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Thread: Incident at Ace hardware

  1. #1
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    Incident at Ace hardware

    I was in the ACE hardware store in Union KY today while ocing just looking around, no problems. then I proceeded to the counter in the back of the store to get a key cut for my truck and while waiting on the man who was helping me a lady walked up to the counter beside me and I saw her out of the corner of my eye staring mouth wide open at my Ruger at my side I thought nothing of it until I heard her say to the man helping her 'That man has a gun' she said it several times in a hushed tone. The man said something back to her which I did not understand the whole time she was just staring me down looking scared to death. The man helping her said something else which I also did not hear and then she said 'I dont feel safe until that man leaves this store' I thought great..here we go its the first week I have oc'ed so I was slightly nervous..the man helping her called the manager on the radio and I almost said something to the woman but I thought it might make matters worse so I kept quiet. One manager came out of the back of the store watching me as he walked past I then went to the front counter to check out and the general manager and another employee were there watching me and kept glancing down at my waist but said nothing they stayed there until I walked out of the store.

    I wanted to explain to the lady that I was legally carrying the handgun and that I was doing nothing wrong. I know that when I open carry in the future something like that will most probably happen again. Did I do right by not saying anything? I would just like some opinions about how to handle a situation like the one I had today

  2. #2
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Yes, you did fine.

    Don't wrestle with a pig or explain to the ignorant, it just makes you dirty or tired and they enjoy it.

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    You should have screamed "THAT MAN HAS A GUN!!!"

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    I think you did just fine. This will happen to you from time to time...or perhaps someone will come up to you and talk to you about it. Just take it in stride. Some folks just do not get it... and never will sadly.

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    I think you did fine. If the lady had come up to you, you should have put her at ease. Maybe think about in the future how you would handle an encounter. I think it's pretty safe to say that you should remain civil and respectful. People have irrational fears. What you did was you helped desensitize her to gun toting folk. So while you may not have said anything to her, your actions said plenty.

  6. #6
    Regular Member self preservation's Avatar
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    What was she scared of......that you may shoot a robber??? It seems that people (more so women than men) who were not raised around guns have a dumb ass fear of them. As the others have said, it sounds like you did fine in being cool, calm and civil about the matter. I actually try to be just a bit nicer to people when I OC. It seems to ease tension and shines a more positive light on us OC'ers. Just remember that when you OC you represent us all.

    I was in Morehead Wal Mart just the other day in the sporting goods dept. buying a box of .22's. The guy behind the counter took notice of my sidearm and struck up a conversation about what S&W was coming out with, what SIG was doing different on their new models..etc. It was nice to see an employee so much at ease with me. You say that you just started to OC... Let me give you some good advice that others on this forum have given me. First off, you WILL have good and bad encounters if you carry long enough. Buy a recorder and carry it at all times (turn it on before you leave the house and record all day..don't wait to turn it on when you think you need to or you will forget)

    Second, go to the top of the forum page to "KY gun laws".... I believe Issac put it together. Learn all you can about the CAN and CAN NOT of OC'ing (or any carry for that matter) I even got a 3 ring binder and printed off every KY gun law I could so I could review them from time to time. When I first started to OC I carried in a few places that I shouldn't had and could have gotten my ass in some hot water simply because I didnt know any better. It's up to you to be a responsible OC'er instead of just "a guy that carries a gun"

    I hope your next encounter is more positive.
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    self-pres·er·va·tion (slfprzr-vshn)
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    2. The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    a lady walked up to the counter beside me and I saw her out of the corner of my eye staring mouth wide open at my Ruger at my side I thought nothing of it until I heard her say to the man helping her 'That man has a gun' she said it several times in a hushed tone. The man said something back to her which I did not understand the whole time she was just staring me down looking scared to death. The man helping her said something else which I also did not hear and then she said 'I dont feel safe until that man leaves this store'
    Lady is frightened by sight of gun.
    Lady stands there and stares open-mouthed at gun she is frightened by.
    Lady stands right next to gun she is frightened by and has hushed conversation with key-counter guy.
    Lady stands there next to gun she is frightened by and "stares you down" while looking "scared to death".
    Lady stands next to gun she is frightened by and says "'I dont feel safe until that man leaves this store".
    Profit?

    I'm not sure, but I think there is something wrong with that.

    Could it be that the lady continued to stand right next to the thing she was "scared to death" by?

    Wonder if she'd reach down and pet a rattlesnake coiled up right next to her?

