Americans have a unique fascination with guns as a consumer product. In theory, they can satisfy as any other consumer product can. A good way to feel better is to purchase one.
However, guns also make some people feel powerful in ways that other consumer products do not. Death and life are in their hands. For those who feel recurrently threatened or insecure, the purchase and possession of these items can provide a tremendous high. In the world of consumer goods, they are the heroin.
Some people are so high that they can’t help but buy the biggest weapon they can find. This “highness” even pushes them to buy more and more of these weapons as the kick increases.
Many of these avid customers do not commit mass murder, as we should all know. However, their consumerism has enabled those who are. Gun addicts need guns to feel normal, so they want to ensure nothing stands in their way of buying guns.
They have no responsibility for a mass killing that might result from unregulated gun sales. It doesn’t even occur to them that it is a problem since they are addicts. They look at things only from their point of view.
You would surely fight to preserve your rights, your supply if you had virtually unlimited access to heroin as a heroin addict. Gun addicts are no different.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a fundamental signaling molecule in the brain. Our feelings of engagement, excitement, creativity and the desire to investigate and make sense of the world are influenced by its presence. It is released whenever we encounter something new or take a risk.
As soon as dopamine becomes hardwired into a psychological reward loop, the brain’s overriding preoccupation becomes obtaining more dopamine. Cocaine, for instance, is widely regarded as one of the most addictive drugs in the world. It floods the brain with dopamine and blocks its reuptake.
Shooting a muzzleloader—for example—would release dopamine, but it would take too long since multiple shots would require a significant reward loop to occur. A short-barreled weapon like a machine gun, however, is close to the sweet spot. A machine gun can fire an episode every 100 milliseconds. The point is that guns are addictive, but automatic weapons are even more so.