I just got back from San Francisco, and while I realize it might not be for everyone, I really like the city. My wife does too. And it has become one of our go-to destinations for vacation. We like the food, we like the weather, we like all the wine and the sea lions on Fisherman’s Warf are pretty cool, too. Austin has a lot of things, but a certain “depth” it does not. So when we want to visit cooler weather in a city, SF is usually the ticket. That said . . .
I hate traveling around SF as I’m almost completely disarmed compared to my day-to-day life in Texas. And that bothers me quite a bit as I’m sure you, dear reader, can understand. So bothered, in fact, that I’m constantly on edge walking around the city. Factor in the high number of people muttering to themselves and the “keep it weird” vibe, and I think that’s fairly rational.
Further compounding my fear (irrational or not) was a story one of my wife’s friends told to me several weeks before our trip. A resident of Oakland, she was chased down the street by a man very clearly on drugs shouting, “Come here white bitch. Give me your money!” She’s an athletic young gal at roughly 105 pounds, and managed to outrun her aggressor, but that was her only option. Had she not been situationally aware, she very well could have been yet another statistic.
I’ve met the young lady. She’s a hardass and would be well-suited to carrying a gun. Unfortunately, Oakland isn’t exactly gun-friendly if you’re on the right side of the law. Her roommate, also a friend of ours, posted this appeal to friends earlier this week.
Went to the Army surplus store for mace. Each canister contains 8 blasts. Man behind the counter suggested I buy the refills at the same time.
So, that’s Oakland. Tell me about your city. How many canisters of pepper spray laced with tear gas does your local army vet suggest you need for your walk home?
What level of “kicked in the head” stupidity does it take to have a place where two women are afraid for their safety, but have to resort to running or pepper spray. Neither of them are withered flowers. They’re both tough as nails and, I have no doubt, given the means, could fight off damn near any attacker. But the hurdles are too high to let them use the best tool for the job.
Now if Mitchell, South Dakota decided to disarm me of my constitutionally protected, God-given right to self defense, I’d miss the corn palace, but not much more. The San Fran area, however, has a whole lot of things I like, and I think this last trip has really opened my eyes to the plight of our California-quagmired brothers and sisters.
I see them comment here occasionally, begging you to not let them fall by the wayside. Further, they tell you that what happens in California will spread to the rest of the country. Wanna call bullshit on their claims? Right here in Austin, the SAXET gun show was not able to renew their lease on the Travis County Fairgrounds because they wouldn’t comply with a demand for common sense, comprehensive background checks.
Community groups in Austin raised concern that individual sellers could sell to buyers at the show without the federal checks that are mandated for vendors. The owners of the gun show and attendees point out Saxet hasn’t had any issues in its over 20 years in Central Texas.
Those “community groups” are very likely transplants to Austin, as the SAXET show has been going on since 2010 without impediment. This move could potentially cost the city of Austin hundreds of thousands in revenue. Negotiations failed late Tuesday when SAXET rejected Travis County’s offer. This should have been a non-issue. Long story short, the transplants aren’t coming. They’re here.
Now before you brand me a xenophobe, know that I love me some immigration. If for no other reason than the kimchi tacos I get once a week. And actually kimchi is a pretty solid example of immigration being a good thing. Kogi BBQ won a Bon Appétit award in 2009 and kicked off the whole Mexican/Korean fusion food truck thing. Soon after, Austin saw Chi’Lantro serving up Korean tacos. The folks at Kogi saw a lot of success, and the people at Chi’Lantro said, “Hey maybe that’ll work here too!”
Gun control and hysteria spreads no differently. Buoyed by the success of magazine limits, feature tests, and FOID cards, out-of-state transplants attempt to implement them in their new homes because, “Hey, it worked back home and I felt safe there.”
So yeah, California matters. A lot. And that’s why I’m so pissed every time I visit. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. with beautiful coastlines, great mountains, vineyards, deserts, and everything in between. An outdoorsman’s paradise. Not to mention great wine, amazing food and culture out the ass. But my guns, my ideals and my money are not welcome there. Frankly, that’s shit. I want California back. Let’s make it ours. Only one question…how?