Thursday, February 4, 2010

An interesting experience...

A few days ago W and I went into town. I stepped into the market for some sandwich stuff, noticing as I entered that there was this older (IE, about my age) guy I didn't recognize standing around the checkout lanes, chatting up the register ladies.

W was waiting, so I ran around filling up a little basket and hustled to the checkout. As I approached, the guy threw his hands in the air and loudly said something like, "Don't shoot! I'll marry her!" It took a second to register that he was talking to me, and another to figure out what he was talking about. I finally decided he was referring to my holstered pistol. I didn't say anything, just smiled a little uncertainly. Then, more quietly, he said, "I don't think we need..." he seemed to change his mind at that point - I was no longer smiling - and wandered off toward the deli counter.

The two ladies working the registers looked kind of embarrassed. When he was out of earshot the younger one said, "He sure likes to talk a lot." And that was where we left the incident.

Open carry around town is fairly unusual, but in years of doing it I've never been hassled by anyone or even - before this week - received a negative comment. On the rare occasion anyone brings it up at all it's likely to be a discussion of models and calibers. Most people who carry pistols get concealment licenses, but open carry isn't illegal or so unusual you're leaving yourself open to a "disturbing the peace" charge by doing it.

Truth is, living out in the boonies I carry a pistol almost every waking moment. Some walkies when I don't feel like strapping on a holster, or in winter when a heavy coat makes a holster less practical, I carry a rifle. I don't come to town very often, but when I do I don't take off the pistol. I guess if you do it enough, the whole "gun" thing just loses all its mystique and emotional freight. It's just something you put on in the morning, like your boots or your multitool. It's been that way so long that running into someone who felt strongly enough about it to even comment came as a bit of a shock.


Anonymous said...

I o/c as well. For some time now. I put it on in the morning and take it off at night. I have had one ugly look from a woman and one curling lip superior attitude sneer from a man. A barista did treat me rather coldly as well, I imagine there was a connection. I have never had a negative comment.Comments have always been positive, some very positive.

A couple of times I have explained why I won't get a ccw permit. A discussion of principle doesn't seem to be of interest to most.

Once a clerk asked me why and I mentioned government slaughter of millions of unarmed people and gave some examples. He said he didn't know that and would check it out.

Anonymous said...

I thought the clerks comment, "He sure likes to talk a lot." Was very telling.
It's been my experience that most people in small places just love to stop and chat. The fact that the ladies didn't like atlking to him says a great deal.

Joel said...

Yeah, around here it's a mixed bag. Some townies will talk your ear off. But other people come to the desert for the same reason I did, and it ain't for the conversation.