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The so-called Open Carry movement—whose adherents openly wear their weapons to assert their right to own and carry guns—is a cause in search of a champion or two. Or three. Or more. You know; someone who isn’t a nut case who gets arrested for exercising his Second Amendment rights. Well, they may have found one: Kurt Kirby. reports that police cited Mr. Kirby for wearing his pistol in Albertsons grocery store. “The owner of the nearby martial arts studio called 9-1-1, and according to the police report, the owner was alarmed because he teaches small children and was concerned for their safety. The police officer cited Kirby under the law that says it is wrong to carry a weapon if it ‘manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.'” OK, the battle lines are drawn. Is Kirby a suitable Open Carry poster child? Well, he’s certainly a persistent gun schlepper.

Kirby declined to speak to the media Monday on advice from his attorney, but according to the police report, Kirby told officers he’s openly carried his gun into several stores in recent months without a problem.

That’s good, right? Doesn’t spout off to the media straight away.

But according to the police report, the day before being cited Kirby had a run-in with security at the Vancouver Mall. He and his wife were escorted from the mall by security after shoppers complained about their weapons strapped to their waists.

Like I said, persistent. But Vancouver? That’s Vancouver in Washington state. Still, how many Americans are going to think he’s Canadian, even though the media will say “Vancouver, Washington” umpteen times? [Note: that must suck for residents, generally.]

According to the police report, the Kirbys were belligerent, perhaps trying to argue that they were not breaking any laws.

Uh-oh. Stay tuned. If not Kirby, someone.

FYI: Albertsons stores have been robbed at gunpoint in Aloha (Washington), Denver (Colorado), Orlando (Florida, four times), San Francisco (California) and Highlands (Texas). A clerk was stabbed at an Albertsons in San Diego.

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  1. If I was a conspiratorial sort, I'd wonder if "open carry" advocates were working for the other side.

    Of course, whether that's their intention or not, certainly that's the effect. I've yet to meet or converse with an open-carry advocate who wasn't a little loopy and most of them are far more than a little.

    Open carry advocates generally have a dim understanding of history, which is garnered mostly from 1950's westerns and polemics by self-styled libertarians like L. Niel Smith, all of whom are harking back to an idyllic past when ordinary citizens walked around with guns on their hips – a time that exists mostly in pulp novels from the early 20th century, 1950's western movies that were made from those novels, and the modern "remakes" of those 1950's westerns. The reality is that while handguns were not unheard of in the American West, they were primarily the tools of lawmen and outlaws – for ranchers, farmers, explorers and soldiers (cavalrymen excepted, the revolver being particularly well suited to using from horseback) the weapons of choice were the rifle and shotgun.

  2. Not to mention the fact that open carry is like wearing a T-shirt saying "Shoot me first" to an armed robber.

  3. to comments #2 & 3: that's why concealed carry might be a better option, if the places allowed it.

    and see this article here]

    Should Gun Control Advocates Have A Concealed Handgun License

    Also, it's silly to argue against going armed for defense because you say some people break the law and do violence. These are only good reasons for more people to exercize the option.

    I'll agree with comment #1 about handguns in history. Probably not economical for most people to buy, just for defense, though specialized personal defense carry models did exist.

    I also don't care, in applying it to people today.

    The small handgun is ideal for personal carry & defense.

    John Frazer

    Boulder, Co


  4. I don't understand why he was charged with open carry in the Albertson grocery store when Washington state is a legal OC state.

    Where their signs at the door stating No Weapons Allowed?

    The only way I can see that he was cited would be for trespassing IF he refused to leave the premises.

    I have an Oregon CHL incl a non-res Utah CHL and carry concealed 90% of the time. However if it is hot weather I sometimes open carry legally in this state.

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