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Karin Bugge of Altadena, California isn’t afraid of her neighbors. She’s not afraid of strangers on the street. Writing for, Ms. Bugge pens a piece announcing her fearless support of Assemblyman Tortantino’s bill to ban citizens from openly carrying long guns. (The bill would close the “long gun loophole,” now that the Golden State has banned civilians from openly carrying handguns). Bugge wonders why anyone would be so frightened as to carry a long gun *gasp* in public . . .

Anthony Portantino has introduced a bill to ban the open-carry of rifles in public. This seems like such a reasonable bill, such a no-brainer, I’ve been nonplussed by the sturm and drang emanating from the gun advocate corner.  I wonder about all these folks who are afraid to leave the house unescorted, without a lethal weapon by their side. I wonder what extra baggage, besides that rifle and ammo clip, they might be carrying.

Okay, a couple of nits need picking before we get to the substance.

First, it is traditional to italicize foreign words when writing for publication. Second, it is more usual, when using a foreign phrase to keep the original language throughout. The German phrase is sturm und drang (literally storm and stress) and means turmoil or uproar; by stating it as sturm and drang Ms. Bugge it would be assumed that she means the literal words rather than the idiom.

There. I feel better. On to the meat of the matter . . .

Only it’s really hard to address this sort of question on any sort of substantive basis, as Ms. Bugge’s polemic is based on a false assumption. None of the gun owners I know are afraid of people in general. Some of them are/were/may be afraid of a specific person (e.g., their stalker, an ex, a disgruntled business partner). But even in these cases I don’t think the word afraid is correct. “Concerned”—leading, perhaps, to “alarmed”—would be a better term.

The people I know who carry a firearm in public don’t live as if they’re in the federal Witness Protection program. They are aware that there is someone out there, somewhere, who may mean them harm and they have taken the steps they feel necessary to protect themselves. They do not, as Ms. Bugge implies, spend every day trembling with the anticipation of being attacked.

I’ve run into this attitude before, the assumption that I carry a weapon (or two) because I am anticipating a violent encounter at any minute. There’s an old joke about a fancy dinner party and a woman notices that the man next to her is carrying a pistol. She asks him if he is expecting trouble, to which he replies “No ma’am, if I was expecting trouble I would have brought a rifle.”

I don’t walk out the door expecting trouble just as I don’t get in the car expecting an accident or a flat tire, but I still have insurance and carry a spare. Ms. Bugge (okay, I’m going to switch to Karin now, I hope she doesn’t mind) continues:

With all the noise and obfuscation, it might have escaped notice that the proposed bill has absolutely no impact on one’s ability to keep a firearm in the privacy of one’s own home.

No, Karin, it hasn’t escaped our notice. It’s just completely irrelevant.

But some gun advocates feel their rights are in danger if they’re not able to flash their guns and ammo in public.

The California open carry movement wasn’t (isn’t?) about “flashing” a gun. It was about citizens protesting their inability to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear (as in carry) arms. Because unless you’re rich, famous or politically connected, it’s virtually impossible to get a concealed carry permit (still is, for that matter) within California’s urban enclaves.

To drive this political point home (without the risk of becoming a felon) gun rights advocates started carrying the only way they could: openly with unloaded guns.

So, in a sense, you could say that Assemblyman Portantino’s AB 144 and proposed long gun ban are, in fact, all about stifling unpopular political dissent. He and “Bull” Connor probably would have gotten along famously, trading stories about quelling protests and protesters.

As for the danger of open carry, fuhgeddaboutit. Despite the level-headed assurances of some cops[1], it was primarily the police (officers like East Palo Alto Det. Rod Tuason for example) who caused problems and confrontations with open carriers.

Karin’s confusion on these issues is without bounds. She displays a classic misinterpretation of what constitutes a “right”:

Well, this member of the public feels her rights are very much in danger if they’re able to do so. And not just because of the intimidation factor. There is no guarantee that whoever carries a gun has any sense of aim, any sense of how of when to use a lethal weapon, or any sense, period.

If something requires positive action on the part of someone else, then it is not “a right.” The right to worship as I choose does not mean that the government must supply me with a church. I believe it was Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. who said “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

To put it in terms Karin might understand, my right to carry a weapon doesn’t end when she sees me with a gun and wets herself. It ends when I shoot at her. Which of course, I would never do—unless she posed an imminent, credible threat to my life or the life of my loved ones, and imminence was imminent.

As for “the intimidation factor” posed by people exercising their 2A rights in public, I’m 6’5″ tall, 300+ pounds, I have a shaved head and a big red . . . okay, formerly red, now graying, beard. People routinely ask me if I ride a Harley. One of my friends used to (affectionately) call me a Viking axe murderer (innocent). Are you saying that I should not be able to walk down the street because my size and demeanor might intimidate you?

