Another GOOD experience OC'ing (@ Walmart)
Every story like this will help someone understand better, the majority of encounters OC'ers have. This occurred on 05/08/2012 8:30 pm'ish, at the Richland WA Walmart.
My wife and I were making a quick visit to the walmart for some dog food and window cleaning wipes for the car. I was dressed in my normal attire (jeans, polo, vest), while my wife had gym style clothing on. I was carrying my Jericho 941 at the 3 o'clock weapon side, with kbar tdi knife on my reaction side.
After entering the building, the greeter made eye contact, looked down at my firearm, and then remade eye contact (I assume he noticed because he was in a wheelchair, and my firearm was at his head level, otherwise almost no greeters have noticed my firearm). I smiled and said good evening, which he replied with a smile and good evening back. We turned left down the first main aisle towards the dog food. We made it about 20 feet before a gentleman who was standing by the greeter exclaimed "Excuse me sir!" My wife and I turned around, to see an older man in his 50-60's, walking up to us. At this point, it was a little bit awkward as he had to project his voice a little bit to reach us.
He quickly smiled and told me my attire looked good. He asked me if I was a police officer, which I replied no. He then went on and on about how great it was to see another person carrying a firearm, and that he too carries but is too afraid to be hassled for OC. The majority of the conversation was one sided, and I stood there smiling and nodding, because he knew exactly what the point of open carrying was:
1. To get the people accustomed to seeing firearms again.
2. To deter criminals.
3. To keep my wife safe.
Throughout the conversation, he would ask questions such as, "Have you ever had a bad encounter?" "Have police ever bothered you?" "Has a store ever kicked you out?" Which I answered, "Yes, I had one bad encounter, no police have ever bothered me, and no no company has ever kicked me out." He brought up a story about a man from Prosser WA that was arrested for not leaving company property after being asked to leave, which I then stated he must of been arrested for trespassing, which was correct.
It was refreshing to hear another person who does not OC himself, be able to articulate why some of us do OC. He did at one point, face me, and lift the front of his shirt up to reveal his firearm which was in a crossdraw IWB holster (I believe it was a Ruger LC9). He then asked my wife if she carried, and openly as well. Which she replied she does carry, but only open carries when she is with me. I then introduced myself, and he introduced himself as Mike, we shook hands and parted ways.
Despite the slight awkwardness at the beginning, the conversation went extremely well. So Mike, if you come find this thread, and you know it's you I was talking with, thank you for such a pleasant conversation.
On a side note: Earlier that day, my wife and I were getting subs at Quiznos. The guy making our sandwiches asked what kind of firearm I carry. I told him Jericho 941, which he replied, "oh nice, my brother has a Sig 1911, and yours looks like it, I thought maybe it was the same." I then asked him is **** your last name? He looked shocked and said yes. I work with his brother, and even shot the Sig he was referring to. His face was priceless.
Just another day in the life of FFC.
“One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson