Guest post: One at least realizes that safety cannot be assumed

Originally a comment by A Masked Avenger on Whose freedom?

The inability, or refusal, to provide security measures–including preventing attendees from carrying weapons–is unconscionable. Full stop.

Ms. Sarkeesian, and everyone else for that matter, has an absolute right to do what is necessary to feel safe. Full stop.

I do think that the “privilege of being able to stand up in a crowd and not worry about being murdered” rests on the comforting, but false, notion that making a rule against firearms–or even screening people for firearms–means that everyone you meet is unarmed.

As someone who works in law enforcement, I am armed with some regularity. And I have accidentally entered secure areas in sports venues, theme parks, and even airports, while armed. Screening has limited effectiveness, and it’s not hard to forget that you have a knife, gun, baton, or pepper spray, because you have them so routinely. Of course I’ve also had security find my knife, or OC spray, and cheerfully surrendered them to be tossed. But if I actually wanted to get through with a weapon, I’d give myself 3:1 odds in favor.

There are larger issues, of course. Does screening reduce the likelihood of an armed confrontation? Unquestionably. Is it better to have some security than no security? Obviously. Would I demand security measures if credible threats were made on my life? You bet your ass. Nothing I just said can really be construed as an argument against security, or legal restrictions on weapons. It’s just worth bearing in mind the fact that prohibiting weapons is not at all the same thing as “the privilege of being able to stand up in a crowd and not worry about being murdered.” I don’t think it’s wise to be under that illusion. In the 24 “open carry” states, or the 39 “shall issue” states, one at least realizes that safety cannot be assumed.

The bright side is, as I’m wont to say, that “obviously nobody wants to kill me that badly, because I’m still alive.”

But that, of course, is cold fucking comfort to someone who is receiving death threats. I have no answers for Ms. Sarkeesian–all I can offer is my unqualified support for her, and my heartfelt wish that those threatening her are caught and punished.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ms. Sarkeesian, and everyone else for that matter, has an absolute right to do what is necessary to feel safe.

    But what about all those poor patriotic Utahns who don’t feel safe without their personal artillery?

  2. sonofrojblake says

    I have no answers for Ms. Sarkeesian

    I do. Don’t go to Utah. Go somewhere safer, somewhere saner and more civilised, give the talk, and preface it clearly with an announcement that this is the talk she would have given in Utah. Pile the shame onto USU and Utah in general (not that I’d expect them to give a shit…)

  3. Blondin says

    I wonder what Wayne LaPierre would do if he were scheduled to speak somewhere and received a similar death threat. Would Mr “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” feel safe standing in front of a crowd that included a mixture of armed and unarmed good guys & bad guys?

    Would he reason that, even if someone managed to shoot him and/or a few others, the death toll from the ensuing fire-fight would most probably include the bad guy? (Every cloud has a silver lining, right?)

    Would he dismiss it as a hoax since anyone who would seriously issue such a threat is already on his side? (Probably true.)

    I suspect he would discover a scheduling conflict or some other reason to back out.

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