Open Carry at the Airport. Losing the Culture War?

Poll from az.com 11.6.13 (courtesy az.com)

An Arizona man and his son showed up at Sky Harbor Airport carrying firearms two days after a man shot and killed a TSA agent with a rifle at the LAX. By “incident” I mean media attention. No shots fired. No arrests made. Why would there be? It’s perfectly legal to open carry in Arizona right up to the security check point. Tell that to Rebecca Schoenkopf of wonkette.com. “Go f*ck yourself you “patriot” piece of s*it.” Translation: open carry at an airport isn’t socially acceptable. According to the poll at az.com, Schoenkopf’s not alone in her view. This in a state with Constitutional carry. Are Arizonans and by extension Americans that scared that they’d surrender their natural right to keep and bear arms for the, let’s face facts, illusion of safety? It seems so.

comments

  1. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I really wish I knew the answer.

    1. avatar Dave says:

      Seems like an interesting question, though.

      Is the only way to stop a bad guy (and his armed 12-year-old) a good guy (with an armed 12-year-old)?

      Is it really necessary to for both you and your minor son to carry guns to the airport? Are you protecting yourself, or are you just trolling airport security and taunting them with your smug knowledge of Arizona law?

  2. avatar William Burke says:

    “It depends on the type of gun”? WTF does THAT mean? I mean, really, who would vote for THAT?

    It might depend on whether it’s a pea shooter or a toy gun, but anything else is still a GUN.

    1. avatar bobmcd says:

      It means you shouldn’t be allowed to carry a *scary-looking* gun.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        There’s that damned “allowed” word again.

        We have the natural, civil, and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms that “…shall not be infringed.” Who exactly is authorized to allow or not allow the exercise of that right? If people in the airport with scary black rifles makes other people uncomfortable they have the exact same right to be armed in the airport and defend themselves and their family or others if someone does something illegal with a firearm. Past that they have ZERO right to tell anyone when, where or what kind of arms they have a right to bear or when or where they may exercise those rights. And the government has no authority to intervene. I flew into Prague a few years ago and there were uniformed soldiers walking on the tarmack with AK-74s. Now THAT scared me.

        Meanwhile, I personally think it is a bad idea just now for one or a pair of POTG to be wandering around in public with SBRs. If you want to make a point, open carry a pistol. Except in specific group rallies like San Antonio rifles right now, legal or not, are just galvanizing public opposition. Give it a rest, please?

        1. avatar Jeff says:

          “I flew into Prague a few years ago and there were uniformed soldiers walking on the tarmack with AK-74s. Now THAT scared me.”

          Just curious – why?

          I sometimes saw Guardia Civil carrying CETMEs and G36s around when I lived in Spain, and aside from many Guardia being assholes, I never really thought much about it. I guess it may intimidate some Spaniards, but I’m thinking the whole time “I have a whole safe of rifles like that at home.”

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “I have a whole safe of rifles like that AT HOME.”

          That part of the situation might be what’s causing him concern. I know that I’m much less concerned being around agents of government when I too am armed. Disarm me and I’m a little uneasy.

  3. avatar John in Ohio says:

    “No shots fired. No arrests made.”

    In that instance, at least, it’s a culture war battle won. Of course, wars aren’t typically won by a single battle. How are we doing in the big picture? I don’t really know. With more cohesion among vocal members of the ‘gun community’ then I’d feel much more optimistic about news from the front. In other words, I think if most of us were on the same page in attitudes and opinions about open carry then I’d be certain that the culture war would be won in short order. As long as we remain divided amongst ourselves, I believe it will be a long, drawn out series of battles with the victor being anyone’s guess.

  4. avatar John L. says:

    There seems to be increasing confusion in this country between the concepts of “this is something you have a right to do” and “this is something I don’t mind if you do.”

    The classic version draws the distinction between the (actual) right of pursuit of happiness, and the (perceived but fallacious) right to be happy all the time.

    Do I mind if someone sits on a street corner and says nasty racial epithets? Yes. Will some people be very upset? Likely also yes. Does that make it illegal? No. And there’s where the distinction is lost. Just because you don’t like it, or it makes you feel bad, doesn’t mean it has to be stopped.

    I wouldn’t think this would be a hard concept. I guess I’m wrong.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Actually it is illegal. Now, someone will say that disorderly conduct does not make the words themselves illegal, which is true, but it’s a distinction without much of a difference.

  5. avatar gloomhound says:

    We are screwed cause that war is already lost. We are some of the last of our kind.

  6. avatar Zachary Hunt says:

    I think the problem is the guy had a rifle. Handgun is OK with me. I prefer a concealed weapon. I can see why most people would freak out especially so soon afterwards. I hate to say this but when they come after concealed carry I think most folks will wake up.

