Been Confronted While Open Carrying

Husband and Wife Open CarryThis past weekend I had an interesting and rare experience while carrying a firearm, we received more of a negative reaction from an individual who was fairly respectful, but just wanted to stop us and let us know their negative opinion of our actions.

In the state of Virginia you can openly carry a firearm at the age of 18 without a permit (as long as you do not have a criminal record). Comparatively, you need to obtain a permit if you wish to carry concealed. While this process has become easier over the last few years, as it is very unlikely that anyone would be denied this as long as they meet the criteria (age 21, no criminal record, and have taken a firearms safety course). However, as the 2nd amendment should be our permit, we do not appreciate the extra steps involved between a simple difference in open versus concealed carry. Thus the majority of my friends with firearms choose to openly wear their firearms. Wearing them this way is usually much easier/more comfortable, as well as helps the public see that firearm ownership and carry is normal.

The husband and I are frequently stopped by curious people. They often ask about the legality (as they are unfamiliar with Virginia’s laws etc) and we help to dispel myths they may have overheard from the media. While these conversations vary, mostly everyone is just curious. This past weekend I was confronted with my most negative response in about 3 years of regular carry, and for my husband’s 5 years of regular carry. I want to share that situation with you, as well as share general tips on how to navigate this aspect of firearms carry.

This past Sunday several friends made the decision to go out to eat after our Sunday School time. This is a fairly regular occurrence and about seven of us were carrying whether openly or concealed. We go to this restaurant fairly often, and as our group of 11 were leaving I was at the back of our exodus. I overheard a couple of guys sitting with their young family commenting as they saw the openly carried firearms, “Why are they carrying pistols?” I grinned to myself, then I heard them ask loudly, “Hey! Why are ya’ll carrying pistols?” At this point it was myself, another friend newer to open carry, and another couple who were left to answer his questions.

My friend responded that we carried for self defense. The gentleman (country good ole’ boy) in his  Remington hat asked snarly, “You are saying that you don’t feel safe in this restaurant?” I began to explain that this is a lifestyle choice for us (though he didn’t know I was carrying as I was concealed carrying at the time) because the world is full of evil and every place “feels safe” until it isn’t anymore. He commented that he felt like what we were doing was “dangerous” as “aren’t you afraid that they could be used against you? That is a double edge sword” as his friend mumbled under his breath about the differences between civilians and non civilians. I explained that we’ve all had training, many with police officers or other officials, and that we prepare against that risk by being situationally aware.

I emphasized that we take this very seriously, and we’d hate to use them, but just want to be able to defend ourselves should we need it. He then asked to my friend, “have you ever been involved in a fist fight? Well, would you try to fist fight before using your weapon?” I chuckled at this and said, “I don’t think a fist fight would work out in my favor” (Seriously who asks a woman that question?!!! Though I don’t think they suspected that I also carried on a regular basis ;0) ).

At this point husband had noticed our absence and joined us as the gentleman was wrapping up. We could tell that he did not want to debate the issue, he really just wanted to share our opinions. He told us that we could easily offend those around us, that we were dangerous, and that while he could tell that we were respectful/took it seriously and that he agreed with the second amendment, he felt that what we were doing was “unnecessary.” We respectfully departed at that point.

While that is the first time that anyone has ever been that blatant and confronted me with their very negative opinions of open carrying actions, I would still consider it a positive experience. I think we presented ourselves well to those gentlemen, and didn’t respond negatively to their rude criticisms. Basically, they accused us of being dangerous and we calmly understood that his opinions couldn’t hurt us. I think his eyes were opened at the description of our training etc. I think in the future he’ll think more about this, especially the next time that he sees someone as there are more and more open carriers the more in our area.

Summary of Open Carry Tips and Talking Points

* Remain calm Especially if you are more introverted than my “disgustingly extroverted” husband than being asked about something by strangers can be very unnerving. Most of the time people are just curious if they’ve never seen anyone carry a gun that way before. This is the perfect opportunity to explain that it is a completely normal thing.

