Bigotry examples

In the past I have had the impression that Sebastian has not wholly bought into my advocacy of portraying anti-gun people as bigots. But this post by him has him landing on the topic with both feet and getting into a word fight with the Brady Campaign.

I can understand people being of the opinion that pushing the bigotry meme is not productive. But I don’t think any rational person can defend the claim that the following post by Mark Morford is anything other than the words of a bigot:

Hello and welcome to our store! Please, feel free to look around, make yourself comfortable, enjoy our fine offerings and, oh yes, by the way? Please, no murdering.

Also, no raping, gang-banging, popping off, stabbing, mauling, stealing stuff, or walking around in a confrontational macho huff, ready at a moment’s notice to harass any of our normal patrons with a snarl and a vague threat of violence because you feel it is your God-given right, given how you are a card-carrying member of a pro-gun “Open Carry” sect that likes to strap unloaded handguns to your Wranglers, walk around in public places and freak people out. Thank you so much!

I’m sorry, I see you are still wearing your little weapon and strutting about like you are the rather doughy, bad-skinned king of the sand castle. Perhaps we were not clear? Shall we try it again?

Clearly, you are not a police officer. Therefore, the management, our employees and pretty much everyone within a 100-mile radius would very much appreciate it if you would put away that ego-fluffing man-toy that is designed solely to kill other living creatures and induce fear and ignorance as it regresses every hesitant advancement in the human soul back to caveman grunting lunkishness. Thank you again!

Oh, please do not misunderstand! We are all terribly impressed. It is so very patriotic of you to show off your little popper! Are you in a gang? Are you a drug dealer? Are you going to shoot some scary terrorists, Mr. pallid paranoid Constitution-misquoting videogame-addicted guy? Protect all of us here in the casual neighborhood coffee shop from those crazy liberals and their health care reform and organic pretzels? Thank you so much! But really, I think we’ll be OK without your little display. Enjoy your frappucino, won’t you?

What, no drink? You now wish to order nothing at all and instead plop yourself down in the corner, plug in your laptop and angrily scour Facebook all day for evidence that your ex-girlfriend, the one who left you two years ago at a full, what-the-hell-was-I-thinking sprint, is now dating a liberal or a pacifist or an atheist and is far, far happier than she ever was with you? We understand. We appreciate your desire to partake of our free Wi-Fi, buy nothing and not give a damn that we can’t really stay in business that way.

Why, look at you! Refusing to step away from the counter and instead choosing to read aloud from your little card that says how it’s completely legal to carry an unconcealed, unloaded firearm in a public space! Way to stand up for your rights! God bless America!

Turns out you are right. It is legal, sort of. Then again, so is eating gravel, wearing a giant hat made of cow manure and squirrel tails, and slapping yourself in the face repeatedly while ranting semicoherently about Jesus, masturbation and Shania Twain. And you don’t see anyone doing that, do you? Except Carl over there?

We realize it might seem unfair. Far be it from us here at the neighborhood cafe, where families and small children and book readers come to chat and feel slightly better about their day, to ask you to leave because your energy is so low and repellant and also downright silly.

But nevertheless, I’m afraid that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We would appreciate it if you would take your business elsewhere. Right now. No? Very well.

We had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. We had hoped to find a better resolution. However, in response to your insistence on carrying a firearm into our premises, we have no choice but to change our official policy, right here and now, on the spot.

Again, we mean no offense, you jingoistic lump of mancrazy. You are indeed well within your rights to be a thoroughly paranoid coward who has no real inner strength, confidence or social skills, to a degree that you feel you must carry a deadly weapon around to feel like you even exist. We understand your thinking completely. It’s basic psychology. Very, very basic. Childish, even.

So then. Like any business, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. But we realize there are some people for whom this is not specific or clear enough. We realize some people have to have it, you know, spelled out and publicly displayed.

Therefore, we have revised our list. Please note the new sign we have just posted on the front door. We have expanded and clarified a few things. We hope it helps.