    1. avatar gloomhound says:

      We are as awake as we shall ever be. It’s all down hill from here.

    2. avatar alpo says:

      So a 15 round FNX in .45 ACP is A-OK by you, but a 6 round 77/17 and you get queasy?
      Umm yeah, that makes total sense.

      1. avatar Fug says:

        It would be rather confusing to see someone carrying a rifle of any kind at an airport, don’t you think? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows little or nothing about firearms.

        A handgun in a holster is one thing, concealed or not. That shouldn’t scare anyone, but there is no good reason to bring a rifle to an airport that is not packed for transport, unless you are planning to shoot something. That is just common sense, they don’t know if it is .17 or .30 caliber just by looking at it.

        It has never been acceptable to carry around a rifle in public unless you have a good reason. They are intimidating and highly capable tools and people SHOULD worry when they see someone headed their way with a rifle unless they are in a relatively wild area.

        I have said it before and I will say it again: Carrying a rifle around with you in most public spaces is tantamount to an attractive young woman going on a “slut walk” just because she feels she has the right to do so. Both are inviting attention for no other reason than their own self righteous whim and both deserve derision for the same reason.

        A “slut walker” doesn’t want you to stare at her or proposition her for sex, even though she is prancing around half naked in public. Someone toting a slung rifle to the airport insists he is there to “educate” people… about what exactly? That some people are assholes who want you to look at their big guns before you hop your flight?

        1. avatar alpo says:

          “It would be rather confusing to see someone carrying a rifle of any kind at an airport, don’t you think?”
          ~>It shouldn’t be. A rifle is a tool for many things, including self defense. Who am I to tell someone what they can carry for self defense?

          “Put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows little or nothing about firearms.”
          ~>Ignorance is no argument against my rights.

          “A handgun in a holster is one thing, concealed or not. That shouldn’t scare anyone”
          ~> Oh, but it does. And they are the very same people, btw.

          “but there is no good reason to bring a rifle to an airport that is not packed for transport, unless you are planning to shoot something.”
          ~> The reasons are the same and as many as there are for bringing a handgun. And for allowing police to carry one.

          “That is just common sense, they don’t know if it is .17 or .30 caliber just by looking at it.”
          ~> And the caliber doesn’t matter. My comparison was meant to demonstrate that one is no more dangerous than the other.

          “It has never been acceptable to carry around a rifle in public unless you have a good reason.”
          ~> Safety and deterrence are super duper good reasons. Also, it *was* acceptable for most of the rifle’s existence.

          “They are intimidating and highly capable tools and people SHOULD worry when they see someone headed their way with a rifle”
          ~>So is a .44 mag revolver, tacticooled out M&P 9, etc. Are we going to keep this up until we get down to only derringers can be OC’d?
          “unless they are in a relatively wild area.”
          ~> Right, because bears and stuff. 2 legged predators are just as dangerous and usually don’t need to get shot to know you’re not the prey they’re looking for.

          “I have said it before and I will say it again: Carrying a rifle around with you in most public spaces is tantamount to an attractive young woman going on a “slut walk”….”
          ~> Not quite.
          That would be true if:
          A. Skimpy outfits were used to defend life and limb 1 million+ times annually AND
          B. ‘slut walkers’ were reacting to the fact that some women are allowed to dress that way because they’re considered better able to handle it, while perfectly capable women aren’t and are told ‘if you do get attacked, the official slutty dressers will be by shortly to write a report about it’
          Oh, and C. it was in the Constitution.

      2. avatar DonS says:

        “Put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows little or nothing about firearms.”

        I really couldn’t care less about the feelings or opinions of the ignorant, unless and until their ignorance leads to the [also ignorant] legislators taking away my liberties.

        “It has never been acceptable to carry around a rifle in public unless you have a good reason.”

        Unless you’re in Texas, in which case that’s the only type of firearm you can carry openly in public.

        EDIT: now I want to drive up to DEN this weekend and walk around carrying (preferably openly).

        1. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

          At the most basic level, rifles are tools. Not good or bad, just tools. They are designed to be more accurate than handguns over greater distances. These characteristics are not useful in the modern airport setting. Deer do not fly, even at Christmas.

          If someone is openly carrying a rifle in an airport, there are only two things they could be doing. They could be invoking their right to open carry as a form of protest, or they could be preparing to kill someone. The only way to know their intent is to wait and see if they fire.

          Most vets tell me that waiting to see if someone fires is a fool’s bet. Most cops and TSA agents feel the same way. If they feel threatened, they are more likely to shoot you than to wait and see what your intentions are.

