Understanding America and the conservative American mentality

Author: Faris Nejad

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun", says the director of the US National Rifle Association, a big Trump fan.

If you understand an important aspect of what is wrong with this claim, you are a long way in understanding the faults in American Conservatism.

Simplifying social problems, without really understanding the society and having simple, direct and often violent cures is in the heart of American Conservatism and particularly the Republican Party. These opinionated individuals, many in high influential positions, all the way up to the office of the President, fail to understand that the society is not divided between bad guys and good guys. They look at the society through the eyes of many Hollywood movies where in the first 10 minutes of the program the, usually young, audience, has to have recognized and clearly separated the bad guys and the good guys. There is no complications, a bad friend is also a bad father, is also a bad driver, a bad employee and just to make things easier for the audience, he also looks bad. On the other hand the good guys are all good. They don't even have dilemmas, they don't make mistakes, are good in making quick decisions, never get drunk, get ill or get emotional. And in between the good and the bad, well in between there is, there is just nothing; that would complicate matters for the audience. In the movies you hardly ever see a good guy become bad, that would also complicate things. This is how it doesn't even cross the Rifle Association's leader's mind that a good guy with a gun can, due to a variety of reasons, suddenly or gradually become bad and therefore dangerous. With the same logic his favourite president also suggests that all the teachers who, in his mind, are "good" should be armed. Indeed in their mind it is not the gun that is in the wrong place it is the bad guys many of whom follow "European socialism" and the only way to fight them, well, it is with a gun, simple.

Faris Nejad (Sociologist, political scientist & novelist)