A year ago I participated in a small demonstration, some 15 people outside the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv protested a Technion course on marketing and selling weapons. At some point a man in his thirties arrived and started shouting at us. I couldn’t make out the contents, but it was clear that he wasn’t responding to the topic we were protesting. He was just shouting at us, out of context.
Another 4 activists and I were standing in a circle and playing drums, as part of the protest, and most of his shouting was directed at us. At some point he got more aggressive, shouting and running in our direction in a threatening way.
Then he pulled out a handgun.
By this time it was clear he was mentally unwell, so drawing a gun was both surprising and extremely threatening. We didn’t even know what he was going on about. He waved the gun around and then disappeared. Later, we thought there was a good chance that the gun wasn’t real although none of us had seen it well enough to tell. The fact is, though, that his drawing a real gun seemed like something that could actually have happened, and since he was mentally disturbed, anything could have followed. It was very threatening.