While I doubt that the great American novel To Kill a Mockingbird is on the NRA's or the various "open carry" groups reading lists (one wonders what is), it might be useful to revisit one of the pivotal chapters in Harper Lee's compelling novel in order to understand the mentality behind armed groups of mostly white men laying siege to family restaurants.
While "One-Shot" Finch was clearly a marksman, it was a skill that he didn't wear strapped to his shoulder, as he preferred to impart more useful lessons to his children.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. That quote should serve as a rallying cry to any person or group pushing for sane gun laws, as they stand up to the ingrained and institutional frenzy of the "guns anywhere, anytime, anyhow" crowd. One wonders what Atticus Finch would think of many in these open carry groups, as they brandish their long guns in a pack mentality, badgering any person who dares to stand up to their frightening display of misplaced priorities and caliber-heavy bravado. Fortunately, several of the restaurant chains that have been visited by the heavily-armed open carry groups are standing up for sanity (and a majority of their customers) by asking that people enjoy their food and service free of the dangerous and intimidating presence of one's personal arsenal.
Interestingly and ironically enough, if open carry participants were charged with a crime, Atticus could probably be counted on to defend them.


Mark Benoit is a public relations strategist, and registered gun owner, who's worked on 36 political campaigns -- from presidential to judicial. Throughout the book Jem and his little sister Scout learn a lot about the place they call home, Maycomb County. Growling and foaming at its mouth, the rabid dog represents ignorance and intolerance, yet no one is willing to confront it.
Curiously enough, while Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and the Republican dominated legislature recently enacted a law allowing guns in almost any location, they decided that their actual legislative building should be off-limits for weapons. One group harassed and chased a person who was filming their activities several blocks, then publicized his vehicle and license plate.
Atticus is a very responsible parent who teaches his children the lessons they need to become honest and dignified people later in life. Mild mannered attorney Atticus Finch steps up, and stuns his two children as he shoots the dog dead with a single rifle shot, even though the dog was a great distance away.


Naturally, a fair amount of epithets accompanied their zealous defense of their right to act like idiots. The children didn't think that their father possessed that particular talent, as he was more an enlightened man of letters than a man typical of that locale and era (fictional Maycomb County in all-too-real southern Alabama during the 1930s). Atticus also teaches his kids not to hurt the innocent, whom they call “mockingbirds," and he teaches them not to make rigid decisions.



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