Sunday, July 18, 2010

Behind the veil.

Indiana has no requirement to conceal your pistol. If you have a permit, you can tape the gun to your hat for all that the law cares.

In warmer months, I usually wear a pretty casual "gun burkha", most often in the form of an untucked, unbuttoned, oversized chambray shirt. I know the breeze can waft it open. I also know that because I carry the pistol at about the 4 o'clock position on my belt, if I bend over at the waist, then the drape of the thin, light-colored cloth makes it perfectly obvious to any knowledgeable observer that there's a heater there. It's not a big deal, and nobody's ever said word one about it, even here in the hippie haven of Broad Ripple.

Yesterday morning, I rode my bicycle to Fresh Market right around the time they opened. My cable lock was giving me fits at the bike rack out front, and so I spent some time bent over my Trek trying to get it sorted. When I straightened up to walk inside, the driver of the Brinks truck out front was giving me his absolute, 100%, totally undivided attention. And it took me a second to figure out why.

I hope the guy was thoughtful enough to figure that someone who was intent on jacking up him and his partner was unlikely to lock up their eco-friendly getaway vehicle, but I could have probably saved him a bit of stress if I'd squatted down instead of bending at the waist. And on the gripping hand, he needs to learn to deal with the fact that people carry guns.

It's a toughie. I wonder what Miss Manners would advise: Is it my obligation to strike awkward poses because someone else can't unclench?

49 comments:

og said...

I'm pretty sure Miss Manners would say "tell them all to piss up a rope".

Of course, MY miss manners carries a chainsaw in a Bianchi holster, and smokes cigars. Holds her fishnet stockings up with live rattlesnake garters. Sorry, was that an overshare?

Carteach0 said...

Nope, it's THEIR obligation to use their brains. You are under no obligation to remove their need of thought.

Let them look. Let them see. Let them think. It's the last part that gives some of them real trouble.

princewally said...

I've given my undivided attention to women bent over doing various things. Never have I noticed what is attached the their belts.

Anonymous said...

princewally is correct. Big chance it wasn't the gun that had his undivided attention.

Vaarok said...

Hey, I'm impressed he was paying attention to anything. Just because he's security doesn't mean he actually puts any effort into it.

Flight-ER-Doc said...

OTOH, Vaarok, Tam could have been a distractor for the real threat....So the guard should have been situationally aware and not scoping the chick with gun out.

Wolfwood said...

I don't know; the Brinks guy is getting paid to be observant and paranoid. If he was nervous because of your sex or your race or anything else polite society would find appalling, he's still doing exactly what he's supposed to do. His job is to protect the money, not to help engineer a better civil society.

But I do suppose that the polite thing to do is not to cause offense when one knows it will be given unless one has an important reason for doing so. Better to be alive than polite, but sometimes the two can coexist, too.

Stranger said...

Staring at a lady is rude and uncouth. Strictly speaking, the proper response is a clop on the chops or a bumbershoot to the pate.

However, since it was Brinks personnel, "That guy was staring at me" gently blown in the store manager's ear gets more effective results than almost anything else.

Except a 911 reporting a speeding and weaving armored car. That gets about a battalion of cops and a whole lot of paperwork to fill out.

Stranger

Anonymous said...

I had a coworker rob the bank in his home town on a bike. He used it to travel a rough tow path along a canal that a police car could not travel on. Too bad the police K9 could and he was caught and locked up.

Gerry

The Smiling said...

As a guard we always like to know who around us has a gun. Not that it bothers us but if we are doing our jobs right, we are looking at possible scenarios. Although unlikely, this attractive lady may be a nutjob or a robber. A more reasonable analysis includes things like: Gee, what kind of gun is that?, Does she look like she'll be reliable backup if there is a robbery or will she shoot me by accident? Is she single?
The Smiling Guard http://thesmilingguard.blogspot.com

rickn8or said...

I tend to think it was the best of both worlds; being paid to be paranoid while enjoying the view.

BobG said...

I go along with some of the other people here; a six-foot blond lady in trousers bending over strikes me as something to be worth looking at. It's a guy thing.

CGHill said...

It's his job to be observant; it's your job to tend to your malfunctioning hardware. Simple as that - and the fact that "he needs to learn to deal with the fact that people carry guns."

Anonymous said...

Something else to consider as a gun burkha for warmer weather...

A baseball jersey.

They're very breathable and cool even on the most sweltering days.

The material on better ones doesn't print like thin cotton, at least my Birmingham Barons one doesn't.

Doesn't stand out in any crowd but makes for a good descriptor if you end up calling the police and need to identify yourself to responding units.

I would suggest a minor league club from a fair distance away. That way you are less likely to get sucked into stats arguments. Besides, some of those minor league teams are f'ing hilarious. The Modesto Nuts and Albuquerque Isotopes come to mind.

Just a thought.

aczarnowski said...

The bike does make for print-tastic transportation. Helping the guy unstick his eyeballs wasn't your responsibility.

As a guard it sounds like he's doing it wrong by tunneling on a single focus point, but every job is plagued with people who would be better off somewhere else.

Don Meaker said...

We know that if the guard got all that upset to actually draw and fire, he would perhaps get prosecuted, while the object of his undeserved attention would perhaps be severely injured. We also know that the guard reaching Barney Fife levels of competence is unlikely to suddenly transition to Rob Leatham when it is time to hit a target. Still return fire from Tam would surely ruin his day.

ajdshootist said...

Im with the other guys in thinking he was looking at the 6ft blonde with a nice rear end bending over in his line of sight!

Anonymous said...

I bet it wasn't the gun that got his attention.

Stan in Minnesota said...

Gun, what gun? I would be torn between the job and offering to help. Obviously the job won.

Fred said...

Last time I was in Barnes & Noble an armored truck guy was dropping off some money, and I caught him watching me pretty closely out of the corner of my eye. Somehow I doubt anybody trying to rob him is going to be browsing the Science Fiction section with an openly holstered handgun in the middle of the store.
Thankfully he was still scanning everybody else as well, just a little extra attention to me. Of course had I been female I could see that as being different...

Rob K said...

I think you got made (if you actually did) by about the only type of person who would - somebody actually looking for guns. People only see what they expect to see and most people don't expect to see guns.

reflectoscope said...

You can't blame a guy for noticing a notably tall, attractive blonde woman. You can blame the guy for being uncouth about it though.

That said, if it his job to be very aware of his situation, it is his fail and you should feel no obligation to do anything about it.

Jim

Nathan said...

WRT summer gun burkha: I've noticed that nice roomy aloha shirts worn untucked have enough coverage for even my 1911.

Which is why I bought three new ones when we were in Florida a couple of weeks ago. :) Just call me Chuck Finley. :-D

Anonymous said...

And on the gripping hand

Tam,
You're awesome.

Bubblehead Les. said...

After hearing on today's news about the triple shootings in Downtown Indy last night, I would think Miss Manners would say "Carry you weapon any damn way you feel like, as long as you CARRY YOUR WEAPON!"

Tam said...

princewally, et al,

I should probably have added that I was bent over the bike with the sexy, sexy top of my baseball cap facing him. ;)

Carl H said...

OK, now I have to go find my old copy of 'The Mote In God's Eye' and add it to the pile by the reading-chair. Worse things than that will happen this week, I'm sure.

BobG said...

"I should probably have added that I was bent over the bike with the sexy, sexy top of my baseball cap facing him."

Then either he was admiring your blue eyes, or admiring your "ribs".
Again, it's a guy thing...

Joel said...

Big chance it wasn't the gun that had his undivided attention.

I've got to admit that was pretty much my first thought. I'd made a terrible armored car guard, because...

Pretty girl!

I'm sorry. What were we talking about?

Jeff said...

Just thank God your in not in vegas. Metro murdered a guy last week outside a costco after an employee called in a man with a gun.

It sounds like some anti saw his gun printing and got upset.

Metro has been making a habit of murdering citizens lately...

Warthog said...

Baseball Jerseys are a thought. Hockey jerseys are even better. You get the "replica" jerseys for summer and the "game weight" for winter. You can wear them 2 sizes too big and they still look cool and I can conceal a full size 1911 in a Fobus Paddleback. You can even go to a hockey shop and get goal cut practice jerseys under which you could almost conceal an AR. Nice cool mesh and sleeves with lots of room cut to about mid forearm.

Anonymous said...

Tam it is very difficult for male NOT to be responsive to a beautiful gal bent over! You have to put up with it hun it is human nature to eyeball the opposite sex.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Well, a) if he was giving you added attention because he realized you were armed, he's really just doing his job, but b) if he was as focused on you as you say, then wasn't doing his job because he wasn't continuing to scan for potential threats.

Heck, even if he knew, with 100% certainty, that you were considering robbing his shipment, he should have been looking for other threats - because someone who's planning to rob an armored car probably isn't going to do it alone.

All in all, it sounds like he failed his awareness check, but lucked out on the GM's random encounter roll and got one law-abiding citizen instead of a horde of goblins.

TJP said...

I bet he wasn't armed, and at that very moment the creaky mental structures created by decades of disarmament propaganda suddenly collapsed.

BGMiller said...

@ Warthog
Hockey jerseys are great but in summer a baseball jersey blends into the crowd a bit better. And you're right about goalie jerseys. I was a beer league keeper for a few years and have some nice ones (both mine and game-worns from the local AA club) and have no trouble hiding an XD .45 Tactical OWB. I snuck an 18v drill into the local arena a few years ago under one to fix the cup holder in our row. Local PD working security never said a thing.

Underground Carpenter said...

Tam,

I think we all need to see a YouTube re-creation of the incident to decide if the guard's response was appropriate.

I'm thinking two different camera angles and some slow-mo.

Dave

Chas S. Clifton said...

I hope you gave him a friendly wave and a big smile.

That way he can always wonder if you were really there to distract him from the team of ninja armored car bandits.

Keads said...