*Be polite/respectful Many times people may stop us and ask some of the stupidest questions “Is that a real gun?” And all you want to do is answer “No, I just like carrying a fake gun around.” I actually once had a pot bellied 40 something male come up and bend over looking at my hip very awkwardly and ask me if I was wearing a taser. I wanted to explain that I was carrying a firearm, and that one of the reasons was because of creepy people like him. Even if people are rude, you can rationally explain your beliefs. If they do not accept your information or are rude to you, that is their own choice.

* Be educated If you are going to publicly speak about firearms, understand why you do what you do, and be able to explain it to others. Be able to share where they can get more information. Be available to dispel the myths that are frequently shared in the media. I know VCDL and other organizations have cards that you can print and give to people.

*Let them direct conversation Most of the time people have the same few questions “Is it real?” “Is that legal?” “Is it loaded?” “Aren’t you worried that someone could take that?” “What training have you had?” “Do you need a permit?” “What about assault weapons?” etc. Some of these encounters will be relatively short, while others can last as long as an hour. This is not time for you to preach politics at them “That darn politician…!” but rather simply a time to answer their questions.

*Be understanding Try to ask their background with firearms, or what state their from if they seem nervous. Many people have never been around firearms in their life; all they’ve ever seen has been the media and real life massacre events. To them if you’re suggesting that we shouldn’t have a permit could be the scariest thing in the world, because they still think that the firearm is an evil thing that could jump out of your holster at any given moment. This is something that my husband has really grown in, as I was able to share how scary firearms were to me at first due to public education and never being around them. In this way you can say “Oh, I can definitely understand that that is scary to you, but the important thing to remember is it is a tool like anything else.” This makes the individual feel listened to; you’ve validated their concerns.

*Be a good tipper One of the easiest ways to have open carry events in your area is to eat out together. If you’re going to do this it is highly recommended that you tip well, and refrain from drinking alcohol to show that you are responsible and not a jerk.

Let me know if you can think of any other important tips for conversations regarding open carry!

Similar posts
  • Met Vermin Supreme Well tonight there was an adventure to beat the Monday blues! After a long day of work, finally going to the gym, eating at our favorite Sushi hubby and I were beat. He headed down to his man cave in the basement. Suddenly, he calls out “Honey! GET DRESSED!” (I was in work out clothes). [...]
  • Lived in a United America This is third presidential election that I’ve been able to vote it, and it has taught me that I do not live in a united America at all. 2008- Due to conservative beliefs I began my voting career as an idealist Republican. I was sold the fear that Obama would ruin America and everything that [...]
  • Froze For My Gun Rights at Lobby Day ...  Every year we drive to Richmond to meet with our state representatives to discuss our opinions of the upcoming legislation for the session. All types of lobby groups are there, but VCDL tends to draw the largest crowd. We didn’t drive down early because of an upcoming house purchase and trying to save money. I’d [...]
  • Celebrated the 71st Anniversary of DD... Another post in the “Favorite Unblogged 2015 Moments” series. My in laws tend to visit in June when they can, and we found ourselves near the DDay Memorial on the 71st Anniversary! I was excited about a fun opportunity, despite that husband was leery of the crowds. We visited later in the day and enjoyed [...]
  • Met Emily Miller at Lobby Day Another year at Lobby day! It is neat to look back each year, because each one we get to introduce new friends to the importance of meeting with our elected representatives and holding them accountable. This year we stayed in Richmond for the night and did some touristy things, then went to the General Assembly [...]

