Continue to break from traditional thinking with Robert in the third installment of our series on gun safety. This is a tough yet current conversation where Robert and Dave grapple with the consequences of the Democratic and Republican parties acting from the extreme ends of the political difference. Trump is an extreme and bad actor. He should be prosecuted and taken off the map completely. His vitriol and insanity are exactly the extreme views hindering the democratic evolution of gun safety in our laws and politics. The Democrats also possess the extremes as well. This podcast attempts to think outside the box and back into the center to find the humanity in each party and find a safe ground on which to work together.
The Second Amendment was intended to allow for the formation of militias as protection of the states against a rogue government or other rogue elements. Join Robert and Dave in their discourse as they imagine what the country could look like if we were able to return to this premise. The dominant instinct of gun owners is protectiveness. From this core good, join us in an innovative approach to qualify people who have that intention and harness it for greater protection.
Currently, gun owners are being condemned by the majority of non-gun owners especially those that carry heavier weapons, which causes them to be in reaction. If they can begin to be seen for the protective intentions that they are following, they could be carefully screened to protect the greater good of innocent civilians that are now in danger from shootings. They may even start to become a group of people that will want to vote differently because they are being honored and seen as protectors. They may start to be the ones that want background checks and dignify safety measures if they are put in a role of responsibility.
Robert explains from a psychological perspective that if you are raised in an environment where people hate you, it fills you with hate. It makes you want to be more violent. If we can see that the hatred against is causative in creating more hatred, we may be able to find a way to harness the pure intention.
Mentioned in this episode
The Global Bridge Foundation
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The Missing Conversation, Episode 60.
Robert Strock: (00:03)
Today, we’re gonna talk about one of the many issues that are deeply dividing our country, which is gun safety. We’re attempting to do our best to look at the most sincere element of each political party and look to take the best potential inspiration from both approaches to serve America. The fringes or the extremes on both parties are pretty well being excluded from this conversation and we’re attempting to look at the middle way and the middle part of both parties
On this podcast, we will propose critical new strategies to address world issues, including homelessness, immigration, amongst several others, and making a connection to how our individual psychology contributes and can help transform the dangers that we face. We will break from traditional thinking, as we look at our challenges from a freer and more independent point of view. Your host, Robert Strock, has had 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist, author, and humanitarian and has developed a unique approach to communication, contemplation and inquiry. Born from working on his own challenges.
Robert Strock: (01:16)
A very spirited welcome again to The Missing Conversation where we are addressing the most pressing issues that the world’s facing today and where we look for the most practical, inspiring ideas, people to support a greater survival for everyone involved today. We’re gonna talk about one of the many issues that are deeply dividing our country, which is gun safety. We’re attempting to do our best to look at the most sincere element of each political party and look to take the best potential inspiration from both approaches to serve America. The fringes or the extremes on both parties are pretty well being excluded from this conversation and we’re attempting to look at the middle way and the middle part of both parties.
Robert Strock: (02:18)
I believe thoroughly, what will make democracy flower is finding a balance between individual freedom and collective responsibility in this situation like many others, both parties are looking at the extreme ends of the political differences and are ignoring the tangible and potential reachable, sane and safe ground from which we can support an evolving democracy, which our country so badly needs. I’m not saying that I’m 50, 50. I want to be clear, I’m not a Trump supporter, I think Trump is insane. I think we have to do everything we can to set boundaries from my vantage point. Take, take him off the map, but that does not mean I feel that way about Republicans. I truly believe there will be a rebirth. I hope there will be a rebirth very, very soon. Like to start off by introducing Dave, my partner at the Global Bridge Foundation and closest friend for 52 years.
Robert, thank you and I, I contrary to the, uh, I don’t know, dozens and dozens of podcasts, uh, that we have done together, uh, both with this Missing Conversation Series and Awareness That Heals, which I also think people would love on a, in a different way. Uh, but love, uh, this one is, this is a tougher current conversation. This is a tougher current conversation. And again, uh, I think it can’t be said too often with the original intent and the original expression of the second amendment was how the times were, how our world was at those times, and what we were taught. Many of us, at least in school, about the purpose of the second amendment. And I think it’s important if you would to remind us of that and what it means and what it’s become.
