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Guns, vigilante and faith in humanity: An open letter

Dear Curt McKenzie, Dakota Brooke and all other Idaho gun advocates,

Let me cut to the chase immediately: You scare me.

Your personal positions regarding whether students on campus should have guns to “protect” themselves literally make me paranoid and afraid of you if I ever meet you on the street. And I think I know why.

The concept of the vigilante is nearly as old as organized political systems themselves. Wherever there is proper enforcement of the law, there will always be one person who feels the need to take it into their own hands. However, during recent times, this phenomenon seems to have gotten invariably worse.

During the last 50-60 years, for example, films and TV shows about these “wronged” characters have spread like wildfire and audiences have eaten them up. Works like “Dirty Harry,” “The A-Team” and, more recently, “The Dark Knight Rises” have all spoken to a culture that feels increasingly disillusioned about the traditional due process of the court system.

Of course, you guys probably already own those on home video, and get off on their main characters’ hypermasculine, hyperaggressive weapon-toting Americana. Also note the fact that all of these characters are male, because we all know women can’t become
vigilantes, right?

You may know this, but if you don’t, I’m here to tell you:

You just love actually being the vigilante.

You love the fantasy of bringing immediate justice to a world that you view as falling apart. You love feeling superior to the dirty cops paid by the government who don’t even do their job correctly. Most importantly, you’re OK with the idea of everyone (kids and adults alike) being taught how to handle a gun “just in case.”

Hmm, “just in case.” That sounds like fear and maybe paranoia to me. Why would I want to trust a paranoid guy with a gun? Oh wait, you blame gun violence on people with mental illness (a ludicrous statement) when YOU’RE actually the one with the “illness.”

Except, I understand that it’s not even an illness. It’s simply sadness.

Sadness because, at your core, you feel the world is passing you by. You feel like there’s nothing you can do to stop society’s accelerating changes. This makes you feel worthless.

And so, you begin to hate change. You begin to think of the world as an inherently terrible place to be, and you consequently start living for an imagined afterlife in which all of your earthly problems can dissipate. You start to think of things as solely black and white to compensate for your confusion about the world around you.

You put your faith in “God,” and lose faith in yourself and humanity.

And that’s why you remain ignorant and naive of peoples’ ability to regulate their violent impulses when presented with a weapon that causes more sadness and insecurity to the people affected by it. The cycle of negativity continues.

But there is a way out. And it’s realizing that God is not a guy from another dimension who watches over all of us with a loving (and sometimes vengeful) eye.

“God,” is humanity.

So if you really want to put your faith in “God,” put your faith in your fellow human being. Put faith in me. And I will put faith in you. Together, we really can achieve “heaven on earth.” And this heaven won’t need to consist of guns.

Take my hand in yours.

Or else I will be forced to take matters into my own hands.


Ryan Hoffman

Staff Writer and Usually Peaceful Guy

Do you think guns should be allowed on campus? Keep the discussion going. Vote in our poll and send your letters to the editor to

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Interested in the debate about guns on campus? Check out our letter to the editor which presents the other side of the case, see what students are saying about the gun bill, see President Kustra’s reasons for denouncing the bill or check out what is happening out the Capitol with our news coverage of the bill.

About ryanhoffman (0 Articles)
Ryan Hoffman is a staff writer/film critic for the Arbiter newspaper at Boise State University. He loves all things music and film, and he is majoring in Communications with an Emphasis in Media Production at BSU. His dream is to be a movie director & musician in a band one day. Ryan wears a Powerpuff Girls T-shirt sometimes because he just doesn't care, and you shouldn't either.

2 Comments on Guns, vigilante and faith in humanity: An open letter

  1. Dear person that wrote this, you are an idiot. Sorry I just couldn't figure out how to put it any other way. Just because someone could be packing concealed doesn't mean they have the courage to pull it out and use it. That's why not everyone can join the armed forces, be a cop, or a first responder. In other words its not for everyone! It takes a certain kind of person to pull the trigger injuring or worse killing another individual. In most cases just the sight of a gun or cocking it would be enough to make the "bad guy" think twice about what their intentions were. In the case of a school shooting, everyone goes to the ground or hides for self preservation. Even if there were 5 people in the room carrying doesn't mean they're all going to jump up and start shooting the bad guy. It's obvious to me that you think people that do these school shootings actually look up the schools in advance and choose the ones that ban guns on campus. You also think these people acquire a concealed weapons permit and training to do so. These people don't care about rules or regulations! Only honest respectful people follow laws! Also guns don't kill people, people kill people! If you think I'm wrong then you should take your gun, or if you don't have one then go to a gun store. Then sit there and watch all those guns sitting on their shelves kill someone! Yup that's right nothing will happen till one of them is placed in the hands of a criminal! Have you looked at what it takes to get an enhanced concealed permit, maybe you should? If and or when you do look into this, at the bottom notice it requires your county sheriffs signature. So you may answer every question correctly but if your sheriff has any issues with you he doesn't have to sign it meaning no permit for you!

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