Sunday, September 27, 2009

S&W 686+ as a fashion accessory

My lovely libertarian friend Corey came to town for a few days. She's one of the rare breed of human being these days who still possess imagination. She'd never fired a gun before, and firearms instruction figured prominently on the San Diego Extravaganza To Do list.

I loaded up my new Saiga 5.45x39, my .22 target pistol, my stainless 686 revolver, a stainless 9mm and a scoped remington 582 .22 rifle. I love that rifle especially much. They don't make them any more and with six locking lugs on the bolt, it's a tack driver. That plus ammo for everything and all necessary accoutrement and we were on the road.

We drove out to the desert, had a brief interaction with the border patrol guys at the checkpoint and then hit the sand. She took instruction like a pig takes to garbage. (stole that line from 'dead men don't wear plaid') We covered pistols, revolvers, automatic, semi-automatic, bolt action, calibers, single vs double action, gun safety, stances, aiming, everything. Honestly she was one of the best students I've ever had. It was a pleasure to use the Socratic method with her.

"An assault weapon is..."

"A select-fire rifle with automatic-fire capability."

"And automatic weapons are..."

"Illegal in california."

"So all this talk about 'semi-automatic assault weapons' is"


"Very good. 'fear-mongering bullshit' is also acceptable."

After a few hours of firearms fun, we high-tailed it back home, driving into the sunset at a steady 85. God bless whoever invented the turbocharger. Along the way I reiterated the ins and outs of open carrying. At home we unpacked and got ready to go out for dinner and some socializing.

We in the open carry community have to make a good impression so it's probably a good idea to not be dressed like some doodoohead. (I would have said douchenozzle, but I'm deferring to Corey here.)

We got all dolled up, me in black from head to toe in leather pants, boots and a black lycra shirt, Corey resplendent in dark blue form-fitting jeans, black strappy heels that made her 6 feet tall and a simple white blouse topped with a white scarf. We drove down into Pacific Beach and even though it was a Saturday night, we were lucky enough to score a parking spot on Mission Boulevard just a couple blocks away from all the action.

Corey was already wearing a black nylon ammo belt with 20 rounds of .357 magnum arrayed at a moderate diagonal from hip to hip, so all we needed to complete her eveningwear was to drop a stainless S&W 686+ into the holster and snap the retaining strap closed.

Everyone in the gun culture has their opinions about carry weapons, reliability, accuracy, and so forth. However, speaking purely from a standpoint of aesthetics, a stainless revolver with black rubber grips complimented Corey's ensemble well and I think ought to be on the short list of appropriate evening accessories for most style conscious women. God bless the fine people at Smith & Wesson.

I, as usual, carried my Glock and a couple full magazines in my paddle holsters.

Primary and secondary voice recorders on, we strolled arm in arm down Mission Boulevard and made our way to JRDN which is a really cool modernist loungey-type restaurant and bar in Tower 23, a hotel right on the beach. My roommate Alison was already there holding a table for us on the patio. She was going to hang with us for a while then go salsa dancing at the Marriot and she looked fabulous, wearing a slinky body-hugging dress and heels.

Since they were just about to cut off orders from diners, (it was almost 10 pm) we ordered an arugula salad, prawns, roasted quail and grilled swordfish. JRDN has changed their menu periodically, not always for the better. They used to have terrific sushi but we discovered that they had eliminated that in favor of a raw bar. I'm happy to report that their current menu is terrific. Everything was delicious and the presentation was impeccable. The shrimp were especially impressive. I don't know where they found those monsters, but there is something unusual about shrimp that are so large you have to tackle them with a knife and fork. They were served on a bed of crushed ice with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce and could have made a meal for one person all on their own.

The arugula salad, prepared with strawberries and roasted nuts, was delicious and I highly recommend the quail as well. We shared everything around the table.

Dinner took maybe 90 minutes and we finished up with coffee and espresso. We had one close call where I noticed my Glock starting to stir, as if it was going to load itself and go on a rampage without my consent. I gave it a withering stare and it settled back down in the holster. Disaster averted.

The restaurant portion of the establishment was starting to thin out just as the bar was getting going. I paid the bill and we decided to make it an early evening by getting some ice cream and going home to watch The Matrix. Corey had never seen it. How is that possible?

As we strolled out, the look on the face of the doorman/bouncer was priceless but he wished us goodnight and we thanked him.

