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The socialist cure for gun enthusiasts; these brainwashing techniques are commonly used in anti-gun totalitarian regimes around the world.

"Good morning, it's exactly 10:00 a.m. You're on time. That's a good way to start. Please, come in and sit there, across from me. Now, before we can begin to help you overcome your illness, I'll need your national I.D. number for access to your file. Put your right hand under the black light. Ah, there's the number, 098-61-8331. The advent of the computer age has revolutionized our ability to treat socially maladjusted individuals like you. There's your file coming up on the terminal now. Let's see, your name is Fred Kavey, age 46, married, three children. You're a high school English teacher and, until recently, no criminal record or evidence of any predisposition to socially unacceptable attitudes. And here's the reason for your being commited to this institution. Why don't you read it for yourself." "Now Mr. Kavey, before we go any further, let's get the basics out of the way. First, my name is Dr. Sylvia Pushkin. I will be your Values Clarification Counselor while you are here. You will address me as Dr. Pushkin. We will be seeing a lot of each other, I assure you. No doubt, you are probably wondering how long you will be with us. Well, the answer to that is entirely up to you. You may be confined to this institution for only a few months or for several years. It all depends on how long it takes to cure you of your anti-social tendencies. I'll be honest with you, it can take as long as five years to successfully treat someone with your type of mental illness.

"there is no need to look so sad, Mr. Kavey. You are actually very fortunate. Had you been able to get your hands on a firearm, you would have been totally alienated from society, considered beyond treatment and sent to prison for the rest of your life. So, there is every reason for you to be happy about the fact that we got to you in time, while treatment is still possible. Look at it this way, in a few short years, after you have learned to live in a healthy and socially acceptable way, you can leave here and look forward to a happy and productive life. Just imagine it, Mr. Kavey, someday you too will enjoy the security of thinking like the rest of us. Now smile, you're a very lucky man.

"The attendant will be here in a few minutes. He'll take you to the ward and find you a cot and a place to store your things. Each day, a schedule of activities of lectures, group discussions and social work projects. All of these things are considered important, and you will participate in them fully, without hesitation.

"Always remember, everything that you do here is for the good of the group, and it is the welfare of the group that is of paramount concern, not the so-called rights of the individual. Thinking of yourself is what brought you here in the first place. It will be thinking of society first that will get you out of here. Do you understand me?

"If you don't feel like talking now, Mr. Kavey, I understand. You will have a chance to talk next week at this time. Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., we will meet here for more in-depth counseling and to review your performance during the preceding week. I am the sole judge of your progress or the lack of it. It is I alone who will decide when you are ready to leave us, so always be honest with me. Don't ever try to lie to me. I have worked with hundreds of patients who have been afflicted with the sickness that compels them to want to possess firearms. I know everything that there is to know about this form of social maladjustment, so don't even think of trying to fool me. After all, nobody wants to grow old here. Ah, here's the attendant now. Please escort Mr. Kavey to Ward D and get him settled in. Come in, Mr. Kavey, smile, a whole new life is opening up for you today. You may not understand this now, but believe me when I say that someday you'll consider me your dearest friend."

Three weeks later, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Pushkin: Good morning Mr. Kavey, come in and sit down. How are you today?

Fred Karvey: All right, I guess.

DR. P.: Still not smiling I see. Well, maybe I have something that will brighten your day a little. See this box on my desk? I want you to open it.

F.K.: My god there's a gun in there. But I thought that nobody was allowed to have one. Where did you get it?

DR.P.: There's the smile that I've been waiting for. As to your question, you're correct. Nobody outside of the military or police is permitted to possess firearms, with one exception, and that's counselors like myself who are employed at Behavioral Modification Centers. We use them as therapy tools. I actually have quite a large and varied collection of firearms. Your record shows that you have a particular fondness for large-caliber revolvers. The gun in this box is a Model 29 Smith & Wesson in .44 Magnum. Go ahead, Mr. Kavey, pick it up and play with it. Enjoy yourself. It's not loaded.

F.K.: Wow, it's beautiful! The last time that I held one of these was when I was a kid. My dad had a gun very much like this one. We used to go hunting and target shooting with it. Those were wonderful days. That was, of course, before they banned all guns and confiscated them. Do you ever get a chance to shoot it?

DR.P.: Don't be ridiculous. Now, put the gun down for a moment and take a look--and I mean a good long look--at these two photographs.

