If you follow my twitter feed (and why don’t you?) then you would have known that last night I was the (mis)fortune of attended a concert by former American Idol champ David Cook. (hey, the tickets were free, sue me) My previous concert going experiences have all been at “serious rock shows” like X-fest, Warped Tour, Green Day concerts, etc so I’m used to a specific sort of clientele that attend these shows. In addition, I’m accustom to a specific type of security, namely the sort of searches that make airport security look non-intrusive and polite. So it was with memories of Warped Tour 2003 fresh in my mind that I prepared for the David Cook concert by leaving my pistol, spare ammo, and pocket knife locked in the glove box of my car.
I got to the door of the theatre where he was playing, and the young security guard asked me “do you have anything in your pockets?” I said yes, showed him my iPhone and car keys, and they let me in – no pat downs, no frisking, no nothing. I could have been carrying my 625 in an IWB holster and gotten through that security.
While it’s a mildly amusing anecdote on the surface, it also serves to illustrate a common dilemma faced by people who carry but also wish to participate in “group social activities” like concerts, football games, etc. While some things are easy to figure out such as sporting events (no guns, not now, not ever) other events like concerts are a little more difficult, especially when the venue doesn’t have an explicitly written “no weapons” policy.
Ultimately, the burden is on us – the people with carry permits – to determine whether or not a location or venue is going to be CCW friendly or not. In the event that it’s not a “friendly” venue, we’re then left with the decision on how to proceed. Do you carry anyway and hope security is lax, do you disarm yourself and adhere strictly to the rules, or do you simply choose to “not go”, because they bar firearms? Depending on the circumstances, I’ve used all three approaches, although the first one is generally a poor idea and can land you in trouble with the law, as such it’s not advisable. The 2nd and 3rd and both weak options, because one involves not carrying any sort of defensive tools, and the other involves missing out on what could be a fun event.
In the end it’s a situational decision – what is best and fitting for you may not be best and fitting for me. I advise compliance with the law and wishes of the property owner however – it’s the best way to keep out of trouble, and keep your carry permit.