I Was Stopped For Open Carrying in Middleton, Wisconsin

I have been staying in Middleton, Wisconsin for a couple of months. After an injury a few years ago and a serious case of pneumonia, I changed my exercise from running to brisk walking.

Wearing a t-shirt and shorts limits the options for concealed carry. Most of my walking in the area starts at about 0500, but on Monday, July 9th, I had stayed up late, coming back from a play at American Player’s Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

I slept in and didn’t get out to exercise until after 0800. That was a mistake.

Instead of a few cars along the route I was walking, it was a minor rush hour there on Lake Mendota. Madison (77 square miles surrounded by reality) and Middleton are deep blue in their politics.

Forty-one minutes and three miles into the walk, I saw the SUV with the flat, narrow light bar slowing down and stopping as it approached me. I was only 100 yards from turning off of the busy roadway, and 300 yards from the end of my walk.

I knew what was going on. The lights came on and the vehicle stopped. As I approached the Dane County Sheriff’s vehicle, the deputy got out.

“Good morning,” I opened. He stretched out his hand. I shook it. He introduced himself. His tone was apologetic. A hand shake is a time honored tradition between armed men. It shows the weapon hand is empty.

“I know you have the right,” he said. “But with all these drivers, we got a call, and I have to check it out.”

I introduced myself. He asked, “Out for a walk?” “Yes,” I said. “Would you like a card?” I was thinking of giving him one of my business cards.

“No,” he said, “it’s open carry, it is a right. You don’t need a card,” misinterpreting the card I was offering as an offer of my ID or a CCW permit.

I sympathized with his position, having been on the other side of the contact equation.

He wasn’t intrusive, essentially apologizing for the stop, and never asked me to disarm or to provide an ID.

It is a serious contrast with what happened to The Culver’s Five, in 2010. They were arrested for disturbing the peace for merely open carrying while eating dinner at a Culver’s restaurant in Madison. That case ended in a cash settlement of $10,000 to the open carriers who had been arrested and falsely charged.

This deputy was polite, professional, and knowledgeable. He didn’t approach the “man with a gun” call with a chip on his shoulder. I’ve been treated with less respect and more fear in stops back in Yuma, Arizona.

The police have always been our potential allies in the culture wars. Most street officers support the Second Amendment. As more people carry — both openly and concealed — beat cops find the people who carry really are the good guys.

Court cases educate them to treat armed citizens with respect. That respect is reinforced with street experience.

I’m wary of volunteering information to strange police officers. But all open carriers are, to some extent, representatives of the gun culture. It’s a balancing act. The officer made clear he wasn’t fishing for information and I didn’t volunteer much, except that I was exercising.

The re-normalization of the gun culture continues.

 

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Sam I Am says:

    I’m sorry to tell you, Dean, but you are an impediment to 2A supporters everywhere. Exercising your right to open carry just screws up things for the rest of us. You frighten the horses, and make the rest of us look like crazed gun idiots. Obviously you only open carry to “make a point”, and rile the public. “Normalizing” open carry is not the proper way to “normalize” open carry. Open carry just stiffens opposition to concealed carry, constitutional carry, and restoration of the second amendment. Keep quiet, keep covered, carry sensibly.

    There, for all you “don’t upset anyone by exercising your constitutional right” people, you can just skip all the usual complaining about open carry; done it for you. Go grab a beer, and watch the ballgame.

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      I’m getting the popcorn…

      This is gonna be fun.

      1. avatar CTstooge says:

        Yep. Light Fuse, Get Away…

        1. avatar Spot On says:

          Whole lot of something out of nothing. What, with 5000 cars passing you and one, count em ONE suspicious person report by a driver. See something say something. That’s what we need more of.

          Sounds like if you were expecting “it” then you had some attitude that warranted the stop.

          So good for the cops. They did their job and you did yours getting a sob story blown out of proportion on ttag.

          Hate is a perishable skill. So practice regularly.

        2. avatar Scoutino says:

          @SpotOn
          “See something say something. That’s what we need more of.”

          So you think the guy speedwalking (in Wisconsin, where open carry is legal) with a pistol in holster on his belt needs to get reported to authorities?
          Which other basic, constitutionally protected human right’s exercise needs more of calling cops when observed? Hell, which other perfectly legal act?

          911 – What’s your emergency?
          – There’s is a guy on the street speaking freely! Send someone quickly, he is up to no good – I think he is even worshipping some deity!

          How deep did we fall…

    2. avatar Brandon says:

      I’m sorry to tell you, Sam I Am, but you are an impediment to 1A supporters everywhere. Exercising your right to promulgate stupidity just screws up things for the rest of us.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Although 1A protects the right to speak, it is difficult to accept there is not also a presumption that the speaker can read and understand (in order to speak for or against something.

        Please re-read my commentary without preconception. And try to work out who it is actually addressed to (split infinitive, I kow).

        1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          “to work out” is a split infinitive????

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “addressed to”

        3. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          “Addressed” is past perfect tense, not an infinitive. “To” is a preposition there.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Interesting.

        5. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          And, “whom” is the objective case of the pronoun.

    3. avatar mnrobitaille says:

      There is nothing wrong with the open carrying of a firearm (especially when properly holstered). How one presents themselves & their mannerisms/attitude can either help or hinder the cause.

      1. avatar Arc says:

        A glow strap *coughfagstrap* and basket ball shorts would go a long way to making someone stand out as obviously exercising, rather than running away from a crime scene or something.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “There is nothing wrong with the open carrying of a firearm (especially when properly holstered). ”

        Oh, yes there is. You can read about it frequently on this blog. Publicly exercising your constitutional rights makes it difficult to get people to let you exercise your constitutional rights. Get it?

