The problem with pysch exams

One of the common things that some of my left leaning friends bring up when ever their talking about “reasonable” gun laws is that they think there should be a mandatory psych exam before you can own/carry a firearm.  I understand their reasoning, and, in a perfect world, it would be a decent idea.  Of course, in a perfect world, there would be no need to carry firearms for defense because we all would be too busy laughing, dancing, and playing all day.

During one of these conversations, I randomly flashed on a short story I had to read in middle school.  I’m sure my English teacher would be shocked to learn that I was actually paying attention.  Unfortunately, I’m horrible remembering things like names, so I long since forgot the name of the author and the title of the short story.  Thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to track it down and even find an online copy of it here.

The story is of a man that has a car wreck.  The accident results in the death of the protagonist (Robert Proctor) and most certainly his mother, at least one other driver, and a small girl that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Except it doesn’t.  He wakes up to find that he’s been hypnotized as part of his driver’s test.  He’s told that if he still wants a license, to sign on the dotted line.  Reassured that it was all a dream, he signs and is promptly declared a crazy person and drug off.

I can see psychologists quickly deciding that anyone that has a desire to own a firearm wishes to use said firearm, and therefore wishes to kill someone.  I know I’ve been the target of some rather pointed questions when a psycologist learned that I owned guns, like collecting knives, and practiced a martial arts.  People need to remember that a psychologist’s opinion is just that: the opinion of one person.  Not only that, but a person that has been trained to look for problems and see symbolism and deeper meaning in everything.  Whether there actually is anything or not.

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

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