Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guns - Easing Relations Since 1250ish

So, I was out shopping earlier today (surprise), and the parking lot that had been packed when we got there was emptying out by the time we were finished.  As we approached our car, which was parked in a now very vacant and dark area of the parking lot, we were approached by a stranger.

I never like being approached by strangers.  Especially young male strangers.  At nite.  In a fairy vacant parking lot, away from others.  Maybe I watch too much TV, or maybe I've seen too much on my job, but these situations put my warning light on.

"Excuse me, hello?  Can you tell me the location of the nearest Sprint store?"  This was probably the most left field question he could have asked... how the hell would any of us know that?  We're just in the area shopping.

My girlfriend basically told him as much, and he explained that he was searching for a Sprint store that took repairs, and he was sent to a store location that had closed, and had done all this on foot, etc.

Me, my mom and my girl were apologetic that we couldn't help.

His final words as he continued his quest?  "You folks are the nicest I've spoken to all nite looking for this store.  Thank you."

My girl's first words as we got into the car?  "We spoke with him and tried to help him because we knew you were armed.  If you weren't, I would have ignored him and just locked the car.  If everyone was armed we could all be friendly to strangers."  Damn insightful.  Damn scary too.

Of course, it's the opposite in most RPGs.  The PCs are all armed and are suspicious of everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest crone and all in between.

I don't think arming the entire population of Greyhawk of the Forgotten Realms would make interactions any easier.  ;)


  1. I know I'd be a lot less friendly if I knew that every stranger I met was probably armed. Just sayin'.

  2. I live in L.A. and consider everyone to be armed and/or crazy.

  3. @Harold - See, being armed meant if there was trouble, my family expected I could handle it, therefore they relaxed in a situation that would normally make them nervous as heck

    @Christian - L.A. is more insane then NYC and its suburbs. I leaned that on TV ;)

  4. I can't imagine. I always presume everyone is unarmed. Typical Canadian, eh...

  5. Don't leave out Memphis! We may not have the population of LA or NYC but we've got the crime numbers to compete with the big boys!

  6. Tenkar, I see your point, but where I'm from, it's pretty safe to assume that people are unarmed. We let the cops deal with those who aren't :)

    Of course, if I'd been a police I might have had a different view. Still, as far as I know, there were only 29 murders in Norway in 2009. I own a gun myself, but would never carry it in public.

  7. As a side note, my lady is a social worker... if anyone should expect the best of others, it's her.

    I'm a LEO - i always expect the worst from strangers ;)

  8. @Harold - I've been lawfully armed for the last 14 years, and the only time where I regularly did not carry was when I was out sick for 11 months.

    I live in a quiet neighborhood, and an off duty cop was car jacked (with his wife and infant in the car) 8 blocks from my home when I was out sick for that stretch... needless to say I've carried every day since - except for trips to the beach and other such places where it just doesn't work ;)

    Then again, even when I am off duty I still think and react like a cop, which would be damn foolish if I wasn't armed... heh

  9. Aye, I can see that blowing up in your face. Me, I work with violent criminals convicted to psychiatric treatment, so my conflict-management skills are honed quite differently.

  10. God bless you! Your job sounds more stressful then mine ;)

  11. Why, thank you, sir. I wouldn't say that, although I'm not familiar with your daily routine. Working with crazy people isn't as hard as you might think, but it is certainly not a job for everyone. Patiance and a level head is a must, though.

    Take care.

  12. Well, you know the old sayin.. "Armed society is polite society." It's true!

    That totally would've set off my radar there.. thats a fine situation to get jumped in. Do you figure it was legimately benign, or that the fellow smelled something amiss and was going to pay for something if he tried it?

  13. I think he was legit. Just an awkward spot to be approached, and I always expect the worst ;)


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