Now over three weeks (as the crow flies) into my own little conceal carry odyssey, I’ve realized something. The whole concept of conceal carry has gotten into my head. It’s kind of like back when I was in college. I had a roommate. We were both impoverished college students at the time, and neither one of us hung out at bars and drank, so most of our evenings were spent playing board games. At one time, we got on this backgammon kick. Played literally hundreds of games per night. Hundreds. I had to stop when I started dreaming of backgammon games. I was literally playing the game in my sleep. Which is weird.
So I quit playing backgammon for a while. But even after I went ‘cold turkey,’ you really didn’t want to play either of us in a ‘friendly’ game, for a couple of reasons. First of all we were really, REALLY good. Scary good. And wicked fast – when you start seeing the backgammon board like some sort of metaphysical construct, and view all the possible permutations of the board like some kind of Minority Report special effects sequence gone mad, anybody playing you at normal speed is just plain annoying.
And then there’s the ‘tude, thing. We were both…um…cocky. (We were in our 20s, so that, alone, wasn’t that unusual.) But we were good, and we knew it. We looked on anybody that played either of us with the same patronizing air that a Sensi looks at one of his little “grasshoppas.” Imagine how that made our opponents feel as we beat them. Did I say “beat”? I meant “emasculate.” “Disembowel.” “Humiliate.” Like that. So when I began to dream about concealed carry, it gave me pause.
Last night, I was happily snoring along, bothering nobody. I dreamt I was in a car (for some reason it was my dad’s old International Harvester TravelAll, a vehicle I had the same affection for as something you scrape off the bottom of your shoe). I was going along my own, situationally aware way, when I stopped, in broad daylight mind you, at a traffic light, in downtown Shreveport. Suddenly, three perps are crowding the driver’s side door, pointing a gun at me and demanding the vehicle.
This was weird on soooo many levels. First of all, you know how in dreams, time is liquid, and tends to speed up or slow down at will, and certain details are drawn in minutia, where others are sort of blurry? Well, it registered that these three clowns were, um…”minorities,” and while I didn’t see their faces, I noticed that the gun they were brandishing at me was a cheaply-made 1911, with a lot of cheap-looking engraving in gold on a black slide.
Now I’m sure Dan, MikeB, and the other guys on the left of center that read TTAG will have a field day with that previous paragraph. Note that as an author, I could have spared these details, had I wished. Also keep in mind that, while I’m a WASP (White, Anglo-Saxon Pistol-owner), I’m also a musician. I play in a lot of bands, and jam with a lot of guys. Some of whom have a different skin color than I. They are my friends. I like to think I am theirs. And the issues of race, creed, color, sexual preference, national origin, or any other of the traditional “us versus them” things just never come up between us. Why? Because nobody cares. We’re just people. Friends. Fellow musicians.
On the other hand, I’d have to be as blind as a former head of NPR to miss the fact that a disproportionately large number of carjackings are perpetrated by members of lower-income households, who are, in turn, disproportionately represented by minorities. These are statistical facts. So if you’re gonna dream about getting carjacked, I think it’s pretty normal to cast your perps as gangbangers, as opposed to Thurston Howell III and his lovely wife Lovie.
More interesting (to me, anyway) is the casting of their weapon of choice. Everyone on TTAG knows I’ve got the 1911 bug. And my carry piece for this month has been the amazing, incomparable, triggah-like-buttah Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II, a shining example of the 1911-smith’s art. But my subconscious actually took the time and trouble to go into minute detail about the bad guy’s 1911. Weird.
So what happened in my dream? Here’s where it gets interesting. (I know you guys were wondering about that, eh?) Keep in mind, I’m carrying in the dream, but they have the drop on me. No way I can go for my gun and expect to live to tell about it. (For the record, despite being ‘situationally-aware,’ I think it’s perfectly reasonable that someone(s) could still take you by surprise. There’s simply too many things to account for when you are trying to cover every eventuality. That, and the bad guys will ALWAYS have the element of surprise in their favor.)
So I open the door with my right hand up, my left on the door handle, car in park, keys in the ignition. as they move back from the door to allow it to open, I grab the barrel of the 1911, babbling some nonsense about “what kind of gun is this you’re pointing at me?” and I sweep the gun away from my body. This takes bad guy #1 by surprise, but not as much as when I give the pistol a good twist, clockwise, taking the grip safety out of gear and breaking his index finger. He’s now on the ground, holding his hand in pain, and I’ve got his gun. The other two mooks run off in terror. (Apparently, they weren’t armed.)
Don’t know what happened next. I’m sure, since I was across the street from the courthouse, law enforcement wasn’t far away. And I’m hoping that they’d read the situation as they approached and not assume I was carjacking the bad guy. (In this case, let’s hope the cops have the same built-in assumptions that I admit too, and don’t see me as the Thurston Howell III exception to the rule.)
But the thing that’s still got me thinking is, what’s the significance of the dream? I mean, I don’t think I’m overtrained, overly-obsessed, or anything like that. In fact, I’ve integrated the concept of conceal carry surprisingly easily into my life. Feels pretty natural at this point. I’m still conscious of having a gun on me when I do (and I don’t see that changing. Ever.) but I’m no longer worried about every Tom, Dick and Nosy Parker jumping up and shouting “J’accuse!” at me if I’m printing or my shirt moves out of the way momentarily to reveal my gun.
What’s the answer? I dunno. Guess I’ll just have to…um…sleep on it.