We host a Bible study in our homes each week. We have only met with this group three times, and we’re still getting to know each other. In the past week, I have had unexpected encounters with members of our Bible study related to my concealed carry.
At our last Bible study meeting, one of our newer members (I don’t know him very well, but his every spoken word is delivered with a great deal of excitement), picked up a magazine from the bottom shelf of the small table next to my chair to use as a backing for taking notes. It happened to be the current issue of Shooting Illustrated (my NRA magazine). He said, “Hey, mine arrived just today! Do you carry?” I was so completely unprepared for the question that I answered, “Yes.” Before I knew it, he had extracted a promise to go to the range with him at some unspecified future date. I am pretty sure no one else heard the conversation, as there were at least three other conversations happening at the same time.
Lesson learned: Just as we have to be prepared to use our carry weapons at any time, we have to also be prepared to hold every manner of conversation about weapons at any time.
On Sunday, my wife and I managed to encounter just about every member of our study group. One woman, seemingly the oldest member of our group - very nice, very quiet - hugged my wife, then slipped through the small crowd around us to hug me. I wasn’t prepared, and so she gave me a hug before I could drop my weak-side arm to block my weapon from the hug. I know she felt my gun, but her eyes did not give away that information. I’m not sure what she thought she felt with the hug.
Lesson learned: Be prepared for unexpected physical contact.