          They could come up and ask you what you are doing, but they are not under any obligation to do so. In our local airport, the TSA will simply kill you and claim they felt threatened. The law does not state that you have to actually “be” threatening. The law does not state that their lives have to actually be in danger. I they perceive it, they can kill you.

          If you walk into an airport carrying your rifle, be careful how you approach vets, cops, TSA agents, and anyone else who might see you as a threat. If you sneeze, for example, and your finger gets too close to the trigger, there are several people on this board (not me, but several others) who are expert shots, and will kill you.

          They will not applaud you for exercising your right to open carry, they will protect their family from what appears to be an immanent threat to their lives and safety. They will not wait to see if you are an active shooter; they will not waste valuable seconds to give you the opportunity to engage. They will pick their shot so as not to kill anyone behind you, and then they will end your silly protest.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          So, Low Budget Dave, let me get this straight… You’re okay with agents of government behaving in the manner that you describe? You’re okay with people living in that bravado bullshit world you just painted? What you wrote really is bullshit, you know that, right? I almost couldn’t read it through all of those flies!

          “If someone is openly carrying a rifle in an airport, there are only two things they could be doing. They could be invoking their right to open carry as a form of protest, or they could be preparing to kill someone. The only way to know their intent is to wait and see if they fire.”

          Or, they could simply be a citizen going about their lawful, PRIVATE business. I ride a motorcycle year round. I often OC a handgun. I sometimes OC a rifle. Except for pro-2A rallies and to get local government to fix their illegal ordinances, I generally don’t OC as a form of protest and I certainly don’t seek any attention. I’m almost always armed and it is often done openly. I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m armed. I’m not a criminal and I’m certainly not ashamed to be an armed man. I’m darn sure not going to leave my rifle sitting on the motorcycle seat while I go into an airport or other location. It goes with me; common sense.

        3. avatar Dave says:

          John,

          If they are a citizen going about their business, then what business is that? What reason would someone have to carry a rifle into an airport?

          Are you going there for the great food? Because airport food stinks. Are you picking up a friend? (On your motorcycle? Carrying your assault rifle with you? Where are you going to put their luggage?)

          I really could’t care less if you think it is bullshit; you don’t seem to be a deep thinker. Just because I told you that someone would shoot you doesn’t mean I approve of it. It just means that a lot of people on this board understand self defense. And if you go out of your way to look like a threat, then people will treat you like one.

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “you don’t seem to be a deep thinker.”

          You couldn’t be farther from the truth in your lifetime; even if you could warp space-time or integrate your own wave function. Chemistry, biology, mathematics, classic physics, quantum mechanics, medicine, computer science, politics, philosophy, theology, etc.; take your pick but don’t expect me to waste more time casting pearls.

    3. avatar John L. says:

      No they won’t. Only the people who conceal-carry will, and for them the battle will have been lost by definition.

  7. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Unfortunately seeing as airports are governed by the FAA an argument could be made that they are thus government buildings. However, I have to see a part of the second amendment that states “except”. There are 0 no restrictions or exceptions in the 2A.

  8. avatar Jay1987 says:

    “N0 M04r Sk33ry B14ck Gunz!!!1!1!!”- anonymous Libtard.
    ok fine no more scary black guns I’m gonna start duracoating all the guns in my shop pink soon as I can start gettin em in. oh and we won’t offer black leather holsters and slings either I’ll dye em rainbow colors just so my products don’t scare the sheeple… I almost made it through that with a straight face and without crying over the profit margin dying…

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      I’m secure enough in my manhood to carry a pink weapon, sign me up.

      1. avatar Jay1987 says:

        Lol it’s the new save the ta-tas edition 1911 and ar15 package. Only available during breast cancer awareness month. They’re not really gonna be part of my regular stock and are gonne be raffled off with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Somethin I promised my mom I’d do if she beat cancer. By far the best sellers around here are just the standard blued/ black models from what my research tells me.

  9. avatar PeterC says:

    You have to understand that, even here in AZ, which is otherwise America, we are burdened with liberals, who infest such places as ASU and U of A. They do not represent the rest of us sane, gun-owning Americans. We put up with them… until such time as it becomes necessary to put them out of their misery.

    1. avatar Zachary Hunt says:

      Yep you are right I remember the brainwashing I had at college. My few years as a liberal. A real job, taxes, short stint in the military, mortgage, wife, kids, etc changed me back to a conservative. A run in with my daughter’s gang banging ex-boyfriend turned me into an NRA member.

    2. avatar Nordic says:

      Wow… just, wow, Here you are advocating the mass extermination of roughly 35 – 40% of your fellow citizens and not a single person has called you out for such an outrageous remark. Sick, sick crowd.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Trail mix isn’t any good without a couple nuts to give it some crunch.