Effective immediately on these premises, there will be:

  • No murdering
  • No raping
  • No pillaging
  • No gun slinging, pistol-whipping, sucker-punching
  • No mauling, jabbing, stabbing, hating or undermining
  • No screaming bloody murder
  • No morons
  • No panicking
  • No testing on animals
  • No jumping for Joy. While she appreciates your enthusiasm, our cashier is happily married. Thank you
  • No live birthing
  • No dumping
  • No livestock
  • No smoking
  • No smoking the livestock
  • No exit
  • No way out
  • No diving
  • No spitting
  • No way!
  • No Crusades
  • No “Star Trek” re-enactments
  • No skinny-dipping in the half-n-half
  • No doubt

Thank you so much for understanding. Free sample biscotti on your way out?

And what does Paul Hemke the Brady Staff (correction by the Brady Staff in this post) in a post on the Brady Campaign blog say of this bigotry? “Best. Answer. Ever.”

Had this been about interracial or homosexual couples holding hands and kissing the outrage over a such a post would result in demands that the San Francisco Chronicle fire him. Hemke defends Morford and his support of Morford with:

The key reply is that clothing which some find offensive is different from firearms that others — justifiably — find frightening.  That is: pants aren’t guns, and being gay doesn’t kill people.  Not sure if CDC counts how many Americans die by strange-looking pants each year, but if they do, chances are the number will be a lot less than 30,000 (the number shot to death every year in this country).

In the paragraph above let’s substitute “ni**er” for “gun” and “firearm”, correct the numbers to match, and see how that plays:

The key reply is that clothing which some find offensive is different from ni**ers that others — justifiably — find frightening.  That is: pants aren’t ni**ers, and being gay doesn’t kill people.  Not sure if CDC counts how many Americans die by strange-looking pants each year, but if they do, chances are the number will be a lot less than 6,000 (the number murdered by “ni**ers” every year in this country).

That sounds a lot like an argument I would imagine someone from the KKK or some other white supremist would make in supporting restrictions against non-whites. Yet they appear to be blind to the parallel.

That some people are frightened by others exercising a specific enumerated right is not justification for infringing that right. As one judge said in regards to the First Amendment, “… free speech cannot be limited on the basis of ‘undifferentiated fear”. It is a severe and unjustified infringement on liberty to engage in prior restraint based on the imagination and paranoid fears people like Helmke and Morford have about gun owners.

It’s not just Morford and Helmke that want to put up the equivalent of “No Coloreds Allowed” signs on businesses they frequent. Here is another bigot having his say on the topic:

Many intelligent educated and reasonable people feel that the presence of openly-displayed guns in a coffee shop like Starbucks is disturbing. Some of them may feel the gun owners are not to be trusted. Others may feel that guns in a crowded public place are too easily within reach of kids and criminals. Some may feel a tacit threat from those carrying weapons, which gets back to the trust issue. But, whatever they’re thinking, aren’t they free to think it? Don’t they have a right to feel any way they want? Aren’t they entitled to request Starbucks to institute a no-gun policy?

How many “intelligent educated and reasonable people” need to feel the presence of ni**ers in a coffee shop like Starbucks is disturbing before it stops being bigotry? How many people have to feel ni**ers are not to be trusted before it is acceptable to enact regulations and push businesses to ban them?

Certainly they are free to think and feel whatever they want. And they can petition Starbucks to institute a no-gun policy with legal intervention to back them up. No one is advocating otherwise. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t feel the outrage from the public for their bigotry. But should they take that bigotry to the next level where they injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate people for exercising their right to keep and bear arms then they should be prosecuted.

I’ve taken Paul Helmke to task on this before but he just doesn’t seem to get it. But I shouldn’t be surprised. Bigots have a tough time learning.

Update: The Brady Campaign has directly responded to this post. They claim that if it is not an immutable characteristic such as skin color then it isn’t bigotry or a civil rights issue:

In order to think this way, the key assumption such gun advocates have to make is that their guns and gun use are functionally identical to race, or sexual orientation — such that one’s status as a gun advocate is essentially an immutable characteristic.

By that logic banning interracial couples, Catholics or Muslims from Starbucks or Woolworths wouldn’t be bigotry either. I’ve got news for the Brady Campaign Staff–they’re wrong and I think they know it.

