2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Wow, second post in a row that contains something about idiots. More precisely, ignorance and apathy.

I went to a local gun store here in Columbus after work yesterday afternoon that I have bought from on many an occasion. The are the largest dealer by volume in Columbus and probably one of the biggest in the Midwest. They just started a new monthly add flyer and there were a couple of items that I wanted to look at. As I was standing there another shopper (a younger male in urban attire) came walking by carrying an armload of items as well as an uncased Hi-Point 9mm pistol that he had hooked by one finger in the trigger guard. The barrel was pointing to his side and sometimes right at him, depending on how he was standing. I could not tell from my position if he had a magazine inserted. I would guess that he probably did have it inserted for storage. He was not there to rob the place (suicide) or cause trouble. Maybe he was there to try and trade it in or find a holster, I don't know, not the issue here. Having a weapon on you while you are in a gun store is not unusual, I was carrying my Taurus PT845 under my shirt in a holster myself (the store is not in the best section of town) at the time. Maybe I am wrong, but I thought it was store policy, if not just common sense, not to carry a unholstered weapon around (especially like that!) unless it was in a case or sleeve. I went up to the counter and informed one of the salesmen about the situation and asked if he had a case that the customer could borrow until they left. He looked at me with that "deer in the headlights" look and said that they really didn't have anything like that and it did not seem to phase him.

Anytime I am around anyone with a drawn weapon my spidey sense gets kicked up a notch (and no, I am not a comic geek!). When their finger is inside of the trigger guard it goes up another notch. When they obviously don't have a freakin' clue of basic weapon handling it gets to go "DING DING" with a big red flashing alarm in my head. Even when I go to the range and know my shooting partner I am always trying to make an active sweep of whats going on around me to preclude the "I told you so" incident from happening. I don't know if anyone else noticed this, or cared, but prime directive #1 (save your ass) kicked in and I headed for the door (and I am not a Star Trek geek either, although the original series is the best!).

As I walked out I passed a bin of cheap, soft-sided pistol cases being sold for $3.99 a piece. I would think that the store, which sells hundreds of weapons a week, could afford to buy a couple of those cases themselves for just such an occasion when customers come in. People don't necessarily do things because they want to screw up. Mostly it is just ignorance. I am not saying that somebody is stupid or unintelligent. It is just that they may not be informed.

Things usually fail due to either ignorance (not knowing the correct procedure or foreseeing the outcome of an action) or apathy (knowing what to do but choosing to either not perform, or choosing to perform to a lesser level) .
Of the two, apathy is the greater of the two evils.

Most likely the customer was ignorant in this situation. In my opinion, the store salesman was apathetic. Even if there wasn't a store policy against carrying a weapon this way he should have recognized the danger of the situation and acted accordingly. Maybe he had just been numbed by looking at and handling weapons 8 hours a day for years that he just assumes all is well. If that weapon comes from behind his counter this is probably a true statement. When it is brought in from the outside I would expect him to err on the side of caution.
If you are this salesman and you happen upon this post. Its not personal. Maybe I was apathetic and should have voiced my concern more vocally. I chose the easier route and extracted myself from what may have been a dangerous situation.
I do have other options in my area for purchasing firearms, ammunition and accessories. I am unsure at this point if this single incident will be enough to sway me away from this particular store. Although I feel you can get better customer service at other shops, the prices and selection at this particular store is usually pretty good. If I have any further incidents I will be sure to report them here.
Apathy and Ignorance are contagious. Do your part to be part of the cure.
If you just want to see some really stupid idiots, check out this blog:
I haven't used this in a while, but..
Shoot Often and SHOOT SAFE!!

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