Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Concealed Carry Accessibility

So, while the mood is slightly moderated, here's a question regarding concealed carry. I saw a guy this weekend carrying concealed. I don't think it was blindingly obvious or anything, I just happened to notice it. He was carrying what appeared to be a revolver in an OWB holster on his right hip, covered by a sweatshirt, with a vest over the sweatshirt. It appeared that when he pulled the sweatshirt over the holster, he then flipped the lower hem, and tucked it up under the holster. One can only assumed he had some fear of the sweatshirt riding up and exposing his holster, even though it was additionally covered by the vest he wore. The vest was either a purpose designed concealment vest, or an adapted photographer's vest. Lots of pockets, and hanging down below the hip.

The question is this, is it worth delaying your ability to draw your weapon, just to make sure it's 100% covered and concealed?

I myself, when carrying something that doesn't slip into a pocket, wear it on my waistband. I make sure my shirt is tucked into my pants tightly, so as not to interfere with my draw. I then put a vest, coat, or over-shirt on, allowing whichever it is to hang open. That way, all I have to do is sweep the hanging cloth out of the way as I make my draw. Does an occasional gust of wind expose the fact that I'm carrying? Sure. Is it a big deal? I don't think so.

In my mind, I would rather be questioned by a police officer as to if I'm carrying legally, because someone saw it and got freaked out, than be just a little too slow on the draw if I were to need it in a hurry. Also, if you're going to need to draw a concealed weapon, you're going to need it fast. Fine motor skills are going to be out of the window, as you're trying to sweep back an over shirt, un-tuck a sweatshirt or t-shirt, and then start to draw.

It's one of the reasons I've never used an IWB holster. Not that I'm maligning them or anything, they work perfectly well for a large number of people. I would just think it would take a lot more training to be able to get out of that when the holster is under a tucked shirt, and even with lots of practice, I'd have to think you'd be sacrificing time. Time that could be crucial.

Anyone have any experience with IWBs or tucked and hidden holsters? Care to illuminate me?


Monday, January 12, 2009


OK, so apparently, I'm not out of the anger phase yet. Here I thought I was moving on. I was calm, and talking with people at work this morning. Everything was going smoothly until after lunch sometime. I needed to get some paperwork done before a hearing I have scheduled for Wednesday. Before I left last week, the file was on my desk. Sometime during the three days I was gone, someone picked up the file from my desk, for whatever reason, and ended up putting it in the file room, in the stack of files waiting to be filed back into the cabinets.

Now normally, this is no big deal. Today however, it just set me off. That someone would deliberately remove something from my desk, without speaking to me about it, or at least leaving me a note. Then, to not return it to where it was taken from, and to leave it in a stack of files to be replaced by a third person.

I was absolutely raging. People were walking by and shooting sidelong glances at me, wondering if they needed to call the guys in the clean white coats. Several even commented on how tense I looked.

Normally such a thing would not affect me like this.

Guess I'm still stuck in Angry.

Anyone know how long this lasts?



I think I'm finally starting to slip out of the anger phase. I'm not sure how many stages of grief there are, or what order they're supposed to be in, but I've been stuck in the anger stage for a while now. Angry that my grandmother is gone. Not that she left me, but that the doctor's let her go. It just seems that somebody should have been able to do something, or at least seen it coming. I'd talked to her on the phone just a few hours before. She was fine, had a bad time earlier in the day, but after that, everything had cleared up. The nurses were going on about how they wished all of their patients recovered so well. She was happy, cutting up, and looking forward to getting released. Then, out of the blue, her heart rate dropped from 80 bpm to 40 bpm, and before a nurse could get to her bed in ICU, it had just stopped all together.

I just don't understand how there could be no warning, or indication of problems. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitoring equipment in the ICU. Was someone being lax? Was someone on the job who didn't have the experience to understand what the readouts were indicating?

What's done is done, and while I still have some residual anger towards the hospital staff, I'm slipping more into mourning for the loss of my grandmother. I know it's selfish, but I miss her terribly.

