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Thread: How to reply to common comments while OCing?

  1. #1
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    How to reply to common comments while OCing?

    I'm new to open carry. I've noticed that people tend to say the same things when they notice I'm carrying. Do you guys have any suggestions for responses? Do you guys carry pamphlets around?

    1) "Is that thing loaded?" I always want to reply, "It'd be kind of useless if it wasn't!" but instead politely say, "Yes." I think what they're actually asking is, "Is it safe?" I could try to explain DA/SA and firing pin blocks, but it seems like too long and too technical a conversation. Or they're really saying #2:

    2) "Wow, I'm not going to do anything to piss you off." This is almost always said to me half-jokingly, but it makes me feel bad -- they are basically telling me they're afraid of me. I want to say something like, "Don't worry, it's staying in the holster unless catastrophe happens," but it doesn't sound right.

    3) "Is that legal?" Now, this one I can answer comfortably (especially when a lawyer happens to be at the table and she jumps in by citing RCW! How cool was that woman?)

    4) Ignoring me when I'm talking to them. This is usually when I'm saying good morning to a random passerby (which I always do even when I'm not OCing.) I guess I'll have to be OK with it.

  2. #2
    Regular Member JSlack's Avatar
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    good questions. I am new to this, in fact, I have not OC'd yet...I think I might this afternoon when I get off work though.

    this is what my newby responses would be:

    1~
    My sister just asked me this one last night actually and I replied, "yes it is". her next question was, "so if you pulled the trigger it would go off?" I said, well, yes, and no. I explained to her about the grip safety, trigger safety and the falling block internal safety. She then asked that when I carry, if it is loaded. I said "yes" and then she asked "what if someone bumped the gun, or something got caught in the trigger and squeezed it? I explained how the holster covers the trigger and for something to get in there, the pistol would have to be "out" of the holster at least a little bit, and even then, unless the grip safety was depressed, it was not going to go off.
    I know, a little long response to just a passer by type question.
    If it was someone who I didn't know, I would tell them, "yes it is loaded, but the safeties are on"

    2~
    I feel the same way as you. No need for anyone to be afraid of me, or anyone else who is OCing. If they were half joking, I might say
    "It takes alot for me to get upset" jokingly in response and then try to extend the exchange to give them a little explanation of why it would get used, and then educate them on why I carry a pistol. I would lean toward this joking response to kind of show them that I am a lighthearted good guy...try to ease their "afraid" response to seeing a pistol.

    3~
    easy to answer as I can either explain OC laws or produce my CPL to explain CC.

    4~
    agree'd, just get used to people either A-being in a grumpy mood and would not respond to your salutations regardless
    or B- some people want nothing to do with guns. I can respect their rights, and just live with it.

    Good questions. I look forward to others responses!

  3. #3
    Regular Member bennie1986's Avatar
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    Iíve been OCing for about one and a half years now and I OC about 90% of the time I carry. My answers will vary based on the demeanor of the person asking. The best thing to do in any situation is to be yourself because if you feel uncomfortable it will show and that will probably make people around you feel uncomfortable.
    1) My answer for this question is my magazine is full but I donít carry with one in the chamber. *Side note; I donít carry with one in the chamber as a compromise with my wife because we have little kids. I know someone will comment on this but Iím not debating it so donít try.
    2) Normally I just chuckle and shake my head because I take it a joke. I walked into a convenience store one day and the clerk, joking, threw up her hands and said please donít rob me and we both just started laughing.
    3) I love when people ask me if its legal because that when you really get a chance to educate someone. I just lay out the facts and try not to drag it out unless they want a more detailed answer, which Iím always more the willing to provide.
    4) This happens a lot and you right you have to just deal with it and its generally because they are uncomfortable with guns. If the situation is more than just walk past someone, like a checker at the grocery store, I just try to strike up any conversation I can and try the be the most pleasant person they have ever talked too. My goal is to try to make them as comfortable as possible so the next time I see them they will remember me as that really nice guy with the gun. That way hopefully the next person they see with a gun wonít make them fell as uncomfortable.
    My personal favorite questions are when people ask, ďoh so you have a canceled permit or somethingĒ or ďisnít that suppose to be concealedĒ? Again I just lay out the facts with an upbeat attitude.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Batousaii's Avatar
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    I get questions too ...

