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(courtesy myfoxlubbock.com)

From Mary Keane
Cheyenne [via wyomingnews.com]

This is in open letter to Bruce, who sits at Starbucks every morning with a gun, bullet-proof vest and assault rifle:

I am writing this letter to the paper because I do not feel comfortable saying this to your face, being that you are armed for combat.

I look forward each weekend to spending time at Starbucks with my boyfriend and two dogs. But we decided about a month ago not to go if you were at Starbucks: We do not feel safe with you there . . .


Last Sunday morning, we drove through the parking lot and checked to see if you were there. You were walking away from the store, so we decided to stay.

I wonder if you know that you left behind a bunch of frightened, angry people who spent about 45 minutes talking about you and how frightening you are.

No one feels safe in your presence. In fact, the police were called twice on Sunday morning about you. So not only are you sowing fear and distrust, you are wasting law enforcement resources.

The police officer who came to Starbucks had to spend 15 minutes assuring the various patrons that the police do not agree with what you are doing, but that they have no recourse.

If your fantasy is to act out the life of a gunslinger, there are so many other appropriate places to wear your gear: the Cheyenne Gunslingers, the Otto Road Shooting Range and hunting.

On the other hand, if you want to leave this world a better place, there are so many organizations here that could use your talents, energy and time. I will pray you find a better use for your time that gives people hope and respect rather than fear and anger.

I am also asking everyone that frequents Starbucks and thinks that guns and assault rifles at a coffee shop are inappropriate to email Starbucks corporate headquarters and let them know.

It’s time the silent majority stands up and asks for our right to live our lives without fear to be respected.

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366 COMMENTS

  1. And this is the problem with some open carry advocates. We need to gradually make the public more comfortable with it, not overwhelm them all at once. Yes, it’s your right to wear a pistol on your hip, MSR on your back, and plate carrier on your chest. That typically doesn’t make friends out of enemies very quickly.

    Start with just your pistol on your hip. That’s likely to be a lot more well-received.

    • Somehow, I don’t think a handgun on the hip would make Ms Keane feel any less comfortable. If Mr. OC was a regular fixture at this Starbucks, I think it’s apparent he means no harm.

      • It sounds like this has been going on for over a month. One would think it would cease to be surprising by now.

      • I disagree. I dont think that this would be an issue if he was just some dude, sipping his morning coffee, reading the paper and carrying a pistol on his hip. I bet that he would go largely unnoticed. Its because he chooses the extreme angle that he does that this happens. The idea is to warm people up to it, not create a problem. The squeaky wheel and all…

        In fact, if he dropped the full-DEA-raid getup and only carried a pistol on his hip, he would have a better effect on peoples opinions and attitudes. This whole letter could have been avoided, and perhaps he could have made friends with these people and even changed their minds about gun ownership. Catch more flies with honey and all…

        • I said it’s apparent he means no harm, not that he’s an attention hound, which he is. He’s had the fuzz talk to him, so it’s clear he insists on his way. Not courteous at all. But then, Ms. Keane insists on her way. Make no mistake — it’s not just about discomfort. Ms. Keane wants people like this (us) to disappear.

          • He’s had the fuzz talk to him, so it’s clear he insists on his way. Not courteous at all.

            You seem to be assuming quite a bit of things as fact, that are not fact in evidence based on Fearful Mary’s letter to the editor.

            I conclude that you’re merely projecting your own, anti-open carry prejudice on the situation as described by Hoplophobe Mary.

        • You really think he’s just minding his own business? And where are you getting my “anti-open carry prejudice” from?

          • You really think he’s just minding his own business?

            Where is the evidence that he wasn’t just minding his own business? Busybody Mary even says that he just “sits” at Starbucks, and then leaves. So, on what are you basing your assertion that he was not, in fact, just minding his own business?

            And where are you getting my “anti-open carry prejudice” from?

            Your comments here – as will be confirmed, I assume, by the way you answer my question above.

        • Please. Unless he’s a cop or just back from Iraq, you only wear visible body armor and carry a MSR as a political statement — one I AGREE WITH (all caps since you didn’t read my other comment supportive of OC), but as you say further down, is analogous to talking on a cell phone at a funeral. I’m glad others aren’t bothered by him (Maybe Mary’s all on her own). If that’s the case, then maybe it’s just one complainant and he isn’t being discourteous. But once you know you bug people, it’s worth considering a change. It has nothing to do with rights. Like others here have said, it’s about winning hearts and minds — which if you’re making a statement, should be your goal.

        • While this guy’s get up makes the writer’s paranoia seem almost reasonable, the facts on the ground are that this guy isn’t hurting anyone or even interacting with anyone. All of this in a state where full open carry is apparently legal? These hoplophobes would jam the police phone lines and wring their hands regardless. They’re just looking for something to be worked up about.

          This case gives them an easier object of obsession, to be sure, but their obsession would have found an object, any object, anyway. If not kitted up cappuccino boy, then it would have been low key OC sidearm guy, and we’d be reading a similar letter and holding the same discussion.

          Don’t indulge their hysteria with empathy.

        • Agreed. It’s not a good starting point. It’s like having a conversation with someone about the welfare system in the US by calling them a pinko commie if they support handouts. That very well may be true, but it kills the conversation quickly and it’s not a great way to make friends.

        • If these complainers are actually frightened (as opposed to attempting to exert control), why are they not armed when they go to Starbucks? Have they seen anyone there who might be able to protect them if they are attacked? Of course they have-Bruce. If he is not good enough, gun up.

      • Regardless of whether or not a handgun rather than what is probably an AR pattern rifle would make the author of the letter feel more comfortable, it would make me, as someone that supports gun rights, more comfortable. If you’re not in the course of professional business that requires body armor and a rifle, going to starbucks every day would make me question your mental stability and good judgment. In the same way that having a right to something doesn’t make all times and places the proper circumstances in which to exercise those rights, carrying an AR to starbucks every morning to exercise your 2nd amendment rights, while legal, is just kind stupid.

        Further, if the OCer is doing so in order to spawn constructive debate about the 2nd amendment and open carry in general, he/she is only doing harm to the cause. You’d think that anyone in support of a position would want to ensure that that position was framed as positively as possible. This is certainly not the way to frame the 2nd amendment issue positively and win the hearts and minds of the people to the cause.

