When I was in sixth grade, our DARE officer let us pass a bullet around. I don’t remember exactly what prompted this, but my guess is that we were being typical sixth graders and someone harangued him until he showed us a bullet. I didn’t even want to touch it, not out of any highminded ideological opposition (though there was a lot of that going around – it was middle school, remember) but because it seemed part of something awfully dangerous.
I will risk speaking for my fellow New Englanders and say that for most of us, guns seem dangerous. They are danger, not freedom or liberty. Sometimes recreation. Occasionally protection. Definitely not the norm.
Someone should have told a New Haven resident that before he walked into a showing of The Dark Night packing heat. With a remarkable lack of judgment he brought a permitted, concealed weapon into the theater. Because he was in Connecticut, not, say, Texas, three other patrons called the police when they spotted the weapon in his waistband.
Granted, some of the reaction was likely a product of the location and people feeling a wee bit apprehensive about The Dark Knight. The police eventually arrested him on breach of peace for not complying when they arrived at the theater. He also violated the CT law against “carrying a firearm in a way that is alarming to the public”, which ranks among the most ridiculous and unclear laws I have every heard.
My fair home state is no stranger to ridiculous laws, so I shouldn’t be surprised that there is a law against freaking its residents out with something that is likely to freak them out. I don’t have any answers or any wisdom to share here, just the observation that everywhere I have ever lived, taking a pistol to a cinema is unusual.