        1. avatar Ing says:

          Eh…. Okay.

        2. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          People *let* you exercise your rights? Tell me, were you born nutless, or did you sell them for some magic beans? Pathetic.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          This may be uncomfortable, but I gotta ask: Are you, like, uuhhmmm, like, really short? Things go over your head often?

        4. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          Actually sir, I’m what is known as vertically challenged. I ask you to respect my diminutive pronoun! REEEEEEE!!!

          I actually read your reply before your OP. My bad. I’ve become so jaded to dumbassery I sometimes jump the gun.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Yeah, I know how that goes. Not a few mistakes myself.

        6. avatar Casey says:

          So, don’t exercise the right you want to keep, because if you do exercise it, you’ll lose it?

        7. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “So, don’t exercise the right you want to keep, because if you do exercise it, you’ll lose it?”

          Subtlety is sublime, don’t you think? The best expression, and protection, of your rights is to not exercise them. I didn’t originate that conclusion (I read about it on TTAG), but the logic is quite simple, direct, seductive….and wrong.

        8. avatar Roger V. Tranfaglia says:

          Soo…Is this when antifa gets called to do their “job”

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Soo…Is this when antifa gets called to do their “job”?”

          This is where superficial reading will result in interesting outcomes.

    4. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I believe you’re mistaken. Carrying openly and engaging in polite conversation is a great way to normalize carry. It’s the conversation that makes it so. A little normal conversation and you can go from “gun crazy” to “normal guy who happens to be carrying.” Just don’t finger your gat while talking or open with “cold dead hands.”

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        You don’t “normalize” stuff by “normalizing” it. You “normalize” stuff by begging the public and authorities to permit you to have stuff, like constitutionally protected rights.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Ah, I see where you’re going.

          I shall commence begging post-haste.

    5. avatar Ralph says:

      I could be wrong, but I believe that Sam I Am was being ironic. Or sarcastic. Or both.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I could be wrong, but I believe that Sam I Am was being ironic. Or sarcastic. Or both.”

        Both.

        And outrageous, to boot.

        1. Not to mention skillfully done. I’m a bit saddened by how many took your bait.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          We all get caught up in our myopia at times. Knee jerk reactions take less effort.

          Thanks for noticing the intent of the comment.

        3. avatar PeterK says:

          I skimmed the first bit and rolled my eyes and moved on. Glad some of the comments prompted a closer look. Hilarious comment.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Thanks for taking the time.

          Trying to encourage people to think before reacting. (something I, of course, never fail to do; ever)

        5. avatar Roger V. Tranfaglia says:

          OK, ok…You got me too…..

      2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        Yeah, a lot of folks here don’t read things carefully at all. It seemed obvious to me that Sam was stating a position sarcastically to beat those who would say the same thing sincerely to the punch. Hmmm, lazy reading here there is;-)

        1. avatar Tom says:

          Much of the time, sarcasm escapes in the printed form….

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Much of the time, sarcasm escapes in the printed form…”

          We’ll keep trying.

        3. avatar RON says:

          I have found that too many people don’t understand when they read a sarcastic post. SO
          I ALWAYS LABEL SUCH POST WITH (SARCASM INTENDED) it seems to work.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I ALWAYS LABEL SUCH POST WITH (SARCASM INTENDED) it seems to work.”

          Realizing many people use a snark code, it that a good thing? Are we endorsing skim reading, sloganeering, attention deficit, lowest common denominator, accepting that POTG are not capable of serious thought and analysis?

          Using a snark code is not wrong; not wrong. But if we read this blog only to gain self-satisfaction in our “sound bite” politics, do we really need this blog? There are dozens and dozens of other blogs that satisfy those looking for an echo chamber.

          The vast majority of my comments are direct, hopefully grammatically sufficient to transfer information. However, sometimes, do we not need to pause and ask, “Hhmmm, I wonder what that means. Let me look again.”?

          But to “break the code”, you will most often find that what is intended as sarcasm is accompanied with something in the text that is just blatantly absurd, or outrageous, and lacking a fit with the rest of the comment. Which is to admit that in my puffery, I am convinced my comments are so compelling people will want to find the Easter egg.

      3. avatar rip_vw32 says:

        Thank God someone saw that… jeeze… reading comprehension people!

    6. avatar tdiinva says:

      I wear my hair ‘ranger short.”. You know what virtually everybody is going to think if I am open carrying? Cop, nobody is going give me a second look.

      Take General Mattis’ advice, ” Be polite, act professional …” If you do that you won’t get hassled outside of a few locales.

      1. avatar mnrobitaille says:

        “I wear my hair ‘ranger short.”. You know what virtually everybody is going to think if I am open carrying? Cop, nobody is going give me a second look.

        Take General Mattis’ advice, ” Be polite, act professional …” If you do that you won’t get hassled outside of a few locales.”

        I am generally dressed in such a way, I have had people ask me if I was law enforcement. I explain to them I am not, but that I’m just exercising a right granted. Generally I get more questions about carrying as well, in the positive.

        1. avatar foobar says:

          I get mistaken for a cop all the time. I was once asked at a carbine course “what department are you with”, to which I replied “I’m with the department… of America”

        2. avatar KTR says:

          Your right it not “granted”.

          Your right is PROTECTED.

        3. avatar 4808 N says:

          I’ve noticed detectives often wear kakis and polo shirts with embroidered badges. Dress professionally and people won’t give you a second look. Kudos Sam. You got me too.

        4. avatar Ardent says:

          I generally avoid open carry outside of areas so rural that not only isn’t it an issue, but LE won’t even respond to a report (which covers most of my county).

