I think I saw a gun today.
I can't be sure, because I didn't stop to stare, but at lunch at the Grand Avenue mall food court, I saw a pistol in a guy's pocket.
I know I just blogged about giving the mall another chance, and what I saw doesn't really have anything to do with it. Here's what happened.
On my way to Panda Express (guilty pleasure, I know) I walked past an older white man – I say "white" because some unfortunately do associate mall problems with black people. He was holding two crutches and wearing baggy sweatpants. I guess my eyes focused on his crutches, because I immediately noticed the butt of a handgun sticking out of his left pocket.
Am I sure it was a gun? No, but I've seen guns, and I've fired guns. This looked like a gun. I certainly didn't ask him if it was.
I immediately thought to myself, "Well, this is what concealed carry is all about," and I ordered my food. I felt edgy as I sat down far away from the man.
I ate very quickly, but while I did, I kept an eye on my surroundings. I noticed every security guard in the food court. I felt like they were at a heightened state of readiness. Maybe someone else saw the gun, too, and reported it.
I didn't, and I wasn't panicking because this is legal now, right? If it is, I still didn't feel very comfortable. After I tweeted the incident on my way out, someone replied that guns aren't allowed in malls.
I didn't stick around to see if he was right.
Understand that this guy was in no way threatening, yet still, I felt vaguely threatened. Why, I don't know, because for this one gun that I saw, many, many people are out there doing a much better job of concealing their weapons.
I guess that's just the new reality.
Update: In retrospect, it sure seems like this wasn't a true "concealed carry." Yes, this man was concealing (barely) and carrying a firearm, but I probably erred in thinking he was obeying the law. But this raises a good point: is it the burden of the non-gun owner to know the ins and outs of this new law? It makes sense to me that keeping an un-holstered gun in your sweatpants is not how the law was intended. In my 38 years on this planet, I've never seen a guy with a gun at the mall. Next time, however, I will surely alert security and let the professionals handle it.
If that's how you, an honest law abiding citizen felt, imagine how a criminal thinking about committing a crime would feel. Even better... imagine you're a criminal thinking about committing a crime, and you don't see a doofus in sweatpants unsafely carrying a gun in their pocket, but instead are left to wonder who among you might be safely concealing a weapon they were trained to use. It could be anybody. Now how does that idea of robbing somebody, or holding up a store seem?
You sound like a wuss. It was probably a tablet or cell phone. Leave the race baiting for Mr. Kane.
I carry concealed but willingly return my firearm to a lockbox in my car if I encounter a sign that specifies no weapons. That's the way the law works. Andy, worry more about the illegal carriers. They're the dangerous ones.
Well, here is the thing. Concealed carry and open carry are 2 different things. If you can see the guys weapon, it's not really concealed, i it? Is the mall posted "no weapons"? I always look for these signs. But there are some places that do not need to be posted, like a government building. I was not aware a mall automatically means no carry. I understand your uneasiness seeing the weapon. I have a friend who asked if he can carry to my house, and I have no problem with it, but when he took off his jacket and the holster was partially revealed until he covered it with his shirt, my granddaughter freaked out. I believe it is a persons right to carry. I also hope and continue to pray that people who exercise their right are moral and sane.
Could easily have been an off-duty police officer...or someone breaking the law who didn't even possess a conceal-carry permit.
There is no way to prove that this was a result of the conceal-carry law.
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