53 Comments

  1. RangerRick RangerRick
    March 17, 2013    

    Twice, I have left my weapon in the car to make HAPPY the owner of the facility.
    The first time two young men from Missouri can in shot a 9 year old in the back and then shot the man that went to the childs aid. I was fresh out of the Green Beret’s and had to sit there, I was to far away to do anything. Next time an armed robbery at a club I was at, same thing, sat it out. The third time, I ignored the sign and had my weapon on me when the bad guys showed up and I said nothing, I shot both of them. The owner of the facilty said to leave and he would take care of everything. Never heard a word about it. I carry everywhere, even to church and to my surprise 50% of the folks there do also. I was asked to leave my hosptial a few weeks back because I was carrying and would not take it to the car. Told them my story, showed them my police ID and left. New doctor and new hospital. I will not be without my weapon. Folks today are nuts and will kill just because they can. RangerRick

  2. mark fairchild mark fairchild
    March 13, 2013    

    I support and will defend the constitution, so I agree it is our right to carry. But from your story it sounds like you think open carrying is some kind of political activism. A gun is built to kill not be used to stir up debate. If you like talking about your rights why not leave your weapon at home and openly carry a sign.

    • erin erin
      March 13, 2013    

      Great Question. This is simply one post to showcase one facet of my open carry lifestyle. #1 I carry for self defense. I believe that there are awful people in the world and that you often feel the safest just before tragedy strikes. I don’t want to have to be a woman who travels in a pack, simply to make sure that I do not fall victim to an attack. #2 Openly carrying the firearm is actually the most practical way to guarantee that I’ll be able to get to my firearm if/when I need to use it to defend my life or those of my love ones. (This is why police officers open carry). #3 I recognize that wearing a gun in public means that I’ll get questions from people. Therefore, because I already believe that generally speaking open carrying is one of the best methods for me to carry instead of being a rude individual while I do, I use that time as an opportunity to educate those around me. I believe that a gun is a tool, and I choose to use it defensively not with the intention to kill others. If you support and defend the constitution you must believe that the only thing at the end of the day that guarantees any of those right from the government is the 2nd amendment?

  3. Linda Linda
    March 12, 2013    

    After being married for 46 years, my husband lost his sight. As he was my and our children’s protector for all those years, I felt the need to apply for my permit to carry openly or concealed in the State of Georgia just so we would still be protected. Being from a family with 5 boys and me, I learned to shoot a gun by the age of 6 years old. My little 4’11” Mother taught all of us to shoot a gun by the time we were in school. Daddy had Mother teach us because he said she was a better shot than he and sure enough, my Mom could hit the bullseye every time she shot a gun, whether it was a rifle, shotgun or pistol. We were taught mainly because we lived on a farm and there were a lot of poisoneous snakes on our land. My oldest brother became the chief of police and he always taught me to keep up with my shooting practice, which I always have done. I choose to carry concealed because I don’t want anyone to know that I’m carrying. My son openly carries, which, in his line of work is fine. I can’t understand why more women will not learn to shoot guns and obtain their carry permits. Yes, I’m in my late 60’s, but at least I know I’m safe when I’m out and about alone and I know I can keep my husband safe. We have a lot of home invasions in our area and I’m going to make sure the two of us are safe in our home. I saw a sign that I just had to purchase and I hung it on my driveway gate post, it says, “you might can out run my great danes, but you can’t out run my bullet”.

  4. Daryle Daryle
    March 12, 2013    

    I really enjoyed this conversation. In Minnesota alcohol consumption is allowed up to .04 BAC. That is the same for commercial drivers licenses. I carry openly and get several strange looks from people. I also carry concealed at the same time. I’m glad Wisconsin has passed the CC there now, as I go over there often when in town.

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      I’m glad that you found it enjoyable! Sharing information and experiences is always helpful. Thanks for visiting.

  5. March 12, 2013    

    I certainly understand why someone would opt for an open carry. Since my “girlish figure” has gone the way of the Dodo my preferred inside the waist ban carry is no longer as comfortable so I am now using a belt mounted Uncle Mike’s for concealed carry. In Maine U can also carry in the open but I still prefer concealed for several reasons not the least of which is I don’t want any potential bad guys to know I am armed and decide to pop a cap on my ass first. Another reason is the same thing I was cautious about as a uniformed patrolman and that is having my weapon snatched from my holster although I did wear a “secure” holster nothing is 100%. If I were U, I would take those extra steps and obtain a concealed carry permit. Sure the 2nd Amendment guaranties our right to keep and bare arms but there R certain “Common Sense” aspects of that right we need to think about. I have no desire to be approached by strangers or stopped by the police nor do I want to make complete strangers uncomfortable. Caring in the open in public says more about U than it does about the folks around U.

