Both pro-gun and anti-gun forces promote a sense of precariousness. The pro-gun folks portray a nation on the verge of anarchy that requires law-abiding people to arm themselves in self-defense. The anti-gun folks portray a nation awash in guns, held hostage to the impulsive acts of unstable people. . . . Paradoxically, the pro- and anti-gun extremists feed each other’s fears. The consequences of this not only harden the opposition but also help to reinforce the pervasive sense of danger that grips so many Americans.
As Dizard, Muth, and Andrews note, the bitter nature of the debate between pro- and anti-gun groups often ends up leaving many Americans feeling more distraught about the problem of gun violence:GUNS IN AMERICA