Don’t scare the white people

up to no good skull mask

I have two humorous anecdotes that when tied together create a narrative that applies to our continued right to bear arms, and how we are frequently our most effective enemy. The first is a bit of self-mockery, as you know I live in South Dakota, and it gets cold here. I also have a dog, who needs to be walked. I am a dirty hipster and live in a downtown loft with no yard.

up to no good skull mask

Because it’s windy, and half of the time I’m walking my dog directly into the wind, I grab my facemask, which I normally wear when I’m coyote hunting and generally not around people. I really didn’t think twice about it, because I’m walking the dog and it’s 10 degrees before windchill. Anyway, I’m out with the dog in front of my building on the public sidewalk, and I see a car stopped in the suicide lane, just…stopped. Which is unusual. I keep walking, I walk past the car, and I let the dog keep smelling, hoping he finds a spot to take care of business so I can go inside and commence the bourboning. About 2 minutes later, I get lit up from behind by an unusually bright light, turn around and see a cop car behind me. He slows down, cruises past me and checks me, then flips a u-turn and pulls over the car that’s STILL sitting in the suicide line. Right about then the dog does his business, so I turn around and head home, which gives me the opportunity to see the middle aged white people sitting in the SUV just mean mugging me. Since I now have the wind at my back, I’ve pulled down my facemask.

I concluded from context that the busybodies in the SUV saw me out walking the dog, concluded from my attire that I was up to no good, and called the one-time to report a suspicious bro. Which honestly is fair, because I’m 2500 meters from a park, and Albert House is katty-corner from our building. So there are shady dudes in that area at times, and with the skull mask up I looked the part. The cop saw me once I had pulled the mask down and he clearly saw the dog, so to him I’m just another urban hipster jerk walking his dog.

The point though is that I made a cardinal mistake: I scared the white people. Sometimes I’m the white people, and other times I’m the dude in the facemask with the scary pitbull. So I got the cops called on me, and had that offer not exercised good judgement, my night could have gone a whole lot worse.

The second anecdote is related, and takes a little explaining. I like video games, and I enjoying watching the Achievement Hunter Let’s Plays. For my older readers, I watch a bunch of people play video games and comment on the game/other things. It’s like a podcast with GTA Online in the background. Anyway, I was watching the latest GTA Let’s Play when one of the dudes, Jack, mentions how he was in the security line at the airport behind someone who was wearing an empty holster, and predictably being a total jackass about it. What’s interesting then is the byplay, because the people on the show are exactly the sort of people we don’t want to alienate. They all think guns are cool, and spend considerable amounts of time playing with pretend guns – we should be recruiting these people. But instead, their perception of 2nd Amendment activists is shaped by some SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED idiot in an airport who decided to do an empty holster protest. True fact: pissing people off and making them wait in long security lines because you want to wear your shitty DERPA holster to “educate the sheeple” isn’t going to win friends or political debates.

There’s a moral to this story, and how it relates to what I was doing. I was practicing a lesser form of idiocy, but idiocy nonetheless. I wasn’t thinking about how my actions, in this case my manner of dress, would be perceived by the monkeys outside my tribe. The same goes for Empty Holster Douche; although in his case I’d suspect that he was intentionally trying to provoke the other monkeys. But we both had the same result, we ended up frightening or annoying people that we shouldn’t want to alienate. It’s important to remember that as activists, and as people, our actions have consequences beyond what we can imagine or predict.

In closing: try to not do dumb things. Definitely don’t do dumb things on purpose, and if you’re caught being dumb, don’t be a hat made of asses about it. Actually, just ask yourself in any situation, What would Kory Watkins do? Then do the opposite of that.

23 thoughts on “Don’t scare the white people”

  1. Sadly, it’s transparent you only wrote this post so you could show off you “I’m a huge douche, LOOK AT ME!” mask.

    Editor’s Note: I fixed a spelling error, wouldn’t want “douche” misspelled in the comments section.

  2. Caleb,

    It’s kinda like a Hoodie. Don’t forget all the Anonymous Anarchists that show up to burn down the village.

    Geoff

  3. You know, it’s funny you mention that particular Let’s Play, I was watching (listening?) to that very one last night. I came to a similar conclusion, and although I have no idea of what actually happened during that holster incident, it certainly seems like the guy who was telling the story was pretty much disgusted by his time spent in the vicinity of that jerk. Gun owners really tend to be their own worst enemy.

        1. Especially if you’re carrying in a SERPA and haven’t taken the time to practice your draw properly and regularly.*

          It’s a good holster IF you’re willing to do that. If you’re not, then choose something else.

