A couple of days ago I was at the local mall- a very small and slow mall by "mall standards"- so my daughter could see the Easter Wolverine... umm, Bunny.
Anyway, while trying to convince her that the scary costumed critter wouldn't eat her, we were sitting on a bench and this group of people walked by. I noticed that one had a nice, modern semi-auto pistol on his hip, and was obviously not "law enforcement". I thought "Good job!" and wanted to thank him, but I was in the middle of an explanation to my traumatized daughter about how most people in Easter Bunny costumes don't want to hurt her, and even if this one wanted to, I wouldn't let it happen.
A few minutes later I noticed an obviously excited- but reservedly so- mall cop pacing around. I wondered if he had just encountered the armed patron, or if someone had "reported" the guy, but mall cop hadn't been able to find him. Or, if he was just always one to act testosterone-pumped and the one thing had nothing to do with the other. Although, I had seen mall cop just a few minutes earlier and he seemed much more relaxed as he sauntered along in a daze at that time.
I watched but never saw "open carry guy" stroll through again. Too bad because I wanted to shake his hand and give him my card. I was also willing to say something in his defense if mall cop got out of hand.
I have never noticed any "No guns (unless you plan to massacre)" signs anywhere in the mall, and New Mexico is an "open carry" state. But it is a rare sight around here, indeed. I would love for it to become a lot more common. (Of course, living as I do between two states, and Texas being one of the shameful states on that map, I'd have problems.)
One thing I know is that I feel much more endangered by cops (not the unarmed mall cop) than I do armed residents. Any mall cop ought to be glad to see armed patrons, since they are most likely on the same side. Unless mall cop decides to come down on the wrong side, that is.