Saturday, August 9, 2008


Mike is off making bullets today. I didn't feel like sitting home alone so I went to an outlet mall with my mother. She had heard that there was a Crocs outlet that opened recently and since I've been wanting a pair of red mary-jane style Crocs, I agreed to go with her to check it out. (Yes, I wear Crocs, and no, I do not need any snide remarks. You try finding shoes for one fake foot and one slightly messed up real foot.) So a beautiful day, a little road trip, some shopping with Mom and lunch afterwards? Sounded perfect.

Except when we pulled into the driveway, I saw this sign at the beginning of the driveway. The entire property was a "gun free zone." Dammit. I called Mike, interrupting his mysterious reloading alchemy.

"What do I do?" I had worn one of my empire-waisted cover shirts. If I had known about the sign, I would have worn a tank top and taken the bigger purse, ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo. I had even checked the website to make sure.

Mike said, "Lock it in the glovebox. It'll be okay."

I sighed but inwardly I was whining, "But I don't wanna. Nooooo." I left the gun in the car, but I was Not Happy about it.

And just as we were walking past the Lane Bryant outlet (oh, wait. Lane Bryant? Like the store in Illinois where 5 women were shot dead? Yes, the very one.) a bicycle cop rode past with his gun holstered neatly and quietly on his belt - just like mine would have been. I grumbled something about "only ones" and my mother either ignored me or sighed or both. (probably both)

Also - I'd like to say that I just do not grok the fancy expensive handbag craze. I walked into the Coach store and stopped about 5 feet in, perplexed at what seemed to be a swarming hive of activity. So many women hovering and cooing over $200 (on clearance!) fabric bags. My mother ventured further in and I remained standing near the door with what I'm sure was a very clear "WTF?" look on my face. I mean, come on. It's just something to put your keys and lipgloss in, right? (if you're me, maybe some polyhedral dice and a spare magazine too)

Anyway, after shopping we decided to get some lunch. I told my mom to choose what she'd like and it would be my treat. We drove around looking for somewhere to eat, growing more and more desperate. My stomach was growling and I was getting cranky.

Mom pointed to a place down the road. "Hey, look! A DQ/Orange Julius place! How does that sound?" Since I have yet to meet a hot dog I didn't like, I agreed.

And as I walked into the building, debating whether or not to have ice cream for dessert, I saw it again. The sign.


So now I'm home, safely ensconced in my own personal "gun zone" still debating about the ice cream.


Rio Arriba said...

Yeah, I know.

And the irony is that all those "concerned owners" would know more about your citizen-status and overall reliability with one look at your CWP than they do about any of their employees.

Can you lose your permit if you carry anyway?

Mike W. said...

Well that sucks. Had it been a "No Concealed Weapons" sign you could've just open carried into the store.

Mike W. said...

Actually Breda, the sign says "unless authorized by law." would that not include CCW holders?

Breda said...

rio - it's a misdemeanor charge, but I'd like to avoid those too

mike w - nope, separate law. "Authorized by law" in this case = police

Anonymous said...

I feel very fortunate that the DQ next to my house - and all of them in my town, for that matter, do not have such a sign. In fact, at my CPL class we were given a list of all establishments that are listed as "gun-free" (I guess around here if you want to hang the sign, you have to tell the city so they know about it) and there's only about 5-6 places (mostly banks).

Sevesteen said...

I don't like to give those people money, but I'm not fanatical. Being with someone else makes it harder.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry has a Do Not Patronize While Armed
database, and it lists that mall.

Vinnie said...

You don't get my money if you take away my rights. An e-mail, snail mail, and phone all to each mer5chent that you would have shopped at goes far5ther5 than you think. times ar5e getting tough, and losing business is not good.

Oh and cc the manager of the mall.

Robb Allen said...

Here in the Gunshine state, signs do not carry the weight of law. The only thing a store can do is put up a sign, and if you get caught carrying, ask you to leave (at which point you MUST hightail it out of there or risk being hit with armed trespassing).

The only store I've seen so far is American Signature Furniture, which failed to get my business because of it.

I'll respect their right to do with their property as they see fit, and will not give them a dime of my money.

I've even stopped shopping at Wal-Mart due to their anti-gun stance. I pay extra for ammo at other places because it's worth it to me.

You should send those stores a nice snail-mail informing them you will not shop there due to their policies. They'll probably not care, but if you do it like me, you can get your complaint on a Google search when people look for the company (for the longest time, a search for American Signature had my complaint directly below their website).

