Tuesday, March 26, 2013
policymic on the objects of gun violence.
German philosopher Martin Heidegger also offers (very long) insight into how to view an object. To him, "connective relations" are necessarily part of our understanding of a thing; how we use something is what it is to us. Heidegger’s line of thinking essentially expounds the classic pro-gun argument that anything could be made into a weapon if an assailant wanted to do so.
This theory of Heidegger’s explains the perceptive difference between a gun owner confident in his ability to control his weapon and another person who prefers not to interact with guns. The guy with extensive experience with firearms is more likely to feel that there is no such thing as an accidental discharge, only negligent discharge; the one whose conception of how to interact with a gun is formed by negative press and not experience wouldn’t be so sure. The man in the store eyeing the woman with her carry-and-prevent weapon would see that gun as something that is interacted with by shooting people, whereas she might know her gun as something she rarely takes out to the range but wears every day. She might interact with it as more of a piece of clothing than as a danger. In a Heideggerian context, we once again have proponents and detractors looking at wholly different objects.
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