With all the news about the mother of all bombs, shootings and guns, I am always glad my bailiwick is sports where, unless you’re at a turkey shoot or Olympic biathlon, we don’t usually cross paths.
I have nothing personal against guns, having held my carry permit for a number of years before it lapsed a while back. I got tired of lugging it around with me worrying if I’d left it in the cafeteria or something.
It was the last topic I thought I would do in my sports column. Recently, however, while attending a softball game at the high school, I was on my way out to the field with my trusty camera – the only thing I’ve been shooting with in a while – and happened to glance down at one of the folding chairs next to me. There was a woman’s handbag sitting in the chair – the person it belonged to, I assume it’s woman based on the handbag – must have been off getting a hot dog – wide open with a .38 sitting in a holster lying on top.
I continued on my merry way, not giving it a second thought until I arrived at work this morning and we were discussing the local shootings, a shooting in Sparta, and having an off-the-cuff discussion when it came back to me about the ballgame. Our star government reporter, Lisa Hobbs, stepped right up and said – I’ll tone it down for you here – “Don’t they know it’s illegal to carry a gun at school?”
I processed this through my gray matter – now you know why I’m not the investigative reporter – and said “You know I never really thought about where we were. I have been accustomed and somewhat immune to the sight of guns in public so I gave it no more thought.”
It didn’t even occur to me to be concerned. I did think to myself the party involved – it was on the visitor side by the way, as I have easier access to the third-base line for pictures that way – just dug out a few bucks for a snack and forgot to close his/her purse. Somewhat negligent I thought, but my threat meter didn’t jump or make me think anything was awry.
I don’t know what I would have done if I’d thought about it more. Like I said, my threat meter told me it was just someone’s personal protection, but having it out on school grounds visible where someone could grab it might not have been the best course of action. I guess I could have told the ump, he might have said ‘Your outa here’ or something as I didn’t see a policeman in the vicinity. I don’t think the diamond is a patrol station.
Examining it now, I’m thinking what does my thought process say about where we are in society? Are we too used to guns? I’ve always said you can’t put the genie back in the bottle so what’s the answer?
I don’t know.