U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On Sunday, 2 May 2021, at about 12:30 p.m. this correspondent was in a Walmart in Yuma, Arizona. It was a mission of mercy.
After church, a visit to a friend in the hospital was in order. I had delivered him to the emergency room three days before. The friend desired another key for his residence, so more people could help to care for his dogs and do other needful things.
At the Walmart, I stopped at the firearms and ammunition section to take pictures of the lack of product available. I had a cart with some canned goods and a loaf of bread, which had been picked up on the way to obtain a duplicate key. I took the pictures and turned to retrieve the cart.
The cart was gone. Another cart was nearby, but it was not mine. I said: “Where did my cart go? It had a loaf of bread in it.”
Another customer pointed down an aisle to the left. “There is a cart with bread in it”, he said.
25 yards away, walking away from us, was an above-average-sized middle-aged man, with a cart with a loaf of bread in it. I speed-walked up to the man, looked at the cart as I approached, and ascertained it contained the items I had selected. I was openly carrying a Glock 17 in a Fobus retention holster.
I touched the man on the upper arm, from his left rear, and said: “Excuse me. I think you have the wrong cart by mistake.”
The gentleman looked at me with a puzzled look. He looked at the contents of the cart. He looked back at me and said: “I think you are right. I was just at the ammunition counter…”
He looked at his wife, approaching from behind us. He said: “I think I grabbed the wrong cart. Sorry about that. I was just checking out what ammunition was available.”
He noticed the Glock on my hip. He looked at me and said: “I am old school” and carefully and deliberately swept back his shirt to reveal a well-worn 1911A1 holstered at his right side waist.
We discussed the state of ammunition. I gave him one of my cards. We strolled back to the ammunition counter, where he took possession of the cart I had seen there.
Other than the mistake with the cart, it was a typical meeting of the minds in the gun culture.
On a previous trip to Fry’s a few days before, an older gentleman approached me as I left the store. The local requirement for wearing a mask has been removed. I had the same Glock and holster on my hip.
“I’d like to know”, he asked; “Did they make you wear a mask while you were armed?” We both had a good laugh.
Most armed Americans, with considerable reason to believe it is so, assume other members of the gun culture are sane people, above average in personal responsibility, who believe in and practice individual rights and responsibilities. They return the respect they are given.
Instead of shoot-outs, you experience friendly acceptance.
There were no signs on the Walmart doors. No one mentioned the holstered sidearm on my hip. The number of people wearing masks was decreasing.
Neither my new acquaintance nor I were wearing masks.
The phone announced a call. The friend in the hospital reported the hospital would be releasing him in an hour. The possibility of release had been uncertain.
I obtained the duplicate key and returned to the hospital, to pick him up and take him to his house.
For the first time in years, the prognosis seemed reasonably clear, and significantly positive.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.