Earlier today, we ran a post entitled Open Carry Confidential: Michigan Edition. In it, Jeff the Griz writes about daily open carry in The Mitten State. “I’ve found it interesting that open carry has been so boring,” he declares. Copy that. Open carrying in Rhode Island and New Mexico was about as eventful as an obscure history professor’s book signing. How in the world do we square those experiences with those YouTube “Am I free to leave?” police interaction open carry videos and, more to the point, this [via Detroit’s freep.com] . . .
Michigan’s controversial “open carry” laws allow people with concealed carry permits to take guns into so-called pistol-free zones, such as schools, as long as the weapon is visible. There is no state law regulating open carrying of weapons in other areas as long as the weapon is in plain view, according to Michigan State Police.
Now courts are weighing in, and state lawmakers are reviewing the laws.
“We’re seeing sporadic reports of it from around the state, those who are trying to draw attention to themselves and it’s needlessly alarming people,” said Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, which has 1,100 members. “People aren’t used to seeing someone brandish a gun in front of their kids’ schools.”
Stevenson said the increasingly confrontational nature of the clashes is dangerous.
“It puts the police in a position where, we don’t know what their intent is, so they’re going to approach this person, not realizing that the intent is to hurt somebody. It’s a terrible situation what these people are doing, somebody is going to get hurt.”
Is that a threat or a promise? And why do I not find it surprising that Officer Stevenson reckons that Americans exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms are “needlessly alarming”? And uses the term “brandishing” without the slightest understanding of its legal definition? Or maybe the cop used the term inappropriately on purpose . . .
This post also hits your screen on the same day I blogged New York Times’ writer Gail Collins column Guns in Your Face, in which she asserts that open carry is a reflection of disempowered white racists. And Dan blogged St. Louis Zoo’s decision to legally designate themselves as an amusement park to forestall an open carry demo on its grounds.
Clearly, the mainstream media declared war on open carry. Clearly, the open carry movement is gaining ground. (Watch this space for coverage of Texas Governor Abbott’s signing ceremony for licensed open carry.) This is no time to back down. It’s time to tool-up and carry on, openly. Someone ought to tell that to Michigan Republican State Sen. Mike Green . . .
Michigan lawmakers are looking for ways to ratchet down the emotion attached to the issue. Republican Sen. Mike Green, a staunch Second Amendment defender, said legislators are being lobbied by school administrators demanding change. He is working on a proposed law that would allow those with concealed weapon permits to take them into gun-free zones like schools, as long as they were concealed — the exact opposite of the existing laws.
With no guns in sight, there would be fewer upset or anxious people, he said. “Yes, it does cause a lot of problems, and we see this as a way to fix it.”
He is anticipating pushback from some schools that want no guns at all. “I understand that, but I believe in our right to arms ourselves.”
You see why I’m an absolutist? You see why I want to open carry and encourage ALL gun rights advocates to do so? If not, remember the old saying “out of sight out of mind”? Add this: “a right that’s hidden is soon forgotten.”
Note: Does anyone know the ID of the woman above? She’s become the de facto poster child for open carry. Send any deers to firstname.lastname@example.org.