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Doing my part to bridge the cultural divide - Bartender Geek [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Xiphias Gladius

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Doing my part to bridge the cultural divide [Nov. 11th, 2016|08:50 am]
Xiphias Gladius
I got my firearms safety certificate last night, which means that I can go ahead and apply for my LTC today. So I spent last night with gun rights folks -- people who are very much not politically like me. It gave me a chance to socialize a little during breaks, and get a sense of what they're like.

I mean, I've done construction and stuff, so it's not like I HAVEN'T known blue collar people, but my life's been mostly in the liberal bubble for decades. So this was a good chance to get out of that for a night.

And I remembered, yeah, these people DO have a lot of good qualities.

And there there are still a bunch of 'em I don't like very much. *sigh*

I was going to suggest that a bunch of us should all sign up and get our licenses together, and then start making friends at gun clubs, and build some bridges, and then break some of the bubbles, get to know them, let them get to know us, be less polarized. And I still think that's a good idea. But... do I really want you guys hanging out with people who complain about how awful it is that schools let kids be upset these days, instead of telling them to shut up and suck it up when people beat them up? I mean, yeah, I do, because I think it would be good for them to get to know us, and good for us to know them, but... it'd be kind of a difficult thing to ask of you all.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-11 02:32 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. It never hurts for a person to meet up with "the enemy" and discover they're human too.
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-11 04:18 pm (UTC)
What if I've spent much of my life living amongst those who refuse to believe I'm a person, no matter how hard I try?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-11 04:33 pm (UTC)
That's tough. I guess you just keep on trying...

But that's a very general answer. I don't know what your actual circumstances are.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-11-12 01:04 am (UTC)
Her actual circumstances are that she's a fat Black bisexual woman, and lots of people think that people in one or more of those categories don't matter.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-12 09:55 am (UTC)
Those are shoes I've never stood in. At least not in this lifetime...
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-12 06:40 am (UTC)
I am sorry, sir, but right now I'm tired of trying. I'm looking at this election and feeling like all the trying I did in my life has come to nothing.

I read your post about how liberals need to sit down and shut up. I've read several like it this week. I wish someone anywhere would write a post pointing out that Trump made a lot of terrible bigoted statements which frighten many Americans and emboldened some of the worst, and that just perhaps the rest of his supporters might do some good to publicly deplore acts of bigotry. But no one will say that.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-12 10:01 am (UTC)
I don't know, I read the Guardian every morning. And that's been full of nothing but wailing and gnashing of teeth since the election. I've been writing the things I've been writing as a counterweight to that.

I think it would be gracious of Trump if he called off the attack dogs and told them they weren't speaking for him when they perpetrate hate crimes. I think they might take it from him. And what would it cost him? Nothing.

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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-12 06:29 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)

I was asked to do exactly that when I was 13, and I guess my reaction to this post is in part those scars aching.
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[User Picture]From: filkerdave
2016-11-11 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'm seriously considering applying for a license. The coming Trump administration has me that worried.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-11-11 07:52 pm (UTC)
Any reason not to? It's pretty cheap to apply in New York. You won't be able to carry in New York City, and Nassau County has some weird restrictions -- as I understand it, you can only carry on your way to and from a target range. However, you can take as circuitous route from the range as you want... if you join a 24 hour gun range, you can be on the way to the range any time you want, as long as you don't have any alcohol on the way...
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[User Picture]From: filkerdave
2016-11-11 08:27 pm (UTC)
I live in Nassau county, naturally.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-11-11 08:40 pm (UTC)
Yep, I checked your userinfo to see which is why I looked up Nassau County and saw that workaround. On the other hand, if you can document the reasons for your fear, such as the increase in hate crimes, you have a better chance of getting an unrestricted Class A license to carry, which is what you want. I mean, that's what you want even if you aren't ever thinking you'll ever use it for defense, anyway, because it's just more convenient.

Do it, if only for fun and for hobby, but also to interact with people you otherwise wouldn't. You may find out that all your assumptions about them are true, but maybe you'll find some common ground with some of them.
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[User Picture]From: filkerdave
2016-11-11 08:50 pm (UTC)
I work in the finance industry. I don't have a shortage of Trump supporters in my day to day life.

I'd actually do it because I expect the Jews to get what we always get in times of turmoil. Blame.
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-11 04:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, sweetie. I am so thoroughly sick of trying to be an ambassador, trying to demonstrate the humanity of women and Black people and whatever else people see when they look at me. In my experience, ambassadorial work at best just results in people carving out a me-shaped exception in their prejudices. And now, I feel ilke half the country soundly rejected my humanity, and my Latinx friends', and my Muslim friends, and so many other people's. Considering the rising wave of antiSemitism, I fear for you too.

