My two-year-old son recently decided it would be epically hilarious to bust my sunglasses. I disabused him of that notion as gently as possibly – after he’d smashed the glasses to smithereens. With my left eye still healing, the summer sun bearing down on my California redoubt, and my Jeep-driving street cred in dire need of cool shades, I headed to Walmart for some UV eye pro. Oh, and some ammo . . .
I bought two boxes: .40 and .223. That’s still the ammo purchase limit in my neck of the woods, where hoarding is just another word for nothing left to lose. Or “how many trips can you take to Walmart per week?”
As I paid for the ammo in the sporting goods section – God forbid we Californians should walk around a Walmart with two boxes of cartridges – I noticed an odd-looking man watching me. I don’t remember exactly what set him apart. As they say in Fargo, he was just kind of funny looking.
My kids were standing on the cart. Unusually, they weren’t acting too horribly. Mr. Funny Looking says, and I quote, “You’re buying ammo with kids present? Shame on you.”
It was that word “shame” that really got to me (a lapsed Catholic). Why should I feel guilty about exercising my God-given gun rights? For protecting myself and my family with a gun? For doing what Americans are – should be – free to do without government infringement?
Why shouldn’t my children be proud of their mother for taking ultimate responsibility for their safety? Why shouldn’t they grow-up to do the same for their children, enjoying their country’s Constitutional protections? Shame on me? Shame on you for trying to make me feel bad about my natural and civil rights in front of my children.
I couldn’t help it. I flipped him the bird. I agree: it was in very poor taste, especially with my children present. It reduced me to his level, or below. It did nothing for gun rights. In fact, it probably confirmed his opinion that gun owners are emotionally unstable gun nuts.
In my own defense, I said nothing. Not a damn word. And I was armed – my XD firmly in place in an appendix carry position. It didn’t jump out of my SheBang holster and start shooting in anger. Good gun. Good boy. I’ll pet it later and clean it for maintaining control when its owner was angry and made a rude gesture. Oddly enough, my gun behaved better than I did.
My kids? They were hungry. I fed them. End of story.