One of many things Cam and I agree on is that carrying guns to protests that aren’t about the Second Amendment is probably counterproductive. The moment you do, the story becomes about the guns and not about the issue being protested. No, it shouldn’t, but we have to remember we have a media that sees guns as an unmitigated evil and, by extension, see you as an unmitigated evil.
As such, you kind of have to take that into account when you address an issue.
However, I won’t tolerate someone misrepresenting those armed protestors. I don’t agree with them doing it, but I agree with their right to do it, and anyone who is going to take issue with it had better have their facts straight.
In an otherwise unremarkable op-ed taking issue with those protestors, the writer kind of set me off.
Each time, we went through the motions of safe handling, and he would reiterate the old cliché, “The gun is always loaded.” After shooting, we’d sit down at the kitchen table, disassemble and thoroughly clean each one, and talk. He was strident that a gun, even a child’s toy gun, should never be pointed at another person, and they should be oiled and stored safely, locked away when not in use.
So it’s through this lens that I interpret this disturbing American moment, as armed protestors stage marches in the state capitals of our country, disgruntled by governors’ corona virus stay-at-home orders. Disturbing because the implication of a protestor dressed in tactical gear, holding an AR-15, is violence. That if we don’t get what we want, we’ll take it by force.
Of course, armed protestors took to the streets in Richmond to take issue with Governor Ralph Northam’s proposals, and then many of those proposals passed. If it really is a case of “if we don’t get what we want, we’ll take it by force,” then where is the force in Virginia? Maybe the writer sees it that way because that’s the most convenient way for him to see it?
However, what set me off was the bolded portion.
Now, I’ve advocated for locking your guns up when not in use as well, so why did this bother me? Because of where he goes after that.
I hate to break it to you, buddy, but carrying them at a protest is them being used. They’re being used as a symbol of how they’re free people and won’t be bullied into compliance, that they have the means to resist tyranny.
Of course, resisting tyranny is apparently “not getting what we want” or something.
Time and time again, milquetoast wannabe pundits will take aim at what they see as low-hanging fruit. In this case, the armed protestors. A lot of people are less than thrilled with them for whatever reason, so they opt to make a stand on something that a stand isn’t really needed. That’s because they’re convinced they have something to add to the conversation that people will appreciate.
To be sure, they have that right and if someone will host them, more power to them.
Unfortunately for them, that also means they better understand the topic at hand. Implying that those guns at the protests should be locked up, then insulting people simply because you disagree with their method of protest–that’s further in the op-ed that I didn’t quote. You should check it out for a good laugh at the author’s expense–is a completely different animal.
It tells us all that you’re not someone we should take seriously.