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Tommy Carcetti

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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 42,263

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On open carry....

This past Saturday, while my area was still in the proverbial Cone of Death of a major hurricane, I went out to get some Chinese takeout at our local takeout establishment.

As I pulled into the left-hand turning lane and turned on my signal to pull into the plaza where the takeout place was located, I noticed a motorcycle travelling in the opposite direction. It slowed and moved into its right hand turning lane, meaning it was also headed towards the same plaza.

Figuring it had the right of way, I dutifully sat in the left hand turn lane and waited for the motorcycle to turn in. However, when it came for him to turn into the plaza, he instead came to a stop and sat there for a second or two.

Reminding him that he had the right of way, I waived my arm to tell him to turn in.

Still nothing. He just sat there for a couple more seconds like a bump on the log, seemingly oblivious to me.

Not wanting to lose any more time, I figured he had forfeited his right of way and I began to make my left turn in. And just as I did, the man on the motorcycle started to angrily gesture and wave his arm, only then realizing that I was there and turning in.

I pull into the plaza parking lot, and I notice that the man on the motorcycle is directly behind me and has also parked in the same parking lot.

Not one for awkward confrontations, I pray that he was heading towards one of the other two restaurants in the plaza, but as I walk towards the takeout place, I notice there he is, walking right behind me.

Now, I have been cut off many times in traffic. And typically I'll react with an angry wave of my hand, and I'll be upset for a grand total of maybe 3 seconds. 5 seconds, tops. And by then it's ancient history. But I have no guarantee how others might react.

I open the door, and the motorcycle man is literally 5 feet behind me. As I open the door, the lady at the counter announces, "Next person!"

I don't have a second to say a word to her before the motorcycle man immediately barges in front of me and asks for his order, without any regard for the fact that I was technically the next person in line.

Whatever. If he feels I somehow cut him off earlier, let him take my place in line and get his order. As long as he doesn't say anything to me.

And yet, just as he finishes his order, he turns directly to me and says to me in a thick New York/New Jersey accent--not in a shouting manner, but very bluntly--"If you ever pull that stunt on me ever again, I guarantee you that you won't be coming out in one piece."

Now, I'm a pacifist by nature. I've never gotten into a fistfight in my life, and have no plans to do so. Still, I'm forever situationally aware of things and if I ever am forced to defend myself, I will.

So I assess him up. He's at least 20 years older than me, probably in his 60s, and a foot shorter than me. So I feel reasonably confident about my situation if it were to come to blows.

I simply shake my head at him.

"Chill out, man," I tell him. "You're going to give yourself a heart attack if you keep acting like this. Besides, you ended up taking my place in line, so consider things square between us."

"Oh, my heart just bleeds for you," he responds sarcastically, seemingly not aware of my honest peace offering.

Without saying anything else he takes his food and leaves the store. I approach the lady at the counter--who is a familiar face--and she just has an expression on her face like, "What the hell was that about?"

"Must be the stress from the hurricane," I say.

She's clearly sympathetic towards me and tells me not to worry about it, people yell at her on a daily basis. I thank her and take my food.

Thinking about this in retrospect, I have to wonder how the situation might have played out if it were not simply an angry old man spewing empty threats, but someone with a gun displayed at his side.

The dynamic of the situation would have changed considerably.

How would I have reacted differently?

How would the lady behind the counter reacted differently?

We're told by the gun apologists, "An armed society is a polite society," but such a case, I can't see the outcome being any more polite or civilized.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Sep 4, 2019, 11:41 AM (24 replies)
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