        • +1000

          (From one who open carries a pistol as much as possible, and supports the legal right to OC long guns.)

        • When saying that carrying a rifle is stupid, please keep in mind that handguns only exists for times when a rifle is inconvenient. If I had to shoot to defend myself I would much rather have an AR-15 or other long gun than a Glock. As one of my instructors has said “a hand gun is only there to help you get to your rifle.” So if you personally are not inconvenieced by carrying your rifle, you are following the same plan as anyone carrying a pistol, but just not compromising on effectiveness to gain convenience.

          • Tim, I’m tired of this old saw. Doesn’t make any sense at all outside of a combat situation. Most defensive shooting takes place between zero and 20 feet. A handgun is quite effective at that range, and probably the only gun that would be effective under five feet. Not to mention the rather serious problems that would be associated with trying to carry a rifle everywhere.

            You carry what you like, obviously, but I doubt you can give any rational reason a rifle would be better for most of us to carry.

      • @ original Rokurota comment:

        Yes, but you know…”Feelings, nothing more than feelings”.

        Besides, it’s apparent Keane is framing the story to fit the MDA narrative.

        Wonder why???

      • Similar letters were written after the civil rights act of 1964. Of course the target was black people. Mary respects and prays for the person but requests the person to enact self imposed segregation. The police agree and would love to intervene put dog gone it the law prohibits them from letting Mary decide who is allowed to be in her public presence. Mary also suggests places where this person would be happier because it is where his kind congregate. Mary rationalizes her feelings because she fears for her safety and therefore she fears for the safety of all things good and pure in the eyes of God. Man’s fundamental nature never changes..

      • I think that if he switched to a handgun and bailed on the ballistic vest in response to a letter than he may appease some of the concerns. Would the newspaper report on that? Unlikely.
        I’m all for open carry. But dressing up like you’re ready for Afghanistan while at Starbucks gives concerned patrons a justifiable reason to doubt someone’s stability.

        • Appeasement? Neville Chamberlain would be proud. Of course, any appeasement is always temporary, followed by more demands.

    • Oh, hogwash.

      The author of that letter is a naive, ignorant hoplophobe who would never be comfortable with any firearm, carried openly or concealed.

      Giving even a modicum of concern for preventing this woman from coming down with a case of the vapors is a waste.

      • Aren’t you the one assuming lots of “facts not in evidence” now? How do you know Mary would be uncomfortable with Bruce carrying a pistol without “assuming facts not in evidence?” The vast majority of folks in Wyoming have no problem with guns. They do generally dislike showy jackasses, though.

        • Sure, but then her discomfort would be unreasonable, and lots more folks would be happy to point it out. Here I find her discomfort to be pretty damned reasonable. I share it – I think the vest put me over the top.

          I get why those folks in Texas OC rifles where they CAN’T OC a pistol – I think it’s poor tactics in most cases, but I get the logic.

          But this due has a pistol. It sounds like he’s in full battle rattle. And he has a 2nd Amendment right to do it. But then, I also have a 1st Amendment right to dress and act like a complete weirdo – but if my goal is to convince people of the rightness of my point, then I am not going to dress and act like a weido. I’m going to act and dress like someone trying to win by convincing others.

          • Nice point, but remember, people do dress like weirdoes every day, in public. Not many open letters get written to the girl with the pink hair, gauged ears, and pierced tongue, wearing a poodle skirt. Of course, when the first couple people did that they were ridiculed. But they persisted, and now it is just another fact of life. Something to do with freedom or some such.

      • That’s really funny “the vapors”. Makes me think of exactly the image I would clip with this article. A post colony era southern belle fanning herself while putting on her sandwich gloves. point- this guy is within the law. Point- this lady is probably like most stories of this type. Making at least some of this up. Point- he just sits there and drinks his coffee… I highly doubt he’s lucky enough to own an “assault rifle”.

      • I carry a gun, and if I a man walks into starbucks with kevlar and a rifle, I will be ready to draw while assessing the situation. Personally SWATing public places is not how we win. It’s abnormal, and survival instincts tell us that abnormal is a threat until proven safe.

        Open carrying a pistol on the hip while wearing plain clothes is much more people friendly.

        • I carry a gun, and if I a man walks into starbucks with kevlar and a rifle, I will be ready to draw while assessing the situation.

          Situational awareness is good. Paranoia and irrational fear are not.

          What do you have to fear from someone with a long gun slung over his shoulder, who walks in, orders a coffee, walks out, sits down, and consumes his drink?

    • I seriously doubt that he’s in there wearing a “bullet-proof vest” carrying an “assault rifle”. He’s probably just an ordinary guy who happens to wear a sidearm in accordance with the laws of Wyoming when he comes in to get coffee. Seeing that he’s a regular, and that nothing has happened, and nobody has said anything to him about his open carry tells me that he’s not a threat to anyone but hoplophobes and criminals.

      • Let’s see: If Bruce really is wearing body armor and carrying an AR or whatnot, that doesn’t look so good, so I’ll just assume the letter is a lie and form my opinion based on that unfounded assumption. Good critical thinking skills on display there.

        • Given the long history or obfuscation, made up statistics, and outright lies from anti-gun types, I’d be willing to bet a jelly donut that the assumption is correct.

          A man who has been sitting in Starbucks in full operator gear every weekend for months and MDA and the media hasn’t splattered this on every front page in the country?! Not a chance in hell…

        • And here you are, assuming that the assertions of a woman who obviously knows jack about any manner of gear are somehow (mystically?) accurate. If she said he was also carrying a suitcase nuke, would you take her word for it?

          Meantime, he is not breaking the law either way, she is being hysterical.

    • I completely agree! I served as a full-time LEO for a lot of the last decade and am now in private business (completely unrelated) but still a reserve. Even in full uniform, if I casually walked into Starbucks, in uniform, with my patrol AR slung over my shoulder, it would bring undo attention and cause panic with people in the store. If I saw another LEO walk in while carrying a long gun, my assumption would be that they were responding to an escalating situation involving an armed person, and my alertness would run up a few (ok MANY!) notches.

