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Thread: Who notices when you OC?

  1. #1
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    Who notices when you OC?

    Just wondering if any of you have noticed any trends among the people who actually notice you OC. For me it seems that it is mostly little kids (8 and under) who tend to notice my OC. My personal theory is that they do so because their eye level is closer to my belt, where the pistol is. I have OC'ed with large groups of people before, and had nobody notice until a little 8 year old pointed it out to them. Does this happen to you?

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Pretty much. Most people have a situational awareness of an upside down turtle.
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    Regular Member MamaLiberty's Avatar
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    I've been carrying openly for about seven years here. Some people mentioned it in the beginning, usually to ask me what kind of gun it was. I also got comments occasionally when I carried in other towns, especially across the state line in South Dakota. Only a few of those encounters were in any way negative, and none were with police.

    The last few years I've hardly been aware of anyone who noticed, though I'm sure some still do. They just aren't worried about it.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Carrying a "purdy gun"
    does get it noticed moreso than most folks' carry pieces.

    Mostly I get comments about "nice gun" and "hardly ever see a revolver any more" - except for the folks who want to know if it's a S&W Model 29, the most powerful handgun in the world (except for the 88 Magnum http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew52P7MupN4 )

    stay safe.
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  5. #5
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Carrying a "purdy gun"
    does get it noticed moreso than most folks' carry pieces.

    Mostly I get comments about "nice gun" and "hardly ever see a revolver any more" - except for the folks who want to know if it's a S&W Model 29, the most powerful handgun in the world (except for the 88 Magnum http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew52P7MupN4 )

    stay safe.
    Nice grips, and I carry two revolvers. I don't get much comments, though a waitress did ask me if I was part of some kind of movie being shot. I told no I was to ugly for the movies. Who shoots a movie in the middle of nowhere, NC anyway?
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    I've had one kid notice while standing in line at McDonalds, his dad chatted with me for a minute then realized I wasn't law enforcement and suddenly turned a bit introverted, as if I suddenly became a danger. Most of the other people who notice are off-duty cops who ask me if I work somewhere, then when I say no we have a little pro-gun chat and go on our ways. I've only had one negative encounter where an over zealous claims loss person at Wal-Mart got in my face saying it was illegal...got that cleared up with the manager the next day though.

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    Kids notice things that adults don't. Not sure why, and I don't think the fact that kids are more at eye-level with an open carried firearm is the reason. When my kids were little, they would notice when I put a new box up on top of the frige. Nowhere near their eye level. Hoping it was a box of cookies I guess.

    Mostly, people are oblivious to open carriers, which doesn't say much about their situational awareness.

    As far as I can recall, I've been "noticed" open carrying three times in the last 12 years to the extent that the "notice" prompted the individual to say something to me. One was a woman in the now closed Fudruckers in Annandale. I used the event as a teaching opportunity and she went away satisfied, as far as I know. The second incident was in a Home Depot where one of their employees or contractors approached me with a "survey" (meaning a sales attempt). She noticed my visible handgun and asked my occupation. I replied, "business consultant". She said, "Really? I was wondering because your thang was hanging out." Well, my "thang" does that sometimes, I guess. I gave her a little briefing on open carry and she went away happy (but without a sale).

    The third event was much more problematic. In January of 2007, I was open carrying (fully in compliance with 18.2-308 as it existed at the time) at Tony's Pizza in Manassas along with 6 others. A self described retired Marine noticed us, and exchanged some hostile words with several of our party. He finished his dinner, and called 911 from the parking lot. I listened to the 911 recording (FOIA'd days after the event) and came to the personal conclusion that he was trying to get police to respond with maximum force. I think the current term for what he was trying to do is "swatting". About 6 Manassas and Manassas Park officers responded. Most didn't know the law regarding concealed and open carry. Two of the officers were aggressive and behaved in a grossly unprofessional manner. The rest were merely unprofessional, doing nothing to restrain their more aggressive and misbehaving colleagues. One officer cursed at me personally several times. Cops bullied the owner of Tony's into asking us to leave, which we did.

