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Thread: My first and last open carry story

  1. #1
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    Until I stumbled across this site a couple of weeks ago, I promised myself that I would never open carry again. Based on the motivation from reading hundreds of posts of others' opinions, experiences, and reasoning, I've done a 180. Below is a story of something that happened to me last April at the Wendy's on 301/I-95 (exit 104?).

    Okay, I'm in Virginia and legally carrying my handgun. I was picking my son up from Va Beach and returning to Maryland. I decided to stop at a Wendy's along the way home for a burger and since I needed to wake up a bit before continuing the drive home, I decided to go in and sit down to eat. I'm standing in line waiting for our food and in the corner of my eye, I notice this guy to my right looking me up and down. Then I hear, "Hey, are you a cop?" Not knowing if the guy was talking to me, I turned my head in his direction and said, "What?" Again, this time a bit agitated, he asked "I said are you a cop?" I replied simply, "No" and turned my attention back to the wait for my burger. Then, in a much louder voice, he asks, "Then what's with the gun?" Not fully catching on right away, I look at him sideways and ask, "What did you say?" Even more agitated and now almost yelling, he says, "You heard me, what's with the gun...why are you carrying a gun?!" Again, I calmly and simply reply matter of factly, "Lawful self defense" and I again turn my head away from him (although keeping him in the corner of my eye watching for any movement in my direction). He comes right back, this time yelling in the direction of the people behind me in line, "Lawful self defense...with all these kids around?!” as he’s waving his hands in the air. Again calmly and simply, I replied "Yes sir, and I do have a permit to carry issued by the Virginia State Police and [more sternly and looking straight into his eyes] I would appreciate it if you would LOWER your voice NOW." He was quiet for a moment and then saw my Spyderco Delica knife clipped to the inside of my pants pocket and said, "And what's with the clip knife?!" Again calmly and simply I replied, "Sir, the blade on that knife is less than three inches long and well within the limits of the law. I appreciate your opinion and I hope you have a great day." With that, he again raised his voice and stated to what was a declaration to me, but for the benefit of everyone in the restaurant, "Not with people like you walking around, I'll see you in the funny pages" and he walked out the door. (I have no idea what the comment of the “funny pages” meant by the way)

    At first I was kind of shocked that someone would be that angry and express themselves in such a way in a public place, especially to someone who they thought was obviously endangering the general public. As the situation unfolded, I did not attempt to escalate the incident by engaging in a public debate with this guy who was obviously already irate. He had at least 6 inches and 30 pounds on me, but I never felt threatened by him. No one in line behind said anything (surprise) and I actually thought about taking my food and leaving as I was almost sure this guy called 9-1-1 about a gun-wielding madman in line at Wendy’s. Then the lady behind the counter slid me my tray of food, looked me right in the eye, and with a big smile, she said “Sir, I hope you have a great Easter.” With that, I smiled back and my son and I sat down and enjoyed our food. All in all, I think this was something that I needed to experience in order to appreciate that those against guns are just as passionate as those that are for guns.

    So, has anyone had an experience like this, being confronted by someone that you could not logically argue with and not legally drop on the floor? All the way home (until I pulled over before the Maryland border to lock up my bad gun), I replayed the situation through my head over and over. I could have reacted in many other ways and said a thousand other things but I don’t believe that was the time or place to mix it up with someone willing to flip out on someone with a gun on their hip. Who stands in the middle of a fast food restaurant yelling erratically at someone with a gun?! Maybe he thought I had too many spare mags on my belt...

    The “funny” thing was that I was carrying concealed the entire day as I was wearing a light windbreaker jacket that covered my gun. I had taken it off while driving and simply not put it on when I stopped at the Wendy’s.

    I’ll be in VA most of this coming weekend…and for the first time in over a year, my pistol will not be hidden.

  2. #2
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    Wow, that's a shame.

    I've learned to try to see things from other's perspective and give them the benefit of the doubt first. We all know how emotions can cloud reason. Maybe he or a close friend or relative was recently involved in a shooting?

    Some people's gut reaction is to blame anything involved in a traumatic experience (like cars with a car wreck, etc.). Who knows what his deal was! But it sounds like you handled it very well.

    One never knows what is going on in another person's head and stories like this certainly reveal that!

    I'm glad it hasn't changed your mind about openly carrying. Hopefully your soon coming next experience will be much better!