    If I were not such a kind, considerate and empathetic person known far and wide as being anything but a curmudgeon with a sarcastic streak a mile wide I would have looked right at her and asked why she was continuing to stand right next to the gun if she was so frightened of it. (Actually, I've done something like that when having conversations with folks while OCing. Strike up a conversation at an art fair or farmers market, get told they would "faint right away" if they were ever to see someone other than a cop with a gun, and several minutes later ask them to look at my hip while reminding them that they have been standing next to one all the time. It's like watching someone turn on a lightbulb with a dimmer switch - thwe light goes on and gets brighter over time.)

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    If I were not such a kind, considerate and empathetic person known far and wide as being anything but a curmudgeon with a sarcastic streak a mile wide....
    Cite please....


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    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    I personally like the people that come up to me and ask "You're not going to shoot me are you?"


    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2

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    I think that if it were me, I would have tried to engage in conversation with her. If she asked about the gun, I would have tried to explain it to her. But, I think I would have tried to break the tension by engaging in conversation with her about something. When you engage on conversation, it tends to put them more at ease, although they will still ask about why you're carrying.

  11. #11
    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    I personally like the people that come up to me and ask "You're not going to shoot me are you?"


    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
    I usually get asked "Is that a real gun?" like I would be carrying around a toy.
    No man alive can beat me in a fair fight: It's not fair to chase a man down and beat him.

  12. #12
    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    I usually get asked "Is that a real gun?" like I would be carrying around a toy.
    Or, "Is it loaded?"

  13. #13
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    an obvious case of 'multiple moon eyes'.

    i had a little old Lady stare at mine, and say; you have a gun, i am afraid of you (obviously in jest), i countered with: that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day. i observed no moon eyes though. dont see much moon eye around lately. either i'm better at open carying more discreetly, or my manner of dress or smiling face imparts peace and safety, or then again maybe john q. public no longer gives a damn.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    The broad should go back to new jersey. I would have asked the managers "is there a problem, or do you have nothing better to do than stare at me?"
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul@paul-fisher.com View Post
    I personally like the people that come up to me and ask "You're not going to shoot me are you?"


    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
    ....uh, no, not unless you do something that derserves getting shot for.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  16. #16
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Lady is frightened by sight of gun.
    Lady stands there and stares open-mouthed at gun she is frightened by.
    Lady stands right next to gun she is frightened by and has hushed conversation with key-counter guy.
    Lady stands there next to gun she is frightened by and "stares you down" while looking "scared to death".
    Lady stands next to gun she is frightened by and says "'I dont feel safe until that man leaves this store".
    Profit?

    I'm not sure, but I think there is something wrong with that.

    Could it be that the lady continued to stand right next to the thing she was "scared to death" by?

    Wonder if she'd reach down and pet a rattlesnake coiled up right next to her?

    If I were not such a kind, considerate and empathetic person known far and wide as being anything but a curmudgeon with a sarcastic streak a mile wide I would have looked right at her and asked why she was continuing to stand right next to the gun if she was so frightened of it. (Actually, I've done something like that when having conversations with folks while OCing. Strike up a conversation at an art fair or farmers market, get told they would "faint right away" if they were ever to see someone other than a cop with a gun, and several minutes later ask them to look at my hip while reminding them that they have been standing next to one all the time. It's like watching someone turn on a lightbulb with a dimmer switch - thwe light goes on and gets brighter over time.)

    stay safe.
    Agreed! OP encountered a anti that used emotion and fear tactics that clearly did not work. If she was so afraid she would get as far from the her fear as possible. OP you did fine by continuing on like normal and not giving the anti a chance to blow things out of proportion. She wanted a scene and did her Oscar performance to get it, sounds like the staff did just enough to appease her, and not hassle you. Shame they didn't tell to get the XXXX out if she was so scared.

  17. #17
    Regular Member nokie410's Avatar
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    i usually frequent that ace hardware also... but i have yet to open carry because there is a post office in there.. i was not sure if it was legal.. havent had the time to check up on it..

  18. #18
    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Earlier this evening, I was at a Shell station waiting in line to pay for my gas...

    I reached back to grab my wallet, going to count my money, then my hand hit my Hi-point, must have hit it at the right spot, because my magazine fell out of the pistol grip, and hit the floor. There was a older gentleman standing behind me, wearing a Vietnam veteran hat, he reached down and picked up my mag, and handed it to me, to which I said thanks, and locked it back into my pistol.

    Not but a second later, this vet asked me with a straight face; "dat a real gun?"

    After watching my mag fall out by accident, picking it up, he had to have noticed the Hollow-point rounds, and i know he watched me put the mag back in. He seriously asked that question.

