While I’m not surprised by the denial, I was a bit shocked to see the comment by Barry, another blogger who runs The Inn of the Last Home from Tennessee. It is the quintessential gun-phobe:
I just…I just blink my eyes in amazement everytime this crops up – actually watching people feel the need to carry a concealed weapon in public…
If I were to take a live, armed weapon and carry it on my person, in public, it would eat away at my sanity just as if it were emitting lethal radiation. To know that I carried an instrument of sure and certain death on my person, available and ready to be pulled out and used at a moment’s notice to possibly kill…a child. A homeless person. An innocent.
Obviously that is not your intent. You want to protect yourself – maybe that is how you feel in California. But being brought up in Eastern Tennessee I’ve never once felt the need to protect myself from imminent bodily harm in public. And if I were aware of a location that might be unduly hazardous – a dark alley, a badly lighted parking area – I would avoid it. I’ve never been mugged, nor can I readily pull up a name of any person I’ve ever met that’s been mugged or even bodily threatened in my whole life.
What scares me most is the arbitrary nature of self-defense. What line must be crossed to signal to you that there is imminent danger or threat? Is it a criminal pulling a gun on you? In which case, unless you’re a gunslinger, you’re not going to outdraw him. Is it someone pulling a knife? Threatening words? Bad language or rude gestures? Where is that one point where you decide, “Yes, my life or the life of my loved ones is in danger and I must now take it upon myself to take the life of another person.” What if the guy is reaching into his jacket, and you are sure, absolutely certain that it is a weapon. You pull your gun and shoot–and see he’s reaching for his wallet. Or worse, you miss and hit a child running in the street. Where is that line?
The radiation would rot my brain and I would never be able to live with myself.
Maybe it’s different in California. Maybe it’s different in Tennessee. Maybe I don’t love my family enough…maybe I love them too much. But I know myself, and know that if I surrendered to the paranoia – and I mean that in the most basic sense – there would be no turning back.
I’ll stay in the light, thanks.
Note the change: “If I were to take a live, armed weapon and carry it on my person, in public, it would eat away at my sanity just as if it were emitting lethal radiation.” Followed below by: “The radiation would rot my brain….”
That is fear of an inanimate object. He actually believes that the presence of a firearm will warp his sanity.
Barry, I applaud your decision to remain unarmed. I hope, however, that you will get some psychiatric or psychological treatment for your crippling fear of your own lack of control.
And I sincerely hope that neither you nor anyone you know becomes the victim of a violent crime.
But please, don’t project your mental disturbance on others.
UPDATE: The original JSKit/Echo comment thread is available here, thanks to reader John Hardin.