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    Some people are just cookoo. The individual involved in this particular encounter seems to fit the bill according to the OP's description.
    He just as easily could have made a scene over the mud on your shoes.
    When confronted by a nut job just ignore them and let them be nuts all by themselves.


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    There are all kinds of people out there.... You got the only guy in Virginia that actually hates guns.

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    Don't take my advise but...Look him in the eye and very calmly tell him to stop his ranting as he is beginning to make you in fear for your safety.

    Do take this advise...don't engage him and walk out and eat somewhere else. Everyone else in there would have likely have seen him as rude and as much as I like conflict in a debate I'll pass on it if I'm OCing.

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    I think it would be a good idea for OCers to carry a small can of pepper spray with them. Idiots like this one yelling in a Wendy's could become violent. The man is obviously crazy and an OCer might want an easy way to subdue the irate man until the cops arrive. What if he continues yelling, pushes you, or even tries to hit you - maybe just acting like a tough guy seeing if you'll pull the gun out.

    It takes all kinds to make the world go around, and they're all here.

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    I'd go with Cato's advice. Maybe tweak it a bit by answering the first question the way you did as I walked out the door.

    Also, my plan is to call the police as soon as I've created some distance. A maxim is that whoever calls first is viewed as the victim. Even if the police don't come, you can make a report of a loud person trying to pick an argument with you over a lawfully carried firearm, and that you wanted to alert them in case he makes a false report. It sounds like he was trying to create a disturbance. I'd have to look it up, but there may be grounds for a disorderly conduct complaint.

    You can bet this individual is a rabid anti-gunner who is up to date on his side of the issue.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    You should have told him, that you liked White Castle, but there were none around, but Wendy's also has square patties, but no holes in them, so you needed the gun to put the holes in your patty


  9. #9
    Regular Member Bulldog1967's Avatar
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    I had two experiences in my neighboorhood after I started to open carry.

    1.) Walking the dogs. Lady who just moved i up the street from me stops me and says: "Are you a a police officer?" I say "Do I look like a police officer?" (I have much longer hair now now that I am out of the service).

    Her: "Then why are you carrying a gun?"
    Me: "To protect myself."
    Her: "Well, I don't think you should be able to do that."
    Me: "Lucky for me, how you FEEL has no bearing on me protecting myself. Let me guess, you just moved to VA from MD."
    Her "How did you know?"
    Me: "Lucky guess."


    2.) Walking the dogs. Pass by neighbor unpacking his work truck.

    Him: "Hey, what do you plan on doing with that gun, you planning shooting someone?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "What?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "Of course I do!"
    Me: "So, are you planning on crashing into someone?"
    Him: "No."
    Me: "But, if you do, you have it, right?"
    Him: "Sure."
    Me: "Same with me."
    Him: " Oh....."




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    Bulldog1967 wrote:
    2.) Walking the dogs. Pass by neighbor unpacking his work truck.

    Him: "Hey, what do you plan on doing with that gun, you planning shooting someone?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "What?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "Of course I do!"
    Me: "So, are you planning on crashing into someone?"
    Him: "No."
    Me: "But, if you do, you have it, right?"
    Him: "Sure."
    Me: "Same with me."
    Him: " Oh....."
    This I like.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Bulldog1967 wrote:
    I had two experiences in my neighboorhood after I started to open carry.

    1.) Walking the dogs. Lady who just moved i up the street from me stops me and says: "Are you a* a police officer?" I say "Do I look like a police officer?" (I have much longer hair now now that I am out of the service).

    Her: "Then why are you carrying a gun?"
    Me: "To protect myself."
    Her: "Well, I don't think you should be able to do that."
    Me: "Lucky for me, how you FEEL has no bearing on me protecting myself. Let me guess, you just moved to VA from MD."
    Her "How did you know?"
    Me: "Lucky guess."


    2.) Walking the dogs. Pass by neighbor unpacking his work truck.

    Him: "Hey, what do you plan on doing with that gun, you planning shooting someone?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "What?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "Of course I do!"
    Me: "So, are you planning on crashing into someone?"
    Him: "No."
    Me: "But, if you do, you have it, right?"
    Him: "Sure."
    Me: "Same with me."
    Him: " Oh....."
    It seems to me that your dogs are attracting the wrong kind of people. Shame really, I like almost every dog I ever met. Wish I could say the same for people.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Bulldog1967 wrote:
    I had two experiences in my neighboorhood after I started to open carry.