    In addition to the 911 recording, the FOIA brought to light emails and radio/text traffic among the responding officers. Some of it contained additional profanity and derogatory commentary, so much so that the city of Manassas apparently had to briefly disable the bad language content filter on their internal email system in order to respond to the FIOA.

    Several of us wrote about the incident on OCDO and to VCDL. I think I can claim credit for naming us the "Tony's 7". Its been long enough ago that its hard to find anything about the Tony's incident in OCDO archives, or anywhere else, but one post is here: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...onys-7-3-23-07

    About 400 open carriers showed up at the next Manassas city council meeting. Two of the seven (myself included) filed formal complaints. I was never contacted or interviewed by police regarding my formal complaint. The chief's official response ignored the formal complainants and was addressed to VCDL's Philip Van Cleve. I simply got a copy of it in the mail. In that response, the police chief pretty much completely white-washed the conduct of his officers during the incident. A smaller group of about 200 open carriers attended another city council meeting to protest the chief's white-wash. Nothing much happened after that, at least not officially. The good news is I haven't heard of any subsequent incident in the last 6 years where open carriers have been harassed in Manassas. Can't complain about that result.

    So, in short, I've had 2 innocuous and positive events where I've been "noticed" open carrying and one that was more stressful, but probably good in the end.

    I would add that I believe open carry is very important. While the decision to open or conceal carry is a personal one, I believe gun owners should, from time to time, make a point of open carrying just because we can, and while we still can. A right we're afraid to exercise because some believe it's not good tactically or because it might make people uncomfortable is a right that has been LOST. I'm not going quietly into the night and allowing the loss of any more if my rights!!

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    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    I would add that I believe open carry is very important. While the decision to open or conceal carry is a personal one, I believe gun owners should, from time to time, make a point of open carrying just because we can, and while we still can. A right we're afraid to exercise because some believe it's not good tactically or because it might make people uncomfortable is a right that has been LOST. I'm not going quietly into the night and allowing the loss of any more if my rights!!

    Good point and well said...... +1

  9. #9
    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    I would agree with Kids being the first to notice.

    Adults fall into two or three response types.

    - scared rabbits - the look of OMG and a quick retreat while trying to appear as small as possible.
    - The flash of anger, which breaks down into the advance and challenge or the "let me find someone to complain to about this"
    - the "That's cool/interesting" type who look not just at the gun but then at the person carrying the gun and assuming you don't look like you want to kill someone engage you in a conversation exploring either their curiosity or their own interest in guns.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Was wearing the purdy gun while standing outside digesting and continuing the discussions from inside at the end of the most recent OC Dinner http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...9-2013-at-7-pm .

    Being a group of about 7 guys & gals of varying ages, all OCing, we managed to get only three comments in over 45 minutes: thank you for exercising your 2A rights, I have a CHP and sometimes carry, and something from some droopy-drawers kid about it being realyl safe around there at the moment. We encouraged #1 to do the same. We chose not to ask #2 how he knew when he would not need his gun, and gave him some basic firearms laws in Va info. Most of us could not translate what #3 said into a language we were familiar with (although the consensus was he was speaking some variant of English) and discussing him and his pants led the conversation to stories of security and bail enforcement work in the past.

    I think we got one drive-by stink-eye.

    So much for situational awareness of the average late-evening shopper or diner.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Nice grips, and I carry two revolvers. I don't get much comments, though a waitress did ask me if I was part of some kind of movie being shot. I told no I was to ugly for the movies. Who shoots a movie in the middle of nowhere, NC anyway?
    Thank you.

    Custom mammoth ivory from when the poker game went my way. It is prettier than the clear elephant ivory grips (from a different poker game) which sometimes get me asked if they are pearl handled grips. (If Georgie Patton did not say it about pearl handled guns, he should have. )

    Where/how do you carry two? My mind is trying to avois seeing you with a buscadero rig tied down on both legs.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 04-10-2013 at 07:23 AM.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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  12. #12
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golddigger14s View Post
    Pretty much. Most people have a situational awareness of an upside down turtle.
    I don't care who you are, that right there is funny.

