Saturday, January 9, 2016

Seriously, Where Are You People Shopping?

This Atrios post I read earlier this week has been buzzing around my head for a while:

...somewhere there was a discussion of people carrying guns and some self-proclaimed liberal made the argument that the fact that he carries a gun makes it less likely for violent situations to escalate because the fact that he has a gun and knows he has a gun means that the price of escalation is too high.  The example he gave was that if someone bumped his supermarket cart he would de-escalate the situation because if he didn't then the fact that he has a gun could lead to things getting out of hand.

Like Atrios, I was a bit taken aback that a supermaket-cart-bump is a situation with potential to escalate.  In my experience, a supermarket-cart bump either results in an accepted apology or, barring that, someone walking away like this: 

Further, there was this comment on a friend's Facebook from someone saying that they didn't shop in places where guns aren't allowed because those are places where they don't feel safe.  Let me make this clear - if the store has this sign:

The potential shopper was like this:

Er... where the hell are these people shopping?  Are they buying groceries in Tombstone, 1848?  Are they picking up tampons and toilet paper from the pharmacy at Pablo Escobar's? Is the only place they can get the really good tomatoes a shop in Mogadishu that's only open between midnight and 4:00 am?

Lookit: I live in a neighborhood with a lot of guns and a lot of shootings.  In the past year alone, there were 28 shootings within a 1-mile radius of my home.  And I still feel perfectly comfortable going, unarmed, to the grocery store.  Do you know why I feel that way? I'll tell ya! Because I am extremely unlikely to be driven into a murderous rage because someone bumps my supermarket cart, as is the case for literally every single other person who is shopping that day

How do these people stand living in a world where kill-or-be-killed informs every mundane detail of their lives?  How can they stand to be alive, feeling constantly on-call to take a life, even when they're just running fucking errands?  It sounds awful.

One caveat: I know it's not impossible that you're gonna get murdered at the Wal-Mart. But the circumstance for when that's happened recently is not, I think, what these frightened folk are thinking of.  

Let's take a look at John Crawford's face and try very hard, amidst all the Star Wars gifs and sarcasm to see the tragic, human cost for all this paranoia.