Bang! What comes next?

I was eating dinner with some friends last week at a nice outdoor biergarten, enjoying the weather and return to a semblance of pre-Covid life. Then there was a bang.

The family next table over had an obnoxious-looking young boy beating on his siblings with a balloon, tied up clown-style to resemble a sword. It took me longer than I like to admit to process the sound. I've witnessed a shooting before, one shot, maybe 20 feet away on a busy street. That time, I'd thought that one was a car backfiring before I saw the victim clutching his arm, the shooter running away. Since then, I've spent a lot more time on a range. I know what gunshots sound like. I would like to think that my subconscious mind pegged the noise as the balloon popping before my rational mind questioned what was going on.

That would be more comfortable than the alternative - the realization that my reaction time to a potential shooting incident was at least a couple seconds before I might have begun to respond. If I'd been carrying. I wasn't - I have the license, but my guns are a bit large. And I was out of state. In a biergarten. Enjoying a cold one.

Then I considered another potential problem - what if someone else was packing heat, and jumped to the wrong conclusion? Got a little trigger happy? What then?

I am grateful that it was simply a balloon. I am grateful that, if anyone was carrying, they took stock and responded in a cool, rational, and responsible way. This time.

Re: Bang! What comes next?

There you described one definite advantage to living in Japan where guns are pretty much outlawed and people can pretty much drink beer openly in parks and public places. You can trust a balloon popping is just a balloon and get back to the important stuff of getting well and toasted under the cherry tree in spring.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: Bang! What comes next?

I remember a friend telling me about an incident in the Chicago blues club in the early sixties. Drummer had a gun in his belt and had an accidental discharge during an especially intense drum solo.. Customers all had 1 of 2 reactions. Half the customers reacted by pulling out their own guns, the other half dove under the tables.

Re: Bang! What comes next?

Something cops have to assess all the time, every loud sound isn't a gun shot. Most cops open carry and are trained to run towards the danger not away from it. Had a friend years ago who grew up in a rough part of New York City, he always insisted on sitting with his back to the wall when our group was in a restaurant, bar, he could see what was happening. He lived in condition yellow before situational awareness became a thing.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Bang! What comes next?

A contractor told me about the time he was working on a minor renovation job in a busy McDonalds located in a rough urban area. When one of his construction crew fired a nail gun with a *bang*, every customer seated in the dining area dropped flat on the floor in a split second. He was very impressed with how quickly everyone responded to what they assumed was a gunshot.

Re: Bang! What comes next?

Year ago in, I believe was a Bennigans, just off IH45 Galveston Hwy. in Houston having drinks before returning to SATX after corp. meeting, there were several guns shots and large plate glass window at end opposite where I was sitting blew out. Everyone dove for the floor. I ended up on top of our waitress. Turns out a drug deal in parking lot went south. A DEA agent was killed we learned later. My waitress bought me a drink and thanked me for protecting here. I didn't have the heart to tell her she got to the floor before me is only reason I was on top. Regardless. Did scare the hell out of everyone and I drove home quite loaded that night - 200 mi. but didn't feel loaded as the adrenaline was pumping full blast.
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