Recently, a fitness club member was involuntarily committed to a mental health institution for a psych evaluation when he was found carrying concealed firearms at his gym. Initially, the cops were called to address an employee who felt she was being harassed by the man. However, after questioning him, the officers found the concealed firearms in his gym bag, which resulted in his mandatory mental health evaluation.
Reading about this news story made me think about how those who choose to concealed carry have an additional responsibility to, if possible, avoid conflict while they have their CCW on them. The gym where this man was accused of harassment already had a negative history with angry men with guns; one night four years prior, another man—George Sodini—had showed up to one of the aerobics classes at this gym and fatally shot three women before killing himself as part of a long-held grudge against the female gender. One might argue that our nameless gym goer’s first mistake was in bringing firearms to a location with a negative firearms history like that, but that’s a subject for another day. Where this man distinctly could possibly have avoided trouble, even with concealed carrying, is if he hadn’t involved himself in conflict with the gym’s staff.
Getting into an argument or other conflict takes on a different hue when one of the participants has self defense tools, such as firearms, on their person. This disgruntled gym patron became a greater perceived threat once the police discovered he was armed. George Sodini’s attack at this fitness center likely colored the employee’s perception of men with firearms on the premises, but the same concept applies to other places without that particular history. Because of the capacity for harm of which a person armed with guns is capable, an altercation has a greater potential to escalate to the lethal level.
Featured image courtesy of amazon.com