  10. avatar Dave357 says:

    I love living in AZ, but the rot of the State inching towards purple is definitely here and RKBA may start taking hits in AZ in a few years.

  11. avatar Adam says:

    Honestly, the dad in AZ, while completely within his rights, seems to me to have just been showboating. Especially in a state with constitutional carry like AZ. And that is the opinion from me, a guy who open carries all over the place. I just don’t feel the need to be an azzhat about it just to make a point. It’s not a whole lot different from the dudes (markedGuardian) that make the youtube videos trying to entrap cops. The cops act like idiots half the time, but so does the OC’er.

    I love OC. It gives me an opportunity to talk to people about guns that I might not get otherwise. Having lived in california when the (full on, loaded was already banned since Reagan) OC ban went into effect I can tell you that it broke my heart to lose that. I don’t think incidents like this help though. They really only hurt. As much as I want to shout, “We need to normalize people to the sight of guns!” I’m too pragmatic to see any benefit in this sort of showmanship. We can’t go from where we are at today straight to constitutional carry everywhere and no one having a problem with guns/weapons. It takes time and baby steps. Walking in to a airport sporting a MSR days after a shooting at one of the largest airports in the country is not a good idea. It makes us look like azzhats.

    Yes, he has every right to do it.
    No, I don’t want this particular choice of behavior to be legislated, restricted, or banned in any way.

    All I’m saying is, time and place. You wouldn’t wear a shirt saying “f*ck GOD” to the pope’s funeral. And we’d call any atheist liberal who did that and azzhat. Similarly, you probably shouldn’t wear a MSR to the airport after one had just been attacked. Both behaviors are about one thing only, attention whoring.

    Should they be allowed? Absolutely, 150%.
    Should people use actual common sense (not that MDA kind) and try to be thoughtful in how this will help or hurt your cause? Absolutely.

    1. avatar PeterC says:

      1,000%!

    2. avatar Zachary Hunt says:

      Well said

    3. avatar pak152 says:

      couldn’t have said it any better. just because you have the right doesn’t mean you should. use some of that grey matter that sits on top of your shoulders.

    4. avatar alpo says:

      This is a serious indoctrination problem.

      Nobody takes issue with police open carry. But they have no more right to carry than you and I do. Even at the airport. Even after someone gets shot.
      So why, in one of the few states that doesn’t violate that right, should a free American voluntarily give that it away?

      Because of “bad publicity”? Wrong.

      As a kid, I was surprised to learn that in some places concealed carry was ok but open wasn’t. I made no sense (even at 5 or 6 years old) that you would rather not know who was carrying just so you didn’t have to see the gun.

      Years later, I just got used to the conventional wisdom that CC was ok but OC was kinda weird.
      It wasn’t until the last few years that I came to realize (again) how stupid that is and it’s thanks to open carry activists like this guy.

      At the end of the day, even the antis aren’t actually afraid of seeing guns. They’re afraid of seeing us with guns. Because, you know, cops are just better and safer than the rest of us. Plus they have those nice costumes.
      It’s plain stupidity and capitulating to it won’t help. It’ll only embolden it.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I agree.

        “It’s plain stupidity and capitulating to it won’t help. It’ll only embolden it.”

        Very true. Spot on!

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        Because the police wear a uniform and most people know they are the good guys. Sorry to everyone here who loves to cop-bash, but a good majority of people- especially those over 20 who have never been dumb enough to be arrested- see cops as useful to have around. You, Joe Shmoe, are not known to people. No one knows why you are carrying a gun, or what you are planning to do with it at the airport. YOU may know that you’re just… well, I’m not sure what rationalizations OC people use, but whatever they are, most people don’t accept them. And if you think you will ‘normalize’ it by lugging a rifle to an airport rather than just look like militia-crazy attention seekers with self-esteem issues, you are out of touch.

        And police conceal carry whenever possible, which means when they are not in uniform. When in uniform, there is no reasonable option but open carry.

    5. avatar John in Ohio says:

      What a thoughtful and well balanced comment. Kudos!

    6. avatar Bob says:

      +1 Adam.

      He had the right to do this – 100%.

      Gun rights seems to be winning the war against gun control in most parts of the country. However, one of the weapons in our battle is “winning the hearts and minds” of the people who are uninformed and/or undecided on this issue. The actions of this man in the Phoenix Airport were like parading your army in front of the people you just conquered. It did not win hearts and minds. In fact, it seriously hurt our cause.

    7. avatar What about Bob says:

      Extremely well put Adam.

      Bravo.

    8. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Nailed it!

  12. avatar Jack says:

    If the public is willing to accept naked scanners at the airport, of course it will accept disarmament.

  13. avatar jwm says:

    Who did the poll? Numbers are easy to skew. I get a call from a pollster and I tell them no. I suspect a lot of gun owners hang up without even hearing the questions.

