So my original mission statement for this blog said something about not ranting and raving and boring people, and trying to always be entertaining; but since being funny on demand is hard, and since probably about three people read this anyway, I'm just gonna change that right now and start ranting. Or . . . did I change that with the first flea post? Regardless, it's changed.
Topic of the day is: Discrimination and Double Standards.
Let's set the scene: Today my little brother and I finally made it to the local zoo after three months of trying to make our schedules coincide. (Boy Scouts hog a lot of weekends!) The zoo itself was wonderful and did not disappoint. We both had a blast.
The trouble came from a different quarter: open carry. The zoo website had no rules nor regulations listed anywhere. So I googled them instead and found a website/message board dedicated to gun owners that had a thread discussing this very topic. They all agreed that they'd either open carried there in the past without trouble, or they knew the owner (it's a privately owned zoo) and didn't think he'd have any kind of problem with it at all. Thrilled, I decided to take advantage of that and not wear one of my "concealed carry T-shirts" which are much hotter than my "open carry T-shirts." It had the added advantage of allowing me to carry on my hip to save on back pain as I was also carrying a huge backpack.
Even with the research I'd done, I had that, "Ho-m'gosh, someone's gonna throw me out!" feeling that comes from living in the modern age. But we made it into the zoo no problem and I immediately found the list of rules and regulations on the map they'd given us. Nothing was mentioned regarding firearms in any way, shape, or form. So I really relaxed and just enjoyed the day. No one mentioned it. We rode the "Sky Ride" (fancy name for a ski lift) and the lady helping us on definitely saw it, but made no mention of it and remained friendly. Large groups of daycare kids on field trips were all around us a lot of the time and none of the adults with them seemed nervous in any way.
But then when we were going through the gate to board the "Safari Train," the attendant stopped me and asked, "Are you a police officer?" and I knew exactly what was coming. I politely told him, "No, sir, I'm not," and he informed me (in a very nervous tone of voice) that technically firearms aren't permitted in the zoo. He hastened to add that he had spoken to the zoo director who said that I was fine to finish my stay for today, but please don't bring it back next time. He explained that he had to ask if I was a cop because off-duty police are permitted to carry in the zoo. And that is where my beef comes in.
What makes police officers so special that they have the right to protection on and off duty? I mean, I know they have a much more dangerous job than I do (generally kids you've disciplined don't come after you with their gun-toting preschool classmates), but should that make that much of a difference? And yes, they have more "official" gun training than I do; but I've been shooting handguns since I was thirteen. And let's just say that an off-duty cop has brought his kids to the zoo, unaware that the gang member he busted for drug possession two days before is out on bail and brought all his dope-head, gang-banging buddies to the zoo to "teach him a lesson, man!" Are we going to leave that poor off-duty cop all alone to protect his children with only his own gun against ten or more? Shouldn't the entire zoo be packing heat for just such emergencies?
I know, I know - it's the same old circle that 2nd Amendment defenders argue around time and again; but it doesn't make it any less true! Why do cops get their basic human right to self-defense and the rest of us are left to hope we can hide behind a giraffe and not get shot?
And while we're on the topic . . . why do cops get to drive at ridiculous and dangerous speeds without getting a ticket? Because they have "special training?" Or because there's some serious nepotism within the Brotherhood?