      Just because it is your right to do something doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do! If this story is true as stated, this person is not making “friends of the gun.” I support OC and live in an OC state (CO). I do understand why some businesses have started asking people to not carry in their establishment. In this case, it could legitimately be costing the business money because someone wants to show up decked out like a commando! That is VERY unfair to the business!

      OC’ing a HOLSTERED handgun is a lot different than walking around ready for full combat. It doesn’t specify how he was carrying the rifle. If he has it in front at a low-ready (what we have seen in some of the photos that have circulated around over the past six months), I don’t see that as being any different as having an upholstered handgun in a low ready. If I were confronted with that, I’d be pulling my concealed weapon and drawing down on the person. In CO, we have a felony menacing statute. Walking around, waiving an un-holstered handgun is no different than walking around in a “low ready” position with an AR. It causes alarm. If someone walked into an establishment with a 10 lb. fire extinguisher in hand, pin pulled, and hose out, my first assumption would be, “where’s the fire???”

      Face it. We live in a very narcissistic society. It’s all about ME. I find this behavior in that type of environment to be self-serving and narcissistic with absolutely NO regard for anyone else around. How and when we exercise our constitutional rights shows our character as a person. I have a 1st amendment right to walk down the street and yell out at somebody that they are ugly. At the same time, it would also show a lack of character and maturity on my part even if it were true.

      I think amidst all of this controversy, we have sometimes forgotten about the other constitutional rights, concerning owners of property, etc. The 2nd amendment is one of MANY rights afforded to every citizen of the US.

      While I disagree with Starbuck’s decision to ask people to keep their guns out of their stores, they have a constitutional right to private property and to conduct business as they see fit. They have not implemented a policy against carrying weapons, and in my case, I keep mine concealed while on their property (I generally carry concealed anyway since it provides a much greater tactical advantage and doesn’t make me the first target if something bad were to ever happen.) If we are going to win the battle over the constant 2nd amendment infringements, we need to make friends, not enemies. Blatantly throwing this in people’s faces is not how to do it!

      Assuming everything the writer states is true, I completely understand why she is asking “Bruce” to stop with this behavior. It is obnoxious and belongs elsewhere than in a private business. Unfortunately, if this writer was on the fence concerning gun rights, I doubt they are anymore!

    • I’ve said this a hundred times: There’s a big difference between a discretely armed gentleman and a d-bag with a gun.

      This guy *is* obviously a confrontational type and is looking for a reaction so he can seem surprised and righteously indignant when challenged. I have the right to scream “F$CK” at the top of my lungs all I want, and will exercise that right when warranted. Having that right doesn’t mean its appropriate in all situations.

      And yes, I carry. At SBUX. On those rare occasions when I’m OCing, I OC into SBUX. I go about my business politely…

      Too bad there’s no picture. These guys usually look like they’d be more comfortable playing Magic or Dungeons & Dragons than at a range.

  2. I don’t think dogs should be allowed in Starbucks, as they are likely a greater health risk in a food establishment.

    So please stop…

    • You wouldn’t see this letter addressed to “Police Officer, who sits at Starbucks every morning with a gun, bullet-proof vest and assault rifle:”

      Because, you know, snazzy costumes make all the difference.

      • Yeah, it’s weird that the average Joe might be OK sitting next to a uniformed police officer, but uncomfortable next to a tooled up survivalist nut. Crazy.

        • Can you cite the statistics for the comparative gun crime rates for the uniformed police officer versus the “tooled up survivalist nut”?

          I’ll give you a hint: one commits gun crime an order of magnitude less frequently than the other.

        • You are 5-8 times more likely to be killed by the costumed man than a terrorist or crazy.

          That help you with your irrational fear?

        • @ Chip and Christopher –

          You guys are right, but don’t forget that perception = reality.

          A lot of people don’t care enough about gun rights or self sufficiency to know anything you just said. It would be a shock to them.

          The average person gets their news from the standard news media on TV – one, maybe two stations.

          With these people, they hear about the “survivalist” who killed a cop in Pennsylvania recently, but never hear about police killing anyone unless it turns into a big race baiting snafu like Ferguson.

          When you put the situation into this perspective, maybe it becomes a bit more understandable why low information, less ….tough people tend to go all hyperventilation-y when they see a “civilian” with guns.

        • “perception = reality.”

          Bull, and I’m absolutely sick of this illogical mindset.

          There is objective truth that has nothing whatsoever to do with subjective perception.

          We can extract some objective truth from this letter even taking her premises at face value.

          Fact 1: The man described is not a threat. It is claimed he has been there frequently for a month. He has not done anything violent or criminal.

          Fact 2: She claims the cops have been called, yet the cops have not jailed him or removed his firearms or taken any other action that even remotely suggests that the COPS think he is violent or a criminal.

          Fact 3: The presence of a firearm, regardless of barrel length, is not by itself dangerous or a threat. See above comments about anti’s comfort level with visibly armed cops. Therefore, it is a FACT that the long gun question is answered: they don’t fear the gun. They fear the person with the gun, which is unfounded based on objectively observable data (See Facts 1 and 2).

          Stop with this perception is reality garbage. That’s letting the anti’s configure the language of the debate and in practice concedes them a LOT of ground.

          They are wrong. They are provably wrong. We need to stop letting them prance around with false claims as if it is somehow more polite to allow them to perpetuate falsehoods.

          Open carry, especially of long guns, is not her problem. Her problem is HIM, and more to the point, her problem is that he is not controlled.

          Gun control is about people control, not the gun – long or short.

        • The guy is a regular, and nothing bad ever happens, unless the writer starts something. Which “she” is trying to do. Bet “she” is one of the people that called the police. The hoplaphobe would have been just as offended by a kid with a toy gun

        • @ JR….

          Perception = reality is a fact. Trying to brush it off as some kind of liberal agenda makes you look ignorant. It’s like claiming that 2+2=6.

          If you’re going to go off on logic-free tangents like that, you might as well start talking about “legitimate rape” too. It makes about as much sense.

          I’m all for spirited arguments or discussions on here with differing opinions, but trying to claim that our world views, experiences, morality, ethics, etc. don’t significantly affect how we see the world as individuals is just… utterly silly.

          • Perception = reality is a fact. Trying to brush it off as some kind of liberal agenda makes you look ignorant. It’s like claiming that 2+2=6.

