Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Like, Um, Did You Appreciate Your Gun Yesterday?

The fellow in the picture above was appreciating his in public a day before the Gun Appreciation Day festivities commenced, having worn his festive gun appreciation attire to a J. C. Penney's in Riverdale, UT, where a minimum of fuss was commenced. It's altogether legal, mind you--

Just a little weird:

Cindy Yorgason says that even for a firearm-friendly state like Utah, it was out of the ordinary. 
Yorgason took two photos of the man and posted them on Facebook, where they received hundreds of comments and have been shared more than a thousand times. 
The Salt Lake Tribune identified the man as 22-year-old Joseph Kelley, who says he was trying to demonstrate that the weapons aren't dangerous when handled by law-abiding people
Kelley says the AR-15 he was carrying was unloaded, which is legal.

"The weapons aren't dangerous when handled by law-abiding people."  I really want everyone to keep that thought in mind when considering how the actual Gun Appreciation celebrations came off in a few different parts of the country:

 Emergency personnel had to be called to the scene of the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina after a gun accidentally discharged and shot two people at the show’s safety check-in booth just after 1 pm. Both victims were transported to an area hospital, and the Raleigh Fire Department announced that the show would be closed for the rest of the day.
Well that was--there's more?

 Two similar incidents occurred at entirely separate gun shows in the Midwest, one in the Cleveland suburb of Medina, Ohio and the other at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. In Ohio, the local ABC affiliate reports that one individual was brought to a hospital by EMS, and in Indiana Channel 8 WISH says that an individual shot himself in the hand while trying to reload his gun in the show parking lot. That brings the tally to 4 victims of gun violence so far at three different gun shows during the country’s first Gun Appreciation Day.
Right. This isn't to gloat or anything over other people's injuries. Actually, to make an altogether different point, in the US, this Saturday, just like any other day, dozens of people actually died from "bad guys with guns" , even in the presence of good guys with guns.  And while the point of Gun Appreciation Day had been to promote the safety and utility of firearms for home and personal protection, the actual story regarding gun ownership and the potential for harm is more complicated.  The point is that guns are serious business, and something like this "Appreciation Day" is a little flippant about how they are used and misused.

But anyway, back to RifleBoy in the picture up top. I know that the superficial reason that he brought his guns to the mall was to prove a point about guns, but the link I gave there was the non-weirdo version. The extended-play version of his explanation was:

"I felt no negative vibes from anyone," Kelley told the Tribune. "I think it went rather surprisingly well. 
He said he carries weapons with him in order to protect children and others from "criminals, cartels, drug lords" and other "evil men."
Because, you know. Salt Lake City Riverdale drug lords ain't no joke.  Especially when you creep on their turf on JCP.  Stuff gets real.

Maybe I'm just snide about this because if you grow up in a large East Coast metropolis (or even a middling one), you intimately understand why you don't engage in gun play with drug lords, and therefore don't fantasize about these things, and also do not entertain the belief that people should see someone with a rifle strapped on their person and be desensitized to that as if it did not mean--"Go and get yourself scarce."

I believe if we get to the point that seeing people all strapped on and bandoliered-up isn't cause for concern in our daily lives, we have a problem far more serious than the fear of the government deciding to snatch our toys away.  (Yes, I know they aren't toys, so what are these law-abiding folks using them for--fashion accessories?)

Folks, did you all appreciate some cops and EMTs and people like that yesterday? Because, that's what I actually do rather a lot, especially when I hear about gun violence in a city like mine.


upyernoz said...

It's altogether legal, mind you...

i've been thinking about that, but i'm not sure that it necessarily is. mr. kelly could have been charged with disturbing the peace, which is an offense in utah. even though the gun nuts might claim that the crime would not apply here because of the second amendment, most instances of disturbing the peace involve speech notwithstanding the first amendment.

Vixen Strangely said...

It seems to me like it should be some kind of disturbance--at any rate, how would anyone know this person is carrying his weapons for "educational" purposes? It would look suspect to reasonably people that one wouldn't be carrying guns without some intent, wouldn't it? And if he's making a "statement" it's "Possibly fire!" in a crowded mall.