The moment I entered Cigar Masters’ walk-in humidor, The Most Beautiful Jewish Woman in the World™ slipped in behind me and informed me that I was persona non grata. I don’t think I was banned because of the Glock 19 sitting proud on my hip. Truth be told, I’d expressed some romantic interest in the erstwhile Cigar Queen—who rebuffed me like an auto restorer ministering to an abandoned  ’57 Chevy. It might not have been that either; other customers had made “complaints” about me. Apparently. Socially inept? Moi? Anyway, not to coin a phrase . . .

I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. More to the point, again, I don’t think the Cigar Masters of the Universe shunned me as a shock Glock. But I have a sneaking suspicion that open carrying a firearm into the tony not to say exclusive establishment did nothing to help me avoid banishment.

The worst part: the Most Intelligent Woman in the Universe™ interpreted the ban as proof positive that I’m a creep. Ipso facto. She texted “thanks for the warning.”  In terms of character appraisal, our time together—some of it more than slightly intimate—counted for naught.

I found that disheartening. I’ve been trying to introduce MIW to the way of the gun. She shot the SP101 .22 and almost kinda liked it. So almost much so that she started studying for the multiple choice test for a RI Blue Card (necessary to purchase a firearm). Great. I’d been helping arm someone quick to conclude I’m a creep. Equally, bummer. Equally, I’m having a hard time not seeing myself as a weirdo with a gun.

Disclaimer: I’m not a weirdo with a gun. I’m a non-violent, law-abiding American who believes deeply and completely that U.S. citizens have a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I am a single father protecting his daughter. Both her life and her right to defend herself with a firearm when she assumes that responsibility for herself.

That said, open carry is weird. Check out that pre-Cigar Masters picture above. I was at a busy country farm stand with Lola. I sensed a very odd vibe, defused (I hope) by my respectful and friendly banter with the staff. The same kind of banter that got me banned? God I hope not. But I look at the snap, wondering why the Hell I hadn’t shaved that morning. Or had my hair cut. Or wore less creased shorts. Or left the sunglasses in the car.

No ’bout a doubt it: open carry is changing me as a person. Open carry forces me to see myself from other people’s perspective; to ask myself who am I as a man. I like what I see, even though others can’t see it. Some of them only see the gun.

“You’re the only person I’ve ever met who’s not law enforcement or military that carries a gun in the open,” my new cigar purveyor Stefano told me. What does that tell you? That the thousands of RI Pistol Permit holders are way more sensible than I am? That I’m blazing a trail for gun rights? That I’m an outlier who’s made himself an outcast, indicating asocial tendencies? All of the above?

Hell if I know. All I know is my new cigar lounge has a pool table. I’ve found a place where I can play pool, smoke a cigar and carry a firearm on my hip. Where people ask sensible, respectful questions about my choice to open carry without getting all hinky about it. An emporium where the police from the cop shop around the corner hang on a regular basis.

Now that could be interesting. As for my love life, meh. Firearms are a large part of who I am and what I do, now. It’s take it or leave it and it cuts both ways.

Litmus test? Oh yes, open carry is a litmus test.

83 Responses to RI Open Carry Day Four: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em! So To Speak

  1. As a fellow Rhode Islander, ill be watching this whole thing unfold with great interest.

    Its funny though….I don’t know whether to applaud you, or beg you (just out of plain ol’ interest in not wanting another person to make things hard on themselves) to conceal your iron.

    You’re right. Open carry is a weird issue. And doing it here in Dirty Island doesn’t make it any easier. Either way, good luck, man.

  2. Damn. Wish I could install the P6 on the outside of my golf shirt (instead of the customary underneath) and come up there to give you some moral open carry support.

  3. I just don’t believe, not matter how well the position is explained, that there will ever be a day and time in the future when open carry will be something that is socially acceptable ‘to the masses’. And for that matter, to me, in all my unfettered 2A supporting, uncompromising stance on any form of 2A restrictions. I don’t believe it should be illegal…..but Just don’t think its a wise choice.

    Yes, your a law abiding citizen and so am I, we meet casually in a lounge, you mean me no harm and I mean you no harm. But still, you indirectly display a deadly weapon. Most people react that way to uniformed police….not so much because of their fancy or not so fancy uniforms, but because they openly possess and display a deadly weapon. Its not fear, more like apprehension, most of it is bullshit, but its still there. And many folks would just as son not deal with it, no matter how legal it may be.

