Are you the type?
Waiting to board a flight out of New York, and I am looking on as a tall, slender salesman approached the counter. He asks about standby status for our flight, and the woman behind the counter says there is no way he’s going to be on this flight. “You’ll have to wait til later tonight,” she says.
The salesman grins at the thought of this feeble challenge and boldly declares that he WILL be on THIS flight. This will be a good one, I’m thinking. And then to my surprise she looks down at her computer and prints out a boarding pass for him.
First of all, f*** people like that. As an amiable type personality, I cringe at the thought of confrontation or disturbing someone going quietly about their way. There are too many people like this in the world. They put themselves above the rest of us, either ignoring the bigger picture, or not really thinking at all.
As the salesman spun around he gleaned his yellowing teeth at all of us onlookers, with crisp, new boarding pass in hand and a wicked smile wiped across his face. I really hope he’s not sitting next to me. Then, as he turns, I notice a dark shadow sitting just above the waistline of his belt. A gun.
Or so I thought. It turns out to be the overlapping cloth from his loosely fitting button-up. But that glimpse was enough to rattle my brain for a moment and it got me thinking.
CNN is flashing in the background, just above the busy patrons of an airport bar. Breaking news: Mitt Romney is about to give an anti-Trump speech. With the news buzzing in the background, and the faux gun sighting fresh on my mind, I start to wonder why I’m so averse to the idea of publicly brandishing a gun.
I was not raised around guns at all. And in California, at least in the more populated regions, you simply do not see citizens carrying weapons. But when I think about WHY I question these regulations, I relate back to my experience just now at the airport. I have minimal concerns when it comes true, accountable gun control. It all comes down to the fact that I don’t trust the average American to wield a gun responsibly.
Think about the last time you had a public disagreement with someone. Or the last time you cut someone off on the freeway. Think about a recent experience where someone got angry or aggressive in public. Maybe it was their significant other, or a stranger, or someone in customer service. Now imagine all these people have guns.
Not awesome, right? How democratic and free will we be if someone could wave a gun in your face every time you disagree?
Okay, so it is a bit alarmist for me to think like this. And the average person deserves more credit. But simply put, this is why I fear guns. They enable dangerous, life-altering decisions to be made quickly and with ease.
It takes self control to handle a gun. Through current events, involving police and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it has been demonstrated that you cannot train people to adopt this behavioral trait.
You can learn how to handle a gun safely — which is critical to a reduction in accidents and irrational violence. But can you test for a personality trait like constraint? It would mean greater restrictions for some, but it could bring progress.
What do you think?