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What Would You Say to Someone Who Freaks Out at the Sight of a Gun?

bwarren917

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
51
Location
Billings, MT
Hey Everyone,

It dawned on me today that it may be worth creating a thread on OCDO where people can pitch in with responses they would give to people that freaked out at the sight of a lawful citizen OCing. What would you say/do in such a situation?

Personally, I'd start with a joke. Something like "because a police officer is too heavy". Lighten the mood and get the person off the defensive end. Then, I'd calmly explain this is for my protection, and to deter criminal attack.

Does anyone else have something to add, or did I pretty much sum it up? :p.
 

Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,331
Location
Valhalla
You'll notice that the link to the long running thread referred to by Skidmark is in the General Discussion sub-forum. That is because the query is not limited to conditions of just a single state.
 

acmariner99

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
659
Location
Renton, Wa
I would like to point out that the thread being referenced has been completely derailed with off topic discourse. Starting a new one may be a good idea.

To answer your question though - if someone is uncomfortable with my carry, my reaction will be determinant on the person's demeanor and my mood.

To the "that makes me uncomfortable and why do you carry question"

"Sounds like a personal problem"
"Deal with it"
"If you really are scared of me carrying, why did you approach me about it?"
*roll eyes and walk away
"Don't worry, I won't do anything to protect you if something does happen"
"It's a nice day outside and it is uncomfortable carrying concealed"
"I think with the level of crazy these days it is less responsible to not carry"
"I am not a fighter, in fact I hate fighting, but if someone intends to do me harm I will end it ... period."
"Because I am a pacifist"

I find that dressing properly, making eye contact, and smiling negates most apprehension.
 

deepdiver

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
5,831
Location
Southeast, Missouri, USA
"What Would You Say to Someone Who Freaks Out at the Sight of a Gun? "

I've never had this happen really. I had one lady, one time approach me to tell me she was afraid because of my gun. That was an easy response. "Obviously you aren't because you walked up and started talking to me" and away she went.

Besides that I haven't had any big deal reaction. A few stares. Questions if I am LEO - well actually, I almost always get asked if I am a government agent rather than a cop, which is ironic because I have several friends who call me "G-man". It actually was a running joke at the last OC event I attended. But besides that really nothing of significance. Inquiries about my sidearm almost always end up in a friendly interaction of some sort. But maybe I don't get those reactions for the same reason that people ask if I am an agent of some sort. Maybe I just look like the kind of person who would carry a gun or something.

Because of that, threads like this for me are really just theoretical.

Perhaps it would be more meaningful in this thread, or perhaps requiring another thread, for people to post actual real life encounters/reactions they have experienced so we can role play responses to actual interactions.
 

twoskinsonemanns

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
2,326
Location
WV
Nothing. If someone is "freaking out" there is no telling what they might do. Talking to them may set them off to act recklessly. I think I would take out my phone and begin recording their actions.
 

MontanaResident

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
160
Location
Montana
I don't know. Seems to never happen. I was way up in the mountains this morning picking Huckleberries and afterwards swung thru Thompson Falls to pick up some groceries. Colt 1911 in Condition 1, holstered, fully exposed, and nobody even batted an eye.

Just the way I like it! :D
 
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MSG Laigaie

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
3,166
Location
Philipsburg, Montana
Some 'hoods are sensible, some 'hoods are defiant, jus'depends.

Here in B'ham, the topic rarely comes up in my daily parade. If I travel a bit south to, say, seattle, it changes quite a bit. People in seattle scream, yell, get nasty and in general wet their pants. SVG (sudden valley gunner) was offered what the sweet little old lady said were poisoned cookies. Commenting that life would be better in seattle if they killed us off. Nasty.

It would be better, inmho, to continue on with life and not contribute to the spectacle. It will only escalate.
 

ccwinstructor

Centurion
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
915
Location
Yuma, Arizona, USA
It sounds as though that would make great YouTube video

Some 'hoods are sensible, some 'hoods are defiant, jus'depends.

Here in B'ham, the topic rarely comes up in my daily parade. If I travel a bit south to, say, seattle, it changes quite a bit. People in seattle scream, yell, get nasty and in general wet their pants. SVG (sudden valley gunner) was offered what the sweet little old lady said were poisoned cookies. Commenting that life would be better in seattle if they killed us off. Nasty.

It would be better, inmho, to continue on with life and not contribute to the spectacle. It will only escalate.
Many people would love to see a YouTube video of the disarmists and hoplophobes making idiots of themselves.
 

Emmeric

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
17
Location
Butte, Montana, USA
I've only had three issues in eight years where people freaked out over my open carry (Butte, MT).

First was a bank (on Dewey, near the post office). Had open carried plenty of times over the course of two years there. Ran $300,000 through their bank all at once and traded large US Treasuries. One day, $55,000 check in hand, I'm stopped at the door by their security and told very rudely that I wasn't coming in carrying "that." He was so forceful, he was spitting saliva. I kept a smile on my face, as I always do, but the security guy and the bank manager were livid - bodily blocking the doorway and leaning threateningly. I closed my account through the drive-in window.

Second was another bank, Wells Fargo. Had been in multiple times, always polite. Approached by someone not the manager and told I couldn't carry - that the bank was a federal building. The manager who was listening started shaking her head immediately and said, "actually we're not." Good for her because claiming to be a federal employee when you aren't is a federal crime punishable by up to 3 years in prison. Still, I was asked to leave and I did. I now do all my banking there through the drive-thru, though I have been inside open-carrying once when they asked me to come in and they did not ask me to remove it.

Third was the real freak-out. At Safeway, a checker I hadn't seen before began eyeballing me and quivering. I always smile and act just like any other customer. When we were checking through, she asked, "Are you going to shoot someone?" To which I replied, still with a smile, "My greatest fear is ever having to pull it." She went on for the few minutes checking our groceries about how she hated guns, they caused death, and fear, and blah blah blah. She was making quite a scene. I told her I was licensed to carry, but she even said cops scared her. My wife was pissed, but I shrugged it off.

Overall, I believe the best response is to keep smiling. If they appear conversant, I tell them I'm licensed (CCP) and to get that license, I had to be cleaner than a cop. That usually abates all that fear. If they appear curious, then I tell them I had to clear both state and federal Department of Justice background checks and fingerprints. Usually at that point, I get smiles in return.
 

gcbailey

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
24
Location
WV/VA
One thing I've noticed is this.... If I am open carrying and I am alone, I have saw some eyebrows raised, people staring, etc... But never anyone actually "freak out" or felt compelled to act on it. I have also noticed if I am with my wife and kids I might get a glance, then it's dismissed. I guess if you're carrying a gun with a member of the opposite sex or with children present it's more "family friendly"?

Thankfully, I live in an area that is still very firearm friendly and even most LEO have some type of common sense.
 
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