40-ish male walked up to visitor center desk and asked me if his Utah “concealed carry” permit allows him to have a gun in the park. He opened his wallet and showed me his permit. Having just completed training on the new federal laws about this, I diplomatically explained to him that the sign on our front door saying “No guns allowed in federal buildings” was there for national security purposes, and it trumped his personal permit. He could have a gun in the park but not in the visitor center. He is not allowed to discharge the gun in the park, but he could carry it. (Perhaps that makes some people feel better.)
His answer was telling. “By putting that sign on your door, you are notifying any would-be shooters that your building is a Free Target Zone. I don’t like that one bit. Those signs are meaningless in court.” His point was that we were advertising that anyone could come in and shoot the place up and expect nobody to return fire, in a worst case scenario.
I smiled and said, “That’s an interesting viewpoint,” and handed his children their Junior Ranger badges while making a mental note of his description and the name I saw on his permit. What I DIDN’T say was, What’s it like to live in fear all the time, needing to be armed in order to feel safe? What kind of world would it be if we ALL chose to live like that?