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The Narcissist Hijack

The Narcissist Hijack June 21, 2019

When we think of ugly and unpopular social sins, we usually think of people who embody the utter worst, compare ourselves to that, and conclude that we are fine since we are not the utter worst.

So the person who routinely starts sentences with “I’m not a racist, but…” and delivers himself of some racist blather typically thinks that because he has not personally put the noose around somebody’s neck at a lynching, or flown a swastika, or worn a KKK robe, there’s no problem. So Steve King (and those who think like him) are baffled by moments like these:

Of course the Overton Window can move on these things so that things that were once unthinkable can become thinkable due to gaslighting scoundrels. Nowadays, even those who march under the banner of the swastika are called “very fine people” by a man declares that peaceful black protesters are “sons of bitches” while lying to himself that he is the “least racist person you will ever meet.”

Such blind denialism is not confined to racism. In a similar way, when we think of narcissism, we tend to think of its most extreme forms, compare ourselves to them, and conclude that since we’re not this guy…

…we are golden.

Here again, Cadet Bonespurs, Draft-Dodging Narcissist in Chief has moved the window, so that when he takes the eve of D-Day to honor the dead by tweeting insults of Bette Midler or sits in front of the graves of the men who sacrificed their lives at Normandy to save the world and insults a decorated Marine, we no longer regard that as even particularly remarkable. He has both normalized narcissism while also embodying it to such an extreme degree that narcissists who admire and emulate him simultaneously console themselves that at least they are not as bad as he is and therefore they are not bad at all.

I first started to notice that such narcissism was a toxic public health issue after Sandy Hook. I had paid little attention to gun violence before that. But the massive trauma of that shooting–and the even more massive narcissism of the Gun Cult in response to it–transformed me into a determined and lifelong enemy of the Gun Cult. When your response to the massacre of children is to accuse the parents of those children of being part of a conspiracy to take your guns and to harass and persecute them for years while proclaiming yourselves the real victims, there is a narcissistic sickness in your soul that is bone deep.

Lots of people think that, by Gun Cult, I mean anybody who enjoys guns. This is false. Here, for instance, is a story about a gun owner who dumped the NRA. Gun owner, but not a member of the Gun Cult.

Here is a story about a man who owns no guns that I am aware of, but whose rhetoric prioritizes those who put their need for “entertainment” over all these victims of massacres at Aurora, Orlando, Parkland, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Texas Church, San Bernardino, and the Waffle House shooting.

So here’s the thing: Owning a gun does not make you a member of the Gun Cult. Enjoying shooting does not. Enjoying hunting does not. Being a collector does not.

What makes you a member of the Cult, whether you own a gun or not, is responding to each and every slaughter, big and small, (adding up to 40,000 dead by year’s end) not with “What can we do to end this?” but with nothing other than “Don’t blame me! Don’t touch our guns!”

The former response indicates you are actually capable of considering the common good–that you can think of somebody on this earth besides you, yourself, your needs, your wants, your desires, your fears.

The latter response proves you are a selfish narcissist who is incapable of thinking of anybody but you, yourself, your needs, your wants, your desires, your fears. And that is the mark of the Gun Cult.

The narcissist hijacks every discussion that could be about the common good and makes it about himself. He tends to major in minors since, in conversations dealing with the common good, the major thing is the common good and the minor thing is the convenience and trivial desires of the narcissist.

So, for instance, after one mass shooting, somebody circulated that list of mass shootings involving AR 15s, demanding that we ban them. But on the list, somebody accidently included the shooting in Santa Fe as involving an AR 15. Did the Gun Cult focus on the main point: that AR 15s are frequently the weapon of choice in slaughtering lots of people in seconds?

Of course not. They focused their pain and outrage on the trivial detail that one mass shooting had not involved an AR 15 and then proceeded to wail about how wronged they were–because the Gun Cult is founded on the narcissistic belief that they are the Real Victims here.

That was what incurred my everlasting hatred of the Cult after Sandy Hook. Before the bodies of the children were even cool, the Cult had already begun the lies (still encouraged years later and offered different spins and permutations after each mass murder) that the victims were part of some shadow conspiracy or false flag operation to make the Gun Cult look bad and “take our guns”. The parents of Sandy Hook were tortured for years by monsters who harassed them and claimed that they faked their children’s deaths (or had them killed) so that the Gun Cult would look bad.

Meanwhile, the NRA’s response, as ever, was “It’s too soon to discuss this” followed instantly by “Don’t blame us. Don’t touch my guns!” and the one and only recommendation it makes: “MOAR GUNS!”

Not that the NRA was silent about Sandy Hook Truthers. After Parkland the NRA reached out to these nuts, apparently for tips on how to smear the Parkland kids. The Gun Cult accused the kids of being “crisis actors”. They ridiculed them constantly. They put their faces on targets. They insulted, mocked, and smeared mere kids who watched their friends and teachers slaughtered before their very eyes.

Why? Because the idea of consideration for trauma victims did not enter the heads of the Cult. It was, 100%, about themselves, their needs, their wants, their desires, their fears. They tried, as hard as they could, to hijack the conversation from the good of victims and make the conversation about themselves. That is the raison d’etre of the Gun Cult: to make themselves the victims in the face of our massive gun slaughter rate and tell the world the lie “No way to prevent this, says only nation where this regularly happens.”

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