          That said, when I do ‘open carry’ it’s generally because it’s hot, my exposure will be brief, and I just don’t want to have to put my cover garment back on when exiting the car. This means that the majority of my open carry in actual public includes almost exclusively convenience stores and roadside rests.

          I’m a people watcher by nature, but among strangers I’m also a people watcher from a place of concern: I watch for outliers, agitation, armament, ability and intoxication, anything that might result I the presentation of or enhancement of a threat. It comes naturally and is mostly automatic and effortless.
          As a result, I notice when and who notices my gun, rig, and other accoutrements hung on my belt, and their reactions to the discovery.
          I also have had these experiences multiple times while portraying VERY different outward appearances; from nice suits and ties to raggedy, dirty jeans and generally poor recent hygiene and dress. These are markedly different encounters. In a nut shell, when well dressed, others seem to both approach and defer, as people often do to a cop in their midst with no obvious reason for being there. I suspect they have both curiosity and a natural inclination to show…defference, perhaps support, to someone they perceive as socially significant and, at least locally and temporarily, powerful. Contrasting to reactions when I’m poorly dressed and inadequately groomed, when people seem to distance themselves, and show either stress or disdain when interacting with me. Then again, these same disparate responses are the same whether I’m visibly armed or not, though weirdly, I seem both more interesting and approachable when well dressed but visibly armed.

          I could expound on what I’ve experienced and observed, and I have a finely nuanced analysis of it (I spend a lot of time just thinking), but the short form is, of course people react differently depending on the image you’re displaying. Outward appearance is its own language right up their with body position and movement and other min verbal communication. Right or wrong it certainly pays to accept this fact, and ‘communicate’ what we wish to co very, via our image. That is, take a moment and think through what your dress appearance and demeanor are, and the message they are sending. How you appear is probably more important to others than what you say; appearance is a form of action, and actions speak louder than words.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          ” How you appear is probably more important to others than what you say; ”

          Is there a style of clothing that proclaims: “Screw with me and you could end up cold?”

      2. avatar RMS1911 says:

        “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
        “The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
        Seems mattis has the pigachus sumed up also.
        Remember without them society would collapse in three days.

      3. avatar rocketscientist says:

        By “Ranger short” you mean a tiny scalp of short hair on the very top, and razor shaved everywhere else? Kinda like a pelt from some strange barely furry animal climbed on top and died. ha sorry, ex-army and I just had to make fun of the Ranger Pelt thing. They took the high-and-tight to another level, and no cop I know has it quite that short. Almost like they went out of their way to devise a haircut that nobody else would consider having, and the only way to make it shorter would be go full Dr Evil.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          When you get to a certain age shorter hair knocks the years off. 🙂

      4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        “Cop, nobody is going give me a second look.”

        Sorry, if you don’t have a shaved head and Vin Diesel sun-glasses you don’t pass as a member of the tribe.

    7. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      ““Normalizing” open carry is not the proper way to “normalize” open carry.”

      OK, Sam, I’ll bite.

      In your opinion, what’s the best way to normalize open carry, so that the ‘huddled masses’ don’t freak out if they come across someone lawfully carrying openly, as they go about their daily lives?

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        First, I don’t give a whit about the huddled masses being offended.

        Second, my original comment is not what it appears on the surface.

        1. avatar Jack Crow says:

          Lol, Sam I am, subtlety and subtext appear to be dead.

          In all fairness, it can be difficult to detect in such a hotly debated topic, but I read you loud and clear from the start.

          Enjoying the thread.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Thanks for coming along. Fun ride.

    8. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

      Had to read it twice to get the point. Good one. Nicely done sir.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Had to read it twice to get the point.”

        Thanks for taking the time.

    9. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

      But Sam, open carry is legal. Perhaps the only failure here is why Dean didn’t ask the officer why dispatch didn’t tell the caller to stop being a whinebag and STFU.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Have another run at my original comment. The meaning will come to you.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        Most places “dispatch” in NOT in the decision loop they just receive and retrains. Get chewed on by everyone for any decision they make.

    10. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Oh shut your pie hole.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        You missed it, again.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          No, I got it. You missed it this time.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “No, I got it. You missed it this time”.

          Your first response seems to indicate otherwise. Indirection sometimes poses a challenge.

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Bear in mind my last name literally means ‘fart maniac’.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Bear in mind my last name literally means ‘fart maniac’.”

          And that is important to the conversation?

        5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Yes, very much so. Much like when Navin R Johnson’s investment team was explaining how by keep the rent high they’d be keeping the ‘jungle bunnies’ out, yet not realizing, in Navin’s words, ‘Don’t you know you’re talking to a ni**er?!?’

        6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    11. avatar Aerindel says:

      No, its open carry that is normal, conceal carry stands for cowards and criminals, thats why you have to prove yourself to be otherwise before they will let you do. An open carrier is assumed to be an upstanding citizen.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        May I recommend closing one eye and re-reading the original comment? Closing the eye disrupts the sense of presumption that can lead to misunderstanding.

    12. avatar ACP_armed says:

      Great starting post. The way you wrote it, you were laying it on way too thick for me to take it seriously. Unlike some apparently…

      Thanks for the chuckle.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Thanks for the chuckle.”

        Still trying to decide whether it is two martinis, or three martinis, prior to commenting that improves my input.

    13. Medford, Oregon Mail Tribune: Tuesday, July 31st, 2011
      Letters To The Editor

      Sunday’s July 24 MT via Dear Amy, page 5C, featured “On wedding days and packing heat.” Mentioned were family guests revealing the carrying of handguns.

