Texas 30-06 sign

“I hate my mother,” my daughter declared as we drove to the hospital. “She’s never going to get better.” She hadn’t seen her mother in over four months. There had been plans but it was always one thing or another. Or one thing after another. That’s the way it is with alcoholics. Time moves on for those on the outside. For the alcoholic, times loses meaning, as they slide deeper into addiction and desperation. Which leads to more drinking. And illness. I didn’t blame my daughter for her outburst. Nor did I correct her. It was the most she’d said on the subject since the last visit. The car rumbled through the soggy Texas hills . . .

It was dark when we arrived at the hospital. The lobby was deserted. The reception desk was abandoned. Unarmed, I amped-up my situational awareness. I asked a passerby for directions and found our way to my ex-wife’s room. A board on the wall illustrated her pain level with a selection of faces, ranging from happy to hurting. Someone circled the poker face in the middle. Judging from the actual patient, the choice seemed optimistic. The word “morphine” on the board provided an explanation.

As we entered a technician drew two vials of blood from my ex-wife’s arm. My daughter was non-plussed. She accepted her gift shop gifts with equanimity, without enthusiasm. As my ex-wife and her daughter talked, as the emotional atmosphere stabilized, my daughter spent a lot of time mugging at me. She was affirming the link that she never had to question, but did anyway.

Anyway, it was good to see the two of them together.

A pair of nurses arrived with a portable X-ray machine. My daughter and I waited outside my ex-wife’s room by the nurses’ station. While my daughter filled out a get-well card I’d bought for her at Walgreen’s, a dark-haired nurse motioned at my empty holster, which I’d somehow exposed.

“I hate guns,” she said, daring me to defend my right to keep and bear arms.

I pulled my shirt over the empty Kydex container.

“I hate hospitals,” I replied.

“Guns hurt people.”

I resisted the urge to say “so do hospitals.” If she was so close-minded about guns she was probably unwilling to acknowledge the malpractice haunting the halls surrounding her pod. But I wasn’t going to let her remark go completely unchallenged.

“People hurt people.”

The nurse took a deep breath in and let it out slowly.

“And sometimes people hurt themselves.”

I was surprised that she was so forward. Did she read the guilt on my face? Or was it always this way for family members caught in the cacophonous crossfire of addiction? I found the second question profoundly depressing. I turned to my daughter and praised her writing.

Later, as the three of us sat in the atrium sharing a couple of sandwiches, a young man in scrubs stood a few feet away. He looked up at the ceiling, some five stories overhead. At first I thought he was talking to someone on a balcony. I soon realized he was delusional. And mobile. He paced back and forth like a polar bear in a zoo.

“Don’t look at him,” my ex-wife counseled my curious daughter.

I did, deciding that the napkin holder would make a reasonable improvised weapon. I kept my eye on him, and thought about her comment.

Why wouldn’t you look at a man who might do you harm? Because looking at him might encourage him to make contact, and contact could lead to confrontation, and confrontation could lead to violence. But averting your eyes is no solution either. If he is going to attack you want to see him coming.

Alcoholics avert their eyes from . . . everything. The drink saves them from having to confront bad things in the past and the possibility, the inevitability of bad things in the future. And the more they escape into drug-addled denial the less they want to see what’s in front of their face. Or what’s behind them. Planning for events – good or bad – becomes a bridge too far.

One of the reasons I like carrying a gun: it encourages me to scan my world for trouble. I like being alert. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I’m predisposed to it. By the same token, scanning for trouble forces me to value the times when trouble’s nowhere to be found. I reckon you can’t relax if you’ve never really been scared. Make that wary.

More than that, carrying a gun is a constant reminder of my responsibilities. It reminds me that no matter how I feel about myself, no matter what I’m going through, I have an obligation to protect innocent life. I don’t know why. I just do. It’s a duty that applies to the people I love. And the people I don’t love. And people I used to love.

When we got back in the car, I removed my Wilson from the glove box and reholstered. Lola handed me the spare magazine. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to.

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111 Responses to Random Thoughts About Guns ‘N Hospitals

  1. In most states you can get the nurse written up over comments like hers. That is the mechanism of control within the medical arena. Can mean her job or license if collects enough negative reports.

