Chuck Avery’s a gun owner. Just ask him. And he didn’t just inherit grandpa’s squirrel gun that he keeps over the fireplace, either. He owns both rifles and pistols. As he tells it, he even “used to go out to the woods and target shot at all times of the year.” That means winter, too folks. So Chuck’s no nervous nelly. He’s not some namby-pamby shrinking violet when it comes to being around firearms. And that only serves to illustrate how truly disturbing his recent experience in the grocery section of Wally World was. I hope he found time to make a side trip to the men’s unmentionables department while he was there because, from the way he describes the horror he experienced, he likely needs a new pair of Fruit of the Looms…
Picture it for a moment. Chuck and the missus are strolling down the potato chip aisle looking for something to munch on when – out of nowhere – up walks a tall dark stranger.
My wife and I were walking down the “potato chip and other salty snacks” aisle in a nearby Walmart when I spotted this character coming toward us. He was decked out like a cowboy — big hat, neckerchief, high pointed-toe boots — the whole outfit.
That may have been unusual for east central Indiana, but it took Chuck’s experienced eye to spot the real threat.
Michelle looked, but her reaction seemed strangely nonchalant.
“Didn’t you see that?” I said.
“Yeah, the guy is dressed like a cowboy. I don’t care.”
“That’s not it! Didn’t you notice he was carrying a GUN?”
She looked again. Her reaction this time was, “Well, for Heaven’s sake!”
It might have been more appropriate had the guy been totin’ a six-shooter in a leather holster, but instead he had what looked like a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol strapped just above his right hip.
Right there in front of the pretzels! Can you imagine? You’d think the cow poke character had turned around, yanked the Glock from his holster and pistol-whipped poor Michelle right there in front of poor old helpless Chuck.
Chuck goes on to helpfully recount for his readers – with thinly veiled disapproval – the sorry history of the liberalization of gun laws in recent years. Not to mention the trend of people taking brazen liberties with the rights afforded them by the constitution.
But, just as we shouldn’t revert to all kinds of anti-social acts because there is no law against them, neither should we do things that are outrageous and irrational — like packing heat through the salty snacks aisle at the local Walmart — just because the law says we can.
Though I think it smacks of paranoia, I am familiar with the reasoning of those who exhibit such behavior.
Thankfully, Chuck was evidently a teacher at one time and has, as you’d expect, seen all manner of silly, incomprehensible behavior. He’s an old hand at all this ‘acting up’ stuff.
So when, for instance, a group would come to school wearing their underwear on the outside of their pants, I would tell them, “Yes! Yes! I know you have the right. But, c’mon, let’s use a little common sense here, folks.”
And isn’t that really what we need here, people? Just a little common sense. That quality that’s sadly in such short supply these days. I ask you, who really needs to wear a gun on his hip as he walks up and down the aisles of the local mega mart? As mom told you, just because you can, doesn’t mean you ought to. Carelessly strutting around that way can make unsuspecting innocents upChuck all over their Rockport Prowalkers from the mere shock of it all.
Just a word of caution to considerate Armed Intelligentsia members out there. Next time you have a hankerin’ for a family size bag of Doritos, untuck your shirt and hide that heater. The last thing you want to hear over the PA system is “Larry, cleanup on aisle five!”