My first day of concealed carry brought some surprises.
"First Day of Concealed Carry"Event No. 1 at 2:00 p.m. "Plastic in Hand!"
My CHL arrived in the mail last Saturday. Only 30 days from receipt of my materials to the day my license arrived.
11/10/2011 - Purchased Springfield Armory XD 9mm Sub-Compact
11/12/2011 - Joined a local rifle and pistol club and the NRA.
11/12/2011 - Shooting lessons with a Professional Instructor
12/10/2011 - CHL Class completed (Written: 100 and Range: 247)
12/14/2011 - L1 Fingerprinting Completed
12/14/2011 - CHL Application Mailed Registered Mail
01/14/2012 - Plastic in Hand
Event No. 2 at 2:30 p.m. "UH OH! - TRAFFIC STOP!"
I joyfully placed my new CHL license just behind my Driver's License and decided to get a bite of lunch and head to the range to do a little practice. I placed my SA XD 9mm sub-compact in a belt pouch and headed out. Not less than three miles from my house, I was stopped by the police for the first time in twenty years! I was coming down a steep overpass and saw the blue lights sparkling in my rear-view mirror. I had set my cruise control on 60-mph but, in my excitement, I think my foot may have unconsciously been over-riding the cruise control. This road is one of those "zero" tolerance areas, so I am usually very careful with my speed.
The policeman was very polite and said "You were going 70-mph in a 60-mph zone." As I handed him my DL, insurance card, and 30-minute-old CHL, he calmly asked, "Where is your gun?" I replied and pointed, "On my right side." He smiled and said, "Just leave it there." Five minutes later, he returned and said, "I am just going to give you a warning but please slow it down." I thanked him for his graciousness and said that would certainly be my intention.
I did not plan to test my CHL license so quickly but the whole experience was very positive. The officer was polite, calm, and professional. He really did not have to cut me a break but I really appreciated his decision to let me off with just a warning.
Event No. 3 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. "Fun at the Range!"
I had lunch at my favorite Mexican Restaurant, stopped by a gun shop to buy an additional 100 rounds of practice ammo, and headed to the range. I had a great time! I practiced from 20' using two hands and then my strong hand (right). After shooting 150 rounds of Independence 115 gr FMJ, I finished by shooting at a 4" x 6" target with some Home Defense Speer Gold Dot +P 124 gr JHP. After two months of practice and about 800 rounds, my accuracy is greatly improving. I look forward to taking SA and Defensive Shooting classes later this Spring.
Event No. 4 at 5:30 p.m. "Being Interviewed as a Potential Victim?"
On my way home from the range, I stopped to fill up at the local Shell Station near where I was stopped for my "speeding" event three hours earlier. Two months ago, before I took my CHL class and before I started reading XDTalk and TCHLForum, I spent 100% of my time in the "White Zone." Back in early November of 2011, with zero situational awareness on my part, I was surprised and accosted in a downtown parking lot by a BG demanding money from me. I was very lucky to have gotten away unscathed. That event started me on my journey to get a CHL. Thanks to the education on XDTalk and TCHLForum, I now stay in the Yellow Zone whenever I am away from my home.
As I was filling up my car, I kept viewing a 360-degree perimeter and saw a guy spot my car and start to run across the street directly towards me. As he was crossing the street, he started into a big spiel but I stared right at him and moved my body into a strong stance. I was very aware of going from "Yellow" to "Orange" but before I could even say anything to him, he spied the "cell-phone" holder on my waist. Suddenly he started muttering about "needing to get along" and made a 90-degree change in his direction and went towards the store entrance. My awareness made the BG realize his mother was calling him. Just my attitude and stance was enough to get this yahoo to just keep moving. I realized I had probably just been interviewed as a possible victim (sheep).
That was my first eventful day with my new CHL. All in all, everything turned out well. However, I do hope that my future days are just a little less eventful. In closing, would like to express my thanks to all the members on XDTalk and TCHLForum who helped wake me from a 68-year-old slumber! I am now awake and take responsibility for my own safety.
Fortunately, my second day of concealed carry was much more low key.
"Second Day of Concealed Carry!"
It was relatively warm on Monday, so, again, I used my WRB gun pouch. A jacket would have been out of place and I normally wear my shirts tucked in. I didn't want to suddenly dress differently when I met with my long-standing lunch group.
1:00 Had a late lunch with my three lunch buddies. One is a Hoplophobe and two are totally against an individual's RKBA. In spite of the fact that we have been having lunch together for nearly twenty years, they were totally oblivious. That is just how I plan to keep it.
2:30 went by my local Pharmacy and picked up prescriptions for myself and my wife.
3:00 went to Kinkos and copied Genealogical Records for over an hour.
4:15 went to HEB grocery, which was very crowded. I grabbed a basket and headed in when I saw "white" printing in English and Spanish on the window behind a trash can. My first reaction was "Oh no! This place is prohibited." As I read the sign, it was an "unlicensed possession of a weapon" sign. So, with a smile on my face, I went on in. I picked up items from high, low, and in-between with no problems. At first, I was really aware that I was wearing my XD 9mm SC. It felt like a two-pound brick on my belt. I was sure everyone was staring at it. I expected someone in the grocery store to yell, "Man with a gun!" However, I don't think a single person gave my belt pouch a second glance. It was all in my head.
5:00 home safe and sound.
So my second all-day carry was totally uneventful. After my first day of carrying on Saturday, which resulted in a traffic stop and being "interviewed" by a BG at a filling station, I was glad that it seemed to be just a normal day. However, I did notice that I was on high yellow alert the whole day. Carrying a handgun had the effect of raising my "Situational Awareness." That, in and of itself, is a good thing. I feel safer than I have in many years!
My next goal to use my IWB holster.
Be safe out there!