Fake vs. real guns; play vs. reality

Driving down Bartlett, my mind burning up over family issues like an engine on overdrive, I caught motion to the left. Two young men wearing tan camouflage with those rubber strap-like things on their chins (I don’t know military garb very well) walked along the large structure that is part of the CCC compound. They carried what looked like automatic rifles (I don’t know guns very well either).

Although not prone to acts of extrovert interactions, I stopped my car, rolled my window down and asked what kind of weapons those were and what they were doing. Perhaps my brain was stultified by my mulling over sibling difficulties, but at any rate, my blood pressure racheted up and my adrenaline kicked in. The two skinny, young men hesitated briefly, and one of them said they were air guns. Both of them smiled quite friendly and harmless like. He said, in a surprised, sort of astonished voice, that they weren’t terrorists. Obviously. White young males with beard fuzz. I immediately thought of the relentless shootings done by school children, disgruntled workers, overly reactive police officers and insane people, killing far more people than have been killed by foreign terrorists in good ol’ apple pie and gun loving America.

“This country doesn’t have to worry about terrorists,” I retorted sarcastically, rolled my window back up and continued through the late, gorgeous sunshine. I decided they were just playing soldier, all hyped up with pretend guns and dress. But then thoughts of Americans plugging Americans resurged in my mind,  and I called the police. Perhaps the guns were real, and the camouflage announced the real intent. Play can mimic reality, and sometimes it does so too well.

Katie Dawson