            Quite true. “Perception = reality” is analogous to “2 + 2 = 6”.

            Reality is reality. Truth is objective. Perception, by definition, is a biased and/or imperfect perspective of reality. Where perception is inconsistent with truth, reality is truth, not perception.

        • @Chip

          That is an intellectually lazy and disingenuous way to rephrase my argument.

          Perception = reality has nothing to do with facts that can be proven and everything to do with opinion/morality/beliefs/outlook etc.

          Or are you claiming that there is one, factually correct religion?

          What about abortion, hmm? Is there one person or one opinion that is “correct”?

          How about education? What is the solution to the country’s education problem?

          How about the age people should be legally allowed to drink?

          How many immigrants should be allowed into the US every year?

          What should be done with the illegal immigrants already here?

          What are the “correct” gender roles?

          You get my point.

          Please don’t jump on the train making all of us gun owners look like uneducated, ignorant knuckle draggers, please

          Fears, morals, opinions – pretty much everything that isn’t a scientific fact (and sometimes even that) are not objective.

          Even religious beliefs are only objective to the one who has faith in them.

          To argue against subjective/perception based reality for humanity is as ignorant as people who believe Iranian Muslim women should somehow just magically escape their family, country, and morals to become self confident CEOS.

          • That is an intellectually lazy and disingenuous way to rephrase my argument.

            No. Truth is truth, whether we understand it or not. Facts are facts, whether we have knowledge of them or not.

            I’m really not interested in a debate about post-modern beliefs about truth, especially if you’re going to conflate objective fact with subjective belief.

            Instead, let’s apply it to your original argument:

            A lot of people don’t care enough about gun rights or self sufficiency to know anything you just said. It would be a shock to them….When you put the situation into this perspective, maybe it becomes a bit more understandable why low information, less ….tough people tend to go all hyperventilation-y when they see a “civilian” with guns.

            RKBA is derived from the right to life. The right to life is recognized in our Declaration of Independence, and its derivative RKBA is protected by our constitution. The right to life, and therefore RKBA, is a God-given, natural human right.

            Someone’s perception of another’s lawful exercise of that right does not compel that person to acquiesce to the flawed perception of the observer. The reality is consistent with the truth that the person lawfully exercising his RKBA is in the right, and the observer with the flawed perception is in the wrong.

            The observer’s irrational fear of the long gun that the person uses in exercising RKBA does not cause the person lawfully exercising his rights to be in the wrong – legally, morally, or in any other way.

        • You know who else sees the world in black and white, who sees opinions and beliefs as being fact?

          Dictators, psychos, stalkers, etc.

          Yup. I said it.

          It’s easy to put people to the sword during the crusades or torture confessions out of people when you really /believe/ you’re right. Because the world is black and white, right? Our religion is right, those other guys are wrong, end of story.

          I don’t usually engage in ad hominems on here, but believing in universal truth in regards to anything we can’t prove through science is fucking crazy. Furthermore, expecting average people to just magically shake off the points of view of a lifetime and disregard everything they know to be true to embrace pure logic is an Ayn Rand wet dream.

          Should everyone use pure logic all the time, every day and be able to ignore everything they believe to be true. Sure! While we’re at it let’s teach the world to sing and have world peace too.

          It’s not realistic. And since it’s not realistic, those who believe in universal absolutes are usually those who wish to /push/ their views on others. If they get enough power, that can be through force.

          I tell you the truth – it’s for this reason I carry a pistol in the first place when I can. It’s for the fact that people like this exist that I joined the military. It’s for this reason I am proud to be an American.

          America is what it is because we /don’t/ say everything is black and white in the world of morality. And when we do (like with “no tolerance” and minimum sentence laws) we begin to veer away from justice and what’s right.

          So not only do I disagree, I /vehemently/ disagree. Sure, I believe too (and we have facts and figures to back it up) that gun ownership = good, ya ya ya, the whole 9 yards.

          But I will never pretend that those who hold different opinions than me are somehow subhuman or not real people. That’s how despots rise.

          For clarification, I believe the the RTKABA is a fundamental, God given right too. But you know what? That is a belief. I take that on faith. Hopefully, everyone else who calls themselves an American does too (and I think they’d have to if they were honest), but that does not make me, nor you the arbiter of what is /right/.

          It just means we believe in something greater than ourselves, that life is precious, and we have the right to defend against anyone or anything that would want to take our lives away from us.

        • “Perception = reality has nothing to do with facts that can be proven and everything to do with opinion/morality/beliefs/outlook etc.”

          I find it completely ironic that you are using phrases like “uneducated” to describe us then trot out this statement.

          Do you know what the term “reality” even means?

          From The Google:

          re·al·i·ty
          rēˈalətē/
          noun
          noun: reality

          1.
          the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

          The denial of objective truth lies at the heart of every gun control debate in existence.

          The anti’s perceive guns as the danger. We argue against that as “objective fact.”

          The anti’s claim all gun owner’s are short-penised OFWG “knuckledragging” (thanks for playing into that, by the way) violent nutjobs, even though it is objectively provably false.

          There are many other similar examples. Their perceptions most certainly are not reality, but by your argument, you are saying we should play the game by their rules, admitting that their claims have legitimate basis, just because of their perceptions.

          Sorry. I will not. They are objectively wrong. I will not concede their arguments have any merit whatsoever, nor are they worthy of intellectual respect.

          Since I have provided two examples where perception does not equal reality, I have logically shown the blanket generalization “perception equals reality” is false.

          Q.E.D. Whether you agree or not, the same logic applies. There is objective truth.

        • @TheBear

          That is an intellectually lazy and disingenuous way to rephrase my argument.

          To the contrary; it was an obscenely simple way to point out that your premise is flawed, THEN you doubled down by trotting out religion/faith, gender roles, and a handful of political topics.

          You used issues with arguments built upon perception as examples but had the stones to call somebody else lazy and disingenuous…

        • My point with all the contentious issues I brought up is that there is no truth to any of them. Just opinions and beliefs.

          No matter how deeply held a belief is, it is still a belief.

          If you are not able to grasp the fundamental logic in this, then I don’t know what else I can say.

