Monday, June 15, 2009

Costco and Trader Joes

Needed a few things at Trader joes, so I parked there, strapped on the recorder, 17C and mags and waltzed in. I really did do a waltz. I figure if people are gonna look at me strangely, I should give them a reason.

Shopping was uneventful Bought some montmorency cherries, a jar of pesto, chocolate covered pretzels (I reward myself like I'm my own dog) ground beef and some other stuff. I almost got out of there without any trouble when suddenly the checkout guy said, "Hey, are you someone special?"

"Nope. Just a regular guy."

"Oh, so you're just open carrying? Cool. I'm from Nevada and I used to do it all the time. Hey, did you hear about the group in PB?"

"Yeah, I was one of the organizers for that. And we have another event coming up! It's invitation only. You want to come?"

I shared some details and we swapped phone numbers, and had a laugh about how the only people who freak out are occasionally the ones with guns and badges. It's gotta be anger and apprehension about the perceived loss of power and nothing else. Well, and maybe about people showing that they can take care of themselves, rendering police less necessary.

I know a guy who is a professional high-5-figure firefighter who got his panties in a wad when, post-SoCal firestorm, I postulated that volunteer neighborhood-based fire teams could do a better job than the way we do it now, which is:

Order everyone out of their homes (like in Rancho Bernardo where the houses are packed cheek by jowl)
Promise that the firemen will take care of everything.
Spread firemen too thin.
See that firemen will naturally not risk themselves unnecessarily for a paycheck and someone else's house.
See neighborhoods left undefended.
See houses burn one after another.

Not that Ihave anything against firefighters, because I don't. They do an admirable job but there aren't enough of them in a firestorm. All I'm saying is that when TSHTF, no one takes care of your stuff like you do. Anyway this particular firefighter i think saw my statements as a threat to his job. He wouldn't agree to, if he had the power, let me out of the taxation to support him if I offered to take care of my own home with other neighborhood volunteers.

That tells you something.

The same principle applies in these school shootings. It usually takes HOURS for the police to enter these buildings after the shooting has subsided. Calling the police when some idiot decides to go postal ain't gonna do shit. Have your own gun. "Your Self" is item Numero Uno in the list of "Your Stuff" that no one takes better care of.

How do I get off on these tangents?

I was starving so I went to my favorite roadside taco shop and ordered a breakfast burrito and took it down to the beach. I sat and ate and watched the onshore make the waves crumble. A half-hour passed and I finally stretched and moseyed along.

Then I went to the local Costco and had to park in BFE. If there a depression on, it ain't showing at Costco. Walked, strapped, in the entrance pushing a cart and got myself some spring mix, vinegar, a watermelon, a pineapple and three bags of dried mangoes (dammit!) because they were 10.50 instead of the usual 14 bucks. Stay away from them, they are like mango flavored crack. Once you start you can't stop.

I had my gun on the whole time and no one screamed or fainted. No heart attacks either. The cashier and I joked around, I paid, got my receipt checked at the door and rode the cart all the way down the ramp, like I didn't have a care in the world.

Because I don't.

Carry On!

And for pete's sake if you got an invite to this upcoming event, RSVP!



Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Oh man, I know!! For about a year I bought that big bag of mixed tropical fruits and nuts, and mmmm I was crazy hooked. I could have lived off it.... Why I haven't had it in forever? Money...not because I got tired of it. :-P


elsensei said...

yeah i bought a bag of that too!

Erik said...

Interesting postulation regarding a neighborhood firefighting group, but I can seem some issues with it.

First, I would hazard to guess that the general population would not have the knowledge or skills needed to successfully defend a neighborhood. Local neighborhoods with training might still lack the eqipment necessary to halt a major fire.

Let's say that a neighborhood is trained properly and is equiped to defend their neighborhood. As you said no one takes care of your stuff like you do. People in a crisis will generally protect their own properties.

Each neighborhood fire response team would focused on their neighborhood's properties.

If all the local neighborhoods were defending themselves, I would imagine the destruction of a firestorm would be considerably greater than if the resources (training and equipment) of the individual neighborhoods were focused in a concentrated effort on a likely corridor for the fire.

The crux of the issue is whether or not it is sometimes necessary to let some properties burn if it means saving a much larger area.

A neighborhood fire response team could be great for smaller property fires, but would it be objective when a decision needs to be made on whether or not some properties must be lost? When it's their properties?



elsensei said...

Well, volunteer groups sufficed for most of the country's history.

I understand what you're saying, and I was mainly speaking of the tragedy that small fires that could be handled with a few dedicated people are allowed to jump house to house to house because the owners, who could have stood off devastation with a decent hose and nozzle, were run off by cops so the professionals could handle it.

Finally, you don't go into this blind. If you'[re gonna defend what's yours, you learn what you need to learn and then train. I didn't start carrying a gun until i knew how to handle one, how to carry safely, how to deal with cops and how to hit my target. Same thing with firefighting.