There was a 7-11 a few blocks further south. Arm in arm again we made our way down the sometimes-crowded sidewalk. A few people noticed we were carrying (come on, what guy wouldn't give a beautiful 6-foot-tall woman the once-over) but no one screamed and I doubt a single person passed out from hoplophobia. There were one or two comments though, like, "Hey, those guys are strapped!" from passersby.

A man approaching us and passing on Corey's strong side mumbled something as he went by.

"What did he say?" Corey asked.

"Nice holster, I think."

"Hmm...that could be construed as sexual innuendo, wouldn't you say?"

"Yeah...but can you blame him?"

Of course there were police at the 7-11. There was a police SUV parked alongside the building and as we walked in we noticed a cop at the counter paying for his purchase. He definitely noticed us (again, that beautiful woman thing) and could not have missed our sidearms but amazingly, said nothing. Acting as if we didn't have a care in the world (because frankly, we didn't) we paused in front of the freezer and debated Chunky Monkey vs. Chubby Hubby. It was Corey's vacation so I deferred to her. Chubby Hubby won out. The clerk was a bit wide-eyed (he appeared to be F.O.B. and may not have been used to seeing citizens exercising politically incorrect rights) but he smiled as we paid and then we left.

The walk back to the truck was uneventful and I took the opportunity to shoot some video of Corey in her ensemble. Hooray iPhone 3Gs!

On the drive home, Corey called the non emergency police number and spoke to the dispatcher.

Corey: (Aghast) Hi, I was just down in Pacific Beach and there was a couple walking around with guns on their hips!

Dispatch: Yeah, it's actually legal.

C: (Appalled) What do you mean it's legal?

D: Well, there has actually been a lot of them lately. A lot of groups gather and they wear their guns out in the open.

C: How is that possible?

D: They're actually exercising their right to bear arms. They've even been on the news.

C: I've never heard of such a thing.

D: Well, were they doing anything? Were they pointing their guns at each other or making a disturbance?

C: No, they were just strolling along, southbound on Mission Boulevard. They were actually nicely dressed and everything.

D: Yes, well there is nothing illegal about that. We're seeing more and more of that. It's their right to keep and bear arms.

C: It IS? Oh yeah, the second amendment, right?

D: Right. I will let the officers in the area know just so they're aware but again, it's not illegal.

C: OK thank you for the information and thank you for your time. I guess it's pretty cool if you ask me. Have a good night.

D: Thank you for calling SDPD. Good night.

FREAKING FINALLY! I've said time and again that on these Man With Gun calls they ought to ask WHAT the subject is doing before automatically freaking out.

"Uhhh, it looks like he's eating sushi."

Yeah, that's legal. If he starts acting belligerent, call us back.

"He appears to be shopping for tennis shoes."

Uh-huh. Nothing illegal about that. Call us when you witness a real crime.

"He's washing his car."

Hopefully he's wearing a stainless steel piece, but nothing illegal about that. Call us back if you witness a crime.

"She's sitting in a bar, drinking a beer with a couple other women. It looks like Coors Light."

Ah, the poor thing probably doesn't know that "the silver bullet" supports gun control. You may want to let her know, otherwise leave her alone. Openly carrying a gun is legal in this state.

The other significant thing is that apparently we were the first people to make the call. And we were in a crowded restaurant for almost 2 hours plus another 30 minutes of walking around. More evidence that most people just don't care.


(Added for those that think this was Nathan's story)


Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

OMG! I can't believe you are around guns!!!! That is inexcusable, they are death machines and should be illegal!

Great story Sam, and its a good sign that you didn't get 12031 checked, especially in the 7-11. Gives me some hope that we'll not only win the battle, but the war someday too.

TwitchALot said...

Actually, an assault weapon is not select fire by definition- it is semi-automatic by definition. An assault rifle would be, however. While talk about semi-automatic assault weapons might be bull****, it's not because the term is incorrect.

Paul said...

Great story, and photo! And is that dispatch conversation for real? Do you have it recorded?

Yellowfin said...

That's one of the best stories I've read in quite a while. Fantastic! We need more women OC'ing. It is indeed incredibly fashionable and looked GREAT on her.

J.R. said...

LMFAO awesome.

ThisSlickDevil said...

Nice Story and nice lookin' Gal.
Kudos and Cheers!

Just said...

Um, can we be friends? First off, as your friend, I support you. But, let me just tell you that in my day, with a hottie like that, when I was telling my friends about my evening, "showing her my gun", would have had a different meaning. Maybe you should put down the activist thing so that, you know, you can be a more rounded individual.

Flintlock Tom said...

Well done, Sam, you even made waves over on

Mark said...

I'd almost suspect that having a female UOC-ing would significantly reduce the "person with a gun" calls.

Good on both of you.

jerod said...

Those shrimp can be purchased whole sale from Pacific Shellfish in Pacific Beach. They also have a restaurant in front of the warehouse that makes some of the best seafood in San Diego. It's called The Fishery and I highly recommend it.

Michael said...

Outstanding post! Great story. Thanks for sharing. I have an RSS subscription. I guess I will be reading it more often. :-)

tdr said...

Congratulations, your friend is indeed hot and the holstered gun flatters those hips of hers. But remind us again how it was responsible behavior for a complete gun novice to walk around open carrying that night. And while you're at it, could you explain how this story advances the perception of open carriers as responsible gun owners?

elsensei said...

Well, for starters we'd just spent the day in the desert where she learned everything and finished the day more competent than a lot of cops in gun safety and handling and marksmanship...not to mention the law, which they police are only just starting to acknowlege.

Advancing the perception of ocers at responsible gun owners? Well, no one got shot, there were no crimes committed, no one freaked out. She was in control of her weapon the whole time. Plus I was there the whole time, obviously. What more do you want?

You aren't one of those, "I'm all for the second amendment BUT" guys are you?

tdr said...

I'm not sure what a second amendment BUT guy is. I'm all for the second amendment AND with rights come responsibilities. We'll probably have to agree to disagree about how much responsibility accompanies the right to keep and carry around a deadly weapon.

TrackerPacker said...

I am certain that given enough time, you can figure out what my brother meant. That, or he just may expend the time explaining it to you. Who knows.



tdr said...

Yes, who knows. Thanks so much.

elsensei said...

I don't see that we have to disagree. I'd say the responsibility to own and carry a deadly weapon is roughly the same as to own and drive a deadly weapon. Or to own and cook with a deadly weapon. Or to own and use at the public batting cages a deadly weapon. Or to own and change your tire with a deadly weapon. Or to own and cut town a tree with a deadly weapon. Or to own and fix your plumbing with a deadly weapon. Or to own and open your mail with a deadly weapon.

Meaning you ought not to shoot anyone or threaten to shoot them unless you have a good reason, and you ought to be in control of what is in your possession. You have to be similarly careful with your car, chefs knife, baseball bat, tire iron, chain saw, pipe wrench and letter opener.

Deadly weapon defined. — A deadly weapon is one likely to produce great bodily harm. A knife maybe such a weapon : People v. Franklin, 70 Cal. 641. Whether the weapon used in an assault would have produced death is a question for the jury: People v. McFadden, 65 Id. 445; see People v. Leyba, 74 Id. 407. An instruction that a deadly weapon "is any weapon or instrument by which death may be produced, or would be likely to be produced when being used in the manner in which it may appear it was used in the affray.

elsensei said...

And a "second amendment BUT" guy is someone who claims, "I'm all for the second amendment BUT
not for these certain people
at these certain times
in these certain places
with these types of ammo
with this rate of fire
with guns that are only THIS scary-looking
with guns that are at least THIS costly
with guns that are government approved
with reasonable restrictions on magazine capacity
with the understanding that the government goons should have superior firepower to that of the citizenry
with a background check
and with limits on how much ammo you can buy or own without applying for an arsenal license
and finally, with othe common-sense COURT INTERPRETED retrictions."

After all, who will protect the children?

Dave said...

I have to agree with TDR, it doesn't seem do do very much for the open-carry movement when the excitement and focus of this post is to go on about what a great fashion accessory a weapon is. It smacks of attention-whoring.

In addition, you monopolized a dispatcher's time for shits and giggles.

I also don't agree with the statement:

"Well, for starters we'd just spent the day in the desert where she learned everything and finished the day more competent than a lot of cops in gun safety and handling and marksmanship"

You think cops' firearms training consists of a day out in the desert? To even make such a statement is so ludicrous it removes all credibility.

Just expressing an outside perspective.

TrackerPacker said...

You do realize that most cops totally suck at accuracy and have equally crappy range skills as well, right?

Also, it is OK for a gun to be fashionable. Ever notice that gun manufacturers are making guns in WOMEN FRIENDLY colors?

It was a NON-EMERGENCY call and a gauge of progress. Quit getting your panties in a knot.