    As to the OP.
    I notice(d) that I go through belts more frequently.
    I notice(d) that I need a belt just a wee bit longer than the last one .
    I notice(d) that I need to do a better job of keeping gun oil off the parts that rub against my shirt.....dear wifeis not happy about cleaning those shirts.
    I notice(d) that I need to stop noticing and just get over it......except the shirt thing. Happy wife, happy life.

    As far as other folks noticing, I have not noticed them not noticing, or noticing for that matter. Maybe it's the plain ole, nothing special, looks like every other semi-auto, gun. If I get me a fancy citified gun maybe folks will notice.
    "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

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    I actually think that more people do notice, but only a few are inclined to say anything. I was at a local Foodland with a friend of mine getting some drinks and he said while I was standing in line I got 10+ people trying to not stare at my hip, but no one said anything. Sometime if your out with a buddy get them to watch those around you and see if they notice people that notice your gun. You might be surprised at how many do notice, but just don't care.

  14. #14
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Thank you.

    Custom mammoth ivory from when the poker game went my way. It is prettier than the clear elephant ivory grips (from a different poker game) which sometimes get me asked if they are pearl handled grips. (If Georgie Patton did not say it about pearl handled guns, he should have. )

    Where/how do you carry two? My mind is trying to avois seeing you with a buscadero rig tied down on both legs.

    stay safe.
    I have pictures up in the What do you carry thread. The guns are SA revolvers, but they are in high ride holsters, both are 10 cant one crossdraw one strong side. Though one holster has a leather hammer tie down the other a more conventional snap. I wear the strong side at three o'clock, and the crossdraw at about 10 o'clock. I almost always have my 51 cartridge conversion on me, but I had to wear another one in percussion due to my SO taking the DA action snub I used to carry as a bug.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/at...0&d=1364073173
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/at...1&d=1364074215
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/at...0&d=1365532784
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    Re: Who notices when you OC?

    Quote Originally Posted by MamaLiberty View Post
    I've been carrying openly for about seven years here. Some people mentioned it in the beginning, usually to ask me what kind of gun it was. I also got comments occasionally when I carried in other towns, especially across the state line in South Dakota. Only a few of those encounters were in any way negative, and none were with police.

    The last few years I've hardly been aware of anyone who noticed, though I'm sure some still do. They just aren't worried about it.
    Mama, im the same way, i have been carring for 10 years, in those 10 years 7 of them has been for OC.... I do notice the looks, they usually come from, (how to I say it without coming across racest) the African American community around me in Columbus Ga.

    It bothers me absolutely Nome though.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2

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    Regular Member ron73440's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I have pictures up in the What do you carry thread. The guns are SA revolvers, but they are in high ride holsters, both are 10 cant one crossdraw one strong side. Though one holster has a leather hammer tie down the other a more conventional snap. I wear the strong side at three o'clock, and the crossdraw at about 10 o'clock. I almost always have my 51 cartridge conversion on me, but I had to wear another one in percussion due to my SO taking the DA action snub I used to carry as a bug.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/at...0&d=1364073173
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/at...1&d=1364074215
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/at...0&d=1365532784
    I was meaning to tell you this in the other thread, but forgot (damn early alzheimers), that is a sweet setup.
    What I told my wife when she said my steel Baby Eagle .45 was heavy, "Heavy is good, heavy is reliable, if it doesn't work you could always hit him with it."-Boris the Blade

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  17. #17
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron73440 View Post
    I was meaning to tell you this in the other thread, but forgot (damn early alzheimers), that is a sweet setup.
    Thanks, no doubt I get noticed, but no bad reactions. That is just how accepted open carry is in NC.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
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    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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    Usually people don't...although coincidentally in the last two weeks, two different people noticeably recognized my firearm. One person was another OC'er, which I would certainly expect. The other was this old man, whom I caught out of the corner of my eye, who did a double-take when he saw my gun. I think he may have even stopped in his tracks. I reckon he probably hasn't shot a gun in his life and is fearful of that which he doesn't understand.