Robert Strock: (04:33)
So as, as we talked about it in the first couple of episodes on gun safety, the second amendment clearly was to form a militia and the militia was there as a protection for the states. And at that point it was really to protect against a rogue government. And you may say that in addition, it was rogue elements as well. And it was there devised as a safety to protect the country in the event of some kind of takeover from afar or even from within there was a protective measure. And I don’t want to overlook the fact that you Dave and I had a, a bit of a disagreement in between episodes that you are deeply concerned that the population would end up being rogue and would, would possibly be more dangerous and create more harm than good. And I believe at that, your point is well taken.
Robert Strock: (05:44)
Uh, 50% and 50% I think is garbage, which is that there, there needs to be such careful protection that it could turn out in the end that it will only be the National Guard and the police, and a very small segment of citizens that have guns because the criteria might have to be so severe to be safe. That, that’s what has to happen. But I believe you fell prey to the same thing that the audience is endanger of, which is not to assume that there can be enough protection, and to black and white it. And not to hear that I’m not trying to define how protective the element has to be. This is a very, very important theme that there has to be enormous protection that’s way beyond my pay grade. And how man? Yes, I mentioned that, I thought there could be hundreds of thousands of people potentially that would be screened.
Robert Strock: (06:48)
That might be idealistic. That might be overly enthusiastic. It might only be 500, might be a 1,000, but whatever it is, there are a lot of people that are ex-military, ex-police, ex national guard, or current national guard that, that are also just citizens not acting as a national guard, that are already trained. The point is not to try to identify who the people are. The point is to have people thinking along the same lines in current times that they are following a protective instinct for innocent people in their state, in their city, in their county, in their country. And that we need to harness goodwill in that direction. The amount of care is something that’s gonna have to be contemplated by people that are above my pay grade. The fact that there are people that are of goodwill, and that it doesn’t dead to this black and white thinking of I’m against people that have guns.
Robert Strock: (07:53)
I think they’re stupid; I’m against people that have AR-15s, automatically. Yes, I am against people that have AR-15s automatically, too. But now if they were really willing to go through whatever scrutiny is decided by the powers that be, that they have qualified to be a protector of the country. And yes, that might require a badge, that might require a month of training, that might require all kinds of things that are beyond this podcast. But the fact that we don’t just see them as dangerous period, versus the dominant part having a protective element, I believe even if this doesn’t turn out to be a large army, it needs to be seen in a different light so that the alienation isn’t just a warfare psychically within our country. Do I believe that we can harness a significant percentage of people? Yes, I do.
Robert Strock: (08:54)
But significant might be 10%, might be 5%, and then of course the people that sign up, they’re gonna be vulnerable to having fears and maybe will not be courageous enough to act on it and they might be frozen. So that also has to be factored in. But it doesn’t change the premise that if we see clearly into the hearts and the intentions of the gun owners that the dominant instinct is protectiveness, and that is mi-seen by the non-gun owners, toward the gun owners. And I hold the gun owners responsible by not coming up with this idea themselves, by not wanting to sign up, by not wanting to go through training, by not wanting to be a protector beyond their family. I hold them responsible. And yes, I’m saying that to you as the gun owner, protect more than your family, you know, if that was to occur. But let’s find a way to qualify people who have that intention and harness it. That is the main point.
I just wanna say, um, issues we talked about between our podcast episodes, um, what you just said, addresses some of my concerns, basic concerns, which is to say the criteria has to be almost as if the person, if they’re going to join in the fray, if they’re going to join in an active shooting or something of that nature, and they’re gonna be put on a beeper to assist. Again, remembering that the overwhelming majority of people are covered by trained police officers in our country. But there may be circumstances; I have no problem with that. I have no problem acknowledging the slippery slope feeling people have even about doing background checks and that they elect politicians that will not move one iota because again, of the fear they have that they won’t be able, as you said, protect themselves, protect their family. So even to do background checks, when they know as a concept, they support it, it’s a “no,” they won’t elect a politician because of what they believe is a slippery slope. And in my view that slippery slope has been propagated by people that give politicians money and create that fear. That’s my view wrong, right, indifferent. That is my view.
