Thursday, January 17, 2013

This is Where I Live

Utah is going to be in the news for the next few days.

No, it isn't because the Sundance film festival is starting, or because we have another Nobel prize winning scientist among us. It isn't even because the Mormon church is making headlines. It's because some idiot decided to go into a store like this.

Yes, that is an assault rifle. Yes, it is perfectly legal for him to be carrying it. Under Utah state law as long as the gun is unloaded, or he has a concealed carry permit, he can take it anywhere he wants, no matter if it makes others around him feel unsafe, or if he has mental problems, or if it is just plain dumb. Yes, the police can stop and question him, but as long as he meets the criteria, he can do what he wants.

Do we all see the problem with this?

Guns are becoming more important than people.

More important than maintaining a civil society.

Don't tell me this is about rights. If this were about rights then the same people screaming about guns would be screaming that homosexual couples should have the right to express their love like all other Americans, and that women should be able to make their own reproductive decisions. After all, don't all "slippery slopes" end at the bottom?

Don't tell me this is about safety. I could quote a millions studies showing how a gun in the home is more likely to get the residents injured or killed than any intruder. How having a gun involved in a  crime raised the risk of fatalities. How most of the people who commit gun crimes own their firearm, don't steal it. However, if you have ignored those studies before, you are going to ignore them now.

Don't tell me this is about hunting, or self-reliance.  That dude is not going hunting at JC Penney. I know they claim to have "killer prices" but I don't think he is trying to take it to the extreme.

What this is about (at least as far as I am concerned) is intimidation. It's about people who feel their way of life is being threatened and so they are figuratively and literally pulling out the big guns.  They feel they are becoming the minority after so long in power, and it's scary. I get that. But the answer isn't to threaten your fellow citizens, even under the guise of trying to protect you and them. After all, I bet if anyone talked to that guy he would say the gun was "for protection."

I really wish that we could all just talk about this. That I could say to someone "I fear that guns are becoming so prevalent that I want background checks on the parents of all of my daughter's friends" without being told I am a liberal fascist (yeah, I know, but I have seen the term used). I am sure that gun owners want to vent their fears of inadvertently being painted as criminals because they are exercising a constitutional right.

That won't happen though -- at least not right now. So, maybe we could all just agree not to be total assholes. At least not in ways that makes everyone else in the state have to explain to their friends why exactly it is we live here again. We can only extoll the beauty of the mountains, and the not so weird liquor laws, so many times.



Amanda said...

You hit the nail on the head, Lib.

Riot Kitty said...

Two guys did that here right near a daycare. What a bunch of assholes.

You are so right. Why can't we have a rational dialogue about this? Probably because of the minority of irrational people arguing through a powerful lobby group.

Jody said...

Well said.

America might be the land of the 'free' but this is too much.

It scares me that the law makers spend so much time trying to oppose the other topics you mentioned but do nothing about gun laws.

It's a scary time to be raising children.

Robert said...

As I understand it, the gun doesn't even have to be unloaded. It just has to require some additional action, other than pulling the trigger, to fire. So the gun can contain a full clip, and the clip can be locked in, as long as there isn't a round in the firing chamber.

LL Cool Joe said...

I have to say I don't understand gun law in the States, but trust me when I say I'm not getting smug, I can see the UK going the same way, but at the moment it isn't.

That guy is seriously fucked up and a danger to himself and everyone else. Let's be honest, no 'normal" balanced person walks around with a gun strapped to their back.

apluseffort said...

Hear hear. I hate having to defend Chicago from the many, many people who like to cite Chicago as "proof" gun regulation doesn't work because our murder rate is ridiculously high. Nevermind that 74% of the assholes just went and bought their guns legally in Indiana or elsewhere in Illinois and then set about to murderin' in Chicago which, to me, make the opposite point. Regulations for everyone - wheeee!

Nicole said...

Yes yes and yes to everything you wrote here. I could not agree more.

Anonymous said...


Jen said...

Yes. So much yes.

south park hopper said...

So true, but what is also truly frightening is the commentary on message boards online. Nobody understands, and hatefully criticize why Obama had those kids on stage with him. They don't get or have forgotten we're supposed to leave a safer nation to those kids. Instead of fearing bad grades, kids now see the horror stories of Virgina Tech, Aurora, Newtown, even the milatary base that was massacred last year. Kids shouldn't have to live in fear. I spent my summers growing up in East Oakland, hearing shots ring nightly followed by ambulances. Irresponsible gun "owners", basically killers. We moved to Utah and guns were used for hunting and protection. None of the hunting rifles looked like military rifles. Walking around with guns like this jerk is simply fuels the fear, not defend safety and protection. What an idiot. People need to understand that protecting yourself can be done wth a .9, .45, .357mm handgun and you hunt with long barrel rifles anyways. To make yourself look like a militia man becuase the forefathers (that needed them to confron the British) put it in the constitution is purely idiotic.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many times I have seen "so called" concealed weapons. It is baffling to me that anyone would get out of their car, strap on their assault rifle and go shopping at Penny's.

They have enough problems. Like still selling polyester elastic waistband granny pants.

G. B. Miller said...

I can't even say on this blog what I think of that idiot in the picture.

So I'll be content on calling him an "idiot".

Debbiemonty said...

I bet gun violence in that town is low. No one would be foolish enough to pull off a shooting with people who can protect themselves. I would feel very safe in that mall.

VEG said...

does he feel so threatened he wears an assault rifle to prevent people messing with him? That is effed up, that any sane person would walk around that way. I don't get the gun control debate at all, there are very few legit reasons a person should require a gun. It's out of control. I don't know any other first world country where people are as vehemently for gun ownership as the US. Or any other first world country with the gun related crime figures it has. How can anyone not think this is an issue? sure you get random gun violence everywhere but how many school or college shootings do you hear of outside the US? VERY infrequent in comparison. just ban guns except for people with legitimate need and make it harder to get permits. violent people are violent regardless of whether they have a gun or not but then not having access to a gun will prevent spontaneous acts of violence and instantly lethal ones at least a bit.

I have spoken.

VEG said...

that comment came from my phone so excuse the violent grammar! :-)

Gina said...

There are so many things to say about this, but most of all: What a fucking idiot.

Phil said...

Loved this post. I agree with you. And the hunting at JC Penney and killer prices comment was hilarious.

Vapid Vixen said...

How did I miss this? I live in Salt Lake and didn't even hear about it.
If you want to own a gun, fine, but there is absolutely NO reason for a civilian to own an assault rifle. And then to take it on a shopping trip?

It's about common sense. Which a growing number of douche bags seem to be lacking.