So -- plenty of positive vibe via one-way movin' media (vide) and with it, the predictable effects of being publicly visible are happening to the guy who thunk it up.
I still think a be-visible, hand-out-flyers event of this sort is a good idea -- and I think the critics who claim it's some sort of patrol-the-streets event are off base. Tam and I are not gonna go play Junior G-(wo)men; that's not the point. The point is to remind baddies that not all their prospective victims are helpless. (And for the bedwetter who fretted, "Oh, great, now the Broad Ripple Assailant will carry a gun, too," think again; criminals favor overwhelming odds, like strong and sober hoodlum vs. drunk and weak co-ed. They know a gun is no defense from a gun; it's merely an equalizer and equal's not where they want their prey to be. A question -- is being raped by main force all that preferable to raped at gunpoint? Is not having even a chance to strike back really more noble than submitting to grievous bodily abuse? Update: Tam points out the current bad'un of BR has threatened all of his victims with a handgun already, so the fretter's even more foolish than I thought).
But back to our main thread. The organizer of OBRw/G (who has commented on this blog and been cordial and positive; I'd welcome any rebuttal he might want to offer) is in the spotlight and (based, I am told, on his Facebook page) a couple of accusations have been thrown his way:
The first to come up was that he was -- was, as in back when it was legal -- a publicist for a company making or marketing "spice," a sort of fake marijuana-like product. He's owned up to as much and pointed out that when it was outlawed, the company and that job came to an abrupt end. Okay; settled. One might question the wisdom of it but it was legal when it happened and it's done.
[Update: Tam is on Facebook. She looked and can't find anything about "politics." I'm callin' high probability of agitprop on this next item.] The other accusation, from a "progressive" blogger, is, if true, rather more serious. He's saying the OBRw/G guy is a National Alliance supporter (and they are, IMO, a bunch of racist nitwits.*) I can't verify it and it is at odds with other publicly-available statements by the man (scroll down to comments). If this allegation is true, I have a problem with that. I say "if true" because there's plenty of reason for doubt; the blogger so alleging is a man of strong opinion and there is a possibility that this is an effort to stir up trouble. (Only two posts earlier, he expresses his belief that private ownership of firearms ought to be flat banned and offers to debate it. I wonder if he would dismiss freedom of expression or of religious belief as readily as he does the right to effective self-defense -- but offer to "debate it" with those poor, deluded fools who think speaking their mind, reading whatever they like and/or worshiping as their conscience bids them is a good idea. Yeah, not gonna happen. Basic, intrinsic human rights are not up for debate, pal. How does he feel about warrantless searches, I wonder? "Walk right in, Officer Friendly!")
Lefty blogger-dude went out of his way to choose fighting words in his post title and therefore doesn't get a direct link. The first link in the preceding paragraph (or this one) will take you to commentary at level-headed Paul Ogden's blog and where you go from there is your own lookout.
I don't know if the allegation is true or not. --I don't care all that much either, because the right to keep and bear arms is colorblind and 'cos OBRw/G is not about one guy. It's not even about the people with guns who will show up. It's about publicly reminding malefactors that they cannot know which of their prospective victims might be armed -- and about reminding law-abiding citizens that in this state, (with a little paperwork and a State Police background check) they can carry the most effective means of self-defense ever developed: a handgun.
Dammit, it's time for average, decent folk to stand up. If you're not minded to carry a gun, or you can't (age, can't pass a background check, whatever), or even if you do, don't be alone in the known hunting grounds of criminals. Be aware of your surroundings. And if you are wanting to drink yourself stupid, at least take steps to do so in safe circumstances -- that means with a group of people you know, with a designated (sober!) driver, and having some idea of your limits. (Kids! A Public Service Announcement: You really can kill yourself with alcohol in one night and you'd be amazed how many people manage it in their 21st year).
The best encounter with a bad guy is the one you avoid. I hope you'll have a backup, too; even pepper spray is better than yelling "oh, stop." and suffering what coroners and cops call "defensive injuries," but keep your eyes open.
Be careful out there.
* I wonder if they'll even eat peanut butter sammiches? Ijits. I have a dog in this fight, thanks to a "Cherokee" g'g'grandmother who was probably a little of a lot of things -- and a fine person, from all we can tell. Hey, one-droppers? I shoot back. So did she.
5 weeks ago