Shooting Homeless People

A few days ago, I saw Weapon Outfitters link to a post on regarding concealed carry and homeless people. The topic of that article was a video by YouTuber MrColionNoir. Enough links?

“Dabneybailey,” the writer, criticizes Señor Noir’s video by saying that the latter’s attitude towards the homeless is bigoted. MrColionNoir’s statements are certainly strong at times, but I dislike the word shifts used by the writer. I would prefer that you read the article and watch the video in their respective entireties in order to discern the intentions and opinions of both individuals.

Dabneybailey switches out MrColionNoir’s use of the word “shoot” for the word “murder.” I didn’t hear anything in MrColionNoir’s video that implied he was advocating the murder of homeless people. In general terms, it is frustrating to debate with someone who twists what you say. In specific terms, it’s mildly unacceptable to me to seriously accuse someone of having murderous intentions when they clearly do not.

Dabneybailey later attempts to equate panhandlers with “teenagers handing out coupons in front of grocery stores,” because both are approaching you in order to ask you for something. This is, quite simply, ludicrous.

Panhandlers and the homeless are some of the most aggressive people who will approach you and ask you for things. Their body language and voice tone of many panhandlers is often far removed from that of the general population, which includes the door-to-door evangelicals and teenagers dabneybailey compares them to. They may also approach you at a higher rate of speed and move to a much closer distance than other groups of people.

Society sees the homeless as invisible, and they will use this to their advantage in order to pressure their mark from close range. People will give money to the homeless just to get them out of their personal space. Muggers and criminals who are either among the homeless or who will disguise themselves as such use the exact same techniques. The aggression displayed by such people is, without a doubt, worthy of attention. Recognizing and acknowledging these factors does not a bigot make.

A bigot would be more likely to make a shoot/no-shoot decision based on appearance. MrColionNoir never advocated the judgment of the homeless on appearance alone; in fact he did not seem to mention appearance at all. His entire argument centered on the behavior of “the homeless,” rather than the simple fact that they are homeless. Evaluating behavior over appearance is a smart self-defense choice.

Dabneybailey uses images of “harmless” homeless people in daytime holding signs asking for money in his article. His use of these photographs is inappropriate, as MrColionNoir never referred to people sitting on the ground, looking miserable, and holding out a cup for spare change in his video. He spoke only of those who would approach from odd angles and ask for money. He also specified a higher threat level at night, which is correct. This is a further twisting of MrColionNoir’s statements, albeit a more subtle and perhaps even unintentional one.

I do think that MrColionNoir could have worded his statements in a way that would have left himself open to less criticism – perhaps by more exactly defining “the homeless” or using “aggressive panhandlers” instead – but his view of the world is far more realistic than dabneybailey’s. I was not left with the impression that MrColionNoir was a bigot or that he wished to murder anyone. I was left with the impression that dabneybailey was naive and somewhat illogical.

My final issue with dabneybailey’s article was his failed attempt to ridicule MrColionNoir’s grammar through the use of the Latin word sic. First, MrColionNoir was delivering an off-the-cuff message to a video camera, and minor grammatical errors are bound to occur. As someone who delivers lines to cameras quite often, I found dabneybailey’s action in this regard rather petty and uncalled for.

Second, the word sic is italicized when writing for APA or Chicago format. It is not italicized when writing for MLA format. However, dabneybailey’s use of ellipses to condense MrColionNoir’s statements in the very same paragraph should have been enclosed in square brackets under MLA formatting guidelines.

Third, dabneybailey’s use of the word sic – which indicates an exact transcription of a quote which includes an error – was inappropriate, as he incorrectly transcribed MrColionNoir’s use of the word “compassionate” as “passionate.” MrColionNoir may indeed be a passionate man, but I fail to see the relevance of that to the topic at hand. Were I to review dabneybailey’s work further, I am quite certain that I could make liberal use of (sic).

In other words, dabneybailey made sophomoric formatting or grammatical errors in his attempt to humiliate MrColionNoir by pointing out a minor verbal miscue. I highly doubt that requires its articles meet any specific formatting guidelines (given their location, the most logical rules would be The Chicago Manual of Style), and I do not adhere to APA, MLA, or Chicago in my general blog writing. However, when someone wishes to hold others’ verbal statements to high grammatical standards, they bring a higher level of scrutiny upon their written work.

27 thoughts on “Shooting Homeless People”

  1. Well done, Andrew! I never read the article but I felt the same as you after watching Collion’s video.

  2. So if I dont stand around and get some bum’s life story i’m a bigot?

    I’m no “” fan frankly i really dislike them. However I really don’t think anyone is advocating mowing down homeless people. However I for one am not interested in what they have to say and will ignore them/ tell them to back up/off/ be on the defensive around them.

    Clearly the author of this article has never lived in a big city

  3. is a pretty thin blog. I like how they try and keep content coming, but almost every article is devoid of anything with substance. Frankly, I think they must be trying to increase their relevance in the blogosphere.