    • +1.

      As soon as I read that part, I was taken aback that a nurse, who is supposed to be a licensed professional, would dare to express her opinion, which really has no relevance whatsoever in doing her job. I wasn’t present during this conversation, so I do not want to be out of line here. I will simply say the medical professionals personal opinions should not be expressed when you are caring for a patient and attempting to do so in the presence of the patient’s family and loved ones.

      And finally, please keep your mouth shut when children are present so that you do not add more stress to a situation that is already stressful because you decided that at that most inopportune time, you are going to express your hate for something when those around you could probably care less and don’t need to hear it.

      This point has nothing to do with guns – she could have said I hate hospital food. Still applies.

      • As a flight medic, I and the nurses I fly with, are armed. These medical professionals UNDERSTAND that people hurt people. Although our firearms are for self-defense, we will used them if needed. A firearm will prevent hospitalization when properly applied, in certain occasions.

    • She’s manning the nurse’s station. What harm did her comments do? Sure, it’s tacky, uncalled for, and somewhat unprofessional, but is it really a reason to wreck her career over an off the cuff remark? If you’re that hypersensitive, then maybe you shouldn’t have a gun.

      • I’m sorry, but I strongly disagree. Wreck her life, probably not. But there might very well be a history with that particular nurse with regard to inappropriate comments. As health care professionals, it is not our job to judge, or decide for other people how they live their lives. Our job is to provide the best care possible, to the best of our abilities, to every patient we see. I see patients daily that make poor life choices. Alcohol, drugs, self destructive behavior, you name it. Health care professionals can certainly counsel patients, when appropriate, on high risk behavior that pertains to their care. But nowhere in training are we taught to interject or project our personal feelings onto family members. Was this nurse a mental health care provider, or licensed counselor attempting to determine if there were means for a patient to harm them self when they were discharged? Did she believe that there might be a weapon present in violation of state law? No? Then what was she trying to do? How was making that comment furthering the care of her patient?

        It was inappropriate, unneeded, and an abuse of her position. What is the family member supposed to say? If the family member argues, will it cause the nurse to provide a lesser amount of care? Will the nurse retaliate against the patient? Will it affect the ability of the family member to come back and visit the patient? These are certainly far fetched outcomes, but since the possibility for conflict exists, the nurse should have avoided it. This is not a complex issue. Every hospital i’ve ever worked at requires yearly training on patient centric care, and cultural awareness (which deals with barriers to care caused by prejudices held by health care workers). This is not a new concept.

        Damn, this really has me fuming. I’d politely call the chief nursing officer (not the charge nurse, not the ward manager), and ask if this sort of family counseling is facility policy, and if not, could they explain why you were made to feel like an unwelcome member of your wifes care team.

        • “Damn, this really has me fuming. I’d politely call the chief nursing officer (not the charge nurse, not the ward manager), and ask if this sort of family counseling is facility policy, and if not, could they explain why you were made to feel like an unwelcome member of your wifes care team.”

          *Applause*

          That nurse is simply psychological poison. Eradicate it.

      • Yup. I’d go out of my way to get her in as much hot water as possible.
        Her comment was no different than commenting on a pair of leather shoes and calling you an animal killer.
        Or commenting on a cotton shirt and telling you you contributed to slavery.
        Her comment was completely out of line and offensive.

        • Sure, it was unprofessional, but getting her into trouble isn’t necessary. I know a cop (me) who is incredibly pro-2A and pro gun for self defense. Sure, Tasers and pepper spray are options, but there’s nothing quite like a good firearm.

          Sometimes, my pro gun bias slips. It’s really the same thing, but in reverse. I’ve been talked to about about it, but I’m still working.

      • Jonathan said – “If you’re that hypersensitive, then maybe you shouldn’t have a gun.”

        Is this really the best you’ve got? Do you realize just how vacuous it is for you guys to declare any and every behavior you do not like some sort of a personality/mental defect, and then attach the “reasonable” prohibition of firearms ownership? The worst of all is the grotesque circular logic of “If you fell you need a gun, you’re too paranoid to own a gun”

        Lets’ try this one on for size. If you’re so hypersensitive that you go to a pro-gun page and argue against guns, then maybe you’re not stable enough to own knives. Or use matches. Or raise children. Or have first amendment rights. Or…. Trust me, you really do not want to live in a world guided by those rules.