          • My point with all the contentious issues I brought up is that there is no truth to any of them. Just opinions and beliefs.

            Post-modern nonsense. You’re confusing human knowledge and understanding of truth with the existence of truth.

            Abortion: either an unborn child is a human person, attendant with all God-given rights, or it isn’t.

            Religion: either there is a God, or there isn’t. Either there is a heaven, or there isn’t. Either this is a hell, or there isn’t. Either there is reincarnation, or there isn’t. Either there is sin, or there isn’t.

            Truth exists, whether we know or understand it, or not.

            Now, can we step back up out of this mostly pointless rabbit hole?

            • abortion….the life of a living thing is being terminated. You can opine all you want about whether or not that being is human, thus whether of not it is truly murder, but a life is being terminated. Your perception of a very real event doesn’t change that the event is what it is.

        • “Not everything is subjective.”

          A few hundred years ago, it was a scientific fact that the world is flat.

          60 years ago it was sinful and immoral to marry someone of a different race than yourself.

          Those of you with /opinions/ based on your morality (like on abortion), in 100 years your descendant may feel 100% differently.

          So, “Not everything is subjective.” I beg to differ.

          • You can beg to differ all you like, it doesn’t make you correct. None of your statements have any bearing on that. Maybe you just don’t understand.

          • A few hundred years ago, it was a scientific fact that the world is flat.

            It appears that “scientific fact” also doesn’t mean what you think it means. More importantly, this example proves my point: the reality of the shape of the earth has not changed, but the perception of the shape of the earth has changed. Did truth change? Did the earth go from being flat to a spheroid merely because humans developed observational means to alter our perception of the earth? No. The shape of the earth never changed. Truth never changed. Reality never changed.

            Only perception changed.

            60 years ago it was sinful and immoral to marry someone of a different race than yourself.

            No. Whether inter-racial marriage was sinful or not has not changed. Only human perception of it has changed. God has set the standard, which we call morality. God hasn’t changed. his definitions of what is morally right and wrong has not changed. Only human perceptions change.

            (Fortunately, we find righteousness through Jesus, and don’t have to rely on workout out moral perfection on our own. We could never do it on our own.)

            N.B . And thus ends – hopefully – the off-topic interjection of religious belief in the discussion here.

            Those of you with /opinions/ based on your morality (like on abortion), in 100 years your descendant may feel 100% differently.

            It would appear that you didn’t read what I wrote. With respect to abortion, there is truth, and there is perception. Either the unborn child is living, or it is not. Either it is human, or it is not. Either it is a person, or it is not. Our perceptions may change, but the truth does not.

            I’m not advancing an argument about abortion here; rather, I’m asserting that there are certain, objective facts about the unborn child (“fetus”, if you must) that do not change, just because our perceptions of them may change.

            So, “Not everything is subjective.” I beg to differ.

            I would recommend trying to grasp the difference between objective and subjective. I would also recommend trying to grasp the difference between the existence of truth, and human knowledge and understanding of truth.

            Until such a time, having a discussion with you on such subjects is pointless.

        • @Chip

          You kind of just made my point for me. I think to take this further is to argue semantics.

          Your argument is basically, “There is a truth, but the truth we all know to be “truth” may not be THE truth.” Okay, I can accept that.

          But doesn’t that in turn validate all of my arguments? The only way it doesn’t is if we hold our personally held beliefs to be “the” truth, which history has shown us may not always be the case.

          • But doesn’t that in turn validate all of my arguments? The only way it doesn’t is if we hold our personally held beliefs to be “the” truth, which history has shown us may not always be the case.

            Some truth is more easily knowable/understandable than other truth, but all truth is absolute.

            But let’s take that back to your original assertion (because while I enjoy an existential discussion as much as the next nerd, most of that discussion is off-topic for the discussion at hand):

            A lot of people don’t care enough about gun rights or self sufficiency to know anything you just said. It would be a shock to them…When you put the situation into this perspective, maybe it becomes a bit more understandable why low information, less ….tough people tend to go all hyperventilation-y when they see a “civilian” with guns.

            Gun crime statistics, including that 90%+ of gun crimes are committed using hand guns, are easily knowable/understandable truth. That long guns of all types are used to commit fewer homicides than either hammers or baseball bats each year is easily knowable/understandable truth.

            The preferences and motives of criminals are less-easily knowable/understandable truths, but surveys of such criminals tend to be awfully consistent, and indicate that criminals prefer the inconspicuousness of hand guns, and prefer not to draw attention to themselves.

            Perhaps if we, as supporters of gun rights, spent as much time and effort into educating people about these easily knowable/understandable truths as we do maligning people who choose to exercise their rights by open carrying, we would have a demonstrably more positive impact on society and cultural norms that is alleged that open carriers have a negative impact.

        • Oh yeah, and as this very long, impassioned argument proves, TTAG is an echo chamber my ASS. 🙂

          You can quote me on that, RF.

        • “A few hundred years ago, it was a scientific fact that the world is flat.”

          Another factual error. Human beings have “scientifically” known the world was spherical since the ancient Greek civilization made measurements to show it.

          There are simple observable facts. You mistake the simple observable fact with scientific conclusion and call “perception” reality.

          This is wrong. And before you call me “uneducated” again, I’d like to simply state my credential on the particular subject of science. I hold a terminal degree in a hard science field and within that field earned the respect of my peers. So, I am inclined to inquire what credentials you have to (a) refer to me as “uneducated” and (b) argue the merits of scientific thinking and the nature of observation in the scientific process.

          With that out of the way, it is important for you to separate the observed “fact” with any resulting theory, model, law or conclusion drawn from it. It is a simple observed, and objective, fact that if I drop something, it falls. That is “objective truth” that has nothing to do with subjective perception.

          Just like I stated above, it is an objective fact that if they were in fact called to that Starbucks they cops did not find in committing any criminal act, which would include acting in a threatening manner.

          That some twit claims to have misinterpreted the facts of the situation and subjectively perceived him to be threatening is (a) not his problem, (b) not my problem and is only a “gun rights” issue if we let people like her make it one.

          Fact: He did not fire his rifle at anyone. Fact: he did not point his rifle at anyone. Fact: He did not verbally threaten anyone while armed with a rifle.