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Lee, thanks for your comment! I think that those are valid concerns. I do have my concealed carry permit, and I alternate between open and concealed carry for everyday life. It is my preference and actually many in my state to openly carry. With the right holster and proper training there is less risk of someone snatching it, and a criminal will likely see us carrying as a deterrent and choose a different location or easier target. We simply appreciate that here the more we open carry and use that time to educate others, the more we seem to find that more people open carry in our area. I truly believe that the use of open carry has helped to make Virginia in general such a gun friendly state :0). Thanks for posting!

  6. bee bee
    March 12, 2013    

    IS OPEN CARRY FOR NON RESIDENTS VISITING VIRGINIA PERMITTED.

    • jeroth jeroth
      March 12, 2013    

      Yes it is legal to anyone 18 and over with no felonies or domestic violence convictions.

      You can be from out of country as long as you are legally here.

      *Note* I am not a lawyer.

  7. L Root L Root
    March 12, 2013    

    I absolutely love this. Hubby & I both have our carry permits (TN) but up until recently have always chosen to conceal carry. Now that we are choosing to open carry I have often wondered what I would say in a situation such as this. These have made me stop and think and I will definately be sharing this with the husband. I think it’s better to have a dialog of responses already “in your head” than being caught off guard and having to think of something off the cuff. Thank You for this!

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Definitely! Often I’m not even thinking about the fact that I’m openly carrying when I’m out about. So sometimes my thoughts are sooo scattered my response become unintelligible when they ask my reasoning. Preparation helps! I’m glad you were able to find this helpful.

  8. Shannon Shannon
    March 12, 2013    

    I think your face book link is broken. It took me to an advertising fb page.

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Its not broken, its the facebook link that came with the template. I decided that I did not want to link it to my personal facebook page. Decided to try to have some anonymity on the web. Eventually, I may create a facebook page for the blog, not sure.

  9. KateLynn KateLynn
    March 12, 2013    

    Interesting. Here in CT, a person with a permit may carry concealed or openly. Open carry isn’t as common due to liberal gun phobia. Some cities had old laws on the books prohibiting concealed carry but not open. The last of these was New Britain. Last year, a selectman there called police to report a group entering a restaurant with holstered pistols in view. The police informed him that not only was this legal, it was required by city ordinance. An ordinance allowing concealed carry was introduced by this lawmaker and passed in short order. Now people have a choice. Towns do not have the option of forbidding carrying of guns in this state.
    Carrying, with a permit, is permitted nearly everywhere including bars and restaurants. It is prohibited while consuming alcohol and while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s great when responsible gun owners politely educate others about carrying. Also great when the police do it.

  10. March 12, 2013    

    If you are in the forest and could be attacked by a wild animal, that is one thing. What is the necessity to open carry wherever you go? It says, “I am prepared to kill a human if I feel threatened.” At least that’s what it says to me.

    • jeroth jeroth
      March 12, 2013    

      It is illegal to kill someone if you “feel” threatened.
      You can only use lethal force if your life is in IMMEDIATE danger. Not just a feeling.

    • NativeAmerican NativeAmerican
      March 12, 2013    

      Since you never know when, where, or if you’ll be attacked, it would not make since not to carry your firearm wherever you go. I am prepared to kill a human if they threaten my life, or the life of someone I love, or even the life of anyone around me. I could not properly defend these people, if I left my firearm at home.

  11. March 12, 2013    

    It makes me nervous to be around any armed person especially a stranger. Don’t take it personally I am nervous around police officers. It only takes one stray bullet to kill. Not everyone that carries is as cool headed…One wrong word and me or my children could be killed. The bottom line is people who are armed make me feel unsafe.

