I did my small part, and Facebook friends did theirs and strangers in the check out line in the grocery store promised to do theirs after overhearing my conversation with the cashier and the ground swell grew and grew and Target is now asking its guests to leave their weaponry behind.
It's a good day.
I wrote a Tweet and then copied it and posted it on Target's Facebook page, sharing my joy.
I thought about it before I typed, remembering Little Cuter's admonition that there are people with guns on the other side of this issue, but I thought it only fitting to compliment them in the same forum I'd used to tell them that I was #OffTarget. It seemed like the right thing to do.
#BackOnTarget !!! @MomsDemand and I thank Target and the citizen activists who convinced them that weapons are not needed in the tp aisle
It didn't take long, about twenty seconds, for someone to wonder if I felt safer now that I couldn't see the guns.
It's taken me an hour to stop shaking and be able to type.
I felt vulnerable in just the way Little Cuter told me I would. I felt exposed and reachable. I felt attacked, though his words were not overtly inflammatory. I clicked through to his public page, and saw that he's offering a great deal on a flat pack holster. I clicked away.
Over the last sixty minutes or so I've been pondering his question. It's an interesting one. I imagine that he does not feel safe unless he is protected by his sidearm. Somehow, I manage to feel safe without one. And I was on the receiving end of a bullet. It's an interesting question.
Denial has always been my favorite defense mechanism. I can't deny it. (sorry) I am happy in my little bubble, assuming that those around me are interested in toilet paper and inexpensive socks.
I try to stay away from imagining that everyone is out there to get me and that I must be prepared to defend myself at all times. I lived that reality. I've spent the last three years trying to move past that fear. I have whole days where I move through life without flinching at the sight of a skinny white boy in a hoodie. I do not need to be reminded of that experience by your need to carry a gun. But, that's my issue. Your right to carry shouldn't be abridged by my personal life. I have to live in society along side those who do that which I find abhorrent. That's America.
But this issue sprang from people who decided that strapping an AK-47 to their backs was a necessary precursor to pushing a cart down the detergent aisle. That is something I do not want to see. That is something I do not want to encounter while pushing my infant granddaughter. That is unnecessary, even if it is legal. So, yes, I do feel safer when I can't see the guns.
Target isn't prohibiting guns. It's not taking on legislation.... nor its own lawyers, it seems. It's respectfully requesting that its guests leave their armaments behind. It's nice to know that I won't encounter an open carry demonstration in their store any time soon. It's nice to know that making noise leads to results. It's nice to know a great many things, but I have some shopping to do......... I've missed my Tar-zhay.