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Thread: New to OC, any advice?

  1. #1
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    Like the subject says, I am brand spanking new to OC'ing and I just got my gun a few months ago. I've put several hundred rounds through it and various other handguns and have practiced for hours doing drills both physically and mentally to prepare myself if I ever needed to use my weapon in self defense.

    I started reading the threads on this forum a few weeks ago and have been soaking up tons of excellent info regarding OC, which in turn has given me the confidence to start OC'ing. One of my friends OC's sometimes, but we are both college students and cannot OC very often as we are on campus a lot.

    My question is what have you all done to prepare yourselves mentally for the psychological and emotional burden of carrying a loaded firearm on your person. I never gave much creedence to this issue until I started doing serious research on it and found that it is a massive responsibility to carry a gun on your hip - both morally and legally in some situations.

    Anyways, sorry about the long post, but this is my first time posting on this forum and I wanted to ask you all to donate some of your experience by telling me what you did to overcome some of the first time OC'ing jitters.

    Thank you in advance for any help and thank you in retrospect for your superb postings and professional attitude towards others in this forum.


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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I "came out" two years ago this coming July. I have been CC'ing for 15 seasons and have OC'd in the past a few times but not on a regular basis. My first attempts to OC were just as you might expect. Nerves and anxiety made me question my sanity. So i tried easy at first, a gas station and a grocery store, working up to other ventures as I got more accustomed to it. Now it's a no brainer. And the amazing thing is Virginia is perhaps one of the best states to begin doing this. I have yet to receive a negative reaction or comment from anyone, police or civilian.

    Try to connect with some other OC'ers in Roanoke through these forums for a lunch or similar outting. That helps a great deal. Next, make sure your carry rig, gun and holster, looks non-descript and professional (this does help). Carry yourself with confidence, smile and be friendly. I'm sure others here will soon chime in to help you out.

    Good luck and remember. We are all emissaries for the cause.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    I'd get a clear understanding of the laws in the areas where you will carry. Any important state and local laws. I'd get a few answers ready too. They're not all bad questions, but you will find yourself talking to folks about it in lines at stores. Being knowledgeable about OC will fend off some folks fears and give you the chance to inform them. And Southernboy is right: confidence and friendly will loosen a lot of folks up. When was the last time a BG smiled at you and said hello?

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Start with someplace you are familiar with, like the local 7-11 or something, somewhere you feel comfortable in and will only be there for a few minutes. You could OC for years and never have anyone ask you why you have a gun, do you have a permit etc. But have an answer ready just in case.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    And the amazing thing is Virginia is perhaps one of the best states to begin doing this. I have yet to receive a negative reaction or comment from anyone, police or civilian
    That's amazing. My first few times OC there netted me one bad experience, a handful of neutral but loud comments, and one pat on the back (literally).

    You must look like LEO or something.

  6. #6
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    chris in va wrote:
    And the amazing thing is Virginia is perhaps one of the best states to begin doing this. I have yet to receive a negative reaction or comment from anyone, police or civilian
    That's amazing. My first few times OC there netted me one bad experience, a handful of neutral but loud comments, and one pat on the back (literally).

    You must look like LEO or something.
    No, not really. A middle aged white male of relatively non-descript appearance.

    I'm sorry to hear of your negative encounters. In what part of Virginia do you reside?

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  7. #7
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    chris in va wrote:
    And the amazing thing is Virginia is perhaps one of the best states to begin doing this. I have yet to receive a negative reaction or comment from anyone, police or civilian
    That's amazing. My first few times OC there netted me one bad experience, a handful of neutral but loud comments, and one pat on the back (literally).

    You must look like LEO or something.
    No, not really. A middle aged white male of relatively non-descript appearance.

    I'm sorry to hear of your negative encounters. In what part of Virginia do you reside?
    Be aware of your surroundings. I know alot of people say those around them hardly ever notice but since I am watchful I have noticed that people notice and I get the owl eyes almost every time I go into a business(and I wear black Ts so it tends to blend). Situational awareness is huge. It can let you know whos nervous, when managers are hovering, police, concerned citizens. Its key.

    Plus like they said, be friendly and RELAX! I took my brother out and he was jumpy! Couldnt have made everyone else feel better when his head kept whipping around, he shifted his feet and fiddled with his hands the whole time in line. Plus he kept whispering to me to point out who had noticed. Ignore them, or better yet give them a smile and strike up a conversation!

    Like Chief said, what BG smiles and says hello? You'll be fine. Good state to start in.Welcome to OCDO and glad to have you carrying.


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    Here's my two bits.

    Get a good retention holster, and find a position on your hip where you're comfortable with it and you can easily defend against a grab. I'd suggest not on your belt behind you. Not that a grab is likely, but be prepared and all.

    Do some short trips close to home, where people are familiar with you. Local stores where you shop often, gas station, etc. This will get you sort of used to it a bit, with perhaps less chance of a negative encounter. In turn, you'll be able to relax a bit from this experience.

    Relax while staying aware of your surroundings. A little practice on the short trips will help you do this pretty easily on longer trips.

    Good luck, and enjoy the exercise of your rights.

    Kenosis wrote:
    My question is what have you all done to prepare yourselves mentally for the psychological and emotional burden of carrying a loaded firearm on your person.
    Oh, and for this, it's the easist and hardest of all of it. All it took for me was coming to terms with the fact that my life is absolutely, without reservation more important to me than the life of someone who is trying to kill me. Sounds simple and obvious...but for years I didn't carry a firearm specifically for the reason that I wasn't 100% certain, no doubt at all, that if I had to draw I could pull the trigger without hesitation.




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    get a voice recorder!!

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for your advice, I feel that after reading so much material on this website, and hearing your own personal stories on open carry I am much better equipped to OC.

    I have also thought of a few responses and generally disarming remarks that could potentially defuse any situation where an anti gets out of control. I don't think that it will be an issue though.

    Thanks again!

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