LA Times op-ed a testimony to anti-gun fearmongering

Elaine Thompson

Fearmongering is an age-old tactic of the anti-Second Amendment jihadists. They know that most people really do want to mind their own business, but that goes out the window when they’re afraid. In those folks’ minds, they are minding their own business because their business involves not being shot.

I don’t disagree with that notion, either.

However, the problem is that they present problems that simply aren’t a thing. Take this anti-gun op-ed from the L.A. Times:

I had never imagined my own murder until one morning in January at the small church my husband and I attend in northern Alabama.

I am sitting in the back pew in the small church the Sunday after Epiphany. A man with a military-style haircut opens the front door. The service is almost over. He smiles at me over his face mask as he quietly closes the door. I smile back with my eyes. He whispers, “Can I sit here?” nodding to the empty space beside me. I nod back.

Then I see the gun on his hip and my eyes widen. My heart jump-starts, my knees lock, my body goes cold. He is clothed in olive green, and I can’t tell if he is military or paramilitary, a Proud Boy or a plainclothes cop. Is he going to murder us all?

Melodramatic much?

I’m going to clue the writer in on a little fact. If someone is going to murder everyone, he’s probably not going to wear a firearm on his hip for everyone to see.

Do you want to know why?

Because he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself before he starts shooting people. Just as the author could plainly see that firearm, so could everyone else. That meant he stood out.

Those who want to commit mass shootings don’t do that.

But the author continues.

Next to me, the man’s automatic pistol, two cartridges heavy on his other hip, is only inches away. Do I shake off my good Southern manners and go up to the crow’s nest where my husband is streaming the service on Zoom to alert him to the danger? A thin layer of sweat gathers under my arms in the chilly church. Fear floats beneath the surface of my awareness, an anxiety fed by the frequent news about mass murders in sacred places like schools and churches and synagogues.

As the man with the gun sings along with the congregation, I can only envision our massacred bodies and imagine myself tackling him no matter what he does. I convince myself I will fight back, but my body betrays me as I remain frozen, unable to act.

I’m going to stop here, though, because we all know how this ends. Nothing happens.

In fact, for all the author’s fear, it turns out the person in question is a sheriff in the area. In other words, a law enforcement officer who would be carrying regardless of the laws banning you or me from doing so. Her panic is even less justified than it would be.

Yet the author doesn’t self-reflect and recognize that maybe her hysteria was misplaced.

Oh no, she uses this story to try and justify infringing on the rights of others. Her fearmongering is little more than an effort to try and make you feel bad about holding onto your right to keep and bear arms. She expects lawmakers in Alabama to take her fear into account as they consider laws.

But what about the fear of those who sat in a church in Southerland Springs, Texas? They sat there and watched as an armed maniac gunned down members of the congregation and were powerless to do anything about it. Is that fear somehow preferable to the fear of the unknown represented by someone’s poor understanding of who carries a firearm openly?

Absolutely not.

The fearmongering from those who do not value the right to keep and bear arms is just that, fearmongering. Her anecdote is devoid of fact and heavy on paranoia, but what else do you expect to see grace the pages of the L.A. Times?