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[politics] You'd better run said the man with the gun - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-12-22 08:07
Subject: [politics] You'd better run said the man with the gun
Security: Public
Tags:friends, guns, oregon, politics
A day or two ago, [info]kenscholes and I were enjoying a leisurely breakfast in The Bomber, in Milwaukie, OR. It's a sleepy little diner mostly patronized by older folks in a sleepy little suburb south of Portland. In other words, about as a dangerous as your living room. Probably less so.

A very large man walked in with a pistol on his hip, open carry. I am extremely dubious that he was a peace officer off duty, based on his hair, clothes and grooming. I turned to Ken and said, "We need to leave." We did. I didn't follow my normal policy of dialing 911 whenever I see a weapon in public because the diner staff had taken no action.

Open carry scares the hell out of me. So does concealed carry, frankly, but concealed carry is a defensive measure, at least in theory. Open carry is a very deliberate threat. It's a gun owner saying, if in my judgment you are dangerous, I will shoot you down.

I am far, far more frightened of someone who feels the need to walk around openly displaying a handgun than I am of any theoretical criminals that might have been menacing Milwaukie that day. The fact that this guy had that need to threaten everyone he encountered telegraphs some very negative information about both his emotional stability and situational judgement. Open carry isn't about safety, it's about dominance.

The weird part is how hard this is to prove. The same conservatives who loudly assure us that firearms are safe and that firearms improve public safety have for decades banned Federally funded research into precisely those questions. If guns were such an excellent safety tool, wouldn't gun rights enthusiasts be eagerly embracing the research to underscore their point?

Quite the opposite. A firearm is a tool for killing. It serves literally no other purpose. All the collateral uses such as target shooting or hunting are simply practice for the killing. Even the gun lobby knows better, hence the research ban. They just don't want people thinking in those terms because it's bad P.R.

I do not want to be around another human being who feels the need to threaten to kill me for the sake of their own sense of security. It saddens me that this is legal, acceptable behavior, and people who practice open carry in normal, everyday situations scare the living hell out of me.

This is not a well-ordered militia, as the always-neglected part of the Second Amendment calls for.

30,000 people die every year in shootings in this country. It is one of the great shames of our society, and will eventually be one of history's greatest puzzles that we as a society embraced this wholesale slaughter when every other similar industrialized society of our era managed a much more peaceful solution with much lower death rates.

Why would I want to be a part of conservative America's rain of blood just to satisfy some guy's paranoid ego?




If past experience proves true, I will catch a lot of flak for this post. A note to head off at least one line of criticism: I am quite comfortable with firearms, am a rather good shot, and understand range safety. In other words, I am not speaking from some thick-headed liberal ignorance. It's precisely because I understand guns that I don't want to be around them.

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Julie, JulieInTheGreen, "Squire!": Get off my lawn!
User: brickhousewench
Date: 2013-12-22 16:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Get off my lawn!
Open carry isn't about safety, it's about dominance.

A firearm is a tool for killing. It serves literally no other purpose.

I agree with you on both points. Unfortunately, it's hard to find others who understand these two truths. And harder still to find the data to back up what people consider to be just my opinion. Thank you for writing this. Just.... thank you.

(And yes, for someone who is not fond of guns, I'm often astonished at the number of Live Journal icons I have that include guns....)
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shelly_rae: Grumpies
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2013-12-22 16:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Grumpies
Businesses can post a sign that says, guests must wear shirts, shoes, pants, and leave all weapons in their vehicles or home. We have a sign at work and I've asked people who carry guns to please put them in their car. Like you, I do not feel safe when I see a gun. But I'll ask them to put it away.
I'd write that business and tell them you won't be back until they post a "no weapons" sign.
Anon
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jtdiii: Bio
User: jtdiii
Date: 2013-12-22 17:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Bio
Some states have weird carry laws. Connecticut for example. I was captain of a pistol team for three years. The only way CT would allow me to carry the weapon to the range, with any stops in between was with the CC permit. Otherwise stopping for food, side trip to see someone, etc. all would be illegal. Note that is even when I had the weapon unloaded, disassembled, trigger locked, in the locked glove compartment or a case in a locked car. Here you just got the permit to avoid issues.

