Oh, do I have a large, menacing weapon on my back? I didn’t notice…

January 14, 2013

The world is driven by the deep insecurities of its people, regardless of whether those insecurities have any factual basis to them.  I find this belief becoming more and more plausible as the post-Sandy Hook shooting discussion over guns in America has devolved to “THEYS COMIN’ TO TAKE ALL OUR GUNS!”  and “MAH ARSENAL IS THE ONLY THING KEEPING THE KING OF ENGLAND OUT OF MY REC ROOM!”

Front and center regarding my “insecurities as catalyst” theory is this story about two guys in Portland walking around the streets with assault rifles on their back for the purpose of, according to one of these geniuses, “exercising my rights with a rifle to try to decrease the demonizing of peacefully exercising your rights in public.”  Apparently it’s legal to walk around in Oregon with a firearm in the open, but like with all things just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  People kept calling 911 to report seeing men with guns walking down the street, prompting the cops to keep coming out to make sure nothing was going on.

My first thought when I read about this story was “I bet these two are white.”  And sure enough they were.  That’s the joy of being white: honkeys can get away with doing crazy shit like this.  When it comes to white people and ridiculous notions, there’s no limit to level of absoludicriousness we can reach. But the flipside is that as nutball as white people can get, we also get freaked out just as easily.  A member of the Black Panthers stands outside a voting precinct with a billy club and a scowl and the FOXNews crowd shits its pants like the Race War has started, but two crackers walk down a street with rifles on their backs and it registers nothing.  We had people pissing themselves over Muslims having a cultural center a few blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be, so imagine the cardiac shit-fit that would have been cast if they had guns too.  This is the shit you don’t have to worry about when your complexion is lighter than a cup of coffee with four creamers in it.

Again, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, as seen here:

Officers said carrying firearms openly is legal in Oregon and carrying a concealed gun is legal with a valid license. However, doing one or both may generate 911 calls and possibly tie up resources that are needed for a true emergency.

Warren said he hoped people would approach them and talk to them, instead of calling police.

“Hey, that man has a large gun, let’s go up and talk to him,” said no one ever.  An exposed weapon is not a conversation starter with a stranger, it’s a warning.  And while you and your friend know that you’re not going to start shooting people, the rest of us don’t and we’re not going to take your word for it.  At least with concealed carry we don’t have trust that you’re not going to shoot up the place because we don’t know that you have a weapon, and therefore have no basis to conceive you could do such a thing.  You’re actually taking other people’s feelings into account when you don’t peacock around with your semi-auto self-worth validator.

You don’t trust your fellow man enough to leave your house without a rifle on your back, but you expect me to trust you?

And we get dumber with every passing day…

“What they really should do is observe the person to determine if the person is aggressive,” (Warren) said of seeing someone with a gun in public. “We’re not doing anything threatening to anyone.”

Again, only you know that.  We can’t read your mind, we can only observe what we see and what we see is two guys armed with rifles that can easily be swung around into a firing position in less time than it takes to say the word Onomatopoeia.  Are we to deny our instinct that someone with an exposed weapon is inherently dangerous, or are we to trick ourselves into thinking the counter-intuitive notion of  “No, they can’t be potentially dangerous, that’s just what they’d be expecting.”

And what is the precedence for this? What other country has random citizens walking around with rifles in the open?  Somalia?  Uganda? Mexico?  They don’t even do this bullshit in Israel, and they’re surrounded by people who hate them.  If someone’s walking around in public with a rifle in Israel, they likely have a military rank high enough to warrant their doing so.  In Oregon, it’s just some insecure yahoo.  And no one gets rockets shot at them in fucking Oregon.

It’s probably another evolution of the “Fuck You” default setting that Americans come pre-loaded with upon birth, like so much useless software on your new computer.  When you have so many people yelling “Fuck You” at each other, you need to find bigger ways to assert your “Fuck You” as the dominant one.  And what better way than by strutting around with a big gun.  Are you going to say “Fuck You” to the guy with semi-auto in plain view?  “I’m gonna do what I want and you ain’t gonna say shit to me because I got a gun and I want you to know it.  Look how big my balls are!  LOOK AT THEM!  Don’t call me insecure!  I’VE GOT A GUN!  I’M SECURE AS A MOTHERFUCKER!”

Bill Hicks told us that we have a simple choice to make if we want to change our lives – a choice between fear and love.  I take that as a prompt to examine why we do the things we do.  Are we doing something out of fear, or out of love?  Adding to that notion is are you acting in ways that make people want to act out of fear or love toward you?  Something tells me carrying a rifle on your back through town isn’t something you’re doing out of love, and it’s not encouraging any love toward you either.




  1. It’s an interesting conundrum. I doubt the laws were intended to promote this type of behavior, particularly in urban areas. Likely, they are old laws, and may have been put into place as some kind of compromise with the concealed weapons laws. One would think that the cities themselves could create laws to prevent this from occurring in urban centers where it is obviously unacceptable. In any case, the individuals performing this action may be doing so to “decrease the demonizing of individual rights,” but what they’re really doing is calling attention to the fact that the gun laws need to be changed. In that regard, they may be doing society a favor. It’s like saying, “oh, by the way, our weapons laws are really fucked up. Need proof? Look on my back, dude.” Now let’s see what Oregon does about it.

  2. This may be your best ever. I despair of the human race, and especially of that “Fuck You” default setting, but at least you can make me laugh about it.

  3. they will say “i love my gun AND fear my government”…. right before they say “hey, hold my beer and watch this…”

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