OK, I need someone to help me out here.
There is a kerfuffel going on right now over whether Starbucks should tell people openly carrying guns that they shouldn’t come into the coffee shop because it freaks out the customers, baristas and whoever else is sitting around.
The open carry people say they’re just asserting their rights to defend themselves in a dangerous world. They will say: What if someone in the coffee shop is a nut who wants to kill everyone; I have to be prepared to take him down.
An opinion piece in the LATimes here (click) takes a somewhat negative attitude to the people with the guns, but also says Starbucks shouldn’t be the enforcer since it, like every other business, is just trying to make a buck these days.
My question: What is to keep every non-gun carrying customer in there from assuming anyone with a gun who is not a uniformed police officer is a nut? I mean, really? Why should I assume anyone with a gun, concealed or open, is sane, or rational?
Given the large number of people who’ve shot up the place of late (it’s not just the post office any more) it seems to me that the only rational response to seeing a gun in the open is a discreet call to 911. Either that or pull your own and cover the guy.
What are we supposed to do, wait until the guy actually pulls a gun and starts shooting people? Given the cost of waiting for that to happen, that seems insanely trusting. And, as every fan of westerns knows, letting the other guy get the drop on you is a good way to get dead.
So, call 911? Shoot first and ask questions later? Wait until he pulls his gun and shoots your grandmother? What is the proper behavior here?
Seriously, I know you guy people are out there. Help me out. You are carrying that gun because you are assuming that I’m not safe. If you walk into the coffee shop with a loaded gun on your hip, and I have no clue who you are, why should I assume you are safe?
And, more important, why should I wait for you to make your intentions clear? If I do, I might be the one dead. Frankly, I’d rather not.