March 7, 2015: A Quick Trip to DC

We took the long route to avoid central Florida speed traps.  Then about the time we would be looking for a hotel we are looking at the Weather Channel Mobile Edition and deciding to push on ahead of the snow event coming in from the west.  It caught up with us in Fredericksburg VA and continued on into the Nation’s Capital. 

My attempt to plot a course around MapQuest and Google Maps didn’t help, but we ended up at our destination 15 1/2 hours after starting out.  It was interesting to see the snow coming down but not hitting the windshield the way rain would.  It was sweep away in the airstream around the car.  Watching the temperature gauge on the dash we were glad to see the temperature didn’t drop below 34.  The snow didn’t accumulate on the road, but did so on stationary objects that were off the ground.

I had been contemplating the trip as it relates to concealed carry and vacillating between carry and no-carry.  Reciprocity with Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia were not a problem.  However the District of Columbia is a big problem.  I have a lock box that will fit in a concealed compartment in the car.  I contemplated stopping in Virginia to off load, un-load, and store in the concealed locked box.  But that’s still a problem.  I could imagine to many scenarios involving me being with the secured firearm in my car or carrying it into the places I would be staying.

I couldn’t convince myself that I would have legal standing in any of these scenarios where I would be outside a residence and the secured firearm would be in my possession either while I carried it from the car  or while it was in the car.  In the end I left it home.  Yes, I was more afraid of a Prosecutor in the District of Columbia than I was of any evil doers we might encounter in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina or Virginia.

Friday afternoon my wife and I are walking around the corner of Irving and 15th in the NW quarter and passed an armed guard outside a Bank of America.  I spotted what I think is a flaw in her tactics.  Her revolver is on her right hip and she is using her right hand to hold her cellular phone to her right ear.  Access to her firearm is unobstructed, she is distracted and a parade of people are passing within arms length of her.  Didn’t look professional.

About 4 am on Saturday morning a riot broke out on our balcony.  Well it sounded like one with the shouting and police sirens.  At first I thought my wife was getting a FOX News  alert.  Being on the fourth floor I didn’t feel threatened or particularly inquisitive enough to get out of a warm bed.  By my wife’s eyewitness account there five people having a very loud discussion.  One man who was shouting and trying to jab or poke at the police.  He was the aggressor who fortunately had more sensible friends who were restraining him and pulling him away from the police.  Initially two patrol cars showed up but they were quickly joined by six more.  My wife indicated the police showed restraint and the angry man eventually was forcibly removed by his companions.

The next night I am walking from the parking garage to the apartment where we are staying and I see four DC Police Officers walking from the direction of the disturbance the day before and since I’m doing threat assessment I figure they are too so I hike up my pants, pull the fur lined hood on my jacket back and walk with my empty hands out of my pockets. I say good evening as we pass and get a response from the Officer closest to me.

DC like others cities has problems with homelessness, liter, and a lack of parking.  But they have an amazing variety of architecture and historical points of interest.  The locals all seem to adopt a fixed gaze while walking.  There are incredibly rude drivers but also some nice and helpful people when you actually have to make a personal contact. 

I am usually surprised when I talk to a Citizen that live in the East that have not made at least one trip to see our Nation’s Capital.  While this not a journey to Mecca, there are historical sites, monuments, and museums enough to stimulate the inquisitive mind. 

The District of Columbia presents problems for visitors.  When I visited in the 60’s, my parents could park the station wagon with the camper attached in the parking lot behind the Jefferson Memorial.  In the new world order of today, traffic is kept away.  Bring your walking shoes.



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