      No one is more aggressively pro-Second Amendment and pro-gun than myself. Yet with all due respect, this practice demonstrates poor judgment. Perhaps Massad Ayoob in his booklet: “In The Gravest Extreme: the Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection” (Chapter 11) states it best: “revealing the carrying of a gun is a temptation to be avoided. It serves no purpose; indeed in our society, it can detract from your public image.”

      “In The Gravest Extreme” is a must for anyone who owns a firearm for self defense/house protection, or who possesses a valid concealed carry permit. First printed in 1980, this book has withstood the test of the judiciary and courts for over 30 years and is endorsed by judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement. It remains available from Lethal Force Institute/Police Bookshelf at http://www.ayoob.com.

      Two other valuable resources on concealed carry include “The Concealed Handgun Manuel” by Chris Bird and “Armed and Female” by Paxton Quigley at http://www.paxtonquigley.com.

      — James A. Farmer, Ashland
      Now a resident of Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)

      I must side with Sam I Am. My letter above alludes to this. The Bible states: “Abstain
      from all appearance of evil.” —-1 Thessalonians 5:22. Also, …..”If it is possible, as much
      as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” —– Romans 12:18

      On Sunday, July 22nd, 2018 Shasta Way Christian Church of Klamath Falls is
      scheduling a picnic at Malin, Oregon’s City Park. This is 10 miles south-east of Merrill.
      Naturally I will have my 4″ Smith and Wesson (K-Frame) Model 66 “stainless” .357 Combat Magnum in my vehicle, concealed of course, and out of mind out of site.
      I will lock such away inside trunk of car holstered in back pack with two extra speed
      loaders, and spare .38/.357 ammo while attending this church picnic. Should be a
      Godsend, blessing, and fun too. But no one present will be aware I’m packing a handgun. And this is the way it rightly should, and needs, to be.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I must side with Sam I Am.”

        Enjoyed your commentary, but one of us failed here.

        1. avatar Ardent says:

          Confirmation bias is a hell of a thing.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Confirmation bias is a hell of a thing.”

          Don’t I know it? Constant companion.

      2. avatar Scoutino says:

        Sorry to disappoint you, but if your wheelgun is locked inside trunk of car holstered in back pack with two extra speed loaders, and spare .38/.357 ammo, you are not packing squat.

        Open carry is not anything to be ashamed of, wrong or even evil looking (unless you are a pearl clutching gun grabber).

        Also, your reading comprehension sucks.

        1. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

          To Scoutino: This comes into the scenario of time, place, and manner. Granted open carry in the great outdoors while fishing, hiking, back-packing, gathering wild plums or berries, bird watching, etc. is fine.
          It doesn’t necessarily have the appearance of evil and granted, is nothing to be ashamed of. In a region
          such as say the Paisley, Oregon area of Lake County this is perfectly acceptable and normal. Fishing
          along the Chewaucan River. which runs through Paisley, or out on Eastern Oregon’s high desert country it’s the same. Still in public openly displaying a firearm or any weapon for that matter can have serious repercussions. Dowtown Portland, Oregon would be an example. As gun owners doesn’t want to do anything to attract negative attention to themselves. It’s only decency, sound judgment, and common sense. You do what you want to, and I’ll do what I rightly believe is proper, timely, and right.

        2. avatar mnrobitaille says:

          Using Portland, Oregon is a bad example as with how they have regulations written, the only ones allowed to open carry (besides law enforcement) are those with the Oregon CPL. Just like using California, Illinois, or New York as examples is not the best idea.

          Eastern Oregon is more firearm-friendly than Western Oregon.

    14. avatar Kevin says:

      Open carry is a more comfortable way to carry a more efficient weapon
      we cant give in to this kind of fear
      you ridicule someone for practicing the right to bear arms as acknowledged by the 2A
      this is exactly the kind of thing that the anti gun contingent begins with
      I am tired of all the excuses people use to shed negative light on open carry
      the whole attitude of intellectual superiority because you conceal is getting pretty old
      if you want to conceal that’s your choice, but don’t ridicule others who are practicing the right the way it was intended to be

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “you ridicule someone for practicing the right to bear arms as acknowledged by the 2A”

        Or maybe not.

    15. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Pure gold.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Tanx

    16. avatar Steve says:

      I’m conflicted on this story based on the intro and ending:

      “Wearing a t-shirt and shorts limits the options for concealed carry.” – wear a loose fitting shirt and don’t tuck it in. It’s not like those jean shorts look any less sloppy than a t-shirt that isn’t inside your belt.

      “The re-normalization of the gun culture continues.” – there goes the credibility of the “limited options for concealed carry” statement.

      I’m 5’3″ and carry a full-size HK45 in a leather holster; I’d never tell you to carry a different gun, because you should carry what works for you. That said, I make adjustments to my clothing to at least attempt to keep it concealed because at the very least, I want to avoid being the first target of either a gun grab or god forbid, a bullet. Usually, this ends up leaving about 30% of the holster exposed but people are so oblivious these days that I’ve only ever been confronted about it once in nearly 10 years (and not in a negative way).

      I know what you’re doing is your right, but I think what you are doing and the way you are exercising this right is wrong. You have an agenda beyond self-defense, and you back it up with a BS statement about not being able to carry concealed (even partially). Your actions directly resulted in a law-enforcement officer having his time wasted and being pulled away from potentially more important work.

      If you want to open carry because you don’t have a concealed permit (where required), by all means, have at it – your trade off in being too lazy to get a permit is dealing with bonehead people that panic and call the police.

      If you have a concealed permit you should do the responsible thing and make an effort to conceal your weapon. If you don’t, you’re really trading the added effectiveness of your concealed weapon to made a more or less meaningless statement.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I know what you’re doing is your right, but I think what you are doing and the way you are exercising this right is wrong. ”

        Overall, a critique, but not a screed. Refreshing.

