When I encounter a hoplophobe or someone who is antipathetic toward the gun community, I’m inclined to do one of two things depending on whether the individual appears to be open minded.
If the individual is open minded, I’ll have a discussion with him or her in which I encourage that person to think critically about his/her own prejudices concerning guns and citizens who exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Along these lines, I wrote an article awhile back, “5 Tips for Winning Hearts, Minds of Anti-Gunners.” Check it out. If the person is close-minded and stubborn, the Piers Morgan type, I’ll simply call that individual an “ass clown” and then simply go on about my business because let’s face it, sometimes you can’t fix stupid.
On Wednesday I read one of the most ignorant, vitriolic and prejudicial attacks on gun owners I’ve ever read. Titled, “Scared white guys spur Black Friday gun sales to record high,” it was published by the San Francisco-based newspaper SFGate and written by Mark Morford, an ass clown of the highest order.
I thought about ignoring the article because the author of it is, as mentioned, an ass clown, someone who is so myopic in their disdain for gun owners that their incapable of having a civil discussion on the topic, but then there’s a part in the article that I couldn’t get out of my head. It’s the part where Morford profiles the average gun owner and explains why gun sales on Black Friday were record-setting.
Here’s what he has to say:
You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.
You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop…
And so you think, “Well, now I have two reasons to buy a new gun: scary black people protesting within 200 miles of my home, and a dangerously out-of-control police force who might someday storm my house and confiscate my illegal taxidermy collection.” Ah, the perfect collusion.
Wait, make that three reasons: Toss in a Black Friday mega-sale at the local Gun Barn (30% off the AR-15, AKA “America’s gun,” the same semi-automatic rifle used in lots of massacres, and that killed a couple kids in Oregon just last year) and it’s off to the exhausted feds with your application.
Apparently we’re all rubes who have a pathological fear of big government and black people. And that’s why we purchase firearms.
I figured the best way for us to respond to these allegations was to just disclose who we are and why we exercise our Second Amendment rights. Again, we’re not going to change Morford’s mind, but for others who have read his article and my be inclined to accept his stereotype, let’s tell him who we really are.
I’ll go first. I’m a white male. Age 32. Residence: Buffalo, New York. But I spent the last decade in Los Angeles, California. Specifically Burbank and Sherman Oaks. I received a BA in English Literature from Canisius College. I have been to Mexico. Once. Cancun. In college. And I’d go back, but I’d have to bring my GF.
I’m currently reading “Sister Carrie” by Dreiser. Prior to that, I read the novella the “Death of Ivan Ilyich” by Tolstoy. Are these “complicated” books? I don’t know. But they’re well written. I like “new” things and experiences. Though, I’m not sure I like “weird” things, activities. It depends on how weird we’re talking. Like, I’m not into sniffing bicycle seats in a public park, that’s really weird, but I do like weird and irreverent humor, e.g. Wes Anderson films. I do watch Fox News, but I also watch CNN and MSNBC. Quite honestly though, I watch more ESPN then the three combined. I’m a big NFL fan. GO BILLS!
I don’t like looters, carjackers and thugs, be they white, black, brown, yellow, red, purple or any other color, race or ethnicity. I have no problem with peaceful demonstrations and protests. I’ll admit, the looting and rioting in Ferguson is distressing, but it’s certainly not the reason why I am going to buy a firearm this holiday season or why I own guns to begin with. I own guns because I like to shoot, I like to hunt, and I like to know that I have the ability to defend myself, my family and my property in the face of an imminent threat. It would seem to me that everyone would like to know how to defend themselves should perilous circumstances arise. It’s not about being overly fearful, but about being prepared for the unpredictability of life. Shit happens. And if/when it does, I don’t want to be standing around wishing I was equipped to deal with the situation.
In any event, do I sound paranoid? Under-educated? Scared?
If you’d like to, in the comment section, tell them who you are, why you own firearms, etc. so we can disabuse those who believe in Morford’s stereotype of gun owners.