MEMPHIS, TN – The police were called after a man with a rifle was spotted walking down the street in Midtown, a neighborhood of Memphis, TN.
A man had recently been spotted carrying what news outlets are reporting as a “pistol-calibered rifle” down the street, which was unusual for the neighborhood of Midtown. A resident took either a video or photo of the man and a photo then circulated around the city of Memphis.
The man in the photo was identified, and the police visited him at his residence. There are no reports of what transpired, but he was not arrested or charged since open carry is legal in Tennessee.
FOX13 spoke with the man, who explained he had been getting stalked walking home from work, so he armed himself with the rifle for self-defense. His employer, a local bakery, fired the man after seeing the local news story stating they didn’t want a firearm that large being stored at their business.
Society Norms and the Cost of Open Carry
While it is unfortunate that the man was fired for something that was completely legal, this is something we come back to when open carry is discussed. I have never visited Midtown, but I am assuming walking down the street while having a slung AR-15-style rifle pointed in the air is a bit unusual. In the area where I live in Louisiana, open carry is fairly common. I can usually spot one or two open carriers when I visit Home Depot or Lowes. But if I saw someone walking down the street with a rifle pointed in the air, that would definitely give me cause for concern.
You have to think about these things before stepping out into the world. My gun is always concealed. I don’t wear firearm t-shirts when I am out in public. If I’m carrying a bag, it isn’t a “tactical” bag that screams, “Hey, I’ve got a gun and a few extra mags in here.” I want to avoid unneeded attention and blend in as much as possible.