        “I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.”
        – Betty White

      • Let’s look at this honestly: What would it really hurt, for the same nurse to have said: “Jonathan Houston’s here, he has ODed again.”? If you had indeed ODed, yet again, right?

        You answered your own question: She’s a *LICENSED PROFESSIONAL*, she should ACT like she is a licensed professional.

  2. I was out riding around on the motorcycle this weekend and noticed the exact same sign on the front door of a new Endoscopy clinic in the neighborhood. It wasn’t open for business yet but they already had the stupid sign up in two languages. I thought, either they like being unarmed and vulnerable or they really believe that concealed carry holders are dangerous. Then it occurred to me that they are uneducated an probably brainwashed by the never ending litany of crap from the media.
    Next time I get a Colonscopy, I’ll try to remember not to take a gun with me. Or, maybe I’ll just go somewhere where not don’t put up stupid signs to welcome you to their business.

    • Local chain drug store has sign on both glass doors says basically only those with legal permit to have a concealed handgun allowed, others without are forbidden from bringing a handgun into the store. It is the typical state sign with legal mambo gumbo, thought I’d spare you that. Won’t identify by name who they are for fear of MDA swarming them. Obviously they get a lot of my business.

      • are you referring to the “unlicensed posession of a firearm blah blah 10 years” sign? pretty sure that they are required to put that there by of the tabc (texas alcoholic beverage commission). you see those all of the time at gas stations.

      • In Texas any place licensed to sell alcohol must post one of two signs, as designated by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

        The one for places where more than 50% of their receipts are for drinks consumed on the premises says “licensed or unlicensed” carry is prohibited, and has a red “51%” on it. CHLs can’t carry there.

        The other prohibits “unlicensed” carry of a weapon. CHLs can carry into places with this sign, like grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores, entertainment venues, and most restaurants.

        This REALLY should have been covered if you took a Texas CHL class.

    • Oh, I assure you, the specialists staffing that clinic will be highly educated. As will the owners of the business. Educated by whom, about what, and with confirmation of which biases is the question. Given that most of the university system in the US is overrun with liberal academics, you can probably guess.

      Lest anyone mistake me as anti-education or ignorant of what I speak, I have both a BS and a Professional Doctorate, together constituting 7 years of college/graduate level education.

        • God forbid! Some of those German words have over 20 letters, I have enough trouble with the “Engrish langish” as it is

        • In Pennsylvania, which had a large German-American population, German was long allowed as the language of instruction in schools, and state documents were available in German until 1950.
          -Wiki

      • The USA does have an official language. When the Constitutional Congress voted on which language to write the Constitution, they selected English. By definition, English is the official language. You will notice that they did not transcribe the document into another language. A reasonable person could infer that they expected English to be the official language.

        • Citation, please, of the US code, law, or other regulation that specifies English as the national language of the US.

          Otherwise, it’s a preference but not a requirement, and not official.

        • John L., he did specify the basis of his statement. Our laws are written in english, the law that governs our laws and lawmakers (I actually sighed while writing that) is written in english, speaking english is legally required for citezenship. I’d say all that makes it an official language even without it being specified in some piece of legislation.

        • All that means is that English is our transactional language. For it to be our official language it would have to be, well, made official. Which it hasn’t.

      • My parents and I were LEGAL immigrants to the United States. I would like to inform you natural-born Americans that as part of the process of migration, you are required to be fluent and able to write in English. Not Spanish. Not German. Not your native language. It is clearly stated in the documents that you have to review in order to become residents of this country, that the spoken language is English. And that the immigration officers who will quiz you will speak in English and that failure to answer ANY questions based on your inability to converse in English will result in automatic disqualification.
        During my entire naturalization process, I was never accommodated by anyone who spoke my native language. It was either I spoke to “the Americans” in English or I did not get entertained at all. So as far as the people who go through legal channels to get to America are concerned, YES ENGLISH IS THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
        Or I can just claim I came from Mexico and promise to vote Democrat, and they would probably just sweep everything under the rug for me and provide me with spanish documentation as well as spanish-speaking personnel to address my needs.

