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Thread: Somewhat different angle...

  1. #1
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    Let me first off state that my open carry progress is quite low.

    I've open carried my sidearm within the bounds of my own property (home and land), but within municipalities I have been avoiding it - an empty holster and a spare magazine only.

    I've been trying to work up the courage to do it, as there's no laws against it within the area I live, but the town is very much a college town - meaning people from all over the country (and the world) are often around. This actually doesn't bother me too much (other than the potential for a MWAG call). I'd actually invite the opportunity to "gun-talk" with strangers. There's just a little more to it though...

    I have a severe hearing problem. I can barely hear with my left ear and I have a cochlear implant on my right ear. Basically, I have great difficulty understanding the average person, since few people have experience dealing with someone who has a hearing disability. But that's also partly why I carry - my disability, while not the same as mobility damage and vice versa, makes me a more likely target for the criminals.

    Trouble is I don't know how I'm going to open carry and explain it to people (and possibly the local PD) who decide that "I'm sorry, I have a hearing disability, please excuse me" isn't a good enough answer. The stories I read here tend to suggest that such encounters are likely, and I expect that to be more so since open carry is not common in Kansas.

    The last monkey wrench in the whole thing is my CCW permit will not be accepted/denied in at least another 6 weeks. This gives me no other option than to open carry for the time being, but I am not sure I have the courage to come out of the closet about it.

    Anyone have some advice or experience in the situation?

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    To start with, you need to keep in mind that no matter what someone says, or what their opinion of it is, what you are doing is not wrong. You do not need a reason beyond "because I can". That being said, saying "because I can" (especially to a LEO) may not be the most diplomatic way of going about business. I would suggest going ahead and telling someone who asks "I have a hearing disability that I believe affects my safety, so I decided to arm myself". I bet you'll be surprised at just how well that works.

  3. #3
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    I hadn't even thought of that, FogRider. Good answer.

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    I wish you luck with you open carry. Hope you come out of the closet. But reading that you have a hearing disability, I CAUTION YOU with your endeavor. I live just outside of detroit michigan. Not to long ago i read an article in the paper about a deaf man being shot by the police for raking his lawn. You see, this man was raking his lawn when police showed up in front of his home and started yelling at him to put the rake down and to step slowly toward them. Well eventually he turn around and walked up to the officers, AND all 4 of them opened fire on him.

    I wish you the best of luck with your carrying endeavors. Keep us posted on your progress.

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    THway - fortunately, I am not completely deaf unless deprived of my external implant processor. Curiously enough, with the device, I can hear ambient sounds better than most people can. It's human speech that tends to be garbled, and if I hear someone shout an order to me, chances are I'll have no difficulty understanding it.

    As for your story, that sounds incredibly sad. It honestly reeks of unprofessionalism by the Detroit PD.

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    Studdying the local laws will help you. You don't need to be able to recite them chapter and verse, buy knowing you are in the right will go a long way towards building your confidence. That's what finally got me out the door, the knowledge that what I was doing was completely legal. Frowned upon perhaps, but legal.



    Good luck, we're all counting on you.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with easing into it, Walleye, especially if you are going it alone. It is a lot easier to start OC with a group, such as an OC get together from all I have read. I had to go it alone as well and there were times I felt very self-conscious about it. The few times I have carried with others since is quite comforting in a way. Good luck!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  8. #8
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    You might also try running some errand specifically to OC. Perhaps just to the gas station or a sandwich shop, someplace you're comfortable and won't be in public view too long. You know, just to get your feet wet. That may desensitize you to your anxiety, bolster your confidence and make it feel more natural. Good luck.

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    THway wrote:
    I wish you luck with you open carry. Hope you come out of the closet. But reading that you have a hearing disability, I CAUTION YOU with your endeavor. I live just outside of detroit michigan. Not to long ago i read an article in the paper about a deaf man being shot by the police for raking his lawn. You see, this man was raking his lawn when police showed up in front of his home and started yelling at him to put the rake down and to step slowly toward them. Well eventually he turn around and walked up to the officers, AND all 4 of them opened fire on him.

    I wish you the best of luck with your carrying endeavors. Keep us posted on your progress.

    i hope someone was compensated for that mishap

  10. #10
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    Big leap of progress today:

    Picked up my mother's dog at the vet while carrying my new P226, vet didn't say anything about it, and carried my P226 to dinner at IHop with my sister and grandparents (and it was a busy night!); nobody noticed.

    Thanks for the support guys!

  11. #11
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    THway wrote:
    I wish you luck with you open carry. Hope you come out of the closet. But reading that you have a hearing disability, I CAUTION YOU with your endeavor. I live just outside of detroit michigan. Not to long ago i read an article in the paper about a deaf man being shot by the police for raking his lawn. You see, this man was raking his lawn when police showed up in front of his home and started yelling at him to put the rake down and to step slowly toward them. Well eventually he turn around and walked up to the officers, AND all 4 of them opened fire on him.

