Friday, August 30, 2013

Me And A Gun

I feel the need to preface this story with the fact that nothing happened and I, and everyone who was around me, is totally fine.

But yeah, today some guy came into my place of employment with two guns. One on a belt holster and another, that looked terrifyingly large, on his back. I don't see guns too often, but for some reason, when they're kept in a holster on a hip, I feel okay. There's something about the placement that leads me to believe that this person is just a plain-clothes cop or someone who is just coming from his or her gun safety class.

But a rifle? Why do you need to carry that across your back while in a bookstore? It's alarming. It freaks people out and brings back horrific memories of school and movie theatre shootings on the news. I respect that the law says a person can carry a gun, but I'm not so sure that means you should. Leave that shit at home! A couple of my coworkers thought the gun was fake, but I wasn't about to get close enough to make sure. Besides, it's probably crazier to walk into a bookstore with a fake gun!

I was really torn while this young man was in the store between being very freaked out and feeling kind of bad that I was feeling freaked out. "He is within his rights," the non-emergency policeman on the phone told us. There was nothing they could do even though I could feel the fear and confusion in the store as he walked around aimlessly. Which, let me point out, is super weird. We spot that quickly and keep an eye on it, usually suspecting theft.

I wanted to remain cool and treat him like I would anyone else. He was not breaking any laws. And it's not like I can see into every person's bag and know whether or not they have a concealed weapon, right? I couldn't, though. I couldn't be totally normal with my actions. I wanted to avoid him and couldn't help thinking that so many crazy shootings begin with someone doing something normal. "He got in his car and then..." "She ate breakfast and then..." "He walked around the bookstore and then.."

Yeah, it's scary.


+ Title from Tori Amos


Serena McClain said...

I still can't believe this is legal. If I weren't so tired, I'd look it up ;-)

Tess Shebaylo said...

Look at you all updating your blog and stuff! :)

I think the big illegal thing is *concealing* a weapon, if you don't have a concealed weapons permit. So he may actually have been wearing it super clearly visible like that since he had it with him and wanted to make sure he was obvious about obeying laws. I remember when I was a kid there was a guy who our family was friends with who lived a few blocks away, and he wanted to bring over this old Civil War rifle he had to show my dad. He had to walk over with it slung over his shoulder in broad daylight, which looked really crazy to me. But it would have been illegal for him to conceal it / make it less conspicuous. Kind of confusing but I believe that's the way it works.

Miss Scarlet said...

Serena- We were in the backroom trying to remember the laws. My cop connection said that you're still supposed to have a permit to own a gun so we're all pretty disappointed the cop didn't at least ask to see that. People get carded to drink all the time, how can that be so different?

Tess- I have wifi at home again! So nice. And glad I still have some readers out there:) The law is definitely kind of confusing. Especially since it's one I don't ever use. It was kind of overwhelming when he was in the store because I had SO MANY people coming up to me and calling me with concerns.