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A group of armed protesters assembled at a library in Virginia today, comparing gun regulation to Jim Crow, as per ThinkProgress. It seems somewhat ironic that some gun enthusiasts would make that comparison, as Republican-led efforts to re-institute voter suppression are making a comeback. But there it is, gun regulation as an expression of bigotry, according to some enthusiasts.

With a bone to pick over the library's posted rule regarding carrying weapons inside, a group of apparently about thirty protesters visited the strange building with books inside it to show off their preferred guns, which they wore openly, as the law in Virginia allows.

Philip Van Cleave, the organizer of the protest and President of Virginia Citizens Defense League, compared the library’s gun “discrimination” to racially discriminating against African-Americans:

    “What if they had said “We don’t allow African-Americans, except if allowed by law. Would that be okay? I don’t think so… [The rule] implies that no one is allowed to protect themselves on the property.”

Since the ThinkProgress article was on the short side and a bit unclear, I'm not sure if they mentioned this in order to vilify, or to praise it. Fortunately, the protest only spooked some library patrons, as there were no unfortunate accidents that day worth reporting.

All right, so I'm pretty sure what they meant, but one never knows! Still, I would not be surprised if some people went over to ThinkProgress and gave them a piece of their minds, in the name of right-thinking Democrats everywhere.

TP also made mention of the Aurora shooting, a part I found sketchy.

Another protester told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that public areas shouldn’t be firearm-free, and suggested that if people had been armed during the Colorado movie theater shooting, the mass murderer would have been stopped.
I checked out the Times-Dispatch article, but didn't notice any specific reference to it, although there's certainly room for comparison.
But Van Cleave said a gun owner who leaves his weapon at home when he goes to the library could be putting his or her life at risk.

"If something bad happens, that person could end up being killed when they could have saved their lives," he said.

Not quite as bad as some of the responses to the shooting that I heard about, though.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night." - Isaac Asimov

    by tytalus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:08:18 PM PDT

  •  You can take your gun into the library, (10+ / 0-)

    but only if it has a silencer.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:12:49 PM PDT

  •  Considering the wave of library murders sweeping (6+ / 0-)

    the country, I'd say they have a point.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:13:26 PM PDT

  •  what the hell is wrong with no-gun zones? (8+ / 0-)

    I'll never set foot in one of those lunatic states where you can never be in a no-gun area. I don't have a gun and I don't want to be around them, period.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:17:58 PM PDT

    •  They're totally ineffectual, that's what's wrong (6+ / 0-)

      with them.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:51:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  declaring every inch of the US a free fire zone.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus

        is so effectual.

        Fuck that noise.

        This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

        by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:13:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "No guns allowed" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Robobagpiper, happy camper

          That really worked in aurora, didn't it?

          •  All guns allowed everywhere works better? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tytalus

            Fuck that noise.

            This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

            by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 06:34:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is that all you can do? (3+ / 0-)

              Wildly whipsaw from extreme to extreme?

              No guns anywhere, all guns everywhere, is that black and white nonsense the depth of your perception?

              How about if some commercial establishment (such as a diner / theater / store / etc ) wants to ban guns, it takes on the obligation to provide for the full and complete safety of all who enter, including any liability for any injuries should it fail to fulfil that obligation?

              It's that simple. I'm responsible for protecting myself. The courts say so, in warren and in deshaney and in gonzalez, they all say the police are not obligated to provide for the safety of any individual.

              If the theater owner / store owner / diner owner / etc wants to prevent me from being able to protect myself, then that theater owner should be required to fill that role.

              •  No (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tytalus

                anyone should have the right to avoid guns and gun bearers. At the very least gun carriers should be identified so the rest of us can stay away.

                Self- protection means if you are carrying a gun, I'm staying out of range of your killing power.

                This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

                by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:04:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You think like a conservative like that. (4+ / 0-)

                  The neocons think that people are beholden to their emotions. That's what lies underneath their words when they say women shouldn't show any skin for fear that a man will be overtaken by desire.

