Several days ago, we visited a local movie theater to see Dunkirk, a powerful and highly publicized World War II film. The theater was surprisingly empty and the first person to enter after us was a man in casual clothes – shorts, lightweight shirt and tennis shoes.

For whatever reason, I noticed that he had an object stuck in the back of his shorts that had a distinct square shape. My first thought was that it was a revolver. After evaluating his profile – reasonably dressed, well-combed hair and quiet – I concluded that it was either a gun that didn’t present a problem or wasn’t a gun at all.

Having had time to think about the event, I pondered the fact that twenty years ago, I never would have imagined that he was carrying a gun. Perhaps the change had to do with the recent fifth anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting. Or maybe it had to do with all of the second amendment, NRA bluster that’s been pervading the media. The simplest explanation is that our communities have been troubled with many random shootings and I suspect that many of us are more aware of our surroundings than ever before.

For the record, by no means am I anti-gun, anti-second amendment or paranoid. If he really was carrying a pistol, he probably had every right to do so. My thoughts have only to do with the changes that time and circumstances have effected. Admittedly, I would have preferred not to notice what he was carrying rather than wonder. Shalom.

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