Finally, for someone who says she is “not afraid of people; neighbors or strangers with whom I share the streets, parks, shops, gas stations” Karin seem awfully afraid of, well, people with whom she shares the streets, parks, shops and gas stations—if those people are openly carrying an unloaded firearm. Just sayin’.

[1] “[G]ang members aren’t known to open carry.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Phelps, San Bernadino Sun, September 6, 2010

“We don’t suggest that people panic,
because there hasn’t been a problem with open-carry demonstrations in other cities.”

Palo Alto, CA police Lt. Sandra Brown, Mercury News, March 5, 2010

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  1. “There is no guarantee that whoever carries a laptop has any sense of grammar, any sense of how or when to use a logical argument, or any sense, period.”

    • By her reasoning, her blog should be shut down by the state of California and her remedial knowledge of spelling and grammar extracted to prevent further political dissent I personally find distasteful.

      • And don’t get me started on smartphones. All the computing power you could want, high-speed internet access, AND concealable! No one NEEDS such a device. Most smartphone owners are just compensating…

        • Relax, citizen. Merely report to your nearest re-education office with the offending items, and all will be well. Trust us. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

  2. Karin Brugge is a great example of why places such as California & Illinois are so horrible for gun owners.She has no concept of the rights afforded to her through the US Constitution because she was never taught to respect it.Group think and political correctness are principles learned no matter what one’s standing is in society,but knowledge about the US Constitution is slowly but surely being phased out of the public conciousness.What little is being taught in school is being re-interpreted to fit a collectivist message.

    Thus,people who have lived most of their adult lives unaware of the right to warrantless searches see no problem inviting the lawman into their homes and cars for a ‘quick look’.
    People who are unaware of the 10th Amendment have no problem with national healthcare or subsidizing home mortgages.
    Therefore we should not be surprised that people unaware of the 2nd Amendment would support gun contol all the way up to complete prohibition,should the measure be advanced.

    • “.She has no concept of the rights afforded to her through the US Constitution because she was never taught to respect it.”

      Two things-1) it seems like Ms. Bugge doesn’t even understand the definition of the word “right” & 2) the rights are not granted by the Constitution, they are just enumerated there.

    • Actually, the Constitution does not afford rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution specifically list some rights that in particular should be out of bounds for government abridgement, and specifies that powers not specifically granted to the Federal Government are reserved to the States and the People. Rights existed prior to and independent of the Constitution. Those that ignore or deny this and betray their oath to protect and defend the Constitution are traitors, renegades and scabs.

    • There’s another possibility – she’s aware of the rights, but actively rejects them. She *wants* national healthcare. She *wants* the police to be able to search anyone at any time (after all, *she* has nothing to hide). She doesn’t want/like guns, so you can’t have one. Etc., etc., etc.

  3. I wish I was so blissfully ignorant of reality and could live forever with my head in the sand. I wonder how trusting she’d be of everyone if she’d ever been mugged or witnessed horrors that occur every day. It’s pretty easy to trust the dog that’s never bitten you. Typical leftist narcissism…just because it’s never happened to them, therefore it must not happen.

    Also, I think she protests too much…so much insistence of trust betrays insecurity over deep-rooted mistrust that she refuses to deal with.

    I’d like to ask her if she locks her house and car doors. If she does, she’s a liar and hypocrite, like any good leftist is.

  4. I’m only 5′ 10″-ish (and shrinking). And my beard is gray not red. Nonetheless, I scared my now-son-in-law when he was courting our daughter because I look like a biker. (His words.) I guess I cannot walk around CA city streets either without bugging Mz Bugge. As I have no desire to visit the cities in any part of CA that’s no problem for me. For her… well she can bug off.

  5. Bruce is the nicest viking axe murderer impersonator I know. Another well written article refuting the FUD of the opposition. Thanks Bruce.

  6. Karin,

    I see you have a dog. People walking their dogs in public have intentionally or not victimized innocent people with the fear of being bitten by the dog and actually being bitten and occasionally killed without just cause. I could easily make a case, using simple factual statistics, that legally armed citizens with a concealed carry permit and those doing open carry in public are far less of a danger to innocent people than dog owners walking their pets.

    • Agreed. I like dogs, have owned several, but I like them on the leash outside of one’s property. Her Pit Bull (that’s what it looks like to me) looks particularly vicious.

  7. To a man, you guys are defending what? the open carry movement? You’re shootin’ yourselves in the foot, so to speak. Those fanatics do your movement more harm than good.