          Those are examples of objective truth as observable facts. Perception is reality is garbage nonsense that has no place in rational, logical discussion. None. Because it is patently false.

          I don’t simple “perceive” a sunburn if I stay outside to long…I have one. I don’t “perceive” death if swallow a poison…I become dead.

          I get the point you are trying to make…that we should not scare the muggles and all that jazz. I’m trying to emphasize that it does not matter what we do; if it involves guns, gun ownership, possession, carry or anything else, they will trot out the “I’m scared” card and sell the perception that the gun is harming them in some way…to claim “a right” to control.

          I’m trying to get across the point that you are playing into their hands…emboldening them to continue this “divide and conquer” tactic by saying the dude did anything whatsoever wrong when in fact…there is no objective basis to conclude that.

        • @JR

          I never, NEVER said this guy shouldn’t go to Starbucks armed to the teeth. Please, find where I said this or else the rest of your post is pretty much meaningless.

          I also don’t recall calling you uneducated. I don’t recall attacking anyone in this entire thread specifically.

          Kthanksbye

        • @TheBear:

          “Furthermore, expecting average people to just magically shake off the points of view of a lifetime and disregard everything they know to be true to embrace pure logic is an Ayn Rand wet dream.”

          I tend to agree with most of this. But you misunderstand Ayn Rand. She very explicitly states that when judging someone’s actions you need to look at their knowledge of the situation, not your own. She does expect people to be rational, she doesn’t expect them to magically have the correct facts to reason from.

          For instance there is a scene in Atlas Shrugged (where she illustrates a lot of her philosophy) where one of the “good guys” (Hank Rearden) slaps one of the other “good guys” (Francisco d’Anconia), whom he believes has caused untold harm to his own business as well as Rearden’s. d’Anconia is furious, and clearly wants to pound Rearden to a pulp, but he restrains himself (with difficulty), because he knows that Rearden doesn’t know the whole story. In other words, Rearden had acted correctly, given what he knew, and d’Anconia knows that’s all that can be expected of a man. His exact words to Rearden are: “Within the extent of your knowledge, you are right.” (pages 640-641 of the hardback, though you might want to start on 638 to get more context–even then it won’t make much sense if you don’t know the book fairly well.)

          I have difficulty condemning an anti-gunner who simply hasn’t been exposed to the truth at all. I can condemn the ones who don’t care about the facts and refuse to learn, however.

          The problem oftentimes is NOT that the other side isn’t being logical. They often are: their conclusions do follow from their premises. But logic has to operate on a knowledge base, and if that is defective or incomplete, valid logic will still lead to a bad result.

        • “I also don’t recall calling you uneducated. I don’t recall attacking anyone in this entire thread specifically.”

          I was inclined to let this go except for two things: (1) You are conveniently now dropping out without addressing the specific points I raised and (2) the snarky little exit in your comment.

          You may not have said anything to me specifically, but in a general statement seemingly made toward anyone disagreeing with you on the points you raised in this thread:

          The Bear: “Please don’t jump on the train making all of us gun owners look like uneducated, ignorant knuckle draggers, please”

          So, perhaps I have misinterpreted this statement. If you did not intend to imply that toward those of us disagreeing with you, I welcome correction.

          The Bear: “Perception = reality is a fact. Trying to brush it off as some kind of liberal agenda makes you look ignorant. It’s like claiming that 2+2=6.

          If you’re going to go off on logic-free tangents like that, you might as well start talking about “legitimate rape” too. It makes about as much sense.”

          “Ignorant” is synonymous with uneducated on a particular topic.

          So, yeah, you kinda did hurl some negatives out at us for disagreeing with you.

          You started with some pretty strong language at those of us disagreeing with your “perception is reality” assertion, yet now seem to have completely dropped it.

          The bottom line is that her perception of the situation is wrong. There is objective reality, and it can be demonstrated. We can choose to do one of two things: (1) accept her false perception and nurture it (and thus allow her to use it to try to control the rest of us), or (2) correct her perception.

          I submit that the latter is the better long term solution.

          And as a consolation, if we cannot correct her, at least make it so so few people give her false perception audience that it does not matter what she says.

          We gain nothing by playing into the false fears and perceptions of the anti’s. That only allows them to grow and become more virulent in an anti-rights way.

        • @JR – ok, I will concede your points on negativity and I apologize for those dismissive and patronizing comments, but the reason I’m now dismissive and why I’m going to bow out of this argument is simple.

          The entire thing was started based on an incorrect assumption and bad reading comprehension. My patronizing tone was addressing what I perceived to be responses to what I intended to originally say, and not what others apparently took it to mean.

          I never said that the gentleman mentioned in the article should not be going to Starbucks. My response was to encourage empathy towards the (obviously) hoplophobic woman who penned the open letter.

          My frustration is that when we demonize the anti-gun folks, we slim down our chances of ever convincing them to the logic of our stances or ever converting them to our camp.

          I was not aware that most if not all the people responding in this thread had misunderstood my point, so the foundation for the entire back and forth is now flawed.

          As for relativism, I have not budged. That said, it seems everyone was upset about my comments because they believed my take on the hoplophobe’s perception allowed her to ban the man with the long gun and armor from Starbucks

          THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.

          So I am going to bow out of this argument and hope that the next one I am in includes a higher degree of reading comprehension. And yes, that snark was 100% intentional. I don’t like people putting words in my mouth.

          • I never said that the gentleman mentioned in the article should not be going to Starbucks. My response was to encourage empathy towards the (obviously) hoplophobic woman who penned the open letter.

            Mary is beyond civil discourse and unworthy of empathy. She is a totalitarian who wants nothing short of complete civil disarmament. (Yes, this is speculation on my part.)

            That said, if I encountered her in the Starbucks, rather than only having knowledge of her based on her pretentious letter to the editor (and her part in the campaign to add “greenways” to Cheyanne, at the expense of driving lanes), I would attempt to have a discussion with her, and in that discussion would attempt to educate her about her incorrect perceptions.

            But the Mary that we’ve encountered is an obvious MDA type, whose tactics will not be swayed by such discourse. The only acceptable course is to hold our ground, and defend the rights that she wants to take away.