    I see young people tooling up. And just as important, I have a great many of the fudd types in my family in Ohio, WV and KY. The older generation that thought shotguns and deer rifles were all that are needed have started to get active in gun rights. I blame the innertubes and barry on my elderly aunts getting militant.

  14. avatar BillF says:

    MikeB called me a patriot once, as if it were disparaging. I thanked him for it.
    As far as wonkette….I’d never heard of wonkette until I read about it here. I feel a little less intelligent now that I’ve heard of it. It’s one of those things I’d rather not admit to. Sort of like knowing Justin Bieber’s birthday and favorite color–which I don’t.
    Anyway, wonkette weighing in is no indicator of whether we are winning or losing. If they’re correct about anything, it’s merely dumb luck.

  15. avatar stateisevil says:

    Carrying on an airplane should be legal, so yeah, carry at an airport is cool too. That is, if this wasn’t a nascent ninnying police state. Carry on a plane should be up to the airline, I would choose to fly on any that allowed it, which none would. But I would still do it if we didn’t have security checkpoints on domestic flights, as in freer countries like China.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Reason #1: If you open fire in a plane at 30k feet you’re going to have a wild ride to the ground with a sudden stop just before you meet your maker.
      Reason #2: See reason #1.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Wrong.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Not wrong, just not always right. Decompression doesn’t automatically explode a plane but there have been plenty of cases of it causing a crash, usually when combined with pilot error and sensory overload.

  16. avatar DaveL says:

    There’s a difference between what should be permitted and what is socially acceptable. Plenty of things that drive people into hysterics like Ms. Schoenkopf’s are nonetheless perfectly legal, and most of them have nothing to do with guns.

  17. avatar I'm confused says:

    We’ll,
    Think back(if you can) to women voting, the civil rights movement and gay marriage. A small number of people kept pushing and ACHIEVED THE IMPOSSIBLE. I am not saying guns rights and or open carry equates to any of these BUT in my mind, it is a civil right.

    I am in NC and I still would not open carry but I applaud and support (with $) those who push the boundaries. There is no such thing as reasonable rights as far as guns go. It is all or nothing.

    I have gone from being a closet gun guy to starting too many conversations with dems/liberals/progressives. I home carry, partly to push them, some accept it and some never come over, which is okay with me. People have to learn sometime that most gun people are normal citizens and the only way to do this is to GET IN THEIR FACE!

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    We need to distinguish between OC demonstrations like recent ones in Arkansas and Texas (good, and trends toward normalization), OC on trails in bear country (good, and trends toward preservation), and OC with a rifle in a transportation center (not so good, and trends toward constipation).

    OCing a rifle in a “public” building is the functional equivalent of farting in church. Yes, it may be legal and yes, it may be quite a relief, but it will get your neighbor’s nose bent out of joint.

    BTW, one can OC in non-sterile areas of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas , but CC is prohibited. I’ve strapped up there after landing, with my pistol standing proud of my hip and nobody batted an eye. I wouldn’t do the same with a rifle.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      The intent of the 2A requires that people be circulating throughout society carrying long guns too. Without that presence, the deterrent value is significantly diminished. Also, should the solution suggested by the 2A become necessary, how would the militia blend in with the population if people and our government weren’t already accustomed to seeing people carrying rifles in public? Without that presence, much of the intent of the Second Amendment is for naught.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I’m with you 100%. I just think that rifles scare the sheeple. Most of them have never seen cops carrying a rifle except during grave emergencies, so the sight of anyone with a rifle scares the crap out of them because it makes them think that bad sh1t is coming down.

        They will get used to OC of handguns with far more rapidity.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I can’t disagree with that. It’s my opinion that we have momentum to take the hill so let’s take the whole damned hill. We need to keep pushing until “shall not be infringed” is understood by all and, for once in modern history, actually respected by our government. Government doesn’t have to like it; only abide by it. What I’ve learned from rifle OC where I’m at is that the more it’s done, especially on a large scale, the more local government gives up trying to stop it and the more the general population becomes accustomed to it. In Columbus Ohio, on two different occasions, I witnessed local, inner city young people becoming excited at the notion of being able openly be armed in our state’s Capitol. They especially liked the idea of rifles since we have already made great strides at normalizing sidearms here. At one point, referring to the rather large series of bus stop shelters next to us, I asked who they would rather see; TSA VIPR squads or ordinary individuals going about their day to day lives armed. Of course, every last one wholeheartedly choose the latter. The People are the nations primary ‘homeland security’ and they really began to embrace the idea. The government may hold contempt for the RKBA but the individuals, by and large, will come to embrace it, or at least accept it, if they see it often enough.

