Tuesday, August 18, 2009

guns and the nuts who carry them

A faithful reader suggests it might be productive for me to offer my thoughts on this story:
PHOENIX – About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.
As you can see from the photo down on the right, your humble blogger is familiar with firearms. I'm comfortable around them, I grew up around them, I own several of them, and I like to take them out and shoot them from time to time. Some of my best memories of growing up revolve around my Dad and Granddad taking me out target-shooting. I support the Second Amendment, and in general I oppose most gun control measures.

So that's my starting point here. And my initial reaction to this story is along the lines of: just because something is legal doesn't mean it's a good idea (along with the corollary: just because something is a bad idea doesn't mean it should be illegal). As a recent example of this, the First Amendment does indeed allow a person to use the word "nigger" when referring to a black person. This does not mean it is a good idea to do so. The linked-to blogger (a regular commenter over at Barry Green's House of Right-Wing Crazy) wears his ignorance and hatred and faux-victimhood as a badge of honor, and gets his thrills by oh-so-rebelliously inflicting slavery-era insults upon those segments of humanity whom he can readily identify as being "below" him. These folks are easily identified by virtue of their skin pigmentation.

Legal? Yes. Likely to advance the cause of civilization? Not even remotely.

Likewise, carrying a gun to a presidential event may in fact be legal in Phoenix, Arizona. Is any good likely to come of it? I think you know the answer to that one.

One further point, though. Those people in the story carrying guns aren't looking to advance the cause of civilization. They are trying to assuage their own personal feelings of powerlessness in the face of the ascendancy of certain points of view which they find extremely frightening ("socialism" being the most charitable of these fears -- among other fears which are far less charitable).

But I also suspect that another, more sinister purpose -- though perhaps not well thought out -- is to provoke a confrontation in which they can be portrayed as the victims. For example: "Obama's brownshirt thugs attacked me, arrested me, and took away my assault rifle -- even though I was simply protesting his fascist policies in full compliance with all the laws!" This, the fantasy goes, will inspire thousands or millions more like-minded patriots to take to the streets bearing firearms, which in turn will result in either: (a) a bloody civil war in which all their fantasies of minority-directed vigilantism will come true, or (b) the removal of Obama from the presidency, to be replaced by someone more palatable who will -- in comparison with Obama -- reduce (even further) the tax burden on the wealthy, reduce (even further) social services for the poor, increase (even more) spending on defense and law enforcement, and increase (even more) the tax burden on the poor. This, in the fevered minds of these decidedly unwealthy, gun-toting protesters, is called "Liberty".


Gleemonex said...

Once again, my incoherent sputterings and general feeling of "No good can come of this" find expression ... beautifully done.

Anonymous said...

I read about this incident and an interesting comment from the Secret Service was anywhere the president is attending is considered a federal site and there are no firearms allowed on federal sites. They did also comment that this guys with the rifle was not reasonably close the the president. DT

oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet, christian louboutin, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike air max, christian louboutin uk, chanel handbags, replica watches, louis vuitton, ugg boots, nike roshe, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, nike free run, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, louboutin pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp pas cher, jordan pas cher, ugg boots, nike free, michael kors pas cher, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, prada handbags, polo outlet, burberry pas cher, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, oakley sunglasses wholesale, jordan shoes, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tory burch outlet, longchamp outlet, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin shoes, air max

oakleyses said...

north face uk, coach purses, kate spade, true religion outlet, michael kors, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet store online, ralph lauren uk, burberry outlet, nike roshe run uk, hogan outlet, new balance, sac vanessa bruno, guess pas cher, true religion outlet, nike air force, oakley pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, hollister pas cher, lululemon canada, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, sac hermes, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike free uk, michael kors outlet, ray ban uk, uggs outlet, north face, mulberry uk, polo lacoste, uggs outlet, burberry handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, vans pas cher, hollister uk, timberland pas cher, true religion outlet, nike tn, michael kors outlet online, converse pas cher, true religion jeans, nike blazer pas cher, replica handbags, nike air max uk

oakleyses said...

valentino shoes, celine handbags, ghd hair, herve leger, beats by dre, new balance shoes, nike huaraches, north face outlet, soccer shoes, reebok outlet, hollister, north face outlet, instyler, nike air max, baseball bats, ralph lauren, converse outlet, lululemon, insanity workout, hermes belt, nike air max, babyliss, longchamp uk, gucci, ferragamo shoes, hollister, mont blanc pens, soccer jerseys, lancel, p90x workout, chi flat iron, timberland boots, nfl jerseys, hollister clothing, abercrombie and fitch, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, nike trainers uk, oakley, ray ban, iphone cases, mcm handbags, giuseppe zanotti outlet, louboutin, jimmy choo outlet, nike roshe run, asics running shoes, vans, vans outlet, mac cosmetics

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, moncler, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, pandora jewelry, replica watches, marc jacobs, doudoune moncler, swarovski crystal, canada goose, canada goose, moncler uk, links of london, wedding dresses, ugg, canada goose uk, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, juicy couture outlet, moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, coach outlet, hollister, moncler, thomas sabo, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, pandora uk, moncler outlet, ugg uk, swarovski, montre pas cher, ugg pas cher, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, supra shoes, moncler outlet