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.