When you know your neighbor is packing heat

A neighbor of mine has made his position on guns very clear.

In the front window of his very large truck, he used to have a sign that read: “I carry a gun. Because a cop’s too heavy.”

Or something like that.

I avoid this guy not just because of the gun thing, but because he seems grumpy all the time. I have never seen him smile. He’s mad at something. Somebody. Maybe even somebody like me — a peacenik liberal with a Bernie Sanders sticker on his car.

So when this dude pulled a really inconsiderate stunt in traffic this morning — getting out of his truck at a red light to go talk to the driver of a village DPW truck in the next lane, preventing cars behind them from proceeding with the green — I sat meekly in my car.

Ordinarily, this would qualify as a “man-card violation,” a euphemism for being a wuss. But in this case, knowing he might be packing, I entered it into the “discretion is the better part of valor” category and did nothing. The guy seems pissed off all the time. Strike one. He likes guns. Strike Two. And drives a big-ass truck. Strike three.

This is not the hill I want to die on.

So this our reality, given the angry, polarized, gun-infused America we live in . . . we don’t dare call somebody out on bad behavior, for fear they’ll start shooting.

Seems to me a lot of this Second Amendment nonsense is more about the right to be an intimidating bully than anything else. But if I ever need a militia to protect me from the black helicopters, I hope I can count on my neighbor.


About Jim McKeever

Writer, father, runner, advocate based in Central New York.
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14 Responses to When you know your neighbor is packing heat

  1. Scary stuff Jim. I remember being on a little boat tour in San Diego once. The tour guy showed us an area in front of a prison and said, “If you swim there, they’ll shoot you.” And there were some coastguard-like personnel in motor boats with machine guns on a swivel around us. An American lady turned to me and asked in regards to the coastguard, “Don’t you just feel safer knowing they’re there?”

    “No I don’t. They make me nervous!” She seemed confused so I explained I was Canadian and that seemed to clear it up. ❤
    Diana xo


    • Jim McKeever says:

      I prefer the Canadian perspective on guns, Diana. I recognize that we need highly trained professionals to protect us, but there are too many stories of American gun owners who don’t store or use their weapons safely or according to the law. Those are not happy endings.


      • The right to bear arms is so foreign to me Jim. Although, apparently, here in Alberta, we own more guns per capita than you do in the US… ❤
        Diana xo


      • Jim McKeever says:

        I didn’t realize that about Alberta, Diana. But Canadians certainly are more careful, according to the National Observer last December: “When looking at firearm-related homicide rates in comparable countries, Canada’s rate is about seven times lower than that of the United States (3.5 per 100,000 population), although it is higher than several other peer countries. While Canada’s firearm-related homicide rate is similar to those in Ireland and Switzerland, it is significantly higher than the rates in Japan (0.01 per 100,000 population) and the United Kingdom (0.06 per 100,000 population),” states StatsCan’s findings, which do not include Quebec figures.


      • interesting! Well police don’t even carry weapons in England or Iceland I believe…

        My dad used to say if Quebec separates from Canada, Alberta will probably join the states. 🙂


  2. Well if this doesn’t seem familiar. I don’t know how many times my husband wants to play that ‘man card’ while we are driving and we see ridiculous behavior. It’s like the world is full of your neighbor. I continually point out, “there could be a gun”. Because any more, we don’t know. When was the last day lived, in America, where one American didn’t shoot another American? Can’t we make that a goal????


  3. ermigal says:

    Great commentary, Jim, I have a similar person in my world… I tread softly out of fear. The rise of giant pickup trucks roaring around and tailgating doesn’t help. I have to ask, was the helicopter comment tongue in cheek? Just checking.


  4. Stephanie DeJoseph says:

    This sounds like my neighbor. I have seen him “eliminate” squirrels that nag him. He thinks he’s keeping the population under control. Rather than be confrontational, I look the other way because I know he takes delight protecting me and my family. (Even though I’d like to offer refuge to all the innocent squirrels.) I stand proud to be a peacenik. A war with him would accomplish nothing. I consider myself in good company, Jim.


  5. markbialczak says:

    Yeah. What a world we live in, Jim. Dilemmas all around us.


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