  4. I make the same comment all the time about open carry in inappropriate (usually urban) places. I get the “It’s my right to do it” crowd. I don’t dispute that, but just because something is legal, that doesn’t make it smart. We just saw the results of legal idiocy in Texas.

  5. White people scare fairly easy. I have a PO Box and have had the same box for over twenty years. A few months back I got a notice in my box from the Post Office that I needed to come in and verify that it’s me that is getting mail and provide ID with proof of both my physical address and PO Box.

    BTW, I never carry my gun to the Post Office, because it’s really really really against the law.

    Not wanting to make a special trip, I took the letter and went in the get the matter resolved. Most of the folks that work there know me, but on this day a very nice lady whom I was not acquainted was waiting on me. I only had two forms of ID with me that day that met their needs. My drivers license and my CCDW license. The poor lady saw the CCDW license and just about dropped dead on the spot. By then one of the guys I know that works there had come in and saw what was happening and thought it would be funny to mess with her a little which really didn’t help my cause.

    Things I learned from the experience. 1. Friends and co-workers like to mess with folks, because it’s funny. 2. Despite living in one of the biggest gun enclaves in the USA, everyone may not share my beliefs. 3. You need to think how others might perceive things differently than you. I hadn’t thought twice about showing her my CCDW until I saw her reaction. 4. Finally, despite my best efforts to convince her typically only law abiding citizens would go to the trouble to get a CCDW license all she was thinking was deadly weapon gun deadly weapon gun.

    1. I spend a lot of time beating the drum that how people perceive us, as gun owners, is one of the most important tactics in our arsenal of political victory.

  6. Caleb, I think that scenario might be considered a lack of situational awareness. I developed this kind of awareness after I realized that all those “friendly” cops I met in my youth really weren’t just being friendly. Nowadays I’m glad I have this awarenss because one more likely to get lit up by a CCW nowadays. “I feared for my life” is about all they need… If I’m dead and I was carrying I don’t get to argue because I had the “means” I wasn’t about to take “opportunity”. They get to keep carrying and they’re convinced of they’re correct in their approach and decisions…

  7. The folks in the SUV were probably only concerned that you didn’t have a sweater on the dog being out in such inclement weather….

  8. Your a hipster – get a scarf. But now that I think of that – it may make you look like a member of ISIS. I guess your stuck w/ growing a hipster beard. Sounds like the only feasible way to keep your face warm in SD.

  9. People are allowed to do dumb things – they’re the ones who look the fool – either accidentally or on purpose. Providing the dumb actions aren’t hurting anyone else (and NO Mom’s Against Everything, your “feelings” of butthurt do not count), then I don’t see what the problem is.

    As you get older Caleb, you will find you’ll worry less about the oversensitive busy-bodies and do what makes you happy.

  10. Its nice to have a choice. I scare the White People every time I chamber my Beretta at the firing line,whether I want to or not.

    The looks on the other range patrons faces basically says

    ” Oh good, a young Black man shooting…..nice….whoa, hold on….what the hell….25 yards offhand with a PISTOL…..ohmygerdcallDHS!!!….”

    Prejudice, it seems, dies hard.

  11. As a youngish (34 years old) larger (6’0″ 260+), darker skinned man in North Dakota… The sad fact is I do get a lot more attention than say a pack of morman missionaries. Look the hard fact seems to be those old stereotypes types die hard! Particularly if they happen to notice my out of state permit to carry (I’ve been called in by more than one cashier.., even though I didn’t even have a gun on me!)… The sad fact is you can watch the reactions they go roughly like this ‘oh big bearded dark man… Oh good he has his wallet out… Hey what’s that card…oh sh*t call the cops!!!’. The last time was really sad because less than half an hour before I had been in the same store with my wife (blonde hair blue eyes and Norwegian ancestors) during the first purchase we hadn’t rated a look (beer and pizza at the local gas station) the second time I went on alone (smokes) and evidently I’m public enemy #1!

  12. Don, ordinarily I would agree with gas station pizza being a crime… But when the nearest real pizza place is 40+ miles away it’s either digorono or the pump&run.

  13. As a video game person you might get the reference to “Phreak” from League of legends made a quote that I live by now, “If it’s a bad idea, you probably shouldn’t do it.”

  14. Several random thoughts, powered by vodka, not bourbon. i spent four years in Minnesocold, before the age of global warming, and never wore a face mask, even when it was 28 degrees below zero..

    I’ve spent considerable time in South Dakota, and know it to be one of the whitest places on planet earth. If you’re lucky enough tolive someplace where the cops have time to monitor people walking a dog to make sure they pick up the dog shit, rather than be hunting armed robbers, rapists and murderers, count your blessings.

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