David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

Empty holsters

You may have heard something about last week's open holster protest on college campuses. Depending on where you are, your permit to carry a concealed weapon may be inoperable on campus. In Utah, apparently, your permit covers you on campus; in Florida and most other places, it doesn't. This is inconvenient: "Hey, I've got to drop this off at the lab! I'll just swing by -- er, after I stop off at home and put my gun in the safe so I'm not breaking the law for the five minutes I'm on campus."

The idea was to wear an empty holster as part of a silent protest against this policy. I was a little ambivalent about it, because I don't like making people uncomfortable. And let's face it: if people aren't familiar with guns, the presence of them, or the suggestion of said presence, can freak them out. It's often said that Americans are more comfortable seeing a man holding a gun than holding the hand of another man. To which this gun-nut would say: oh, yeah? Try it. I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and I put a lot of thought and care into not freaking the mundanes. You have to, and not just because it's nice -- a while back, a permit-holder in Tennessee got shoved around by a cop who didn't know carry law. On TV shows, of course, the relative ubiquity of guns vs. hand-holding is much more likely to be true. The catch is that there, the person holding the gun is likely to be a representative of authority, or an outlaw. On TV, folks with guns tend to be either cops or crooks. Civilians never touch the things. (That's one reason I like SUPERNATURAL so much: my God! People who aren't police or military own guns! The sky is falling!)

On the other hand, I disagree with the existing policy, and visibility is a necessary precursor to change. So I wore an empty holster when I was on campus. Nobody seemed bothered. I think because they didn't notice. Black kydex doesn't stand out much. Maybe next time I'll put a flower in the thing, or something.

(Hmm. Actually, I think it would be pretty fun to team up with the GLTB student groups for a Pink Pistols event -- men with empty holsters holding hands! Or a "Same Sex Gun-Holding Day" at the range. Call it a "Red River" Day, in honor of the famous scene with Montgomery Clift and John Ireland in that John Wayne picture...)
Tags: guns, life

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