    • Eh, I don’t mind it in the private sector so much. No sign printed and posted with public funds should be in a foreign language though.

      But I’m just racist for believing it’s an individuals duty to learn the language of their new country if they repatriate, even if it’s an American learning Spanish when moving to Mexico.

      And suddenly I’m slightly miffed that “american”, uncapitalized, is fine but “mexican” gets flagged with “Mexican” being the only suggested correction.

    • You mean like English? You know, the language of England?

      Either way, who gives a shit? You can still read at least one. There are some places in the US that still conduct business in German. How about you bitch at them, too?

      • Indeed. Texas: the state where “we LOVE guns but don’t you dare show ’em out in public.”

        (Hopefully that’ll change soon.)

    • Isn’t that really stupid? Are you the guy that would announce that you have 200 dollars in your pocket while walking through a bad neighbourhood at midnight?

      Drawing unneeded attention is stupid, really stupid.

      • Why does it matter to you how or where a person carries? Can’t you just be satisfied that a person is carrying?

        Yeah I know my gun sux and I’m holding it wrong.

        • I just don’t think it is smart to break the law in front of witnesses. Last time I did that only luck and good acting skills got me out.

      • I think his point was that the sign says specifically “No *concealed* hand guns.” It doesn’t mention anything about open carry.

        However, as someone else pointed out, if this was in Texas, he couldn’t do that anyway.

        • it was in texas. 30.06 laws are only in texas. the penal code it refers to is the texas penal code.

  3. Tough times with addiction, mine wasn’t as serious (gaming addiction). Wish you guys luck (or more usefull: willpower). Finding something to hate can give you the energy to stay in the fight.

    Your ex-wife still has a shot at normalcy, I would recommend she takes it.

    Regarding “don’t stare at unstable person”: most of us don’t like being stared at. You don’t need to see him, you can hear people walking on those squeaky floors easily.

    • “Your ex-wife still has a shot at normalcy, I would recommend she takes it.”

      So’s mine.

      Normalcy would involve giving up Mr. Smirnov. That ain’t gonna happen.

      I picked her up after an involuntary in-patient mental health hold. She left not five minutes after I brought her home to piss away another several hundred dollars on booze and related drama.

      So glad I’m rid of that.

      And that doesn’t even begin to cover the night she pointed a Star 9mm Largo pistol at me and threatened to kill me then kill herself. Safety off. With some wonderful Speer Gold-Dots in the chamber/magazine.

      First thing that went through my mind: “Oh, this is gonna hurt.”

      Nah, she’s somebody else’s problem now.

      John

      • I just find it unfair. Those who can become normal again, they choose not to. While we who can’t be normal, we fight with tooth and claw to not lose our last shred of humanity.

        Also, I was going to say “it is just a nine milla, how bad can it be?” Then you mentioned hollow points. Yeah, it would have hurt pretty bad. IMHO good for you for getting of a sinking ship, it’s sad when someone goes under but it’s even sadder when they drag you down with themselves.

    • “Regarding “don’t stare at unstable person”: most of us don’t like being stared at. You don’t need to see him, you can hear people walking on those squeaky floors easily.”

      This assumes they are wearing shoes. If this was a patient, they probably would not be wearing rubber-soled shoes. Still, peripheral vision should be sufficient to see if they are coming toward you. No need to stare straight at them.

  4. What a nice piece of writing. Here’ to hoping that your ex wife gets better and that hospitals stop posting 30.06 signs. Cheers.

    • I read the sign as “section thirty-aught-six” and started giggling at the irony… If it had been ‘section 30.05’ it would’ve read as “section thirty point oh-five” in my mind.

      • Most of us call it a “thirty aught six” sign too. 30.05 is the one keeping me from carrying at work. Something to do with protecting “vital infrastructure locations” like railroads, power stations, and things like that. First time I noticed the difference after getting my CHL I thought, “Woo hoo! That’s not a binding sign!” but then read what the law says and figured I didn’t want to be the test case. Makes me sweat locking up in the car in the parking lot… even thought Texas passed that law some years back as well.

