TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
I explained that the law in Washington allows the open carrying of pistols, and that the guy who walked into the coffee shop probably believes that his gun puts the bad guys on notice. (AP Photo/File)

Don't worry, we're here to protect you

I got a call from someone I know pretty well who was in a coffee shop in a certain Seattle suburb, when a guy walked in with a pistol on his hip - just as the latest school shooting outside Portland - was all over the news.

She called me up and asked what's with that? Why would someone openly wear a pistol in a Starbucks?

I explained that the law here allows the open carrying of pistols, and that he probably believes that it puts the bad guys on notice. If somebody were to come in with the idea of shooting up a coffee shop, which has happened here, the shooter would see the openly-carried pistol, think twice, and attack some other coffee shop, or preferably, see the error of his ways and become a sane, law-abiding citizen.

The stated principle behind it is to make people feel safer, since the police can't be everywhere.

Yet, she said that seeing the gun didn't make her feel particularly safe. Which of course is why she had called. So I told her, 'You're free to leave.'

But it does bring up a reasonable question for the open-carry movement. If the intention is to make the other customers feel safe, what happens when the other customers, for what ever reason, find they feel less safe?

Do their feelings matter? Or should they be dismissed as naive?

And when say, five or six people show up at a business with handguns on their hips - or, as has been happening in Texas, rifles slung over their shoulders - how are the other customers supposed to tell whether they've come to buy coffee or take hostages?

Difficult questions.

I guess that's why so many people use the drive-thru.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • Does This Make Sense?
    Jason Rantz questions Inslee's plan to fund transportation with carbon pollution tax

  • Easing Restrictions
    President Obama has announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba

  • Holiday Map
    Find holiday events, Santa photo opportunities, and light displays
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.