        • @Chip

          Mary is beyond civil discourse and unworthy of empathy. She is a totalitarian who wants nothing short of complete civil disarmament. (Yes, this is speculation on my part.)

          That said, if I encountered her in the Starbucks, rather than only having knowledge of her based on her pretentious letter to the editor (and her part in the campaign to add “greenways” to Cheyanne, at the expense of driving lanes), I would attempt to have a discussion with her, and in that discussion would attempt to educate her about her incorrect perceptions.

          But the Mary that we’ve encountered is an obvious MDA type, whose tactics will not be swayed by such discourse. The only acceptable course is to hold our ground, and defend the rights that she wants to take away.

          We may disagree on a few things, some of which are fundamentals, but I like you.

          • @Matt

            *Raises coffee cup (note: not a salute)*

            If we all agreed about everything, this place would be pretty dull. I appreciate the discourse, and being challenged in my beliefs. You’re good people.

      • I would have a problem with a police officer carrying an assault rifle on him for no good reason.

        This isnt the UK.

      • Irrational fear, that is the point. We are not going to brake through that fear by tooling up like we are waiting for the apocalypse. I talk to people all the time that have an irrational fear of guns. When I tell them I am carrying it freaks them out a little but I don’t look like I’m waiting for the apocalypse so they are willing to talk to me. They are even interested in talking to me about the subject and most of them walk away thinking logical about it rather than emotional.

        • “We are not going to brake through that fear by tooling up like we are waiting for the apocalypse.”

          There are anti’s you are not going to break through to no matter what you do or say.

          They are irrational by definition. They don’t understand logical argument and evidence. They lie. They forge photos. They manipulate language to suit their end goal, which has nothing to do with guns. Open carry, concealed carry, camo, operator, regular guy … it does not matter to them. They simply hate us.

          Likewise, you are not going to break through to the other set by not tooling up.

          It really is a wonder to me that we’ve gained the ground we’ve gained in the last 10-20 years. So many defeatist attitudes around…

          Hey, anti-long gun OC dudes…take a look at the legal victories in the last 2 decades. They were not won by hiding or being passive. They were won by fighting for rights. They were won by folks lobbying. And in some cases, they were won by folks getting arrested and earning those court decisions we now benefit from…they earned their victories the hard way.

          So, we dishonor every single one of THOSE FOLKS whenever we say, “We should slow it down now…we should hide our guns and respect the [non-existent] “rights” of those that seek to disarm us.”

          The more I think about it, the more I think that attitude makes me sick.

      • This is part of the cop’s job. His gear is selected based on the threat and not chosen from some mall ninja catalog. If your risk assessment determines that a vest and rifle are needed, stay home and read a book on logic.

    • Late to this comment string, and with information unavailable at the time it was posted, but perhaps a few more of the ISIS/ISIL promoted random beheadings such as Oklahoma and (insert your town here) may cause Mary and her ilk to drive by the local Starbucks and make absolutely certain there IS someone in there open carrying a firearm before they decide to stop in for coffee.

  3. exactly what if I was afraid of dogs do not I have a” right “to be somewhere where there’s no dogs to protect my silly little fears.

    Sarc

    • She’s not saying she has the right to kick him out. She’s saying he may very well have the ‘right’ to be there but that he’s bothering everyone around him.

      • What she is doing is claiming her “..right to live our lives without fear”, at the expense of his right to do the same – the expense of his actual protected rights to bear arms, freely express his opinion and to protest.

        Is the guy a nut? Maybe. Is he an attention-whore? Yes. Is he within his rights? Yes. Is he a threat? Not evidently.

        • I definitely don’t think she has a right to not be afraid, but I also don’t like how a lot of open carry protesters seem more concered with getting attention than anything else.

          If I dress up as a clown everyday before I go to Starbucks I am totally within my rights, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a little weird. Others don’t have a right to not think I’m weird, but I would stick to just the clown nose and leave the rest of the get up at home. Similarly I would open carry a handgun as I dressed nicely, and not as if I were in a warzone.

      • Just like the guy who won’t stop yakking loudly into his cell phone, there’s no law against being a douche in public.

        How is her irrational fear of someone else’s douchery anyone else’s problem?

        And honey, you in fact don’t have a right to live your lives without fear… Fear and risk and pain are part of the human condition, and you have no right to make someone change their behavior just so you can ‘feel safer’.

      • Imagine what life would be like if we all exercised our “…right to live our lives without fear.”

        Since fear is unique and different for everyone it is really not possible. There is no “right to live without fear.”

        Instead of whining, and staring from afar whilst boiling in her own contempt, why doesn’t she go and talk to the guy. Maybe he would be very friendly. No reason for the contempt merely because he is different. That is the problem with these people. Intolerance.

        Also, Mary, you are in Wyoming. Can’t you leave at least one or two states out of the 50 that enjoy the carrying of firearms alone? I mean – you have 40 some odd other states you can enjoy gun-free coffee. Can’t we have at least 1 state? Come on.

    • Your being sarcastic but, the truth of the matter is, that her dogs are FAR more dangerous than his firearms. There is absolutely ZERO chance any of his guns will hurt anyone around him unless he makes it happen. The same thing cannot be said about dogs…..

    • Alpo,

      I’ll one-up your comparison. Suppose “Bruce” was a body builder with a physique that put a young Arnold Schwarzenegger to shame, was wearing clothing that accentuated his physique, was wearing a weight-lifting belt, and had a large photo of him ripping apart a concrete block with his bare hands. Such a man could at any moment quite literally kill almost everyone in the café with his bare hands. Should we shun such a man and forbid him from patronizing the café? After all, no one with that kind of a physique wears a weight-lifting belt in public.

    • This analogy is stupid. The students who conducted the sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro were fighting for a right they did not have, i.e. the right to be served alongside whites. Bruce already has the right to open-carry. Wyoming is one of the most gun-friendly states. Bruce is not fighting for anything. All he is doing is grandstanding to draw attention to himself and antagonize people. Taking your morning coffee at Starbucks in Cheyenne, Wyoming while wearing body armor and carrying a rifle does not bring any benefit whatsoever to anyone’s second amendment rights.

      Bruce would be making a useful political statement if he would carry his rifle into a Starbucks in Manhattan. But you can bet your bottom dollar we won’t be seeing any of these flamboyant open carry folks doing anything like that.

