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Thread: What to expect

  1. #1
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    Hello everyone!

    I'm new to theforum and would like to say that I found very useful information dealing with open carry and concealed carry as well as everyones' views and feelings about carrying a handgun for protection.

    I plan on purchasing my first firearm on Friday. I don't have a sure idea of what I would like to purchase, so I asked my dad what he would recommend. He said "do you want the mothergetting up?" and my reply was "no". He then stated "get a .45, nothing less".



    Anyways, I have told my family and a few friends about me carrying a gun. Strangely, everyone says that I shouldn't carry it OUTSIDE the house. They did agree that having one inside the house was a good idea, but the idea of carrying it outside could lead to potential LEO issues. After further explaining to them about how is "legal" to open carry without a permit, they still felt negative about the idea. When I asked as to why, they replied with the same answer, "because you're black".

    When my friend asked me, "what would you do if the cops decided to open fire on you for no reason?". My first thought was fire back, but then that would land me in more trouble, but then again, if they are trying to kill me and I died, I might as well try. But then I asked her "what are the odds of THAT happening?", her response was "very good since you're black with a weapon". I laughed and said "if I'm not doing anything to anybody, not acting like a fool, the police will have no grounds to do so." She then again responded "you're black, period". .

    At that point, I knew I had to open carry just to prove that I can be a black man, open carrying a handgun with no problems. However I am nervous, to open carry and was wondering if I was the only "black man" on here?

    I understand that when I open carry, I should be dressed appropriately, however, I like to dress the way I feel most comfortable - jeans, sneakers, tee shirt. I have long hair which I either keep braided or slicked back, so I know I won't be picked out as a LEO. Ihave a VERY young looking face (I get carded EVERYWHERE) and do not look threatening whatsoever. I don't believe the "average" citizen would even care, but in your experiences, have you ever came across a poorly dressed OC?



    PS - I'm too young and too old to care about what other people think about me, however I like to look presentable whenever I go out. This post was just to say hello to everyone and get some feedback.

  2. #2
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!!!
    My 2 cents:

    The .45 is not the end all be all cartridge. Nothing wrong with it but there seems to be a lot of myth and legend to the caliber.

    You will get more 'looks' from people, than a white guy. Some police will be more likely to question you. There are still incidents of white's getting unfairly treated by LEO whle carrying, and you're more likely to be then the average white guy. How much so, who knows?

    However, I do not think cops will open fire on you just because you are OC'ing. If you are nervous about it, go to one of the get togethers in your area, it will put you more at ease if you are not the only one OC'ing.

    I am not black, nor do I play a black guy on t.v.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
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    Well, given that I'm half a country away, I'm sure anything I can say unfortunately won't fit into the Virginia mold exactly. But with that said, I'll happily relate a story of mine in this vein...

    When I moved here to Colorado from Texas, the state hadn't changed their policy yet to allow out-of-state training for a CCW, so I had to retake the class to get my CO resident CCW. While I was down that day at the range, there was a black fellow roughly 25 years old shooting a reproduction .45LC Single Action Army. I went over and complimented his revolver, and told him that it wasn't often you saw someone who was black shooting a "cowboy gun" around Denver. He laughed and said that that was true, but that a "cowboy gun is easier to carry like a cowboy and not get funny looks" (this being the nice period of a year or so when open carrying in Denver was still legally protected). He told me that he had gotten into guns about eight years before, when he was carjacked in downtown Denver and shot seven times in the chest, barely surviving, and from that day on swore to never be caught in a position where he couldn't fight back. As a joke, he added that "they shot me with a 9mm... maybe I should be a spokesman for the military to prove that 9mm can't kill anyone!"

    Since he open carried a big, shiny pistol in Denver while being black, he said that he did get periodically stopped by cops, and that he was sure it was harassment for him simply being a black guy. And he said that, of course, it bugged him a lot, and he complained to the chief of police a couple times before realizing that the CoP in Denver didn't (and doesn't still) give a damn about law-abiding citizens being harassed for legally carrying. But, he was resolved to keep doing it until the day he died, saying "I'd rather be tied up by a cop for a hour every single day of my life rather than be bullied into being defenseless, because I tell you, next person that tries to kill me is going to find a hell of a fight."

    So for what it's worth, I'm guessing you, sadly, will catch more flack for it than a white guy with all other factors being equal. But I hope you carry no matter what and help break idiotic stereotypes, because we've got to educate biggots as well as gun-controllers that everyone in America ought to be able to be free and excercise their rights!

  4. #4
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    Springfield Armory has great pistols in the XD line from 9mm to .45. My advice is to go and rent what you think you want and try it out. The range behind Southern Gun Worldrents firearms. I have a Glock G27 which is .40cal and is fine for me but it packs too much recoil for my wife who has an XD9 compensated. 9mm is fine and so is .45cal, what matters most is what you can shoot the best and feel the most comfortable with.

    As for you being black, it is hard for me to say due to me not being black. If you are not comfortable don't do it or take it slow. Keep your situational awareness high and if you do run in to an LEO who questions or stops you, the best thing you can do is move slow and follow orders, then take your complaint up after the confrontation is over.