    17. avatar Oslo Wilhunky says:

      Agree 100%, open carry is stupid and detrimental to our cause.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Agree 100%, open carry is stupid and detrimental to our cause.”

        Oooopppss. Rewind. Start again.

      2. avatar mnrobitaille says:

        “Agree 100%, open carry is stupid and detrimental to our cause.”

        So then law enforcement should be made to conceal carry all the time?

        At least in a majority of the US one does not need a permit to open carry, yet to conceal carry you need a “permission slip” to do so. A right not exercised is a right lost.

    18. avatar Bill Seiber says:

      Sam I am, the man was exercising in the middle of summer, he would not be expected to wear long pants and a sweat shirt.As we all know no one knows when he may need that gun . The people need to get use to seeing people armed .I understand your point , but the american people will never give up their right of self protection no matter how many people get offended . I agree if possible carry concealed but sometimes that just isn’t practical

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I understand your point ,”

        Maybe, not???

    19. avatar Petercat says:

      Until I reached your last paragraph, I didn’t realize that you were being sarcastic.
      Well played.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Thanks for taking the time to read and contemplate.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Where’s the headgear?

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    the gun is one thing but you should have been fined for those shorts

    1. avatar jwm says:

      As a rule we white guys, once we hit a certain age, give 2 fuxxs about fashion. Comfort is where it’s at.

      The white guys that are concerned about fashion are usually gay.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

          Great Seinfeld catchphrase there!

      2. avatar RMS1911 says:

        That’s all guys

  4. avatar LarryinTX says:

    An article on police interaction while OC which is (‘scuse me) 100% positive interaction? Made my day! Thanx.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yup. Same here.

  5. avatar Mark N. says:

    Open carry, loaded or unloaded, of any firearm in any urban area, is illegal in California. Even if it were legal, the GFSZA makes exercise of any such right a complete impossibility, since the only exception for carrying a firearm within 1000 feet of a school is concealed carry with a CCW (or LEO), and there are few places that you can travel that do not go in and out of multiple school zones. Right now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is still trying to figure out how they can validate this state of affairs as an appropriate exercise of the police power that does not violate the Second Amendment, especially since that court has already ruled that issuance of a CCW is a privilege not a right. [If we do not have a right to concealed carry, what right does the 2A protect?] . I suspect their answer will be many months in the making–and it should make “interesting” reading. By then, I hope a new justice will be sitting in the Supreme Court that will be willing to take on some of these gnarly 2A cases.

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      Thank Ronald Reagan and Wayne LaPierre.

    2. avatar Greg says:

      True, callie politicians and judges belong in gitmo… Period… They step on the 2nd amendment daily and they protect illegals over American citizens.. Then as American citizens face higher crime rates they are fucked out of 2A protection… This is where California politicians should face a military tribunal… If Washington was alive these pieces of shit would have been arrested and put into stocks for public display, then given a hand rolled smoke and a blindfold… California politicians are dogshit traitors. Disgusting fuckers they are…

      1. avatar Marty says:

        Greg, couldn’t agree more. They are mostly the lowest of the low. That’s why I made the decision years before I retired to escape from the state asap. I did, and couldn’t be happier of the fact.

      2. avatar KBonLI says:

        Strong letter to follow (LOL)

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    Dean is a great ambassador for gun culture.

    And it’s a sad, sad world where a cop earns our kudos for not acting like an @ssh0le.

    1. avatar Arc says:

      This, pretty sad when a cop acts like a normal, rational person, its to be praised. This should be expected from them.

    2. avatar Bill B says:

      I used to work in Middleton, and I have to say that most of the Dane County deputies are pretty normal, as are the Middleton Police.

      Had this happened in the People’s Republic of Madison, there would likely have been a much different outcome. Comrade Mayor Soggypants’ henchmen are ….kinda…d1cks.

      1. avatar Kevin says:

        I have spent a lot of time in Middleton on business. I have found the people to be some of the most friendly, kind people anywhere. I stop in the Hubbard Avenue Diner for pie and it’s like there are no strangers there. Very fun.

  7. avatar Marty says:

    I’m against open carry for the simple fact it eliminates the surprise factor for the bad guy, and can be a surprise factor on the carrier. No matter how good your situational awareness, without eyes in the back of your head, you become a target. In this case here, I would have preferred he carry in a quality belly band just like the Secret Service does when jogging with their protectee.

    1. avatar Arc says:

      Yep, you lose the surprise factor, but in some cases, such as private property / countryside, its serves as an obvious deterrent.

      In cities, citizens need to exercise their rights from time to time though to make it clear that that yes, people do use them.

      1. avatar Marty says:

        Totally agree with open carry on private property and out in the country. I often open carry on my own property. When out riding or hiking, I often open carry and usually still have another for CCW.

        1. avatar Timothy says:

          If a bad guy is going to stick up a place no matter what, they’ll target the open carrier first. The giant BUT that follows is that the vast majority of bad guys will come back later or outright be deterred. I don’t think I’ve ever once read about a stickup someplace where law abiding citizen(s) were open carrying.

          All of that said, I only open carry in groups. A villain might think he can get the one guy who’s back is turned. But the whole table?

    2. avatar Sho Rembo says:

      Carrying concealed the criminal may think you are unarmed and confront you, forcing you to act. He may see an open carrier and thought better of it, coming to you. Hope your element of surprise is good enough.

  8. avatar GS650G says:

    They called because most mass shootings in the world are white guys in baggy shorts walking on the sidewalk at 8 am. At least that’s what MSDNC said on Maddie the other night.

