On the morning of June 8th, I was openly carrying a GLOCK 17 in a Fobus retention holster and had to get some medical tests done. I didn’t have any problem where I had blood drawn. There were no “gun free zone” signs on the door.
Next I went to the Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) for a chest X-ray. It serves as a place to have medical tests done for the entire area, part of the Yuma hospital complex.
They’ve banned guns on their facility ever since the concealed carry shall-issue law was passed in 1994. Arizona law requires public facilities to “check” firearms if they are banned in the facility. The symbol on the door at YRMC consists of the standard gun in a red circle with a slash mark. I think Texas, with its 30.06 and 30.07 signs, has the right idea.
I ignored the sign and walked in. There were a dozen or so people in the waiting room. I walked up to the counter and handed over my referral. The lady immediately said “go to the third desk,” pointing through a doorway. I didn’t have time to declare that I was armed. No one seemed to notice or care.
To the third desk I went where a pleasant woman was on the other side. She started to give me instructions, so I interrupted and said, “I have a personal firearm. The procedure to check it has been to call security, then they come and check it for me.”
She didn’t hesitate. She said “we trust you.” She gave me some simple instructions and told me to have a seat in another waiting room down the hall. There were another dozen people there.
I’d barely been seated and opened my book when a lady called my name. It couldn’t have been more than a three minutes from he time I entered the building.
She introduced herself as the technician who would take my x-ray and asked me to follow her. It wasn’t a difficult task. She was a lovely young woman.
She told me to take off my shirt, because she did not want the buttons to interfere with the x-ray. I asked if I should remove my phone from the belt holster, and she said it wasn’t necessary.
I’d removed my sunglasses and hat, and had already placed the holstered GLOCK on the counter, though I wasn’t required to do it for the X-ray. She was completely unconcerned.
The X-rays were quick and, of course, painless. She escorted me to the corridor and pointed the correct way out. I walked back out into the sunshine and decided to take a couple of pictures. I put down my book on a bench and moved away for some different perspectives.
When I came back, the book was gone. I went inside, through the same door, ignoring the sign, and went up to the counter for a second time. The book was on the counter, cover still warm from the sun. Someone had turned it in, believing it was forgotten. Again, there was no reaction to my being armed, just an acknowledgement that the book had just been turned in.
As I walked out, a woman sitting on one of the benches said she had turned the book in. I thanked her. She said, in a pleasant voice, that I looked like I was on safari. I’ve heard that a time or two before. Mostly, I get complements on the hat.
The next day I went back to my doctor’s office, to discuss the test results. I was openly carrying the GLOCK. When I was on the examination table, the holstered GLOCK was on the counter a few feet away.
My doctor isn’t a shooter, but she, or her staff, have never had a problem with my carrying in the office. On that visit, the receptionist made a joke about me having to rid my self of “twenty pounds of gear” before I was weighed. I’m sure that my gear weighed less than 10 pounds. I had my camera, Sony recorder, spare batteries, and change with me.
In spite of the hospital administration, open carry has been normalized in Yuma, Arizona.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch