Saturday, July 27, 2013

Open Letter to Mr. Sheriff Wannabe

Posted by She Said

Dear Mr. Sherriff Wannabe,

My children and I were shopping at Winco Foods yesterday, and as I was instructing my son where to scratch my itchy back, you walked by and smiled at us. I didn’t give you much thought at first because I was so focused on getting him to scratch just the right out-of-reach spot in the middle of my back. But then my daughter, who was sitting in the cart, turns to me and asks, “Mommy, is he a Sheriff?” This prompted me to take a better look. As I quickly scanned you, I got a kick out of your salt-and-pepper handlebar mustache, your open leather vest just begging for that star-shaped badge, your faded jeans, and your well-used cowboy boots. With my eyes twinkling and a grin on my face, I told my daughter that you weren’t a Sheriff; perhaps you were a cowboy! Then something caught my eye and I did a double take around your waist. Now, don’t blush Mr. Wannabe, I wasn’t interested in anything you were packing in your pants. Shame on you! No, I was more interested in the heat you were packing. You see, what got me staring at your mid-section was the holster slung to your hips, a holster proudly and openly cradling your handgun.

A handgun. In Winco Foods.

Now my friends know me as wildly liberal, but I grew up in Texas and am very familiar with how feverishly people are feeling about their 2nd Amendment rights. Particularly now that there’s an <whispering> African-American man in the oval office who wants to take away all your guns. *Eye roll* You see that happening, right? No, you don’t see that happening? Yeah, that’s because IT’S NOT HAPPENING, Mr. Wannabe! We can’t even get better background checks passed in this state!

Which leads me to why your smug display makes me completely uncomfortable. I don’t know you! You may look endearing in your “I’m straight out of the wild west” get-up, but I. Don’t. Know. You. Either you are doing this for self-preservation because you are distrustful of your fellow shoppers, or you are doing this because you actually are taking on some self-imposed duty (to protect and serve!). You may feel all proud and puffed-up with your gun on your hip, and you may think that you are providing a service to those around you, like you could save us should a hail of bullets rain upon us (in Winco Foods). Mr. Wannabe, you are not providing me with a service. In fact, looking at you with your gun slung on your hip made me quickly think of hundred ways it could go bad.

If a hailstorm of bullets did rain down on us, I’m thinking, “Great! Now I have to watch out for Mr. Wannabe’s gun, too!” I don’t know if you’re a good shot! I’d have to watch out for your stray bullets, too!

I shudder to think what could happen if my children weren’t as well-behaved as they are and ran up and grabbed your easily assessable gun and shot you or some innocent bystander? What if they shot me? You are kind of getting up there in years; there’s no telling if your reflexes would stop that in time.

What if I happened to look at you with a stink-eye? This wouldn’t be intentional, of course. Perhaps I was thinking of something unpleasant at the time, and you happened to be the recipient of my unintended glare. I have no idea if you just got out of some mental institution, because we know it is easy with the laws to get your hands on a gun regardless of any history of mental illness. So, it is entirely possible that  you, dressed in your adorable wild west attire, are just looking for a reason to start firing that thing!

And of course, other than self-preservation or a desire to protect and serve, there is another offensive option. What if you ARE the bad guy? Remember, I don’t know you! Why should I assume you are good? Because you are wearing a handgun? Nuh-uh. In fact, quite the opposite! You make me more leery that you are that bad guy. Were you shopping, or were you looking for your ex-wife to settle some vendetta with her?

In closing, Mr. Sheriff Wannabe, I implore you to knock these wild west antics off. I don’t need reminding in the middle of Winco Foods that the world is a dangerous place. I am acutely aware of that fact. And I don’t need you to try and “protect” me and my children from your preconceived notions of the dangers of being in the bulk section. I’m not coming for your gun, so simmer down; I just don’t need your weapon blatantly shoved in my face.

In all sincerity,