    ~ A belated welcome to both of you,
    - So, I mostly OC a very obvious western gunslinger rig, and it tends to be a conversation piece to interested passers. Most of the time it's positive, and I do my best to minimize or thwart negative encounters with a polite minimal reply.
    Yesterday at Harbor Freight I was OCing a Colt 1911, and some random guy asked me "Is that a real loaded gun?" Now, I could tell he was skittish about it by the tone of his voice, like he just couldn’t believe it. So I simply said "Yeap" with a polite, but slightly un interested tone (sorta same answer he would get if he asked me if my cell phone was T-mobile). Then he asked the other pre-programmed response of "Are you law enforcement or something?" and I said in the same un interested tone "Nope.." - The conversation was done, no debate about his opinion, or how he doesn’t like it. - Compare - Couple weeks ago in Old Country Buffett, I was asked similar by a cheerful young lady (employee) who asked "Wow!~ is that a real gun?" I joking replied, "It’d be silly if it was fake eh?" - She laughed and agreed, and we had a polite conversation about WA-Laws and rights. Ended with me giving her a pamphlet, and her thanking me for the info.
    - The "I’m not messing with you" joke is admittedly awkward, I just figure they don’t really know how else to break the ice, but are otherwise curious. I can usually turn those into a positive encounter by joking that I probably wouldn’t mess with him either. That usually gets a chuckle and they start talking about firearms and stuff.
    - Over all, I find being old fashioned polite and well mannered or just minimal if need be tends to ensure negative encounters are few and far between. 99% of the time, I get absolutely no reaction. I enjoy my days carrying how and what I like to carry, and enjoy a bit of conversation along the way.

    A good day to you

    Bat
    Last edited by Batousaii; 07-16-2010 at 06:41 PM. Reason: I speel Gud

  5. #5
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    Just be pleasant and smile.
    First impressions are important.
    Then just do your best.
    Dave

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    In other threads, I have heard the question "why do you carry a gun?". I hate hearing the response "Because I can". It sounds so stupid and it is essentially a non-answer. It seems generally like a F*** You to the one asking the question, and they might be honestly seeking out your reason for carrying.

    Imagine the same answer ("Because I can") given in response to some other questions:
    Why do you carry a cell phone?
    Why do you carry a pocket knife?
    Why do you wear a belt?

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    I use the seatbelt analogy. If someone asks why I carry, I ask them why they wear their seatbelt. Almost immediately they say "Well I don't know when I'll be in an accident!" I pause for a second and let them absorb what they just said, and come in with "...and I don't know when I'll be in a confrontation with an armed thug." Most seem to get it after that. I'll also explain the "it's always someone else" attitude to them, and point out that they hear about stuff on the news all the time. What about that guy? I'll bet he was thinking it's always someone else, until it happened to him.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Just curious, how have y'all handled this one: "Oh, that's not real."?

    I was at Staples the other day, in line behind a mother & lil girl who I'd passed a couple times elsewhere in the store. Lil girl points to my sidearm & says "Mommy, gun!" not afraid, but in that "Look at me, I know what that is" manner lil kids have. Mommy gives me a dirty look and says to her "it's not real" & proceeds to distract her. Didn't say anything, since nothing was said directly to me. Any witty comebacks to this one?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    Just curious, how have y'all handled this one: "Oh, that's not real."?

