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Carrying a Pistol Perceived as Antisocial?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by SharpsDressedMan, Sep 21, 2011.

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  1. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    How many of you actually don't mind that some people will shy away from you if they know you are armed, or when you are are carrying openly? I, for one, often prefer that those who don't like guns (ordon't like people that carry guns) just stay away from me. I don't like getting into defensive or heated arguments about gun rights, being armed, etc (contrary to what my wife believes :D), so if a conversation that I carry or endorse being armed comes up, and the other party become anxious or negative, I just prefer to also avoid them. I guess I use being armed, or advocating gun rights to separate the people I DO prefer to be around from those that I don't. Sometimes it isn't real obvious, but I can usually tell if someone is "turned off" by the presence of guns, or the presence of a pro-2nd Amendment person. Do any of you do the same thing?
     
  2. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    I think that would mean they're antisocial, not me. It doesn't take a gun: I've gotten stares if I'm looking through American Handgunner or American Rifleman in public!

    There are many reasons an anti would be antisocial toward a gun-carrier. Fear. Disgust. A deep-seated belief that the carrier is a murderer who just hasn't happened to murder anyone, yet.

    Or shame. They know somewhere they also should be talking responsibility for their own safety, but they don't.

    If you want to confuse the heck out of them, be friendly, open. "Hey, there. Nice day, huh?" (Dont' approach or stick your hand out: that's "aggressive.")

    In my experience, meeting a gunnie who is nice, friendly, and open is baffling to them; it doesn't fit any of their stereotypes about gun-owners.

    The typical response I get? "So, you're a cop?"

    "No." :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  3. agtman

    agtman Member

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    Or, there's my wife's response to a similar question ("Why do you carry a pistol?"):

    "Because I can't carry a cop." ;)

    As if she had to justify it to anyone ... :rolleyes: :fire:
     
  4. Maia007

    Maia007 Member

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    That's a thougthful question, Sharps, so thanks for asking.

    I don't carry openly except in the woods. I don't reveal that I carry to anyone except those I trust and who know me well and accept me for who I am. Likewise I don't share my passion for shooting with everyone I know....just the potentially receptive types. Believe me, there are plenty of "us" around. It's not like we are an oppressed minority.

    I don't feel the need to proselitize my politics or to justify my life-choices to anyone. Period.

    Those who don't approve of the way I live can KMA. Period. That goes for everyone, at least in the abstract.

    That said, once I gain knowledge of an anti sentiment from an acquaintenance, I avoid gun discussion, and, in severe cases, further non-essential contact with them. And I don't have serious misgivings about the loss of that kind of company. But that depends. It is better to focus on what we have in common than on areas where we differ. And I think it is healthy, in general, to have friends of all manner of persuasions. But if someone insists on being insufferable, then to H with them. One always must continue to make new friends anyway. Such is the way of the world.

    I don't suffer fools and I refuse to argue with one.

    I have in-laws that are antis and California tree huggers.....and I cannot simply refuse to have nothing to do with them. But I don't engage in discussion with them on this topic, nor do I indulge them with banter should they bring it up. In other words, I don't bait them nor do I rise to their bait. I don't criticize their opinions nor do I openly disapprove of their life choices. And, given the strength of my character and given that they have learned what I am willing to lay on the line for my beliefs and life choices, they've decided for themselves that perhaps it is best for them to keep a respectful and courteous distance from me in this regard.

    Live and let live. But don't tread on me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I avoid such "problems" by remembering concealed means concealed. What they don't know won't hurt me...
     
  6. whalerman

    whalerman member

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    What you are saying Mr Sharps is exactly what I've experienced as well. It's not that I don't mind people shying away from me because of my views, I think it's more disappointment than anything else. I believe this is less about guns than it is about one's willingness to defend ourselves. This society has been taught to bend over. Carrying a weapon goes against what many have taken to heart, that being the best course of action is to give in and hope the attacker leaves you with some dignity. Gun people don't see it that way. We will defend ourselves, and it is that which distinguishes us from others. I feel sadness when people do not respect my right to defend myself. Not so much anger. Once we give up our right to self defence, we become less than men. Hell, we might as well be British, or Canadian, or Australian, or..

    I refuse to live that way.
     
  7. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I "shy away" from all sorts of people, for all sorts of reasons.

    Why should I expect them to treat me any different.

    There are always visual cues, mannerisms, etc. that cause people to make choices.

    For instance, armed or not, would you just walk up to this guy?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. CTPhil

    CTPhil Member

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    I guess my sentiments are a little different. I don't want people to be uncomfortable around me even if we're not on the same page. Guns aside, I've experienced the avoidance my whole life as a big guy whose natural facial expression is a scowl. I'm not going to go crazy trying to convince people I'm OK, but I do try to reach out to people if I sense their unease.

    Recently I've been carrying a revolver openly on the farm, and as I am exposed to 2 roads, a lot of people see me. I welcome this opportunity to get people to become accustomed to seeing guns. So far no one has said anything to me, even when stopped for a greeting on the road. My sense is that our weekend city neighbors don't wish to be seen as unsophisticated, and locals already have been exposed to guns in some way, so they at least take the time to think about it.