    Ive been carrying for years and years, and as a police officer, mostly its out in the open. Whenever given the chance, it’s always my preference to cover it up.
    Half of me feels this way because I don’t want to alarm people around me and half because I don’t want people to know who or for that matter what I can do if things go bad….better they find out on my terms, at a time of my choosing.

    There is also the reality that came to me, not so long out of the academy, that surprisingly…NO, I am not a super hero with unimaginable powers….some little punk half my size, with no training, could take me out and have at my wallet, my gun or my life if I turn my back or he sucker hits me ( which is usually how cowardly trouble finds people) How many times a day do we turn our back on people? Well, we do it all the time, standing in line, waking down the street, socializing in a lounge,…whatever. Nobody has eyes in the back of their head and whatever happens, chances are you or I are going to be in ‘reaction mode’ which is always behind the curve, as the first action has already happened and now we must react to it. Problem is that now, every person who has ill intent in their heart knows what your cards are….and they will likely, even for a dumbass, which most criminals are, add that info into their first strike calculations. Maybe they see the weapon and decide to wait till you leave, or maybe they see it and realize your talking to that pretty girl or eating a sandwich and are detracted and decide to clobber you and take it. How fast can I do this and run away, they may be thinking…cowards can run pretty fast and now they got something they couldn’t get before. I don’t know….I’m sort of typing while thinking here, but you get the idea. I just think there has to be a reason why so much of our society prefers and in many cases insists that the weapon be concealed. Not entirely sure how to articulate it….But I know in my heart, its just better to “cover that shit up”. There is little to no gain to have it displayed.

    • I’m not a police officer, but other than that, I think Rydak covered my feelings on the subject pretty well, above. The thing that Open Carry advocates don’t seem to realize is that different people can have very different core experiences that drive their behavior in certain situations. What is reasonable for one person can be reasonably seen as quite irrational for another, and the friendliest smile and attitude in the world isn’t going to change that (overnight, or at all, in some cases).

      I sometimes use a pet snake analogy to describe open carry. Some folks have a deep-seated fear of snakes, and the fact that your snake has never hurt anyone will not impress most people if you are trying to go about your normal daytime business with a cobra or rattlesnake looped around your neck. If it helps you understand the concept better, you can substitute “large inquisitive dog” or “huge fuzzy spider” for “snake”, and see if that changes anything for you. The fear may be irrational for you and I, but it is very real for them.

    • Had a comment disappear on me; forgive me if this ends up as a double-post.

      Shorter version: although I’m not a police officer, I agree with virtually everything Rydak says, above. People have different core experiences that preclude them from reacting in the same way (or even a predictable way) when they see something that evokes a fear response, like a gun. Apparently, most Open Carry advocates cannot appreciate this fact.

      Picture yourself going through your daily interactions with others with a cobra looped around your neck, a huge hairy spider perched on your shoulder, or a large fierce-looking-and-inquisitive dog straining at the leash, and imagine how it might change these interactions. That is how some folks view the tools we call handguns, and you are not going to change those types of fears with a smile and friendly conversation, no matter how sincere and logical you are.

      Two of his statements bear repeating:

      “I don’t believe it should be illegal…..but Just don’t think its a wise choice.”

      “There is little to no gain to have it displayed.”

      • DJ,

        Your paragraph:

        “Picture yourself going through your daily interactions with others with a cobra looped around your neck, a huge hairy spider perched on your shoulder, or a large fierce-looking-and-inquisitive dog straining at the leash, and imagine how it might change these interactions. That is how some folks view the tools we call handguns, and you are not going to change those types of fears with a smile and friendly conversation, no matter how sincere and logical you are.”

        … is very insightful. That some folks have a visceral reaction to guns similar to the reaction I have to poisonous snakes is an interesting example I had not before considered—and one I will remember whenever the subject is discussed. Thanks!

        • But it’s a bad example. People have a fear of poisonous snakes because it is a living creature and could attack at any moment – being afraid of a gun is absurd because the gun does not have free will and will not decide to attack you of its own accord.

        • Dingdingding! Annnnnnnd we have winnar in totenglocke yet again! Many people fear cars but I will still drive past them on the street. Many people fear lions but I will not walk one down the street.