  9. avatar Dan says:

    Open carry has, and will always be a BAD IDEA. Nothing is gained by letting the world know “You are a gun carrier”…….You may have the “right”, but expect stares, finger pointing, and, in some cases, annoyance/alarm/fear. Much like women who feel its their God-given right to breast-feed in public without a hint of discretion or decorum. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

      So, just because you can means that you shouldn’t? WTF???

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        You CAN fart in an elevator. But you shouldn’t.

        1. avatar Just Sayin says:

          I conceal fart in elevators.
          SBD.
          Very operational. Very ninja.

        2. avatar Just Sayin says:

          Plus, IF you open carry THAT in an elevator, you WILL get arrested.

    2. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      “Open carry has, and will always be a BAD IDEA. Nothing is gained by letting the world know “You are a gun carrier””

      Unless perhaps one of the reasons a person open carries IS to let the world know they are a gun carrier, of course. No, not to show off, or to intimidate people, but to show the world that normal people going about their daily lives DO carry guns. And it’s perfectly normal.

      I would counter your premise with its corollary – Nothing is gained by hiding your gun from the world. Without the kind of exposure that open carry provides, how do you ever expect that most people with limited exposure to firearms will eventually consider carrying a gun to be mainstream? Do you think people are influenced more by some vague number of (documented) concealed carriers they heard about once, or by seeing with their own eyes folks with a gun on their hip, out walking for exercise, getting gas, grocery shopping, etc.?

      “You may have the “right”, but expect stares, finger pointing, and, in some cases, annoyance/alarm/fear. “

      Written by someone who’s obviously never even tried to open carry… because if you had, you’d know that the FUD you’re spreading like manure is simply not true. I’ve been OCing since 2010, and I’ve had many, many positive interactions with curious people, quite a few who praised me for carrying it proudly, and a whole bunch of thumbs up from passersby! In that same time I’ve had one mild negative reaction, and possibly another. In 8 years of frequent OC. Where were all those pointed fingers, fear and alarm you speak of?

      And what’s with your quotes around the word “right”? Don’t you believe in the 2nd Amendment? Don’t you believe it acknowledges a right of the people to keep and bear arms? Where does the 2A state “shall not be infringed – unless a person is open carrying”, or regulate the manner of carry in any way?

      I don’t know where you live, but OC is legal in 45 states. I’m guessing you hail from one of the other five.

      1. avatar MDB says:

        I open carry here in Missouri in the small town i live in all the time.

        I’ve never had a negative interaction, with anyone in the area i live in.

        Granted, i don’t Open Carry when i go to Saint Louis (or in stores with “No Concealed Weapons’ signs…generally i still conceal in those though, as they don’t hold force of law in MO), but in the rural-ish area i live in, its not only accepted, but its pretty normal to see people open carrying.

        Its rare that i catch anyone even doing a double take, police included. If anything, people ask what I’m carrying, or where it was I bought whatever it is i’m carrying.

      2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        “I’ve been OCing since 2010, and I’ve had many, many positive interactions with curious people, quite a few who praised me for carrying it proudly, and a whole bunch of thumbs up from passersby!”

        So you got the attention you were seeking, great. I personally am not seeking attention.

        1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

          Quit projecting, you sound just like a liberal. I never said I was seeking attention, and that’s not among the many reasons I OC. Slow down and re-read what I wrote, and you just might understand (some of) the reasons I do.

          If you don’t want to open carry, that’s great, no one is forcing you to do so. However, I’m not asking for your advice or your permission, so if you don’t like the fact that I OC… too fvcking bad.

        2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

          Funny, so easily triggered. I wasn’t offering advice nor permission, and I couldn’t care less what you do. Clearly you love the attention and “praise” and “thumbs up” you get from OC, hence the liberal-esque exclamation point. Knock yourself out, hope you get lots of praise. I mean, hope you get lots of praise!

        3. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

          “Triggered”? Not even close, boy. But you admit to trolling – that figures. Well, why don’t you take your poor reading comprehension skills and go troll someone else… I have much better things to do than waste my time arguing with some anonymous douche over the internet.

      3. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        Name-calling! The last refuge of the insecure!

    3. avatar Sho Rembo says:

      “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” – Shannon Watts about carrying concealed or open.

      Good company you keep.

    4. avatar mnrobitaille says:

      “Open carry has, and will always be a BAD IDEA. Nothing is gained by letting the world know “You are a gun carrier”…….You may have the “right”, but expect stares, finger pointing, and, in some cases, annoyance/alarm/fear. Much like women who feel its their God-given right to breast-feed in public without a hint of discretion or decorum. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

      For one, women who breastfeed openly, either their child dislikes being covered or they are doing it to gain the attention.

      In regards to open carriers, craving attention, sure if you wear bright colors & the firearm is highly noticeable, that’s gonna happen. Like I’ve stated in other comments, I get asked if I’m law enforcement when open carrying just because of how I dress (slacks & polo).

      Generally, I wear black slacks when open carrying, so the sidearm & holster blend in. I get responses from people only because they noticed the sidearm by looking at it directly.

      Other times when open carrying I’m in slacks & a t-shirt (generally black or navy blue for base color). I do have a few pairs of khaki slacks as well, & get a few more responses when open carrying then, due to sidearm being more visible.

      For the most part, however, people rarely see past the front of their noses to notice/care.

  10. avatar Bj says:

    Middleton may be blue but there are decent LEO’s in our area and they are big 2a supporters. Nice to read a positive interaction with them in our county.

  11. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Open carry is very effective pro gun tactic. I 100% open carry. Open carry is EXACTLY the same style tactic the gay rights movement used to make being gay and gay marriage acceptable. It works, period. We need to use the lefts tactics against them if we have any hope of winning this war.

