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At lunch today I had a thought which is either obscure, in bad taste, or funny (and those aren't necessarily mutually exclusive categories). I can't fully figure out which.

The recent attack on the Sikh temple in Wisconsin should reinforce the old adage "Never bring a knife to a gun fight.".

(and now he explains, which ruins the humor, if there was any... As part of their religious practice, Sikhs carry a Kirpan, a ceremonial sword or knife intended to be used to defend the defenseless. Because of the commandment to carry it everywhere, a large number of the people in the temple would have been armed with knives when the gunman started shooting.)

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Except that many Sikhs, especially the women, carry a knife which is more symbolic than practical, less of a weapon than a Wiccan athame - often it's more like a piece of jewelry, and/or small enough to be worn under their clothing.

But it breaks my heart that someone was both bigoted enough to want to kill "Muslims" indiscriminately, and ignorant enough to think that all "brown people with beards and turbans" must be Muslims. And it breaks my heart again that he shot up a worship service which consists of reading, reciting, and/or singing the sacred texts, combined with a shared vegetarian meal, open to all comers, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, age, gender, or financial state. (I find a lot of Sikh theology seriously screwy, but most of their practices are quite admirable.)

I agree with all of what you said, including the "more symbolic than practical" aspect of the actual Kirpans carried. It's immaterial to the joke, though.

Although if a few of the Sikhs had been carrying useful blades, the shooter might have discovered that it's sometimes a bad idea to bring a gun to a knife fight...

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