Making assumptions about “open carry” gun owners

by Guest Blogger M. David Blake

Many years ago in this country, it was possible for anyone with an automobile to visit the filling station, fill their vehicle’s tank with gasoline, and then pay for it.BN-EF674_0822op_G_20140822143314

Weird concept, isn’t it? Nowadays, motorists are almost always required to either authorize a transaction at the pump, or pre-pay the cashier. And the reason for this change in expectation is simple: some motorists—statistically a very small number, but enough to be noteworthy and to ultimately affect the bottom line—figured out how easy it was to drive away without paying for their fuel.

Wait though! Why should you be forced to follow such stuffy rules? You are a responsible motorist, and you might prefer to pump first, and then pay afterward. Anyone should be able to see that you’re good for it. After all, you were able to afford a really nice car, and by golly, you’ve taken care of that sucker too!

Want to try? Good luck, because the cashier is unlikely to turn on the pump based on little more than your appearance as a “responsible motorist,” and you probably won’t be able to argue your case. Whether you are responsible or not, cashiers know, barring that restriction, someone would stiff them for a hefty dose of guzzeline.

Now, some of the open carry advocates out there are responsible gun owners. Statistically, most of them are responsible. If you are a gun owner, you are probably responsible too. I am not questioning your credentials as a responsible gun owner. We’ll take it as a given that you are safe, sane, and trustworthy.

All the same, a few of the people carrying guns around in this country are breaking the social contract. They’ve figured out how easy it is to fire off rounds at whoever the hell irritated them last, or whatever group offended their sensibilities, or anyone/anything they decided didn’t deserve to exist unmolested.

But you’ve been asking us to assume they are all responsible gun owners, because doing otherwise jeopardizes our collective trust in your own personal display of firepower.

Those mass shooters are statistically a very small number of gun owners… but they are enough to be noteworthy, and to ultimately affect the bottom line.

Here’s the bottom line:

After today, if I see weapons, my assumption is not that you are responsible gun owners. It’s that you are about to become active shooters, and that everyone should get as far away from you as possible.

M. David Blake is a science fiction writer, and the editor of STRAEON. This article first appeared on his personal Facebook page, and is reprinted with permission.

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4 thoughts on “Making assumptions about “open carry” gun owners

  1. And that’s the reason why LIABILITY insurance should become REQUIRED for all gun owners, plain and simple.
    I’m all for having using such insurance cover the cost of civil damages in the event gun owners guns get stolen and used, or if they in a moment of irritation, decide to shoot up the place.

    And eventually, the financial cost of paying for that small percentage of people who are breaking the social contract of “we’re only carrying these for our/your protection” will likely initiate a change of attitude about siding with the gun lobbyists in Washington.

    And more importantly, perhaps it will bring into better focus the general society’s views about what is acceptable when it comes to guns – Think about it, we as a society don’t find everyday citizens wandering around with knives, swords, and other dangerous weapons to be acceptable, but… just because various people who are pointing at their interpretation of one very small part of our constitution, many people in our society are oddly accepting of the idea of allowing any everyday citizen to wander around with weapons that are obviously just as lethal as those even though they probably would say that allowing everyday citizens to go around carrying grenades and other explosive weapons (including portable dirty bomb devices) in the same way as ~totally unacceptable~.

    Don’t you think that’s a logical disconnect that shouldn’t be happening?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And there have so far this year been 355 crimes classified as mass shootings and there is still a month to go in 2015. This is not same as years past, unless there were a lot that were hidden. This is just plain nuts that it is so easy for insane, hate filled people to legally get weapons of mass murder. It has to stop. If that means taking away some nutjob’s arsenal of multi-round penile replacements then so be it.

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  3. If someone’s not sane enough to carry a gun, they’re not sane enough to be out in public. Without a gun, the same nut can use a knife, a shovel, a car, or a railway platform (pushing people onto the tracks). Why the big distinction?
    Carrying a gun is not a privilege, like driving a car or cutting hair. Carrying a gun is a RIGHT. Where did this idea of licensing guns came from? How did the states EVER get away with taking away a RIGHT that was given?
    Even the idea that an ex-convict can’t carry a gun is kind of weird. There is a roundabout way, within law, to take away ex-cons’ RIGHT to bear arms like they do today, by adjusting the laws thusly: every gun crime is punishable by LIFE imprisonment, but they get out in the usual 5 to 25 years on parole; and no gun is a condition of that parole. If someone insists that the waving of the ex-cons’ RIGHT cannot be made a condition of the parole, that just means no parole, and back to life in prison they all go, because they cannot be trusted outside with the RIGHT to a gun.
    If you extend this approach to insanity, that’s a little scary. Anyone who is too dangerous to have a gun cannot be trusted outside with the RIGHT to a gun. So such people would have to be identified, and committed for life, as a danger to society, but then they can be released indefinitely, if they simply waive their RIGHT to carry a gun. At least it makes the individual’s REVISED contract with humanity explicit. Shortcuts are possible: skip the physical confinement and the voluntary agreement to a waiver of rights, and just make a blacklist. (Except that no one shall be deprived of life, limb, or property, except by a trial by jury of his peers.)
    It remains to be seen what re-giving freedom to ex-cons and nut-jobs, CONDITIONAL upon their explicit or implied waiver of their RIGHT to carry guns, brings. Will their lack of RIGHT to a gun really stop them? Will it even slow them down???
    Step one: Buy a gun and ammunition (illegally). If in a hurry, STEAL a gun and ammunition.

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    • There are several problems with your arguments.

      First being that a gun is an inalienable right… Such rights can be taken away whenever our society deems something incorrect. Take owning another person for just one example.

      Second, your further argument that no one shall be deprived of various things without a trial by jury of his peers… One example is the no fly list. Or someones “right” to go spitting in public buildings and such. The right to fly a plane, or drive a car – in some places, you can lose both by just becoming a diabetic.

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