As long as they held on to the falsehood that the 2nd Amendment did not protect an individual right they might have made a thin case for that. But as soon as the right to keep and bear arms was on the same level as the freedom of association and freedom of religion they lost that crutch. Via D.C. v. Heller we have, and the Brady Campaign acknowledges, a specific, constitutionally protected, right to keep and bear arms. With that decision they became a gentler version of the KKK. No white sheets or burning crosses in our yards but they still attempt to segregate us and ban us from parks, buildings, and businesses. The only difference between them and the KKK is the KKK was sometimes willing to take the law into their own hands. The Brady Campaign attempts to get the government, Amtrack, and Starbucks to do the yucky work of infringing on the rights of others for them. They are now on a slippery slope into obscurity and revulsion and they are grasping at straws with their denial of bigotry.

And their advocacy for public bans of us exercising that right is more than just bigotry. It is just a hairs breadth away from a felony:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.


15 thoughts on “Bigotry examples

  1. The key to Morford’s freak-out is that every word of it is an obsessively repetitive shrieking insistence that he’s a better man than that guy with the gun: That he’s stronger, more manly (again and again, more manly), braver, smarter, more attractive to women, and so on.

    Male lefties always do that. Why do they feel so inadequate? Why do they think the rest of us feel the same?

    Very strange.

  2. This is a good sign! We’re getting under their skin. The disarmers have no provable points, no arguable statistics and no more unchallenged historical falsehoods to hide behind. This guy basically threw a tantrum in public, screaming down his own straw-men.

    That’s what we want.

    The contrast between this unreasonable behavior and the calm, collected open carry protesters is a effective demonstration. We need to get anti-liberty bigots on video when the spittle is flying. No need to be confrontational, only assertive.

  3. So are you saying that there is a prejudice against gun owners in the same way there was against Jews and Blacks?

  4. Mark Morford is not a bigot, at least not based on that article. He’s sarcastic and nasty and a bit prolix and repetitive for my taste, but that’s it.

    But you, Joe, and your friends take the cake on repetition. Calling gun control people “bigots,” manipulating all the comparisons to Muslims, gays and Jews, just doesn’t work. But what you lack in sensible English usage, you more than make up for in repetition.

    Plus, Morford was not talking about taking guns away from anybody. He was commenting on keeping the open carry guys out of Starbucks, which I’ve later read has been rejected by Starbucks themselves.

    Here’s a better comparison for you: “For everybody’s safety and the concern of the other customers, we request that tree surgeons who have powerful chainsaws hanging from their equipment belts not enter the store. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Now, wouldn’t it be weird if the tree surgeons protested that instead of just complying?

  5. Do you MIND explaining why word substitution doesn’t work?

    (you have to give a more realistic example than a lumberjack with a saw – I suggest someone carrying a large knife.)

  6. Tim,

    Yes. See also my defining post on this topic.


    Chainsaws are not commonly used for self-defense and their ownership and use in public is not a specific enumerated constitutionally protected right. One could also imagine people would be a little apprehensive about policemen with chainsaws on their belts. But policemen openly carry firearms without much notice. And that is the way it should be with private citizens who legally exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

    This is no different than people getting all upset about an interracial or homosexual couple holding hands in public. The bigots who want to cause them problems just need to get over it. Gun owners are “coming out of the closet” and I realize it is uncomfortable for people like you. But that is just a problem you are going to have to deal with. If you can’t deal with it on your own then get some counseling. Demanding that governments and businesses ban individual citizens quietly exercising their rights just conclusively illustrates what you have in common with other bigots of 50 years ago.

  7. The point is, the Open Carry contingent wouldn’t be gaining traction, and numbers, if it wasn’t for the gun control groups strident opposition to gun possession and carry. If there was no opposition to legal possession and carry, everyone would just go on about their business. We (pro-RKBA folks) would have no need to be activists, to carry openly in order to show we can, or to constantly have to respond to strident attacks. Life would simply go on. Would there have been a civil rights movement if there had not been a reason to have one?

    Unfortunately, the anti-gunners are incapable of getting a clue. If they would turn their attention to something else (hey, go beat up some more on off-road motorcyclists, or some other activity that offends you) we could all just relax.

  8. So does being repeatedly called out by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership mean you have finally hit the bigtime, Joe? 🙂

    In the end, though, the Brady Bunch completely misses the entire argument, by continually, and erroneously, trying to boil it down to the equipment involved, rather than the people. As human beings, we have an inherent right to self-preservation and self-defense. As Americans, that right was recognized by our Founding Fathers, and steps were taken to protect that right against the assaults of future governments and organizations (like, for example, the Brady Bunch). Likewise, all human beings have the inherent right to equal treatment under the law… Admittedly, our government was a little slow in recognizing and protecting that particular right, but that does not make the right any less valid or applicable.