Liberty said...

Damnit. You saw the sign. Am I the only poor bastard who now has Ace of Base stuck in his head?

I doubt if some horrible altercation were to take place in that mall, that they would be held responsible for damages to all involved parties because of their policy. It sucks to have to make that decision when you're just out and about for the day.

TJH said...

Yep. De facto gun ban.

Ted said...

If you ever go back, wear a Kalashnikitty t-shirt. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"The Sign" is one of the reasons that I never bothered to get a CCW, even though there have been a couple of times that I have wished I had my Mak with me for a little extra peace of mind (like the time I was walking in the park and girl came up, scared and with a bleeding dog, to warn me that there was a pack of feral dogs further down the trail and did I have a cell phone to call 911).

About all you can do is write a polite letter to the owner and let them know that, so long as they won't respect your constitutional rights, you won't be spending your money in their store OR encouraging your friends to do so.

Jay G said...

OH has open carry.

MA does not have binding signage.

Whenever I see those signs, I chuckle to myself, pat the Smith & Wesson in my pocket, and smile for the CC cameras...

Tam said...

I'm trying to grok a Crocs outlet. I mean, isn't that kind of a narrow product selection? Like "Spatula City" from that Weird Al movie?

Anyhow, you go for having a d20 in your purse! :D

Shawn McManus said...

I find ignoring laws that either endanger me or, if I am to be honest, inconvenience me has worked out pretty well so far. I like to say doing so leads to a long, happy life.

How many mags will fit into a $200 purse?

Earl said...

I think I have given up believing signs mean anything to my health or safety. Start by: Don't walk on the Grass, No smoking within 25 feet of the doorway, No Skateboarding, No Concealed Weapons Permits, Gun Free Zone, No breastfeeding Babies, Shirt and Tie required, English Only, White Fountain, Blacks in Back. Yeah, lots of signs, lots of laws and I have to be me, an almost nice guy with a reading problem or an attitude.

smith kaich jones said...

Funny. I bitched about purses today also.

What is UP with the purse thing? All I need is one that's big enough to carry a bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

Great post, by the way. :)


Anthony said...

I would have thought for sure that the fine saying "unless authorized by law" would give a CC permit the ability to carry. I wonder if it could hold up in court. I mean after all we are authorized by law to carry a gun....interesting.

Great blog you have here by the way...I enjoy it.

mad saint jack said...

You can always move to Kentucky . Ohio is right acrossed the bridge if you want to go back and visit.

mad saint jack said...

And you'd be really close to Tam!!!

Yuri Orlov said...

There are a few places in WA that have signs, mostly malls, but since they don't have force of law behind them, the worst they can do is ask me to leave and then charge me with trespassing if I refuse. My life and the lives of my family are worth more to me than their stupid signs.

ditto said...

So did you get to eat a hot dog or did you patronize a DQ that "let" you carry.
If you do move to Kentucky, our local DQ allows you to cash $200 bills. (Danville)

Breda said...

tyskkvinna - a DQ next to my house would be a dangerous thing indeed.

sevesteen - that list has now been bookmarked. Thank you.

tam - it's a very small store. So small they didn't have my size. Phooey.

earl - thank you, always, for your wisdom and insight. Subtle but powerful.

debi - I always carry the Pepto tablets ;)

zeeke42 said...

Like Jay said, this is one of the few advantages we who carry in the People's Republic of MA have. Once you actually get a permit, we have some of the best laws about actual carry. The only places prohibited by law are those prohibited by federal law plus schools and state gov't buildings with metal detectors. Signs don't mean a damn thing, but if they catch you you have to leave or be trespassing.

Kevin said...

What do I do?

I recommend these.

Sevesteen said...

Keven (and Breda, of course)

Ohioans for Concealed Carry sell No guns No money cards

Anonymous said...

The sign says "'No guns'... unless otherwise authorized by law"

The intent of the sign is to exclude illegal cary and clearly includes legal weapons.

I think you disarmed for no reason. Carry On!

Oz said...

As much as I hate the attitudes behind these signs, don't they have the right to ban guns on their private property if they want to? Maybe before you do what you want anyway you should consider how you feel if someone came into your home and did something you opposed. Taking the high road may be inconvenient here, but it almost always is.

Anonymous said...

I had a misdemeanor charge for it once two decades ago, I may have one again if I live long enough. My gun, my life, my rules. A couple hours in jail is survivable more than being killed is.