It’s always a little surreal and amusing for me when outsiders stumble onto the blog and decide they’re going to set the record straight for the poor, ignorant Annoyed Librarian.
A while ago it was the homeschooling creationists who homeschooled their children to keep them from learning any science later than the Middle Ages.
Last week it was the earnest evangelicals who actually believed The Hiding Place was “banned” at a library, and who were astonished that I’d never read this beloved classic, and who wanted to share the love of Jesus with me.
This week, it might be the gun nuts. We’ll see.
Before we begin, it’s important to know who the gun nuts are. Because of the craziness of some of them, some people think anyone with a gun must be a nut. However, the vast majority of gun owners who hunt or shoot skeet or target shoot are unfairly represented by the nuts who show up to political rallies with
machine guns assault rifles on their back.
The gun nuts are the ones who are obsessed with guns. They fantasize about them, devote their lives to them, and want to carry them everywhere. They’re gun fetishists, and fetishists are always a little creepy and a little crazy. It would be exactly the same if the object were a teapot or a toaster.
Even they sometimes seem to realize that if they just come out and say this, everyone will know them for the crazy people they are, so while fondling their guns obsessively they like to prattle on about the second amendment or their right to self-protection.
And if any outside gun nuts try to bombard the comment section trying to educate everyone on the second amendment, I’ll approve the comment if you can prove you’re a Constitutional lawyer.
Guns and libraries are in the news again. A few years ago it was Michigan, if I remember correctly. Now it’s Colorado, where the local gun nuts, I mean rights, group threatened to sue a library if they didn’t eliminate their “no guns” policy after the director asked a gun-toting patron to leave. The library reluctantly changed its policy.
The gun nuts claimed that the policy violated Colorado’s “concealed carry” law, which it did because it specifically banned concealed weapons.
The interesting thing about the incident, though, is that the weapon wasn’t actually concealed, because it was spotted by a worried patron who then informed a librarian. If I can see your pistol, it’s not concealed.
In a different article, the library director is quoted as saying, “Once a weapon is visible, it’s no longer concealed, and we would be within our rights to ask them to please leave; but the board needs to decide on language of the policy.” Policies can be tricky things.
That article at the pro-gun website casts the local gun nuts, I mean rights, group as bold heroes. Supposedly, they “took up the mother’s cause and make the Clearview Library District aware of Colorado law, which prohibited the district from regulating the carry of firearms.”
Took up the mother’s cause! She’s a mother! She has rights!
What that article didn’t report, but which was reported by a different article in August, is that the oppressed mother is actually an employee of the gun nuts, I mean rights, group. It almost makes one wonder if they sent her into the library on purpose.
Nothing has happened yet. “The library hasn’t had anyone test the new policy or any other situations involving guns, except for one day last month when a man made eight harassing phone calls to the Windsor Severance Library that at one point forced the building to be locked down,” because gun nuts.
Most gun owners I suspect are sensible enough not to want crazy people carrying guns around. Bad things tend to happen. The Colorado gun nuts, I mean rights, group is aware of this, too. They know bad things can happen in public when crazy people have guns.
“Criminal safe zones are target-rich zones, leaving our children and loved ones vulnerable to those with malicious intent,” said the executive director of the gun nuts, I mean rights, group.
In one of the other articles the group was quoted as saying “We firmly believe library patrons, exercising their inalienable right to protect themselves, are not disruptive to the library environment.”
We might ask whether a substantial amount of paranoia makes one a crazy person. I’m suggesting it does. Even if not, plenty of people consider extremely paranoid people to be some sort of crazy and possibly dangerous.
Thinking of public libraries as “target-rich zones” sounds paranoid to me. I tried to find some statistics on crime in public libraries. The only thing I found (with a quick search) was this piece talking about how crime had risen dramatically in the Bloomington, IN public library. Since Bloomington, IN isn’t in Colorado, that’s not relevant, though.
Weird or unpleasant things do happen in public libraries frequently, but not the sorts of things anyone should respond to with a gun. Shooting a creepy guy masturbating at a public computer makes you a criminal.
Shooting noisy teenagers hanging out in the teen space because they’re loud makes you a criminal, unless maybe they’re black and you’re in Florida, but definitely in most places.
So, with some exceptions, if you feel so unsafe that you can’t go into your local public library without a gun to exercise you inalienable right to protect yourself, you’re excessively paranoid.
The exceptions mostly have to do with other circumstances in your life. If you’re being harassed or stalked by someone and are in fear of your life wherever you go, then it might make sense.
But if you’re not being stalked or anything and you carry your gun into the public library because you think of it as a “target rich environment,” then you’re paranoid. Your view of the world is twisted somehow.
From the standpoint of everyone else, there’s not a person exercising a right of self-protection, there’s an extremely paranoid person in the library carrying a gun. It’s not the gun itself that would make people think you’re crazy, it’s the worldview that’s motivating you to carry the gun into the library.
So the people who can’t go into a public library without carrying their guns are either a) gun fetishists, and thus crazy, or 2) suffering from extreme paranoia, and thus crazy.
And that, gun nuts, is why people don’t want you carrying guns in their public libraries. You see the public library as a dangerous place, and everyone else agrees, at least when you’re there.