Thursday, June 19, 2014

It Gets Stranger and Stranger

"They made him so uncomfortable that he had to leave.  I think that's awful. The library owes him an apology."
It grabs your attention, doesn't it.  In my politically correct brain I went to a transgender twelve year old using the wrong rest room.  How far from the truth I was.

At the Milwood branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library, the Summer Reading Party was attended by a father wearing a holstered handgun.  As directed by the local law enforcement, staff asked the patron to remove his weapon and notified the police that a man with a gun was on the premises.

Apparently, this was too much for the spokesman of Michigan Open Carry, Inc.  He's the one who thinks the librarians ought to express regret.

If people were uncomfortable by seeing a man with a gun, that's their problem, he said. "Unfortunately for them, nothing in the law says they have the right to be comfortable."

If I thought that arguing the point with him would make a dent, I'd mention "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."  My happiness includes being comfortable.  I shudder to think what his happy place looks like.

Watching Rio Bravo, waiting to hear Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson croon, we were reminded of the long Western tradition of checking your guns at the city limits.  "Leave 'em or go home" .... and there was no arguing.... at least by those not looking for a fight.  Even then, with the nearest judge three days hard ride away, wise minds prevailed.  There was no reason to go looking for trouble.

I've been calling Target, asking them to take a stand on open carry demonstrations at their stores.  The women who answer the phones have been uniformly delightful, thoughtful in their comments, and willing to let me rant for as long as my heart desired.  There is no shuffling through voice mail; the person who says "Hello" is the person who takes the message. 

I tell them I miss my Tar-zhay.  I describe driving past it and sighing.  I tell them that I don't feel safe unless the armed human is also wearing a badge.  I'm calm and deliberate and I make my points before I add that I was shot standing 10' from my Congresswoman and the 9 year old whose hand I was holding died that morning, on a concrete walkway very much like the front of your Target store. 

There's a bit of a gasp at the other end of the line as I finish by explaining that, perhaps I am hyper-sensitive to the issue, but I really didn't think so.... all I did was go to the grocery store on a sunny Saturday morning. 

I wasn't expecting to meet up with weaponry then, and I'm not interested in doing so now. 

I knew when I moved here that holstered handguns were allowed.  I was prepared for that, I thought.  It never occurred to me that I'd encounter an AK-47 in the towel aisle at Target, though.

Where's John Wayne when I need him?

***  The information about the library incident came from here  ***

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