Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Boomsticks: We don't trust you.

All the hoohah generated by the Brady Campaign and other victim-disarmament groups over the "Castle Doctrine" or "Stand Your Ground" laws sweeping the US seems, on closer examination, to be designed to appeal to people with serious self-esteem issues. Take this sign: It says, in effect, "People like you might have guns. Better be careful!" They don't trust you and, by implication, seem to assume that you don't trust yourself.

The reality of the matter is that normal folks just don't pop off and shoot each other. For Vishnu's sake, there are more guns in America than we can count; if we were likely to shoot each other over slight provocations, we'd all be dead in a week. Working in gun stores, I've carried a gun at work for thirteen years; almost all of my co-workers over that period carried guns, too. It's no different than any other workplace; there are all your standard-issue personality conflicts, arguments, and even the occasional red-faced shouting match or person quitting in a huff. But you know what? There's been a surprising shortage of dead bodies, because sane people just don't shoot each other over workplace arguments and crazy people are not nearly as common as the six o'-clock news would have you believe.

So, naturally, folks have made some Truth-In-Advertising suggestions to alter the Brady Campaign's signage. It won't happen, but the signs are at least worth a chuckle.

(H/T to Joseph)


Zendo Deb said...

The really funny thing is that this sign went up last year after the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law was passed. Florida's crime rate fell for the 14th straight year, and it was the lowest its been since 71.

But then when did the Brady Bunch let a little thing like the facts get in their way?

Kevin said...

The gun control groups depend on the "useful idiots" who "feel" the way Barry of Inn of the Last Home feels:

"I just...I just blink my eyes in amazement everytime this crops up - actually watching people feel the need to carry a concealed weapon in public...

"If I were to take a live, armed weapon and carry it on my person, in public, it would eat away at my sanity just as if it were emitting lethal radiation. To know that I carried an instrument of sure and certain death on my person, available and ready to be pulled out and used at a moment's notice to possibly kill...a child. A homeless person. An innocent."

They don't trust themselves, and so they can't trust you.

But for some reason, wearing a badge or drawing a government paycheck negates the distrust.

I've never figured it out. But I recognize it.

B&N said...

Who are the fearmongers again?

I thought it was the NeoCons/Conservatives/Republicans/Powerful NRA-backed gun lobby?


1894C said...


I too want to thank you for being willing to discuss this issue.

Now, to the matter at hand.

Regarding trust, you said :

"I also would feel uncomfortable knowing that anyone on the street, in the theatre, at a restaurant, at the supermarket could be carrying a loaded gun on their person.

And here's why - despite training, despite temperament, despite the best of intentions: I don't trust you. That's simply it, I don't trust you. I don't trust a person who is not a licensed law enforcement officer of some kind - someone who, by virtue of their job, I would assume they have proper gun training - to carry a weapon."

Yet you do in fact trust people with your life all the time, we all do. You trust that the cab, train, airline or bus driver won't decide to crash on a whim.

You trust the cook won't put rat poison in the soup today.

You trust that the driver controling a ton of steel at 50mph with only a painted line between you won't swerve into you.

You trust the elevator repair guy didn't sabotage the lift.

The examples are everywhere. All cases where you put your life and the lives of your children in the hands of people you don't know.

You have no problem with this because you know that to not trust these people would be irrational.

But you do not trust these same people with concealed firearms.

Why? These are the same people in whose hands you place your life all the time.

The answer is what Kevin Baker suggested in a previous response; you fear the firearm not the person. The proof? Ask yourself this question: if in a given situation if the firearm was removed would you feel uncomfortable?

If you would not feel uncomfortable in a given situation where you put your life in someone else’s hands but would given the same situation when a firearm in introduced that the firearm is the object of your fear.

I do not like high places; I choose not to seek out balconys etc. It is an irrational fear I know but it is part of who I am. You have similar feelings regarding firearms. You see the mere presence of a firearm as somehow engendering a potential for violence where no potential existed before. This is not rational. It is however very real to you; in the same way looking over the edge of a high balcony makes me uneasy while looking over a balcony one step off the ground would not.

There is no real difference in danger to me only my perception has changed.

phlegmfatale said...

...and oddly enough, I read an online article a few months back that said that handgun crime is rising dramatically in England, where handguns are illegal. The Bradys can't explain that away. Of course, the altered signs are vastly superior to the original. Great post, Tam.

phlegmfatale said...

Oh, and one more thing - I wish to the heavens above that someone in a Luby's cafeteria in Killeen TX about 20 years go had a loaded weapon to stop the person who slaughtered many innocent folks. Thankfully Texans again have the right to carry, and I for one feel immeasureably safer.

Kevin said...

Here's an update on the "I don't trust you" meme.

Lizard said...

Lizard says: If you can't trust people with a gun, how can you trust them with a vote?

Lizard also says, such signs don't make me feel scared or insecure. They make me feel safe. I like knowing that a crook will hesitate to attack me because he doesn't know if I'm armed or not. And I like the thought that if some nutter DOES pull out a gun and start firing at random, other, saner, citizens will have the means to take him down.

Diamondback said...

This occurred today in Memphis, TN.
It is a fine example of how 1 armed citizen can make a difference. Some of the Local stations have misrepresented this citizen as a local armed security guard.
He isn't. He's just average joe citizen with conceal carry.
The local Newspaper doesn't even mention him.,2845,MCA_25340_4860886,00.html
Only One local news service even got it right.