This is a discussion on Shocked a German tourist couple tonight.... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was out doing what has quickly become my standard exercise routine tonight (20 miles on the new mountain bike, Gads, I love this bike) ...
I was out doing what has quickly become my standard exercise routine tonight (20 miles on the new mountain bike, Gads, I love this bike) and the rout I ride takes my repeatedly through the Memphis Tourist center out here in Arlington. (about 20 miles from Memphis, it's still nice out here )
Anyway, around mile 15 or so when I made my pass through the Tourist Center parking lot, there was a Ford Escape parked in front of it (this is well after closing time) and a couple standing at the big map they have on a sign board out front with all the attractions and points of interest for Memphis marked on it.
They flagged me down and I stopped. At this point I will say that as usual, I was carrying my Glock 23 in a right side paddle holster by Fobus under my bright white tank top shirt, worn for maximum visibility to oncoming cars. They asked me where a certain hotel was in a VERY heavy German accented English. I gave them directions and they asked about a few attractions that they wanted to see the next day and I also gave them a little advice on parts of town to avoid and a few things to see like the zoo.
As we talked I noticed the male look towards my right hip and his eyes got a good bit larger. He then looked me in the eye and asked "Ist that a gun!?" ( best attempt at German accent)
I looked down and noticed that while riding my tank top had ridden up and now left my gun almost completely exposed. I said, in a nonchalant manner, "Yes, it's a Glock."
He then asked me if I was a police officer and when I told him no he looked a bit worried. I assured him that here in the USA there are a lot of private folks who carry guns for our personal protection and that he and his wife should not be too concerned about it.
We talked for about 10 or 15 minutes about guns and the second amendment and the different attitudes and laws here compared to their country. They seemed quite surprised that just anyone could carry a gun here as long as they had the permit. They did not seem put off by it or anything just very surprised and interested.
As we parted I told them welcome to the USA and Tennessee in particular and to enjoy their visit. I hope I was a good ambassador for our county and Tennessee and especially for law abiding gun owners. They seemed like nice people and I always find it interesting to meet people from other countries.
Sounds like you did great. I bet that will be one of the first stories they tell about their trip to the US when the get back to Germany.
If it does not kill me, it will make me stronger.
But really, what did they expect?
It's TN, the patron state of shooting things.
I love to poke the mind of a foreigner. They are less judging than some of our fellow Americans (at least that is my experience).
Dang, 20 mile bike ride!?!?!? I'd be hurtin after that. I think its in those opportunities where we must capitalize on explaining the importance we place on carrying a tool to help us defend ourselves. The "sheep" that haven't been poisoned by media are assets to the cause when they understand our principles, even if they decide not to carry. Sounds like you did that. Thanx!
"Like a muddied spring or polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked." -Proverbs 25:26
"If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed..." -Exodus 22:2
Well done. You were friendly and helpful and didn't give the impression of being some crazy gunslinger cowboy Rambo. They'll take this back to Deutschland with them.
Law without force is impotent.
You did well sir! Your firearm is as big a deal as you make it. Good job down playing it, and keeping them from heading for the hills. If you had done a bad job, I'm guessing they wouldn't have stuck around for the conversation.
"Wear a gun to someone else's house, you're saying, 'I'll defend this home as if it were my own.' When your guests see you carry a weapon, you're telling them, 'I'll defend you as if you were my own family"
Good job mate!
Well, from the standpoint of being friendly and helpful, you did a great job.
I am concerned, though, about the perception these folks might have about CCWers now, since the presumptive only one they've met in their American travels (that they know of, anyway) got careless about whether his handgun remained concealed.
My feeling is that if you are going to carry on your bike rides (I strongly agree that you should), you should make more certain to keep your gun from showing.
The paradox is, if you had done so, those people would not have known about it, so technically that would have blown the opportunity for them to learn about American CCWers. (No reason to be discussing what they had not been aware of, after all.) On the whole, I think I have to go against my better judgment and say that I'm more glad that you were able to show them the good side of our friendliness as a person known to be CCWing than if they had never known and just gone off thinking, "Nice fella."
Chances are, they're now thinking, "Nice fella -- weird that he let his gun show like that, but I hadn't realized how nice a guy who would be carrying a gun could be." It's likely that they don't know whether it was legal or illegal or otherwise problematic that your gun got exposed.
Please, though, try to avoid that. In many other cases, it would be a very bad black eye for CCW.
I guess the only thing better would be if you had been packin an H&K but then Austria & Germany are like neighbors anyway.
And you were only a good ambassador if you were wearing your bike helmet! Remember Safety First!
Good Job! I hope they enjoy their trip and don't get mugged or scammed!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."