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Daniel, thank you for your insight! I’m glad that you feel comfortable to post here, and it is my wish that anyone who discusses this with you does so respectfully. Have you been in an incident before with a firearm? I know one time we were at Subway and a girl ended up having a panic attack seeing us, that breaks my heart because I care about the mental states of others as I am a counselor in training. I’m sorry that people make you feel unsafe. I appreciate your forest/wild animal analogy. I open carry for many reasons #1 that is the only legal way to carry without a permit or if you are under the age of 21 (though I am older), and to use your analogy I see openly carrying as showing that I am a cat with claws and could defend myself if needed, but that they are appropriately sheathed. Honestly, as a woman, I’d rather them see that and decided that I didn’t make an easy target/wasn’t worth their time. Do you feel safer if the gun is hidden, like if there was an under cover cop? Or just knowing that someone has a gun in general? Sometimes I feel like its nicer knowing who has a gun around me (as statistically less/no crimes are committed by open carriers) versus that some random criminal has a hidden gun, not to raise your stress regarding that. I do wonder what background/experience you have with firearms, as I know that can affect our opinions as well. Another question we’re asked sometimes, which I feel you are alluding too, is that if someone cuts us off while driving, do we feel angry enough to use our guns. The answer is that those who carry have a trained mindset. To us it is like carrying a hammer in a tool belt, we only bring it out if we need it. That would only be if someone was pointing a gun at us, or specifically threatening our lives to which I would honestly feel like I could die at any moment. That is the only point at which that level of force is justified. Thank you for your post, please continue to ask your questions 🙂 I respect and thank you for sharing your concerns.

    • March 12, 2013    

      I can understand your apprehension Daniel. But…You should be afraid of Police with guns. That’s their idea anyway. they kill more people and shoot more people on accident every month. We are told “there are 2 sides to every story” and it’s ignored. Comes down to proper training and mindset. To the Police: they are not properly trained. Their mindset says; “everyone is a criminal”. Most “gun toters” like myself whether carrying Open or Concealed, train regularly. I’d be willing to compete against any beat cop(non swat) any day and I’m confident I’d win.

      • NativeAmerican NativeAmerican
        March 12, 2013    

        Daniel, Unfortunately their are a lot of people that feel the same way you do. Either because of something that has happened in their life, or because they have a fear in general such as a phobia. I personally am more afraid of the police, than I am a regular citizen carrying a firearm. I have had zero questionable situations with someone carrying, but I have felt concern when dealing with police officers before. In your mind you cannot reconcile the way another person lives their life, just as someone like me cannot fathom someone who lives their life as you do. It most likely all boils down to experiences and knowledge, ours are completely different.

    • Holli Holli
      March 12, 2013    

      I can be a hot head when it comes to this issue. Before I joined the military I was afraid of guns. Then, they handed me an M16 and said, go shoot. LoL I did. it took some time but I became pretty good. Over time I learned to fire a couple of different weapons, the 9mm being my favorite. Mostly bc I felt more comfortable holding it. Now, my husband and I both own handguns and few higher capacity weapons. He used to shoot competitively and loves guns. I’m not the “fan” he is but I do like to shoot for recreation. We both have a carry/conceal permit. We do frown upon going into places that bar permit holders for this reason…..that establishment is guarenteeing my safety & the safety of my kids. No establishment can do that. I was asked why I’d even think to carry for a routine trip to WalMart. My response, “Every WalMart in our area (there’s 3) has had numerous incidents of people being attacked in the parking lots, either with guns or knives. How will I protect myself or my kids if I am unarmed?” I’m only 5ft tall. A fist fight won’t work to well for me. I don’t advocate shooting people just bc you feel threatened, my weapon won’t come just bc someone makes me nervous. But, if there is a direct threat against me or my kids – I will protect them. I want my kids to feel safe but I’m the adult. I know that safety is an illusion that can be shattered in a second. While I’m not sure people should be allowed to walk around with a gun w/o any training, I support their right to do so. Just as I support someone’s right to speak their views that differ from mine.
      🙂

