Thursday, August 02, 2012

Open carry roundup

The bank (drive through atm :p), gun shop (it had a sign asking for unloaded carry), a business meeting, Michaels crafts store, Chick-fil-a, Colexion, Harbor Freight, Womens' health clinic, Subway, Cici's Pizza, and Rite-aid.

The gun shop was a fine place with an older proprietor to match the older guns they stocked. I unloaded and dropped the full mag in my other pocket in the foyer (though I didn't like touching my gun), and had a fine time talking old guns with them without any mention of my unloaded handgun. I think I might forget next time and see if they really mind.

The business meeting was with an owner of a gun shop, so I didn't think he would mind, and he didn't.

The Chick-fil-a was an exercise in attention, because it was shoulder to shoulder in the line, and I kept turning to see the people behind me. Had a short chat with the manager about how busy they were for the appreciation day.

Colexion was just fine, though I was a little worried that I didn't know them all very well yet, and hackers are notoriously socialist. One in particular was visiting from Louisville (I mean, "luhvull"), and he was a recently converted gunnie, so he was pretty interested to talk guns (Say hey, if you're reading this!). When he mentioned his quick conversion I was worried, because quick conversions usually involve a blindside with the reality bat, but he was starting to question the premises of his casual anti-gun-ness, and realized he didn't know enough about the topic to form an honest opinion. Of course, after he informed himself, he saw the pro-gun side made more sense. An interesting thing happened while we were talking, but that'll be another post.

Harbor Freight was great because I got a compliment on my firearm, and another when I whipped out my pen to sign before he could hand me one. "I like my customers prepared." Obviously, I like being prepared.

I was a little worried about the appointment my wife had at the Womans' Health Clinic, because it would have been extremely easy for them to argue "some might be put off by a firearm" but the only person who said something was the technician who asked me what kind of gun I had. "What have you got there?" "It's a Springfield XD in 9mm." "Oh. Is that like government issue?" "No, I'm just a private citizen choosing to carry." "That's great. I need to get one soon. I'm worried they'll take 'em away." Nice.

When we went to Rite-aid, I was with my friend who was also open carrying, following my wife who was looking for some gum. We both came in following her, talking about guns or video games or some other topic, but I half-noticed someone eyeing us. I paid him no mind (act like it's normal, and other people will too), and didn't see him again until we checked out, and I realized he was a security guard who didn't seem to mind us very much at all. Getting caught up in the conversation we were having, we wound up loitering outside the Rite-aid at around 10pm talking about guns. From the time we walked in the door, we had probably been there for 15 minutes, when a cop pulled up on the opposite side of the parking lot to my 3 o'clock. My friend broke the conversation to say, "He's probably here for us." I shrugged, and stumbled a couple times trying to resume conversation while preparing myself mentally for the encounter. I kept my right arm clear of my firearm so he could easily see it, and feel compelled to note that I was wearing light colors with a big black Galco leather holster. Unfortunately, by the time I hit my conversation stride I was continuing the conversation about the choice between a shotgun or a sub-machine gun as the cop strode, head down, around the other side of the pillar I was leaning against, and entered the Rite-aid. I smiled at my friend, "Have faith." My wife added, "It may not help that we're basically loitering here." We wondered if he might have entered because he thought we were still in there, but he would have done so differently if he was there for us. Regardless, I didn't want to make the Rite-aid guys feel uncomfortable, and we walked back to our cars to talk more.

I don't know if I'm paying more attention or if I'm just noticing it more, but I can see people glancing at my gun. My earlier question of "Did anyone even notice?" seems to have an answer. They can see it, they just don't seem to mind. That's just fine with me.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

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