I almost went postal today.
But it was a contract deal, so I’m not sure.
You see, I stopped by an ACE Hardware store near my home. ACE is the place. Ours sells everything from designer spackle to multi-color Post-It Notes to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I know this because the Reese’s are right in the checkout line display, where I will be sure to buy some every time I visit.
This particular ACE Hardware store has a United States Post Office CONTRACT facility in it. Right between shelves of office supplies and advent calendars, there is a large grey floor mat where you stand in line to mail packages, buy stamps, and tell the clerk you are not shipping anything fragile, explosive, or perishable. While I did notice the floor mat, I was not able to detect a gun free zone force field. Didn’t even feel any electrostatic buzz in the area. Nor did I get brain cancer while I was there, as far as I know. So really I’m only guessing that the floor mat designates a gun free area of the store.
So here’s the problem. If you carry a concealed firearm, you do not, under any circumstance, take it into an official, designated United States Post Office. You do not have it in your car in the parking lot of a United States Post Office. You do not wear a “Body Piercing by Smith & Wesson” t-shirt. You do not even think about next weekends gun show. Right, wrong, indifferent, or completely insane, every armed citizen should know this. Yeah, I think it’s nuts too, so write your congress critters like I do.
But this isn’t a United States Post Office. It’s an ACE Hardware store that sells Buck Knives, Carhartt Union Suits, and nifty deep fryers for turkeys (or road kill if you’re on a tight budget.) These things are all clearly consistent with gun totin’ right? On the other hand, there are stacks of Flat Rate shipping boxes scattered all over that one aisle between the stapler refills and front porch flags. Clearly Post Office type stuff.
So I’m perplexed.
Are certain areas of my ACE Hardware Store federal gun free zones?
If someone wants to commit armed robbery this particular ACE Hardware, do they get more prison time if they step on the grey floor mat area?
What if, in process of committing the armed robbery, they knock over a stack of flat rate shipping boxes? Is that now first degree littering?
Will Snookie have a boy or a girl? In either case, will the child come out of the womb spray tanned?
Were federal stimulus dollars used to buy up the square footage under that particular floor mat, thereby making part of ACE Hardware federal property?
If someone just wants to rob the Buck Knife display, and steps around the contract post office area, is that OK? Or do they have to leave their gun in the car?
Can legislators exercise any less common sense while legislating common sense legislation?
If a legally armed citizen is out shopping, on a tight time schedule, and has to buy a PVC to garden hose fitting and mail a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes entry, do they have to make two separate trips?
ACE is the place where you can legally carry a gun in this state, but is the contract post office also the place?
What say you? Is it legal? Will you end up in Club Gitmo if you carry into this particular ACE?