The Gun Culture: Part III “If You Can Read This You’re In Range”

Today I went for a nice walk at Round Lake and afterwards took a meandering detour home. As I explored a dirt road to see if it reconnected with a road I knew, it petered out into someone’s remote homestead. There was an intuitive loop I could make on the property, but then I read a sign just before passing it “IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU’RE IN RANGE”.

Perhaps this is just a creative way to clarify private property boundaries, or maybe someone’s odd sense of humor. But it frightened me, not being used to such language, and I made sure to reverse a bit and find the nearest spot to turn around which wasn’t on this person’s land. Why the threat? Why the mention of deadly weaponry? How am I to know if a stranger is serious with those words or not?

In Clark Fork there is a large sign by the roadside as you enter a slower speed zone. “SLOW DOWN OR DIE FAST” it reads, emphasized with a large painted handgun. I have yet to figure out the agenda of whomever gave me that message.

Just last weekend two young strangers had a stand-off in a busy supermarket parking lot, involving a firearm. One shot was fired and the police arrested the guys. No charge for possession of firearm or irresponsible shots fired was made. Wasn’t the presence of guns supposed to make you feel safer? The NRA (National Rifle Association) sticks with its opinion that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. So if there had been some responsible civilian (about to go shopping) in the parking lot, he could have drawn his gun, and the whole thing would not have gotten so out of hand.

Go figure.

Shame on the good guys not showing up. Though I always thought we had trained people called ‘the police’ for these sort of things. Did you know that you are 4-5 times more likely to die from gun violence (depending on your source) than in any other developed country? I don’t feel safer with all these guns around. I feel scared.






Categories: Being Dutch in the USA, North AmericaTags: , , , , ,

1 comment

  1. You know what I learned in Tennessee? Be very polite behind the wheel and never give anyone the finger. Why? Because everybody is packing a weapon here.

    In Peru, South America I felt helpless, because the government thugs (police) had the guns, but the average Peruvians were unarmed. Mostly the bad guys did what they wanted. Mafia hits that are not investigated.

    Yes, it is rather scary walking through the woods and coming across a threatening sign. The innocent days when we could walk through other persons property are sadly gone. The problem with living in the country these days are crack heads breaking into their homes. So the home owner fed up with the bullshit posts an intimidating sign to ward off the nuts. Probably you need to introduce yourself and ask for permission. That is the way it works these days.

    North Americans love our guns. The guns give us a sense of power. It’s a macho thing. Security. But more women are getting carry permits than ever these days. Guns and ammo have never been more expensive.

    The parking lot incident is a good example of stupidity. Road rage nonsense. Possibly you could have been shot by the lunatics.

    Personally I think you should be packing a gun when you go hiking alone. Just something small and innocent. To blow their balls off if they mess with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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