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Thread: What to say when people complain they are "uncomfortable" because of your gun?

  1. #1
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    What to say when people complain they are "uncomfortable" because of your gun?

    This is a serious question prompted by an interaction I had today with a store clerk who asked me to leave a store and stated that he was doing so because "he was uncomfortable that I was carrying a gun".

    I tried asking him if and why he was frightened, to which he responded "guns kill people". My noting that yes but a lot of things can kill people didn't seem to help him calm down.

    So I am curious what people say to try and help such people, who seem genuinely, though irrationally, frightened?

    Peter

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    I would just tell them that I cannot make them feel anything. Its an emotion stirred by themselves.

    Its they who have a problem.

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    Regular Member rightwinglibertarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post

    Its they who have a problem.
    Quite right and they will continue to have a problem unless someone explains things to them. I'm probably as hardline and right-wing as you can get but I have to admit if we have a cause and it's important to us then if possible take the time to show ourselves as willing to communicate.

    I should state this is average Joe I'm talking about. Police, security etc have no excuse as they have had at least basic training.

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    Regular Member Gallowmere's Avatar
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    My response would probably be along the lines of "this gun has never killed anyone, and as of right now, it's perfectly safe in it's holster, and will continue not killing anyone, so long as I am not threatened with severe bodily harm." Since he is a store clerk, I would ask if he would prefer another gun not be there, if and when someone with malicious intent decided to come in and start pointing their gun at everyone, including he and myself. I would also ask if he is taken by the same discomfort when an armed police officer enters his store. If he says no, I would probably be a dick, and take the time to point out that most police officers spend less time practicing with their firearms than I do, and that if either of us were to kill him, the cop would probably get away with it, whereas I'd likely have a death sentence to look forward to.

    If at that point, he's still unwilling to even harbor a thought that isn't "zomfgscarything", it's time for me to leave. Some people just can't be helped.
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    Ignore them. Life is too short to try to cure all the world's ills. If they hold power over you, as trespass, then avoid them, shun them.

    Before my state became CC, a congregant told me that she didn't want me carrying a gun, period, and least around her. I don't believe that we've spoken since except during Communion service - when I CCW as I serve the common cup.

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    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterNSteinmetz View Post
    So I am curious what people say to try and help such people, who seem genuinely, though irrationally, frightened?

    Peter
    Welcome to OCDO and greetings from sunny, dry Arizona, PeterNSteinmetz!

    I've responded with the following (local TV interview, even though the following didn't make it into the broadcast):
    "The gun on my hip is just like my other tools: it is nothing more than an extension of myself, and as such, is completely harmless to any and all Law-Abiding Citizens in the area."

    If they are IRRATIONALLY afraid of an inanimate object:
    "Would you like me to look up a good shrink to speak with you?"
    Last edited by Rusty Young Man; 04-20-2014 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Clarification
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Really? Well, what about cops? They have guns too.
    "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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    Factual:
    "Do you feel uncomfortable climbing a ladder or going up steps? Accidental falls kill more people than people with guns do."

    Or the snippy:
    "You're uncomfortable not because of the gun, but because your panties are in a twist."

    Or the creepy:
    "Well, I'm uncomfortable because my thong is riding up."

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    Regular Member Have Gun - Will Carry's Avatar
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    Simple - I just ask them if they drove a car to work today, then say, ""You do realize that cars kill more people than guns, don't you? Why aren't you afraid of cars too, then?" (Of course there are variations of that argument - if they don't drive, then ask if they took public transportation or crossed a street - either way, they should still be a'feared o' them thar deadly motor vehicles!)

    And if the person gives you the old line about "But guns are designed to kill - cars aren't!", then they just fell into their own logical trap. My reply would be, "Really? Then you're more concerned about a product which you say is designed to kill, but kills fewer people than the product which isn't designed to kill - but resides in nearly every garage in the United States, and is driven hundreds of thousands of miles every single day? How does that make any sense?"

    Then just walk away shaking your head as they sputter in disbelief at their own total failure of logic...
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    How about saying this:

    I've been background checked by several private and federal agencies.
    I've taken gun courses.
    I practice more than any police or federal agent.
    Can you say the same about that baggy pants fellow looking at the wine selection?

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    I guess I don't have any "rehearsed" responses but off the top of my head, if I was caught off-guard, I'd probably ask for the store owner's name and contact information so that I could report the fact that I was asked to leave while giving the store business and also to discuss the matter with someone of higher authority.
    Advocate freedom please

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I can only recall a few people who ever ever said that they were afraid of me and/or my sidearm... something akin to, "guns scare me". One was from a liberal who was from a north central state and was quite opinionated about a number of things. She was a cashier at a Home Depot. And one was a young girl exiting a Barnes and Noble as I entered. In such cases, I have a few replies in my battery ready to use should the need arise.

    "You must really go bonkers when a gaggle of police suddenly appears."
    "You shouldn't be worried. It's not going anywhere unless it needs to."
    "Why?"

    There are others but these come to mind right away.

    Now if a store clerk asked me to leave because of my sidearm, I wouldn't abide. It's my understanding that only the owner or someone with authority can ask you to leave (could be wrong with this). What I may likely do is to ask to speak with the manager and lodge a complaint with that individual over the way I was treated.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 04-21-2014 at 10:25 PM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Another welcome to OCDO.