    I was at Staples the other day, in line behind a mother & lil girl who I'd passed a couple times elsewhere in the store. Lil girl points to my sidearm & says "Mommy, gun!" not afraid, but in that "Look at me, I know what that is" manner lil kids have. Mommy gives me a dirty look and says to her "it's not real" & proceeds to distract her. Didn't say anything, since nothing was said directly to me. Any witty comebacks to this one?
    "it's only as real as the trigger finger wants it to be?" J/k

  10. #10
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G22Paddy View Post
    I use the seatbelt analogy. If someone asks why I carry, I ask them why they wear their seatbelt. Almost immediately they say "Well I don't know when I'll be in an accident!" I pause for a second and let them absorb what they just said, and come in with "...and I don't know when I'll be in a confrontation with an armed thug." Most seem to get it after that. I'll also explain the "it's always someone else" attitude to them, and point out that they hear about stuff on the news all the time. What about that guy? I'll bet he was thinking it's always someone else, until it happened to him.
    LOL, What do you say if they answer the seat belt question with "because it's the law and I'll get a ticket and a huge fine, if I dont"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoomGoober View Post
    SNIP "Wow, I'm not going to do anything to piss you off." This is almost always said to me half-jokingly, but it makes me feel bad -- they are basically telling me they're afraid of me. I want to say something like, "Don't worry, it's staying in the holster unless catastrophe happens," but it doesn't sound right.
    Usually, they are just making a joke. I would not attach too much significance to it. I usually just chuckle, smile, and say, "Oh, I'm pretty tame." Or, some such. Then I usually ask them where theirs is, lightheartedly, but for all the world as though it would be totally natural for them to have one. Of course, I know they probably aren't carrying, so I'm really only asking as a way to keep the conversation going in order to promote self-defense and 2A. For example,

    Them: "Oh, I don't have a gun."

    Me: "Good heavens! How would you defend yourself?"

    Them: "Call the police."

    Me: "Well, you know the old saying, 'When seconds count the police are just minutes away.'"
    Last edited by Citizen; 07-18-2010 at 03:19 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    LOL, What do you say if they answer the seat belt question with "because it's the law and I'll get a ticket and a huge fine, if I dont"?
    Suggested reply, "Well, getting stabbed, beaten, or raped would be a pretty steep fine, wouldn't it?"

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    1) Indeed. Wouldn't be very useful if it weren't.

    2) You could try to piss me off, but I'd probably just laugh about it.

    3) Yessir/Yes ma'am

    4) *mumblemumblemumble*

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    It keeps the Lions away
    but, there are no Lions here,
    See... it works, don't it.

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    Regular Member USMC1911's Avatar
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    1. "Is that real?" I smile, nod my head and say "Yes, it is".
    2. "Why do you OC ?" I say, "Self protection and the protection of my loved ones."
    3. "Do you have a permit ?" I explain how a "permit" is not required for one to OC. (RCW's ect.)
    4. "Are you a LEO ? " I say, "No, I am a law abiding citizen protecting myself and my family."
    5. "Is that loaded ?" I say, "Yes it is, an unloaded weapon provides no protection for myself or my family."

    I have not had an encounter with a LEO (yet). All my encounters with citizens have been uneventful and I have had the opportunity to educate a few of them. Most comments I receive are positive.

    Semper Fi
    Last edited by USMC1911; 07-18-2010 at 11:34 AM.
    I am a Sheep Dog, ... Wolves Beware !

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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    Just curious, how have y'all handled this one: "Oh, that's not real."?
    Carrying a toy gun like it was real is suicidally stupid.

  17. #17
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Them: "Oh, I don't have a gun."

    Me: "Good heavens! How would you defend yourself?"

    Them: "Call the police."
    "Average police response time to a 911 call is roughly five minutes, if they respond at all. Plus, you're assuming that you will have the time and opportunity to get your phone out, dial 911, wait for the dispatcher to answer, and report the incident coherently enough that they will know your life is in danger and know where to find you. Do you think a mugger or rapist will politely wait while you do that?"

