Summer of 2002
The girlfriend, (now wifey) and I decided we wanted to have a long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of NOVA and relax. Being a colonial history buff I wanted to travel down to Historic Williamsburg and give her a guided tour as she had never been. Being as it was going to be a bit of a drive for us, and as I had recently been indoctrinated into the whole OC experience, I wanted to see if this would be a location I could open carry at. An extensive look at their website did not net me any information as to permitted or restricted, so I decided to try my luck and ask once I got down there.
On Saturday morning we left our hotel room and with Glock secured to my holster and on my belt, we drove to Colonial Williamsburg. We headed into town and first came to the blacksmiths shop. The smithy was busy pounding away at a piece of iron and chatting with only 2 other tourists who seemed to only have a passing interest in his work. I walked over to him and asked him for a moment of his time, which he was only too happy to give me. In a low voice I said I was legally carrying a firearm but wasnt sure of Williamsburgs policy and could he tell me if it was allowed or forbidden. In a tone twice as loud as I had, he answered me. I'll try to recall his response as best as I can:
"That good sir is one of the important questions now being asked by the brave men of the Continental congress. Should we as free men and women be allowed to carry arms and armament to protect the very vestment of the good lord, namely that of life and liberty. Do we have the right to protect our lands and lives against a tyrant and his army which care not for our safety and our children, but only for coins to be placed in his coffers. Nay good sir, stay your pistol upon your person and be ready to answer the call to fight not only for freedom and liberty, but for our homes and for principal"
Needless to say, I was smiling from ear to ear. I would have excepted a simple "It's allowed" but the smithy went all out to answer a question and to weave it into a historical context. It was to date the SECOND best response I had ever had. The FIRST best came an hour after the experience with the smithy.
We were walking down the main street, looking at various arts and crafts being offered (her idea) and enjoying the scenery. I got a glance or two with the Glock 17 on my waist, but mostly we were ignored. Ahead we saw a squad of British soldiers marching up the street and being led by a Major who was dressed to the nines. As they got close, one of the conscripts in the middle pointed over to me and proclaimed loudly "Sir! That colonial is armed, shall we detain?" The Major stopped the squad and looked at me. Again, I'll try and recall his response as best I can. While slowly walking towards me, he announced:
"No Mister Danvers, while his majesty has proclaimed that any possession of pistol or musket is forbade and forbidden, these rabble pose no serious threat to either King nor Crown. For these colonist to believe they could ever stand up to the might of his Majesty's fine fighting men would be madness and that of sheer folly. No. . .we will allow this one to keep his pistol." The Major then leaned in very close to me, so that only I could hear him and whispered to me "For now."
He then walked back to the front of the squad and marched them along back down the street.
We've gone back since then, but never got quite the same response as we did the first time.