F.K.: Oh my God, these poor people. How horrible. I can't look at these photos.

DR.P: I said look at them and don't stop looking at them till I tell you to. Do you understand me?

F.K.: Yes, Ms. Pushkin, I'll keep looking, but I feel sick.

DR.P.: That first photo is of a six-year-old girl, and that bloody mess on her shoulders is what used to be her head. The second photo is the little girl's mother. Now, pick up the gun again. Mr. Kavey, I said pick it up! The gun that you are now holding is the very gun used to kill that woman and her daughter. How does it feel Mr. Kavey, knowing that you are responsible for their deaths?

F.K.: But, I didn't kill them. I don't even know who they are. I couldn't do anything like that, believe me I couldn't.

DR.P.: Mr. Kavey, none of that matters. You wanted to own a gun, and because of you and so many other sick people like you, this gun was made. The man who used this gun to murder that woman and child is in jail now. However, because of your desire to own a gun, you are every bit as guilty of the crime as he is.

F.K.: But, Dr. Pushkin, I don't understand. How can I possibly be held responsible for the...

DR.P.: Quiet, Mr. Kavey. Perhaps you're not sick; may you're just plain stupid. We now live in a world where everybody is at least partially responsible for the actions of everybody else. This is the highest state of social evolution yet. You need to catch up to the rest of us. You see, you are still thinking of yourself as an individual with individual rights and that is a sickness. It's a reasoning process closer to that of our three-swinging ancestors rather than modern, fully evolved humanity. When you begin to judge yourself as others see you, and not according to your own perverted obsessions, you will be on your way to being well.

F.K.: My head is starting to hurt. I'm so confused. I don't see how I could be guilty of killing that poor woman and her child.

DR.P.: Mr. Kavey, you are beginning to give me a headache too. You're proving to be an unusually dull-witted patient. I'm going to send you back to the ward now. But, I want you to take this pencil and paper with you.

F.K.: What's the pad and pencil for? I thought that we weren't allowed to write letters to anyone.

DR.P.: Oh, you are going to write a letter, and I want to see it next week. You will address the letter to the little girl and her mother in the photos. You will apologize for having murdered them, and you will also explain to them the reasons for your guilt.

F.K.: But, I don't ...

DR.P.: You heard me, now move!

F.K.: Yes, Dr. Pushkin.

Two weeks later, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

DR.P.: Come in Kavey. Donht bother to sit down, you won't be here that long. I'm really disappointed in you. You've gotten off to a bad start here and ... F.K.: What have I done wrong? I do everything that I'm told to do. I even wrote that letter for you, remember the one about the woman and her daughter? Have you read it yet? Was it what you wanted?

DR.P.: Quiet, Kavey. Yes, I read the letter last night. I also threw it away. Your letter wasn't genuine. It failed to convince me that you feel any real guilt for those murders. You are going to write that letter again, and you will continue to write it until I'm satisfied that you sincerely want to be forgiven for causing those people to be murdered. However, it's not the letter that I'm concerned about today. I understand that several times during the past few weeks you have gotten out of bed in the middled of the nigh and ever so quietly tip-toed into the shower room. You then go into one of the individual shower stalls and stay in there-usually for about an hour or so. Tell me Kavey, what exactly is it that you do all by yourself in those stalls?

F.K.: Oh, well, you see it's this way. I need a little privacy. There's no privacy in the ward, none at all. There is always someone watching. I just need a little time alone, to think, to sort things out. Surely you can understand this, can't you Dr. Pushkin?

DR.P.: That's all you do, think and sort things out?

F.K.: Yes, that's all. You understand don't you?

DR.P.: I only understand that you are lying to me. Damn you, Kavey! I told you never to lie to me. I know exactly what you do in those shower stalls in the middle of the night. You think because you whisper, no one will hear. Well, I've got news for you, Kavey, everything that is said or whispered in this institution is recorded. You are praying, aren't you? Don't deny it. Don't force me to play the tape. You are in enough trouble as it is.

F.K.: Okay, I've been praying to God for the strength to get through all of this.

DR.P.: First it was guns, now it's God. Kavey, is there no end to this anti-social madness of yours?

F.K.: What's wrong with praying? Don't I at least have the right to believe in God anymore?

