A lot of white guys look around and realize that they really aren’t all that smart/sexually masterful/whatever, and they are hit with a profound insecurity. They aren’t what white guys are “supposed” to be! …
Take those Open Carry Texas idiots, who I wrote about for Alternet. But I wish to reiterate here that I find their behavior both repulsive and so obviously insecure that I can’t help but laugh at it. There’s no way around it: They’re a bunch of soft, suburban types who know in their hearts that they are soft, suburban types and not the conquering warriors they feel they should be. … They may not be Clint Eastwood, but dammit, they will pathetically strive to look powerful. The problem is, of course, that this behavior makes their insecurities screamingly obvious to the rest of us, having exactly the opposite of the intended effect. They want us to look upon them and tremble. And, in a sense, we are. Trembling with laughter, though.
… dudes who show up to fast food restaurants open carrying automatic weapons … are nerds. They’re mad that their little hobby of showing their external death penises to the world doesn’t get quite the respect that it deserves, or more importantly they’re mad that they don’t get quite the respect that they of course deserve and are confused that their giant external death penis waving isn’t giving them that respect. They want more adulation than they’re getting, and don’t get that their hilariously deadly hobby occasionally inspires a few eye rolls. Also, too, fear, but so what, nerd, any of us can buy an external death penis, because USA. It doesn’t make you special.
A lot of the response to Open Carry has been to ban them from restaurants and point out that, in an era where random guys occasionally shoot up a public place, people are right to freak out when they see a guy brandishing a gun enter a Jack in the Box, it’s reasonable for people to freak out. But I think Atrios might be onto something here with the pointing and laughing. These guys want to feel scary and powerful, and so noting that they are actually defeating themselves and instead drawing attention to the qualities they most wish to hide—their soft, paranoid, suburban silliness—might help defeat this behavior.