  19. #19
    Regular Member DocSkunk's Avatar
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    I have been OC for a few years, it has been my experience kids notice first, next come fellow gun owners, and lastly the curious. I personally haven't noticed people shying away from me, just ask questions. Simple informative answers sets things straight and life moves on. Most people ask me what i carry when i have my rossi 461 .357, not man people ask about my glock, guess they think im a off duty LEO(i am not a LEO.)

  20. #20
    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    I've kind of noticed that how I'm perceived and noticed depends on WHERE I am. In a place with country people, and true locals, nothing is said, or really cared about. In a McDonalds, in the vicinity of Military, and touristy places, I get some looks. Colorado Springs is the easiest place I've carried. No one cared, and people walked up to me like I was their friend. And few even mention the gun.
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    Hard to believe, but essentially no one notices. This wasn't the case when I first began OCing. Back then, I carried a 1911 in a tan Bianchi holster. Everyone noticed! Then, I became invisible.

    The secret is to carry a black handgun in a black holster and on a black belt. I typically wear jeans and a T-shirt or button up shirt. As one said, most people are SO unaware.

    My theory is two fold: A) The all black makes it less visable. B) A black gun that looks somewhat like a LEO would carry, makes the ones who might see it, think I must be LE. I can't know what they are thinking, but that is my guess.

    Perhaps one's haircut also plays a part. Back in my 20's, everyone thought I was a narc! So overall appearance may figure in. Lastly, how you carry yourself and how you act is a huge factor. I have acted so long that I always feel the gun belongs on me and I belong to the gun. That confidence is critical. I make eye contact, smile and I behave friendly and helpful as it is my nature.

    I often help people in accidents and broken down vehicles so much that almost all LE knows me and they know I'm a private detective. I even went on a 12 hour ride along. I only had a problem with one cop, but he was soon fired!

    Try these tips and let me know how they work for you. Also know that I am in no way suggesting one should dress like LE. Most don't wear jeans anyway! But, if someone thinks I'm a good guy with a gun, then I'm fine with that!

  22. #22
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by open4years View Post
    Hard to believe, but essentially no one notices. This wasn't the case when I first began OCing. Back then, I carried a 1911 in a tan Bianchi holster. Everyone noticed! Then, I became invisible.

    The secret is to carry a black handgun in a black holster and on a black belt. I typically wear jeans and a T-shirt or button up shirt. As one said, most people are SO unaware.

    My theory is two fold: A) The all black makes it less visable. B) A black gun that looks somewhat like a LEO would carry, makes the ones who might see it, think I must be LE. I can't know what they are thinking, but that is my guess.

    Perhaps one's haircut also plays a part. Back in my 20's, everyone thought I was a narc! So overall appearance may figure in. Lastly, how you carry yourself and how you act is a huge factor. I have acted so long that I always feel the gun belongs on me and I belong to the gun. That confidence is critical. I make eye contact, smile and I behave friendly and helpful as it is my nature.

    I often help people in accidents and broken down vehicles so much that almost all LE knows me and they know I'm a private detective. I even went on a 12 hour ride along. I only had a problem with one cop, but he was soon fired!

    Try these tips and let me know how they work for you. Also know that I am in no way suggesting one should dress like LE. Most don't wear jeans anyway! But, if someone thinks I'm a good guy with a gun, then I'm fine with that!
    Pffft on the black. I carry not fancy guns but not black. One has a silver grip frame, the other polished brass, both with highly polished wood grips. The last thing I want is to look like a LEO. Helll I didn't want to look like a LEO when I was a LEO. For a few years I was one of the few uniformed officers with a full beard, helped to be the boss though. Plus on hot days the last thing I wear is black, so even a black gun sticks out with a lightly colored shirt.

