OK, Portland. I was completely wrong about you.
This past week I purchased a brand new Sig Sauer P320. I love the idea of 17+1 capacity with my EDC (Every Day Carry) gun. But it is a full-frame pistol, so concealing it is pretty tough.
So I figured what the heck, I’ll open carry for a week and see what happens. Now it’s important to know I am not one of those open carry a-holes on YouTube that deliberately walk around schools, prisons, and police departments with 20 GoPros strapped on them, ready to document the slightest Law Enforcement slip up. That is not me.
However, if I can open carry a full-frame pistol and happen to have some meaningful conversations along the way, I am all for it.
Yesterday I spent the whole day, starting at Dutch Brothers on Grand (the new walk-in one). The guy working the counter instantly started asking me about it, as he was really interested in the pistol. Soon his coworker came over and also told me she liked it, and that her dad OC’d all the time too. So it was a super friendly and cordial experience.
Next, was a walk down Alberta to do some Christmas shopping. Went into quite a few boutique stores and all the employees were friendly, not nervous, and were really helpful. After that, was a stop at Homegrown Smoker (of course) for a burrito. I sat in the cart pod and had nothing but positive experiences. Even for a quick haircut at Bishop’s on Mississippi it was a positive experience. Even Target!
Today I started my morning at Starbucks in Sandy (I was desperate) where a customer was checking out my pistol. I thought maybe this would be my first complaint. Starbucks has, after all requested people keep their guns “home.” After collecting her drink, she stopped to tell me how much she “appreciated” my open carry and that it “saved her dad’s life.” It was an amazing story.
Later I ended up at Next Level Burger on Hawthorne for a quick burger and shake. Again, nothing. Even after walking up and down Hawthorne, stopping in many shops (Powell’s, New Seasons, etc), there was just no negative feedback. And I know, people are less likely to negatively confront someone with a 9mm on their waist, but this is Portland.
Portland is a really liberal city which lends to a lot of free thinking. We want to keep it weird. Which is why I felt that it just wasn’t a big deal to a lot of people. I was just another weirdo doing my own thing, and flaunting my own independence.
In the end I was really surprised and happy with the experience. I will not be OCing all the time, nor will I ever OC to elicit a police response, but it is nice to know that Portland’s people will not be the paranoid/scared/angry people I sort of expected.
I just want to be weird like the rest of you.