  5. Well done, Robert. Prayers for you and your daughter, and for your Ex’s recovery. In Alabama, our new carry law doesn’t say anything about hospitals, but forbids carry in inpatient facilities for the mentally ill or disturbed.
    The problem is that the hospital’s usually have psych wards on one or more floors.
    I tell my clients to do what I do: carry concealed in the hospital UNLESS you have business on the psych floor.

  6. Hospitals are clearly “sensitive areas” that deserve to have special protection to ensure they are free from violence.

    While we’re at it, here’s a random, partial list of other sensitive areas:

    * libraries
    * post offices
    * schools (public and private)
    * public parks
    * Washington, D.C.
    * assisted care residences
    * movie theaters
    * synagogues
    * churches
    * restaurants that serve alcohol
    * federal buildings and land
    * apartment complexes
    * colleges
    * cars in employer parking lots
    * orthopedic clinics
    * grocery stores
    * playgrounds
    * coffee shops
    * office supply stores
    * any place where young children are standing, sitting, playing
    * professional sports stadiums

    To ensure these (and other) sensitive places can be best protected against violence aggression, I encourage everyone to do their part to pressure legislators and corporations to drop restrictions on armed self defense.

    • Yup. It’s quite frustrating when legislators single out certain areas as “too good for armed self defense” (or whatever it is they think).

      Here’s a tip, legislators: bad guys aren’t going to obey the law. They don’t give a hoot that you banned guns there. If they know about the ban, it only makes ’em happier since they know that they’re less likely to get shot by someone inside.

        • GeoffPR – I don’t know if it’s been tested in court whether an apartment is a residence or a business with respect to firearms rights. I imagine it would be adjudicated in the favor of the tenant unless there were explicit terms in the lease. Changing the rules in the middle of the game generally never works out in the landlord’s favor unless there is some new law forcing the landlord’s hand.

          I was very clear with my current landlord, and read the lease to the letter before signing, to ensure that he knew I was a firearm owner and that wasn’t an issue. My previous apartment had terms in the lease prohibiting “displays or discharge” of firearms on the property, but no issues with ownership or concealed carry.

        • And that particular example (of apartments) was squashed:

          “These community policy changes were distributed without the knowledge or authorization of the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Housing Partnership or its staff,” a news release from the housing authority said. “This board does not support any action that infringes on an individual’s rights and will not allow Ross Management to implement these changes.”
          http://news.msn.com/us/colorado-apartment-complex-gun-ban-reversed-1

    • Good luck with that. It’s illegal under most circumstances to carry concealed or open without a license, no sign required. The sign only applies to licensed.

      • AZ – Constitutional carry. Moved here from NC, which requires a CHP for concealed carry but permitless open carry is legal.

        The best news – Constitutional carry is rapidly spreading.

  7. My wife worked in a well known hospital for 12 years. When we visit someone, she tenses up and gets very nervous.
    When she had to go in for a few days I thought she was going to crack.
    She says “hospitals will kill you”, and I’m worried about the police killing me?
    When we have someone we care about in a hospital she insists on 24 hour coverage and checks all the meds, wonder why?

    • I’ve got a friend who’s a nurse and he expresses the same sentiment.

      Her fear is completely rational.

      Stunning News On Preventable Deaths In Hospitals
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2013/09/23/stunning-news-on-preventable-deaths-in-hospitals/

      “According to a new study just out from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety, four times as many people die from preventable medical errors than we thought, as many as 440,000 a year.”

      “With these latest revelations, medical errors now claim the spot as the third leading cause of death in the United States, dwarfing auto accidents, diabetes and everything else besides cancer and heart disease.”

      • Wow. Thanks for posting that. So iatrogenic deaths are right up there with smoking (about 440k suicides and 42k murders in the US every year — a combination of cancer and heart disease causing most of them).

