Not long ago, I went to my local grocery store on a busy Saturday morning. There was a man there who was blocking the aisle. He looked angry. He looked scary. He was dressed in scruffy clothes, had scraggly gray hair and a day’s worth of stubble on his scowling face.
I stood there awkwardly for a minute, but I wanted to get buy him and be on my way. I told myself not to be so judgmental. I cleared my throat and said, “Excuse me….?”
He looked up and smiled, revealing beautiful blue eyes and a disarming dimple. We had a short, friendly chat about the virtues of low fat ice cream, and I finished my shopping feeling great about the interaction.
But ya know what?
If that same thing had happened after the passage of the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” that whole thing would have gone far differently. You know the bill I’m talking about, right?
The latest bit of NRA inspired insanity would allow anybody who can legally carry a concealed weapon in their home state can carry one in mine.
Which, of course, means that when strolling through my local store, I will have no idea if my fellow shoppers are armed.
So in the best case scenario on that recent shopping trip, I would have turned around and gone the other way. I wouldn’t have dared to talk to that scary looking old guy.
In the worst case scenario? I might have been carrying a concealed weapon myself. A loaded one. I might have felt threatened enough by his big bulky self blocking my way. I might have reacted with a jolt of fear, especially if the guy had his hand hear his pocket.
I might have feared for my life and I might have shot his face off.
Call me naiive, but I would very much like to continue meeting new people as I go through my days. I’d like to take my grandkids to the mall without worrying that the young guy with the shaking hands isn’t about to pull out his gun and start shooting us up.