  4. Guns.Com is pretty much the definition of a content mill; they pay their writers insultingly cheap rates to churn out mediocre content while heavily enforcing rules about SEO optimization in each post. The whole point of a place like that is to maximize their traffic to get ad revenue. Guns.Com, the domain name was bought by Demand Media, same company that owns eHow.Com, and a couple of other similar properties. The business model is the same: crank out as much content as possible regardless of quality and aggressively optimize it for SEO, all while giving exactly zero fucks about whatever it is that they’re writing about. The actual management of are just a bunch of Chicago liberals that see gun owners as nothing more than a revenue stream.

  5. There’s really no reward for being sane on the Internet.

    And people wonder why there are so many trolls…

  6. Ah, modern journalism. Rush to conclusions, don’t fact check, and flame-bait as much as possible to stir up press. Throw on top of that the desire to appease the “politically-correct” crowd, and we have an article sopping wet with butthurt.

    Thanks for offering a rebuttal, Andrew.

  7. I only have one issue with this article: the use of the term “rate of speed.” It’s a tautology, unless you’re making a roundabout reference to acceleration.

  8. Oooh, boy. I’ve got more experience on this subject than I want to have.

    When I lived in the Bay Area of CA (can’t go armed unless you want to be a criminal…), I had so many bums approach and use borderline strong arm tactics to try getting money out of me, most people wouldn’t believe. I’ve been shouted at by “panhandlers” (AKA bums) so many times, I can’t even count. All because I wouldn’t give up my hard-earned money so they could go out and get drunk and/or high.

    Fun story; one of my friends was a broke college student, she was working her ass off to make it through school while keeping herself indoors in one of the most expensive places to live in the US (now she’s got it made and works at Pixar). But she’s got a huge heart, and wants to help anybody who needs it. We talked one day about the homeless in San Francisco and she was always giving money to them. Knowing her, I suggested she start carrying one or two of the pre-made food items from the cafe she worked at for those situations.

    A week later, she’d seen the light – not a single bum had accepted the food, and they usually asked again for money instead of the food.

    I’m not saying that everybody who’s homeless is a scumbag – some of my friends have been homeless at one point in their lives. But the ones who aren’t scumbags wind up making it eventually. The ones who remain homeless are the ones who are asking you for money almost always are, and they’re also the ones who’d happily stick a knife in your guts for five bucks. They’re also the ones we had wandering into the shop to steal tools and equipment.

    When a bum approaches watch him carefully. Head him off quickly, before he gets too close. Too many muggings start with either “do you know what time it is?” or “hey, got a smoke?” Once someone gets within arm’s reach, it’s too late.

    FWIW, I came really close to using a knife on one on my way out of work one day. He was one of the crazy bums; as I’m walking I notice he’s coming right at me, glaring like mad (which he was). He reached into his pocket, at which point I’m palming my own knife, and came up with something that looked like a box cutter. Thankfully he kept on walking, but I seriously thought I was going to have a knife fight right there on the corner of 10th and Harrison. Point of that story being I can see the point of the guy in the video about bums trying to get themselves shot. I was only a hair away from putting my knife to use, the only difference if I’d had a gun is that I’d have been a hair away from shooting him.

    Sorry for the rambling post, I’ve had a few beers. :p

  9. Thank you Andrew for pointing this out…I seen the article which we are talking about and couldn’t believe how stupid it was..I mean anyone who watched the vid clearly knew what he was talking about…some people will do anything for a hit on a page…keep up the good work man love your blog

  10. Good points and all, but boy am I glad you talked about MLA vs Chicago or APA format. I’m so tired of reading gun blogs run by guys who make a mistake almost every article (on single-paragraph posts) and claim to be professional writers/journalists. I think you might be the only seemingly-educated blogger in the main tactical blogs. Not a surprise you’re probably the only one who doesn’t take the ridiculous, myopic, and entitled machismo-saturated side of every stance.

    1. Thank you. I am 4 credits shy of a M.Ed…which I will probably never complete, but I have learned about all I would learn from that program. Including how to write fairly well.

  11. I’m going against the grain here. I don’t think Andrew should have wasted his time giving those folks all the hits they got from this fine blog. They are post whores and don’t deserve publicity from this audience.

    Me no clicky(sic).

  12. Bigot is another word shift. A more suitable word is bias. Its not that he hates homeless people, its that from experience, they tend to pose a threat.

    Bias is not necessarily a bad thing. There are people going on about how threat assessment should be taken on a case by case basis, but that’s not how the world works, or how WE work. Stereotyping is a survival mechanism, and inherently built into us, so that we can simplify ideas and react faster. It’s just not smart to try to take out a survival mechanism in a life or death situation.

    People might say that’s unfair but that’s just how the world works.

  13. After some scary experiences in Atlanta a few years ago, I coined the term “polite mugger” to describe an aggressive panhandler who is on the borderline between begging and mugging. I’m going to post a link to this article soon.

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