of being helpless in the face of danger. I had no plan, and a man without a plan or the means to execute on the plan is a dead man. Fortunately, thanks to my dedication and training, things are different now. My fear of the unknown, of what we *might* do in the face of a armed home invader or other violent crime has been replaced with a confidence that helps create relaxation where before, it was impossible to relax.
It’s like learning to ski. If you look at it on the face of things, skiing is a stupid idea: You are throwing yourself down the side of a mountain on two planks of wood.
But then you do it, and you get good at it, and then you can have confidence in your ability to throw yourself down a mountain and not hurt yourself.
It doesn’t have to be training that takes away the fear. It could also be competition or well-structured range time. It does, however, need to be something that turns a gun from being something outside of your experience into something you know and understand. An unloaded gun in a box under a bed is a talisman of self-protection, more about warding off evil than it is about proficiency, and therefore it is still an object of fear.
When we first learn to drive, we are fearful of what we can do behind the wheel. We learn to conquer those fears (most of us, anyways) through repetition and experience. We face our fear of water by taking swimming lessons, and we eliminate that fear by swimming regularly and often.
* Never did like moguls. Too jarring. I preferred pure downhill, where you go like a bat out hell for the bottom of the run.