    So basically I try to put a friendly, responsible face on gun carry, and most people take it well. There are a handful (city people) who are just going to be afraid of me no matter what, that's out of my control. With them it's probably for the best, because they'd be the kind to cause trouble for me anyways.

    Yes, I would. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I feel that I can connect human to human with just about anyone.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  9. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Carrying a gun has nothing to do with being anti social. It has everything to do with staying alive in a world filled with crazies. To even make a statement that it is anti social pretty much proves your priorities are seriously messed up.
     
  10. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Did you even read the post, or just make a snap judgement based on your perception of the title? Kinda like the people who shy away from someone who open carries, making a snap judgement based on first perception rather than taking the time to educate yourself ever so slightly.

    I OC until I get my CPL. It causes more stares and off handed looks in the suburbs or the city rather than out in the country where I live. Most people simply glance, take notice, and go about their business. Sort of like how I glance, take notice, and go about my business as well.

    Carry a gun, open or concealed doesn't change ME at all. It alters how others perceive me, but I am unchanged. The change is entirely in the eye of the beholder.
     
  11. Tallinar

    Tallinar Member

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    I open-carried my 7.5" Vaquero on my hip while out for an evening walk in town a couple days ago. I was walking on sidewalks that see a lot of jogger and bicyclist traffic. I had a flannell shirt untucked and just barely covering the grip of the gun. Honestly, I don't think most folks even noticed I was carrying. Open carry is very, very uncommon in my area, and I almost wonder if people just assumed I must be carrying something else in that "leather pouch-thingy". This was actually the first time I had open-carried.

    It seems only one woman took visible notice that I was carrying. Maybe she wasn't the only one, but she's the only one who seemed to react at all. We were coming up to a sidewalk intersection from opposing sides. She was pushing a stroller and had a dog. I smiled and said hello. She did the same. As I walked on, I believe she saw the gun and began to walk a little slower - trying to put some distance between me and her.

    I don't "mind" if people shy away from me when I carry. It is their prerogative. And in my area, I simply attribute this to the general ignorance of the population regarding firearms in general - and specifically firearms laws. My hope while carrying is to conduct myself as a responsible, friendly citizen to folks who are otherwise ignorant of firearms, and in doing so help in the ongoing battle to shatter the unrealistic myths or fears that they may have about guns and gun ownership.

    I'm in no way anti-social. In fact, when I am carrying, perhaps I take even extra care to give warm smiles and greetings to passers-by.
     
  12. Drail

    Drail Member

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    USAF Vet, yeah, I read the post. I have to wonder how you got all of your insight from my post.
     
  13. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Drail, because your post had everything to do with the title of the post, and nothing to due with the actual content. Your pre-edited post said that the OP didn't know what he was talking about, edited to reflect a poor choice of priority. Your entire post literally had nothing to do with any of the posts in the thread, which is why I asked if you had read it, or just the title. I can understand your post if it was only in response to the thread title. I cannot understand your post in relation to what has actually been discussed.
     
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I know people who don't keep and bear arms, but can't truthfully say I spend much time with them. To the best of my knowledge, they think of me as the neighborhood gun nut who could do a better job of tending his front lawn. All my friends also exercise the right to keep and bear arms on a daily basis.
     
  15. TheBurns

    TheBurns Member

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    I am in the majority. Nobody I work with or live near carries. My father, who I am close with, has never carried, my brother, who I am close with has never carried. However, I carry on a daily basis, CCW in town, open carry at home and on the farm. I have had plenty of looks when open carrying in town. My town is a small, very rural town and people really do judge me based on the gun of my hip. I have been pulled aside and talked to by local religious leaders, Stopped by local law enforcement who seem to be ignorant that open carry is legal here, and even given very disgusted looks by individuals I otherwise held in high regard. Guns scare people because in the media and in our world, firearms are showed as a bad thing, bad guys, with big guns, doing bad things. My grandfather concealed and carried for forty years. He was a good, and just man. I have no fear of how others judge me, only a fear that they do not perceive the world as it is, a dangerous place, where those who will not defend themselves, will be taken advantage of.


    and... I would go up tot hat guy. he is clearly having some sort of seizure and needs medical assitance imediatly.
     
  16. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Member

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    We have the opposite situation where we live. My wife is heavily involved with our church youth activities and when they do trips, she carries. A few of the other women know my wife has her CHL and often ask her to bring it:eek:

    I'm active duty Army in a predominantly civilian unit. Most know I'm a gun enthusiast but I see that as an opportunity to be social. It's not so much about gun-rights discussions as it is offering them an opportunity to go shooting. No one would ever call me anti-social, although I most often prefer solitude. Hell, where my wife is from in northern FL, if you're not packing you may not get into the family reunion :D

    I always joke about the whole concealed carry issue...I'm much more afraid of the unarmed people; they're easy targets for thugs and I want to avoid them at all costs. Criminals are mostly stupid and lazy, but offered a choice between a whiney voiced, vocal anti-gunner and some quiet, steely-eyed, alert individual sitting near the door with a good view of the area...it doesn't require a rocket science to ID your target of opportunity.


