You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.

You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop.

“But it’s not only Missouri!” squeal a number of crudely pink-faced blondes on Fox News. “Angry black people – and white liberals too! – are protesting everywhere, from Oakland to Chicago to New York, perhaps even somewhere within, say, 200 miles of where you live!” Too close for comfort, that’s for sure…

The matrix is simple enough: The more scared you are, the more isolated, the less educated and the less traveled and the less exposed to unfamiliar ideas, to different modes of life, to the Other, to the staggering and effervescent variety of human existence, the more you will see a gun as an obvious and necessary choice.