Unintended consequences (and a disaster averted)

January 6, 2015

I want to tell you a scary-as-shit story, mostly so that my friends that have CCW permits might read it and not get killed by good intentions, because I love you all.

One morning, I was waiting for the San Francisco-bound BART, as usual. The crowd kept getting thicker and the train was late. There were grumpy rumblings all around. Finally a train rounds the bend, beeps its whistle, and … continues through the station without stopping.

What. The. Fuck. And then, even more waiting.

Suddenly, I see several things, pretty much simultaneously, that my brain had trouble processing at the time: The crowd, in a wave starts stepping back from the edge of the platform, revealing two BART police officers, weapons drawn, waving people back. On the opposite platform, another officer is shouldering a rifle pointed in my general direction. And, then, behind me, an older guy in a green sweatshirt hits the deck, spread-eagled, face down and shouts at the top of his lungs,

I HAVE A PERMIT! I. HAVE. A. PERMIT!

The police approach, frisk the man, remove a revolver from a belt clip, and then politely help him to his feet. There’s a brief check of credentials and a collective sigh of relief that this is not some nut-job ready to rain hell and bullets on a morning commute. I overhear the conversation while the next train rolls up to the platform and starts boarding; apparently an observant citizen saw the revolver tucked into the small of the man’s back and called 911. A bad fashion choice could have cost someone’s life that morning, if any number of things did not go perfectly right.

I like guns. I’ve used them for sport (target practice), nothing more. I’d be willing to hunt with them (as long as we eat or share what we kill and not let it go to waste). Carrying a concealed weapon scares the shit out of me.

Unintended consequences (and a disaster averted) - January 6, 2015 - Ken Mayer