When turnabout is not a good idea

When we see these movements by Christians to insert prayer into schools and government meetings and to put up monuments to the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols in public spaces, the natural reaction has been to encourage non-Christian groups also exercise the same right to have official sanction of their religion by saying their own prayers and putting up their own monuments.

This kind of reversal is a pretty effective tactic in showing up the hypocrisy of those groups that hide their desire for preferential treatment behind the veil of seeking freedom of expression.

It is tempting to think the current movement by some groups to openly carry massive firearms around in public and into stores and restaurants could benefit from that kind of turnabout. Suppose groups of young black men wearing dreadlocks and hoodies (which have become the new symbols of threat) also begin to wander around carrying massive firearms. Wouldn’t that trigger racial paranoia and cause some rethinking as to whether this is a good thing to do?

The Daily Show correspondents Jordan Klepper and newcomer Michael Che discuss the etiquette of carrying big guns around in public places and why the turnabout idea may not be a good one in this case.

(This clip aired on June 5, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. hyphenman says

    Good evening Mano,

    In the early days of the Occupy movement there was some discussions about attempting to link with 2nd Amendment advocates so that there would be an armed presence in the Occupy Camps.

    The groups decided, upon further consideration, that this was a bad idea.

    I do like to remind people that before there was Open Carry Texas, there was this group.

    Do all you can to make today a good day,


  2. lorn says

    +1 hyphenman @ #1.

    Jon Stewart makes a very good point, albeit indirectly, if minorities, particularly black people, did what those gun nuts were doing there would be a whole lot of concern, debate, and re-estimation of exactly where those gun rights might start and stop.

    A lot of people might not be old enough to remember it but when Malcom-X and Black Panthers advocated blacks arm themselves and openly carry loaded guns, at the time perfectly legal, the white folks were shocked and stopped seeing firearms as an unalloyed good. It was always tacitly understood, particularly in the south, that guns were white folk’s friend and the colored minorities would remain unarmed. It was a rude awakening seeing that assumption crushed. The law was quickly changed in some states to only allow unloaded firearms.

    “”Last but not least, I must say this concerning the great controversy over rifles and shotguns. The only thing I’ve ever said is that in areas where the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes, it’s time for Negroes to defend themselves. Article number two of the Constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun. It is constitutionally legal to own a shotgun or a rifle. This doesn’t mean you’re going to get a rifle and form battalions and go out looking for white folks, although you’d be within your rights -- I mean, you’d be justified; but that would be illegal and we don’t do anything illegal. If the white man doesn’t want the black man buying rifles and shotguns, then let the government do its job. That’s all.”

    The sight of black men carrying arms legally was the start of a wave of anti-gun laws in many cities. Laws that the Birchers, Republicans, and NRA went along with because while they wouldn’t countenance wider limitations, and the law wouldn’t allow explicitly race-based gun control, they could focus the effect on minorities by enacting strict gun laws within urban areas, that just happen to be majority black.

    The open carry trend will wane quickly after large numbers of black men start showing up in public with firearms. Hopefully nobody will end up getting shot as this point-of-order is being clarified on the ground.

  3. says

    hyphenman writes:

    I do like to remind people that before there was Open Carry Texas, there was this group.

    And I’d like to remind people that before the NRA was against gun control they were for it:

    Then Gov. Ronald Reagan, now lauded as the patron saint of modern conservatism, told reporters in California that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” Reagan claimed that the Mulford Act, as it became known, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.” The NRA actually helped craft similar legislation in states across the country.

  4. Mobius says

    A very good point made by the Daily Show…

    Stand-Your-Ground laws say it is OK to use deadly force if you perceive a threat, and someone that is carrying a big-arse gun is certainly threatening. Ergo, using deadly force is appropriate (that is, if you accept these premises).

    And thus, we can have massive shoot-outs as various gun-toting people perceive each other as threatening.

    The initial NRA announcement about the “manners” issue is correct…for once. But of course the NRA backed down from that statement and is once again on the wrong side of the issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *