It was payday, and the fresh food selection at home was non-existent. Since kids ate free at Bob Evan’s in July, we decided we’d go out to eat before doing some shopping.
The food was good, the service was good, and the kids were well-behaved. We were finishing up our dinner, and as usual, the kids were starting to ask for dessert. In the midst of our usual back and forth, an older gentleman approached our table. Actually, I thought he was an employee since I couldn’t see him.
“Good evening,”, he said in a friendly voice.
“Good evening,”, we answered in stereo.
“I just wanted to compliment you on …” I thought he was going to compliment us on our kids. That does happen, actually. I was wrong though.
“… the protection you have on your hip,”, he continued. It actually took Fred and me a second to realize that he was referring to Fred’s revolver.
“Oh. Uh, yeah,”, Fred managed. “Thanks.”
The stranger went on. “I appreciate seeing people exercising their rights. I’m carrying too, but you can’t see mine.”
We went on to discuss caliber. He asked Fred what he was carrying, and Fred told him that it was a little .22 revolver. He seemed to approve and talked about how he liked the .22 magnum but didn’t like having to special order ammo for it. He said he was carrying a .38 special that was similar in size to Fred’s gun, and then out of the blue, he looked at me and said, “You know you should be carrying too.”
I smiled and told him that I already had the paperwork in order for my permit. Again, he seemed to approve and said that we ought to get the lifetime permits as young as we were. Then he went on to say that he’d gotten his son-in-law into shooting by giving him his first guns. I just couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. It was nice to have such a positive experience.
After a little more gun chit-chat, the gentleman said, “Well, I don’t want to keep you from your dinner. You folks have a good night.”
I said, “You too. God bless.” That seemed to take him aback because he took a few steps back toward our table to say, “God bless you guys too!” Yeah… I know. I’m busy clinging to my guns and religion, I guess, but the man seemed all too happy to accept my well wishes.
When we were headed home later that night, Fred told me, “I’m glad that my first experience was a good one.” Of course I was glad too, but I wasn’t surprised. It seems like this part of the state is pretty accepting of guns. Nobody’s even cut Fred a dirty look, and that’s actually made him more confident, I think. And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with the thought that people aren’t going to say anything ’cause they’re afraid of getting shot. I really do think there’s a good deal of acceptance.
The whole thing made me smile though. It seems like there’s a sort of “bonding” that we do over common interests, and this was definitely one of those cases. I also appreciated the fact that my kids got to see the interaction. It was definitely a teachable moment — one that I also wanted to share here on my blog.