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Thread: So um... I got confronted at WalMart again today....

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    I was relying on a long t-shirt to cover my Glock, as usual (I'd have just let it do what it wanted if I weren't at WalMart, but I at do the very least to cover it while I'm there, as their LP guy is a hardass and I'm tired of talking to him and the state police) wandering through the store, picking up about $40 in stuff throughout various departments.

    As I was walking through automotive to get to the checkout (I came in the automotive entrance since I was mostly there to go to the bicycle section for a cheap headlight/taillight) I saw their LP guy come running into the aisle, see me there, sigh, and walk off.

    Then as I was checking out, I heard over the walkie talkie at the register, "Yeah, it's just him. He's at the automotive checkout" and the cashier and I just shared a "What're you gonna do, it's life." look, I finished checking out, and went out and started up my motorcycle.

    The manager came out, a big guy (About my height, but about 1.5x bigger around than me) named Ken, flagged me down as I started to leave my parking spot, so I pulled up to him and shut it down.

    We only talked for about a minute and 45 seconds (Way longer than it took me to type all this) and he basically just said "Hey, WE know you're not doing anything wrong, but could you be a little more careful to keep that covered? We know you have your LTCF (called it a carry permit, naturally, though I politely corrected him and elaborated briefly that it was still legal to open carry, even with an LTCF) but we keep getting customers coming to tell us about your gun, and they're concerned, and frankly they're bothering us." (Note that he didn't say it exactly that way, but tone, word choice, and inflection says a lot.). He did bring up the last incident just as a "Yeah, we know who you are, and we've talked to you" but said nothing about the first one, which I brought up myself and he looked kind of concerned about how it played out.

    So after I told him yeah, I've been trying to keep it covered, but only in WalMart, out of courtesy to them, he thanked me and told me to have a good day.

    Not bothered in the least by this "confrontation", as he seemed like a nice guy and he really had no issue with it.

    As I was pulling out, I looked past him and there was another manager and the loss prevention guy, the latter with a huge scowl on his face, practically hunkered down and using a car waiting for an oil change as a shield, watching like they were in some cheesy cop movie during hostage negotiations leading up to a gunfight.



    And on the way home, a guy in a pickup truck creeped through the intersection that I was waiting at and yelled "Hey, nice haaaaaair" with a big grin.

    I don't think today's shirt choice of a day-glow orange t-shirt with my recently bright orange dyed hair was such a great choice, aesthetically

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    If the biggest problem you have OCing now is managers who are being annoyed by anti-gun customers... I think we're making a little bit of progress.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    If the biggest problem you have OCing now is managers who are being annoyed by anti-gun customers... I think we're making a little bit of progress.
    Indeed.

    I'm still kind of amused over it today. Though I wish the LP guy HAD just said "Hey, hold on a second, the manager wants a word with you" instead of having the manager, who I think I mentioned was a very wide man, have to hurry all the way out to the parking lot to talk to me. I was in a really good mood yesterday and would have enjoyed a nice conversation rather than the quick chat we had.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    If the biggest problem you have OCing now is managers who are being annoyed by anti-gun customers... I think we're making a little bit of progress.
    Agreed.

    I think this stage is unfortunate, but not surprising. As OC becomes more common, managers and employees will face it fairly regularly so you can get them "trained" pretty quickly. But it's a different set of fellow patrons in the store every time, so it's going to take much longer to educate them.

    In the meantime, the managers and employees are going to be irritated with the hassle that OC'ers create for them.

    Aran, this is probably going to piss you off, but I'm going to say it anyway. Please try to hear me out before you get too mad: I think your choice of attire and hair color may reflect negatively on OC.

    I know that it seems silly to have to dress nicely to exercise your rights, but I'm concerned that we may get to a point where regional managers and owners of large businesses get seriously irritated at having to educate the general populace that we're not doing anything wrong. If those people decide it's a big problem for them and go to the local legislature things could go badly for us. Big business has a LOT of pull and the obvious solution to their problem is to make OC illegal.

    What we want to happen, ideally, is for the populace to see OCers who are so obviously innocuous that they don't bother alerting the manager. After that we can focus on getting them to accept guns carried by people who prefer an edgier style of attire.

    Edit: Removed a stray comma. Those things just seem to get everywhere.

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    What aran fails to grasp yet due to his age is that the idea is to blend into the background. A bright orange shirt, topped off by orange hair, fails in both respects. If you don't appear as a threat (to one's sensibilities, decorum, society in general), then you won't be perceived as a threat. Appear normal, even if you're not, and you won't get noticed.

