How many gun rights activists does it take to change a light
bulb? 301. 100 to blame the burned out bulb on a gun-free zone; 100 to call the
replacement a threat to their constitutional rights, 100 to post prepper
remarks about Hitler and the ATF and 1 to change a light bulb.
Anyone who covers the gun debate gets a volume of threatening and repetitive emails that seem like they are written by one person with 12,000 different signatures. Passionate and inchoate, the writer is both a "tough guy" not to be messed with and a victim whose "rights" are being violated. Make up your mind!
He is terrified of gun grabbers and the government who want to disarm him. (Psychology books have a lot to say about that.) He is terrified of "bad guys" even though he is in a rural or suburban setting that is virtually crime-free. He is a classic bully with a high fear level that only subsides when he acts fierce and makes others scared. He only feels safe if he can "carry" everywhere and becomes enraged at places that ban guns. He has a huge amount of time on his hands to "defend" gun rights and seems to lack a day job.
But despite all their bluster, carriers do not make themselves or others safe. If carrying made someone safe, no one from President Reagan to Chris Kyle to Sean Collier, the officer allegedly killed by the Boston bombing suspects, would be shot. Nor are carriers trained like the Secret Service, Kyle or law enforcement personnel. Yet despite fallen officers and carriers whose weapons were used against them, the myth that carriers protect themselves and others continues. When a 20/20 special revealed that trained gun carriers could not stop an assailant they knew would attack , there was a cascade of "yes buts" from gun rights activists, rejecting the terms of shootout. Maybe the assailant should have approached from two blocks away and yelled "draw."
The myth that carriers protect themselves and others harms innocent bystanders, as two recent shootings at Starbucks illustrate. In both cases, women were given guns by their fathers to "protect" them, only to drop their purses and shoot, or almost shoot, other customers. Starbucks welcomes guns into its stores.
At a Cheyenne, Wyoming Starbucks in 2011, a juvenile girl dropped her purse, discharging her gun. "The bullet missed John Basile, 43, by about 12 inches," reported the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. The unidentified girl had never taken a hunter safety class or any kind of formal firearms training and had been encouraged by her mother to point the gun at a "bad person" if she were in trouble. Right.
This week, an eerie replay happened. Another woman given a gun by her father dropped her purse and discharged her weapon at a Starbucks, this time in St. Petersburg, Florida. The woman said she'd forgotten the gun was in her purse and had never taken it out to clean or service it, reported the Tampa Bay Times.