Yesterday, I was working at Tractor Supply and a man came in. He was familiar to me. He's always been friendly, and he's always stopped to chat, if I don't have a line. He's a young man. No more than thirty, I would guess. He is rebuilding his motorcycle, and we are the cheapest store around to buy the nuts and bolts and all that sort of hardware that he needs, so we see him quite frequently.
This time, he stood in my line quietly, but unmistakeably, there was a gun in his pocket. A handgun's handle protruded from the pocket of his cargo pants. And I froze a little, even as I continued to wait on customers in a friendly cheerful way. Inside, I wondered at his motives. Did that cheerful chatter hide the mind of a psychopath? He's a loner, that's for sure, even though he seems friendly enough. And without looking at him, I tried to get a reading on his demeanor, even as I planned what I would do if he pulled it.
Finally, it was his turn, and he came up and lay his purchases down on the counter. I spoke with him cheerfully, and he responded cheerfully, and I was very, very alert. I asked him about his motorcycle, and he talked about that. I noted that he was not buying a lot of hardware, so I asked if he were nearly finished. Even as, from the corner of my eyes, I watched where his hands were AT ALL TIMES, and I listened carefully to what he was saying, how he was saying it. He said, "Oh, you know, I'll always shop at Tractor Supply. Always. It's not only the best place to get hardware, it's really about the most pleasant store I've ever been in. I love this place. Everyone is so nice here."
He gathered his stuff, and he walked out of the store, the butt of that gun sticking out of his pocket. I couldn't believe it. People have a right to have guns. That's the way it is in our country. Tim has so many guns that I could not put a number to it. Truly. But honest to God, I see no reason why a person would need a gun in the Tractor Supply. I don't get that.
And as stupid as it will sound, when he left, I felt like I had dodged a bullet. No pun intended.
Late Edit: Turns out that open carry is illegal in Pennsylvania. Some folks do have concealed weapon permits, and are allowed to carry a concealed weapon. However as soon as that weapon is visible, it becomes illegal.