    Welcome and good luck.

    PS. I work in down town Richmond and have seen men of your race open carrying without any trouble that I could see.

  5. #5
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    First off,welcome to OCDO!

    If you are up to it, I would encourage you to go ahead and open carry. It is a good way to send one of two messages to the public and the police. 1. You cancarry a gun as a black manand not be a criminal. (I thinkthis is just as true for the publics opinion of anyone else who carries a gun openly) 2.Ifa cop doessingle you out because of your race, he shouldget his butt fired to send a message to any others who would do the same thing.

    You will probably get a lot of this, butif you haven't already,I would recommend checking out the Virginia Citizens Defence League. They will be the first to help you if you have problems of any kind with rougeLEOs trying enforce their personal views of gun laws.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    If you ever make the trip to NoVA, let me know. I will gladly met you for a meal or something. Thereare also get-togethers around the different areas that you can attend to start to become more comfortable with carrying.

    I would also suggest learning the related laws. I even have a printout of many of them that I carry with me. I didn't have to overcome race - so I'm not comparing, but I do OC in parksand playgrounds all the time. I have only been approached onced by a police officer and when I showed that I knew the law and my rights, he left me alone. It was a short conversation. There has been a few times police were called, but the person calling was told I was within my legal right to be there.

    Also, learn your privacy rights. When you can and cannot refuse to show ID, what an arrest and terry stop are, and what the police can legally do - your rights to refuse searches a such.

    Let them figure that out, I am a proud Virginia Redneck, born and breed. The police will not know who to harrass.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran kimbercarrier's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard danbus.
    I also live in hampton. If you haven't seen the thread for the december tidewater get together let me be the first to invite you. we are meeting next thursday 12/14/06 at 7:00 pm in hampton or newportnews at a resturant to be determined.
    I carry a kimber ultra carry II in 45 acp, it's small lght and easy to shoot.Superior pawn and gun on mercury blvd has a range that rents guns to help you make your choice.
    Hope to see you thursday.

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    Dan,

    try to come to the Tidewater get together scheduled for 14 Dec and Texas Roadhouse in Hampton I believe (there is a topic on this already here http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/929.html. It will be a great way to pop your OC cherry.

  9. #9
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    DanBus,

    Get your CHP so you can get intot he General Assembly - we need you and everybody else there on Martin Luther King day to lobby our legislators for improvements in gun rights this year.

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much for everyones' responses!!!

    I do plan on attending the tidewater meet and meeting everyone. I love their steaks and service.

    I shall go to the Pawn and Gun shop and try out the goods before making my purchase.

    And yes, CHP is a must.Going to get that ASAP!



    Thanks again!


  11. #11
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    Superior Arms and Pawn on Virginia Beach Blvd also has an amazing selection of guns available to rent at their range. Also, if you go around 12pm-2pm or so on Saturday or Sunday, there are generally several people there that teach now, or have in the past, that can help you out to make sure you are familiar with range safety. Dealing with a gun in a crowded range the first time can be a bit overwhelming, making it easy to do something careless, such as not keeping your gun pointed down range at all times.

    In any case, and at any range with a decent selection of rentals (and the range by Lynnhaven Mall is not one of those), your best bet may be to call in advance and give them an idea of your experience and what types of things you're looking to shoot. They could then have a chance to suggest a good time to show up that would improve their ability to assist you in any way that you need.

  12. #12
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    danbus,

    Welcome! I too live in Hampton and if you want company while open carrying we could meet up at a resturant in town. I've also been looking for someone to go to the range with.

    I was initially intimidated to OC here as well but it's bee nearly a year and I have had zero problems.

    Regarless of how you dress, carrying in a WB holster distinguishes you from the BGs.



    Good Luck

  13. #13
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    Taclead - Yes I would really appreciate that! I am purchasing my handgun on Fri (which happens to be my day off). We could meet up sometime for lunch.

    I went to the Pawn and Gun shop on Merc Blvd and shot at the range. It was my first time shooting a weapon and I was VERY nervous. After squeezing my first shot, everything felt normal and easy. I was firing a Glock 9mm (forgive me if I didn't correctly label the gun). I felt that I should purchase a 9mm as my first handgun, as I felt really comfortable after firing my first shot and the recoil wasn't too bad. Also, getting something bigger than a 9mm is out of my price range.

    In a nut shell it was a awesome experience and I would recommend it to just about anyone.

  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Danbus,
    Welcome aboard! If your experience at Superior P&G was actually your first time shooting a weapon, I'd strongly suggest getting in plenty of range time, preferably with someone who can show you the ropes. If you know of anyone who belongs to the Lafayette Gun Club in York County, you can be sponsored to get a membership there. (and no, you wouldn't be the only black man there by a long shot) They also have regular concealed carry classes that are available to non-members. We can talk about all this at the get together.

    Looking forward to seeing you there. I think this is going to be a great dinner meeting.

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