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Another Open Carry Day

MamaLiberty

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Another Open Carry Day
By Susan Callaway, Editor
The Price of LIberty

August 03, 2009

My friend Jubal and I often open carry together, especially when we go out of town to shop. It's an exercise of our sovereign responsibility for our own lives and safety, as well as an opportunity to educate others. It should be a given that we are also ready and able to help others in the event of an attack or other emergency.

Unfortunately, that's not how some people see us at all. Having been conditioned to believe that the guns themselves are "evil" in the hands of ordinary people, and that anyone who is not a cop just might well be up to no good if they've got a gun... Perfectly legal open carry of a firearm can be mighty inconvenient, and in many places put one in grave danger from the police themselves.

Most of the time we don't encounter these folks, but sometimes it happens. That's when the education often starts.

On Friday, July 31, 2009, Jubal and I headed out to Rapid City, South Dakota to do some shopping. We have both carried there many times without incident, but you just never know.

Arriving too early, we walked around the old part of town and saw the colorful "art" sprayed and painted on the walls and every available surface of one particular (I guess famous) alley off 7th street. The tourists, both on foot and driving - one even in a cab - came by often with their cameras flashing. Nobody paid us much attention except two young men who passed me silently with wide open eyes on the XD .45 holstered at my side.

Then we went to a gun shop called "First Stop." It's a favorite for both of us, and I did the usual wishful drooling on the handgun cases while he looked for the powder and other components he needed for reloading. All of the clerks were friendly and nobody said a word about the guns on our hips. It's just not an issue there.

Cabellas and Scheels were the next stops, still looking for components and admiring the hardware for sale. Clerks were friendly and helpful, and nobody mentioned the guns except one question about the caliber of mine from a lady at the checkout desk.

The greeter at Sam's Club was a middle aged veteran in a wheelchair. What a wonderful greeting he gave us, specifically giving vocal thumbs up to our open carry. Jubal stopped to talk briefly with the fellow Marine, and then we did our best to find what we needed in the disorganized confusion of that crazy store. Another customer asked us if a "license" was needed to open carry, and was happy to learn that none is required in either South Dakota or Wyoming.

The Golden Corral is a wonderful buffet, with much more than the usual attention to customers, as real waitresses circulate to keep coffee cups and iced tea glasses full, gathering the used plates and generally offering to get you anything you might want. Our lunch was very pleasant, and though a few folks seemed to notice, nobody seemed to be upset or care that we were armed.

Then we went to WalMart to complete our shopping. The greeters were friendly, as always, and we had a delightful conversation with a couple who had just moved to SD from Florida. The lady said she was glad to see a woman carry that way, as she'd been afraid to try it even though she did have a Florida concealed carry permit. I gave her my card and encouraged her to get more training (and understand the laws) before she took on the responsibility of carrying in her new home. They were both very "comfortable" seeing two ordinary people going armed.

We were about 90% finished shopping and I was checking my list when I looked up to see that Jubal was suddenly - and literally - surrounded by three unidentified WalMart employees. He said they started with the usual, "you can't have that gun in here" stuff, and he told them that open carry in South Dakota was perfectly legal. Then, of course, they trotted out the old, "customers are uncomfortable" nonsense. I loved Jubal's response: "That's their problem."

I asked them if we were harming or threatening anyone, and of course they said, "Oh no!" But somehow they seemed to think that some unnamed and probably non-existent "uncomfortable" customer was the only important factor and WE should leave because of it.

Jubal and I decided to check out, then we stopped at the "Customer Service" and asked to see the manager. An assistant manager was in the store, and he came out right away to speak to us. He said he had called the police, but after they had determined no shots were being fired and we were causing no problems, he was told that open carry was legal in SD and, I guess, the conversation ended there. No police were dispatched.

He had obviously spoken to the three gentlemen who had confronted us previously, but was very open and listened carefully to what we had to say. He was unaware of the SD open carry law, but WAS aware of the national WalMart policy of following the state law where the store is located. Jubal explained the open carry law - lack of any in Wyoming - to him, and related it to the growing tyranny in this country. He asked this young man if he wanted his children and grandchildren to live that way. The gentleman was very thoughtful, and agreed that he did not want to see that happen.

I was able to tell him about my previous encounter in the Spearfish, SD store, and the response of the manager there. I gave him my NRA instructor's card and invited him to learn more about SD laws and customs. He was obviously from somewhere else.

He apologized for the trouble and said there was no reason we could not continue to shop while open carrying.

