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OC Encounters
#1
A lot of these encounters were posted about on the other forum. But here's a few new ones as well. Most are good, some are great, one is "meh".

I'm jogging around my neighborhood in boots and utes (boots, cammie pants, green shirt) since there isn't a base nearby, and it's good conditioning. I have my two of my dogs with me to keep me motivated, and to keep them in shape too. My M&P is on my hip. One of the local PD pulls up alongside me, strong side facing them and asks if I'm new to their K9 unit. I reply no, but am interested if they're hiring. The officer laughs, explains that he was curious since I seemed like I'd be a K9 officer, and wished me a good day.

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Another time an officer pulled over while my wife and I were training one of our dogs in the front yard. He greeted us with a smile and asked how we were doing. Neither of us recognized him for a moment, until it hit us that he had helped us find a dog that had gotten loose. He asked if he could see the dog and pet him, and was very polite and courteous the entire time. We made small talk about the dogs we've personally had and trained, and then parted ways.

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I walk into a gas station to grab a soda on my way to the range.

Clerk: Are you a cop?
Me: Nope.
Clerk: Military?
Me: Marine Corps.
Clerk: Damn... you guys carry guns even around town?
Me: No, I just carry one as a citizen.
Clerk: Cops don't care?
Me: Not really, most give me a thumbs up.
Clerk: Damn, dude, that's pretty cool.

I finish paying for my drink and leave.

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One day I'm sitting at a doctor's office in Hermitage with my wife while she goes in for an appointment. My wife has her service dog with her, and the three of us are quietly sitting in the corner of the waiting room.

One woman has been staring at me the entire time and finally asks with wide eyes, "Why do you have a gun?"

My wife and I are both a little dumbfounded that the lady is asking about the gun on my hip and not the 90 pound German Shepherd she has with her as a service animal.

My response: Because I can.

The others just chuckle and go back to their magazines. The woman is still staring wide eyed. My wife, who is smirking at me, chimes in, "He's a Marine, it's ok. He's one of the good guys"

The woman just nods and tries to pretend reading a magazine.

I probably could have had a better answer, but the question caught me off guard since I was honestly expecting her to ask about the German Shepherd lying by my wife's side.

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Same office, this time the doctor asks me why I'm carrying. I reply that I'm more proactive about my personal safety, especially when the best police response time would be five minutes. He paused a moment, nodded, and replied fair enough.

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Yesterday at physical therapy the receptionist finally asks after going there for a month and a half.

Her: What line of work are you in?
Me: I work with kids.
Her: You carry a gun to work with kids?
Me: Oh, no, I carry for protection.
Her: Just in case?
Me: Pretty much, yeah.
Her: Oh, ok then. It was a little unnerving the first time I saw you with it, but you were polite so it doesn't bother me now. I just had to ask.
Me: Not a problem. Have a good morning.

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That's just a few of the encounters I've had. Most of them tend to be like the receptionist, who's a little shocked and curious. From what I've noticed, a young man walking around with a gun in the open is something few are used to, and they usually think LEO. A polite smile and calm demeanor goes a long way into making everyone feel comfortable and the situation more normal.

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New
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I just finished an afternoon at the range with some friends and we've all decided to go out to eat, just like we always do after we meet up for gun club. We all take our seats and I order a small beer with my meal, like everyone else. Unlike everyone else, I'm OCing while others are CCing. I wasn't bothered or disturbed during my meal, but the waitress asks one of my buddies about me carrying and drinking. He explained it's perfectly legal, I keep myself very civil, and to date I haven't gotten drunk (let alone buzzed). She is still unsure and asks her manager just to double check, who tells her everything that my buddy has just told me. She apologizes and says that she just wasn't sure and didn't want anyone (myself, our group, or her) to get in trouble. I didn't find out about any of this until the following day, and as far as my friend can tell she really was just unsure about the laws and less concerned about me OCing.

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I step into a gas station to grab some coffee and a snack while on a long drive. A cute girl, looks to be a sophomore in college, spots me OCing and points to my gun with a shocked expression on her face.

Her: Oh my God, he's got a gun! Hot!"
Me: And a wedding ring around my dogtags too!

She blushes and I proceed to pay for my stuff with a grin.

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I meet up with another member of my unit around the Wilkes-Barre area for a quick dinner. There was an issue with my lodging request so I shared a room with a Sergeant for the evening. As we're both heading out he holsters a Springfield XD in a Crossbreed style holster while I holster mine in my Desantis Scabbard. He gives me a grin and a nod.

Sgt: Glad I'm not the only one, sir.
Me: Ditto. Nine mil or forty?
Sgt: Nine mil, sir. More rounds to put downrange that way.
Me: Can't argue that logic. How's the holster feel?
Sgt: Pretty good, sir. I really don't feel it much at all, and now I'm just used to it so I rarely notice it.
Me: I was debating on getting something like that if I ever wanted to cover up...
Sgt: I was wondering if you ever did, sir. Anyone ever hassle you over it?
Me: Not really, no. I've never given anyone reason to if they every notice.
Sgt: Fair enough, sir. Am I driving or are you?