    I responded with a straight face, dripping with sarcasm; "No sir, it's a paint ball gun, I can't afford the real thing".

    This guy carried on a conversation with me about how realistic paint ball guns are these days, and how similiar they are to the real things. It was as though this veteran seriously didn't know I was OC'ing a real pistol, and actually didn't pick up my sarcasm.

    Its things like these, that you must become accustomed to when you're OC'ing in public. And you should treat every OC event special-like~

    You did great on your encounter, btw, just keep that up.
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Will.40 View Post
    I wanted to explain to the lady that I was legally carrying the handgun and that I was doing nothing wrong. I know that when I open carry in the future something like that will most probably happen again. Did I do right by not saying anything? I would just like some opinions about how to handle a situation like the one I had today
    I think you did fine. You are under no obligation to explain your lawful behavior. If the time is not right for education (and, based on your description, it doesn't seem like anyone was in a mood to be educated), silence is often your friend.

    Carry on!
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    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    I think you did fine. You are under no obligation to explain your lawful behavior. If the time is not right for education (and, based on your description, it doesn't seem like anyone was in a mood to be educated), silence is often your friend.

    Carry on!
    True, you are under no obligation, but if one of your goals is to promote acceptance of open carry, one possible course of action is this: carry a card or pamphlet summarizing open carry laws (with citations) to hand out to the curious. In this case, I might have said, "Ma'am, I see you look worried. Here's a listing of the applicable laws. You can see that I'm in full compliance with the law, and I'm no threat to you." It probably wouldn't have changed her mind, but it would have removed the mystery.

    That said, it appears no one has posted a card or pamphlet for Kentucky...yet.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

  21. #21
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    Oh, I don't know, I think he should have just turned around and said BOOO!!
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  22. #22
    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    I usually get asked "Is that a real gun?" like I would be carrying around a toy.
    As Bill Engvall would say "Here's your sign"!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Lady is frightened by sight of gun.
    Lady stands there and stares open-mouthed at gun she is frightened by.
    Lady stands right next to gun she is frightened by and has hushed conversation with key-counter guy.
    Lady stands there next to gun she is frightened by and "stares you down" while looking "scared to death".
    Lady stands next to gun she is frightened by and says "'I dont feel safe until that man leaves this store".
    Profit?

    I'm not sure, but I think there is something wrong with that.

    Could it be that the lady continued to stand right next to the thing she was "scared to death" by?

    Wonder if she'd reach down and pet a rattlesnake coiled up right next to her?

    If I were not such a kind, considerate and empathetic person known far and wide as being anything but a curmudgeon with a sarcastic streak a mile wide I would have looked right at her and asked why she was continuing to stand right next to the gun if she was so frightened of it.
    I've been thinking a lot about this lately. We have two different types of these people who are "scared to death": the frightened ninny who calls someone else and stands by worriedly keeping an eye on you in case that gun jumps out of your holster and goes on a rampage (like this one), and then we have the confrontational person who demands to know why you're carrying a gun, what you're afraid of, etc.

    For Person A, like this Ace Hardware example, it's time to turn off your (not-so-inner) sarcastic curmudgeon and turn on a smile. "Hi, how are you today?" with eye contact and a nod. If she continues her frantic worried whispering (which is loud enough for you to plainly hear), ask, "Ma'am, are you okay? Is something wrong?"

    The truly frightened will probably bolt like bunnies at that point, but that's not your fault. You've been as polite and emotionally disarming as you can be. What's important isn't her reaction, but that you've made everyone else in the vicinity aware that you're a Good Guy, not a skulking angry gun nut.

    For Person B, the one who confronts you directly, you also want to keep the polite demeanor, but turn your sarcastic curmudgeon up a notch or two. (This might be difficult for those like Skid and I, where it's always set at "11".)

    For those, you might want to start out with the same smile and polite greeting, but when they demand an answer, get inside their OODA loop. They expect a confrontation, and/or a defensive answer, and anger on your part (because if you weren't an angry offensive anti-social redneck, why would you carry a gun?). So, come back like this: "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question? You're implied that I'm dangerous, and trying to feel "macho" by carrying a gun, and that I'm looking for an excuse to use it. So, why would you confront me if that's what you really think? If I'm so dangerous and angry and looking to shoot someone, why would you do your best to make me angry? I certainly don't want to shoot you or anyone else, and I only carry because I hope to stop violence before it starts. I don't want to get into a fight with anyone even though I *am* armed, so why would you want to start a fight when you're *not* armed? I bet you wouldn't do the same with some gang-banger even if you didn't know he was carrying, or with some big angry looking biker, so I have to think you only think I'm not really all that dangerous after all. Or, maybe you're the one who's trying to feel "macho" by confronting what you think is dangerous."