    In response to your question - I usually ask what I am doing that makes them afraid. 99.99% of the time I get told that it's nothing that I am doing but that they are just afraid of the gun. I then tell them that the gun is just like (look around for a common tool) <points to that> and cannot do anything until and unless someone picks it up and uses it. I follow that right away with a statement that I'm carrying the tool in case someone tries to hurt or kill me, not to do anything with it unless that happens.

    I've stood talking to a blue-haired old lady who was telling my buddy how afraid of guns she was (yes, even guns being hauled around by cops) for over half an hour - and then pointed out to her that both of us were wearing guns and she hadn't acted afraid while talking to us. We got a sheepish smile and told that it was because we were such gentlemen. *blush* *kicks toe in dust*

    About that other 0.01% of the time? Well, the guy said that the mere presence of the gun made him "more afaid than he had ever been in his life". And he was an Iraq War vet - he said so often and proudly. Oh, wait! He said he was "more afraid than he had ever been in his life" when I pointed at him. Guess it was not the gun but the finger.

    stay safe.
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    OP seems to be gone...

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    "And I'm guessing you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling. So why don't we just ignore each other until we both go away?" - Mal Reynolds

    But seriously, I'd leave, while politely asking the clerk if his uncomfortableness and request to leave also works on bad guys carrying guns, or just the nice guys carrying guns. I wouldn't bother pausing to hear his "um."
    Last edited by MAC702; 04-21-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    The way things are going in this country - I'm uncomfortable when cops are present.
    In some cases, there is a lot of truth in this.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Reminds me of something funny that happened last night. On my way home from Easter dinner I stopped to get gas. When I went in to pay (Back story - I live in a small town in South Dakota and everyone knows I open carry) and this guy I've never seen before starts getting all jittery so I watch him for about 5 seconds and he jolts out the door like I was going to rob the place. The two people working started laughing and we joked about it for a minute. I headed home and put my pistol away and walked to the local grocery store (in a school zone). I walked in and the same guy from the gas station was checking out at that store. He starts getting nervous again and was whispering to the cashier telling her I had a gun and to watch out.

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    thanks for the suggestions/more info

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the welcomes and the ideas. I'm still here, though was a bit busy with Easter and work today.

    I had ended up following the suggestion of asking the management, because this was in a shop where I've been many times over the last year with my .45 1911 while organizing an event we were holding there every month. It was thus particularly surprising that this was suddenly an issue. Unfortunately management decided to let this part-time person make these kinds of decisions when they were running the shop.

    That aside, I particularly like the idea of asking what it is that I am doing that is frightening. Seems like a good way to introduce the idea that the gun is just a tool, to protect myself and people near me if needed, and perhaps introducing levels of training.

    Do most people here feel it is sort of obnoxious for someone to ask them to disarm under these circumstances?

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    Any business that would request me to remove my firearm, I would discontinue spending my money at that business.
    Nothing better than a Glock.........except maybe another Glock!

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    "Really? That's interesting, I have this gun only to protect myself from criminals that wish to do me harm. It is made using the latest technologies that make it impossible for it to 'just go off', it is also secured in a retention holster that ensures no one can just take it. So the only people that should feel nervous, are those people that seek to cause me harm. Are you feeling nervous because you seek to cause me harm?"

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    I had someone say my gun made them uncomfortable a couple years ago; I just said "Sounds like a personal problem to me". These libtards have their minds set in concrete and I'm going to waste my time on them.

    I really am getting crotchety in my old age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Ignore them. Life is too short to try to cure all the world's ills. If they hold power over you, as trespass, then avoid them, shun them.

    Before my state became CC, a congregant told me that she didn't want me carrying a gun, period, and least around her. I don't believe that we've spoken since except during Communion service - when I CCW as I serve the common cup.

    Happy Easter.
    Did you ask the congregant if he preferred to be bludgeoned to death? Need to learn the teachings of Jesus this congregant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterNSteinmetz View Post
    Do most people here feel it is sort of obnoxious for someone to ask them to disarm under these circumstances?
    Short answer.....Yes.
    My Sweet Baboo and I spend a good deal of hard earned cash at a local grocery store owned by a Russian family. The owner got a complaint form another customer and she approached us.
    She said, "Can I speak with you?" "Sure" we replied. "I had a customer complain about your gun, what would you do if I asked you not to bring it here?"...we replied together" We would not shop here."....."No!" she exclaimed " Don't do that, I always feel safer when you are here". We said thank you, gave her a Washington gun rights brochure and we shop there regularly. Always a smile from the Staff as we enter.
    I never answer a question anymore, I just counter with another question. My old reply of "You must be a special kind of stupid" is no longer being used.
    "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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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I found trying to convince someone with their head buried in a place with no light to be a waste of time. I would have asked to speak to the store manager.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterNSteinmetz View Post
    Hi All,

    Thanks for the welcomes and the ideas. I'm still here, though was a bit busy with Easter and work today.

    I had ended up following the suggestion of asking the management, because this was in a shop where I've been many times over the last year with my .45 1911 while organizing an event we were holding there every month. It was thus particularly surprising that this was suddenly an issue. Unfortunately management decided to let this part-time person make these kinds of decisions when they were running the shop.

    That aside, I particularly like the idea of asking what it is that I am doing that is frightening. Seems like a good way to introduce the idea that the gun is just a tool, to protect myself and people near me if needed, and perhaps introducing levels of training.

    Do most people here feel it is sort of obnoxious for someone to ask them to disarm under these circumstances?
    You did the correct thing, now it is up to you to take your money to a gun friendly store.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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