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    So, not that this is my view, but a lot of people go on and on about "normalizing" Open Carry.

    Who's to say that looking a bit "out there" and open carrying with no incident isn't going to help in the long run just as much as Clean Joe Businessman open carrying?


    How about when I OC on my bicycle? Fat man in Spandex with a big old Glock on his hip on a mountain bike.

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    Aran wrote:
    So, not that this is my view, but a lot of people go on and on about "normalizing" Open Carry.

    Who's to say that looking a bit "out there" and open carrying with no incident isn't going to help in the long run just as much as Clean Joe Businessman open carrying?

    How about when I OC on my bicycle? Fat man in Spandex with a big old Glock on his hip on a mountain bike.
    I just think that perhaps, if you wore a dress shirt and dress pants around, with one of today's "professionally accepted haircuts", you may not be harassed, nor even noticed.

    Looking different, in any regard, will gain people's attention. For example, if I were to wear a Santa Clause costume, in July, while OC'ing, there would be nothing really legally wrong with this. However, it would gain unwanted attention. Just that wearing bright t-shirts and stuff causes people to glance at you.

    I'm not telling you to change you're mode of fashion though, since OC should be totally socially acceted.

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    Statkowski wrote:
    What aran fails to grasp yet due to his age is that the idea is to blend into the background. A bright orange shirt, topped off by orange hair, fails in both respects. If you don't appear as a threat (to one's sensibilities, decorum, society in general), then you won't be perceived as a threat. Appear normal, even if you're not, and you won't get noticed.
    and just what would constitute appearing normal?....im sure incertain parts of the country being black, arab or hispanic is not the norm and definitely a lot more difficult for someone to "blend into the background" and"not appear as a threat".

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    Aran wrote:
    Who's to say that looking a bit "out there" and open carrying with no incident isn't going to help in the long run just as much as Clean Joe Businessman open carrying?
    Put your biases aside, consider the normal citizen response to a gun carried by people who look different and think this through, Aran.

    I laid out a logical chain of events that seem reasonably likely to result from people OCing while dressed in ways that the average citizen finds disturbing. I'm not saying it's right that they find it disturbing, but nevertheless they do.

    If you're going to disagree with me, fine. But please do me the courtesy of pointing out where my logic is flawed, rather than just saying that I might be wrong.

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    dkd wrote:
    Statkowski wrote:
    What aran fails to grasp yet due to his age is that the idea is to blend into the background. A bright orange shirt, topped off by orange hair, fails in both respects. If you don't appear as a threat (to one's sensibilities, decorum, society in general), then you won't be perceived as a threat. Appear normal, even if you're not, and you won't get noticed.
    and just what would constitute appearing normal?....im sure incertain parts of the country being black, arab or hispanic is not the norm and definitely a lot more difficult for someone to "blend into the background" and"not appear as a threat".
    Absolutely. So in those areas of the country, OC by people in those categories may well motivate officials to outlaw OC. If people whose race makes them stand out in a particular area want to help legitimize OC, they should take pains with their dress and demeanor to create an image that is as inoffensive and unthreatening as possible.

    It's certainly anyone's right to OC, looking any way they want, but there's a real risk that if they offend and frighten enough people, they could end up with Texas-style OC laws -- unless the state constitution prohibits an OC ban, or unless there is enough popular support for OC. OCing while looking "respectable" is a way to build that support. OC by "scary-looking" people is a way to damage that support.

    So, if you like to dress in very unusal ways, and like to OC, please think about the fact that you may actually be damaging your ability to do so legally.

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    In a college town, a guy with dyed hair doesn't really stick out that much. And the shirt wasn't as bright as I made it out to be, it was just a bright orange shirt that happened to be what I grabbed out of the closet that day.

    And the last time I was confronted, I was wearing a nice pair of khakis, a black t-shirt, and my $200 Joe Rocket motorcycle jacket.

    The time before that, a new pair of dark green cargo pants (khaki), a plain dark red t-shirt, and my grandfather's old leather jacket.


    I haven't been confronted due to how I dress. Management there just knows me on sight.

    WalMart is the only place I've had any problems here. No problems in Pittsburgh or Robinson Township, no problems around town here. I OC when I go out to eat, no issue, nothing said. I go to the local Chinese buffet, chat and joke around with the guy who mans the register, not a single funny look there. Nobody said a word at Goodwill, Giant Eagle, either of the two bike shops I've been to, the bank, anywhere. The security guards at the mall don't even look at me twice. GameStop by WalMart has never had an issue.


