Signs of the times

Do our signs inform or amuse travellers to here? 

Recall the “joke” about every bridge in Ottawa having the same name: The Pont Bridge.

Here is the sign at the entrance to the Elks Opera House in Prescott, Az. At least the villains in the performance were safe from Frontier Justice:

You do have to pause a bit at the condition ” unless otherwise authorized…”  Does that apply to any license to carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon?  Would someone unlicensed hand in their gun to the usher like someone might check a coat?

But wait, there’s more: here is a sign at a roadside rest stop and scenic view. Are there really poisonous snakes and scorpions just beyond the path? Want to find out?

In downtown Phoenix, municipal wayfinding signs were abundant and clear. And very well designed. They have depth, quality graphics, and clever materials. I immediately thought this is the quality of sign the NCC would install, and the City of Ottawa never would. But maybe if Downtown Moves recommends it, we could afford one or two only:

And this sign, inspired by Smokey the Bear:

3 thoughts on “Signs of the times

  1. Widespread carrying of small arms remains extraordinarily common and engrained in the culture of the US West. I recall visiting small town casino’s in Nevada in the late 1980’s and seeing grizzled old ranchers check their weapon at the door. I doubt much has changed. I know I always go shooting at the local range in Carson City with my uncle when I visit him to ski in Lake Tahoe. When someone “goes postal” in some of these communities there is a good chance they will be taken out by a civilian bystander. I’m not saying this is good or bad. Just the way it is.

  2. I have frequently heard people mention how having lots of guns means that a criminal pulling out a gun will have a good chance of being stopped by an armed bystander.

    But as an avid news reader I don’t recall it ever happening. I’m sure it has, but at such an infrequent pace that it tends to undercut the ‘armed bystander’ approach to crime prevention.

    1. You’re into game theory on this, though.

      If you think about it, not hearing about armed bystanders intervening too often (or rather, an apparent lack of armed bystander intervention) is actually the expected result of the premise of having lots of potentially armed bystanders. With lots of armed bystanders about, would-be criminals are less likely to pull a gun. That’s the theory. Armed bystanders getting into frequent gunfights would in fact be fairly compelling proof of the premise not functioning as theorized. It’s a micro-scale version of MAD – if the world had got into a nuclear shooting match, we’d have had concrete proof of MAD not functioning.

      The only other stat you can look at to see if the theory holds any water is to look for correlations between a lack of “going postal” incidents and locales in which ‘out-and-about’ gun-toting is both widespread *and known to be widespread*.

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