    Coming from the basis of two inherent, human rights, the analogy holds perfectly applicable. Those civil rights advocates of years and decades past who fought (and died) for the latter right had the choice to go home, sit in the back of the bus, deal with separate schools, use separate restrooms, etc. etc. etc., and not stand up for their rights. They could have accepted the status quo, taken it for what litle it was worth, and lived out their lives in quiet oppression. It was their choice to stand up, seize their rights, and finally say, “No more.”

    Likewise, all American citizens have the choice to seize their right to self-defense and self-preservation, and take whatever legal steps they feel necessary to exercise those rights, or we can all quietly pack up our bags, go home, and deal with being victimized by criminals who work both outside and inside the law. We do not have to carry our firearms, stand up for our rights, or take cases to the Supreme Court, any more that any other previous civil rights advocate had to give speeches, make marches, or refuse to stand up.

    It is unfortunately true that those individuals of a certain skintone who lived in a certain time already had certain choices made for them, but so, too, do all Americans – we are all potential victims of both criminals and governments, just as darker-toned people were once potential victims as well.

    As the saying goes, “Y’all got on this boat for different reasons, but y’all come to the same place,” and we have indeed come to much the same place. The amusing thing is that the KKK once thought they were doing society a favor as well… Here we are, decades later, and the Brady Bunch is employing the same exact “help us save society” tactic.

    And they wonder why we draw such analogies?

  9. First amendment rights are also constitutionally protected, but that doesn’t give any of us the right to hold religious services in Starbucks.

  10. In point of fact, it does… As long as Starbucks, the owners of the locations at which you would want to be having those services, is amenable to the situation.

    Starbucks is amenable to law-abiding American citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights at their establishments. Why is this a problem?

  11. Linoge,

    On “finally hit the bigtime”–Naw. Their Google Page Rank is five. Mine is four. Say Uncle is five and he links to me frequently enough that I don’t get any big thrill out it. They don’t even show up on Technorati. And from the lack of referrals coming in from them it appears they don’t have any traffic either.

    Besides, they linked to me once before.

  12. Just for fun, I decided to tally up all the acusations Morford makes against us. Apparently, we are all:
    • Doughy
    • Bad-skinned
    • In a gang
    • Drug dealers
    • Fantasizing about shooting terrorists
    • Prone to leech off of free wifi
    • Jingoistic
    • Crazy
    • Paranoid
    • Cowards
    • Lacking inner strength
    • Lacking social skills
    • Lacking confidence
    • Childish

    Wow, what tolerance! What open-mindedness! What enlightenment!

    Also, I find it telling that Morford claims that a gun itself “regresses every hesitant advancement in the human soul back to caveman grunting lunkishness”. I know he’s basically throwing a tantrum, that feeling came from the heart. You just can’t make this stuff up!

  13. Nathaniel, Did Morford say those things apply to ALL gun owners? No, I don’t think he did. But this is a tactic that you pro-gun guys use all the time. You exaggerate what the opposition says and then you argue against the exaggerated claim. Why do you feel it’s necessary to do that? Isn’t what we really say objectionable enough to you?

  14. I laughed all the way through the piece. Wow.

    “Many intelligent educated and reasonable people feel that the presence of openly-displayed guns in a coffee shop like Starbucks is disturbing.”

    Uh huh, and who has it been for the last 40+ years trying to get people afraid of guns, disturbed by guns, and hating gun owners? Why, that would be the anti gun rights lobby and their soul mates in media. Who then shall we blame for these adverse reactions? That’s cute, Helmke, et al. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

    Just curious though; how does an “intelligent, educated and reasonable” person end up with an irrational fear of an inanimate object? And why is it that anytime I find someone telling me how smart he is, I’ve already come to a different conclusion beforehand? It doesn’t matter the subject at hand, or the circumstance, this has become a recurring theme in my experiences.

    Actually; forget it. There’s no point in arguing with this kind of crap. Joe has the best reaction– put it out in public so more people can see it. (The Brady folks loved it. Heh!)

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