On Open Carry Radicals

I lived in Brattleboro Vermont for many years–a time that I still look back affectionately. That little New England town had real charm, even for a displaced right-wing southerner like me.

The town was and is famous for it’s gay community: a very activist group which is highly integrated into the area. Like many places, someone decided that one of the parades (boy do they love their parades in Brattleboro) should include a gay pride contingent. The suggestion was received with little opposition until some of the more flamboyant characters came out with ideas for members to dress in…well, the most provocative manner you can imagine, including a “Captain Condom.” Captain Condom was to be a man covered in a thin film…and nothing else. Essentially the parade was an excuse for exhibitionists to prance about in front of children and families.

Now here’s the rest of the story. The town had a very popular gay night club that everyone went to; gay, straight, in-between. As it happened, the owners were concerned about the more radical elements in the proposed parade. They came out with a formal statement that I paraphrase here:

We wish to be good neighbors in our town.
Insulting other citizens is not being a good neighbor.
Please do not do this.

Captain Condom was not in the parade.

Which brings me to my main point. Just because you have a right to do, doesn’t make doing right. Specifically, citizens who strap an AK or AR on their backs and stroll into the local grocery store are the red-neck version of Captain Condom. It’s meant to shock and frighten folks, some of whom may be warm to our cause under kinder circumstances. You’ll find no more fierce defender of your rights to arms and self-defense than I, but this does us no good and arguably much harm.

Please stop it.

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