In the news recently, there has been a heated discussion around something other than whether we should “lob” targeted strikes at Syria. Yes, there has been discussion as to whether blind (legally so) individuals in the state of Iowa should be allowed to get gun permits. On one side you have, those that argue blind individuals should not be discriminated against. On the other side you have those that argue it is a matter of public safety. At the end of it all, seems that most individuals in Iowa are ok with the Iowa sheriffs handing out gun permits to the blind based on the principle of fairness. As long as they can meet the same criteria that everyone else does, a blind person, according to public opinion, should be granted the right to protect themselves just as much as the next gal and girl.
While reading the articles and debate around this gun permit issue, I was smiling because the phrase “only in America” kept spinning through my head. I also was smiling because I flashed back to a college event that still cracks me up. Some may be offended, others may be just as amused.
On a cold snowy bleak winter day in college, we were freezing and looking for trouble. Both seem to go hand in hand. As does heat and trouble. You may have heard of the infamous correlation of increased ice cream consumption and increased homicide rates? There is an obvious explanation for that (spurious) association but I will let it stew out there in your brains. Either way, extreme temperatures cause extreme behaviors, in my book. That day, way-back when, snow made us stir-crazy and in need of entertainment.
We left our warm dorm rooms and headed across the quad to the dining hall. We were standing around kind of being obnoxiously loud and stupid. Ok. Not kind of. We were saying completely ridiculous politically incorrect statements for the hell of it. We were a mixed racial group of stoners, party people, and jocks that loved to make fun of one another. As my friend was flicking his cigarette butt to the side, it bounced off the jacket of one of my fellow psychology classmates. Ouch. My other friend simultaneously yelled “watch out for the blind girl.” Double ouch. Probably was not the coolest thing in the world to shout out. That snowstorm and ice was really doing a number on our collective brain capacity. Although not necessarily fair, most of the college students referred to her as the blind girl as that made her unique in our environment. We all knew who she was as a result.
I started to head over to her asking if she was ok. As I neared her, she bent down and full on threw a snowball at my chest. I was in shock, took a step back, and as a queen of inappropriate affect just started to laugh really hard as if I were on ‘shrooms. The cigarette thrower then lobbed his own snowball at her. Then she threw one back. It became a full on five against one snowball fight. But, she started it!
Was it wrong that it was five against one? I must say she had very good aim; probably having honed her hearing in such a way that she could aim at where we were laughing hysterically. We were all knocked down by her. She definitely gave as good, or better than, she got. Was it wrong to have engaged in a snowball fight with a blind person? Let me think about that. I think back then, in the beginning moments, I thought it was a bad deed. But as we laughed and kept getting sillier I no longer thought it was wrong. Why not? She was just as capable, engaged and as much as part of the experience. Individuals passed by giving us a look of disdain. Eventually it was not a five person against one snowball fight. It became each person for themselves with everyone being a target for all others. Pity those passersby for not realizing that all you need for a snowball fight is good aim, a sense of humor and fast reflexes. Snowball fights know no boundaries and neither should we. In the heart of winter, I learned a good life-long funny lesson from the psychology of snowball fighting.
And by the way, we never called her the blind girl again. How does this relate to the gun permit issue, I leave that up to you dear reader. This was merely but an anecdote.
Categories: current events, Psychology
Awesome! You brought back fond college memories of my own of snow ball wars and mud pit fights in the quad at my own University. Thanks for that! Do I think you all were harsh? Nope. The truth is the young woman was blind….so why is acknowledging that a issue? It clearly wasnt for her. We are called to live life and grab joy where we can find it….I think I am actually looking forward to the first snow storm this year now. 😉
College snowball wars were the best. I feel such a sense of nostalgia. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Have a fabulous day.. it’s hot today in ny and thoughts if winter are far far away…at the moment
Thank you so much.
My biggest concern is allowing any individual the right to own a gun without proper training.
Police officers and military are trained to use weapons, and part of that training is being able to put aside your emotions when most needed. Even with this training, fatal errors in judgement exist. Emotions have no business when pulling out a gun for protection. When under pressure, decisions to shoot need to be made impassively and logically – determining if there is actually enough danger to warrant using a gun in return.
I, for one, am not an emotional person by nature — and I have never been in a situation when I was threatened by another individual. However, I do know myself enough to know that, without proper training, I would most likely have a knee-jerk reaction out of fear and shoot first without thinking.
It is obvious to me from this article, that blindness may have little to do with being an accurate shot. Rather, the determining factor should be whether an individual (blind or not) is capable of setting aside emotion prior to pulling that trigger.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I would agree on how the ability to set emotion aside can be key. Although, i wonder how would we score/test that.
Perhaps with professional training. So – with each purchase of a gun, one must go through training. The level should be challenging enough so that one learns how to adjust their own behaviour and knee-jerk reactions.
It is like adjusting our behaviour to a certain personality type. Each of us have innate preferences of behaviour that we cannot change; however, we can learn the tools needed to adjust our behaviours. There is a difference between changing our innate personality preferences and adjusting our behaviour.