        • The sad truth of the matter is that hospital care is not a good model for rendering care to the ill if quality of care is the priority. That said, the US has 300,000,000+ people, not nearly enough Doctors and Nurses to meet the demand for care, and the only way it’s remotely practical to come close is to gather our sick folks in one location where equipment/personnel can be shared and providers can move from patient to patient with a minimum of time lost to travel (i.e. walking to the next hospital room).

          One on one care in the home (the way it used to be done) would be ideal. Unfortunately, such care is cost prohibitive for patients and thus not economically viable for practitioners.

          The balance between access and quality is the eternal fight in healthcare. With Obamacare set to provide access for 40 to 60 million new patients without any plan to add more practitioners or make life more efficient for current practitioners, quality will have no choice but to suffer. Buckle your seat belts.

        • Patient density is certainly a factor.

          However, hospitals still have a responsibility to be more transparent about their track record and make better efforts to mitigate their errors.

          It’s a management and cultural problem.

          If all hospitals disclosed their error rates, the free market would quickly reward the better performers.

  8. If the DGU incident with the mental patient and his doctor a few months back doesn’t make the case, what does.

    Hospitals/clinics are ridiculously unsecure. I hope there are no further incidents in these places.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Good point. That guy was not allowed to carry and did anyway, saving his own and possibly other lives, so what was his punishment? In TX (RF take note) so far as my classes explained it, if the sign is posted (#1.), and you are caught carrying (#2.), you may be asked to leave (#3.). If you refuse to leave (#4.), you can be charged with misdemeanor trespassing. That is a lot of things have to happen before you get in any trouble at all. ie, WGAS, I ignore the signs, concealed means concealed. 2 different ways to avoid charges=don’t carry, or leave when requested. And hope, if you are discovered, it is after you finish a really expensive meal.

      • Take a remedial CHL class Larry.

        If a place is correctly posted 30.06 including letter size, you can be arrested immediately and lose your CHL if you are discovered.

        • This seems to be a good place to put this. I work in radiology in a hospital in Texas. Hospitals are one of the places that you CANNOT carry. Doesn’t matter if there is a 30.06 sign or not. Though there is a section that says they have to post a sign.

          PC §46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER
          (4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health
          and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed under
          Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written
          authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate;

          ps Nurses don’t x-ray anyone and at my dept the CCL holding techs are a double digit percentage of the workers.

        • Sec. 46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER. (a) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder’s person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place.

          (b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on or about the license holder’s person:

          (4) on the premises of a hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, or on the premises of a nursing home licensed under Chapter 242, Health and Safety Code, unless the license holder has written authorization of the hospital or nursing home administration, as appropriate;

  9. Some excellent writing there. I’ve been through the visiting thing too with family that have addiction problems. Some folks can recover to resume a normal life (without the booze or drugs) and some folks can’t. I sincerely hope your ex is in the first group. It ain’t easy, but it is doable. Sorry that your daughter has to deal with this, that is tough for an almost teenager. And I am glad that you put the effort into making these visits, instead of totally writing the ex off as a waste of time. Shows you are really a decent and caring human being, despite your lust for Israeli super models. You have got me Googling up images from Israel on my own now. (LOL)

  10. One of the few things that I do miss about Mississippi is that once you get the “enhanced carry” permit all the ‘prohibited places’ are now fair game for carry, except for federal building and jails/prisons. The federal building part irritates me, but I am ok with not carrying in jails.

    Also, a guiding life principle for me is “Don’t stick your dick in crazy.”

  11. A very compelling piece Robert. Its sad when children become the victims of our train wrecks . I wish your daughter the best. As well as your ex-wife. As for the nurses comments. The best thing she could have done was say nothing. She was hired as a care giver, not a politician.

  12. I’m sorry to hear about what you and your family are going through. My ex slowly became an alcoholic–somewhere between my second or third time in Iraq. Third time was for a year, while the fourth time was the end. My Grandmother was in the hospital for the same thing for years–until she finally passed. I quit drinking because I started to grow concerned about my own choices while under the influence. It wasn’t easy at first, but I’m a much better man for doing it.

  13. Ummm…is your daughter OK with you revealing this private conversation? I know my kids wouldn’t be RF. Just thought I’d ask. My sympathies to you and your daughter.