    I wish you the best of luck with your carrying endeavors. Keep us posted on your progress.
    I found the article. It says only one officer opened fire from what I read.

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    FogRider wrote:
    To start with, you need to keep in mind that no matter what someone says, or what their opinion of it is, what you are doing is not wrong. You do not need a reason beyond "because I can. "

    "Because we can." SO much more diplomatic.

    That being said, let me quote 'Cap.....



    FogRider wrote:

    I would suggest going ahead and telling someone who asks "I have a hearing disability that I believe affects my safety, so I decided to arm myself". I bet you'll be surprised at just how well that works.
    "I'm sorry, I used to work around a lot of loud equipment" usually works well for me when I need to get people to talk louder.

    Though I think Fog has an EXCELLENT followup to that.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    People in general are sympathetic to individuals with disabilities, so I believe that what Fog said holds a lot of truth. I don't mean for you to 'play weak', but rather to put forth that you are aware of your 'shortcomings' and have taken an extra step of safety in light of said shortcomings.
    That being said, your specific disability also means that you are going to have to be more 'situationally aware' than most; but i imagine that you already know that and are probably more perceptive than most as your other senses are probably heightened to compensate for your lack of hearing.
    I too have partial hearing loss and background noise can kill a conversation if I am not looking straight at the person to where I can read their lips, of course my sight isn't the best either... But I sure can smell!!!!

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    You have a great advantage over the rest of us.
    People with disabilities act, use it to the fullest when they target you.
    You have your own federal charges that the rest of us don't qualify for.
    They would have to prove in court that they discriminate against all
    law abiding citizens to beat the rap of targeting yourself. Either way they loose.

    Carry a card, asking for a hearing impared supervisor to be dispatched to your encounter. That should shake up the beat cop, he can't intimidate you if he can't
    communicate the verbal threats. Although you will be at a disadvantage
    for audio recordings if there isn't much talking.

    I loved parking my motorcycle in handicapped spaces for the 6 weeks I had
    the permit. Drove the police nuts, but I couldn't walk, sitting was not a problem.

    Whatch out for those school zones, and enjoy life. At least you missed the debates
    the easy way, I had to leave the tv off to keep away from them.

  15. #15
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    The way I began open carrying was by hiding it. I dressed nicely, not out of the ordinary, with a black long sleeve shirt tucked in, dark jeans and nice shoes and belt. I went to the grocery store with my G23 in a black, leather holster.

    Another good way to get a little exposure is to refuel. If you are very timid, you can pay at the pump and only be out of the car a few minutes, but still moving toward being comfortable with OC.

    If you go to the Kansas sub-forum, you can read some of my early postings. I open carried in Lawrence several times without a hitch.


    Print off the pertinent local ordinances, state laws and make sure you have your DL with you (if driving). Just having the proof in your pocket can be a great comfort. Check with the local DA and City Attorney just to make sure your interpretation of the law is accurate. Last time I checked, it was, but I'm just a guy from the internet.
    Your contact with them will quickly calm any situation that may arise if they know what is going on in their community.

    Remember, your contact with them, in any way, may bring up the issue of OC on a larger scale. Make sure you are congenial and respectful. Do not be arrogant, but don't pretend to be dumb.

    Feel free to PM me if you have concerns, questions, or need a pep talk.
    I used to live north of Wamego. I'm in Manhattan quite often.

    The Riley County Police Department can be very uptight (based on some of the things I heard from Academy mates). If you have an encounter with them, keep your hands where they can see them with your palms facing them, don't move fast in any way unnecessarily, keeping your hands between nipple and shoulder height when police first make contact with you says several things: I am not a threat, I am awaiting your commands, I have nothing to hide, I'm not a career criminal who assumes the position because I know it hurts less when you don't fight (from experience).

    If you can't hear, it's always safe to lay on the ground with your hands and legs spread out. Keeping the hands up and staying calm will go further than anything.

  16. #16
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    SlackwareRobert - I hadn't considered that one. Good advice, thanks.

    nikerret - Over the past couple of weeks I've gotten much more used to doing my daily routine while armed - where possible, of course. I've gone just about everywhere and haven't had any encounters at all. Hardly anyone notices.

    My dress tends to alternate between jeans and running shoes with a button shirt and a old green flight jacket, to slacks with a button shirt and dress shoes with the same old flight jacket. Neither one has really generated any looks. I'd expect that with my jeans I'd be hassled a bit as I also carry two spare magazines on my belt while wearing jeans, but nothing has really been noticed.

    I think it may be due to the fact my sidearm is a black SIG in a black holster, so it's not very conspicuous in the first place.

    Thanks for the advice!

  17. #17
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    I love that quote from Cap!

    Oh and sorry walleye, but I ate a bunch of your cousins the other day, I couldn't help myself .

    And nice job OCing - I'm also in that phase of getting my feet wet - it's fun!

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