Sunday, May 2, 2010

When Nature Calls

While the latest oopsie by someone who should have known better didn't involve public restrooms, most of the embarrassing gun-carry incidents that make news seem to include shattered porcelain or weapons forgotten on top of toilet tanks or paper holders. No matter how distasteful the subject matter, it never hurts to remind folks of the importance of correct Concealed Carry Potty Procedures.

Nothing forces you to learn such things more effectively than a multi-day stretch at gun school where the amenities are row upon row of porta-johns. To underscore the importance, I once had the opportunity to learn from another's mistakes when a fellow student's Glock took the blue-slime-dive. Being a Glock, it was none the worse for wear after a good cleaning, and I understood and agreed with the school's policy of you-drop-it-in-you-fish-it-out. Per the safety briefing, the unfortunate individual immediately informed the others waiting in line of the occurrence and went to get his rangemaster. The rangemaster closely supervised the retrieval to ensure it was done safely. No, they didn't have any shoulder-length ick-proof gloves available.

Shoulder rigs and holsters that have their own belt independent of clothing like the SmartCarry or my house holster are no problem at all. IWB's that use your clothing to supply some or all of the holster's retention capability are the trickiest to manage. Rebuckling your belt after sitting down while keeping pressure against the holster with your knee keeps everything where it needs to stay. And no "wide stance" jokes, please; I have two X chromosomes, thankyouverymuch.

Men can get away without having to drop their drawers all the time, but us gals aren't so lucky. Plus when using the row-of-stalls type of public facility, we're more likely to encounter the small child in with mommy who peeks under the divider. Then an IWB is easier to hide behind your purse than a belt holster. Unfortunately, there's also a tiny chance somebody might glimpse something (hopefully) accidentally through the gap alongside the door. Cover it up whether there are kids present or not.

Best of all are the one-holers like they have at Starbucks. All the privacy in the world.

And if despite your best efforts your sidearm should escape, NEVER EVER try to catch a falling gun. Modern carry-suitable guns won't ND even if dropped on an exposed hammer, and a CLUNK is always better than a BANG under those awful circumstances. Keep those firing-pin springs fresh, folks. No gun make/model that has any history of going off spontaneously when dropped should ever be carried.

And I absolutely consider dropping your gun in the can to be NEGLIGENT.


George said...

There was an article some years ago (like 30), I think in 'Shooting Times'. Every so often reality hits the gun-carrying world. If I recall, their suggestion was to place the unholstered sidearm (presuming a body carry) in the center of the pants that were hovering just below the knee. In this way, they would be hidden from accidental viewing, and not left behind when the pants were subsequently raised.
This would also make for quick acquisition, if that were necessary. No mention was made of the XY crowd. I'm guessing this is the real reasom Mom always said were clean underwear!

Hecate said...

Er, that sort of assumes one's underwear is, shall we say, voluminous enough to accommodate the gun . . .

I tend to agree with Tam that the less futzing with a gun the better. If I can avoid taking it out of the holster, I will.

Lissa said...

Oh, ewwwww.

My current mode of carry is to tuck the gun into a holster and put the holster in a waist pouch ("hip bag"). The gun is at the correct level and placement for a draw, and the bag doesn't need to get unbelted for me to drop my drawers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the rigidity of my gunbelt and my holster, I can make do with spreading my legs a little, keeping up tension, and keeping the holster and gun off the deck - if I need to, I can hook it around a shin, and everyone is happy.

'Course, if someone were to peek under the stall, they might see said firearm, but Tennessee has no problems with that.

Sure beats the hell out of portapotty-diving.

William said...

Perhaps I'm dense--but though one might get comments or questions if a weapon is seen in a restroom stall, those may be handled with a steely "No comment." Or even a lie-- "that's my camera."

If you have no expectation of privacy in a...privy, the problem is with the peeper. Of course, I'm in a state where open carry is OK.

William the Coroner

Kevin said...

I got the suggestion George mentioned from Pat Rogers at Gunsite, in a 250 class. He had a series of stories about cops leaving restrooms sans pistol.

bogie said...

I find it easier to handle and IWB than one on its own belt. I find that the belt want to escape the loops and drop gun and everything to the floor.

I can brace the holster of an IWB against my legs while sitting, and it stays in place while putting my clothes to rights. The belt might be a bit tricky, but a little practice and everything is good. Of course I carry at 2 oclock and not at 5, so mileage might vary for others.