I’ve dealt with the attempts to intimidate others by gun nuts before, but it’s worth reminding people that they’re still at it (boldface mine):
Several men with assault rifles and hand guns crashed a Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns National Day to Demand Action event in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday and stood silently as the state chapter of Moms Demand Action held a rally in favor of limiting the availability of military style weapons and universal background checks…
A member of Moms Demand Action said that she felt unsettled by their presence and said that the organizers would have to think twice before holding another event, particularly one where children could be present.
FREEDOM! While I’m sure that wackaloonitarian Dana “Weaponized Spoon” Loesch would argue that a cardboard sign could be turned into a deadly weapon (especially by small children with their crazy-ass ninja skills), signs are not weapons. If somebody becomes agitated, at worst, said somebody bonks you on the head with the sign. Loaded military-style semi-automatic weapons are a different matter:
Last week, I attended a public hearing about Boston’s Green Line…. For those who haven’t been to public meetings in cities, it’s always a tough crowd. When the meeting reached the audience question time, the very first speaker started going on and on, at which point, a woman declared, “You’re repeating yourself, and there are thirty other people waiting to ask a question” (which was true on all counts). So he got to the point (though I’m not sure what it was…) and finished. Contrast this to the healthcare town hall meetings of 2009 where some very agitated ‘patriots’ showed up with sidearms–in the actual meetings. Is anyone in the audience going to tell him to get to the point? Is anyone going to vociferously disagree with him? He is an agitated man with a gun. That is not politeness, that is fear, despite the quips about an armed society being a polite one.
If there is one hallmark failing urban neighborhoods, it is that residents don’t approach and criticize other people because they are afraid they will be shot. For cities to work, people have to be able to communicate with each other without fear of violence (ironically, one would think conservatives would be keen on the whole paralegal enforcement of community norms).
A hallmark of civilization is that we settle our differences without resorting to intimidation. Though I suppose if you know you don’t have an argument, you can always just bring a gun.
The ironic thing is that when the gun nuts do this, they’re imitating the tactics of the Black Panthers in Californina in the 1960s, which just happens to be the impetus of the modern gun control debate.
Dana “Weaponized Spoon” Loesch
otoh, i kind of agree with her. i’ve never liked the fact that we call them assault rifles or assault weapons, since the word assault, when used in civilian settings at least, carries the connotation of survivability.
“efficient machine for killing 20+ children in 5 minutes or less” is too long, and “mass murder rifle,” though accurate, still sounds too hyperbolic, but we do need a less-innocuous-sounding name for these weapons than “assault rifle.”
ot, i sent you an email a while back and it just dawned on me that i should have asked before now if it made it through your spam filter.
I’m inclined to agree with you (and I usually don’t on gun issues) that this might have been a form of intimidation by the guys with the assault weapons. They were not there to offer opinion or make rational argument. They were there to display their guns in public.
How does anyone know that their guns were loaded? Just because a clip is inserted does not mean that bullets are present.
In Vermont, we don’t even need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But you can’t carry a *loaded* long arm – rifle or shotgun – within city limits, nor within 500 feet of a domicile or road, or in a car anywhere in the state. Does Indianapolis or Indiana allow loaded assault rifles within city limits?
As far as “agitated men with guns at meetings – either pass a resolution to disallow carried weapons at political meetings, or learn to be a little more brave about speaking up. It isn’t fair to assume that these people are armed in order to squelch discussion. And it is pretty low of you to repeatedly bring up the same anecdotal testimony of one person who was intimidated at a meeting to imply that a) everyone does or should feel that way and b) that this anecdotal testimony actually has a useful bearing to whatever new gun issue you are going to bring up. It has no bearing on today’s posting, for example, because these gun-displaying boobs were not at a microphone at a meeting, were they?
How does anyone know that their bombs were armed? Just because they have a suicide vest does not mean that they might actually explode.
Really? I mean, REALLY?? A bunch of people with mass murder weapons just standing silently and staring at a protest against those weapons WASN’T an intimidation tactic? What the hell then do you think they were doing? Just enjoying a spring day and this gathering happened to be on their favorite spot and they just happened to forget they accessorized with killing machines?
I’m all for benefits of doubt, but come on.
The problem for you and them is that they really don’t have a good argument, but current states of affairs have left you with absurd amounts of privileges in the debate. Like being able to carry fricken death sticks to peaceful rallies and few of the important people being willing to call you out as ignorant bullies. Ask yourself why they needed to bring their genital compensators instead of signs and microphones. That’s certainly a protected right. Why didn’t they speak instead of just staring and expect their guns to do the talking?
LOL. It’s Roger, not Robert. And I agreed they were there to intimidate. Reading comprehension?
It tends to be easy to get under the skin of guys like that… Have several of the moms go up to them and say something like “Oh, that’s so cute — my boy likes to dress up and play army too”. “Ah, that’s so precious, you have a a binky too — my daughter just gave up her security blanket when she started kindergarten.”
As to whether the guns were loaded I suppose it all depends on your definition of loaded. Here in the lovely state of Utah your gun is loaded if there is a round in the firing chamber. If there is no round in the chamber the gun is unloaded. There could be 30 rounds in an attached magazine but if there is no round in the chamber then the gun is legally considered unloaded.
Personally I consider that idiotic and I view the situation as someone who might be cleaning the gun and unloaded means that there is no ammunition anywhere near the gun much less actually in the magazine, cylinder, tube, clip or whatever bullet/shell containing widget you choose to use.
I agree that guns are genital compensators. I would never go out with a man who made such a display with a gun. I find these types of men unattractive. I don’t even think I could hold a conversation with such a man because the visualization of himself that he is presenting is so repellant to me to begin with. These men remind me of Taliban wannabes and the Taliban are pretty repellant men. Nothing sexy about them. I know that’s generalizing, and that generalization is the enemy of art, but still we all have our preferences. The mind bent is just too different. What would we have to talk about, the weather.
And whether the gun is loaded is not the issue. The issue is these men came to intimidate. They came to threaten peaceful discourse. I used to work in a bar that policemen would visit. They always wore their guns and these particular policemen drank a lot and became obnoxious. Certainly I thought these men and their guns were threatening. I did not want them around. They gave me the creeps