the question was:"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than hands?" - Ernest Gaines
My answer was:
I hold hand's with my son.
I've held the hand of a man wounded and dying.
I've locked elbows with an elderly and blind men, helping them across the room/road/porch.
But I'm not sure that even men that are closer than brothers are inclined to hold hands if it's not to aid the other or to greet them.
even without a 'gay' connotation I don't think it's in the biological makeup of human males to have intimate personal contact without reason. This includes contact with women.
I remember as a boy the first time I didn't want to hold hands with my father as I crossed the street. I wanted to be a big boy. I could do it without his help, even though I would have freaked out if he wasn't there.
I still hug my father when I see him even though we don't get along. but when we part, we shake hands. The same 'rule' applies with my little brother.
I look forward with trepidation the day my son says 'dad I don't need your help' when walking across the parking lot or across the street. But I'll look down with pride that he's taking a bigger step towards the independence he needs to get on in the world.
I believe seeing 2 healthy men hold hands makes other males uncomfortable because they instinctively think that somethings wrong. 'is one of them hurt, blind, crippled?' 'They are just gay' probably isn't the first thought of a healthy man. Then again with society today who knows.
When I see two men holding guns, rifles, compound bows, whatever, If they are at the range or out on the farm I don't worry. Because they are taking part in an activity that they enjoy.
But if i were to see those same two men, law enforcement, military or otherwise in a school, bank, or even on the street in an offensive posture I would be worried. Because these men intend to do harm.