While I usually disagree, I understand the concerns of the gun-control lobby. However, their hardliner’s tactics can be truly disgusting sometimes.
Florida passed a law granting it’s citizens the basic human dignity of being allowed to stand their ground and shoot back if attacked in a public place. The Brady Campaign responded thus:
The group […] began handing out fliers at Miami International Airport on Monday, cautioning visitors to take “sensible precautions” and to be aware that altercations on highways, in nightclubs or on the beach could provoke a shooting.
The fliers offer tips like “Do not argue unnecessarily with local people,” and “If someone appears to be angry with you, maintain to the best of your ability a positive attitude and do not shout or make threatening gestures.”
The cravenness of this campaign sickens me. The obvious inference is that they would prefer that people slink around in quivering terror of criminals, rather than stand up and defend themselves. After all, the Florida law isn’t a license to shoot anyone who pisses you off; it’s permission to defend yourself from attack.
Many gun-control arguments rest on a variation of the Calvinist “total depravity” doctrine – the idea that most or all humans are untrustworthy, lacking in judgement, excitable and prone to violent anger. Evidently the Brady Campaign feels that there is insufficient evidence in the real world to support this worldview; and has resorted to spreading unfounded terror among travellers that their fellow citizens are all unstable potential killers, primed to snap at any moment.
UPDATE: darthcrank‘s comment prompted me to take a second look at the flier quotes, and I realized something: the Brady people are actually confirming one of the common slogans of the gun-rights community – “an armed society is a polite society”. Quotes like “Do not argue unnecessarily” and “maintain … a positive attitude” are effectively saying “don’t be an asshole”. While I don’t think people should be shot merely for being impolite, I find it amusing that the anti-gun people are admitting that the right to bear and use arms encourages diplomatic behaviour.