DR.P.: Now look Kavey, when you were brought here, you were given some basic rules to obey. All of us are required to observe the rules. One of these rules clearly says that since this place is a state-run and state-financed institution, there will be absolutely no religious services or practices of any kind permitted, period! And also, this obsession with privacy--wanting to be alone to sort things out--it's just another way that you have of resisting me and trying to set yourself above the rest of us, isn't it, now?

F.K.: I'm not trying to set myself above anything. I just need to pray and to be alone from time to time. DR.P.: All right Kavey, since praying and being alone is so important to you, I'll let you have your way for about 30 days. Starting now we're moving you to Ward J. It's not in use at this time, so you can pick any one of the shower stalls there that you like. You will spend the next 30 days locked in the stall of your choice all by yourself to pray and think. Oh, before you leave, there is something that I should warn you about. We have been having some trouble with the plumbing in Ward J. It seems that the showers keep coming on and then going off, all by themselves. Yes, it's been a real problem, about every 45 minutes or so the showers go on full-blust and then a few minutes later, they mysteriously shut off. And you know what? We never know when it's going to be hot or cold. Say, I have an idea. While you are there, why don't you say a prayer; maybe your God will fix the plumbing for you. Now, get out of my sight!

Thirty days later, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

DR.P.: Come in Mr. Kavey. I hope you are feeling better. I understand that you had a rather rough time in Ward J. Well, at least you do look clean. I'm planning out a new program for you; but before I can decide exactly how you will be spending your time, I'll need to ask you a couple of questions. They are important questions. Your answers will determine whether the next few months or years will be pleasant for you or.... Well, let's just ask the questions. Remember, I don't like it when you lie to me. Okay, here we go. Mr. Kavey, would you still like to possess a firearm?

F.K.: No, definitely not!

DR.P.: Good, I believe you. Now, Tell me why you no longer wish to possess a firearm?

F.K.: I had no idea that a place like this existed. When I leave here, I don't ever want to come back. If wanting a gun means having to go through this hell, then forget it. It's not worth it. I really do mean it, DR. Pushkin. I can't stand it here any more. I promise that I won't even think about guns anymore, if you'll just let me out. I promise, please let me out.

DR.P.: Calm down Mr. Kavey. I have no doubt that you mean what you say. But, I'm sorry, that's the wrong answer.

F.K.: What more do you want? What more can there be?

DR.P.: Come on Mr. Kavey, get a grip on yourself. So far, all you have said is that this institution can be a very unpleasant place. That's just fear. If all that I have done is to make you afraid of us, then I have not accomplished very much. I much cure you of your anti-social tendencies. You won't be cured until you have learned to place your complete faith in the prevailing social order. True happiness and fulfillment are only possible when your values, desires and goals are compatible with the models that society has given you. You will be ready to leave here when being what society wants you to be is the most important thing in your life. What I want, Mr. Kavey, is for you to love what I represent and to hate anything or anyone that stands between you and the salvation that I can give you. I'm waiting for the day when you hate firearms because they symbolize perverted ideas like self-reliance, independence, individuality and so on. These are the sick notions that firearms conjure up, and you must learn to hate firearms.

I have come to care a great deal for you, Mr. Kavey. I want you to get well. There will be some more pain ahead, I'm sorry to say, but it can't be helped. This obsession with firearms is a particularly difficult illness to overcome, and in your case, the situation is complicated still further by your addiction to certain religious superstitions. Just put your faith in me, don't be afraid to become dependent on me. You'll find that total dependency can produce a wonderful feeling of security. Now, run along back to your cot in Ward D. Oh, I almost forgot, take a pencil and some paper with you. I want you to write that letter again.

Six months later, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

DR.P.: Good morning Mr. Kavey, come in. I do appreciate your promptness. It means that you do have at least one positive quality.

F.K.: Thank you, Ms. Pushkin.

DR.P.: From now on Mr. Kavey, let's make it Dr. Pushkin. I don't like the tone in your voice when you say Ms. Pushkin.

F.K.: Yes Dr. Pushkin.

DR.P.: Kavey, sometimes I think you're hopeless. However, be that as it may, we do have something rather important to work out today. Last night I was looking through some of the pornographic materials that were taken from your home. Of particular interest was an article that I found in one of your obscene gun magazines. It was titled "Self-Defense in the Home." I am interested in this article because you had underlined parts of it. This article obviously meant a lot to you. Tell Kavey, did you want to own a gun for self-defense?

F.K.: Back then, it seemed like a good idea.