    • @ waterwalker Takes another father and a good one to pick up on that. I would guess, based on her being able to tell him she hates her mother and for RF to accept that comment, that she wouldn’t mind. I would also guess that RF and his daughter are tight.

  14. My wife was in the emergency room three weeks ago. I had a folding knife in my pocket the entire time. It’s not a gun, but it’s something. Look into it, but don’t get a scary one.

    • Ben,

      What is a scary knife? And if its “scary’ but legal, what is the issue?

      I carry, here in Texas, a 5.5” blade into hospitals because I cant carry my AIWB Glock 19. I will carry the biggest, scariest knife I can. If I need to pull it and use it, I want big and scary.

  15. Will someone please tell me how all the hospitals in the U.S. create their magic anti-violence force field … I need to acquire one for my home.

    I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why hospital staff and visitors must be unarmed before entering a hospital. Violent criminals can attack in hospital just as easy as anywhere else. And hospital parking lots make for incredibly vulnerable locations. But you cannot be armed walking to/from your vehicle if you cannot be armed in the hospital.

    I can see where patients should be unarmed because they cannot carry nor secure their firearm while receiving care.

    • Will someone please tell me how all the hospitals in the U.S. create their magic anti-violence force field

      Not “all” the hospitals – just the ones in states not friendly to the carrying of firearms.

      For example, here in Colorado, I happily (and lawfully) ignore any “no firearms” signs I might (or might not) see on hospital doors. Just like I ignore the ones on/at bars, restaurants, churches, state universities, etc.. In the last 3 years, the only actual gun-free zones I’ve worried about have been my kids’ elementary school*, the Air Force Academy, and California**.

      * I have to leave my firearm locked inside the vehicle if I’m going to leave the vehicle
      ** I have to unload my carry gun and lock it in a box before crossing into CA from NV

  16. Well written, and moving. All the gun issues aside, anyone who’s dealt with addiction personally or in the family can identify with what you’ve experienced.

    A close family member became an alcoholic in his twenties. He would dry up occasionally, even becoming an AA counselor for a while. Ultimately, he fell back in and it killed him-indirectly, late in life. It takes a toll on the individual and the family.

  17. Good reading, thanks for sharing. I too had to raise my daughter and son due to their mother suffering from depression and other illnesses. One thing I would never do was correct my daughter when she would say she hated her mother. That is until I met my fiancee. She provided motherly guidance to my daughter in this area. Teaching her that she should not hate her mother. She may hate the situation her mother put her in, may hate the situation her mother is in, but right or wrong, she is the only mother she will ever have and thus why she should not hate her. She may not like her and does not have to see her, but not hate her. I thought about that and she was right. It was my own anger at her as well that would keep me from telling my daughter not to hate her mother. Now I see things differently. For men it is different, we leave our parents and start our families. Women, though they start families, maintain a close connection their mothers. Though we may maintain a relationship with our daughters, we don’t have that special bond mothers/daughters do. By teaching my daughter not to hate her mother, the possibility exists that she may one day strike up that close bond. A bond that if you ask a woman who has lost her mother is one she misses dearly and years for. I admire that you drive your daughter to see her mother.

  18. Can’t recall the song, but the unforgettable lyrics are “dad put a bottle to his mouth and pulled the trigger.” Alcohol is indeed a sadly dangerous form of self destruction. I called them “Self Propelled Toxic Waste Dumps.” Prayers for your loved one. As nurses we see human nature as starkly naked, and sometimes our attempts at insight are misunderstood.

  19. We just got back from visiting my wife’s niece in the hospital.
    As we were walking in, my wife asked if I’d remembered to stow my pistol.
    I told her I had.
    So she asked me if I was lying.
    I said ” Maybe, probably, yes”
    There’s a reason it’s called concealed.

  20. Thankfully, in Indiana, the signs posted “No *insert weapon here*” carry no force of law. Meaning that unless an agent of the property you’re on sees that you are armed and requests that you leave, nothing illegal has happened. Once you are asked to leave however, you must or you will face trespassing charges.

  21. More people were dying in that hospital due to what they put on their forks and spoons than ever will be from gunshot wounds. That nurse should hate forks and spoons also.

