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Texas CHL fingerprinting (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

As I ponied-up to the counter at Lone Star Tobacco, a large gentleman approached my six with single-minded determination. “Can I take a picture of you gun?” he asked. “It’s the first open carry I’ve seen in the wild.” “Of course,” I replied as the adrenalin rush slowly subsided. A few minutes later, Rhonda and I basked in the sun outside the shop, a T52 fueling nicotine dreams. I asked the pistol peeping paparazzo, now seated nearby, why he doesn’t open carry . . .

“I don’t carry,” he confessed in heavily accented English, “I’ve got a terrible temper.”

I nodded. We agreed. A man’s gotta know his limitations. That said, the Haitian-born cigar aficionado confessed that he keeps a Mossberg shotgun at home, and he’s ready to use it,

“A man’s got two jobs in life,” he said, waving his cigar like a music conductor, “provider and protector.”

I’ve never had problems winning bread. Thanks to good luck, hard work and sensible investing I’ve managed to feed, house, clothe and educate four girls. Although I discovered the reason why divorce is so expensive — it’s worth it — I’m still standing, financially speaking. Still providing. Aide-toi et le ciel t’aiders (heaven helps those who help themselves) as my nouveau ami pronounced.

Heaven knows I assumed the protector role late in life. Oh sure, I protected my progeny from accidents and ill health. I bolstered their confidence and cushioned them from psychological setbacks as best I could. But I never thought about the potential need to personally defend them against violent attack. For whatever reason, part cultural, part personal, I lived in condition white.

My wake-up call came late and backwards.

Most Americans raised in anti- or non-gun home come to gun ownership after they realize they need a weapon to protect themselves and their family. I bought my first handgun because I thought guns are cool. (Still do.) And then I started thinking about what I’d do with my gun if I had to defend myself or my family by force of arms.

As I trained in armed self-defense, as I connected gun ownership with my Jewish heritage, I developed a full appreciation of the dangers I’d ignored. I realized that my previous defenselessness was more than blindness; it was selfish. What would my various children do if I was murdered? What if they were attacked?

And so I jumped over despicable hurdles to get my Rhode Island concealed carry permit. I moved to Texas, where I continue to train and carry a firearm wherever it’s legal to do so. While there’s no way to predict the outcome of a violent encounter, I’m ready to do my best to protect myself and my loved ones from violence. With a gun. Only I can’t . . .

Two of my daughters live in the “gun-free” UK. My ex-step-daughter lives in the Caribbean. The daughter who remains in my direct care isn’t old enough to carry. Every weekday I drop her off at a “gun free” school. “Run or ambush,” I say. “Love you.”

I’ve taught all my children to be situationally aware and discussed non-gun survival strategies. That’s all I can do. That’s all they can do, for now. Meanwhile, a father carries. A father worries. More than that, my lady love lives two-and-a-half hours away and doesn’t carry a gun. Yet.

Rhonda’s journey to concealed carry has taken two years, from our first date at the American Shooting Center to last year’s concealed carry class at the Athena Gun Club. It’s not over yet. Although she’s finally had her fingerprints taken for her Texas LTC, Rhonda’s still contemplating if, how and when she’ll carry.

If I could be with Rhonda all the time, I would. But I can’t. For much of our time we lead separate lives. So I urge her to find a way to carry a gun for self-protection; for herself, her children and me. Thankfully, for Rhonda’s safety and my peace of mind, she’s listening. She knows I can provide but I can’t always protect.

“A woman has to know her man’s limitations,” Rhonda said recently, placing her Ruger LCR by the bedside. By the same token, a man who loves a woman should encourage her to keep and bear arms. Gently, positively, relentlessly. Same for his family. After all, when seconds count, the police aren’t the only ones who may be minutes away.

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  1. It’s tough for women to find a good carry solution when they have infants and toddlers to bring along wherever they go.

      • Sounded good but I don’t want a ND while reaching in the diaper bag for something else. Plus, that bag is typically open for quick retrieval of wipes, etc.

        • In MHO who needs a gun when you can just throw diaper bombs at the BG or BW. One of those explodes on him/her and the fight is all over but the smell.

    • Toddlers are easy. Cover trigger with concealable comfortable holster of choice (my wife has three or four depending on what conceals well in her outfit). gun with some sort of safety, besides the trigger. Good to go

      The tough one is when they’re pregnant.

      Holster solution 3 and she’s still working on a adequate winter carry rig for pregnancy.

  2. “For whatever reason, part cultural, part personal, I lived in condition white.”

    “Condition White.”

    Good choice of words.

      • Rhonda, from one gun gal to another gun gal, congrats on getting your LTC! And kudos for selecting an LCR for carry/home defense. Nice thing about LCRs is regardless of caliber, same holster will fit all calibers, For extra safety I have a trigger stop that goes behind the the trigger to prevent rearward movement of the trigger, by Garrison Grip. Always be sure to clear rounds,then install behind trigger, then you can safely load ammo. If you need to fire the revolver, you can push it out easily with trigger finger and be good to go. Not a fan of off body carry unless purse is cross body with metal cable in strap, designed for concealed carry.
        And in closing, all I have to say is “you go girl!, welcome to the gun gals (guys) club!!!