  18. #18
    Regular Member Just Us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hardin View Post
    "Average police response time to a 911 call is roughly five minutes, if they respond at all. Plus, you're assuming that you will have the time and opportunity to get your phone out, dial 911, wait for the dispatcher to answer, and report the incident coherently enough that they will know your life is in danger and know where to find you. Do you think a mugger or rapist will politely wait while you do that?"
    If you talk to the mugger or rapist right, most of them (I think) might give you a couple minutes on the phone. I think most of them are down to earth people. Oh another thing, giving the officers five minutes, you must be right next to where they hang out.
    ****Sarcasm****



    Unless it's positive, I prefer not to take the time to deal with them.

    I do agree that I don't see to many lions around either!

  19. #19
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    I have also had pretty good responses to carry. In fact it has came in handy once. I was in a resturaunt and a couple was letting their bebe kid run wild and bothering everyone. The kid noticed my firearm and said "Mommy, he has a gun" the parents made him sit down, they quickly finished their meal and left. No more wild child, too bad it took the kid noticeing my gun to make the parents do their job and be parents. Had a couple old guys at a wal mart mcdonalds saw my firearm and asked "is that a squirt gun". I said yes, "if I have to defend myself with it, it will make someone squirt". Had another guy in safeway slide past me in a tight isle and saw it, he threw his hands up and said "whoa, dont shoot", so I threw my hands up and said, "whoa, dont threaten my life and I won't". I'm still waiting to steal and use a response I saw on here about it being family tradition and that all our forefathers carried, I like that one.
    I have gotten myself needlessly a little worked up on hightened alert for no reason on a couple occasions. Like an Arco I was in and a cop walked in right behind me, I kept waiting for him to make contact and kept rolling over and over what I would say, and he didnt even acknowledge me. Or when managers in store seem like they are following me, maybe they are for a few, but they always go away. I am always listening to the intercom for an alert. I did however have a group get together and watch me in electronics in Wal-mart, one guy proceeded to follow me so I played hide and seek with him, I ran down a few isles and he kept following so I slid around the corner of an isle and he walked right into me and I tagged him and said "tag, your it". He stopped following me.
    I try to have fun everyday, and try to put that into my responses, granted if someone is an asshat I would have to think cause it is all to easy for me to be an ass also.

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    Thank you all!

    Those are some awesome responses! I chuckled reading the whole thing. I think the take away is: when open carrying it helps to have a good sense of humor. I'm usually just super polite and I don't get into any trouble but I also don't feel like I'm winning anyone over. I'll have to try some of your responses and come up with some of my own.

    Thanks again.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hardin View Post
    Carrying a toy gun like it was real is suicidally stupid.
    "Your gun has 'replica' written down the side. Mine has 'Desert Eagle, point. five. oh.'"

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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    LOL, What do you say if they answer the seat belt question with "because it's the law and I'll get a ticket and a huge fine, if I dont"?
    "What if it wasn't the law? Would you still wear it?

    No: Well, I hope you never get in an accident. But if you do, you'll wish you had it.

    Yes: Ok, well then, besides the fact it's the law, why do you still wear it?

  23. #23
    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    ... in Wal-mart, one guy proceeded to follow me so I played hide and seek with him, I ran down a few isles and he kept following so I slid around the corner of an isle and he walked right into me and I tagged him and said "tag, your it". He stopped following me.
    Comedy gold, and a very good way to defuse the situation. Bravo, and I'll have to remember that one!

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    "Ah man! You found me! Guess that means it's my turn to count now huh?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoomGoober View Post
    1) "Is that thing loaded?" - What would be the point in carrying an empty one?

    2) "Wow, I'm not going to do anything to piss you off." - That further proves a favorite quote of mine. "An armed society is a polite society."

    3) "Is that legal?" - Yes, here is a card/pamphlet with some of the RCWs regarding carrying a firearm as well as the address for a website where you can find out more.

    4) Ignoring me when I'm talking to them. - Who cares, some people are ******** whether you carry a firearm or not.
    Replies in red.

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