AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is a work of fiction for the purposes of entertainment and discussion. It is not intended to be political or choose sides with respect to gun policy. It simply presents an imagined, yet theoretically possible situation.
BODY WELL DOES NOT IN ANY WAY CONDONE OR ENCOURAGE THE CARRYING OF FIREARMS BY ANY OF IT’S MASSAGE THERAPISTS. NOTHING IN THIS SCENARIO SHOULD BE SEEN AS A REFLECTION OF THE COMPANY’S OR THE AUTHOR’S VALUES, OPINIONS OR POLICIES.
“Mrs. Taylor – your massage therapist William is ready for you” the receptionist cheerfully explained.
I rose from my chair in the waiting area and followed her down a short hallway with several doorways on the right side.
I’d had plenty of massages before – both male and female therapists …(never mattered much to me), but this was my first time at the new therapeutic massage clinic called “FREEDOM Massage” here in the Dallas suburbs. If they could “free” me from this stiff neck that would be fantastic, I thought to myself when I first saw the sign outside the door.
I really didn’t know anything about the place which was occupying a space in a decent little strip mall that had formerly been a nail salon. Funny that I hadn’t ever noticed it before, I thought. I guessed that it had probably opened while I was traveling out of state for the better part of the previous month.
The young woman turned to face me as she passed the second door on the right which was open and motioned for me to enter. “This is William – I’m sure he is going to do a bang up job you” she said confidently.
I thanked her and turned into the room as she passed behind me returning to the reception area. “Hello Mrs. Taylor my name is William and I will be your massage therapist today” said a smiling 30-something man standing across the massage table.
Before I could utter a reply, both my purse and my jaw dropped to the floor. I had seen massage therapists wearing holsters before but never one like this. On one hip sat the typical massage oil dispenser, while on the other sat what appeared to be a holstered semi-automatic handgun!
With a knowing glance he said politely “I take it this is your first time here at FREEDOM Massage?”
“Ummm .. yes!” I stammered, not yet knowing what to make of the bizarre sight before me.
Mind you, I’m not afraid of guns, and not unaccustomed to seeing them in public – this is Texas after all. We have some of the most liberal gun laws in the country here. But this was certainly quite unexpected to say the least!
“Don’t worry Mrs. Taylor – I understand your surprise but rest assured you are perfectly safe. In fact, you’re probably safer in here with me armed than you are during your typical trip to the supermarket!”
I tried to pick my jaw up from the floor and regain my composure. “OK am I on candid camera or something because honestly this is very strange” I asked with all sincerity. This had to be a joke – didn’t it?
William chuckled “No, no not at all. I take it you didn’t see any of the publicity surrounding our grand opening last month? It was all over the local news.”
“No, I must have missed that.” I replied as my mind scrambled to make sense of the absurd situation I found myself in.
“If it would make you more comfortable I can remove my firearm and leave it on the shelf. But I don’t recommend it. You know – just in case” he said with a little shrug.
“OK what am I missing here? Since when do massage therapists wear guns on the job?!” I asked incredulously, albeit with a bit of genuine curiosity.
“Haven’t you ever heard of ‘shooting pain’? Well, when it happens to you, we fire back!” he said with a self-satisfied smirk.
Seeing that I was not the least bit amused by his weak attempt to make light of the situation, he became more serious. “OK just kidding – I guess I need to work on my delivery. Anyway the truth is, Freedom isn’t free Mrs. Taylor. To protect our freedom and our rights – including our personal safety – we have to be vigilant and prepared to defend the things we cherish. At FREEDOM Massage we believe in exercising our constitutional rights, and that includes protecting ourselves and patrons like you. For me personally the Glock 19 is a nice compromise between form and function. Do you own a firearm yourself?”
“Well my husband does but…” I stopped mid-thought, realizing that I was the one who should be asking the questions at the moment.
“Is this even legal?” I asked. “And how am I supposed to relax when my eyes are closed while a loaded gun is bobbing around just inches from my head?!”
“Of course it’s perfectly legal Mrs. Taylor. This is private property, after all. Even if we didn’t have open-carry laws in Texas we could still openly carry a legal firearm on private property. It’s mainly only prohibited in places that serve alcohol, government facilities, sports arenas and places like that. And at FREEDOM Massage we have a no-tolerance policy for firearms that are not equipped with a safety. So, no worries at all!” he said with an assuring smile. “Now, shall we get started?”
The preceding story, written by Body Well Owner & Founder Dan Melmed, is not out of the realm of possibility given the gun laws that exist in many U.S. States. What do you think? Should this be legal? How would you react to this situation? Please leave your comments here, or on our Facebook page, or share a link to this story on your own Facebook page or website blog to get a (hopefully civilized) conversation going!