Francis Macomber wants you to know he has a gun and is ready to use it—even while he's out getting his exercise.
A firearms enthusiast and runner, the 31-year-old Macomber has become much more vocal on that subject in recent months, friends say—particularly online, where he has been commenting "That's why I carry" on an increasing number and variety of posts.
The word carry is popular among those who enjoy moving about in public with loaded guns on their person.
"The first time I saw that comment from Frank, I didn't really give it much thought," said Robert Wilson, a longtime friend and fellow runner. "He shared an article, I think, about some lady who'd fought off an attacker during a run. His only remark was, 'This is why I carry.'"
Soon after, his friends say, that phrase—or variations on it—began popping up more and more frequently in Macomber's comments.
"That was right around the same time he stopped using the word gun," said Wilson, "and starting saying weapon instead. Things got a little weird."
Macomber's Facebook and Twitter accounts reflect that shift.
In response to a story about a man who had been chased by a dog during a run through a residential neighborhood:
"That's why I carry. Your dog comes at me I will not hesitate to put a bullet in its brain."
To a hiker's anecdote about encountering a snake of indeterminate species on a trail:
"And that is why I carry, my friend."
To a story about a South African ultra runner "robbed of his trainers and watch" in Johannesburg:
"That's why I carry. Want my shoes, thug? I got a little surprise for you it's called a .380."
To a story about violence at a political rally in the south:
"This is why I carry. You never know."
And, mystifyingly, to a story about the Asian carp, an aggressively invasive species recently discovered 9 miles from Lake Michigan:
"This is why I carry. I don't want to unholster and use my weapon but if I have to I absolutely will."
His friends confess that Macomber's behavior has them concerned for his well-being—and their own.
"A few days ago, I posted a photo of this amazing salad I'd made myself, with grilled shrimp," said a woman who gave her name only as Margot. "Everyone was 'liking' it and leaving 'nom nom' comments. Then Frank shows up and says, 'This is why I carry.'"
"Frank is a good guy, but he's always been a bit... high strung," said Wilson. "To be honest, we were all a little nervous when he bought a handgun."
"More so when he started running with it," added Margot. "I was like, Dude. What the f***."
Reached for comment via Facebook, Macomber responded with a meme likening guns to fire extinguishers.
"That's why I carry," he wrote.