                  Are you REALLY going to bring conservative style thought into this?

                  Are you REALLY going to advance the notion that humans are just sacks of evil tendencies only held in check by removing 'temptation' from their lives? Temptation to shoot, temptation to wolf whistle, temptation of this or that?

                  That's conservative style issue framing you are engaging in, and I reject it.

                  •  You calling me a conservative? (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    happy camper

                    take a flying fuck at the moon, asshole.

                    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

                    by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:27:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Reading comprehension. (0+ / 0-)

                      It's good to slow down and take words one at a time.

                      One.
                      At.
                      A.
                      Time.

                      You didn't notice that word "style" in that comment, did you... (rhetorical question, we all know you missed it)

                      •  Reading comp (0+ / 1-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hidden by:
                        happy camper

                        you. flying fuck. moon.

                        Seriously, asshole, just fuck off.

                        This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

                        by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:29:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You really can't tell the difference? (3+ / 0-)

                          You can't tell the difference between a liberal who has temporarily succumbed to the mental rut of a conservative style thought pattern, and a conservative?

                          You really can't tell?

                          Look, it's this simple. It's like all those framing diaries that don't penetrate the kossack readership enough. Those diaries say things like "don't say tax relief" because saying that is repeating conservative talking points.

                          Well, you were doing the mental thought version of repeating conservative talking points. You were thinking in a conservative manner, believing that people are incapable of remaining calm if they happen to have a gun on them. You were thinking in a conservative manner, thinking that someone who happens to have a gun on them is going to lose control over their impulses and start blasting away.

                          Rid thyself of that conservative thinking, please! I'm sure you have some very constructive thoughts, but they are being overshadowed by that belief that people can't help themselves, can't contain their emotions from spilling into their actions.

                          Free your mind, neo.

                    •  He's comparing your use of logic and (3+ / 0-)

                      your emotive style to the way conservatives construct their arguments.

                      Basically, appealing to base emotions of fear and 'the other' (in this case, gun owners) to push social change.

                      Not the same thing as calling you a conservative.

                      Calm down.

                      •  you're joking right? (0+ / 0-)

                        only called me a conservative, but didn't. Fuck that noise.

                         Oh, and don't you have some other clowns to pull in here?

                        This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

                        by Karl Rover on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 08:36:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think if you go back and (4+ / 0-)

                          re-read it carefully, maybe you'll see that he was comparing your argument style to a conservative's argument style, not calling you a conservative directly. If you're pent up with frustration (as you seem to be at the moment) you'll probably just see it all as one red flag.

                          Clowns? I direct no clowns. I have no armies of minions at my command; I wish I did. Life would be pretty sweet if I could arrange that.

                          But thank you, anyway.

                          •  "you think like a conservative" (0+ / 0-)

                            is a bit more than attacking an argument. But the discussion has descended into baiting and insults on both sides, and I think they might both consider moving on. You all have a good evening in any case.

                            "Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night." - Isaac Asimov

                            by tytalus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 09:02:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Such furious anger. (0+ / 0-)

                      You probably shouldn't handle firearms.

                •  Well, you don't. Deal with it. (0+ / 0-)

                  Second Amendment guarantees my right to be armed.  Doesn't guarantee your right not to have me breath the same air as you.  

                  Whine away, you've already lost.

        •  Put simply, a "gun free zone" without a security (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, Pete Cortez

          checkpoint makes sense if you believe violence is mainly caused by people who lack criminal intent when they enter a given premises, but are so mercurial and hot-tempered that if they happen to possess a weapon, are prone to lashing out with it unpredictably with the slightest provocation.

          That premise is simply absurd.

          A sign creating a "gun-free zone" says "I hate and fear people with guns", but does not in itself establish an effective measure to exclude people with guns who may intend to use them in a criminal manner.