    One of my future projects is a white canvas gun belt with natural leather holster and accessories for summer wear.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 05-03-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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  23. #23
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    People notice. I tend to be a fast walker so when my nephew was working with me and was with me most of the day on my various travels, but not necessarily by my side often behind me, he would point out all the people who waited until I passed who thought they were being discreet in looking.
    Last edited by sudden valley gunner; 05-09-2013 at 09:23 AM.
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  24. #24
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    Kids tend to see things we don't because they haven't built up a lot of filters that adults have. An adult generally has no value to gain from seeing every single detail in every single place he visited since we've seen those details thousands of times in our lives, so his mind kind of blocks out all but the most pertinent information. Kids don't have that, everything is still new to them. It's how guys can open a fridge full of 567 pounds of food and ask his wife "Is there anything to eat", for example.

    Around my parts I think I stand out quite a bit to begin with, being tall and sporting a white Stetson when out in public, which in and of itself draws attention in central Ohio where such attire is generally not worn. Throw in a stainless S&W 66-2, or my hand made cowboy rig for my Blackhawk (.45 LC) and I guess to most people I look like the "good guy cowboy" they remember from movies. The presentation, in other words, helps with the perception. I get more reserved or quiet stares when I carry a 1911 in a black holster and am not wearing the Stetson. Guess it's about setting the right light to have oneself seen in.

    I get a fair amount of attention that is positive, most that is neutral, and very little that is negative. Since motorcycle season started back up (figure, 3-4 weeks ago) I've had two very positive stop light encounters, where I was thanked for open carrying (I didn't bother to inform them that open carry on a motorcycle is actually considered concealed carry by Ohio law, no need to be pedantic), and one drive by encounter where two college aged girls rolled down the drivers side window, passed me and gave me a thumbs up and "Way to go!". Every place in my town that I even occasionally frequent are used to seeing me and very accepting, and some places like BP down the road will have the clerks asking me what I'm carrying that day. These encounters seem to be occurring more and more with the Millennial generation types, which is hopeful to me, and the rest of the good encounters are generally with GenX adults, though that may just be a function of the demographics where I live. What's nice is that I've been doing a LOT of education over the last year because I do get so noticed, which is always a net positive in my eyes.

    Had one semi-duh encounter in Home Depot a few weeks back, a clerk, middle aged portly woman with a very short haircut and a very hard, square face, came up out of nowhere and said "Let me see your permit!" in a very commanding and nearly belligerent tone. I asked what she was referring to, she pointed to my S&W, said "You need a permit to carry that, let me see it!", I informed her that open carry did not require any permit in the state of Ohio, and that further I was under no obligation to show her any papers or "permits" as she was not an LEO detaining me. She persisted that her manager instructed her to come and demand my permit from me, and I asked her to fetch her manager and we'd discuss it together. She said "Um, no" and stormed off. Doubt she even spoke to her manager. My only real bad encounter was with a very old, aged former hippy (you could easily tell by how he was dressed and groomed), but at the end of it all he just snorted and left.

    Other than that though, it is true that many, many people have about as much knowledge that I'm open carrying as they do about nuclear physics. Some days I feel like I could hang my sidearm on a chain around my neck and cover it in blinking blue LED's and nobody would notice. Fortunately those days are becoming fewer and fewer, in a positive way.
    Last edited by GhostOfJefferson; 05-09-2013 at 10:07 AM.
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  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostOfJefferson View Post
    Other than that though, it is true that many, many people have about as much knowledge that I'm open carrying as they do about nuclear physics. Some days I feel like I could hang my sidearm on a chain around my neck and cover it in blinking blue LED's and nobody would notice. Fortunately those days are becoming fewer and fewer, in a positive way.
    This is Truth!! Ghost nailed this one for me. I conduct my daily parade with a smile on my face and a song in my heart and almost no one sees my weapon. I try to make eye contact with everyone I meet. Most people will not and keep the head down and eyes on the ground.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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