We decided to start national OC day by grabbing some lunch at Wendys in Guilford. When we got in line, there were a lot more people in line than we thought there would be, but no big deal. I am not a huge fan of standing in large crowds while OCing (situational awareness and hyper vigilance can be stressful). Got the normal curious looks and stuff, but no faces of terror and panic like some people would have you believe. Business as usual. Ordered, paid, manager and cashiers at the front seemed to notice my firearm, but did not appear too concerned and made no mention of it. (Again, this is typical of most times that I OC)
We sat down and were finishing up our meal when I see a Guilford PD Ford Expedition pull into the parking lot. I made my girlfriend aware of this just in case it turned into anything. We continued to sit there eating and talking and we observed the officer walk in looking like he was checking out every male's hip on the way in. I told my girlfriend at this point that "He is looking for me". No big deal, not my first time, and he seems relaxed enough, but I do like to be aware of my surroundings. Not enjoyable to be suprised by law enforcement, especially if they are not friendly. We continued our conversation and figured I would be contacted at any moment.
The officer appears to be a supervisor (I assume by his vehicle and his age), and he walks up to the cashier area. He talks (possibly ordering) and after what seemed like a little longer than necessary, he walks out with his bag of food.
What do I take out of this? There are a few possibilities:
- He was called, knew the law, figured he could check it out while grabbing some food, learned from the management that I was polite and professional and was simply eating a burger. Knowing the law and the current situation in Connecticut, there is no reason for him to contact me. No law is being broken.
- He wasn't called and was just coming in for some lunch. When he got inside, someone alerted him to my presence near the door and he checked for himself, but again found that the management had no issue with me and decided to not make contact.
- He was simply getting lunch and either he walks into every place checking out people's hips, or this was misperceived by both of us.
I doubt the last one is the most likely from the behavior I witnessed, but regardless, this is a positive encounter. Here is why:
- He knew the law enough that when he either got a call or was alerted to my presence that he knew he didn't have to make contact if I wasn't doing anything else wrong.
- None of the people in the restaurant cared enough (because I can assure you they all noticed enough) about my openly carried firearm to even mention it to an officer while he was casually standing in a Wendys. This is not at all implausible, this is our standard observation of people's reaction to OC. It doesn't explain him apparently checking out every male's hip on the way in.
Either way, I consider this a strong, positive encounter with OC in Connecticut. I have suspected this kind of thing has happened before, but we have never had such direct affirmation of no one caring about OC as this incident gave us. And that is the 'goal', right? No one should care about OC. Just another law abiding citizen who has accepted the personal responsibility of providing for his own defense.
If the officer in Guilford was responding to my being there and it is as I think it is, then I want to thank the Guilford PD and that officer for knowing the law and reacting appropriately. At least 2 dozen Wendys customers saw a man with a holstered firearm (Glock 23 w/TLR 1 in a Galco Halo) walk in, order, eat and have an officer walk in, order, eat and everything was completely kosher. This is the best way that I know of to send a positive message and image to the people and officers of Connecticut.
I think the best thing to do now is to make a FOIA request to Guilford PD and see if they did, in fact, receive and/or respond to any calls of MWAG at Wendys today. This should at least tell us what scenario played out. If Guilford did respond and that was the reaction, I will personally thank the officer for his professional handling of the situation.
As stated in the goals of the national OC day, it should be a non-event. This was more of an event than I normally even get while OCing, but I feel it was a positive one that shows the tide is changing in Connecticut.