One book I read on CCH had a quote from Mrs. Patrica Campbell circa 1910 that originally was a comment on sex. The CCH author used it to describe our prudent actions as CCH users. "My dear, I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses."

OTOH, I will look at an attractive women! I may consider it a bonus if she is carrying!

We have open carry here, but the anti-matter to that is the "going armed to the terror of the people" thing.

kishnevi said...

'Tis a truly civilized blog where one can find mention of guns and George Bernard Shaw's mistress all in the same thread...

His job is to protect the money, not to help engineer a better civil society

Isn't protecting the money his contribution to a better civil society?

Ed Foster said...

Undergroud Carpenter wins. If I see a nice female kiester attached to a good set of legs, straight A marks. Were she a gunnie to boot, I would want to be her bitch.

So I really can't fault the gent in the rent-a-cop suit.

Next time, ask for his phone number.

Matt G said...

That would be the second "Mote In God's Eye" reference in a week. ;)

Vaarok said, "Hey, I'm impressed he was paying attention to anything. Just because he's security doesn't mean he actually puts any effort into it."

That's pretty true of most security guards, but the Brinks armored car guys get knocked off a fair bit, because they carry large quatities of cash. More than one seemingly innocuous passerby has capped the armored car guy with the heavy canvas sack in the head, picked up the money bag, and absconded. That particular type of security guard is, from my observation, pretty damned paranoid while on duty. I have seen at least one instance where one of the guards literally had his heater out at low-ready during the entire money exchange.

Dave R. said...

Is it my obligation to strike awkward poses because someone else can't unclench?

Good lord that's condescending. Key words here are "driver of the Brinks truck." Driver of the Brinks truck. It's his paycheck and even his life on the line. You're free to do a fan dance with a pistol if you like, and he's free not to go into condition white just to avoid offending you.

Tam said...

Dave R.,

I neither asked him to go into "Condition White", nor did I imply that he should.

However, for 60 of the most critical seconds of his attention was riveted someplace that we all know, with the benefit of hindsight, was the one place from which there was a 100% certainty no attack would emerge.

I submit that perhaps he WAS in "Condition White" for those sixty seconds.

Tam said...

Delete "...60 of the most critical seconds of his attention..." and replace with "60 of the most critical seconds of his day, his attention..."

Will said...

Sort of on topic:

Cops in Las Vegas killed a man as he exited a Costco store. Appears someone inside made a "man with a gun" 911 call. West Point grad, sells heart pacemakers, has a ccw permit. Usual clusterfuck when you have multiple cops all yelling conflicting orders. Some bunnyhugger realized he was carrying, and followed the typical PSH routine.

Pay attention people. They don't send just one cop to check out calls like this. They wait to gather a good size group, and they show up with the idea that there will be a good chance they will have to shoot. And, as soon as one shot is fired, they all shoot.

I've been caught in the middle of one of these idiotic shows, and I could see that they were primed to shoot. Frankly, I was surprised that both of us lived long enough to reach the cuffed stage. What really pissed me off was that they had to know it was a bogus call right from the start, yet they still saddled up their rodeo team. When you see tension in the cops finger on the trigger of his Glock as he points it at your friend, and that is only one of a handful pointed in, you pretty much expect things to go sideways. I don't think he understood they were going to kill him if he didn't get on the floor. I still haven't talked to him about the details. I suspect he is still in denial about the seriousness of that situation.

David said...

It doesn't matter what direction a woman is facing when she bends over it is going to attact most men's attention. Profile lines from the side, loose necklines from the front, and the way slacks or shorts tightenup from behind are all noteworthy. If a gun prints in the process that is a bonus.

Now that said if you bend over long enough that an admiring glance turns into a long stare you need to stop it.

Bending over like that can be hard on your back. Be smart, crouch or kneel down. Guys will still watch, the gun may still print, but your back will like you a lot more for it.

Justthisguy said...

Dang, Matt! For a guy with a bad haircut and a badge, yer pretty swift with the Niven and Pournelle! You can join me in a dish of crottled greeps any time.

WV: nosons. Sorta like bosons, but don't actually exist.

Steve Skubinna said...

To make an informed judgement, we're going to have to see pictures of you bending over.

Solely in the interests of clinical inquiry, of course.

Geodkyt said...

I tend to crouch because it's more stable, whether or not I'm wearing a weapon. Of course, I'm unlikely to clock myself in the jaw with my kneecap -- the body geometry and resulting situations of Hobbitus Americanus are not shared by 6' people with long legs, and vice versa.

I like the chambray shirt cover garment, but my wife insists I might as well be wearing a MultiCam fanny pack with a glint tape SOF logo or a khaki photog vest with 5.11s and a wide heavy leather belt for all the good it does at hiding the fact that I'm armed. Sure, the gun is well hidden -- but she claims the concealment method is so cliche, I might as well open carry. {grin}

Untucked Hawaiian shirts with shorts and sandals tend to throw people off the scent of the gun. . . or maybe they run away clutching their bleeding eyeballs, I'm not sure. . .