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Open Carry experience thread.

Thoreau

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Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Having taken up the joys of cigars in recent years, that hobby has added to the list of places I frequent while open carrying.

Thankfully, that crowd seems to be just fine with the sight of guns (not that I expected otherwise honestly.)

The most 'eventful' it's been (if that description is even appropriate) would be perhaps once at one cigar lounge where it was obvious that a couple people were optically-raping my sidearm while I was grabbing a drink from the fridge to purchase (soda), and at another lounge while sitting down to enjoy my cigar I overheard a guy sitting across from me saying something along the lines of 'this is Arizona' to his friend. He then engaged me in the usual 'what caliber, brand, model, etc' conversation.

Hell, the rep from a cigar manufacturer that shows up to annual events for his brand at various cigar lounges even remembered me from the previous year (carrying the same H&K as before) and struck up even more gun-friendly conversation. Got a free hat out of the chat too. =)
 

Rusty Young Man

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Even with SA, a guy startled me

OCed around Saturday evening (~6-8 pm) while on a bike (bicycle). Wearing the helmet and all, I guess people didn't think I'd be put to no good (because let's be honest, how many "homies" try to look cool by wearing a brightly-colored helmet, while on a bike that isn't two sizes too small, and not wearing sagging pants halfway down their posterior?). But I did score some major coolness points with the ~8-ish year-olds that saw me go by at the park ("Oh look! He's got a gun! Hey look! He's got a gun! Look! A gun!").:lol:

But the real event happened when I was on 4th Ave. (it's like a strip mall/main street for you out-of-AZers). I locked up my bike, making sure to scan around every few seconds so no one would sneak up on me, then went inside Antigone's bookstore. No problem in their from anyone, and I know for sure one lady noticed (she just glanced, and shrugged it off; we're winning the battle here in AZ!:banana:)

When I went to unlock my bike, I still scanned, but one fairly large Caucasian guy (guesstimate around 6' and 220 lbs?) did a 90 degree turn from the direction he was walking and came towards me. He then said quite loudly "Hey, 45 guy" and followed with "got a light?" then pulled out his pack of cigarettes. I "bladed" to keep my pistol away from him, but definitely had little room to maneuver or move back (a car blocked my way into the road, and I was between the car and the bike rack). I lent him my lighter using my support hand, and he just said "America's a great country, iin't it?" before leaving. No problems after that.

But the way he looked at me (never glancing away) I couldn't help but feel like he was trying to decide whether or not to attack. His posture and his tone definitely started out as confrontational, since the tone he used for "Hey, 45 guy" was like saying "Hey jack@$$".
Now, the reason this shook me up a bit was the fact that I kept scanning to make sure no one snuck up on me, and I remember he had glanced at me and shrugged me off when he was still ~5 meters away, and only turned when he was practically in front of me, with my unlocked bike ALMOST between us, and myself boxed in between the car and the bike rack (to the right and left of me, respectively), and a lightpost and the large man (behind and in front of me, respectively). Never thought I would be so careless as to allow for the possibility of being boxed in, while on foot no less.:banghead:
 
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FreeInAZ

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Well hindsight is always 20/20. When asked for a light by a dick head I might have said "sorry, the only way I could make flame for you would be via the muzzle of my pistol. See they're right when they say smoking will kill you!" :p You handled it pretty well.
 

Rusty Young Man

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Bump for sticky #4. :)

OCed yesterday to and from the AZCDL Annual Meeting of Members. A bus driver asked me to "make sure your weapon stays in the holster", to which I clarified that it would only be unholstered if I had to use it. No reply on his part to that. A funny moment ensued when one walking mural sheepishly :)D) asked "Why do you carry a firearm?" I let him know that I had already tried carrying a cop, but my back was really starting to kill me. Only one lady (sitting across from me) and the driver didn't find my answer amusing. Oh well, you can't always brighten up everyone's day. Received a few stares from drivers as I walked the last bit to the Marriott, and one dark SUV at the Speedway and Euclid intersection actually pulled into reverse to pretend to take a photo of a house, but methinks the house was not the object of desire.