Of course it was only a .22 target pistol, so it was not exactly something I would carry to show how macho I was. :)
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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2013-12-22 19:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Avoid Randall, WA. My family once had to do business with someone there, and he strapped on a 1911 model .45 whenever he left the house.
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-12-22 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
who feels the need to walk around openly displaying a handgun

penis replacement...

I grew up in a law enforcement family, and in a rural area, there are reasons for have a weapon on you, but the pigeons at the Bomber are not that dangerous..
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-12-22 21:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can imagine all kinds of perfectly legitimate reasons to carry weapon, even if I don't personally agree with or approve of most them. I cannot imagine any legitimate reason whatsoever to carry a hip-slung automatic into the Bomber except pure intimidation.
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-12-22 23:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
to me, a badge must be escorting the weapon..
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2013-12-23 01:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Even badges carrying weapons bother me, but then I'm from the UK and live in Japan, in neither of which places do ordinary police go armed. Armed ordinary police (armed responses to reports of armed incidents are a different matter) are a backdoor death penalty for possibly minor offences.
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2013-12-22 23:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I moved from the country with the second most restrictivegun laws in the world (the UK) to the one with the most restrictive (Japan). I was trained to use a rifle as a cadet by the Royal Navy so I undertand guns reasonably well. While there are sports use of guns and for a very limited number of purposes some farmers need them, neither of these require any right to carry or store a weapon in any other way than a highly secured location registered with the authorities and subject to inspection, with ammunition stored elsewhere.
The US obsession with guns worries $WIFE whenever work or SF cons take me there.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-12-23 00:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The US obsession with guns worries $SELF, and I live here.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2013-12-23 02:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Every time we visit Kathy's mother, we pass by The Bomber. I've wanted to stop and eat sometime, just to see what it's like. I mean, it doesn't look like Every Fast Food Restaurant Ever. This Christmas, maybe I'll give it a pass. This incident is probably an aberration, but even so...
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Gaelan: Statler & Waldorf
User: gigglingwizard
Date: 2013-12-23 05:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Statler & Waldorf
Your hysterical cowardice does not prove another's malicious intent.

"The fact that this guy had that need to threaten everyone he encountered telegraphs some very negative information about both his emotional stability and situational judgement."

That's quite a leap! Let me see if I can match it.

You're projecting your own emotional state onto this stranger. You're insecure and feel the need to be able to physically dominate everyone around you. This is why you were hanging out in a place that caters to seniors--you were confident you could kick their butts, and it made you feel like a big shot--and it's why you got so bent out of shape when you saw someone with a bigger set of antlers walk in. You didn't figure you could take him, and that got you all pissy, so you left and you've been obsessing about it ever since.

Or maybe you were planning to rob the place, and seeing someone with a gun discouraged you. Now you're mad, so you've got to attack the character (and grooming) of the person who thwarted you.

Or maybe getting licensed to carry concealed is more trouble than carrying openly. Maybe the guy figured it would be more reckless to leave his gun in his car where it could get stolen than to just keep it on his person. Maybe you just have an irrational fear, and rather than facing up to it, it's easier to ascribe evil traits to others.

But those are unfair assumptions for me to make. So tell us--how many people did this very large man shoot after he threatened to kill everyone with his murder tool and you very wisely left?
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dionysus1999
User: dionysus1999
Date: 2013-12-23 13:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow, does shit ALWAYs come out of your mouth when you open it?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-12-23 18:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Take an open mind and go read up on the Port Arthur massacre in Australia, and their response to it. It’s what economists call a
“natural experiment”, and provides overwhelming validation for widespread gun control as the best possible reduction of harm.

Go read about it, then come back and tell me again I’m wrong.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-12-26 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The gas station is long gone, it's just a restaurant now. I think it's been years since the airplane has been open.

And I'm pretty comfortable with my right to be one of 30,000 dead a year due to gun violence subject to some legislation. The Constitution has been wrong before (slavery, anyone?), I am quite certain history will eventually conclude it was wrong on unrestricted and widespread firearms ownership as well.
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