    • Maybe they are against a law that can get you locked up for carrying a rifle from your car parked on the street into your own home. You don’t own any guns anyway so you have no concept of how to handle one. For you, a total ban is probably in your own best interests.

    • What do you think a fanatic like you does for your own “movement?” I can’t tell you how many things you’ve said that I’ve repeated to pro-gun-control acquaintances and had THEM laugh at you.

      If you think basic human rights should be done away with because some mentally-deficient people are uncomfortable with them, who’s the real fanatic? I don’t open carry, and I’d never open carry a long gun unless there was a good reason, but that doesn’t mean I think no one should be able to. See, I’m a smart, rational, and moral person who believes in this country’s values. I know traits like that are hard for you to understand.

      • Silver, Why do you have such difficulty understanding me? I DID NOT say open carry should be illegal. I said the guys who do it are fanatics and they do your movement more harm than good.

        As to my being a fanatic, I don’t think so. A gun control fanatic wants all guns removed from civilian hands, I don’t. A real fanatic thinks ALL you guys are unfit, I only think about half of you are.

        I understand “smart, rational and moral,” If that’s you great, good for you.

        Does your morality include saying obviously mendacious nonsense like this?

        “I can’t tell you how many things you’ve said that I’ve repeated to pro-gun-control acquaintances and had THEM laugh at you.”

        How many would that be, 10 or 100? So many you can’t even tell us?

        • So now half of us are unfit. A few days ago, you made a comment that “most” of us were ok, but there was a bad minority. In another post or two, you’ve cast aspersions at “most” of us.

          So according to you, some portion of the gun owning public is unfit to own and carry a gun. Somewhere along the continuum from “a few” through “some,” on through “about half” and ending up at “most.” All of those are fractions of the population you’ve used to describe the “bads” in the past couple months. How are we supposed to take you seriously when you can’t even make up your own damned mind about what you believe?

          I said it before, and I’m saying it again. When I first started reading this blog about 6 months ago, you had some thought-provoking things to say, but in the last few weeks, your numbers have gotten vague, your rhetoric has gotten tired, your schtick has gotten old.

        • Matt, I believe you’re the one who’s changed. I’ve seen it many times with you sopposedlu open-minded pro-gun guys. I can take what I have to say for only so long, then you begin to get nasty, resorting to personal attacks, etc.

        • “Moral” does not mean “kind and inoffensive.” Quite the opposite, when dealing with the enemies of one’s values, such as you. And if you’d like to pick apart my stance on morality by calling on an obvious hyperbole, then have at it. I know you must be starving for material to use, given that facts, logic, and reality aren’t on your side.

          By the way, a fanatic could be described as one who believes and acts on radical ideas based solely on emotions or mental conditioning. Given that you believe half of gun owners are dangerous and would infringe upon an Amendment (which is a radical idea to me), that pretty much defines you, so yes, you’re a fanatic, a danger, and an enemy.

        • “Se lei dice una bugia abbastanza grande e tiene a ripetere esso, le persone verranno per crederlo alla fine. La bugia può essere solo mantenuta per tale tempo poiché lo Stato può proteggere le persone dalle conseguenze politiche,, economiche e/o militari della bugia. Diventa così estremamente importante per lo Stato per usare tutti i suoi poteri per soffocare il dissenso, per la verità è il nemico mortale della bugia e così dall’estensione, la verità è il massimo nemico dello Stato”. Joseph Goebbels

        • “Если Вы скажете ложь, достаточно большую и будете продолжать повторять это, то люди в конечном счете приедут, чтобы верить этому. Ложь может быть поддержана только в течение такого времени, как государство может оградить людей от политических, экономических и/или военных последствий лжи. Это таким образом становится жизненно важным для государства использовать все его полномочия подавить инакомыслие, поскольку правда – смертный враг лжи, и таким образом расширением, правда – самый большой враг государства.” Джозеф Гоеббелс

        • Just wanted to make sure you understood the statement as you bounce between National Socialism & communist beliefs.

    • I am not sure I have ever seen a more perfect encapsulation of the anti-rights philosophy:

      To a man, you guys are defending what? the open carry movement? You’re shootin’ yourselves in the foot, so to speak. Those fanatics do your movement more harm than good.

      You’re right mike, we try to protect the civil rights of people even if we disagree with them.

      • Just like that militia group offering armed protection to the Occupy morons against the police. They were well aware that the protesters are lazy and stupid, but they were willing to put their freedom and their lives on the line to defend their 1st amendment right to say stupid things in public.

    • Not a pit. There might be some in its breeding at some point but definitely not a full-blood pit. As an owner of a full-blood pit that follows pit-related media and legislation (me, not the pit) I can assure you that pits are every bit as maligned in the media reports and the target of pointless legislation as “assault rifles”. Anything that looks remotely like an “assault rifle” or “pit bull” is pegged as such, veracity be damned, to make the article more salacious. Buying into the media portrayal of either is misguided. Bad people use both for bad reasons.