On the way back, I had a few (male) drivers gawk out their windows at seeing, *GASP*, an armed LAC in what is one of the last relatively free states in the Union. Only one guy on the bus acknowledged seeing my weapon, struck up a conversation, and divulged that he sometimes carried, but I can't tell for sure whether he meant on Call of Duty or he was intoxicated enough to reveal that he carries despite looking like a prohibited possessor (dirty clothing with holes, typical "cholo" long socks and sneakers, and a beanie).

OCed later at Sam's Club. No lines, a lot of people noticed, but only one Hispanic family and a single mother of two showed any real fear and, sadly, scurried off before I could extend more than a polite "Good evening" and a smile. No problems, no confrontations, and it was another chance for me to realize exactly how good we have it in Arizona compared to the other states.
 

FreeInAZ

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@Rusty thanks for the bump. Apparently "you duh man!"

I would have said to the bus driver "hey man - as long as you don't start screaming Allah akbar! And aiming the bus at fuel tankers...you should be ok...:rolleyes:" This kind of comment always bugs me because if he were truly worried about you he would have kept his trap shut and called for help.

On topic OCed at dinner with the family over the weekend. No issues. I do notice more glances when I'm out alone, but I always chalk this up to me being brutally handsome. :p For those who believe that - I've got a bridge in Brooklynn you might be interested in. :what:
 

Rusty Young Man

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OCed at Tucson Meet Yourself this Friday and Saturday. As I mentioned in another AZ thread, I was required to attend because of one of the courses I am taking (humanities). Not to say I didn't like the experience from two years ago, but I didn't like the idea of going somewhere without The Force (my pet name for my 1911:D) and being completely defenseless.
On Friday, I got a few compliments for carrying, and one man even asked me about if it was real because it "looks really pretty". Never heard that said about a 1911-A1, so that was...different. Another man said was a little more jovial and said the following: "Uh oh. A gun and a camera, I like that set-up" (I was carrying a photocamera and tripod) to which I replied (for the benefit of those around us) "This one's [motioning at the camera] for shooting, and this one's [elbowing my 1911] for defense".:p
Saturday I got a compliment on the bus from a vet that no longer rides a motorcycle, but used to OC whenever he was on one "because no one would mess with me" (referring to the drivers that tend to cut off motorcyclists). Once the station, another man just commended me for exercising the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I also got a few from less savory-looking fellows, but there was never any screaming, running, paniced crowd.:rolleyes:
The most eventful it got for me was meeting some classmates that didn't know I carried, and I only got the usual comments like "Is that a real gun?" (to which I answered in the affirmative), "I didn't even notice it" (referring to not noticing it until their friend picked up on it), and "what kind is it?" (I just answered that it was a 1911). Of course, there were the two cases where I mentioned that I was hoping to get a few good shots of the festival (while motioning to the camera), but they joked that "oh, I thought you meant with your gun", to which I replied (in a friendly nature) that it only comes out of its holster at the range or to get a bad guy. Beside that, I only received the occasional stink eye from visitors or transplants from the slave states, and some people that just seemed a little alarmed at the sight of one of those evil handguns...not attacking people on its own accord.:rolleyes: Maybe it's just that mine is defective?:) Anyone else own a defective handgun?:lol:
 

FreeInAZ

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Oc'd around all over the N. Valley yesterday. No issues, only question came from a circle k clerk who asked "what you carrying there?" Not missing a beat I smiled & replied, "a 44oz frosty soda from the fountain, off hand of course" ;)

Him "I meant your gun...." I again smiled and said "well if it was one of your biggest foam soda cups, you'd need to add an ounce." He chuckled & "said yeah, figured you for a 45 guy. " If I knew he'd understand, I would have explained the whole "caliber means nothing if you can't hit anything & carry what you shoot well with..." but it would be lost on him. A 22 in the hand is far better than a 50cal desert eagle at home in the safe. ;)
 
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Rusty Young Man

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OCed at Tucson 4th Ave. Halloween fest