Robert Strock: (11:31)
I agree with the view in general, but I believe that if the pure intention that is there in the people that are gun owners, if it’s seen, they will start to be protective. They will start to become an army of people that wanna vote in a different party because they’re being honored. They’re being condemned. They’re in reaction because they’re being condemned. And if they can be separated from the field of just stupid, dumb, dangerous gun owners and be seen as complicated individuals of which there are many that are one way, and there are a few that are some way, if they aren’t seen in a paranoid light, I believe they will start to be ones that will want background checks. They will wanna dignify the safety measures if they are put in a role or given the possibility to be in the role where they themselves identify with as the protector.
I have to say, I’m confused. I think those people already state they’re in support of background checks. That’s already an overwhelming majority of gun owners. Period, it is.
Robert Strock: (12:50)
Right, but they’re not, they’re not voting for those people. I’m saying they will vote for those people, if they’re not condemned and think about being raised in a family and you’re condemned, you’re condemned, you’re condemned. You’re gonna be pissed off. You’re gonna be blind. You’re, you’re gonna vote, you’re gonna vote for somebody who is, who’s gonna say, you know, what, if I murder somebody on fifth avenue, I won’t, I won’t be, I won’t be won’t be held responsible. They’re blinded by the condemnation. If there can be a seeing of relativity, I believe the intention will change the desire to be putting in people who are more sane. I believe that’s the gap.
That’s fair enough. I also in my own heart, and in my own experience believe the major judgemental condemnation relates to guns that are really paramilitary or military guns, not hunters, not people that have a weapon to protect their family. I don’t think that’s where the major issue is with people in general. It certainly isn’t with me. And I’m definitely on that side of things relative to those, what I would consider paramilitary weapons,
Robert Strock: (14:10)
Let’s be clear about two things: Number one, I’m completely, if I had the freedom right now, I would buy back all the AR-15s and have them outta the hands of everybody, if I thought I could pull it off. So I’m in complete agreement with you that those guns should be off the public and we should buy them back. If I thought there was the power to do that, that’s what I would do. But given that I feel like that’s off the table because of the volume of people that are carrying and are having them at their house. If they see their goodwill, if they see themselves as they are, they won’t be as actively angry. They will feel proud of themselves, they will feel the dignity. They won’t feel as alienated from the other half of the country that are not gun owners–
Robert Strock: (14:58)
if it’s half, I don’t know whatever percentage it is. They won’t feel as alienated, they will feel seen. And I believe that will make them vote straighter. I believe that will allow them to feel more seen. I believe that will help heal the country. But I strongly, strongly would like to take all the AR-15s out of the country. If I had the power, and I thought it could be pulled off, I absolutely agree with the premise of AR-15s should not be there. But I wanna add one more point. I believe that the people that do have the AR-15s mostly are paranoid enough, or maybe they’re right that they’re going to, at some point, get attacked because of economic divisions, because of divisions in our country, and they feel like they might be wanting to fight fire with fire. That I don’t believe the majority of people that bought the AR-15s did it to act out.
Robert Strock: (15:58)
I do believe they need the higher level protection. Do I believe it’s right? No. Do I believe it’s real? Yes. Do I believe it’s what’s happening now? Yes. Do I believe it’s too late to reverse it? Yes, barring a miracle, which I leave open. But it would take a miracle to go that way. And do I believe being trained to harness the, the core innocent intention might lessen the chance that somebody might be violent? Yes. I believe there will be less violent people. Not only because they’re afraid they’ll be killed faster before they get their, uh, before they get their, whatever you want to call it their victims. But I also believe they will be less angry. They will feel less hatred that has been directed toward them for just being one that carries or has that kind of weaponry.