Maybe I'll be in a bridge-building mood again sometime. Right now I'm noting the rising numbers of Black women who have these salt-of-the-earth types walking up to them and calling them niggers and saying "this is Trump's America now" to feel much like it. I wish you luck. I've been wishing my favorite gun nut luck for awhile now.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-11-11 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not expecting you to. I'm expecting you to do whatever you have to to survive. I'm just thinking this is something those of us who look like them can do.
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-12 06:41 am (UTC)
I'm just thinking this is something those of us who look like them can do.


Thanks. I mean that seriously.
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[User Picture]From: redbird
2016-11-11 09:52 pm (UTC)
I've spent thirty years of my life saying "this is what a feminist is like" and "yes, you know at least one bisexual" and so on. Yes, being out is a political act, but "my editor is bi" or "my cousin is gay" is more effective than "this random person I met at the club for half an hour is Jewish," and I don't have the stomach to brace myself for attack first, and hope that they still think I look like a decent, normal person while I am so braced.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-11-12 12:05 am (UTC)
It might to be easier right now to change progressives' minds about guns... a high preponderance of hate crimes seems like a really strong argument.

But yeah. There's a huge gulf between "okay with a gay person" and "okay with gay people." Or black, or Muslim, or whatever.

The benefit, as I see it, is in understanding their worldview, more than changing them. If you know how someone ticks, you can come up with appealing arguments.
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[User Picture]From: aelf
2016-11-12 02:33 am (UTC)
I am a conservative living in a liberal state. Even for people I've known for years, it's continually outing myself, to their reponse "I forget you're conservative, you're nice and thoughtful." Because in their head, all conservatives are Republicans, and all Republicans are expletives. When their environment constantly reinforces that belief, it's easier for them to forget that I'm one of those bad, evil, horrible people, than it is for them to confront how they're being manipulated.
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-12 06:56 am (UTC)
At least when one comes out as conservative no one can send one to conversion therapy.
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[User Picture]From: aelf
2016-11-12 02:53 pm (UTC)
Conversion therapy is a terrible thing.

And that's part of the problem - the assumptions we make about the other. There is nothing I can do or say to convince you what my actual stance is on conversion therapy, and what I think conservatism says about conversion therapy. You probably don't care (and I'm not saying you should), here I am simply the proxy for what your experiences have taught you that other people mean.

Which, unfortunately, exactly supports my comment. And even your previous comment about your experience - there's little that can be done about reaching out to other people. We all have our experiences. We all have the way our brains function. And so it goes.
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[User Picture]From: browngirl
2016-11-12 05:57 pm (UTC)
Actually, that's not why I mentioned conversion therapy -- I was too elliptical.

I definitely know the gut deep frustration of being told "Oh but you're one of the GOOD ones." But when you used the term 'come out' it sparked off my memories of friends and acquaintances telling me about losing family members, homes, having their dignity stripped from them and being tortured. It occurred to me that different kinds of coming out have different risks.

We all bring our experiences, histories, and what we've learned trailing behind us wherever we go, curling up to force every new experience to filter through. It's kind of an amusingly ironic parallel that we've both experienced our attempts to change negative assumptions about groups we're in crash into the iceberg of being deemed good exceptions to otherwise evil groups. After half a lifetime of trying to find ways past that iceberg, I feel, at least right now, that maybe there aren't any.

As you said, as so it goes.
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[User Picture]From: aelf
2016-11-13 04:51 am (UTC)
*nods* I hear you. Thank you for your further explanation.

Different kinds of coming out, and in different places. I can comfortably be agnostic here. In other places, not having a church is questionable, and not being religious is unheard of. But mostly for those things, the risk is loss of job, community. Not life and limb. It's unconscionable that people can risk so much simply for being who they are.

I wish you well.
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[User Picture]From: cellio
2016-11-14 12:52 am (UTC)
Do you have any getting-started advice for a woman who has never held, let alone fired, a gun, but who used to be a decent shot with a crossbow? I mean, before you go to a range you probably have to have some idea what category of gun you should be learning about, right? Or is that wrong and there are petting zoos (so to speak) where you can explore such things?

(In case any of this matters: short, a little stronger than average, poor vision, lefty.)
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2016-11-14 12:57 am (UTC)
I'm just starting this myself, but, yeah, there are "intro to firearms" classes where you can go in, and get some safety training and hands-on experience with the range of guns they have at that particular range. There are often ones specifically for women, even, on the theory that a women-only class might be more comfortable.
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