  22. In Mississippi we have an enhancement law where you can take a course and can ignore signs such as these , the only places you would not be able to carry is a courtroom or a bar , as for the nurses statement it was uncalled for and would have landed her in trouble , my wife is a labor and delivery charge nurse and is very pro-gun , heck most of my Christmas and birthday gifts are guns or related to guns . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  23. “The Heller & McDonald decisions clearly stated the RTKABA applied to private residences…?” I tried to look this up without much luck. My understanding that when you sign a lease on an apartment or rent a room for a night you temporarily “own” that space. You basically have the same rights in that space that you would have in your own home. If that is true and the local laws do not prevent someone from legally having a gun in their home then how can an apartment complex ban them for their tenants? I guess it is private property and they can make their own rules. But, they are also leasing or renting out that space to someone and it seems that the renter or leasee’s rights would also have to be respected along with that agreement. Is that not true ?

    • That’s my understanding of it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller

      “The Supreme Court held:

      (1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

      You sign that lease, (and pay the payments), it’s your legal home. So how in the hell can that apt. complex demand you to void your civil rights?

    • When you rent a property, the owner is granting you temporary use of that property for a specified purpose while retaining ownership of the property, and most of the rights that go with that ownership. Among the rights retained is the ability to decide what can and can’t happen on their property, as long as those restrictions are declared and agreed to by both parties. So yes, they can say that firearms are not allowed, as long as that prohibition is written into the lease that you sign. What they can’t do is come along during your lease and evict you because they suddenly discover you own firearms, if that prohibition wasn’t in the original lease.

  24. The fact that your daughter felt safe and comfortable enough with you to express her unfiltered feelings says a great deal about you as a father. The way you handled that difficult day says a great deal about you as a man.

    Some have commented here that you should seriously consider some sort of formal action against the nurse, but everyone involved had their say, and it’s over. The conversation even provided a catalyst for some beneficial reflection that resulted in the reinforcement of your convictions. Making any sort of Big Deal over the nurse’s comments, it seems to me, would be counter-productive to your entire reason for carrying in the first place: as I read it, your goal is peace.

  25. Good article. Sending some happy thoughts to you and your daughter and wishes that her mom improves (one can always hope).

    Now that I have carried some, I find myself even more aware of my surroundings when I’m not (since I work in a “gun-free” zone, AKA university, I can’t carry every day). I thought I was pretty aware before, but it is definitely ramped now. And I do carry a knife, folder with a 2.5″ blade, a significant upgrade over the simple pocket knife I used to carry. Don’t have a lot of hope that the laws on uni carry in Texas will change any time soon, but if they do, I will.

  26. I went to a hospital to visit for a coworker not too long ago and as I walked up, much to my not surprise, I saw the no firearms sign in both English and Spanish. I thought about it for a second and just went in, being entirely lazy and didn’t want to trek all the way back to secure my firearm in my car. Plus I was CCing and there didn’t looked to be any safety officer or guards anyways. No one noticed the whole time I was there. Later on, I commented to the same coworker about the sign and noted that if I was a maniac bent on shooting up the place, I highly doubt that sign was going persuade me to do otherwise. She replied “Well, now that you put it that way, it does sound a little silly.” This was in AZ as well, which means private businesses can put up a sign barring it, at the most is they will ask me to leave if they find out. The other hospital in the next town over, however, did not have the sign up last time I saw.

  27. I know this is a bit late to the topic, but I have a close family member in hospital now for an aortic heart valve replacement. Having been to other hospitals before, most have metal detectors at the entrance and a guard. And no where to check a firearm. Because. Knowing this, I locked my carry in the car lock box and went in with my wife and daughters for a visit.

    We got to the front doors of this particular hospital and, ironically, no guard. No metal detectors. Nothing to indicate that you’d be treated as anything other than a responsible member of society. They had warnings (of course) but it was for smoking 25 feet away or more, and no latex balloons allowed. Not a single red circle with a cross and firearm silhouette.

    Absolutely blew me away. While the IWB stayed empty for this visit, we’ve got a hole week worth of visits coming before discharge. I plan on carrying for every one of them…

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