As I started my stroll down Thayer Street, I clocked the cop on the other side of the street. Bicycle guy. Bright blue jersey. I concentrated on walking normally—which is damn hard when you’re trying to walk normally. I mentally rehearsed my Terry Stop. Say nothing until spoken to. Hands in plain sight. And . . . Didn’t happen. Nor did any Brown students see my gun. Why would they? These proto-Masters of the Universe don’t even look both ways when crossing the road, expecting (as they do) drivers to accept their primacy on planet Earth. The only person who noticed my Caracal: a street vendor selling jewelry at mark-ups that would make a buyer for Forever 21 blush with shame (as if). So I bought a cigar and took my eight-year-old to Sunshine Creamery . . .
The venerable East Providence ice cream shack services a vastly different clientele than the tony East Side strip. Let’s just say that if you could identify a demographic segment that shouldn’t be eating ice cream—in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle—Sunshine Creamery would offer an excellent representative sample. [Note: I’m not sure which Amendment protects Americans’ right to eat themselves to death but I’m all for it.]
This time, my holstered heater made some waves. At least I suppose it did; I don’t think the people straining the plastic chairs were staring at me because I used to look like Richard Dreyfus. Of course, Lola was nonplussed, lost in whichdamnflavorworld. I, however, was as nervous as Chief Brody after Quint attached a dozen barrels to Bruce’s backside.
Proximity was the problem. I was supremely aware of all the customers within arm’s reach of my gat.
The Caracal C sits in a custom Kydex rig made by RKBA Holsters. The 9mm sits closethanthis to my hip, and nearasdammit disappears under a simple T-shirt. Great for concealed carry. Open carry? Not so much. It takes nothing more than a good old yank (Yank?) to pull it free.
I don’t know of anyone who makes a retention holster for the Caracal. If it comes down to staving off a gun grab—Heaven forfend—I am retention. My close quarters combat training would serve me in good stead in such a situation. You know; if I had any. For anyone wondering when situational awareness wanders across the border into paranoia, Open Carry RI needs you.
There is a solution. I have a terrific Galco retention rig for my bat-eared LasertLyte-equipped Glock 19. Unfortunately, tooling-up with the combo turns Open Carry into OPEN CARRY. While I’ve trained with the Galco holster, I reckon discretion is the better part of valor. Well, avoiding Terry Stops and undue attention.
Hang on . . .
In my previous installment, I declared that I’m open carrying to educate Ocean Staters about their gun rights (i.e. “normalize” firearms). If that’s true, why am I trying to be discreet about my gun? And why am I pointing out my own hypocrisy when TTAG has so many intelligent readers?
Clearly, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I view open carry as a necessary political expression of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. On the other hand, I’m just not ready to push the outside of the societal envelope. Meanwhile, I worry that I’m not properly equipped or trained for the job/avocation.
I’m pinging my gun gurus for emergency weapons retention training. Guys, consider yourselves pinged.
As always with guns, what you don’t know can hurt you. On the positive side, the more you know the more you want to know, and the more you know the more you know that you need to know more. So far I’ve learned that firearms obliviousness is rampant; indicating a lack of preparedness and (let’s face it) society’s relative safety. Oh, I also figured out how to eat an ice cream cone with my left hand.