Skip to comments.What do you say if...? Oops, and Other Sticky Situations (someone outs you in public for CCW)
Posted on 09/07/2011 1:35:39 AM PDT by LibWhacker
My mother is the person who made me. And she's done it twice. She caught me. Now what??
I don't remember a lot about the first time, because it began when I was too young to remember much of anything.
But I clearly remember the second time she made me. It was shortly after I'd begun carrying a handgun for personal defense, before I'd figured out the art of giving someone a hug without giving away the secret. She and my father had offered to take my children to a movie, so the kids and I piled into the van and drove to meet them at the theater. As always, my Glock 26 was strapped securely to my waist in its kydex holster.
When I got out of the van, my mother came running over to give me a hug. As she put her hand around my waist, I felt her stiffen up and pat my hip. Then she pulled away and looked at me accusingly. 'What is that?'
I was caught.
As I found out, if you carry a concealed weapon very often, the odds are that sooner or later, someone you care about will discover that you're carrying one right then. The question is what to do next. How can you handle the situation with a minimum of fuss and reassure your family and friends?
Step #1: Don't lose your cool.
Sure, you're probably a little upset. After all, you didn't want to get made and even if you were planning to tell them at some point, the timing is probably less than ideal. But you don't want to give them the impression that you ' a person equipped with a loaded weapon ' are prone to panic.
Staying calm has other advantages, too. Getting made is really just a minor social gaffe. But a too-vigorous reaction might give your friends the idea that you're on the run from Johnny Law. This is another impression you do not want to make.
If you are in a public setting, and your reaction is very energetic, it will be noticed by everyone around you. Human beings are drawn to emotional displays. If you play it cool, you may be able to avoid at least a few prying eyes.
So take a deep breath and smile, even if you don't feel like it.
Step #2: Say something.
Don't just stand there with your mouth flapping open and shut like a recently landed large-mouth bass. Few things make people more nervous than that. So after you smile, clear your throat and force a sound past those chilly vocal cords.
Of course, some things are better to say than others.
An example of a bad thing to say: 'Ha! HA! I was planning to use that to kill everyone in the place later! What a laugh!' If all you can think of is a feeble joke about mass murder, you're probably better off to keep doing your fish imitation.
Better: 'Ummmmm, oops.' You may kick yourself later for your lack of eloquence, but at least you didn't make the situation worse.
Best: 'It's okay, Mom, you know I'm one of the good guys.' Or (for the guys reading this) to a girlfriend, 'Yes, but I'm also happy to see you.' Or after your firearm jumps out of the holster and skitters across the floor, 'Dang, I've been trying to teach it not to do that.'
A light-hearted comment often sends the meta-message that you aren't worried and that the other person shouldn't be, either. A Michigan resident named Tim was once told by a local policeman that his gun was printing. Tim smiled and responded, 'Good, now I can start it on cursive.' Tim reports that the officer smiled back and replied, ''Good answer, now hide it.' I did, he smiled and walked away. Never even asked to see my permit. [It was] kinda a good experience.'
Step #3: Answer questions without getting defensive.
This is the tricky part. You want to communicate that you are a responsible person, that you haven't lost your marbles, and that no one needs to call the police to deal with you. Depending on your relationship with the person who made you, one or all of those things might be a hard sell.
With relatives, their first concern is often whether or not you are obeying the law. 'My grandmother was a bit concerned one time after she hugged my younger brother and found he was carrying concealed,' says a young man who now lives in Texas. 'She thought it was still illegal to carry concealed in Arizona. She didn't seem especially concerned that he was carrying, just that he do it legally.'
Familiarity with your local laws stands you in good stead here. It's probably a good idea to refresh your memory about your state's carry laws from time to time, just so you will be able to deal with such questions.
Some folks can be expected to react with disgust or anger. Be prepared for this, but do your best not to provoke it. If the other person is content to chew you out and then drop the issue, let them. You earned the tongue-lashing by getting caught, and your mild reaction just proves that you aren't looking for a fight no matter what tools you have on your belt.
Be prepared to deal with questions about your emotional health. 'You sure do have a lot of fears,' one of my relatives once told me. 'Maybe you should talk to a doctor.' After an accusation like this, the ideal impression to leave is that you listened seriously to their concerns, but that their concerns weren't serious. You can accomplish this by listening respectfully, while keeping your own responses light and brief.
While the initial reactions might range from cheerful interest, to horrified fascination, to legal concerns, to making digs about your mental health, eventually family and friends do adjust. Well, mostly. Even after some time has passed, your friends might still think you're paranoid. But as one young man in Colorado admits with a laugh, 'They think it's part of my charm.'
Curiosity overwhelms. What does “printing” mean in this context?
The outline of the gun is visible through the clothing.
I have a pocket holster for a small .32 that has a thick leather flap that's supposed to prevent printing. You can't tell it's a gun, but it looks like I've got a small novel in my pocket (which itself is a giveaway).
Wear mine in the small of my back....
or I tuck a sock in my pants to draw attention away from the pistol..../s
My mother asked me why I carried, whom was I afraid of, and I answered, "No one".
She understood and never asked again and I've been carrying ever since.
That's much easier than shooting all witnesses.
(I know - we're not suppposed to joke like that.....)
Here’s a question for you, I had to turn down an invitation for a social gathering because I was taking my CC class. The inviter wanted to know what was so important that I refused her invitation. My first mistake, I told her what I was doing. Now every time we are together, if someone new is in the group, she tells them I ‘pack heat’. I’ve asked her not to, but she seems incapable of stopping. I’ve also found out she tells people even if I’m not in the group, but weapons come up. Short of moving, how can I get her to stop telling every one she meets?
Carry openly and the embarrassment is not a problem. It tells the world you are a strict constitutionalist and prepared to defend your rights.
Herein lay the “trump card” of off-the-body carry.
No one ever really knows if you’re packing, or just “ different.”
Any comments about my “man bag” only
remind me “What do I care what you think? I’m the one with the gun.”
Tell her you quit carrying because she wouldn’t keep her mouth shut.
So you hide who you are? An American that exercises your Constitutional rights? From your family?
I have kept multiple weapons and carried same for about 35 years. All my family knows I have weapons in the house and that I carry. Only safe way to do it........ If someone is uncomfortable with this that is their issue to deal with not mine.
"Hey, look, you're really scaring me with your aggressive behavior, get away from me right now..."
I don’t get this response. I feel safer knowing those around me are packing. That way I don’t have to get all the bad guys myself.
I would go the other direction and ask her to call me Dirty Harry or Jack Bauer.
Step #1: Don’t lose your cool.
Step #1a: Double tap the mofo.
I tried that. The only way I could attach the holster was to take my pants off first. Once I got my pants back on I couldn't get my shoulder and arm to bend far enough back to reach the gun..........
Thanks, that is actually a great idea.
Just tell them:
“I am responsible for my family’s safety. Cops write about crime, they don’t prevent it.”
“If more folks carried, there’d be less crime.”
“I’m licensed and trained, so I’m not worried about being a victim.”
Because I know that you enjoy these threads...PING!
Tell her that security measures are most effective when nobody knows they’re in place. By telling, she makes you both more vulnerable to being jumped.
See my comments above.
Getting a hug from your mom (who discovers your pistol lump) has zilch in common with being spotted visually by a member of the public.
Just as important; don’t be “shamed” into leaving your gun at home as my brother did, once, 8yrs ago.
One week later he was chased around his vehicle by two men who claimed he had “cut off my ‘homie’ (in traffic).
They had a baseball bat and oops! he didn’t have his ultra-carry .45. The store clerk of the lot they were parked at yelled out that he had “called the cops”, the homies left in their stolen van. The cops were only 2 minutes away.
Needless to say, my brother was ashamed to admit to me he had left his handgun at home. Note to homies, try it again, please.
To clarify above, while being chased around his own vehicle, which was locked but running (they attempted to get into it) he dropped his cell phone which they smashed with the bat. They took a swing at him with it also. He did get their plate number, and found out the vehicle was stolen.
I have a small in the waist band which is best for now until I buy something smaller, looking at the Ruger LC9.
I have another gun that people can’t print. It’s in my wife’s purse. I stand in front of her and she pulls it out while they’re looking at me....that’s if she can find it in all the mess.
My Mom approves. My Dad would only disapprove if I wasn’t carrying.
If they lapse into hysterics throw cold water on them
You have nothing to explain or defend.
Get a new “friend”.
Mr Stick tells strangers it’s a colostomy bag and gives them a dirty look.
In Texas, it means that women aren't checking the full length mirror to see "if these pants make me look fat". They're checking to see if the outline of their handgun is showing. If you carry IWB towards the small of your back a J Lo caboose is a bonus to hide printing.
LOL, I thnk the rule of thumb is,, the bigger the butt, the bigger the gun.
Tell her that it’s against the law to expose one’s concealed weapon without a need to do so, and that she is doing exactly that.
Printing - seeing the outline through your clothes.
Fortunately, I live in a state that doesn’t differentiate legally between open and concealed carry. I usually conceal, but if I “print” or my shirt comes up and completely exposes the gun, it doesn’t matter from a legal perspective.
As far as what to do if I get a hug or something and someone feels it and asks what it is? “My gun”, in a casual and nonchalant tone. Most of my friends and family already know I carry, and for those who don’t, the idea is that you treat it as perfectly normal to the point of being uninteresting. I’ve never yet had a negative reaction, even from those who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum, whom you’d be inclined to think wouldn’t like it.
My late husband (a Cop) used to carry his off duty pistol in the back of his waistband, until it went off, no one was hurt. Of course when the police arrived..he never lived that story down. We were glad he didn’t put in the front!
I no longer discuss this with friends and family.
Was it a Glock? Most LEO’s carry them.
ROFL! I was gonna suggest “medical device” and “don’t wanna talk about it,” but your mister’s is a lot funnier!
In some modes of carry, I can blame mine on the Iron Maiden(form), and crack jokes about what it takes to keep the girls up where they orter be.
>>> “Hey, look, you’re really scaring me with your aggressive behavior, get away from me right now...”
We have a winner!
Do you know things about her that she would rather you not mention to people? Do it a few times, and maybe she'll get the point. Failing that, somebody like that is not somebody I would continue to associate with.
Think of information like a bullet: once you shoot it out, there's no calling it back. Treat your firearms-related activities like your sex life -- ain't nobody else's business.
Use a soft inside-the-waistband holster, cheated toward your strong side and slightly angled (right of center, if you’re right-handed). Make sure your belt is not so tight that you can’t draw properly, and practice the move frequently. I have found that location best to avoid printing, especially with short-sleeve cotton t-shirts.
>>> Now every time we are together, if someone new is in the group, she tells them I pack heat... Short of moving, how can I get her to stop telling every one she meets?
Make a habit of sharing ever more outrageous things about yourself with her. Make sure it’s juicy, scandalous, and only told to her because it’s just a secret between you two.
Have fun with your best new friend, Agent Double-ought-buck.
This part is VERY important -- always make sure to put the sock in the FRONT of your pants! ;-)
Unless, like me, you might have a novel in your pocket....
Carry openly and the problem kinda disappears: if she points it out she looks stupid for pointing out the obvious.
I've been 'made' twice: Once by a keen old police veteran at a gun show and another time by a little kid in a supermarket who saw me reach for something on a top shelf down the aisle.
My spring-loaded comment that I have ready to go for anyone who might see my carry piece in the future will be to bark "ARE YOU ON PAROLE?" with a furrowed brow. I haven't had to use it yet.
I don't carry myself (on my body) but last Thanksgiving when my grandma was still alive, my brother and SIL took off their holsters at the dining table much to my GM’s dismay.
Just to void any mistakes/problems, I think it would be pertinent to tell the love ones in close proximity that there a loaded weapon or 3 in the room. (Especially if children are around)
Bad idea. If you should happen to fall it puts a solid lump of metal right in pressure alignment with your spine. Crushed disc or worse? Also, think about this: There is an extreme risk that in the midst of your draw you will sweep your own body with the muzzle creating a critically dangerous situation under the pressures of a combat situation. You might just accidentally shoot yourself. How embarrassing! Maybe the bad guy will laugh himself to death before you bleed out.
I’m planning on a much small carry piece soon that I hope will be easier to carry.