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Same Sgt is with me, but now we're joined by a fellow Lieutenant.

Lt: Wow... I feel like I've got an armed escort now.
Sgt: Yes, ma'am. Consider yourself the VIP and us your security detail.
Lt: Wait, you're both armed?
At this point I laugh while the Sgt realizes she didn't know he carries.
Sgt: Yes, ma'am. The Lieutenant here is just bolder about it.
Lt: No one bothers you about it?
Me: Heh, the Sergeant and I just went over this, but no. Most folks don't even notice, and it's more than legal.

We discuss the legalities about OC, carry choices, and what the process is to get a LTCF. As it turns out she's actually very interested, but wasn't sure about what all the options are, the costs, and the process of getting a LTCF. The Sergeant and I were both happy to explain things and tell her our experiences and preferences. All in all it was a pretty good night out.

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Lessons Learned

While smart one liners can shut someone up, they probably won't make someone feel any more at ease. Sometimes making that person shut up is the best you can do, other times you could have probably done more and gotten a better outcome. Not getting into an argument is always a win though.

Not all LEO are bad. Actually, the LEOs I've encountered have all been pleasant or neutral. Even better is the LEO who sees the gun and doesn't hassle me about it, and I've come across a fair amount of them too. I don't think all LEOs are bad, it's just a few that are that get the most attention.

Most folks are just curious if they ever do ask about you carrying, and a good attitude and some politeness goes a long way in swaying them to your side.

Most folks don't really know the laws for OC, and it's probably just a general knowledge that it's legal. Sometimes they think they know the laws and are dead wrong. In any case, you won't usually meet anyone who outright refuses to believe it's legal.

In any case, I'll say it again. How others perceive you will directly affect how they interact with you. A polite smile, calm demeanor, and behaving like carrying is normal avoids most negative encounters.

[Image: 21122657_10155704889299275_8952212329936901321_o_2.jpg]
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#2
Thanks for posting your experiences, it's nice to see some positive encounters going up from time to time. I also agree with the "Lessons Learned" part of your post, although I've never had to deal with a wide-eyed hysterical anti either, so maybe I've just been really lucky, but I try to give each situation the benefit of the doubt.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

William Pitt
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#3
Just pray you never run into the clueless know-it-all, who has his wife ask if it's legal, then engages you in pleasant conversation for an hour, and then calls the cops because he doesn't like it...
headcase, bitch-slapping gun myth perpetuators since 2006.
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#4
(09-19-2012, 11:24 AM)headcase Wrote: Just pray you never run into the clueless know-it-all, who has his wife ask if it's legal, then engages you in pleasant conversation for an hour, and then calls the cops because he doesn't like it...

Sounds like a great guy.. Angry

In my experience if you walk, talk and act like carrying is no big deal, people are alot less likely to hassle you or be nervous.
stimrob, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
(09-19-2012, 11:30 AM)stimrob Wrote:
(09-19-2012, 11:24 AM)headcase Wrote: Just pray you never run into the clueless know-it-all, who has his wife ask if it's legal, then engages you in pleasant conversation for an hour, and then calls the cops because he doesn't like it...

Sounds like a great guy.. Angry

In my experience if you walk, talk and act like carrying is no big deal, people are alot less likely to hassle you or be nervous.


Nailed it. Your demeanor and presence have a big impact on how people perceive you. You don't need to walk into a room and immediately have everyone bow in awe of how awesome you are, but you should be able to carry yourself calmly and confidently and be able to show it. That tends to put a lot of folks at ease and sets any encounter up to be a decent one.

[Image: 21122657_10155704889299275_8952212329936901321_o_2.jpg]
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#6
(09-19-2012, 11:24 AM)headcase Wrote: Just pray you never run into the clueless know-it-all, who has his wife ask if it's legal, then engages you in pleasant conversation for an hour, and then calls the cops because he doesn't like it...



Indeed. Like I said, I've been lucky. Confused
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

William Pitt
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#7
ShaulWolf;8122 Wrote:Her: What line of work are you in?
Me: I work with kids.
Her: You carry a gun to work with kids?

That made me laugh.
Overscore, proud to be without the auto-generated signature since Sep 2012.
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#8
You don't get hassled? Well, rank has its privilege, sir! Tongue
support the agenda to get national reciprocity
Small Business Consulting
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#9
Thanks for sharing.

I have found that most times people do not even notice and those that do are merely curious about the legalities of it.
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Pround member of Pa2a.org since September 2012
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#10
I may have been the suspect of a man with a gun response by local LE at Lowes in Exton. I was already on my way to checkout when the officer arrived - no contact. If the cashier noticed I was carrying, she didn't seem to care, and didn't scream for help, wave at the officer, or offer me the keys to the drop safes or anything.
The Muffin Man, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2082.
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