Saturday mornings, I join a group of peaceful individuals who stage an hour-long anti-Trump protest in front of Beeksma Park near downtown Oak Harbor. We usually get lots of waves and honks, and an occasional “thumbs-down.”
This week, we were approached by a man who questioned our beliefs. A few minutes into the friendly discourse, he lifted his shirt to display his concealed weapon, sharing he has a permit, and it’s his Second Amendment right. While he didn’t raise his voice or become hostile, it was disconcerting knowing he was facing us with a loaded weapon, and our only protection was cardboard signs.
There are guardrails in society. And while you might get away with wandering outside the rails, if you’re caught, there are consequences.
It’s not okay to drive without a license, and certainly not permissible if drunk. If you have a communicable disease, like tuberculosis, you’re not allowed to work in food service or be a healthcare provider. Before a child can enroll in school, they need to show a record of immunization. If they bring to school a one-inch toy gun from a Cracker Jack box, they’re suspended. To protect against potentially lethal rabies, dogs are vaccinated and licensed. And romaine lettuce is pulled off the shelf if there’s an E. coli outbreak.
Yet someone who isn’t a law enforcement officer gets to stand in front of me with a loaded weapon as if it’s a harmless feather duster.
Can you sense the irony?