    1.) Walking the dogs. Lady who just moved i up the street from me stops me and says: "Are you a a police officer?" I say "Do I look like a police officer?" (I have much longer hair now now that I am out of the service).

    Her: "Then why are you carrying a gun?"
    Me: "To protect myself."
    Her: "Well, I don't think you should be able to do that."
    Me: "Lucky for me, how you FEEL has no bearing on me protecting myself. Let me guess, you just moved to VA from MD."
    Her "How did you know?"
    Me: "Lucky guess."


    2.) Walking the dogs. Pass by neighbor unpacking his work truck.

    Him: "Hey, what do you plan on doing with that gun, you planning shooting someone?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "What?"
    Me: " Do you have car insurance?"
    Him: "Of course I do!"
    Me: "So, are you planning on crashing into someone?"
    Him: "No."
    Me: "But, if you do, you have it, right?"
    Him: "Sure."
    Me: "Same with me."
    Him: " Oh....."


    Next time tell them you're protecting your dogs from Michael Vick.

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    BigGlock wrote:
    I think it would be a good idea for OCers to carry a small can of pepper spray with them.
    I do. I had an Asst DA tell me if I was ever in an off duty shooting it would look good that I had oc spray. Basically it shows that I was prepared with a less lethal option but do to the circumstances had to use deadly force.

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    cato wrote:
    Do take this advise...don't engage him and walk out and eat somewhere else. Everyone else in there would have likely have seen him as rude and as much as I like conflict in a debate I'll pass on it if I'm OCing.
    I think I will respectfully disagree with you there. While your goal shouldn't be to win the argument, you shouldn't leave either. While you won't change the mind of the emotional anti, you might influence the opinion of others in the restaurant. If you leave some people will think the anti was right, and you were breaking the law. Leaving makes you look guilty.

    I think the best thing to do would be to be polite but firm in standing your ground. Everyone else will see that the crazy person isn't the one with the gun, but the guy screaming at him.

    On a side note, the pepper spray is a good idea.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Next time tell them you're protecting your dogs from Michael Vick.
    :celebrate

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Next time tell them you're protecting your dogs from Michael Vick.
    hhhhaaaaahhhaaaaahhhhhhaaaahhhhhaaaa roltlmao

    if he's found guilty they need to turn him over to his own dogs for "justice". i know he can run fast but not that fast.

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    Citizen wrote:
    I'd go with Cato's advice. Maybe tweak it a bit by answering the first question the way you did as I walked out the door.

    Also, my plan is to call the police as soon as I've created some distance. A maxim is that whoever calls first is viewed as the victim. Even if the police don't come, you can make a report of a loud person trying to pick an argument with you over a lawfully carried firearm, and that you wanted to alert them in case he makes a false report. It sounds like he was trying to create a disturbance. I'd have to look it up, but there may be grounds for a disorderly conduct complaint.

    You can bet this individual is a rabid anti-gunner who is up to date on his side of the issue.
    Calling the police myself is one thing that I now know I should have done differently. I think I may have suggested that he call the police if he felt threatened, however, after more than a year of reading others' experiences on other forums, I now know it's best to be the first to call.

    Something else I did not mention that I still believe to this day Ithink infuriated the guy more was a comment my son made (8-years-old at the time). My son was standing behind me (as that's how I positioned him when I noticed this guy taking too much of an interest in me) and sometime during the exchange, my son said with a smile on his face, "Dad, I think that guy is mad at you." My son still brings up the Wendy's incident to this day. Heck, he knows more about MD and VA gun laws than many people I personally know. When traveling back into MD from VA, he has never once failed to remind me when it's time to lock up my pistol before the border. One time when he and I were shopping for a new truck in Northern VA, we were driving and he spotted a sign that said something like the D.C. line was two miles ahead. He looked at me when he saw this (before me) and said it was time to turn around. He knows that simply locking up the gun will not fly in D.C. That kid is gonna be a great defender of rights one day

    Thanks everyone for your comments and words of encouragement!

