For generations, cars were the de facto cultural stand-in for dicks, only to be replaced by guns. For the past couple of days, the internet has been abuzz with the dick-waving lunatics of Open Carry Texas, starring in their own videos of themselves being kicked out of restaurants like Chili’s and Sonic. There’s one great shot from one of these videos that’s been overlooked, and it beautifully illustrates the glaring flaw in the “responsible gun owner” opposition to gun safety and regulation.
You may remember Open Carry Texas from their armed standoff against four moms whom they surmised probably wanted to be raped, but the group was back at it last week, filming themselves getting ejected from Chili’s and Sonic.
They posted the videos on YouTube, then took them down, but Mother Jones rescued them and put ’em back up. As MJ notes, these demonstrations have become a public relations nightmare for the group, and indeed for all gun nuts, so they’re trying to tone it down:
Open Carry Texas and other gun groups, whose common goal is legalizing the open carrying of handguns in their state, evidently have concluded that none of this is helping their cause. On Friday, four of the groups released a joint statement asking supporters to retreat from such tactics. “We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited,” the statement said.
For open carrying going forward, their new “unified protocol and general policy” advises supporters to avoid corporate businesses altogether, and not to post pictures if they do get permission and decide to go in. “If at all possible,” it says, “keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly.”
As helpful as it is to have these guys out there terrifying normal people with their gun fetish, it’s really for the best that they’re stopping, because apparently, Open Carry Texas’ eight rules for open carry demonstrations don’t include “No pointing guns at babies.”
As you can see at the top of the page, there is an actual baby in that baby seat. To be fair, though, if you watch the video, the guy isn’t so much pointing his gun at the baby as the dad is pointing his baby at the gun. The guy with the gun actually seems to be trying to back away every time this dude puts his baby under the gun, literally:
This shot pretty clearly illustrates why people don’t want these guys winding their way through restaurants with their guns bumping into diners’ heads, but it also exposes the fallacy in the gun culture’s insistence that gun regulations only hurt responsible gun owners, and are ignored by everyone else. Most serious gun owners are hyper-aware of safety, and probably very proud of their skill at safely handling firearms, but their policy attitudes falsely assume that everyone else is, too. That guy with the baby probably thinks he’s Joe Safety, and while its bad enough that his kids have to deal with it, so do the rest of us.
Everyone thinks their gun is safe until it isn’t. What I’ve never been able to figure out is why the people who make the biggest effort to become proficient in the use and handling of firearms do their very best to make sure that just any asshole can have one, too. Knowing the dangers of unsafe and inept handling of firearms as they do, it makes no sense to me that gun enthusiasts would oppose making others demonstrate their fitness to own one. It’s like tall kids opposing height restrictions on roller-coasters.
The answer appears to be that gun culture has been co-opted by a reckless minority that does all of its thinking with their fake dicks, because as Bob Cesca pointed out, most gun owners favor common sense regulation. When Bob says we need a “Hard Look” at gun culture, he’s righter than he knows, because right now, only the NRA is getting anyone hard.