      I’m every bit as passionate about pits as I am my firearms and hate to see either unfairly maligned in the media. I know, gun blog not dog blog. Forgive me, rant off.

      • Buddy has raised pits all his life, they are big babies.

        99.999% of all bad pit stories are due to how the dogs were raised, socialized and trained.

        Pits are not Chows, probably the most untrustworthy breed by inherent nature, but even they can be trained to be sociable!

  8. Yeah, the Long Gun Loophole is a serious issue in Kalifornia, I guess all the other state issues are either solved or of less importance. Where is the remote, I need to put the game back on.

    • Tell me about it. Just wait until the nanny-state politicians pass the bachelor tax as they had in ancient Rome. Actually, one exists now yet few realize it. The tax I’m referring to is the public money that gets taken from all and re-distributed to programs and causes those of us with the Y-chromosome aren’t qualified for biologically or by law therefore only benefiting the female sex. I just read about a disabled Vietnam Vet. A man in his 70s who is leaving the America (after turning in his medals to Congress) since the Courts and law here are taking his away disability pay and giving it to his ex-wife who was not crippled by war, on the drugs he must take because of his injuries, and who doesn’t have the nightmares he has of the war.

      • There was a better one in the Wall Street Journal a couple years back in an article about alimony payments and how the system is utterly absurd.

        A man and his wife peacefully filed for divorce 30 years ago and she stated that she did not want any alimony money during the divorce proceedings and she was awarded none (she explicitly said she would never want any money in the future either). Fast forward to the current recession and she decides that she’s not making as much money as she’d like to be making and she files for alimony. The man now has to pay over 1/3 of his pension to his ex wife that he has not been married to for 30 years. The mans second wife (younger and not yet retired, but getting close) had to take on a second job to make up for the lost income and has stated that she never would have married him if she knew that his bitch of an ex-wife (my words, not hers) could do this to him.

        The anti-male laws in this country need to be fixed fast or they’ll see a huge return of sexism and anger against women.

  9. Shes just another stupid libtard. Not taking sides here,and honestly, being a liberal my self, I honestly hate these kinds of people. Let me rephrase that, very much dislike these kinds of people. People who are not accustomed to firearms, thus they feel intimidated by them. This reminds of something I discussed a while back. This TEDx video explains it perfectly. of our rights to keep and bear arms, we are not in a state of war, we are not constantly at the ready, we aren’t under an invasion, and we dont live in an oppressive military state. Its because of the rifle, we have peace. Those who are scared of guns, are scared because they are not accustomed to seeing them. They are fortunate to not live in a state, or world for that matter, where firearms are not a part of our lives.Watch the video its good. Makes lots of sense.

  10. Read this from the top down. Didn’t hear anyone mention the countless times.when a loony goes to work with one or two ilegle(mispelled) guns and no one was there with a legal firearm to stop that person. No firearm ever harmed anyone. Someone always had a hold of it. If the nut had no gun, a club would do.

  11. Wow, the comments on her blog are runnning 99% against her diatribe. Also, as some one who writes about the outdoors, she’s ignoring a very real danger of marijuana cultivation on public lands. I don’t hike much anymore for that very reason…

  12. Well, you could make the same comment about her dog as to a long gun. This anti-carry bill will be used to screw over people who are just trying to put the gun in the car to go to the range. More power to the government!

  13. This is the kind of thing that makes me feel stupid for staying in Kalifornia. I’m just glad I’m not in SF or LA.

  14. i’ve fixed that url:

    and i thank the original poster, that was an excellent speech, though i do disagree on the state “having a monopoly on violence” which leaves the citizen no recourse when the state itself becomes the oppressor. in ages past, before the gun was invented and evolved to become a tool any man or woman could use the world, and rule belonged to only the strong man willing to use violence. the gun is the great leveller and civiliser, putting the peasant on an equal footing with the lords.

  15. She brings the city a bad name. I am from Pasadena (the city right below). Altadena is a fine city, and she out of all people should realize the importance of open carry (everything from the normal reasons, to coyotes, to emergencies, like the storm in early December that knocked out power in Altadena and Pasadena for several days.

    Anthony Portantino is worse. He is my city’s assemblyman, but does not speak for all the residents of Pasadena. When the time comes, he needs to be voted out.

  16. She has every right to expose her idiotology in public, unfortunately her readership is unwilling to give up their imported methane and cheese soirées and will hail her as a Genius, basking in thier self-glory untill thier heads are lopped off.
    It is indeed a tale of two citys.


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