My my, how times have changed. Back when my first wife worked for Time/Life on Bond Street in London, the company hadn’t quite sunk into the Time/Warner then CNN mire. Henry Luce’s patrician vibe permeated the place, from the sedate architecture to the quite murmur of worker bees selling populist continuation series (i.e. books) to semi-literate Europeans. The company sold the building years ago. And Time now feels free to publish a blog where a writer can swear at people who disagree with his opinion on gun rights. The argument here: anyone who thinks he or she needs to pack a pistol at the Detroit Arts, Beats & Eats Festival is a paranoid pest who poses a danger to his fellow citizens . . .
. . . when I see gun owners making arguments to openly carry weapons to places like the upcoming Arts, Beats & Eats cultural festival in Royal Oak, I’m left shaking my head. I mean, I know what the law may say, but do you really need a sidearm at an outdoor festival that’ll be attended by tens of thousands of people in one of the most granola suburbs in our area? Doesn’t Royal Oak have a police department? Are that many metro Detroit gun owners that given over to paranoia? . . .
So stay your ass at home then if that’s how you feel.
This isn’t about rights, to me. It’s about reason. I mean, being able to imagine a threat doesn’t make it plausible. Walking to the ATM at night or jogging through a park or pulling into your darkened driveway, you’d be smart to be packing. But strolling among street artists and smiling couples and little kids chowing down on BBQ chicken wings? For this you need a gun bulging from your hip holster? Oh, I’m sure you could concoct some Jack Bauer-esque scenario that would call for you whipping out the Smith & Wesson 1911, but again, how reasonable is that?
The Virginia Tech Massacre began at the university’s West Ambler Johnston Hall.
The UK’s Hungerford Massacre started at 12:30 on a quiet high street in Berkshire.
Of the D.C. “Beltway Sniper’s” victims, one was mowing the grass, another was seated on a bench waiting for a bus, another was vacuuming her minivan at a Shell station.
Australia’s Hoddle Street Massacre is named after the suburban street in Victoria where Julian Knight murdered seven people and injured 17.
In 1994, Chinese First Lieutenant Tian Mingjian murdered “dozens” of people, shot indiscriminately in Jianguomen.
And those are just spree killers. What of the tens of thousands of people robbed and/or assaulted going to or from, or at, major public gatherings around the country and, indeed, the world?
It’s bad enough that Time blogger Darrell Dawsey seeks to diss-miss gun owners who seek to protect their families as they stroll around in crowded public places, which attract crime like a school of fish attract alpha predators. But it’s worse that. Dawsey then seeks to portray legal gun owners as homicidal maniacs on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
Think legal gun owners can’t fall victim to the same unchecked emotions? Edward Bell was a licensed gun owner. He was 65 years old, a hard-working Detroiter and by all appearances a responsible man. And yet when thrown into the heat of a serious incident in May, a carjacker making off with his ride, Bell didn’t act reasonably, intelligently. The thief had already taken his car without harming him. The actual “threat” was gone, speeding away in Bell’s SUV. But the fear and the anger, they still lingered. So instead of calling the cops, Bell ran up the block shooting at the carjacker. One of his bullets killed 69-year-old Geraldine Jackson as she made dinner for her family.
She died because a licensed gun owner lost control and made a serious mistake. It wasn’t just that Bell couldn’t stop a threat. It’s that he let emotions and knee-jerk reactions turn him into one.
Emotions and knee-jerk reactions? Blogger heal thyself.