DR.P.: Does it still seem like a good idea? Remember, don't lie to me.

F.K.: I can't be entirely sure, but the idea of keeping a gun for defending myself in my home doesn't seem unreasonable.

DR.P.: All right, let's look at this a little more closely. Who would you be defending yourself against?

F.K.: Some criminal that might break in, I guess.

DR.P.: Fine, now tell me, exactly what makes someone a criminal?

F.K.: I'm not sure that I understand what you are getting at.

DR.P.: If you did understand the question, you probably wouldn't be here. So listen carefully. I'm about to bring your mind out of the dark ages into the era of enlightened modern social thought. The so-called criminal that you are so afraid of is nothing more than a socially sick person, very much like yourself. Now, tell me Kavey, should we kill sick people, or should we try to help them?

F.K.: But, Dr. Pushkin, what if this sick person is trying to kell me?

DR.P.d There you go again Kavey, thinking of yourself first. You still haven't learned to see yourself as part of the whole and not as a separate individual. You should know by now that guns are an absolute evil. Their very presence destroys the unified thought of our progressive new society. By possessing a gun for self-defense, you are saying that your life is more important than someone else's life. In other words, there is something special about you that makes you better than the rest of us. Kavey, are you better than the rest of society?

F.K.: No, I'm no better than anyone else.

DR.P.: Good, perhaps we're making some progress after all.

F.K.: But Dr. Pushkin, there is still one thing that I'm unclear about. If someday I am attacked by a criminal ... excuse me ... a sick person, what should I do?

DR.P: The answer to that question is obvious. If you cannot escape, you die for the good of society! Now go back to the ward.

Six months later, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

DR.P.: Come in and sit. You haven't said two words since you learned of your wife's decision to divorce you over a month ago. It's rough, I know, but you must forget about her and look to your future. Prior to your wife's perfectly reasonable action, you were beginning to make progress. Now all you want to do is sit around. Well, Kavey, I'm no more tolerant of this kind of behavior than I am of your obsession with firearms. If you will think back to our first meeting, you'll recall the fact that I told you I have dealt with hundreds of people with your kind of anti-social tendencies. I assure you, your current situation is something that I have seen many times before. Therefore, you must also know that I am quite prepared to deal with it. Kavey, no matter what you may think, you are no different than anyone else.

Now don't start acting like a child; I'm not sending you back to the showers in Ward J. That only works for praying. Your next phase of treatment is going to include some motivation therapy. Yes, that's right, shock therapy. It was actually banned many years ago because it was considered to be cruel. But we have re-introduced and refined it into a sophisticated form of treatment. The way that we do it involves a whole array of new drugs and electronic devices. There are now aftereffects to the procedure that persist for quite some time. You will find yourself in a state of extreme mental confusion, loneliness and emotional pain. You will have a desperate need to straighten things out, to re-establish order. You will sekk me out; you will need me more than you have ever needed anything or anyone. That's why we call it motivation therapy. Unfortunately, we can't use this procedure as much as we would like because it is very risky. There are definite possibilities of causing permanent damage, but when nothing else seems to work, as in your case, it's time to go for broke. Ah, the attendants are here. They'll help you down to the lab for your new therapy, Ihll be seeing you soon.

Two years later, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

DR.P.: My, Mr. Kavey, you certainly look sharp in that new suit.

F.K.: Thank you Dr. Pushkin. I'm glad you like it.

DR.P.: Well, how does it feel to be leaving us for the half way house?

F.K.: I'm a bit frightened. I do want to blend in--to be jsut like everyone else.

DR.P.: Tell me Fred, how would you like to hold one of my guns for a moment? You know, just for the hell of it. You'll probably never have a chance to do so again.

F.K.: Please Dr. Pushkin, I'd rather not. Just thinking about it hurts. It makes me feel so alone. Please don't take it out of the box. I think the bus is here. I'd better go. Good bye Dr. Pushkin.

DR.P. (speaking into her taperecorder): The patient, Fred Kavey, was discharged today at 10:05 a.m. Although this subject proved to be a very difficult case, I believe that he is cured of his obsession to possess firearms. In fact, I can project the probability of a permanent cure at better than 90 percent. However, even though the prospects for Comrade Kavey look good at this time, I still recommend that 24 hour electronic surveillance be maintained on him for at least the next five years.
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Author:Kavey, Fred
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Oct 1, 1985
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