So the road leading to my apartment complex here in the NKY has a joint recruitment center on it (Army, Navy, Air Force) situated between two strip mall centers. It’s a pretty accessible location and at a busy intersection. I pass the center daily on the way to and from work.
For the last week plus, there’s been armed folks ostensibly guarding it from attack.
Yesterday in particular there was a fellow standing in the grass outside the center, very visible from cars, wearing shorts and packing a semi-automatic rifle. Some folks were honking at him in support, most were ignoring him and going about their commute or shopping or whatever.
But it’s very odd to have an armed man, not in any uniform (military or police) in public with a military rifle just standing on a street corner. I didn’t see any police around, nor any of the recruiters (I assume they were inside doing their job, because yesterday it was about 88-90 degrees out at 5:30 PM).
However, everyone was treating it as a perfectly normal occurrence.
I don’t find it normal at all, in fact I thought it was disturbing and outright insane to see this, but arguing with a guy with a rather large rifle is generally not a smart move, car or not.
One day last week there were 4 or 5 people out there at the center, two of them armed with rifles in a very public display, and what looked like their wives or girlfriends with them in folding chairs. One had a cooler with water, so at least they were staying hydrated, I guess.
And yeah, this America in 2015, where citizens on street corners with rifles is the New Goddamn Normal.
That took a grand total of a couple of weeks to happen.
I fully expect to see somebody out there again today when I come home even though it’s supposed to get up to 92 or so this afternoon. They’ll most likely be there again tomorrow. And the next day. And so on.
And we’ll get used to that, too.