Shooting Homeless People

A few days ago, I saw Weapon Outfitters link to a post on guns.com regarding concealed carry and homeless people. The topic of that article was a video by YouTuber MrColionNoir. Enough links?

“Dabneybailey,” the guns.com writer, criticizes Señor Noir’s video by saying that the latter’s attitude towards the homeless is bigoted. MrColionNoir’s statements are certainly strong at times, but I dislike the word shifts used by the guns.com writer. I would prefer that you read the article and watch the video in their respective entireties in order to discern the intentions and opinions of both individuals.

Dabneybailey switches out MrColionNoir’s use of the word “shoot” for the word “murder.” I didn’t hear anything in MrColionNoir’s video that implied he was advocating the murder of homeless people. In general terms, it is frustrating to debate with someone who twists what you say. In specific terms, it’s mildly unacceptable to me to seriously accuse someone of having murderous intentions when they clearly do not.

Dabneybailey later attempts to equate panhandlers with “teenagers handing out coupons in front of grocery stores,” because both are approaching you in order to ask you for something. This is, quite simply, ludicrous.

Panhandlers and the homeless are some of the most aggressive people who will approach you and ask you for things. Their body language and voice tone of many panhandlers is often far removed from that of the general population, which includes the door-to-door evangelicals and teenagers dabneybailey compares them to. They may also approach you at a higher rate of speed and move to a much closer distance than other groups of people.

Society sees the homeless as invisible, and they will use this to their advantage in order to pressure their mark from close range. People will give money to the homeless just to get them out of their personal space. Muggers and criminals who are either among the homeless or who will disguise themselves as such use the exact same techniques. The aggression displayed by such people is, without a doubt, worthy of attention. Recognizing and acknowledging these factors does not a bigot make.

A bigot would be more likely to make a shoot/no-shoot decision based on appearance. MrColionNoir never advocated the judgment of the homeless on appearance alone; in fact he did not seem to mention appearance at all. His entire argument centered on the behavior of “the homeless,” rather than the simple fact that they are homeless. Evaluating behavior over appearance is a smart self-defense choice.

Dabneybailey uses images of “harmless” homeless people in daytime holding signs asking for money in his article. His use of these photographs is inappropriate, as MrColionNoir never referred to people sitting on the ground, looking miserable, and holding out a cup for spare change in his video. He spoke only of those who would approach from odd angles and ask for money. He also specified a higher threat level at night, which is correct. This is a further twisting of MrColionNoir’s statements, albeit a more subtle and perhaps even unintentional one.

I do think that MrColionNoir could have worded his statements in a way that would have left himself open to less criticism – perhaps by more exactly defining “the homeless” or using “aggressive panhandlers” instead – but his view of the world is far more realistic than dabneybailey’s. I was not left with the impression that MrColionNoir was a bigot or that he wished to murder anyone. I was left with the impression that dabneybailey was naive and somewhat illogical.

My final issue with dabneybailey’s article was his failed attempt to ridicule MrColionNoir’s grammar through the use of the Latin word sic. First, MrColionNoir was delivering an off-the-cuff message to a video camera, and minor grammatical errors are bound to occur. As someone who delivers lines to cameras quite often, I found dabneybailey’s action in this regard rather petty and uncalled for.

Second, the word sic is italicized when writing for APA or Chicago format. It is not italicized when writing for MLA format. However, dabneybailey’s use of ellipses to condense MrColionNoir’s statements in the very same paragraph should have been enclosed in square brackets under MLA formatting guidelines.

Third, dabneybailey’s use of the word sic – which indicates an exact transcription of a quote which includes an error – was inappropriate, as he incorrectly transcribed MrColionNoir’s use of the word “compassionate” as “passionate.” MrColionNoir may indeed be a passionate man, but I fail to see the relevance of that to the topic at hand. Were I to review dabneybailey’s work further, I am quite certain that I could make liberal use of (sic).

In other words, dabneybailey made sophomoric formatting or grammatical errors in his attempt to humiliate MrColionNoir by pointing out a minor verbal miscue. I highly doubt that guns.com requires its articles meet any specific formatting guidelines (given their location, the most logical rules would be The Chicago Manual of Style), and I do not adhere to APA, MLA, or Chicago in my general blog writing. However, when someone wishes to hold others’ verbal statements to high grammatical standards, they bring a higher level of scrutiny upon their written work.