          Someone intending to, or likely to, commit a crime with a gun will ignore the sign - as the consequence of the fact that it's extremely unlikely that, absent a security checkpoint, they'll be caught, and that the penalty for carrying one is small compared to the penalty for the crime they're intending to or likely to commit.

          Similarly, the population of gun carriers most likely to respect the prohibition are those least likely to do harm with them. Forget the question of whether a licensed carrier has a reasonable opportunity to intervene and stop a violent crime by someone in the first group - they simply form a harmless class, and there's no rational reason why their carry should be excluded.

          So the "zone" excludes the gun carriers least likely to do harm, but allows those most likely.

          As such, a sign establishing a "gun free zone", without an accompanying security checkpoint, is nothing more than fear theatre.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 03:47:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And who is trying to do that? (0+ / 0-)

          Oh, right -- that would be no one.

          So, your point was... what, again...?

          Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

          by theatre goon on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 06:20:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The world's a mighty big place. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure you can find some place where there isn't a gun for miles.

  •  Guns are people too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, Leap Year, jan4insight

    That's why this is a violation of the rights of guns.  Further, you'll notice that most guns are black.  This is clearly racism.  Why are people at the library so fucking stupid ?  What good does reading stupid fucking books do them anyway ?

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:18:34 PM PDT

  •  I don't know the makeup of the VCDL, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, Leap Year

    but I think saying that gun regulation is like "Jim Crow" is going way too far.  

  •  Just ask these buffoons if checking their (4+ / 0-)

    weapon when they fly is a Jim Crow law.

  •  Shit like this makes this gun owner want to (5+ / 0-)

    Straight leave the country. THIS is what they get off the couch to protest?! Out of all the fucked up usurpations of actual liberty and the constitution taking place right under our noses THIS, not being allowed to take your gun into the library, is worth getting out of the laz-y-boy and waddling down to the library!?!

    Have any of them even patronized the library? Do they even have library cards?

    Jesus Z H Christ this country is fucked up.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:36:18 PM PDT

  •  They should take their protest to the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, tytalus

    U.S. supreme court !
    Walk right in packing and tell them justices
    "If something bad happens, that person could end up being killed when they could have saved their lives,"

    and if that don't work
    they can always try congress .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 04:46:51 PM PDT

  •  Waiting for Them to Dig Up Wyatt Earp and Burn (4+ / 0-)

    his bones in effigy.

    That'd be he of the Republican Earps who outlawed the bearing of arms within city limits in several towns where they were lawmen at various times.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:07:01 PM PDT

  •  Gun free zones are one of the silliest ideas (4+ / 0-)

    you can imagine, and speaks to irrational hoplophobia instead of effectively addressing any real risk.

    Someone with criminal intent will not be impressed with the prohibition, so the prohibition is ineffective.

    Someone without criminal intent presents little harm, armed or not, so the prohibition is ineffective.

    Either put in an actual security checkpoint and force people to be screened for weapons or STFU.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 05:51:08 PM PDT

  •  The thing is, there IS a prejudice at work, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, Pete Cortez

    but comparing it to racial prejudice is a stretch that will not work. Race is something that cannot really be changed by a person, even if they want to.

    Anti-gun-rights activists want to modify a behavior: much the same way that anti-choice activists want to modify women's behavior to stop abortions, or the way Senator McCarthy wanted to modify behavior to stamp out what he saw as a Communist threat developing in the United States.  

    The theme is: "you can be considered a good person, so long as you stop doing [behavior]."

    Which of course implies that as long as you continue to do [behavior], you are a horrible, unlovable person. Like Communists or women who seek an abortion. Insert any behavior that certain people find distasteful: punk rock, video games, being a member of Pussy Riot in Russia, etc.

    It is an inarticulate argument these particular gun owners are espousing. The comparison to McCarthyism (instead of Jim Crow) is, IMO, more apt.

  •  Good for them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon

    Sorry if people exercising their constitutional rights irks you so much.  

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