It was Easter Sunday morning, 2022. If ever there was a day to have a bit of peace on Earth, this should have been one of those.

Yet, as I left Homeland grocery and entered the parking lot, I heard yelling. And it wasn’t friends hollering back and forth.

A man I will call, “Cowboy Hat,” as that was what he wore, was on the passenger side of his SUV a few spaces beyond me. A woman I’ll call “Potty Mouth,” whom he was exchanging verbal barbs with was near me the next row over.

I couldn’t really discern the issue or who was at “fault.” It seemed Cowboy Hat was upset because the children – ages ranging from about 6 to 14 – had made a mess beside their car and weren’t picking it up. I don’t know for sure, but that seemed to be what had Cowboy Hat’s knickers in a wad.

Potty Mouth – who could well have been free of any blame – wanted to make sure folks in Kay County could admire her command of the English language. Poking her animated fist toward Cowboy hat, this woman wasn’t about to allow any slight – real or imagined – go unchallenged.

She advanced across my lane, cursing and screaming as she went. A young man about 20 or so followed behind, seemingly trying to calm her down.

Now Cowboy Hat moves out into the lane to confront Potty Mouth. As he steps from behind his vehicle, and as the young man behind Potty Mouth stepped out from behind a vehicle, I saw that both men were open carrying semiautomatic pistols!

I got behind my vehicle and got out my phone to call the police. Figurative dynamite had been placed and a fuse installed! Of course, Potty Mouth was ranting, waving her figurative matches and damn the consequences!

Looking back, it seems to me that both men involved were trying to calm things down after seeing their respective adversary packing deadly force. But not so our fearless Potty Mouth, oh no!

This mental midget was seemingly oblivious as to what escalation could bring to an otherwise peaceful parking lot on Easter morning. She was every bit as oblivious to the danger involved as she was to the example she was setting for the embarrassed and frightened children with her.

When I first got my concealed carry permit, it came with a “neon sign” over my head that said, “Don’t let it escalate!” Don’t let what escalate? Any situation. Especially a situation that can escalate into a fist fight, into road rage, or even into a deadly force incident.

Your firearm privileges exist to protect yourself or others from death or serious bodily harm and that is it. Anything else should be left to the police, who did show up after Cowboy Hat had left the scene.

As for me, I thanked God that I stayed clear of the turmoil and then said a prayer for four young children who will likely grow up lacking the benefit of civilized self expression.

Fred Causley is a former OSU Agriculture Communications employee and a longtime Stillwater resident and NRA member. Send him questions or feedback to

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