      • Ah hah! I had my suspicions that Mr. Farago’s Rhonda might have been the same that penned the Jagged Marble article when he first mentioned your name in a previous article.

        Glad to hear you’re moving forward with the LTC process, comfort will grow in time.

  3. My fiancé came from an anti-gun household/relationship despite having roots in the South. She was married to a person from overseas who, despite his native land being rife with authorities abusing and killing ordinary citizens, was totally anti-gun. To him, guns were the reason his friends back home were killed, and it never occurred to him that maybe if they had guns, they would have had a fighting chance. Fortunately they never had to experience anything such as a mugging or worse.

    But bet that as it may, when we first got together, I always encouraged her to get competent and comfortable with guns. Never forceful, always just a polite “suggestion” as it were. One day after a lunch I mentioned going to the range, and she jumped on the opportunity and came along…it was all over after that.

    My primary concern was safety of course. I’m not always home, and she would need to be able to use whatever was on hand. At first that would have been a rifle since my pistol collection was limited. But as time progressed it included pistols of her own. All guns in the house, she knows where they are and how to use them.

    In this day and age, yes, the man is still the protector, but in this world where both spouses have to work, the person with the gun expertise isn’t always home.

    • “The man is the protector.” Yes, but what if he takes a stand and loses, or is overwhelmed? In the end each person, male or female, is there own protector, no matter how many levels of defense stand in front of them.

  4. Are you seeing all the 30.07 signs going up around Houston? The places I see put up the 30.07 signs are going ahead and putting up the 30.06 signs as well. Those that did not have any policies before are being forced to adopt policies because of people open carrying. Once those signs go up, they don’t come down.

    • Those that did not have any policies before are being forced to adopt policies because of people open carrying.

      Those that did not have policies are being forced by MDA and Bloomberg money to enact unfavorable policies. You are either being fed a ration or you are feeding us a ration. I haven’t figured out which just yet.

      • It is actually not MDA or Bloomberg. There is a local Houstonian that is calling or emailing stores asking about the CC and open carry policies. He created a google doc to that effect. Let me hunt around and see if I can find the guy’s name and Google Doc.

        • You could call around, and get a sense of what they want, or you could go to and see what’s been listed. Still no guarantee of accuracy, but better than calling a guy who may consider a sheet of paper good enough.

    • One of the cornerstones of our nation is private property rights. Unfortunately that means a private business owner can prohibit the carry of weapons in his or her premises. The amount of action the State can take is subject to debate. For example in Florida, the only thing they can do is ask you to leave, if you refuse, then a crime is committed. Whereas in Texas, you commit a crime if you walk onto someone’s property and you are armed, and they have the proper signage up.

    • A fair number have been putting them up, but the more common issue I’ve seen is that the places with 30.06s before 2016 have been too lazy to update them, new 30.07 or not.

      If we are going to be picky about it…

    • Once those signs go up, they don’t come down.

      That’s a big negative ghost rider. The grocery chain Aldi Foods used to be a gun-free zone until an armed patron (armed unknowingly against store policy) stopped an armed robbery in a store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Several months later, Aldi (chain wide) reversed their “no guns” policy and defaulted to state laws … and their signs/notices came down.

      Other businesses who have put up “no guns” signs have later removed them after realizing how much business they lost as a result of their policy.

      I believe these signs in Texas are a knee-jerk reaction and several/most of them will come down in the next several months.

      • Dunham’s in Milwaukee area as well. Put the sign up and it didn’t take long for the lost business to change their mind. Seriously, what were they thinking? They SELL guns!

      • I hope these signs are easily removed from their locations, not firmly affixed to the glass, etc. When inevitably the stores with these signs become obvious targets for robberies the opinions of the store owners may change.

        By the way, in Texas, if a store is posted with 30.06/07 signs does that preclude the owner/manager or any employee from carrying a firearm as well?

        • My understanding is, sort of yes. That is a legal notice to anybody who enters the property without permission to carry.

          Of course, if site management declines to call law enforcement authorities when they or employees carry, that is their right. Generally, though, you see the opposite – employee policy prohibits being armed but there is no/invalid signage restricting public carry.

        • “My understanding is, sort of yes. That is a legal notice to anybody who enters the property without permission to carry.”

          As I understand it, an employee with permission of the owner is good to carry in the place of business.

        • You’re right. As was my edit. Which, of course never posted, even though the little page said saved. It’s probably the most likely reason I’d stop visiting the site.

          The sign would ban anybody from carrying without permission from the owner or manager of the property. Employees are still subject, absent notice otherwise, to that sign. I’d suggest they have that in writing, too. Without it, I’d expect a cop who happens to see the gun to side with the sign over protests to the contrary.

  5. “I don’t carry,” he confessed in heavily accented English, “I’ve got a terrible temper.”

    Kudos to that gentlemen for recognizing his limitations! I applaud his responsible choice to NOT carry a firearm in public.

  6. i like 30.06/7 signs. i have limited funds, and it is helpful to know which stores will use some of their profits to support anti-gun agendas. i think all business which do not want guns on their property should be required to register with local authorities, post the signs and provide a list of “reasonable”, “common sense” patrons to the local chamber of commerce, which would in turn make that list a searchable database so like can like like.


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