    ROCK6
     
  17. Ducman69

    Ducman69 Member

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    Hell yeah! Make some room! *starts break dancing*

    Most people don't know that I carry a pistol unless they reach in my pants, in which case we are already pretty good friends, so it simply isn't a factor. :)
     
  18. TheBurns

    TheBurns Member

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    i laughed out loud.... Is that a gun in your pants or are ya just happy to see me.... Umm . it's a gun... but i'm glad you're here, just the same.
     
  19. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I read every post on this thread, and I believe DRAIL's post was entirely cogent.

    I don't see anything in that statement that I can disagree with. His post contained nothing about in-your-face activity.

    Carrying a pistol is a legal activity (in this context) not antisocial in any way.

    What "someone else" interprets from that is their burden, not mine/yours.
     
  20. stillkickin

    stillkickin Member

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    right on! there are plenty who, by there actions and/or words, do disservice to all of us. be friendly, it costs nothing, and even if you don't change anyones views on firearms in general, maybe you can show that their fears are unfounded. in my experience as a Peace Officer, I have observed that those who choose to cary openly, are usually open to a conversation, but become defensive if confonted by someone who obviously has strong convictions that differ with their convictions. be the better person. maintain your cool, and represent all of us in a positive, or at least neutral way.
     
  21. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    It depends on the environment. Obviously there are times and places that are more suited to reveal it than others.

    Out in the desert, on the trail, on horseback, fishing, etc, no, I flat don't care if people don't like it.
     
  22. MyGreenGuns

    MyGreenGuns Member

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    to OP: It doesnt make ME less social, but I've noticed some people will change the topic when it comes to firearms discussions. I love my guns, my pitbull and my Chevy; some people probably shy away from me for one of those reasons. Some people will (anything), aint that America?

    (to the guy who posted the "dancing man" pic) That guy is RADIATING positive energy! Why shy from someone like that? I do understand about making a judgement based on what you see. I'll shy away from sketchy people, angry people, or people that seem depressing.

    ^Disagree. Its not everyones "priority" to own/discuss firearms.
     
  23. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    As a general rule the only people who know I carry 24/7 are either family or friends close enough to me I consider them almost family. The only place I open carry is on my own property. I always thought the entire reason people did open carry was so they could get into confrontational arguments with anti gun people. I cannot think of a single advantage of open carry that makes it worthwhile.

    Why in the world would you mention to a stranger that you are carrying a gun? To brag? To intimidate? Not only do I never mention, it if anyone asks I would lie and deny carrying a gun.

    I do not think it is anti-social to carry concealed, I do think open carry is borderline anti-social as you know some people will be offended yet you do it anyway... purposely offending people is the definition of anti-social behavior.

    If you live in an open carry only state then yes...by all means carry in the open but do so unobtrusively as possible. For example years ago attending a class at Cooper's the only way I could carry, as an out of state person, was to carry open. I used a holster called a Safe Packer which disguised the gun very well and was approved as an open carry holster...most did not realize it was a gun at all...most though it was a camera case.
     
  24. Lubricant

    Lubricant Member

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    Hardcore concealed guy.Real serious,at first.But over the years,I've loosened up a tad.Take out the garbage without throwing a shirt on first,Maybe mow the lawn,or diddle with the car with an unbuttoned shirt over.At first,My neigbors thought of me as that o.k.guy on the corner.The one who kept his lawn up,kept his dogs quiet,Would help them out with whatever,or whenever I could.Always pleasant and friendly.Never knowing I had a 1911 strapped to my hip.NOW they know me as that same person,who just happens to carry a gun.Get no static whatsoever.I even get the impression some of them are comforted by my presence.And as for open carry being"Borderline Anti-social".Well,If exercising my 2nd amendment rights makes me"Borderline Ant-social"and actually may offend some poor sensitive soul,then so be it.Heaven forbid I should SAY anything offensive either.
     
  25. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    So true, When I saw that pic I noticed two things ... the face is photoshopped in, and he seems to be having a freakin' blast being in a music video.

    I keep saying something to this effect. Most people who know me, even very mildly in passing know me as a very friendly guy, talkative, social, friendly, that sort of thing. And nobody who has ever found out, even blinked an eye. Mainly because I share guns in general as a hobby of mine.
    They know full well I am a gunnie after they ask "So what do you do in your offtime?" so it comes as no surprise that I would also carry my favorite toys/hobby implements around with me.

    I keep saying that we gunnies get a bad rep not because we carry guns, but because as a whole we tend to take ourselves way too seriously when we do. We're still humans, with our own ambitions, foibles, etc.
    As my wife put it just now ... most guys when they carry guns act like a girl the first time she wears a bra. "They know they're kinda cool, very self conscious, think everyone knows, feel big and important, but they're still self conscious. When in reality only a select few guys your age really care."
    I know self defense is an important thing and I know it's a real responsibility, but relax guys, it's doable without having the seriousface on at all times, being a "steely eyes guy in the corner, alert with a good view of everything."
     
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