Open carry and scaring whitey

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a cookout at a friend’s house. I carried my favorite gun, the Ruger GP100 in a nice Galco high-rise holster. During the course of the evening, the status of my personal armaments went from “concealed” to “out in the open” due to some unfortunate circumstances entirely beyond my control. Now, most of my circle of friends are aware on a peripheral level that I prefer to conduct my daily affairs while armed. However, that understanding has always been more of an academic sense, as I tend to take great pains to avoid having said armaments revealed.

Upon the shocking revealing of my firearm, the usual slew of questions ensued, such as “why do you have that”, and “do you think you need that at a cookout in the suburbs”, and of course the crowd favorite “do you think you’re going to get into a gunfight”. I explained a few of the multitude reasons why I choose to be armed, which seemed to satisfy the majority of the people. My perception of the event is that I managed to avoid “scaring whitey” that evening, and despite the rather undignified position I was in (which is what lead to exposing my firearm); I managed to decently explain my views.

Now, the part of the evening that rather unfortunately stuck in my craw were the few token comments from the peanut gallery. Namely, someone raised the issue of accidental shootings, to which I responded that I have not shot anyone on accident, and briefly touched on the four rules. This lead to the portion of the evening that I found insulting, in which the person continued in that line of questioning, and eventually rather directly insinuated that I had the potential to fly off the handle and shoot people at the cookout.

What I find bothersome about that (aside from the insult in regards to my self-control) is the ignorance displayed there. The person who made those statements has unquestionably bought into the stereotype of gun owners as hair-trigger maniacs, eagerly awaiting their chance to blow someone away. It’s frustrating because I’ve known this person for a while, and had thought that we’d managed to move that perception of gun owners. It seems I was wrong, and that the saying “in vino, veritas” is more true than I would like.

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