My most disturbing Walmart trip

The whole gun issue, will once again, fade right away from the headlines. The kids will go back to their schools, the politicians will take the respective chairs in Washington, and the very fat cats at the NRA, will draw up their puppet strings once more.

And then 48 kids will be killed in the next shooting, and we will start all of this, all over again. Never affecting change, because the NRA is too strong, in the pockets and minds of its dummies.


A couple of years ago, we hired a guy here in the county, to “cater” one of our little family gatherings. A BarBQ Guy. He dropped the food off at the house, in his boots, and cowboy hat. He was full of swagger. He was also wearing a holster which held two six-shooters. We should have just refused the delivery. But instead, we paid the man for the food. And of course, never called him for service again. I didn’t invite his guns on my land.


Sunday morning, I went to Walmart, and I saw the most disturbing thing I have ever seen in all my trips to Walmart. Yes, worse than the flesh-tone stretchy pants, on the Moms of Honey Boo-Boos.

The Walmart was mostly deserted, as most people were still in bed hungover, or maybe at church, or at home, eating Lucky Charms floating in rainbow milk.

I was walking down a wide aisle, and an older gentleman was approaching. Older than I, probably by 25 or more years my senior. He was casually dressed, in blue jeans, a heavy flannel shirt, and a ball cap. The man limped along, painfully. It looked like walking was one of the biggest chores in his life, on any given day. As I got closer, I noticed he wore glasses which were thick. Thick, like Coke-bottle-bottom-thick. And walking even closer, I viewed a large tan hearing aid in at least one of his ears.

And then I glanced down, and spotted a holster on his belt, cradling a firearm.

This disturbed me to the deepest deep. Fear, actually rushed over. A moment of panic.

I moved past him, and continued on my way, right out of the store. I did not want to be in the same place with a stranger, carrying a firearm.

My question is this. What do we DO, when the “gun owners’ rights to brandish firearms in public, or anywhere else, infringe on MY RIGHTS to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness?

This man could barely stand up, let alone swiftly and effectively, draw a weapon. Given the physical features suggested by his hearing and seeing aides, I am not sure he could tell friend from foe, unless they sent him a Christmas Card and smacked him on the forehead with it.

So here, I am faced with a man whom I do not know. He has a gun. In the middle of Walmart. And just because he is wearing this weapon on his belt, does not mean that he has license to be carrying that gun. How should I know, for sure? And so what, there? What if in that moment, he lost his senses, and shot me? What if in that instant, he simply flipped a brain switch and started firing? What then?

Am I an alarmist? I think not. His gun and bullets were very real. He had the potential to start shooting at will. How was I to know the level of danger there? Should I have gone to the manager and reported him? Should I have called Eaton Police and said, “There is a man with a weapon, walking the aisles of Walmart. Get here quick!” What if it was a black guy, in his 20s, wearing a hoodie, with a handgun just stuffed in the front of his jeans, walking down that same aisle? How would responders, respond to THAT? The same as the old guy?

This is all highly problematic, at the very least. I no longer felt safe shopping in Walmart. So I left. My pursuit of happiness, in being there, had been infringed upon.

“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives those three examples of the “unalienable rights” which are spelled out in the Declaration. It goes on. These rights have been given to all human beings by their Creator, and which governments are created to protect.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is your right to carry your AR-15, just in case you need protecting. Maybe from the guy with the gun in the Walmart. Well. Well. This all needs a great deal more attention, and thought, because I have rights too.

Unfortunately, the gun owners in our country have the NRA thinking and paying for them. The heavy pieces of silver jingling in the pockets of our lawmakers. A dirty swamp indeed.

And here we are. I can hear the school bell ringing. Time to get back to class, kids.


“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
― Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin


“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”
― Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works – Volume XII


“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
― Thomas Jefferson