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Thread: Rhinlander St. Patrick's Day Parade Open Carry walkabout

  1. #1
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    Rhinelander St. Patrick's Day Parade Open Carry walkabout

    Wife went to see her Dad so, I took our GSD to town. Was not aware of parade and did not leave home planning to attend. Took my dog to Foster and Smith's where I sported my yellow plastic banana in my OWB Multiholster Hipster. Also, had two loaded mags weak side.No more than got in the door and the guy cashier asked "is that a banana?" To which I replied "Yes!". He then asked "if it was a training aid", to which I responded, "Yes, but not for the dog". F & S has a no gun sign, and is the only no gun establishment I frequent. There just happened to be a big crowd checking out and I noticed one guy my age with a big grin giving me a thumbs up. Got our treats, a few pets (the dog, not me) and checked out. Guy at cash register must have figured it out as he proceeded to say good for you, I'm glad people carry, etc.

    I've talked to the manager several times, she was not there today. Always defers to its corporate policy, not mine. Told the cashier I was buying my $100.00 worth of dog food at Pawz and Claws across town since they don't have a silly no firearm policy. He didn't seem to be too bothered by it. Went out to car and replaced banana with a Sig 226 SAO. Ironically, the yellow banana gets way more comments than the black scary firearm. Not sure about notice, but I suspect more notice as well, tho people might notice the firearm and be hesitant to comment, I suppose?

    Went to P&C while carrying, again with the dog. Bought two bags of no grain anti allergy dog food and left with no issues, except a Ben Franklin lighter.

    Drove a couple of blocks to Mel's Trading Post and noticed the road was blocked off. Went in looking for a hard sided rifle case and some cleaning supplies. Asked why road was closed and informed St. P parade, March 12th, and started in about an hour. So, thought ok, we have time to walk a couple of laps around the downtown area. About 4 blocks, I guess. Police station, fire station and Catholic school at the north end, opposite from me. Walked around 4-5 times until parade started. Then moved on and off slowly as the crowd was big enough that you had to wait and weave around a little. Looked to be heavy on 4x4 and beer floats.

    Had conversation/slash dog petting episodes with 75-100 people. Four people mentioned my firearm, tho one was the same guy with a big lens camera, so maybe I will get in the paper. Additionally, I had three people ask me if I was a police officer, and two people thank me for my service. I immediately respond that I am in no way connected with any police department. I noticed two of the Rhinlander City Police officers walking the same beat in opposite directions and passed me several times while walking and standing. Made eye contact once or twice, but neither showed me any additional response either way, nor did either talk to me. The guy with the camera caught me the second time as the parade was getting over and wanted to discuss how he appreciated me being there and how I would defend people if there had been a terrorist attack during the parade. I politely told him I was responsible for my own safety, as was he, and he again said but you would jump in and protect people, right? (My first response will be to get myself and my party to safety, after that we'll see what I'm willing to do. I hope it never comes to that.) didn't really go there.

    As I was heading back to my car I ran into three young guys drinking and smoking cigars. The one guy, who seemed to be the most inebriated was trying to tell the other two guys about what "he had heard" about firearms and open carry, which I thought was kind of funny as here was a guy who was ACTUALLY open carrying who seemed like he might know a thing or two about it. But, they seemed to be more interested in telling than asking, plus the one guy kept kind of working his way around to my strong side, I think to get a better look at my firearm? Anyway, it kind of made me nervous as they seemed pretty well lubricated, and I was ready to go anyway. So, I said have a nice day and went back to my car.

    Dog did great, there were about 10 other dogs there and one super cute 3 month old GS puppy. At one point while standing I put her off leash stay and stepped back 10 feet to the buildings. Of, course the next few floats had dogs in them. She stayed and looked at me, but just watched intently. I had a fair crowed around me and I noticed that they did not notice the dog until after I backed up, when they did they all kind of gave her a little more space until she had about 8 feet on either side of her. I got a few looks to see who she belonged to. She did well and made me proud! Good with dogs up to about 6 feet, then it's who knows what? Sometimes barking on back legs, sometimes tail wagging. I was kind of wondering if I was going to have to run out into the street after her, but she stayed on her spot for a good 15 minutes.

    All in all, a good outing. No screaming mothers, fleeing children, or fainting horses. No negative encounters. All conversation was either neutral or positive. A good day in my book.
    Last edited by Wstar425; 03-15-2016 at 01:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member opusd2's Avatar
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    I think it's great that you had such a good experience. I'm in Rhinelander a lot, and have never had any issues either.
    I aim to misbehave

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by opusd2 View Post
    I think it's great that you had such a good experience. I'm in Rhinelander a lot, and have never had any issues either.
    I lived in Rhinelander and McNaughton for 25 years, moved away for 8 years and now back in Tomahawk. We go to church in Rhinelander, plus go there a couple of times a month. I've open carried pretty much all around town. My interest was the Catholic School up on the north end of Brown Street. The folks at Mel's tell me they are within the 1000 ft zone from the school, tho I have not measured. Four blocks, maybe three? I have walked my dog around the downtown area a few times, tho I usually turn around a block from the school, police station and fire dept. during school hours. I've never been bothered.

    Our church is in the beginning stages of setting up a security team with the emphasis on health and weather issues, but also covering anything disturbance related. We have 6-8 people that CC every week, maybe a few that I am not aware of. My wife and I go to River View Restaurant most every Sunday after church for brunch, OC there. A few others from our church are there, see me OC, and I would assume realize I was carrying in church, but just lost the sport coat.

    It has really been a non issue. The four negative contacts I've had all happened over two years ago. I think people are just becoming more aware that it is legal. If I come home and no one talks to me, I consider that a success, although I certainly do not mind talking to people and I will talk guns with people as long as they want, as long as they are civil and genuinely interested. Drives my wife crazy.

    Here is a link to a church in Rice Lake, WI that apparently has embraced the idea of OC. I'm not quite sure our church is ready for that, tho I personally would not have an issue with it. I think it might somewhat distract from the message we are trying to present, but, who knows?

    gunwatch.blogspot.com/2015/12/wi-open-carry-at-immanuel-baptist-church.html
    Last edited by Wstar425; 03-21-2016 at 01:32 PM.

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