Please excuse the late submissions, in two parts.
OCed all over 4th Ave. Saturday the 26th of October. It was evening time and I hadn't gotten the memo about dressing up and bringing kids for a community trick-or-treat bash on the street. Some people noticed, but looked away almost as fast, stealing glances they believed I was unaware of. I would have liked to edge-oo-mah-cate the masses, but I was pressed for time (trying to reach a book store before it closed). Bought my book (success!) and asked the cashier about the costume fest; turns out 4th Ave does it every year.
Now with more leisure, I watched some costume contests and got to tell some curious folks that The Force (pet name for my 1911) was only for self defense. One little kid dressed as a policeman asked if it was real, then replied "I have one too" when I answered in the affirmative. No screaming children, angry mothers foaming at the mouth at the sight of a sidearm, or concerned police (even though I walked right by a few). Overall, a pretty boring OC evening (thanks to the efforts of AZCDL and other freedom-loving, Rights-defending troublemakers in the state:banana:).
The only fright of the evening (except for this one really creepy insect/alien I had the urge to step on) occurred when a ~5-6 year old kid tapped his sword on my holster. Reflex kicked in and I had my forearm clamped down on it, but I still told the little guy he'd succeeded in giving me a bit of a scare. The holster I was carrying held my sidearm tightly at a forward cant, but I'm just glad to see reflex instead of conscious choice made me clamp down.
 

Rusty Young Man

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OCed at Tucson All Souls Procession

OCed at the All Souls Procession on Sunday, 3rd of November from about 5-9:15 pm. Pretty boring :))) in regards to OC generally being a non-event, but I caught the occasional stink-eye from what I assume were visitors and transplants from the slave states.
The only time anyone mentioned my sidearm was when a little kid (~4 years old) asked me why I was "carrying that". His mother believed he referred to the camera I had, and told him it was because I was a photographer. He asked again, so I told the mother he was referring to "the other thing I'm carrying" (didn't want to say "gun" or "firearm" in a big crowd like that). I just motioned to my sidearm and let them know I carry for self-defense, to which her reply was "we don't need to know about that" (ignorant much?). I just reiterated that it was only for self-defense, and she seemed to lighten up a bit, telling me her son had initially thought I was "a firefighter" :)confused:?).
Other than that, there was only the case of me not wanting to turn around too much in an effort to keep my sidearm hidden from the view of one of my professors. I don't want to seem soft, but for the time being it is best I not incur her wrath, as I have good reason to believe she is anti-gun and VERY good reason to believe she is a communist :)eek::eek:).
All in all, pretty uneventful.
 

Rusty Young Man

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Alright, sorry for my late post (courses have kept me busy, and made posting this OC non-event slip my mind).
OCed around 4th Ave. and 6th Ave. Saturday, 9th of November. No reactions to speak of from the anti-gun crowd. Just the usual "deer-caught-in-the-headlights" look, and the "pivot-head" phenomenon. Honestly, with so many eyes looking at it, I feel a little insecure about the size of my barell. Maybe I need to carry a smaller pistol?:lol:

Great run-in at Miller's Surplus on 6th and 6th where I got to see another (IWB) OCer. Forgot his name (I'm horrible with names), but he is the manager of the store, I believe. He had some sort of Glock in a high-ride IWB holster, but with his shirt tucked under the holster, plainly visible. The only reason I spoke to him about it was because it was crossdraw. Also, I was unable to find any 5.11 tactical kilts.

Other than that, nothing. All's well (and boring) in this part of AZ. I think AZCDL and other passionate, freedom-loving Americans are to blame for my lack of negative OC encounters.:lol:

P.S.: Please look at the thread in the"AZ events" subforum. If we're gonna show up to the courthouse on December 3rd, it'd be nice to show up in strong numbers. Plus, there may be sandwiches afterwards at a pro-OC place.:banana:
 
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FreeInAZ

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Jeff Hayes

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Long gone
Carried in and around Quartzsite & Brenda yesterday without incident, saw one unicorn at Roadrunner in Quartzsite but did not get a chance to talk to him.
 

