Risk and mental imagery

When I think of  a weapon like a handgun or a rifle, I picture shooting targets, hunting and self defense.  When some of my pro gun-control friends think of weapons they think, suicide, Columbine, and a six year old accidentally shooting a sibling.  Now the latter are fairly rare albeit dramatic events.  If this same type of thinking were applied to driving in the car let’s say, they would picture a truck plowing into a crowd of people, a man sitting in the garage with the door closed and the engine running or a fifteen year old stealing the family car and plunging into a river.  Again all dramatic but fairly rare events.  If they held only these mental images of cars would they stop using one?  How one pictures dangerous events and activities restricts their choices.

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