"It must sound like I'm really encouraging a gun..." he finally added this afternoon. "I'm not pushing it, I'm just saying... It might work better than bear spray if you run into one."
It started out with him casually mentioning one afternoon: Well, I need to run to the commissioners office, grab an interview there, stop by and chat with a school board member, then go grab some ammo at the Fort before I go to cover the planning meeting tonight.
What?! What kind of story are you planning to write at the planning meeting?! Is this how you create good news for a small town paper?
No, no, no... None of those things. Rather, he was preparing for the handgun handling course being offered by the local deputy sheriff over the weekend, which he was participating in. After that, he explained, you could apply for a concealed carry permit, which he wasn't sure he wanted, but a good option to have if he wanted it. I should look into it, if interested. Might be a good thing for a girl to have.
The next day, I mentioned I had found a quiet little road with a beautiful view to run on. I had to cross some tracks and go past some abandoned buildings - was that safe?
Oh yes, I'm sure it is, he assured me. But, they do make some pretty small handguns that I could fit in a fanny pack and take running with me, if I wanted to.
Um, Ok... Like trying to carry and conceal my iPhone while running wasn't already hard enough!
Then I went for a Sunday afternoon drive in the mountains, exploring the area and basking in the views. But I wasn't sure where would be safe to get out and wander around, so I just stuck to the main roads.
Well, that was probably a good bet, although I probably would have also been safe to stick on any visible trail. But probably wouldn't hurt to have a .38 on the trail with you just in case...
A discussion about picking up and writing the blotter briefs revealed that in the four years he's been the editor of the paper here, there's only been one violent crime in this town. It's really a very safe place... People don't lock their houses, they leave cars running on the street, they rent apartments to new reporters on a handshake and a spoken agreement (seriously!). But you know, that often leaves people with their guard down, not paying attention to their surroundings. You definitely want to lock your pickup, especially if there's a gun in there!
And then... You know, we had a reporter here once who had a really long driveway. In the winters, sometimes her road would get so bad she'd have to just park and walk almost a mile to get to the house. There were mountain lions out there, so she always carried a pistol. But once she brought it into the office in her purse... that was really not a good idea. Please don't do that if you get a gun. Probably better to just leave it in the pickup. Locked.
Today, I shared my desire to own a camper in order to fully enjoy life here in the great outdoors. Guess what I'll need before I go out camping? You guessed it.
So... There you have it. In the words of the lovely Miranda Lambert: it's time to get a gun, that's what I've been thinking. Welcome to Montana, friends -- where everyone (and seriously, I mean everyone) is packing heat and fanny packs are an acceptable accessory.
I freaking love this place.
So also... any suggestions on what kind of a gun would be logical for me to purchase? Apparently, my years as a Big Buck Hunter have not prepared me for this decision.