The Wrong Side of History
There was a small incident that occurred when I was at the CAKE comics festival a few weeks back: basically my friend Barry pointed out what seemed to be a guy with a gun inside the convention hall - which caused me to have a few moments of WTF panic, before he seemingly disappeared - and it prompted me to write this little comic.
Mike Dawson is the author of the graphic novel Angie Bongiolatti, a story about sex, socialism, and online learning.
1) why is this tagged marriage equality?
2) You have an irrational fear of firearms.
3) You’re a sexist
4) You get angry over some really dumb stuff, let me tell you.
Stupid comic and a stupid opinion
Your comic is bad and you should feel bad.
"Right to not be terrified." What? Show me where that is written down.
Right in the bill of “muh feelings”
Fear of strangers who walk into public places holding guns isn’t irrational. It is unquestionably the most rational response possible. Gun people and their posturing about masculinity when it comes to this stuff are missing the point.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether you feel afraid or not. If you don’t know the person, you don’t know their intentions.
If I feel fear and you don’t - it makes no difference. If the stranger intends no harm, then we’re both in the clear. If the person plans on shooting up the place, we both suffer. Our feelings towards the gun are irrelevant.
The most common response I’ve gotten to this comic (here and elsewhere) from people who disagree with me, is that my feelings about guns make me less masculine
This might become it’s own comic, but just to put it out there: I don’t care whether or not you think I’m manly or not, or even if I am
less manly because of how I feel. I think it’s a childish way to look at things.
Unfortunately, however, it’s the lens through which the issue seems to be mostly examined through. And I think it’s this insistence on framing it as a question of masculinity is what makes it all so toxic.
People on my side of the fence can do better in this regard. The most common retort I see from anti-gun people when it comes to them encountering the enthusiasts is that the gun-nut is “compensating for something”. The gun is a penis substitute. Clearly there’s something the gun guy feels insecure about. Therefore, what’s not explicitly stated, but implied is that it’s the gun-control guy who’s the real man
, because he doesn’t need to buy his penis in the sports aisle at Walmart
But why is that better? It’s still placing the premium on manliness. It still diminishes the non-masculine, suggests they aren’t as worthy, implies that they are deficient. It still makes masculinity the primary value in the center of the debate.
The question isn’t about who the Real Men are, it’s are there reasonable things that can be done to try and reduce the number of gun deaths that happen in this country every day, every week and every year
. I think there are, but as I’m stating in the comic, people who share my opinion are losing the fight. My hope is that in ten, twenty years, we will have seen that change.