    I very rarely dress "abnormal" (unless you think motorcyclists are abnormal, then I guess my jacket would be pretty odd to you, seeing as how it's an armored textile jacket) but since it's summer and I'm out of school, I said what the hell, and picked up some hair dye. It's already washing out, it was only semi-permanent.

    If you saw me on the street, you'd probably notice "Wow, that is an uncomfortably fat fellow." but beyond that you'd probably just keep going, maybe assume I'm a college student (Shocker- I am!) based on my age. But abnormal? "Out there"? Weird? Not by looks.

    Though if you sat down to talk to me you'd realize I'm a huge nerd who tends to ramble on and try to do your best to get away from my droning

    Edit: Damn, "unusual" was the word you went with. I forgot by the time I got to the second paragraph.

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    Management there just knows me on sight.
    I do believe we hit the nail on the head with that one. One bad incident and you're remembered forever. Is it right? No. Let them play their silly games of walkie-talkie tag. Hopefully now you're better prepared to deal with the situation.

    Me? I avoid Wally World like the plague, simply because it's a pain in the ass driving all the way over to the far side of town. What, I'm going to spend four dollars in gas just to save three dollars in merchandise?

    Keep fighting the battle.

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    Aran wrote:
    Though if you sat down to talk to me you'd realize I'm a huge nerd who tends to ramble on and try to do your best to get away from my droning
    I think it'd be a competition

    Anwyay, it doesn't sound like you're so out there... probably the biggest "fear factor" for when people see you is your age, honestly. It's the young OC'ers who tend to get hassled the most.

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    I must admit, even I do a double take when I see a younger person with nose rings, big neklace/chains, colored hair, things like that, carrying OC or CC.

    I do think thats normal, and just good awareness.

    I've never said anything to anyone.

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    I am forming the impression that the real problem is the loss prevention guy.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    deepdiver wrote:
    I am forming the impression that the real problem is the loss prevention guy.
    +1
    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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    deepdiver wrote:
    I am forming the impression that the real problem is the loss prevention guy.
    Oh, there's not a doubt in my mind that he's the issue.

    I don't know if you're familiar with my previous posts on WalMart issues, but I found out he's an ex-cop (I don't know from where, though, that's all the particular manager I talked to knew about him as far as previous occupation goes) and a major hardass 24/7.

    Last time he was up in my face telling me "that **** doesn't fly here, go back to Texas." in regards to Open Carry, tried convincing me that it was illegal, told the state trooper that responded that it was ABSOLUTELY 100% ILLEGAL and then, as the state trooper cuffed me, HE disarmed me. (Or was it the other way around and I was already cuffed when he said that... I don't remember, he said a LOT of ********.)

    At any rate, he has a huge chip on his shoulder.

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    Well, let's hope he doesn't get froggy with me the next time I lower myself to visit Wally World. I do believe I'm a little bit older and wiser (possibly more the former than the latter according to wifey-poo).

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    swillden wrote:
    dkd wrote:
    Statkowski wrote:
    What aran fails to grasp yet due to his age is that the idea is to blend into the background. A bright orange shirt, topped off by orange hair, fails in both respects. If you don't appear as a threat (to one's sensibilities, decorum, society in general), then you won't be perceived as a threat. Appear normal, even if you're not, and you won't get noticed.
    and just what would constitute appearing normal?....im sure incertain parts of the country being black, arab or hispanic is not the norm and definitely a lot more difficult for someone to "blend into the background" and"not appear as a threat".
    Absolutely. So in those areas of the country, OC by people in those categories may well motivate officials to outlaw OC. If people whose race makes them stand out in a particular area want to help legitimize OC, they should take pains with their dress and demeanor to create an image that is as inoffensive and unthreatening as possible.
    sorry but just as i wont take the time to "cover up" due to someone being uncomfortable i wont change my daily habits of dress or mannerism to make someone feel at ease or less threatened.

    and as i said in the first response in a lot of cases being of another race is menacing enough on its own to some, to make people feel uncomfortable/threatened, and there is no amount of dressing it up that will fix it.





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    dkd wrote:
    sorry but just as i wont take the time to "cover up" due to someone being uncomfortable i wont change my daily habits of dress or mannerism to make someone feel at ease or less threatened.

    and as i said in the first response in a lot of cases being of another race is menacing enough on its own to some, to make people feel uncomfortable/threatened, and there is no amount of dressing it up that will fix it.
    I think what we're talking about here is not any particular small number of people, but what might we might loosely call the "reasonable man" perception (to borrow from the legal term).