      • erin erin
        March 12, 2013    

        Holli, thanks for sharing! I’m not a mom yet, so I enjoy hearing your passion about this subject and your views about protecting your children. I think guns are something that helps when you get to have hands on experience with them and education. Thank you for tempering your “hot heated” ness. ;0) As a mom I could see it would be harder to remain respectful when someone questions my right to protect my children. Well explained response, thanks!

  12. March 12, 2013    

    I am a Texas girl and we travel the country with my husband’s job. He is military AND police trained, so any state that allows it he will open carry.

    That being said. I own a gun and I struggle with open carry. It takes a lot of guts to carry around a gun that everyone can see…. they stare, ask questions, stay away… especially moms in the park. I feel like I should get a shirt that says what I am doing is legal!!! 🙂

    I applaud you for being brave enough to open carry! How can I find one of these open carry groups in the places we visit?

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      It really makes it easier to open carry in bigger groups. It feels less intimidating. That is exciting that you guys are able to travel together for his work. What you’ll want to do is go to http://www.opencarry.org and you can find specific forums for each state. Often times open carry lunches or dinners are planned frequently, you may be able to join one. Best luck!

  13. Jacquie Jacquie
    March 12, 2013    

    Great tips! I know I can be oppositional by nature, which is something I have to be extra aware of when I am around people who I know are misinformed and borderline hostile about my beliefs- be in regarding G-d, guns, or other divisive issues. It’s frustrating and challenging how often and to what degree I see (for me) the temptation to be petty and bully “the other side” into agreement with me arises. However, I think you are right and that you did a good thing by staying in control of yourself. It’s a good reminder that effectively changing other people starts with G-d and His divine grace.

    Living in Maryland, gun carrying is not an option unfortunately. Open carry is flat out banned and concealed carry is by permit only, granted in limited situations. (As in you have an officially documented history of death threats against you, or you work in a job that involves handling large amounts of money, or as I’ve heard occasionally, by being friends with state politicians. :-/)

  14. March 12, 2013    

    I like the laws of Virginia, see I live in NY, where concealed carry is nearly impossible. The gov’t has become so involved in lives that we cannot even drink soda that is more than 16 ounces…I digress. I don’t understand this guys thoughts. DId those in a Colorado movie theater not feel safe attending a movie? Do the little 5 year olds in Newtown CT not feel safe attending school? Why are people not “getting it”? not understanding that a perfectly “safe” place can become “Unsafe” when an unbalanced person decides he wants to kill a mass of people. Keep open carrying, I think it’s time for us to move to VA or somewhere with similar laws.

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Oh my goodness! My husband is from NY originally upstate. We drive there about 1-2 a year to visit his family there. It is always distressing to leave our right to protection when we visit them. Seriously being minutes away from PA makes the difference as to whether our permit is valid there. Virginia welcomes you! We recently had a friend of my husband’s just move down here for economic reasons and he is sooo happy to see that he can defend his life. I feel like it is the underground rail road in reverse!

    • Tracy Tracy
      March 12, 2013    

      I am originally from upstate NY and have been in NC for 11 years. When we go back to NY to visit family, we have to leave our guns in NC. I agree with Erin that it’s unfair that someone who has passed all requirements to purchase and in my case, carry concealed, can not be allowed to protect ourselves and families when we travel.

