So I replied to a completely ridiculous comment, by pointing out the obvious false equivalence, and for my trouble I was accused of being a bigot.
This took me somewhat by surprise, as bigotry is not the first thing folk generally think of, when they think of the artist formerly known as "twigg".
There are many adjectives that might appropriately be employed in that circumstance, but bigotry is not one of them, so it gave me pause, and made me think about my own attitudes.
I will give my verdict on that thought process below the fold, and if, in the end, y'all decide that I am indeed a bigot, then I will wear that label with pride.
This is not a commentary either on the Kossack I was discussing this with, not the original commenter, or any other person who might have been involved in that thread.
This is my thought process, and not a response or a remark about anyone else.
The argument goes like this:
1. Calling the cops simply because a guy is openly carrying a gun is not reasonable.
2. If we consider it reasonable to call in a threat under those circumstances, then it is equally reasonable to call in gay people, and Pastors, because they might be pedophiles.
3. If you consider 1 reasonable, and 2 unreasonable, then you are a bigot.
That is a precis of the position taken by some in this community, and I am going to deconstruct it. Just so we are clear.
When I encountered the original comment, I reacted to the disgusting false equivalence demonstrated by the substance of the comment. The idea that ANYONE on Daily Kos could consider using the insulting meme that gay people should be even mentioned in the same sentence as pedophiles appalled me, and I said so. Indeed, so insulting is that idea to so many, that I felt it to be Hide Rateable.
Meta aside, the Diary in question did raise serious concerns about the idea that folk walking among us openly wearing guns should be acceptable in our society. My concerns are as much to do with the type of person who would do this. What statement they are making and should we consider that to be an acceptable practise, whether or not it is a legal one.
I don't agree that "concealed carry" is a position we should accept, although I do understand the reasons that people want to do this. I wonder what they are scared of (and the trite answer of "nothing" is not a good one). Beyond the feeling of personal protection though, there is the attitude of I am not only carrying a gun, but I am carrying one and everyone is going to know about it. Don't fuck with me, because I'm carrying a gun whether you like it or not!
I wonder what kind of person does that. How much arrogance, or failure to consider the feelings of anyone but yourself does it take to make such a statement ... and are you someone I can trust to behave responsibly when you don't even have the grace to conceal your fear of society?
Who takes a gun, openly, to a school soccer game? What kind of individual needs a gun on their waist to shop in the local grocery store?
If you want to walk among people armed, why did you not get a concealed carry permit, and wear the thing under your clothing? If you feel the need for that level of personal protection, why do you then feel that it is okay to demonstrate to everyone else that you are armed? What purpose is there in doing that other than to scare, intimidate or bully those around you? It's not like you didn't know that other folk would be discomfited, so why do you do it?
Well you won. I was scared of you and I will call the cops. You can explain to them why you wish to behave like such a complete ass in public, but I don't know you, and I don't trust you. As far as I am concerned you pose a threat to me and my kids, a threat that is raised because you don't even have the common courtesy to keep your paranoia hidden from view. You might be scared of your fellow citizens, but I am not ... I am, however, scared of you and that fear is not unreasonable. You might think it is, I do not.
Now gay people, and Pastors pose absolutely no immediate danger to me or my family. Indeed, they pose no danger to me at all. Pedophiles pose a danger, whatever their sexuality or religious persuasion, and even then, they do not pose a danger at a soccer game, or in the mall. So I don't accept that there is even a shred of validity in comparing the two, and if you do, then that is your problem, not mine. I reject the entire premise and the accusation of bigotry that stems from it.
I will state here and now, that gun accidents, and gun killings occur where there are guns, and do not occur where there are none. If you shove your gun right under my nose, I am perfectly entitled to consider that you posed a heightened threat of danger to anyone around you.
The fact that our legislatures are too cowardly, to craven, too bought to make reasonable and responsible laws ... laws that the vast majority of Americans want, is not our fault. We can, however, seek to prevent the worst excesses of your fear, and ban your guns from every private piece of property in the country.
We can call the cops when we see a potential danger, and you are just going to have to get used to it.
The original comment that I replied to has eleven recommends. Every one is one of the usual suspects who never saw a regulation, or proposal, that they approved of. They may even find this Diary and seek to continue the blather, but I have to tell them, all of them.
You are wrong, and all those who are seeking to reduce gun-ownership, and better vet those who buy them, are right.
Meanwhile, if you are so out of touch with public feeling that you consider that walking around with a gun openly on your hip is a good idea, then you probably shouldn't own one.