I was an orphan, adopted at birth. My adoptive parents got a divorce when I was just 4 years old. At that point, my adoptive father, whose name I carry, explained to me that it was ok that they were getting a divorce, because I was adopted, and not his real son anyway. Imagine the damage that can do to a 4 year old psyche.

My mother(adopted) subsequently remarried, and we were on the move a lot. It seems like we moved at least once a year. At least into a new neighborhood, if not a new city, or new state all together. Through all of that, my grandmother was my anchor. She was always there, and I would often spend summers with her and my grandfather. It was a real 'home', one that changed but little over the years. I always knew what to expect when I walked through the door, or woke up there in the morning. I was very resistant to change when my grandfather passed away over a decade ago. I wanted everything to stay the same(selfish again), but my mother got rid of some things, and changed the house around a bit to make things easier on my grandmother. I guess it also helped her to deal with the loss of her husband.

I was always in her thoughts, or so it seemed. She would always send a little note, just to say hello, with a clipping from the local newspaper if there was something she thought might be of interest. Many of the people who attended her funeral knew me, even though I hadn't seen them in years, some of them in decades. They also knew my daughters, by name at least. Apparently my grandmother was quite proud of not only me, but her great-grandchildren as well.

My anchor is gone now, and I feel like I'm adrift. I'm sure that now her house will get cleared out, and sold off, and the one point of stability for the majority of my life will be gone. Knowing that I have a loving wife and children, and will establish my own stability for them is a small comfort, but does nothing to assuage my grief and loss at the moment.

I miss her terribly, and can't seem to stop thinking about her now that she's gone. I'm back at work today, and not getting much accomplished because I end up staring into space, remembering things about her from my entire life.

It's hard to let go, and though I know it's selfish, I don't want to let go.

I'll always remember her, and I'm not sure I'll ever stop missing her.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Shock and Sorrow

I went to work today, much like any other day. Had been there a little over half an hour or so, taking care of a few things, when I received a phone call from my wife. She was in tears, telling me that my mother had been trying to get a hold of me. My Grandmother passed away this morning. She had been a little under the weather, and had actually been in the hospital the last few days. Turns out the little bug she had was pneumonia. She was being treated, and responding well to treatment. She was scheduled to be released to come home this evening. That's how well she was doing. Out of the blue, her heart rate dropped to 40 bpm, while the nurses were en route to her bedside, her heart stopped all together.

I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation as to what happened. The only thing anyone seems to be able to tell me, is that she was 85 years old, and these things happen sometime.

I was in shock most of today. I'm not real sure how I got home, or when my wife arrived with the girls, packed everything up, and loaded us all into the car. We drove three hours, most of which is a blur, to be with my family.

While there is an underlying sorrow through-out everything, the shock is slowly starting to fade. I'm not sure what the stages of grief are supposed to be, but my shock is giving way to anger. Not anger at my Grandmother for leavign me, but anger at the medical staff. This is the second grandparent who went into the hospital very ill, responded well to treatment, and after they'd been stepped down from ICU to a 'normal' ward, suddenly died.

The investigator in me wants to head to the hospital right now, and start grilling people, the grandchild in me wants to start twisting arms, and breaking fingers until I find out exactly what happened, and why, and make someone pay.

I guess it's a good thing my wife and mother made me lock up my duty weapon before I came out of shock. I'm normally a very level headed kind of guy, but right now, I'm wanting to just go do something, anything, to un-make this tradegy.

I know not many folks read this, and those who do probably aren't interested in this sort of thing, but I think I'm going to try and get things out of my head and onto the blog while I'm here, and see if it helps me to deal with this.

Hope your day was better than mine.


PS- I'm posting from my iBook Indigo, and there seem to be some issues with how I style my posts. I may try to go back and edit them when I get home so that they match the rest. Then again, maybe not, maybe this will just be how my 'on the road' posts look.