As it says in the book, other people do not have X-ray vision. You just think they must when you’re first walking around in public with a gun.
With my Kahr K40 or my Taurus 85 in my pocket with these particular denim shorts, I feel like I’m blatantly obvious. The weight slams into my leg with every step, I can see the fabric bunching up strangely, and worst, the pocket tends to gape and the outer lip gets pulled down by the weight in the pocket. Looking down, I can often see the handle just below the lip of the pocket. When I sit down it makes a huge lump, and often slides off sideways, twisting the fabric around strangely.
I started this project to try to photograph these particular problems, as part of my ongoing dialog about “people are different”. (“No, really. More than you think. More than that even.”) Probably having another photographer would help. But the results I got on my own are somewhat interesting — as a demonstration of how much more obvious these things are to me than to people looking on.
So, which is which?
It’s a bit more obvious from your own perspective — straight above the pocket, looking down. The first one shows a really clear case of the lip of the pocket being dragged in by the weight hanging in the lining. In the second two you can actually see bits of the handle of the gun. And the third one isn’t from my own position, it’s from close in and out in front — pretty much where somebody else’s head would be if they were standing there talking to you.
(In the first set of examples, it’s no, yes, yes, no. But I can’t now reconstruct which was the Kahr K40 and which was the Taurus 85. In both cases they’re in the Uncle Mike’s Sidekick pocket holster that I reviewed yesterday.)
This is also probably useful in learning what to look for in others — although that’s a sport, I think, more than it’s a useful skill. I suspect what the key things to look for are varies widely (or even wildly) with style and cut of the clothing. In this particular pair of pants, what’s obvious is the weight of the gun pulling down the lip of the pocket.
Women at a Disadvantage?
Stylish women are at a considerable disadvantage in regards to carrying. I very frequently see women wearing pants that I’m absolutely sure aren’t concealing a gun, in the pocket, inside the waistband, or anywhere else. (I’ve never actually seen anybody try to wear Thunderwear under pants that tightly fitted, but given the details of anatomy revealed I believe a gun in Thunderwear would be quite obvious.) Similarly, many of their pants, skirts, and dresses don’t have pockets, or have small useless pockets. Bare midriffs pretty much sink any hope of IWB carry even with looser pants. Of course with other styles of dress all these options open up again. The advice to “dress around the gun” applies to both sexes. But I think people in general pay more attention to how women are dressed.
People talk about “deep cover” and sometimes “deep concealment”, so there must be such a thing as “shallow concealment” (or “lite”). Since Minnesota law doesn’t require concealment at all, perhaps styles will trend that way after a while — maybe not worrying if the muzzle of your 45 shows from under your vest when you bend over, or your Taurus 85 is visible if you look down into the pocket it’s in. People already mostly don’t worry about a mysterious loop around your belt (connected to an IWB tucked under your shirt). Maybe they’ll stop worrying about the loop matching the belt color.
Then there’s the North American Arms belt buckle gun.
I doubt we’ll see women wearing shoulder holsters under sheer blouses, though.
Today I went armed to a business meeting for the first time. With the Kahr in the pocket of the shorts, as pictured above. Nothing interesting happened. (Joel and I were placing a series of ads in Citypages for carry courses, but the person we were talking to never asked if we were carrying, and my mind-reading skills never caught him wondering particularly loudly. Look for “Need a Carry Permit?” for 6 weeks starting 2-Jul-2003.)
I haven’t yet encountered a “posted” location while armed, or planned to avoid one I already knew about. There’s only one location I’ve frequently gone that is now posted, that I’ve noticed. I do, however, have my plans in place for securing my weapon in the car if I do need to. It’s an interim plan, and I should work on upgrading it.
By the way, that very stiff (and very nice) Galco gun belt in the pictures is also a bit of a giveaway to anybody who is paying attention.