Robert Strock: (16:59)
Can I measure it? No, but do I understand psychology well enough to know that if you’re raised in an environment where a lot of people hate you, it fills the hate. It makes you wanna kill more. If we, as a country, can see that the hatred against is causative in creating more hatred against you. And if we can find a way to harness the pure intention, I have no problem with whatever level the government and the sanity regulates, severely, the people that are the protectors. I don’t see it as being a simple thing to happen. I leave open, like I said earlier, the possibility that it may have to be restricted to people that have past military training, or maybe it would be a long course, and that maybe it would have to involve psychologists. That again is beyond the scope of the podcast. What isn’t beyond the scope of the podcast is the hatred has to stop. But seeing and understanding the psychology of protection that is there has to begin. Whether or not that gets converted into an army of protectors or a small group of protectors, I can’t say with confidence.
So if I’m hearing you right, and I think I am, it sounds like what you’re saying is converting people into protectors that can be of assistance will heal some of the feelings that come from feeling hated or disliked or judged. And that the training, which is my question, that is necessary to get people in a place where they can be effective, will not be participated in unless that carrot is there, that they’re going to potentially be called upon. Because to me, if the training was there clearly and remembering here that only a tiny percentage are AR-15 deaths of all the gun deaths, a tiny, tiny percentage. It’s dominated by handguns. But putting that aside, I like the idea of people being trained. I like the idea of background checks. And I like the idea of people feeling if that’s what it takes, that the people that are in a position to say, I need you, the police departments may not need them that often. And when they do, they do. And so there is no downside, it’s still in the hands of people that have to call upon them. Fair enough. All good. Let’s do it.
Robert Strock: (19:51)
Well, I think we’ve, we’ve joined in a middle ground. We’ve gone through a process that I think everybody needs to go through. I, I also am frightened that this could unleash one bad person, that there’s going to be crazy and fool the people with a psychology test and the training and is gonna end up being a mass killer. Of course, there are risks. And of course there are dangers and that requires incredible scrutiny. But what . . .
I, I don’t agree with you there. I think they would, if anything, they’re being offered to advance what you’re suggesting is only going to give them less likelihood of doing anything like that. They would’ve already been crazy.
Robert Strock: (20:38)
Yeah. I’m, I’m only talking about my fears because I’m, a voice putting this out in the world. I would feel responsible if one, if it happened one time. I don’t think it would be a trend, but I, I can’t, I can’t be grandiose enough to feel confident that, that there wouldn’t be one renegade that’s, you know, like a spy underground, et cetera. But, but the point being is what you’re saying, which is the overwhelming–and by the way, it’s not judge or dislike–It’s hate, it’s hate. There is hatred in this country. The hatred is, is electric. And the hatred is what’s creating the environment. What we need to do is in every one of these areas, we need to lessen the hatred. We need to be able to roll reverse, which is what we’re trying to do in these podcasts is roll reverse and see that the core intent isn’t violence in the vast majority of people. Just being seen, let alone, not being hated, is going to be healing for our country. That’s the primary psychological premise. The effect of that hopefully is also to save life.
Robert Strock: (21:52)
So it’s vital that we don’t demonize any main group. We, as the demonizers, are going to be creating more hatred. Now, even when I talk about president Trump, if I’m going to foster hatred and violence, then I’m not helping. Do I want him to be jailed? Yes. Would I like him to be jailed for life? Yes. Do I believe he’s earned it? Yes. But do I wanna hate him? No. Do I hate him? Yes. Do I need to control my hate? Yes. All of us need to control our hate and move it toward crisp action and strong boundaries. That’s all of our responsibilities. So, we all need to see that hatred is the source of more hatred. Being passionately boundried, being a force for good, channeling our energy toward unity with passion is what we need to do. When we start to see, even when we’re right, we have to be careful that we don’t go to hatred.
