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A photo from 2013 recently resurfaced, featuring a man casually carrying his assault rifle into a Starbucks.
“Serious question: You walk into a business and see this —> do you 1. Leave 2. Feel Safer 3. Don’t Care,” political commentator Charlie Sykes asked, along with a picture of the man standing in line.
Serious question: You walk into a business and see this —> do you 1. Leave— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) August 7, 2019
2. Feel Safer
3. Don’t Care pic.twitter.com/ovRLQyBXSH
Many Twitter users responded by urging anyone in the same situation to leave or call for help.
“Call the cops. I have no reason to believe this armed individual isn’t potentially dangerous. I don’t give a damn what the local carry laws are. Why should I trust this man-baby with a murder weapon?” one user responded.
Call the cops. I have no reason to believe this armed individual isn’t potentially dangerous. I don’t give a damn what the local carry laws are. Why should I trust this man-baby with a murder weapon?— Michael Marshall Smith (@ememess) August 7, 2019
Is this in a “stand your ground” state? Cos if I saw I this guy walk in with an assault rifle, I would be in fear for my life. pic.twitter.com/edGzlqbGFT— Tim Dragga (@timdragga) August 6, 2019
genuinely wonder how large corporations in red states (Tx for example) get people to move there knowing they’ll likely see AK-47 at the grocery store— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) August 7, 2019
Others pointed out the racial double standard, arguing that people of color have been killed for far less.
“If he were a person of color, the police would’ve taken him down because someone would’ve called 911,” Twitter user @Mattison responded. “Tamir Rice. Killed playing with a toy gun. He was 12 years old. John Crawford. Killed holding an air rifle sold in a WalMart.
Because he’s white & American Apartheid is real.— Mattison (@Mattison) August 7, 2019
If he were a person of color, the police would’ve taken him down because someone would’ve called 911.
Tamir Rice. Killed playing with a toy gun. He was 12 years old.
John Crawford. Killed holding an air rifle sold in a WalMart. https://t.co/nkVXFEX9PV
Most agreed that they simply would not feel safe.
This post has been updated to reflect that the photo in question first appeared in 2013.
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Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.