“The new ‘open carry’ law strikes at the very foundations of civil society and the norms that hold our country together,” David Dillard-Wright writes at chronicle.augusta.com. “Carrying a gun in public is itself already a threat to others, a sign that the person carrying that gun not only seeks to defend him or herself but also goes around looking for an excuse to use it. The politics of paranoia sow seeds of destruction that will harm innocent bystanders, prevent community building and increase suspicion of others.” And there you have it: the case against open carry by someone who couldn’t identify the foundations of our civil society if they read the Constitution a hundred times. Or, I’m thinking, once. But it’s not about civility, is it, really. It’s about incivility. Mr. Wright and his ilk believe that . . .
“A customer snapped a photo of an unusual sight at a convenience store in La Grulla [Texas],” valleycentral.com reports. “The photo shows a Border Patrol agent waiting at the counter with his service issued assault rifle at a Stripes store off Highway 83. One viewer told Action 4 News that the presence of the armed agent caused alarm among customers.” Note: open carry of long guns is legal in Texas. However, if the Agent “caused alarm” he could have been arrested for disorderly conduct. You know; for “displaying a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.” Anyway . . . “Action 4 News spoke to Border Patrol officials about the incident. Border Patrol officials said the agent is not facing disciplinary action. Officials said the gun lock in the agent’s vehicle was not working properly and that he could not leave it in the vehicle. Border Patrol officials said the agent decided to carry the semi-automatic rifle with him inside the store to keep it secure.” As good a reason to open carry a rifle as I can think of. Just sayin’ . . .
According to a suit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Michael Weitzsacker was arrested on August 3 of last year for the crime of “inducing panic.” How, you may ask, did Mr. Weitzsacker manage to do that while wearing a t-shirt, shorts and riding his bike to his local ATM? Simple, at least in the eyes of Brooklyn, Ohio police officers Daniel Meadows and Scott Mielke. He was also wearing a holster in which he was legally and openly carrying a handgun . . .
Same old, same old, save this: “About two months ago I was assaulted behind that McDonalds by four men . . . I am not 21 and therefore I can not buy a handgun or get a concealed weapons permit. As soon as I’m 21 I will be more than happy to go get my concealed weapons permit, go buy a handgun and this won’t be an issue.” Huh. So when Steve Lohner says he’s carrying a shotgun down the streets of Aurora, Colorado – famous for the spree killing at the local Cinemark cinema – for self-defense he’s not kidding. Presumably. Anyway, the more of these I see the more I’m taking the side of the open carriers . . .
Unnamed witness: “at no time was anyone swept.” Dr. Peter N. Steinmetz is director of the Brain Modeling Laboratory at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. He is a Second Amendment advocate who comments on firearms issues on his Facebook page. He is a passionate supporter of freedom in the United States who opposes the excesses of the TSA. He protested TSA excesses by legally carrying a slung rifle in the non-secure part of the Phoenix airport in November of 2013 . . .
“Police say [Dr. Peter Steinmetz] brought his gun to [Sky Harbor Airport] legally,” myfoxphoenix.com reports. “He told police that he was just at the airport to get coffee at a Starbucks. When he walked to the other side of the terminal near the B concourse that is when police say he accidentally pointed the gun at two women, that’s when he was arrested . . . Police arrested Steinmetz on one-felony count of disorderly conduct with a weapon.” We fast forward now to Dr. Steinmetz’ arraignment . . .
Well, we know what Oberlin, Ohio reverend David Hill’s afraid of: open carry demonstrators. “Last September the City of Oberlin was the target of open-carry demonstrations,” Hill begins at cleveland.com, deliberately using the word “target” to pour gasoline on troubled waters. “Folks from out of town arrived brandishing their weapons in protest of Oberlin’s local ordinances that prohibited firearms in its parks.” Out-of-towners! Brandishing weapons! Hide your children! And lo, it did come to pass . . .
“What was supposed to be a gentle promotional stroll along the Sheboygan lakefront Friday morning by the state’s first lady, became a bit more concerning to those attending when a local gun-rights advocate showed up with a semi-automatic rifle strapped to his back and a holstered pistol hanging from his waist,” sheboyganpress.com reports. Reading that lead, clocking the pic above, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is another story about an open carry advocate carrying a firearm in a place at a time calculated to cause concern amongst the gun muggles. The following sentences by reporter Jane Roberts do nothing to dispel that impression . . .
Emily Miller is reporting via Twitter that as of this evening, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has instructed her force not to arrest anyone legally able to carry a firearm. Many have said that the D.C. political establishment would ignore yesterday’s ruling in the Palmer v. DC case. At least for now. This shows that Chief Lanier is, at minimum, unwilling to be found in contempt. Note the broad extent of the order: no arrests of gun owners who can legally carry a gun in D.C. or any state. With 30 states having open carry without a permit, and over 11 million concealed carry permits valid in the United States, that’s a lot of people who may now legally carry in out nation’s capital. [Send your pistol packing in the capital pic to email@example.com.]
Bears kill fewer humans than bathtubs. Wikipedia’s List of fatal bear attacks in North America makes for unsettling reading (“Kammer was in his tent at Soda Butte Campground when a mother bear attacked and dragged him 25 feet (7.6 m) away”), but death-by-bear is not a statistically significant event. That said, I carry a Smith & Wesson .500 snubbie or (soon) a VXR when I’m hiking in bear country. Because bears. Alaska Dispatch News has a story of a recent mauling (and two more besides) that’s a suitably scary cautionary tale . . .
“We are not going to be marching through 5th Ward, we’re going to hopefully be marching with 5th Ward.” – Open Carry Texas Founder CJ Grisham quoted in Open Carry Texas Schedules New Date For Armed March Through Black Neighborhood [via politicususa.com]
The marketing wizard behind Moms Demand Action is working hard to demonize the open carry of long guns, especially in Texas. Shannon Watts, who heads MDA is a longtime professional at creating media campaigns: “She is not just Suzy Homemaker or some low-grade employee at a small company but a heavy Public relations hitter, savvy on the ways of media manipulation and making her clients look good. Basically she ‘grows’ astroturf for a living.” On the other side, open carry activism in Texas has become so effective that both candidates for Governor have endorsed its legalization, the stated objective of the open carry groups in Texas. The media campaign to demonize open carry is a concerted case of pushback . . .