My new normal

By Breda of The Breda Fallacy

The state of Ohio says that I am now allowed to carry a concealed handgun. The license itself is a little plastic thing, similar to my drivers license. I keep looking at it, somewhat bemused. It bears a photo of me looking grim, some personal information, and a number that I can only assume represents my place in the line of people who have applied and been accepted before me, and those that will come after.

Such a simple thing, and yet...

I waited to make my "armed in public" debut until Mike got home last night. Since we had done the class and the application together, I wanted to share this moment with him too. And of all the places available to us, we went to the pet store to buy cat litter.

Getting ready to go, I put on my black leather blazer-style jacket. "Can you tell? Can you see it? I can see the lump, can you?" My hips felt uneven as I smoothed the jacket down.

"No, no, you're fine," Mike said. "Dark colors are good, it does a better job of hiding any shadows or outline. Now turn around...lift up your arms. Uh-oh. There it is. I can see it now."

"I don't normally walk around stores with my arms raised above my head, you know." I pulled the jacket back down and grabbed my purse. "Besides, no one will notice because they're not expecting to see it, they're not looking for it."

I watched Mike walk to the car. I couldn't even tell he was carrying. He's a big guy, uses an inside the waistband holster and was wearing a bulky sweatshirt. It seemed easier for him. "Am I going to have to buy a new holster, maybe a new wardrobe?" I wondered. Summer is bound to be complicated. I quickly began to understand why Leah, our NRA instructor, open carries everywhere. She dons a cute outfit and then straps on her belt and holster like anyone else would wear a wristwatch.

As we pulled out of the driveway and headed down the street, Mike said, "There. It's official. You are a now free person, no longer a subject." I looked over at him and started laughing. I felt my world change. It's a wild feeling - enormous freedom and enormous responsibility all at once.

Breda is a reference librarian and artist who writes at The Breda Fallacy.

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