Robert Strock: (23:14)
And that doesn’t mean we don’t feel hatred. That means we don’t act on it. That means we don’t language it that what we language is we really hope that, and we’re gonna vote for candidates that are gonna put him behind bars and, and the whole crew of people that had conspiracy to take over the United States government. They need to be put behind bars. But that hatred is a key psychological issue. And as you mentioned, in Awareness That Heals, the other podcast we’re going into, we have a whole series of episodes on just dealing with hatred and anger and channeling that to what you’re passionately for. But if we don’t do this, it shuts down the whole possibility of looking for everybody’s common sense. Common sense means we’re looking for everybody else’s common sense too. And that means we’re looking at the, the midpoints, the places where we can unite, which is toward the center. Black and white thinking is a disease. Being for something, passionately with boundaries, is a healing. Rigidity, and rigidity itself, in just a completely extreme way is the source of suffering of what’s happening in America.
Robert Strock: (24:35)
That doesn’t mean, in this case, that people that wanna have a democracy aren’t right. I think they’re right. I think democracy is what we’re fighting for, but that fight needs to be smart enough to not be violent. To form this trust, to support this trust, we need to find an area of conditional trust as it includes seeing the innocence of the people that we are generally against. It means that we need to spend more time and seeing are we really reading their full intentions right? It’s like this prejudice on both sides of religion, for example. And we think, oh man, these guys are really stupid for believing in this or not believing in that. Are we really looking at their core intentions or are we just labeling and going to the extremes? That’s what this army of channeling, the pure intention part, of people that are dominantly protective.
Robert Strock: (25:43)
That’s what we need to see. In order to give the best chance of gun safety, without infringing on anyone’s rights, we need to find a way to clearly identify the safety and psychological stability of each gun owner. This is so crucial for those of you that are opposing what’s been said, it’s because you don’t believe that’ll ever happen. But don’t suppress; don’t suppress that that’s the key ingredient of this having any chance of making any sense. You’ve got to assume there’s a possibility of harnessing the core good intention. And it’s being very, very selective. And it probably would be a fluid, would have to be a fluid process. It would have to be a trial and error process. It would have to start off conservatively. It would have to start off with the people that are most secure. Most likely, again, I’m not presuming I’m making the rules. But if I was making the rules, I would start out only with people that have a gun background.
Robert Strock: (26:54)
I would start out with people that have done service and have them be the extended core. And I would have some kind of screening that they would have to go through that would have to do with people that are part of the core endorsing other people to come in. But again, the important thing is not my thoughts about how to screen. The important thing is realizing that there has to be immense screening. And the important thing is to realize that it’s a way of breaking up part of the hatred in our country. So I ask you to please continue to contemplate and to assume that there’s some way, even if it’s only for the sake of you that are really, really convinced, there’s no way, let’s say it’s only 50 more people or 100 more people thinking very small numbers, if you have to, it’s only for people that have, have shown their patriotic duty.
Robert Strock: (27:51)
It’s for ex-military that are loyal. It’s for ex-police officers, it’s for ex-National Guard. It’s for people that are in the National Guard that are not in active service. Maybe it starts there, but the point is having more protective elements of safety. The point is not scapegoating, the area of gun owners and overlooking what their core intention is. The core is to reduce the, the core issue is twofold: One is first and foremost is to reduce hatred. The second one is creating some degree of extra protection in whatever form is deemed wise by the people that are empowered. Just thinking about what core intention is in the other is a healing endeavor. So I ask you, even if you’re not yet convinced there could be one other person, to look at your own hatred at the very least starting point, and try to see it as being, I want them behind bars.
Robert Strock: (29:00)
See it as your passionate protection for democracy. Relish the passionate protection for safety of innocent civilians. That’s the core element that we’re trying to reach. The question of means has to be debated by the best experts we can find. So I ask you to hang in, even though this is a very contentious issue, it’s contentious inside me. It’s contentious inside Dave. I’m sure it’s contentious inside you. But I ask you to stay with it, if nothing else, to morph the hatred and hopefully to increase the sense of protection and esteem for gun owners that want the right thing, so they’re not cloned into this black and white thinking. So I appreciate it, if you’ve gotten this far, I hope there weren’t many people that cut out earlier, cuz it’s probably gonna get better. So thank you for your attention. And I look forward to exploring this much more deeply and with the same kind of passion.
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