    None of us know how we're really going to respond, but it does help to think out these common scenarios, and practice our response. We practice shooting on the range; it's good to practice verbal skills in front of the mirror or with friends, too.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 06-24-2012 at 10:10 PM.

  24. #24
    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    You make a very good, and potent point, Craig.

    However, I do wonder, very much so, about why we, as Kentucky citizens, who have a constitutional right, to Carry, and OAG opinions stating no-one may question our legal right to Open Carry; Do we really have to be simple angels 24/7 to people both fearing of us, and confrontational to us, as it seems [to me atleast[ like you're imply just that.

    Don't get me wrong, I try to be nice, and polite when I can, but I OC whenever I step out of my front door, be it in a good, cheerful mood, or in a lousy, bad mood. I know it's good for our communities image, and is good PR to be polite, and smile, and such while carrying, but is it something that must be preached to us, or beaten over our heads?

    Me personally, that old lady, I would have been nice to, would have nodded to her, and wished her a good day with a smile, and if she made it clear she was uncomfortable around me, I would have plainly told her that she didn't have to stand next to me. And that goes for if I'm in a good, or bad mood. Point being, must we all be "polite, and disarming" through-out the entire "encounter", just to try and put effort into making someone dead-set in their ways, feel comfortable about something we have a God(s)-given right to do?

    And, the person who is confrontational? I honestly don't think I could be polite, even sarcastically, to them. Even if in a happy go lucky super happy fun time mood, I'd most likely tell the person to F*** off, and go aggravate someone else; If not that, then straight up tell them "I do -NOT- have to answer, or explain my natural -rights- to you, Please go find someone else to bully, and provoke" then just walk away. There's other places I can buy food, gas, soda, or candy from that are more tolerant of my rights.

    Honestly though, I'd want to encourage people to act in a manner that portrays the Open Carry movement/Community in a good light, but not at the risk of changing how they would react to a situation. I've told a few of my personal friends, who I've helped encourage to OC, that they should act, when OC'ing, as they would if they wasn't carrying, that their sidearm is a deterrent, that should only be used when all else fails.

    Is this a bad thing? To tell, and encourage people to act like themselves, and to be so comfortable with carrying, that their demeanor and attitude is as though they wasn't carrying at all, instead of telling them to be polite, and nice, even sarcastically witty to someone who comes up to you seeking trouble?

    Theres nothing wrong with being realistic, and acting like a human being normally would, is there?

    [Because of the inability to decipher emotions, and tones of voice via text communication, please consider the above as being a friendly conversation with questions, answers, and generalized talking points based on observation from other posters. None of the above is hostile, angry, sarcastic, or provoking, nor meant to illicit such reactions.]
    I'm a proud openly gay open carrier~
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  25. #25
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    It never hurts to be an ambassador. 99% of the time, it's a great thing. Sometimes you just have to cut bait, but don't have to be rude or angry about it when that time comes.

    I'm reminded of 20+ years ago, when I managed a full service restaurant. We were told "the customer is always right", and we taught that to the line staff, but we all knew it wasn't true. Sometimes there's that jerk who just has to be kicked out, because there's no way to make him happy, and continuing to try is going to make the adjoining tables even more unhappy.

    I was very, very good at soothing over misunderstandings and service issues with customers, but every now and then we had that "special" customer who really didn't care how good or bad the food or service were; he just wanted to show out for his guests (if he had any), or the restaurant at large. He just wanted an audience.

    I had a few of those, and the prime complaint was a steak that wasn't cooked to perfection (blowhards always order the most expensive thing on the menu). I was a cook long before I was a manager, and I was one helluva cook (still am). You describe how you want that steak, and I'll get it to you exactly like you order it.

    I mention that, because after one particular blowhard sent a steak back just once and made a huge ruckus and was ******* off the other customers, I cooked it myself. Then I delivered it to the table personally, with the waitress and bus boy standing by. I apologized for the delay, sliced the steak in half and told him that I believed it was cooked perfectly, then the waitress and bus boy snatched up every plate on the table. I told the blowhard that I would take care of the bill, but he was no longer welcome in the restaurant.

    I smiled and was polite while he blustered, and then I leaned in and whispered that police were on their way.

    I actually got a standing ovation from the adjoining tables for that one.

    It's all about knowing who it's important to please, and that the one who's immediately in your face is not necessarily the one you have to satisfy.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 06-25-2012 at 05:51 AM.

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