    Sure, there might always be one person out of 100 who will take offense or be uncomfortable at some aspect of appearance or conduct. But if the other 99 are not, the one will be shut down pretty quickly.

    And frankly, as legal gun owners, we have an extra burden not to make others feel uncomfortable. Taken to the extreme, deliberately making someone feel uncomfortable takes on a whole different set of social and legal consequences when you are armed.

    Anytime I am armed (OR or CC) I take extra pains to AVOID any even semi-reasonable perception that I am aggressive or offensive. I am extra careful in how I drive; I am extra courteous and deferential if a potentially rude situation arises. If worst comes to worst, I do NOT want any perception that I was the aggressor.

    And if I am OCing, I am doubly careful yet again. Just as I might do when wearing a scout leader uniform, or when I am representing my employer or church in some visible way, I realize that when I OC--for better or worse--my actions reflect not just on myself, but on a larger group of good people.

    I think others have done a fine job of explaining how OC is still in its infancy in many places and it is prudent to take other reasonable measures (dress, mannerism, comportment, etc) to present it in the LEAST scary way possible. If we do things right, our children will enjoy GREATER freedom than we do, rather than inhereting less freedom as most of us did from the prior generation.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Basically what people are asking is that people who cc or oc dress in a respectable manner. REspectable is defined as the manner as people who have repectable lifestyles dress. That could be suit and tie but that is no longer considered the minmum respectable dress. Today that would be clean jeans, a clean, not torn t shirt. Respectable dress at Walmart is not the same as respectable dress at a play or church.

    The big issue is not to dress in gangsta fashion. Loose pants around the ass and hoody with hood over head. If I saw a young man dressed like that especially if he was not white carrying OC or CC they I would assume thathe is a robber and call the cops. I would not if I could not see a gun.

    Sorry if that offends you but the simple fact is that criminals have a dress style. If someone dresses in the same style it is reasonable to assume that they may be a criminal.

    Plus one of our strongest arguments is that people who have CCW are the most law abiding not the least . But a bad apple does spoil the barrel. The case in Seattle where the guy with legal CCW got in an public argument at a outdoor festival and his gun was the one that shot 2 innocent people. Because of that idiot that allowed himself to get in an argument has damaged the entire city's legal ability to carry CCW at city property and parks.

    Plus if people have CCW fail to secure the firearm the argument that dangerous accidents can occur have more justification. Example was this week a magistrate in NC was in Loew's and had her gun in her purse with her 4 year old granchold which grabbed the gun and shot herself and is in critical condition.







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    Rimfire posted some clear examples of double-standards. When gangstas shoot someone, especially the third and fourth someone, where is the outcry to arrest them and sentence them to a harsh prison sentence with no cable TV and a chain-gang? When someone jacks a car stereo, where is CSI with the fingerprint kit?

    It's a gun-grab, plain and simple. We do need to set a good example, no doubt. But we also need to realize sensationalism.

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    In the Seattle case I do not think they arrested the guy with the CCW they are still investigating. Seattle's mayor is doing this under public saftey. The worse thing is there is a State SC case law that may allow this twisting of State premption on gun laws.

    IT is perfectly rational to make assumptions based on someone is dressed. Sorry if that offends but that is the truth. Refusal to accede to customary conventions dress standards is usually juvenile rebellion.

    However orange hair and an orange t shirt may be more punkish but not gangsta. Punks spiked hair etc are generally non violant. They benefit from that reputation.

    In our society people constantly resist the idea that reputation is valuable. But look respectable and have a good reputation will make the difference from an arrest or just a simple have questions asked and released.



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    I've been back to WalMart twice now, both times as casually concealing as before, no comments were made, no funny looks were had.

    I'm about 85% sure it's that one loss prevention guy that has it out for me for some reason. The same guy who got in my face and screamed at me (Okay, not screamed, but he definitely raised his voice FAR more than necessary for being 3" from my face with me in handcuffs) about going back to Texas, and who disarmed me while I was being cuffed.

    And who follows me every time I go to the store when he's there, now. Oh well, if he wants to waste his time following me zigzagging from one end of the store to the other and back a thousand times as I think of things I want/want to look at, he's more than welcome, so long as he isn't actively harassing me.

    Edit: By the way, my hair isn't spiked, or even short. Its current style is best described as "Almost a mullet", until my bangs grow out a bit more. It's about 5-6" all the way around my head, as I'm letting it grow out a bit before I decide on how I want to get it cut, or if I want to grow it out long again.

    This summer is about to convince me to cut it short already. Yeesh, already getting up to the mid-90s.

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