Friday, March 25, 2011

An unusual sight...

I was driving got work this morning and saw something that has become a bit unusual.  I thought I'd share that and some musings that the incident aroused.

My route to my Friday place of work takes me north on US 11 into Verona, Virginia.  This is a 4-lane road with a center turn lane.  There are no sidewalks.  This morning as I drove into Verona I noticed a man (about 6-feet tall and of medium build with brown hair wearing a dark ball cap and plaid jacket, probably with blue jeans) striding south, facing traffic, with a bolt action rifle with black synthetic stock. I immediately gave him the once over and evaluated his body language.  He was walking just as many do in the woods with the rifle in his right hand grasping the rifle at the magazine.  For you guys who want to know all the details that is about all I got at 42-45 miles per hour closing speed.

One doesn't see this very often any more.  In the past, I have seen people walking the roads, usually more rural roads at that, with a firearm.  And, again usually, this was during hunting season.  We used to think nothing of it.  One doesn't do that now.  It was an unusual place and time of year for such as things are now.  However it seemed that nobody was particularly concerned.  This was only about 1/4 to 1/2 mile south of the Sheriff's department and there were no police or sheriff's deputies about.

I remembered that once, about 12 years ago, we had a National Guard soldier in uniform carrying an M60 machinegun walking about 1/2 mile from the armory to the unit training area just outside (south of) Charlottesville.  Local "authorities" had been given prior notification of the weekend's training.  The route took the soldier past a local school (not in session as it was on a weekend and he was not on school grounds).  The local police stopped him and were pretty upset about his location.  To get there, one unit came by the armory, the other unit came by the training area.  Where he was stopped you could see BOTH the training area and the armory.   This was still considered a "dangerous" situation.   Soldiers then had to be driven to and from the armory.  Such idiocy is more the norm, even in this area.

In another instance, a person dressed as a Confederate Civil War soldier in uniform was making a march along a route used during the Civil War as part of a memorial observance.  He was carrying his muzzleloading musket when stopped by an officer and interrogated about his reasons for being there.

Twice now, once in Virginia just recently, somebody has mistaken an umbrella for an assault rifle and called in a "man with a gun" to 911.  In the incident in Roanoke it was reported that the police were investigating the man with the umbrella.  They probably should have investigated the person who made the 911 call as clearly they had escaped their care-givers.

For future reference:

Black Umbrella in Closed Position

"Evil Black Rifle" aka M16

They don't look at all alike, do they?

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