        2. avatar Jus Bill says:

          John, I agree with Ralph.

          We need to “cement reinforce” out current position so we don’t lose any more ground, and advance in the same way that the antis got us to where we are now: by moving forward methodically, one step at a time.

          Continue and slowly expand OC with a pistol until that’s the new norm, with the injection of a long arm here and there so as not to spook the flock. Then increase long OC until it’s the new norm. And ignore the tantrums of the Internet misanthropes (and tropettes).

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Jus Bill, I respect your opinion and that of Ralph but I see it a bit differently. First, the antis can gain by increment because they are taking something they have no right to, but restoration is too tricky to navigate when the same method is employed. They only need to wait for entropy and help it along where they can. We need to rebuild and do so faster than entropy alone breaks our society down. Governments have multiple lifetimes to incrementally infringe. Indeed, it took generations to get to this point. With current public school indoctrination, reenforced by university level bias, we have only a generation or three at most to correct the trend. We’re fighting organized destruction along with systemic rot. We cannot rot it back to health. Secondly, looking at the complete picture when it comes to Liberty in our nation; we are losing! We need the RKBA firmly bolstered now in our society. Once other infringements (massive NSA spying, indefinite detention, free speech zones, etc) are allowed to stand for a generation or two, the RKBA will be in a tougher spot. Besides, I’m getting older and am determined to see respect for the RKBA by government in my lifetime. Slow and steady was okay when I was younger (‘for my children and future grandchildren’) but as I age, my patience is worn much thinner on the matter of the RKBA.

          I guess what I’m basically stating is that we, IMHO, don’t have the time remaining it would take for incremental restoration; if it would work at all. When we look at the full basket of rights, we need to assert the RKBA at greater speed and with a more certain outcome than the incremental approach offers.

          (BTW: I am *not* in the camp of the ‘hearts and mind’ approach so that shades much of my opinion on this matter.)

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        No. This is a great example of someone looking back at history and seeing something which never existed because they want it to fit within their idea of the olden days. Civilians did not normally carry rifles around urban areas during the time period the constitution was being written. It just didn’t happen. Out in the plains? Sure. Rural areas where animal attacks happened? Yup. But during the constitutional convention, the delegates were not carrying muskets to the hall. Nor would they have seen- or expected to see- people carrying rifles around Philadelphia, but in a state of emergency. In fact, in the vein of the Roman Republic (which was partially emulated by the founders) arms and political discourse were seen as anathema and to be avoided as much as possible. Of course, this is one reason for federalism, so that different regions could have different laws.

        The founders may have wanted you to have the general right to carry a rifle, as a means of checking the government’s power. They never suggested someone would need attention bad enough to carry one just to stand out. It ‘normalizes’ nothing. Just like burning a flag or spouting racist speech, the fact that you have a right doesn’t mean you should do it.

  19. avatar Jeh says:

    If everyone could carry, there wouldn’t be any concern for security.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      +1

  20. avatar Blue says:

    The Wonkette chick needs someone to PITB.

  21. avatar crzapy says:

    I understand the ideology behind open carrying a rifle. It acts as a visual deterrent, it is a constitutional right, and it makes for a bold political statement. However, in reality I think the practice itself is flawed. I am going to draw allot of flak here, but OC’ing a rifle is allot like the Westboro Baptist Church protesting a soldier’s funeral with hateful signs. In both cases the two have the constitutional right to do so, it definitely gets the political message out there, and it even gets media air time.

    However, while the OC guy is most likely a nice down to earth guy standing up for his beliefs, not a wacko like the Westboro group, his actions can be equally polarizing and off putting. We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of the American people over the 2A right now, and scaring them with what looks like an overt display of force in a public place, wins few friends.

    There are better ways to tout the 2A, without being scary and attracting negative media attention. Engage in civil debate, take someone shooting, protest and rally at pro 2A gatherings, use the internet and social media, write your politicians, vote, and join and give to a pro 2A group like the “gasp” NRA. AND if you must open carry, do it with a handgun. It seems America sees the handgun as the ‘good guys’ gun and nary bats an eye, usually.

    Leave the rifle at home. Yes it may be allowed in the airport, but so are Hare Krishnas, and nobody likes them being in public either.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      actually they’re NOT allowed in airports anymore…

  22. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    I have CC’ed at Sky Harbor at least 50 – 75 times over the past 10 years. Every time I have picked someone up or dropped someone off. I know several friends and family members that live here have done the same numerous times per year and I’m sure there are hundreds (if not thousands) of others that have done the same. It is part of my routine when I go out the door, whether it be grabbing food or going to the airport. This is where I generally have a problem with people who go out of their way to OC at a particular place that is not part of their routine. If we want to “normalize” OC, it needs to be part of your daily routine. If you OC, go about your daily lives while carrying and project a friendly, cheerful attitude to those with which you have interactions. That will go a lot further in normalizing OC’ing than the event that we are discussing.

