Sunday, October 16, 2011

On getting "made"

Just back from a Barnes & Noble and my weekend "quiet time", sitting and reading over iced coffee (for a little bit longer...then it'll be hot coffee). It being a weekend, and in Washington, and just at that point between too warm for a jacket and too cool to do without - I'd said "screw it" and opted for DGAD (Don't Give A Damn) carry.

I've had my CPL for decades, and Open Carry is also legal here. Soooo...why fret?

As I prepared to leave, I got up and stretched before putting on my coat. Two little girls sitting nearby asked me if that was a gun on my belt. Being polite, I replied "Yes, it is" and when asked if I was a policeman, was quite clear that I was no such thing.

When they asked why I had a gun, I initially replied "because I'm legally allowed to" - and then elaborated.

I pointed out that like a fire extinguisher, one bought one and hoped to never ever need it. But that if a need suddenly arose - for a fire extinguisher or a pistol - odds were not good that one would be able to excuse oneself to rush off and buy one.

At this point the delightful grandmother (a southern grand dame of the old school) of the 10yo's chimed in asking me if I wasn't a police officer, and I again confirmed that I wasn't. I mentioned I'd picked up my license (not required for open carry in WA, but to reassure...) about twenty years ago before bidding the trio a pleasant adieu and meandering home.

And that's how you do it. You're an ambassador when you open carry or when concealment fails. You need to be unfailingly polite and considerate, use "ma'am" and "sir" liberally, and budget the time (even when it takes a deep breath) to have a few moments of positive interaction with the curious, the confused, and the flustered.

Less than 5 minutes showed three people that folks that are neither cops nor criminals can legally carry a gun and be pleasant and polite - just perhaps changing a couple of young worldviews (and MAYBE an older one...) by not being gruff or standoffish.

I'd call that a win for the day.


Jay G said...

[claps loudly]

Good on ya, GC!

I have to subtract points for not jumping up on the table and screaming SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, though...


Old NFO said...

Well done Sir! Well done!!!

Linoge said...

Congratulations on a job well done. And that is why open carry is such a powerful normalization tool!