    • Dawn Dawn
      March 12, 2013    

      I’m originally from VA, moved to Buffalo, NY with hubby then back to VA about 8 years ago. First thing I did when I got back to VA is get my conceal carry permit. I’m a 92 lb woman who doesn’t want to be an unarmed victim. We open carry most of the time but we always carry. I’m always the designated driver & carrier if others choose to drink. Our friends in NY commonly complain about the inability to get a ccp. I miss the friends, the live Blues music, and the awesome food but I’m not giving up my cheap taxes ($409 a YEAR!) or my 2nd ammendment rights to go back to NY … even for a visit. Come on down to VA. There’s lots of NY’ers here. 🙂

  15. March 12, 2013    

    Great post and you handled it very well. Since moving back to Idaho, where our laws are just like VA’s, I have yet to see many people open carry here. The only ones I have seen are the gun and ammo store owners. I am surprised more people don’t open carry, especially since I live in a town where we have not one bullet manufacturer, but two, and guns here are and have been such a part of everyday life because of the hunters.

  16. box922@aol.com box922@aol.com
    March 12, 2013    

    I think those same people would be hiding behind your party if something did happen in the “safe” restaurant. His fist fight comment just goes to prove how ignorant he has become to what is happening in the world these days unfortunately…

  17. NativeAmerican NativeAmerican
    March 12, 2013    

    We have open carry in KY as well. When anyone I’ve known has open carried, they always have the people asking if it’s legal. And are usually amazed when told it is. It amazes me how many have no clue of the laws in the state they’ve lived in their entire lives, this includes those that regularly hunt etc. I’ve even been questioned while in uniform when I owned a security company. The thing that always makes me laugh the most is when anyone here questions anyone else having a firearm…it’s Kentucky people. lol

    • March 12, 2013    

      I used to live in Kentucky – over 10 years! Everyone has a gun, but you really don’t often see them openly carried. It still is funny to me that people there do find it unusual; I think society has just trained us to have that mindset. Once (in Kentucky) my father went into a gas station with an umbrella in an inside pocket of his coat. Despite simply buying a soda and paying for gas, apparently the staff had already called the police. When he walked out, it was into a line of police with their weapons drawn!

      As a recent firearms owner, I really thought I’d be uncomfortable open carrying, but it actually feels very natural. I haven’t had any comments yet, just a few stares (and a jumpy visitor at my home who was making a purchase from craigslist). I’m used to stares anyway – blue hair and piercings – so we’ll see what’s yet to come! I haven’t gotten a concealed carry holster yet so open carry is my only option at the moment anyway.

      • erin erin
        March 12, 2013    

        Thank you for sharing your experiences Katie! I don’t envy the mistake of the police with your dad!

        I think open carry is something that in doing it, you realize how simple it can be. Maybe we should have an open carry date sometime. We’ve always tried to get the open carry women around to do something, but we are adding to our numbers lately so it may be more realistic!

  18. geo1 geo1
    March 12, 2013    

    Yes…ZERO tollerance here in NM…if you carry…you don’t drink OR do some types meds either…

  19. J. Smith J. Smith
    March 12, 2013    

    Outstanding article! A cool head will usually prevail, even if we think we have “lost the argument/discussion”, we have planted a good seed. This happened to me recently. Our daughter’s coach was ranting on about how “You American’s really do treasure your Second Amendment” and rattling on about the evil of guns. After the tirrade, I calmly answered the questions that were “shot” at me, explaining that I grew up in a small town, that boys and men nearly always had a gun rack in the pickup window, and these guns were NEVER stolen, it has always been a way of life, etc. The only way to educate is to do so gently! And THANK YOU for pointing out the fact that we do need to be good tippers; waiting tables is hard work!

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Thank you for your comments!

      I definitely agree that it is planting a seed. I overheard on the radio recently they were commenting with regards to what the Pastor who gave the prayer at the president’s inauguration said about both sides needing to come together. (At least I think that was where this originated) Basically they were saying on one side there are people who are worried about the death’s that firearms take, and the other side is very concerned about losing their rights. That is not a fair argument to me. I do not want my second amendment right just to have and maintain my right. I believe that by using this right to protect myself I ensure that myself and fellow loved ones DO NOT end up losing their lives to the violence in our evil society. I care just as much if not more about human life than the “other side” does. There are many myths that want to villainize our side, but I think we can help dismiss those by not acting like villains when confronted.