  23. avatar Chip says:

    Civilians?

    Wouldn’t the proper phrasing of the question be “Should *Citizens* be permitted to carry firearms….”

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      …no.

  24. avatar Don West says:

    I’m not going to argue they don’t have a right to open carry at the airport. They absolutely do, and they shouldn’t be hassled for it. They are, however, idiots. Those who open-carry rifles–and handguns, for that matter–to make a “statement” aren’t helping our cause.

  25. avatar Mediocrates says:

    just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. this kind of stuff makes all of us look bad.

  26. avatar Jus Bill says:

    I didn’t see or participate in the survey, so I need to ask – Did it filter out those who are NOT in AZ? It makes a difference in the validity of the results.

  27. avatar JB says:

    I am a police officer in the Phoenix area, NRA member & firearms enthusiast. These types of stunts are the very epitome of YouTube stupidity so rampant in society. Yes AZ has very relaxed gun laws, but this jackass certainly isn’t helping the gun owners of America. This is the kind of BS the media thrives on & their spin doctors have a field day! He could conceal a handgun on his person without a permit & still be legal under AZ law under the same circumstances. But no, he has to arm his kid & himself with a rifle @ a international airport & cause a shit storm in the process. Then, he smugly plays roadside counsel just to make his point. Way to go stupid! You just made ALL gun owners look like stark raving lunatics.

    With freedom comes responsibility, use your damn head & a little discretion. Also, for the open carry ‘activists’ out there; quit wasting yours & our time please. Arizona LEO’s really don’t care if you are carrying a gun legally. Stop trying to be a YouTube punk & quit giving responsible, smart gun owners a bad rap.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      With freedom comes responsibility, use your damn head & a little discretion.

      Freedom also comes with risks. Freedom, responsibility, and risk are inseparably linked. An individual has a responsibility to accept the freedoms of another. An individual must also accept the collateral risks that may or may not come along with the freedoms of another. I’m accepting your freedom to be insulting so how about you accept that individual’s freedom to be armed as he did and perhaps accept the risk that others may not understand, or may choose to not understand, “necessary to the security of a free state”. Perhaps your career choice influences your response? I understand; you’re frightened that some other people may take offense at that guy exercising his liberty and you are voicing your opinion on the matter. However, do you have to be so insulting while doing it? Regardless, I respect your right to express your opinion as you choose. I accept my responsibility to support the concept that you are free to do so. Lastly, I accept the risk that anti2A individuals might use your words here to call for further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. I accept that other gun owners might allow more government infringement, contrary to shall not be infringed, after reading the scathing words of a law enforcement officer about a man exercising his RKBA at an airport in Arizona. After all, how many times have we seen support for infringement of the RKBA increased through the use of statements by law enforcement? I have; many times. Indeed, the general population and legislators often give weight to statements by police officers when considering new laws. Perhaps comments like yours can have a greater influence on more restrictive laws than one guy and his child exercising the RKBA at one airport. But, if the public clamors for more laws and law makers enact them; that’s on them and I don’t blame you. Likewise, I wouldn’t blame that man for the potential actions of others when he was exercising his unalienable right. I accept my responsibilities and the risks that come along with my freedom; do you?

      http://www.attorneyforfreedom.com/index.cfm/g/articles-by-marc-victor/f/are-you-really-for-freedom.htm

      1. avatar Dave says:

        John, In my opinion, too many people confuse Constitutional rights with absolute rights. The Constitution grants the right of free speech, but you cannot use your free speech (for example) to advocate murder, or even to slander. Your rights are limited by the relative rights of others.

        Gun rights are similar. You have the right to bear arms, but it is limited by the rights of others. You cannot carry your rifle into a Court hearing, a mental institution, or even a football game.

        As many people have pointed out here, airports are an area of self-regulation. Just because you can carry a rifle into an airport does not mean that you should.

        Right now, the law in AZ allows it. If people abuse the law, though, odds are that it will be changed.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I probably wouldn’t regularly carry a rifle into an airport just to do it. Carrying a rifle is a PITA to me. However, how is carrying a rifle equivalent to advocating murder or uttering slander? It’s carrying a rifle, not threatening someone with it. If he were threatening someone with it, then you might have something there.

        2. avatar Dave says:

          John, I never said that carrying a rifle was the equivalent of slander, I said that carrying a rifle “into a court hearing” was the equivalent of slander.

          The point I was making was that each is based on a protected activity, but it loses the protection of law if it infringes on the rights of others.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Dave: So, please enlighten me as to how simply carrying a rifle anywhere is akin to slander? You still have the ability to speak, right? You must actually use your voice to slander.