    1. avatar Aerindel says:

      Amen!

    2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      And if enough people open carry on a regular basis then it will become the norm.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    No open carry in ILLinois. However in very close by Hoosierland it’s legal. And there’s been a backlash. Whiny folk decrying it running estate sales. Comcast office with a SAFEZONE sign(he he). Because a young white boy dared to open carry his Glock(no guard’s or metal detectors of course). Cops being pricks(more than usual!)I’ve seen the odd open carry father east of Hammond too. Glad you’re OK Dean but giving kudos because a public servant isn’t a dick is ludicrous…

  13. avatar Curtis in Illinois says:

    Maybe what we need is proper training for 911 dispatchers.

    Caller: There’s a man with a gun walking down the sidewalk!
    911: Is he pointing it at people and making threats?
    Caller: Well, no. It’s in a holster on his belt.
    911: Then why the hell are you calling?

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Curtis, now that’s funny, and so true.

  14. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Even if you could….This wouldn’t go down well in the People’s Republic of M–assachusetts*( Eastern Bloc Socialist Utopian Police-State.)* A “3rd world, banana republic and sanctuary state…That may be allowing illegal aliens to vote in upcoming M–assachusetts elections!?” Nevermind having the ability to exercise a 2nd amendment right within this state that doesn’t exist….

  15. avatar Oz says:

    I carry open here in Ohio. I will not pay for a CCW permit. When the 2nd Amendment Rights is my permit. Have no problem taken extra training or classes. Even at 43 years old. Being around firearms all my life. Raise by a few US Marines US Army an one Navy Veterans. My right my body my Firearm. No one approval is needed. Folks need to worry about there damn Motor Vehicles an Cellphones. Carry on.

    1. avatar Sho Rembo says:

      Just make sure you store it properly when in a vehicle.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        Indeed, and there is the rub in Ohio for open carry. It’s legal without any permit, but to transport in a motor vehicle the gun must be unloaded, and the ammo and gun separated so that they cannot be combined without (in the spirit of the law) exiting the vehicle or else utilizing a key to access one or the other.

        I suppose if you don’t ride or drive much this isn’t too big an impediment, but for most people it is nearly a defacto ban on carry, open or otherwise, without a permit.

        Such is the Ohio law governing transport of a firearm in a motor vehicle that more than a few people get CCW permits almost exclusively to allow transport of a loaded gun in their car, whether incidental to otherwise openly carrying, or to facilitate keeping a weapon in their car.

        Before Ohio had a CCW law, I did this unload and separate, combine and reload dance so many times that I was frequently tossing out rounds that had experienced set back from having been cycled through the action so many times.

        I also rolled the dice and keep my pistol unlawfully loaded a great many times as well, but I’ve found doing this enough excites paranoia and fosters a sense of disenfranchisment and alienation. Being constantly under threat of detection and arrest while doing nothing morally wrong is sickening to the soul.

        I was an early adopter of an Ohio CCW permit, but what it primarily changed for me was that what I already did, habitually and daily, went from felonious to lawful. That’s a pretty powerful bit of plastic!

  16. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

    I’m glad that his interaction went well but I believe Wisconsin is like some other States with OC. It depends on where you live in the state as to how your interaction will go, along with your demeanour. I’d wager this would be a different story if he had been walking in city like Waukesha.
    I wish all citizen/police encounters were like his but it seems to be more a roll of the dice from what I have read and seen recorded.

  17. avatar Sora says:

    There’s a reason Gays do their parades, to normalize themselves with the community and the local politicians who control the police. Parade enough for a grown man to walk into a women’s restroom or locker room at the gym unchallenged, regardless of beard or male clothes.

    We have to learn from them and normalize. When 30 people show up for a #2A rally in TN on a Saturday, it’s easy to say “Look at the KKK extremists Gun NUTS” (even if there was nothing KKK there).
    When you have many people carrying openly that you can see in your daily encounters, guns become normalized as you would when you see two grown men kissing in public at Walmart.

    OPEN CARRY WHEN PERMISSIVE AT LOW RISK SITUATIONS. Have two different holsters in your car, etc.

  18. avatar Gralnok says:

    I like this article. It still doesn’t change my opinion on law enforcement, namely that they are not to be trusted, but it does give me hope.

  19. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Actually, that’s a really good point.

    Just because you knew why he stopped doesn’t mean you should have to be held hostage to a conversation. After all, we all know what it looks like when a panhandler is about to accost us, and can ignore it and keep walking if we choose. Why should this situation be different?

  20. avatar Gabe says:

    Dean, buy a chest rig from Hill People Gear. I run daily and this thing is awesome for carrying while running. https://www.hillpeoplegear.com/Products
    You can fit your gun, phone, keys, id in it and it’s super comfortable.

  21. avatar AD says:

    Sam I Am: Thanks for starting with some brilliant comedy.
    Carry however you like, I say. Open.. CC.. I don’t care. Anyone who gets their panties in a bunch over it needs a tougher crotch anyway.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Thank you for understanding.

  22. avatar Geoff says:

    I live in South Carolina and have a CWP and live a few miles from the North Carolina Border. No Open Carry here. I do my shopping in Whiteville, NC, or Tabor City, NC because it is an Open Carry State. Nobody gives me a second look. Nobody cares. I’ve never been approached by any of the LEOs that shop or do security at the Whiteville Walmart Supercenter (21 miles) which is only 4 or 5 miles farther than the Walmart in Conway (17 miles) or North Myrtle Beach (16 miles). Besides, the Sales Tax is lower on non-food items. I buy groceries locally as SC does not tax food and shop very early in the morning before it gets too hot and humid.
    With the Heat index over 100 here it is VERY uncomfortable to Conceal Carry in North Myrtle Beach or anywhere along the Coast during the Summer and Autumn.

