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Response to: Man carries assault rifle to Obama protest — and it’s legal

August 25, 2009

You know how word limits on papers are often more limiting than an unlimited length? This is a little how we feel with this story; it has almost too many speaking points. Let’s start at the very beginning: “Man carries assault rifle to protest”. Let us put the legality thing aside for just a moment.

Now, maybe it’s just us. Maybe we’re just a trio of radical, new-age, left-wing communists who would love nothing more than to dismantle a centuries-old constitutional right. Maybe we’re just a bunch of Birkenstock-sporting, I’m-okay-you’re-okay, Dude-where’s-my-dread-wax hippies who want only world peace and saved whales. Maybe we’re just intellectual East-Coast eggheads who see a more constructive resolution to conflicts than to meet at high noon and settle it like absurdly well-armed cowboys. So you’ll have to forgive us on this whole legality aspect, as it does get just a little fuzzy when the second you actually use this accessory we have never seen Clinton and Stacey suggest it becomes illegal, doesn’t it?

It seems like a slippery slope. Owning a handgun is okay as long as you don’t use it. Owning an assault rifle is okay as long as you don’t use it. Owning a Panzer is okay as long as you don’t use it (though I question its ability to meet fuel efficiency requirements, but that is neither here nor there). And if we’re okaying the mere possession of potentially deadly instruments with an earnest promise of innocent intentions, then why are some countries so worked up about other countries developing nuclear capabilities. Just sayin’…

The article goes on to quote its eponymous heat-packing subject, who says, “I come from another state where ‘open carry’ is legal, but no one does it, so the police don’t really know about it and they harass people, arrest people falsely… I think that people need to get out and do it more so that they get kind of conditioned to it.” You know, I think he has a point. We are far too conditioned to be wary of handguns out in public, let alone assault rifles. Maybe we need them to be more commonplace. Let the U.S. of A. equip its baristas, its sandwich artists, and its lunch ladies with only the powerful legal firearms. That will desensitize all of us to the shock now reserved only for a certain oft-pantless pop queen’s famously demure public attire. Because, as we all know, accidents never happen, firearms are never misused, and guns never get into the hands of anyone other than police officers, vigilantes, and those Girls-With-Low-Self-Esteem from that episode of Manswers with the giant handguns (they were, we concede, ludicrously sizeable). Freedom fries for all!

Maybe what we’re really trying to say is that if the Constitution is soooooo great, the fact that there are 27 different amendments suggests that maybe the forefathers didn’t exactly do a bang-up job the first time around. But that’s okay, because along the way, we’ve learned that various administrations just tracked change-d in some updates (thank you, nameless and academically questionable online information resource).

In fact, some of them are pretty good, like freedom of speech, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s right to vote. But we can’t help but wonder if any of our southerly neighbours are also wondering whether it’s time to revisit numero deux so that your friends and family aren’t casually toting semi-automatic weapons to family reunions, book clubs, and presidential appearances with a “What, this old thing?” innocence.

This article bears a vague similarity to shopping trips to H&M: the article (store) is simply too baffling (brimming with shiny accessories) that you cannot resist going on at length (buying ephemerally trendy hipster clothes in the hopes that you’ll show those American Apparel elitists that you don’t need their flesh-coloured acid wash jeans to rock out to Justice, thank you very much). Showing the utmost restraint and limiting ourselves to only one pair of ironic sunglasses, figuratively speaking, we’ll close on this: some guy gets to bring an assault rifle to a presidential appearance, nobody bats an eye, and he goes on to say that more people should do it? For serious?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom of one of the writers permalink
    August 25, 2009 10:59 am

    Fantastic start – keep this up. The news is a never-ending source of bewilderment.

  2. Co-worker of two of the three bloggers permalink
    August 25, 2009 11:43 am

    This site is awesome, Emily I’m a little disappointed that our friendly workplace banter did not making it into your bio. This, however, is clearly my fault. I haven’t been stepping up my game because I felt that for my last week of work we could enjoy some piece and civility. For this article I believe what the so eloquently put “gunman” was trying to show was exactly what your article tries to point out. The “gunman” was showing how ludacris it is to be allowed to carry suck weapons and when he said that “people need to be conditioned to it” he really meant “me being allowed to do this is insane” and when he said more people should do this he meant “think of the women and children”. I believe this….steward….this cadillac of revolutionaries should be thanked for pointing out such an issue in such a subtle manner.

  3. Mike T permalink
    August 25, 2009 1:02 pm

    I’m more concerned about the fact that some of these folks are associated with a crazy right-wing conspiracy-theory-fueled militia that has previously plotted to blow up federal buildings than their legal carrying of firearms outdoors.

    Also, freedom of speech, while technically within an amendment, is part of the bill of rights and was enshrined contemporarily with the Constitution by its framers.

    Also, also – rather than “no one batting an eye,” this guy with his rifle made headlines across the country. While his actions may be legal, they are obviously considered out of the mainstream.

  4. Woman carrying assult rifle while surfing 'For Serious?' permalink
    August 25, 2009 2:03 pm

    I went to “like” this article and realized I wasn’t on Facebook.

    Too bad my automatic responce to escape leaving structured valuable feedback by simply “like”ing something has completely stripped me of my abilities to do so. Otherwise, I would attempt to say something witty and positive.

    Maybe I’ll work on this for next time.

    Instead, I will sit here peacefully with my assult rifle and practice my right to do so. Unless I accidentally shoot the computer or myself, I look forward to the next “For Serious?” post.

  5. August 25, 2009 5:56 pm

    HILARIOUS. Thanks for the food for thought– this is a great start. I’m excited to see more

  6. Sblades permalink
    August 25, 2009 9:09 pm

    For serious. You guys are my new source of OMFG-inducing political humor.

  7. CraigJ permalink
    August 27, 2009 2:47 pm

    “What, this old thing?”
    Hahaha. Awesome post.

  8. Adam Popper permalink
    August 27, 2009 7:36 pm

    As a Canadian interning in the US (San Francisco, not quite like the rest of the US) for the summer, I am reminded of how diverse this country can be. Although the’re aren’t assault rifles on these streets, it does give me pause to think of how normal that might be just a few counties away. (Thinking of the Normalcy of seeing large guns on the street reminds me of my experiences in militarised urban environments like North Africa and the middle east.) Another reason to be excited to return to the repressive regime of gun-control I call, home.

    Congrats on the blog and keep it coming.

  9. September 10, 2009 5:28 am

    Very good work, interesting post, bookmarked !

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