I had Easter dinner with my mother at a Chinese buffet. It's a very nice place with lots of seafood.
The thing that bothered me was one of the patrons. An elderly man and his wife came in. He was wearing a black 'scrambled eggs' NRA* ball cap. He was also carrying a compact handgun in a 'tactical' mount. Looking at the rig I know the most likely store where he got it. I buy hiking gear and clothes there sometimes. He was one of those people who is always looking for an argument. I saw him intentionally put his hand on the steam table then loudly complain to the proprietor that he'd been burned. What an asshat. I wasn't really listening to what he was saying but he was complaining constantly. I think he was making racist statements too but I'm not sure. He definitely said something about Chinese something.
When he came out of the mens room a hispanic man was startled and choked when he noticed the guy was openly carrying a handgun. I don't see this kind of thing every day but see it much too often. I assume the guy has a New York carry permit. Almost any idiot can get one. Thankfully we don't have an ALEC† stand-your-ground law or this idiot might have legally murdered some innocent boy in a hoodie already. At least the local police wouldn't have assisted him the way they might have elsewhere. This isn't Sanford, Florida.
I'm white (actually part Shoshone but it doesn't show). I have guns. I used to shoot competitively and hunt. I haven't done either in years due to losing interest in both. One thing I've never done is carry a gun into a buffet restaurant or wanted to. I've never gone into anywhere looking for an argument either. And for some reason I'm not intimidated by non-white people the way so many crazy white people seem to be.
As an American this guy's behavior outrages me to an extreme degree. So does the attitude that lets these morons walk the streets with guns. So do the laws and the extremist lobbying groups that keep those laws on the books and more rational laws off the books. He's the last person who should be carrying a handgun and using it as a threat to bully people. Sometimes I think my fellow Americans are completely insane. I also realize it's not the majority that's crazy. It's the real crazy people who use racist paranoia to promote their own political influence and keep things crazy. They're the ones who put that gun in his hands. They've put the guns into the hands of crazy people who shoot innocent people all over the country.
A large group of black men and one asian man from a local drug and alcohol rehab center came into the restaurant. I see these guys and the staff people around town and my mother, a retired nurse, works with them. My neighbor does maintenance on the center's vans. The crazy old man looked like he was about to go bonkers watching these guys walk in. We got the hell out of there. I haven't seen any news stories about a mass shooting at the buffet but it wouldn't have surprised me one bit. Welcome to twenty-first century America.
*National Rifle Association, a right-wing lobbying group that's supposed to promote sport shooting but instead fights any and all restrictions on gun ownership and public carry. I've never been an NRA member but used to be a member of the NYSRPA back when they actually promoted the sport instead of being an NRA clone.