      • “There is little to no gain to have it displayed.”

        I disagree, there is a term called Desensitization. In psychology, desensitization (also called inurement) is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desensitization_%28psychology%29
        He is teaching the layman that a gun is not going to bite them. You cannot teach this to all people but, you can teach some, that a tool is not the problem.
        ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THINGS. My wife has a major problem with snakes. (a person has a gun on his/her hip.) However if it is not trying to slither into the house or bite her. (An openly armed person not brandishing or causing a ruckus is seen. He has a gun call the cops!) She is an intelligent woman that knows she has an irrational fear and does not blame the snake.

        • So the “gain” here is to desensitize people to firearms?

          I would still call that “little to no gain”

          I see your point, but still…

        • I believe that people who are afraid of guns can have their attitudes changed by a little more familiarity with guns. Awhile back I had some folks over at a potluck I was hosting. I was talking with one woman when guns and hunting came into the conversation. I like to talk about guns and hunting. Anyway I took her to another room and showed her a few guns and let her handle them.
          A few days later she called to thank me. She then told me how a close friend and her family had all been murdered in a home invasion and how she had feared and hated guns since. She said she didn’t quite understand why but knowing I owned guns and her handling them had taken away some of the fear and hatred.

        • We shouldn’t underestimate the power of this kind of personalization. When the antis try to fearmonger, it makes a huge difference whether the image that comes to mind is some anonymous stranger, or Robert, Matthew, someone who is known to be friendly, responsible, and not scary at all. It undermines the credibility of the antis. If they’re misrepresenting gun owners, maybe they’re misrepresenting guns in other ways, too.

      • Re: your cobra / spider / dog hypothetical, note that in each case you are describing an animal capable of acting of its own volition. Guns simply cannot leap out of their holsters and start shooting people of their own volition, no matter what the Brady Campaigns of the world would have us think.

        • Yes, Matt, because hoplophobes are horribly irrational. You’re not making a point other than to point out that hoplophobes are batshit crazy and cannot be reasoned with.

        • I am certainly no hoplophobe but LeftShooter’s analogy is correct. An openly carried gun is not just an inanimate object. It is attached to the hip of an animal.

          I see the point of the “inanimate object” argument about why it is silly to be afraid of guns but that argument is not nearly as strong as some people on this site seem to think. Once again, I’m no “anti” but consider for a second that some anti’s don’t really fear inanimate objects but guns in the hands of animals who very well may do something unpredictable and horrible at any given moment.

        • Yes twency & totenglocke, et al, fear of an inanimate object such as a gun may be irrational, but it is fear nonetheless. (I would bet that even you brave souls have fears others would call irrational.) Remember that we as a culture have been inundated by thousands of real or fictional images of when a gun is seen, the result is often that people get hurt or killed. And, yes, I know that a person strokes the trigger, but it is probably impossible for the socialized brain to say “stay away from all people” (since people operate the triggers) and easier and more efficient to say “watch out for guns!” Disagree or not, the phenomenon is real.

    • I just don’t believe, not matter how well the position is explained, that there will ever be a day and time in the future when open carry will be something that is socially acceptable ‘to the masses’.

      And yet, there was a time when it was. A few years ago, I wrote in a review of Aphra Benn’s The Rover:

      It is notable that Blunt is the only male character, aside from the sleazy pimp Sancho, who does not carry a sword; given the way that his role is written, it may be reasonably theorized that he is not trusted with sharp objects.

      The Rover is set roughly 350 years ago. Might it not be long before 2362 that a little boy asks, “Daddy, why doesn’t that man have a gun?” and receives the reply, “I don’t know, son; maybe he can’t act like a adult, so he’s not allowed to pretend he is one”?

    • I’m kinda with Rydak too. I feel like open carry like I do about same-sex couples: It may be your right to do what you want, but I don’t really want to see your PDA. As Rydak said, cover that —- up.

      • Feel free to skip the state of Arizona in your travels then…

        Never have I been to a firearms website filled so full of cowed gun owners.

        Guess I’ve been spoiled by my freedom that I enjoy at home.

        • This. It always amazes me how much anti-gun sentiment I see on this site and occasionally on other gun forums. I see so many gun owners here that are downright terrified at the sight of their guns and think that they should be kept locked up at all times unless in your hand, pointed at a target on a licensed firing range.

