October 26th, 2007 07:09 PM
You Never Know How People Will React
As we permit holders carry our guns through a curious and conflicted world, we are forced to consider the reactions of others to the presence of our weapon. For most of us, concealed means concealed, but for one reason or another, the reach for something on the top shelf, the laws of the state, the tripping and falling or the failure of a holster, reveal our carry status to the world and we are forced to confront the reactions of others whether they be good or bad.
We hope for the good though too often we get confronted with the bad, and even the police.
Here in Virginia there is an ordinance that says one can not carry concealed into any establishment that serves alcohol for consumption. One must either leave his weapon at home or open carry. Neither of which are optimal choices for the individual resolved to defend himself.
Since we moved down here I have joined a writer's group and met two great ladies who offered their friendship to me. One is a reporter, the other is an editor. We all agreed to go out to lunch together today and it was determined that I would drive, one would choose the restaurant and the other would come along for the ride.
I picked the girls up and away we went to what my friend had described as a sandwich shop. I had not expected a sandwich shop to serve alcohol, but when I pulled into the driveway, I saw one of the signature beer neon signs in the window and knew I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Either I try to disarm discreetly and lock my gun in the car safe or open carry for lunch. Either way, my new found friends (neither of which I had discussed guns with) would probably find out as it was pouring down rain and they wouldn't be getting out of the car until the last minute and they probably would wonder why I was sitting in the car and letting them stand in the pouring rain waiting for me.
So, I did the only thing I could think to do.
I turned around and said, "Well, I'm going to be straight with you. I carry a gun. And by Virginia law I have to carry it openly or not at all in any establishment that sells alcohol for consumption. I just didn't want you to be alarmed if I take off my sweater and you see a gun."
They both stared at me for about three seconds and then the editor said, "You know, I want to talk to you about that because I was really hoping to learn how to shoot and possibly get a permit myself."
The reporter smiled and said, "My dad and my brother both have their carry permits in Ohio. I'm fine with it."
I snuck into the restaurant doing one of the classic "concealing/open" carry methods we Virginians have discovered (i.e. draping your coat or sweater over your arm and therefore the gun). I sat in the corner with my gun side to the wall, and while leaving I walked against the wall to protect my gun from view. I honestly don't think that anyone saw it the whole time.
In fact, while we were leaving, my reporter friends said, "What kind of gun is that anyway? It looks really neat. I would like to tell my brother what it is."
We had some great conversation about guns and concealed weapons as well and both of the gals expressed interest in learning how to shoot. One talked about how much she's always wanted to go hunting and possibly get her permit to carry.
You never do know how people are going to react to the news that you have a gun, and when it's positive it's a pretty big relief.
I know there are people out there who preach the "never tell" method of carry, and that's fine, but I'm an open person and I probably would not have been able to keep my interest in firearms quiet for very long. Even if I didn't tell them I carried I would end up talking about guns anyway, and hopefully invite them to come shooting. This just broke the ice a little early and all turned out well.
Hopefully we may not only have two more shooters in the world soon, but possibly one, if not two more carriers as well.
October 26th, 2007 07:17 PM
Good story. I've had to "break the news" to a couple of people, and you're right. You never know how they'll respond. One girl ended up going shooting with me a few weeks later (her first time ever to fire a gun). Another told me it made her uncomfortable, and wouldn't talk about it. Curiously that one had no problem with me being armed later on when one of her drunk neighbors knocked on the door and then refused to leave...
"A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
Is this hard to understand? Then why does it get unintelligible to some people when 5 little words are changed?
October 26th, 2007 07:25 PM
Nice...I've got a couple of "disciples" at work myself. They are nearly twice my 31years, on average. :)
October 26th, 2007 07:27 PM
Nice to hear not everyone is close minded, even if they don't carry.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
October 26th, 2007 07:29 PM
Glad it worked out for you, even better than expected. I've never had to face that situation (yet), though I've tried to "game" some of the scenarios and my responses. Only my family know I carry, they were told early on as I expected them to find out anyway (hugs, whatever) and I wanted to control the situation.