  23. avatar rt66paul says:

    If you are walking/jogging/riding a bicycle/horse away from your property, especially during lonely hours, open carry makes perfect sense. You may never be more vulnerable in daily activities. There are many cases where people exercising on the street or paths are jumped and robbed/raped. It is not like you can run at motor vehicle speeds away from danger.
    While you may feel safer in some neighborhoods from 2 legged predators, there could be dog packs that will chase anything running or riding a bicycle. I think carrying is a smart thing to do.

  24. avatar Anymouse says:

    Open carry is fine and has advantages, especially with something big or in the wilderness. I generally prefer concealed for 2 reasons. First, it provides herd immunization. Non-carriers benefit from my concealed carry because there is a higher chance that a seemingly unarmed person will have the tools to defend themselves. With only OC, if you don’t see a gun on the person, they’re probably vulnerable. Second, OC makes me the first target unless at least 10% of the population is also OC. Some argue that seeing an OC is a deterrent itself, but banks and stores with armed guards still get robbed, and the guard is usually the first person to have a gun pointed at them. I’d rather be able to act (or not) on my timetable, and I don’t care if someone thinks that’s underhanded or cowardly. I’ve seen bogus demonstrations of “how useless armed students are” because they sit the known, armed subject front and center, and the “bad guys” come in and shoot them first (action beats reaction). If the “bad guys” had to come in and worry about a random person acting at a random time, it would have been more difficult, and they would have been on the reaction side.

  25. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

    I’m considering open carry at work. I would rather not be robbed than have to shoot somebody who attempted to rob me.

    But it’s hard to conceal in running shorts.

    I wonder what would happen if the cops had 10 people who regularly open carried? 30? 50 ? At what point would they just stop taking the calls? I mean they have other stuff to do.

    1. avatar MDB says:

      Yeah! Like write Tax-tickets for minor traffic infractions, search vehicles with speculative ‘probable cause’, and harass people for other nonsense.

      Oh, and of course come in to clean up after a Real Crime every once in awhile.

  26. avatar J says:

    Open carry was the norm for the United States not that long ago. There are differences in open carry laws in most states, but the most significant of them are the states that have open carry of any firearm loaded that is part of the states constitution. Kentucky is one of those few states with a strong open carry heritage and strong state preemption law from the inception of statehood. Kentucky even went so far in its early statehood constitution to outlaw conceal carry. More recently, Kentucky’s constitution has been amended to allow conceal carry in an open carry state. Kentucky is even Open Car Carry by law – You may open carry in a vehicle either in plain view OR in a glove box. Not many states have such laws and you will go to jail for this. Kentucky an example of what most states constitutions and laws for firearms ownership should be like in all states.

    Kentucky State Constitution
    Bill of Rights
    Section I – Rights of life, liberty, worship, pursuit of safety and happiness, free speech, acquiring and protecting property, peaceable assembly, redress of grievances, bearing arms. All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned:
    First: The right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties.
    Second: The right of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences.
    Third: The right of seeking and pursuing their safety and happiness.
    Fourth: The right of freely communicating their thoughts and opinions.
    Fifth: The right of acquiring and protecting property.
    Sixth: The right of assembling together in a peaceable manner for their common good, and of applying to those invested with the power of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.
    Seventh: The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.

    Text as Ratified on: August 3, 1891, and revised September 28, 1891.

    What we need in most states is their constitutions changed for positive firearm ownership. State constitutions are harder to change, but state laws are easier to change on firearms ownership if anti-2A elected officials are inclined, such as California, Illinois, and other states, if the state does not have a strong right to bear arms in their constitution. It is almost impossible to change California, Illinois, and other states laws right now without the help of the Supreme Court to reverse these anti-2A state laws.

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      In that case, you would love Article I, Section 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution:

      Right to keep and bear arms. SECTION 25. [As created Nov. 1998]
      The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.”

      Open Carry has not been mentioned in any WI statute or regulation since we achieved statehood in 1848, so it has always been legal by default. That doesn’t mean we had no issues getting the PTB to recognize that right, and several incidents like the one mentioned above at Culver’s had to take place before they began to ease off. I started OCing just before the “Madison 5” incident, and over the next couple years met all the victims, became friends, and had monthly OC get-togethers with them until it became second nature around here.

      After a while there was no point in continuing the meet-n-greets, because now everyone in WI takes OC for granted! The cops don’t hassle us any more, unless you happen to encounter Barney Fife, or if you OC in Milwaukee or Madison. Our rights are nearly unhindered in the rest of the state – which is how it should have been all along.

  27. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “In this case what’s the difference between Sam I Am’s post and Dan’s post? Because they both say the same thing.”

    Uuuuhhhmmm, like, uuuhhh, Dan has credentials, talent and writing skills, unlike me?

  28. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    I think the 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment “auditor” videos appearing on Live Leak and Youtube which generally show cops behaving badly are having a not-very-subtle effect on police behavior. Bureaucrats, which the police are, hate having that kind of attention being directed at themselves.

  29. avatar jimmy james says:

    The state I live in decided that most places people would go to walk, hike, run or bike are parks and greenways and they (the lawmakers) made open carry in those places illegal. Concealed carry is legal with permit and photo ID on you while you carry. Maybe I dont give those folks (lawmakers) enuff credit for thinking things thru. Seeing folks open carry anywhere still freaks me out and I am a person of the gun. Out of sight out of mind I reckon.

    Summer here is a bitch for concealed carriers. Its just too damn hot and humid to wear much of anything much less a gun.

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