          I’m amazed people with that amount of fear can even look at the pictures on this site of the “evil guns” without soiling themselves.

      • “Could you do me a favor and not enjoy your freedoms in my line of sight? It makes me uncomfortable”

        AVERT THINE GAZE, SON. It’s your right to do so.

  4. Blue card? Permit for owning a gun in your house?

    I couldn’t ever stand for that sort of legislation dictating my basic freedoms…

    • Possession on one’s own property is permitless. The blue card is presented at purchase of a handgun. Still shouldn’t exist, I agree, but its slightly less bad than it sounds.

      MA is waaaay worse.

      • And I thought CT was a pain. RI and MA is surrounded by
        VT (the most gun friendly state I can think of) and CT where
        permits are not really a problem. Maybe there’s hope by osmosis.

        • Given the huge shared border with VT, I think Vermonters should be glad they don’t suffer any “reverse osmosis” from NY re: gun laws.

        • There actually has been some progress in RI. Statues remain, but more of the CLEOs are accepting and approving applications than in years past. Some towns are pretty much straight-up Shall Issue (which is what the statute directs). There are definitely holdouts though, that are pretty much “You’re gonna have to sue me for a permit” towns.

        • RI LEOs and courts still have that hang ’em first then figure out what law they broke mentality. Was half way to Westerly this week when I realized I was carrying. Turned right back and went home to drop the weapon off at home. Did my shopping in CT instead.

  5. People who cannot abide you because you’re carrying iron on your hip are idiots who should not be part of your life and should not enter into your thought process. They’re no better than people who can’t abide you because of your religion. As far as MIW, consider yourself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth to be done with her now. You dodged a bullet, my man. Enjoy it.

    I would love to be able to open carry just to separate the morons from the rest of the herd. I don’t think of it as open carry. I think of it as assh0le repellant.

  6. Robert, 

    I might be wrong, but it seems that you might be self-conscious about your open carry adventures. If so, is that telling you something? (Maybe you should visit the same places again without openly carrying to see if you feel differently after having done both.)

    As for me, we have no agreement on open carry in urban New England (I might feel different in rural Montana). I see no upside in open-carry to promote our 2A cause nor do I see any advantage in a tactical situation—especially since as a disabled person that ambulates with two canes, I’d be a more attractive target for a “take-away” from a bad guy.

    In any event, I wish you luck on this journey of discovery.

    • No retention holster for the Caracal is available yet, so he’s switched back the G19 for open carry.

  7. Keep it up RF. Also, someone should organize a National Open Carry Day. 2-5% of the population carrrying on their hip at once would sure normalize the behavior.

    • No. But I correct anyone who suggests I am. “I’m just another law abiding American gun owner.”

  8. Is there a chance that this occurred because she thought you were a cop?
    I avoid police no matter what the situation. Maybe she was doing the same. I ID open carriers as cops – the fatter, the copper. I always leave any area or establishment where they are especially if it’s a restaurant. By eating around cops you increase your chances of getting the DNA sample from the kitchen that was meant for them. I have No desire to get the spaghetti with ‘special sauce’ meant for police. They have earned this level of respect and deserve it.

  9. Good luck with whatever choice you make regarding carrying, open or concealed. At least you have a choice, as we all should. It’s important for us to realize this as we express our individual opinions about OC. These are only our opinions about a RIGHT, enumerated by the COTUS, not a privilege, bestowed by it, or any govt. Seeking to legislate away rights due to opinions is dangerous ground.

    It must be nice being able to carry loosely concealed, so to speak, and not worrying when you have to reach up to the top shelf at Walmart, or the wind blows your coat open.

  10. I think strapping on your hip and walking about tells people you are looking for trouble. That may not be the case but that’s what people think. It’s not a 2A restriction, it’s more like a civil politeness that unless you are a cop then what the hell is a gun doing mounted on your hip in plain sight.

    Concealed carry is considered an abridgement of rights by many around here. I think it’s a smart accommodation that prevents problems. And I think licensing is fine along with training, spare me the constitutional talk about bearing arms without any of it.

    What will you do if a wiseguy calls your bluff about the gun, you do realize there are smartasses looking for attention out there?

    • lol wut? its not what people think, it is what some people, like yourself think. If anything it would be the cop who is obviously “looking for trouble.” You also forgot that security guards openly carry too.

      I’m, 6’4″ 180lbs, I couldnt effectively conceal either of my handguns without a jacket, a 5.5″ barreled FNP-45 Tactical or a 7.5″ barreled Single Action Army.

      • Is it stating the obvious that if you wanted to carry concealed (or if you could, you’re in Chicago area, no?) you would buy a smaller gun?

        • Ya Chicago, but I visit Wisconsin. And as you said, if wanted to carry concealed then I would have to buy another gun. But what if I just wanted to carry without dropping another $500-$1000?

      • I am 5 foot 7 and 150. I often CC my government size 1911 owb in a blackhawk check six holster under a size medium t-shirt.

        • A 1911 gov’t is considerably thinner/smaller than a FNP45T, especially when you have extended mags, extended barrel, a optic and a surefire x400 on it. Mine is 9″ long, 7.5″ tall, and is a double stack.

          I’m also not a fan of the 2 sizes too large t-shirt look. I wear a size medium which ends at the middle of my belt. I couldnt fully conceal that 1911 in a OWB holster with just a t-shirt.

        • lol. I didnt buy them with CC in mind. IL doesnt have any carry, but when I visit Wisconsin, they do have OC and CC, so it is fine there.

        • Yeah, you’d be better served dropping a couple hundred bucks on a used j-frame. Rossi , Charter, or Taurus are dirt cheap new and are reliable.

          -D

        • I’d prolly just get a PF9, good enough for Zimmerman, good enough for me. Or a Boberg XR9 if they work the bugs out. I’m not a fan of wheel guns, the only reason I have the Colt SAA is because I got it for $325 used.

        • That was not an abbreviation for tactical.

          tact – noun – a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense

          He’s saying you don’t have that.

          Thanks for the laugh.

    • “What will you do if a wiseguy calls your bluff about the gun, you do realize there are smartasses looking for attention out there?”

      What “bluff” are you referring to?

        • I don’t know Mr. Farago personally, but I suspect that this isn’t a bluff: he’s carrying that ‘heater’ (as he and the TTAG writers like to call it,) in part because he has already decided that he WILL use it against someone who threatens him with death or grievous bodily injury.

        • Does RF find himself, or put himself, in situations where he is threatened with GBH or attack?

        • That has nothing with your question about whether or not Mr. Farago’s carrying of a firearms is a “bluff”.

          In any event, I can I only speak for myself here, but if I knew the time and place when I would be attacked with deadly force, I would make a deliberate effort to avoid those locations at the appointed time (and failing that, I’d bring as many friends armed with as many guns as possible.)

          But the fact that I do NOT know this information, this makes it wise to carry a firearm with me as long as it is legal and practical.

  11. When there are people out there who would not trust themselves with a gun (people with issues), there is nothing anyone is ever going to do to make them feel comfortable about it. Normalization through open carry is not going to work unless you are also open carrying a therapist for these kinds of folks to use to get over the personal defects they do not even acknowledge. Their issue, but when they see you open carrying do you think they are going to acknowledge the mental stress they feel is a personal problem, or do you think they are going to channel that nervous energy into attacking gun rights? Just do not present a target. Don’t give them an excuse, the energy, a reason, to attack your rights (a dumb reason is often just as good motivation to a dumb person). I think open carry needs to be legal everywhere as a prophylactic. I think open carrying as activism, while it certainly works as a way to educate police departments on the law, will have negative effects on gun rights when it comes to the general populace, turning more neutrals to antis than it will turn neutrals to pros, galvanizing the antis, and maybe make some of the pros wonder why kick the hornet’s nest when things have been going our way?

    Think about it, but carry on one way or the other 😉

  12. First off, thanks for sharing, I enjoy the articles.

    Yes, definitely lose the shades if you want to make people feel more comfortable around guns.

    I’m not sure RI is the best place to do this — when you deviate so far from local norms, it becomes not just about the gun itself, but your willingness to deviate from social norms. Your actions earn you a “freak factor” that actually multiplies people’s unease about guns. I imagine two men publicly showing romantic affection for each other would meet with a similar response in other parts of the country.

    I don’t know if anything else was said, but “Thanks for the warning,” just sounds like teasing to me.

  13. I can’t lie, I’m too nervous to open carry here in Cincinnati. I know it’s legal, but I’ve read stories of people being harassed by the police and told that they don’t care that open carry is legal, the police aren’t going to let you do it. Maybe if one of my brother-in-laws (both cops) did it with me just as insurance I wouldn’t be arrested on bogus charges, then I might.

    • I live in Southwest Ohio as well and wouldn’t dream of begging to be arrested for “inciting panic” by legal open carry. The “legal” part is a technicality which is not tolerated in practice. Concealed, I can carry anywhere it’s not prohibited and mix with people who would scream like little girls if they had any idea I was packing.

  14. Sorry to hear about the unintended collateral drama (though on one piece of it, I agree with Ralph: You did dodge a bullet from a very likely doomed relationship).

    Having been a “weapons nerd” my whole life, I’ve seen a lot of reflexive fear effect. When I was much younger and more “expressive” about my identity, I used to get disinvited from establishments regularly (often by armed security) just for open carrying a sizable knife on my belt (and this was in super-gun-friendly AZ), and some of my fellow students got busted for things like carrying a solid walking stick or practicing with nunchakus on their own property (not crimes, but apparently an excuse to get hassled by an overzealous LEO). So I learned early: avoid unwanted attention, blend in, look like the rest of the sheep. Now it’s habit. It’s unfortunate, but just one of those social tolerance things–fit in or get marginalized. Some places (okay, most places) just aren’t ready for us (you’d think we showed up naked and painted blue or something).

    That said, I applaud your what you’re doing, and hope it starts some real change, but I’m not holding out much faith as a student of human social behavior. I’d join you on principle alone, but I have one of those jobs that any arrest gets you unemployed for life, and I have kids to feed. (I’m working on changing careers–until then, I have to go wash my sheep costume. I am so ashamed.)

  15. As Heller educates us, once upon a time a man who hid his weapons was looked upon as an evil bushwacker and shunned. Nowadays, just the opposite is true. Unless you are wearing a uniform or have a badge attached to your belt, people will fear you and believe that you are dangerous. The police will be called. Mothers will flee Starbucks in horror. Open carry used to be legal in California, until the Black Panthers marched on Sacramento, and then openly carrying loaded firearms was outlawed. You could still, theoretically, openly carry an unloaded handgun or long gun, but it generally, at least until the last couple of years, just not done. Then along came Open Carry.org,and its members started to carry in ublic places, Starbucks, and malls. Police were called. MWG!MWG! Tens of officers, even SWAT teams, would decend. Panic would ensue. Although the police could technically only do an “e check” to make sure your handgun was unloaded, ids were demanded, serial numbers were run, delays ensued. And it took little time at all for a new law to be enacted, banning the open carrying of handguns, loaded or unloaded, unless one is a cop, a security guard, or hunting. Soccer moms and southern california liberal democrats have lots of pull, and for them, handguns are not normal. Seeing guns elicts irrational fears. Black rifles must be eliminated (even if they are only .22s). “We don’t want that in this state” is the battle cry.
    Concealed carry is so much more peaceful. There are a couple of thousand people in my semi-rural northern county who have CCWs–and I haven’t spotted one yet. To me, the banning of open carry bodes will for the elimination of “may issue.” As the trial court in Peruta held, limitations on carry are valid as long as the State allows some form of carry–and it was not long after that the open carry ban was enacted. Now, concealed carry is the only way to legally carry a firearm in urban areas of the state–to say nothing of the limits imposed by the GFSA. The Ninth Cirucuit is considering this issue now–and it may have no choice but to authorize “shall issue.” Such authorization is consistent with the cultural norms in current society here on the west coast.

  16. Thucydides has a take on open carry:

    “The whole of Hellas used once to carry arms, their habitations being unprotected, and their communications with each other unsafe; indeed, to wear arms was as much a part of everyday life with them as with the barbarians. And the fact that the people [in the remote northwestern portion] of Hellas are still living in the old way points to a time when the same mode of life was once equally common to all. The Athenians were the first to lay aside their weapons, and to adopt an easier and more luxurious mode of life…” (1. 6. 1-3)

    So Thucydides sees the carrying of weapons (remember, he is talking about going around wearing a short sword) as uncomfortable and undesirable, something you do only if you have to. He says that in his own time only non-Greeks—and the freaky Aetolians—go around with a sword strapped on.

    He sees the lack of a need to carry a weapon at Athens as a mark of his home town’s lofty status as a center of culture. It’s interesting that he sees laying aside the practice of carrying a weapon in civilian life as a sort of liberation rather than an imposition from some heavy-handed authority.

    In any case, Robert, I admire your experiment in open carry on the East Side. It’ll do those people some good to have their world rocked a little. I also enjoy the Kinbotean self-revelation embedded in your remarks. Keep reporting on your experiences!

  17. Here in the supposed Guntopia of Vermont nobody carries openly. The only time I have ever seen gun carried openly in plainclothes there was also a visible badge. And a leather handcuff case. I salute your efforts, but the tip of the spear must be a lonely place.

  18. I’m really enjoying this series and I hope you keep it going for the rest of the year. If I didn’t know you, the first thing I would think if I saw you on the street is that you’re a cop. Two of the guys I shoot with are considering open carrying, and they were worried about how the police or regular citizens may react. I told them that one of them looks like a cop and most people wouldn’t give him a second look, and the other one looks like a gangbanger and he’d most likely get shot by a rookie or SWAT or some cop having a bad day.

    • I agree. I would have just assumed Robert was some sort of special police dude/G-man, so important that he does not need to wear a uniform. On your best behavior around this guy!

  19. My suspicion is that RF will keep exploring different angles to expand, laugh, his relationship with “the world’s most beautiful jewish women” or “MIWiW.” “Me thinks thou doth protest…” etc. That aside, Hazzard Bagg’s comment referencing Thycidides is interesting. In opposition to the analogy I’ll place these facts: Most greek city-states at the time held the poorer 50% of the population, aka slaves, in underfed identifiable sans-rights control. Athens, as an example, and ca. 50,000 male citizens 100,000 female family members without rights, and 100,000 slaves and metics, as roughly guessed by historians. They employed the “Scythian Archers,” also slaves, as police. Who needed weapons day-to-day? The adult male citizens had, of course, lots of weapons and some armor back at the house, under lock and key. We live in a world in which all but the imprisoned may have weapons of some sort. We release armed robbers from jail after a few years. In Athens they would have been dead after sentencing to “the board” or “the pit.” Different world entirely.

  20. I am so glad I live in Arizona. I’ve lived in the center of Phoenix and now I’m stuck in Prescott.

    I open carry every day, everywhere but work and where prohibited by law. I’ve even open carried at political protests.

    These are RIGHTS we’re talking about, not privileges. If we do not fight for them, they will be gradually eroded away.
    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”–Barry Goldwater

  21. I’m still trying to figure out what one has to do to be PNG’d from a glorified cigar store.

  22. I just got off the phone with my buddy who has been wanting to open carry. He has a CT permit and he was going to breakfast with his family, so he brought his .45 along. His daughter begged him not to carry because he would embarass her, so he left it locked in the trunk. They walked into the restaurant, went to their table and saw six CT state troopers eating away. He then decided it was a good choice not to carry that day, because he wondered how the troopers may have reacted. I told him he should have told them that he has a CT CCW, and asked their opinion on open carrying in their town.

  23. The best thing I ever did after I started open carrying was to realize that I shouldn’t change who I am, but that I should exaggerate one of my more pleasant qualities: I am the nicest, most outgoing guy in town when I open carry. It’s not a stretch for me. It hasn’t been a problem since I started months ago here in UNESCO’s third international city of literature (behind Melbourne and Dublin), possibly the bluest city in Iowa.

  24. Maybe I’m thick, but I don’t get the relevance of referencing the woman’s religion (or, as I suspect Farago intends, ethnicity). What am I missing? She’s beautiful “for a Jew”? She’s anti-gun because she’s Jewish (which I’m sure Farago wouldn’t contend, because he probably knows lots of Jewish gun owners)? Or is Farago trying to channel Robert Parker’s fictional PI, Spenser PI, who refers to his longtime love interest as a “Jewess”?

    I’m not a walk-on-eggshells type of guy, but I just don’t get the point of this reference. Someone clue me in.

    Zieg

    • LOL at necro-commenting. You must be new here. RF is Jewish. He has a thing for hot women in general, and hot Jewish women in particular. It’s a recurring theme.

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