Rusty Young Man

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Carried in and around Quartzsite & Brenda yesterday without incident, saw one unicorn at Roadrunner in Quartzsite but did not get a chance to talk to him.

Elusive creatures, those unicorns.:) Hope your visit to our lovely (usually sunny and dry) state was a good one.

On topic: OCed all over in the pouring rain here in Tucson. "How?" you ask? I used an umbrella and the "Virginia tuck" method to keep from having my rain jacket cover it. Got a few glances while on the bus, but a short, thin girl must not have found me very menacing because we struck up a conversation about college final exams and the rivers that tend to crop up whenever it pours here.
Broke a $20 bill at Mama's Hawaiian BBQ by buying one of their cheesecake-something squares (can't remember, but it was GOOD). No screaming or murdering. Go figure.:p
OC at the CVS yielded the most interesting encounter of the day when one of the cashiers (a cute little dark blonde girl) asked me what I carried. The conversation went something like this:

Cute girl: "Excuse me, what do you carry?" (I was kind of put off by the fact that she seemed genuinely interested, and was making eye contact instead of simply staring at my big scary gun)

Me: Hmm? Oh, a 1911 (granted, not the most fluid response, but I was a bit cold with the rain, wind and all). What do you carry? (My new approach to people asking is me responding casually [~lazily] and asking what they are carrying).

Cute girl: "Oh, I carry a nine."

Me: :))) "9 mil? What model?"

Cute girl: "Oh, I can't remember. And I just looked at it this morning. Yeah, my boyfriend gave me it."

Me: :)( she has a boyfriend, and she doesn't know her firearm)

After that, it got busy again with all the people rushing in between watching football (Wildcats vs Ducks, I believe). No issues from anyone else in the store.
So even this close to campus, OC appears to be.... Normal.:lol: (*Thinks to self: never leaving AZ*)
 

Rusty Young Man

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You forgot the "[/ quote]" in your post. I guess we just haven't had the chance to meet in person then (not surprising, seeing as I'm stuck indoors a grand majority of the week, and funds don't allow for much travel). Maybe we'll see each other at the Dec. 3 event (in the AZ "Events" sub forum).
 
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Rusty Young Man

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OCed at the Dunbar Spring neighborhood (one of the many quirky and loveable neighborhoods here in Tucson) for the Porch Fest event on the 24th of November. I was unable to make the mesquite-flour pancake breakfast, but I got to see the milling process and got a pretty good explanation of the harvesting procedure; will try to store my own mesquite pods next year (to anyone interested: 1 gallon of pods yields 1 lb of mesquite flour).
Got a few nasty looks from what I believe to be visiting Kalifornia hippies, but no confrontations.

The most eventful part related to OC was when a large poodle (apparently still a puppy :confused:) wanted to chew on my leather magazine pouch and took an interest in my leather holster.:)
Then there was one guy that asked me if my hammer was supposed to be back (I carry a 1911 in Condition 1), so I explained that to him and asked what he carried. His answer was a bit snippy "Oh, I don't," but I was pretty cold by that time and wanted to try some of the prickly pear jelly I'd bought, so no educational experience for him (to be fair, everything was starting to wind down by then, and he was obviously cold and wanting to leave as well).
 
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FreeInAZ

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@ Rusty - I am always amazed by the "hammer police". These are the same people who NEVER ask me if it is safe to carry my 45 acp Glock in safety on (trigger), striker cocked position...??? People are often "ignorant" of gun facts, yet comfortable to make stupid statements around the carrier of the firearm in question. I try to be polite - but have answered in the one case where a guy in line at Circle K said something with - Me holding up my index finger while smiling and saying "this gun is equipped with the best safety of all...a safe human operating it." He chuckled and that was that. I was carrying the FNX 45 with the hammer back and the safety on. 15+1 at the flip of a safety ;).

On topic OCing now... nobody cares...but hey, they are my family..and they understand 100% of home invasions happen....at home.

Happy thanksgiving to all. :D
 
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