  20. Bridget Durham Bridget Durham
    March 12, 2013    

    In Texas you cannot drink while carrying, is this not the case in Va.? Just wondering, and totally agree with her not to!!

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      In Virginia you cannot conceal carry in a restaurant if you are drinking alcohol. However, you can drink alcohol as long as you are open carrying. I think the idea with that is that as long as everyone can see you have a firearm then the bartender can refuse to serve you/cut you off. But in Texas you cannot open carry, correct?

      • March 12, 2013    

        Unlike driving.. there is no limit to be under the influence. So.. MY attorney says that ONE SIP could legally mean “under the influence”… Best in my opinion to not drink whilst carrying. if you ever have a beer while carrying and have to defend your life.. and you were otherwise 100% in the right.. it might be that you just had a $500,000.00 beer.

        • erin erin
          March 12, 2013    

          That is a very valid point. I didn’t consider the legal ramifications of self defense after a drink. I was only thinking of the view of someone who had a drink if they were carrying. Thanks for sharing!

    • James James
      March 12, 2013    

      I think its important to leave it legal to do so, however, encourage people not to do it alot. 🙂

      • erin erin
        March 12, 2013    

        Thanks for your post!

        I would agree that leaving it legal means that people will be less likely to hide their gun and drink anyways. At least if they have the legality then the bartender can still refuse to serve them. There are many people who could have a small drink, a rum and coke perhaps, who would not become tipsy in the least. Therefore, if they chose to drink while carrying a firearm, as long as they are not acting tipsy/drunk I would not condemn them. Overall, I just think it may not be as helpful to our argument.

    • Janet Sample Janet Sample
      March 12, 2013    

      I was curious as well to that. I know from my CHL class there is no legal limit on alcohol consumption in Texas. So, if I know I am going to have a drink, my weapon stays at home.

      • erin erin
        March 12, 2013    

        Maybe in the gun community we should have DGC…designated gun carriers? ;0)

        • tracy tracy
          March 12, 2013    

          we never drink and carry and we always have a designated gun carriers. funny you state this.

          • erin erin
            March 12, 2013    

            My husband usually is the DD with a few of his buddies, and he’ll also openly carry while they sit at the bar. The bar tenders usually offer him a free appetizer appreciating that he’ll drive them home, and be a deterrent for bar fights. Thanks for the comment!

  21. March 12, 2013    

    That is exactly how we created out Virginia Open Carry Logo.. because of the “Is it real? Is it loaded? and Is it Legal?” I also suggest those that OC to carry a digital recorder on them and RECORDING anytime they OC.. as a digital witness to everything. Finally.. For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed’s OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too) – Ed Levine, Founder – Virginia Open Carry

    • erin erin
      March 12, 2013    

      Thanks for the insight! Definitely, the voice recorder can be very helpful. Thanks for posting where everyone could get more information.

      I would also highly recommend joining a community of open carriers and http://www.opencarry.org is a great place to find those in your area and to discuss reactions received around town. (That way you know which businesses are friendly and which ones are not).

      • March 12, 2013    

        I am a “foiunders” member of OpenCarry.org 🙂

        • erin erin
          March 12, 2013    

          Haha! I know you are Ed! ;0) I was listing the website for others benefit reading the comments.

No Pings Yet

  1. Never Have I Ever – My Favorite Firearms Information For Women on December 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Leave a Reply

About Me

Hi! My name is Erin, and this is a place to "process out loud" in the words of my friends. You've probably noticed that the theme is kind of a wide theme, that is much like my life as I'm interested in MANY things: traveling, photography, jogging (its new!), being crafty, homesteading, firearms/self defense, and learning how to be a good wife. Through all of these things my goal is growing to know Christ more, and to make Him known. Each post shares a little about the promise that God has given me, that He'll finish what he began in me! (Phil 1:6) So thank you for joining me on this wonderful adventure.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 26 other subscribers

Category Specific RSS