Yesterday, David went to sell one of his guns. He has a number of them, that he’s collected over the years. Having grown up in northern Wyoming, he learned to hunt and fish and shoot guns as a matter of course. He has fun with them and is very knowledgeable, very skilled. However, since we moved to Santa Fe, NM, he never hunts and rarely has the opportunity for target practice. So he decided to sell a gun he really only kept for interest, one he enjoyed but never shoots – an automatic rifle.
He took it, in its case, to a gun store that offers consignment in town. Reputable place that follows all the laws for holding times, etc. It happens to be located in a mall.
It hit him, as he walked into the mall, carrying the rifle in its case that not one person looked at him sideways. No security guards stopped him to ask why he was carrying a gun. People, he figured, rightly assumed that he was headed to the gun store.
It was funny, he told me, having a different perspective now than the one he grew up with, to realize that he could have stopped, taken the gun out, loaded and fired at the people shopping. We know this kind of thing has happened, right? Yet there would have been absolutely nothing to stop him.
Now, David is one of the gentlest, most nurturing men I’ve ever known – he’s a healer, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine – and so he would never do such a thing. It bothered him quite a bit, that no one questioned him walking into the mall with a rifle.
I’m not sure what the answer is here. David and I are both children of the Rocky Mountain West. We’re accustomed to open spaces, people who smile easily, a laid-back lifestyle. I don’t want security guards in the malls.