I guess we all dread some people reactions when in reality they may be interested in getting a CCW themselves. Or even already have one! Wouldn't that have been a pleasant surprise if one or both of your passengers would have been in the same situation and had to go "open" for lunch :)
October 26th, 2007 08:19 PM
Great story with a great outcome. You may have planted a seed that see's both learning more and eventually getting a permit.
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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October 26th, 2007 08:25 PM
Nice job Lima - and while yes, we do most of us excercize the ''not tell'' approach there are for sure situations where for one reason or another we have to 'come clean'.
Glad to say in PA as you know - none of this silly OC in alcohol establishment but - I recall helping my son outside his place a few years ago - shifting stuff, sweating like heck and taking off my shirt. His in-laws appeared while this was going on and they did not know previously - but of course saw my piece then.
Fortunately after a few simple interest questions all was fine and no hassles but - as ever, we do not always know what to expect if we have to come clean. Sounds like you well may have two new ''recruits"
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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October 26th, 2007 08:32 PM
Nice story, typical of the Lima novels.
It sounds like you did more than the whole gun thing, you made a stronger friendship with your new pals.
I hope your tapping into their resources as writers...
October 26th, 2007 08:34 PM
The 'Virginia tuck' is something we all have to deal with in the old Dominion.
As to peoples reactions, they'll run from those who don't even notice, those that are OK with it, those who are nervous (buy won't say anything) with it, to the ones who are anti & who won't deal with it very well.
In most cases, you can chose your companions when dining.....so they'll most likely be OK with it....... After all, we chose our friends.......You're more likely to experience family who have issues with carrying, more than with your friends. (most of my friends carry)
Lima, I also liked your comment about 'we Virginians'........I'm glad you feel at home here.
Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper
October 26th, 2007 08:38 PM
I'm sure the butterflies were flapping their wings in the ol tummy. I'm glad it turned out well. That's one crazy law. Not only does it make no sense, but anyone that you know in there is going to know you carry a gun. My whole family doesnt even know I carry..
October 26th, 2007 08:41 PM
Originally Posted by limatunes
Well done! I wish Tennessee had even Virginia's "no-concealed-where-alcohol-is-served" provision. Here, we cannot carry at all in an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises, period. Every year we try to change it, and every year Mr. Naifeh, our House Speaker, shoots it down for his friends/contributors in the restaurant industry.
As for the "never tell" notion, there isn't much one can do if the law dictates otherwise.
Congratulations on your new-found stronger ties with your friends!
October 26th, 2007 08:54 PM
Maybe we can hope Naifeh gets "shot down" during the next election cycle, shoot no one want him except the morons that keep voting him into office, I spoke with someone the other day who thought things will never change as long as he is in office
Originally Posted by falcon1
October 27th, 2007 12:12 AM
October 27th, 2007 12:17 AM
My wife and I dine out with 2 other couples once or twice a week, almost always in alcohol-serving restaraunts; I always open carry. All three couples are Jewish. One couple both have their permits but just carry concealed handguns in their cars (he and I belong to the same gun club) and have no problem at all with me carrying. The second couple is our Rabbi and his wife, who are rabid antis. She once stated as fact that most gun owners are killed by being shot with their own firearms! I have been open carrying at these dinners for about two years, and I don't think they (Rabbi and wife) have ever noticed! I know they'd say something if they did.
It's just a game I play to see how long I can go without them noticing. When I'm outed, I'll tell you all about it; it should be colorful. Like Lima says, we Virginians find ways to conceal even when open carrying: walk at the back of the group, carry a sport coat or jacket draped over the arm on the strong side, keep the strong side turned away from them during standing conversation, "forget" to go open until reaching the table. It takes inventivness and quick thinking; that's the fun of it.
October 27th, 2007 01:11 AM
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