          Also, how is simply carrying a rifle infringing on another person’s rights?

        4. avatar Dave says:

          John,

          Carrying a rifle “anywhere” is not akin to slander. Carrying a rifle into a mental institution (for example) is akin to slander.

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Dave: Okay, instead of going round and round, please just explain… How?

        6. avatar Dave says:

          John,

          Sorry if it sounds like I am being obtuse, but we are talking about some very fine distinctions.

          The thing that makes slander illegal is not the speech itself, it is the fact that it infringes on the rights of others. Carrying a rifle into a mental institution is similar. Owning (and carrying) a rifle is not illegal. It only becomes illegal when you try to (for example) bring it into a secure care facility.

          The reason it is illegal in the secure care facility is because it infringes on the rights of others. Everyone else in the facility has been disarmed, and they have no ability to protect themselves.

          Just as with free speech, you are engaging in a protected activity, but you are doing it in a way that is no longer protected.

          According to the law in Arizona, carrying a rifle is not a threat to anyone: It only becomes a threat when you point the rifle. This seems like a very fine distinction, because once you point the rifle, the average person has no ability to respond.

          Theoretically, if both parties were armed, they could shoot it out whenever you pointed your rifle. The key part of the analogy is not the shootout itself, but the fact that the crime is based on the validity of the claim: A judge would then have to decide if you pointed your rifle, or posed some other specific threat. (If the person walking through the airport posed a specific threat, then they committed a crime, otherwise, not so much.)

          Slander works in a similar manner. If you accuse someone of a despicable act, AND it turns out to be false, then you have committed a crime. If you can prove your statement, then not so much.

          In the case of airport, of course, the man claimed that he was just scared of criminals, and he was taking responsibility for his own safety. Also, his 12-year-old son was armed in case his father needed back-up. These activities are protected by the constitution, even if their statements were false.

          Similarly, the constitution protects my right to insult them and ridicule them, even if their statements turn out to be true.

          It may not be a perfect analogy, but when we are talking about the first and second amendments, it is about as good as you are going to get.

        7. avatar John in Ohio says:

          You’re right in that it is an imperfect analogy. Although, it’s so imperfect that it falls apart in this situation. What I understood from your post is that he can’t be armed at the airport because everyone else is disarmed? Is everyone else actually disarmed in an airport? Was he in an area where he couldn’t have a firearm? Was he breaking the law? If so, was he arrested? If not, then why not?

          Everyone else in the facility has been disarmed, and they have no ability to protect themselves.

          I may be mistaken but that’s not really why, as I understand it, that secure care mental health facilities disarm most people. The reason that I’ve always understood was so as to reduce the risk of a mentally incompetent person getting a hold of a weapon and causing harm in an irrational state of mind. If the reasoning behind it is as you say then this is the first I’ve heard of it.

        8. avatar Dave says:

          John,

          I understand why you think the analogy is falling apart. But I never said open carry in an airport should be illegal. I just said you shouldn’t do it. There is a big difference.

          I don’t think I ever said the airport was a good analogy to slander. In fact, I think I said (repeatedly) that the open carry in the airport was legal, (while slander is not.) The analogy to slander was only for places where open carry is illegal, such as mental institutions, city council meetings, court hearings, bars, etc…

          While open carry at an airport is legal, I still think it is ill-advised. Particularly when you are talking about a 12-year old carrying a handgun.

          In the same manner, there are certain forms of free speech that are legal, but not particularly recommended. Courts have ruled, for example, that anti-Semitic insults are a protected form of political speech, even when directed at a particular individual. In my mind this is an abuse of the first amendment, just as arming your 12-year old for a trip to the airport is an abuse of the second amendment.

          So if you are looking for an analogy to carrying a rifle into an airport, think about racial insults.

          There are plenty of good reasons, by the way, why you can’t bring a gun into a mental institution. Very few institutions have given an official reason, but a few have. (In most cases it is exactly what you say: Any firearm would increase the chances of an incompetent getting hold of it. But from a safety point of view, that argument could be made anywhere children are present.)

          A limited number of mental institutions have pointed out that a firearm is a dangerous inducement to certain mentally ill people. If they find out someone is armed, they are willing to accept almost any risk to obtain control of the gun. For other mentally ill people it is the opposite: They will accept almost any risk to flee.

          The thing that the mental institution rules have in common is that your rights to carry a gun infringe on the rights of others. Your rights have ben regulated in order to protect other rights. (Oddly, in the case of Arizona, the reasoning doesn’t even apply. You are allowed to bring your gun into certain mental institutions, as long as the facility is not run by the Department of Corrections.)

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