  18. #18
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Pick up the phone right there and then, call 911, advise that you are armed and there is a mentally unstable man harassing you?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    BigGlock wrote:
    I think it would be a good idea for OCers to carry a small can of pepper spray with them. Idiots like this one yelling in a Wendy's could become violent. The man is obviously crazy and an OCer might want an easy way to subdue the irate man until the cops arrive. What if he continues yelling, pushes you, or even tries to hit you - maybe just acting like a tough guy seeing if you'll pull the gun out.

    It takes all kinds to make the world go around, and they're all here.
    I've tossed this idea around as we had strict escalation of force requirements in security forces in the Marine Corps. The only time that I've used spray was when I was on a security detachment riding Coast Guard cutters picking up migrants coming from Haiti. I was at the stern side of the flight deck and things on the flight deck were getting out of hand. Following my escalation of force rules, I sprayed at the trouble makers who were closer to the forward part of the flight deck. Anyone wanna guess where the spray went? If you guessed right back in my face, you win. Apparently though, seeing and hearing a Marine cuss and stomp so loudly quickly quieted the masses. Heck, many of these poor migrants already had the perception that Marines had to kill their own families and ate babies for dinner.

    There were about a thousands things I could have done differently and probably another thousand outcomes. Luckily for my son, me, all the families in line, and ultimately this guy, things did not escalate. It did not ever occur to me once to draw out on him as I was constantly assessing the risk. I did however have that “really nasty and dangerous” 3-inch Spyderco though. A knife and a gun?! I must have been planning a war :shock:

    I have learned so many things from reading posts here that will help me should future incidents occur. Thanks everyone!

  20. #20
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Which is why I prefer the solid stream of OC versus the fog. Have gotten in the blast pattern of fog before during a scuffle. Not fun.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Sounds like you handled it very well Echo the only thing I wouldn't have done is tell him I had a permit from the state to carry that makes it sound as if guns are a privilege not a right.

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    paramedic70002 wrote:
    Which is why I prefer the solid stream of OC versus the fog. Have gotten in the blast pattern of fog before during a scuffle. Not fun.
    It sure cleared up my sinuses pretty quick though

    GLENGLOCKER wrote:
    Sounds like you handled it very well Echo the only thing I wouldn't have done is tell him I had a permit from the state to carry that makes it sound as if guns are a privilege not a right.
    Thank you. For some reason, I thought telling him that would diffuse the situation and he'd be like, "Oh, okay, I suppose it's cool then." I will not be offering information in the future. As soon as it appears that someone not educated with the law has an issue and they're willing to try and make a case out of it, I'll simply call the police...FIRST. Maybe then it can turn positive and become a joint citizen-officer education seminar.

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    67GT390FB wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Next time tell them you're protecting your dogs from Michael Vick.
    hhhhaaaaahhhaaaaahhhhhhaaaahhhhhaaaa roltlmao

    if he's found guilty they need to turn him over to his own dogs for "justice". i know he can run fast but not that fast.
    THey ought to let ALL of them loose on him at an indoor stadium, you know, like the Falcons stadium. Start Vick off on the goal line, and all the dogs he had locked up at the end of the end zone. Now that would be sporting.

  24. #24
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    bohdi wrote:
    67GT390FB wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Next time tell them you're protecting your dogs from Michael Vick.
    hhhhaaaaahhhaaaaahhhhhhaaaahhhhhaaaa roltlmao

    if he's found guilty they need to turn him over to his own dogs for "justice". i know he can run fast but not that fast.
    THey ought to let ALL of them loose on him at an indoor stadium, you know, like the Falcons stadium. Start Vick off on the goal line, and all the dogs he had locked up at the end of the end zone. Now that would be sporting.
    Make it a Pay Per View event and you'll have all of the animal shelters in the country funded for a while...

  25. #25
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    Hey E6T - Welcome to OCDO...and you're always Welcome in the Commonwealth of Virginia :celebrate.

    As for Vick. Have him start at his 10 yard line and tell him to run. Keep the dogs behind him on "his" goal line. When he gets to the 40, "Release the Hounds". The crowd goes wild, betting on at what yard line the dogs'll catch him. Makes it a sporting event, then!

    They actually used to do this at RFK during Redskins half-time, when the DC police would put on their K-9 show.The BG is haulin' a$$ down the field, crosses the 50 the handler releases the K-9. Now BGis getting close to scoring, but the K-9 came through to save the dayusually by the 20 yard line. The crowd made the event even more exciting, especially when the dog wins.

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