*******

Some afterthoughts

I've never had a good answer for the "customers are uncomfortable" claim, but I think I finally have one. Sure wish I'd thought of it on Friday, but I will most certainly use it in the future.

What if someone went to a manager or employee and told them they were "uncomfortable" simply because another customer was black, or crippled, or ugly, or too tall, or ...? Would the management then remove those others these customers felt uncomfortable being around? What if a carpenter came in with a hammer in the loop on his pants? Could I complain that his tool made me uncomfortable and get him tossed out of the store?

Nobody has any "right" to remain totally comfortable or not to be "offended." We must educate people to accept this fact regarding those who choose to go armed, as they usually do for race or disability. Hopefully, more and more people will carry so the general population will become used to seeing us going about our peaceful, everyday business - not threatening them in any way.

On a lighter note:

I told a friend of our adventure Friday night, and he had his own tale to tell about going into the Spearfish WalMart just a few days before. He was in jeans, boots, cowboy hat and had his big revolver strapped on as always. A clerk asked him if he was a "cowboy reenactor. My friend says he scratched his head and said, "I work with cattle, on a horse, on a ranch and the gun is required for my employment. Guess that makes me a real cowboy... He didn't indicate that the clerk had anything more to say about it.

Love it. I need a cowboy hat!

(MamaLiberty)
 

Grapeshot

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Great story MamaLiberty but I think maybe you need a cowgirl hat, though truth of the matter, you are one of the boys here. :D

Thanks for carrying/delivering the message - you do well.

Yata hey
 

Mr.Advocate

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Great story, I learned alot on this thread, you pointed out some very good comebacks that I would of never though of in your dealings with your particular Wal-Mart.
 

Ironbar

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That's an excellent story! Well done in dealing with the Walmart manager. I think you represented gun owners everywhere very well that day. Kudos!:monkey
 

MamaLiberty

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Ironbar wrote:
That's an excellent story! Well done in dealing with the Walmart manager. I think you represented gun owners everywhere very well that day. Kudos!:monkey
Thanks! I do my best to be a good neighbor, and a good ambassador for liberty and justice every day. I carry all the time, everywhere. Sure wish more folks would join me. :)
 

WheelGun

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Delaware County, New York, USA
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MamaLiberty wrote:
Arriving too early, we walked around the old part of town and saw the colorful "art" sprayed and painted on the walls and every available surface of one particular (I guess famous) alley off 7th street. The tourists, both on foot and driving - one even in a cab - came by often with their cameras flashing. Nobody paid us much attention except two young men who passed me silently with wide open eyes on the XD .45 holstered at my side.
This sounds just like New York City and it's surrounding suburban counties.

Interesting 'wall art,' residents from many economic backgrounds, and best of all, you can carry anywhere you want.

Oh, wait a minute...

An XD .45 is a gun ???

I thought it was a cell phone.

Never mind.
 

MamaLiberty

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Newcastle, Wyoming, USA
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WheelGun wrote
This sounds just like New York City and it's surrounding suburban counties.

Interesting 'wall art,' residents from many economic backgrounds, and best of all, you can carry anywhere you want.

Oh, wait a minute...

An XD .45 is a gun ???

I thought it was a cell phone.

Never mind.
This was not "grafitti" by any means - though there was a little evidence of a few "taggers" here and there, of course. Most of this was old fashioned street art - before the gangs took over in places like Los Angeles. There were murals ten feet tall, portraits and landscapes, lots of "abstract" type stuff, but well done and in beautiful complex colors. The alley was as clean as the regular steets always are, and even the trash bins were neat and clean - though some of them also had art on them. That's just the way things are here. :)

There were also no bums, drunks, punks or other human flotsam around. Unless you count tourists, of course. Some do - I don't.

:lol: My partner carries a .41 Magnum blackhawk.
 

MamaLiberty

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I'd love to shop only in Wyoming, and mostly do, but the alternative for me to Spearfish or Rapid City in SD is Gillette, and that town is an embarassment to Wyoming. It's downright ugly. I have carried in the Gillette WalMart, but had more trouble there than SD!

See the newest story: http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/09/08/31/editor.html

(I can't see how to hyperlink anything at this forum...)
 

Seif5034

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MamaLiberty wrote:
Another Open Carry Day
By Susan Callaway, Editor
The Price of LIberty


. He said he had called the police, but after they had determined no shots were being fired and we were causing no problems, he was told that open carry was legal in SD and, I guess, the conversation ended there. No police were dispatched.
Three cheers for the dispatcher!!!:celebrate
 
M

McX

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Damn, read your story. Sounds like it's more America out there, where you live, than where "we" live. I'm jealous!
 
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