      • There were a lot of blacks that argued the marches and sit-ins did more to hurt the civil rights movement than it helped.

        You don’t have to agree, Bruce clearly DGIAF…

  4. You bring your dogs to Starbucks? I’m not an animal person, they’re fine for those who want them but I feel they have no place in where the public is eating. If I see someone with a dog at a restaurant I will typically think long and hard on whether I want to consume anything there. If I do stay, I may strike up a conversation with other patrons too polite to complain about how inappropriate it is to bring an animal to a restaurant, that is after the animal person leaves. Many others also feel the same as I.

    • Yep. Exactly. I love my dog but I am logical and educated enough his face is a germ breeding ground. As such it belongs no where near a restaurant where people may be allergic.

    • @Omer
      I always wondered who it was that bad mouthed service animals, now I know. And FYI – don’t bother visiting Europe is not uncommon to see dogs (normal ones, not service animals) sitting at the feet of patrons in a restaurant.

      Your disdain for animals isn’t much different then the anti-gunners.

    • Do we know for a fact he is wearing body armor? We have only the hoplophobe to go on, and they usually think anything that doesn’t have a barrel must be the body armor.

    • Given that Mary sees an “assault rifle” where none exists, I’m not convinced “Bruce” is wearing armor. Could well be a “tactical vest”. If Bruce is not totally fictitious, that is.

      • Why do you assume he wasn’t carrying a rifle? To be sure “assault rifle” is a misnomer, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t toting an AR-15 or something in that general category of weapon.

        • What Desert Ranger said. Someone who sees an “assault weapon” in every semi-auto that comes down the pike might just as easily see “body armor” in a tactical vest.

        • Looks like I misinterpreted what I said as being a claim that a “military style semi automatic rifle” (commonly mislabeled as an “assault rifle”) wasn’t being carried.

          I do tend to account for peoples’ ignorance when they try to tell me something. When an ignoramus says “look at that assault rifle” I *don’t* say “what assault rifle? There’s no assault rifle. Go away, you delusional twit.” I say, “Oh, that. [since I know exactly what they are refering to]. By the way, that’s not really an assault rifle.” At least then they know I understood what they were trying to say rather than refusing to acknowledge their point because they got a fine point of terminology wrong, and I still get to inform them they used the wrong word.

          In this particular case I know what the letter writer was talking about, and knowing it was just a “black rifle” not a real assault rifle, I read the comment as denying that ANY sort of “Black rifle” was being carried. My apologies.

          • Looks like I misinterpreted what I said as being a claim that a “military style semi automatic rifle” (commonly mislabeled as an “assault rifle”) wasn’t being carried.

            “Military style” is just as meaningless as “assault rifle”. What makes a rifle an “assault” rifle? What makes a rifle “military style”?

            They’re simply the nomenclature of the gun-control crowd. We really need to stop ceding ground on propagandistic terminology.

        • “Military Style” is far from meaningless. It means “Looks like a military rifle” Which they do.

          “Assault Rifle” means something too, but it requires select fire, which these guns don’t have, so it’s a factual mistake to call my AR-15 an “assault rifle.”

          Granted “Military Style” is a term that scares some people, and has no definition in law, but so what? The point IS, it looked like a military rifle (so the term directly makes my point even if you hate it), so the ignoramus assumed it was an “assault rifle,” not really knowing what that term means.

          To anyone reading this: Excessive pedantry, to the point where a person refuses to acknowledge someone’s point because they misused a term in a predictable way, is a BARRIER to communication. Correct their phrasing (i.e., explain that that AR-15 isn’t an “assault rifle”), rather than denying that they said anything meaningful (“I don’t see anything, there’s no assault rifle here.” when you know they were talking about that AR-15 over there). Then once you have made it clear you understand what they are saying, rather than dismissing it out of hand, you can spend your time arguing against what they are thinking. It’s amazing how much progress a conversation can make when you actually know what the other guy means.

          • “Military Style” means “Looks like a military rifle” Which they do.

            Like I said: meaningless. By that definition, some AirSoft rifles, paintball guns, and water guns are “military style.”

        • meaningless. By that definition, some AirSoft rifles, paintball guns, and water guns are “military style.”

          So would many bolt-action rifles used for hunting and target shooting. Next we can ban certain types of attire because it too closely resembles the uniform of some nation or another. Perception is reality, after all. Right?

        • Matt,

          You’ve got me confused with someone else if you are going to ascribe the “perception = reality” (as posed further up the page) to me.

          I have been known to use that phrase, but only as a quick way to state that people’s perceptions will affect their politics. Someone who perceives that violent crime is surging due to guns flooding the world and due to guns being available off the shelf at Walmart without any effort to stop thugs from getting them might very well be inclined to vote for gun control. That is true, even if every single thing that they perceive is really factually false. But that was a different argument.

        • @Steve, my comment was totally in relation to Chip’s and in reference to another sub-discussion elsewhere. Wasn’t directed at you at all

        • Ah, Steve, back to my point . We don’t know what kind of rifle Bruce carries. We don’t know what all Mary thinks is an “assault rifle”, it could be pretty much anything other than bolt action or a double barrel. By using the term “assault rifle” she is indicating she is likely not knowledgeable about firearms. That lack of knowledge could well extend to gear like body armor. So I am not going to assume she is accurate in her descriptions.

        • Sure. But I think it’s a safe bet, given the way that the term “Assault Rifle” is typically misused, that he was carrying what we sarcastically refer to as an “Evil Black Rifle” since I’ve never seen them refer to a lever action that way. (But give them time.) In fact I’d almost go so far as to say the wood stock would be a distinguishing feature, except that AKs at least start out with wood oftentimes, and an SKS typically even has the older style stock instead of a pistol grip. I’m not even sure what they’d make of a Garand and its descendants. (Now that would be an amusing way to waste government grant money: show a bunch of these clowns a bunch of rifles and ask them to split ’em between “assault rifle” and “not an assault rifle.” Run another group and see what they do with “assault weapon.” Then publish the results.) Of course “assault rifle” does have a real meaning, but it’s not the one they think it is [insert Inigo Montoya clip from Princess Bride here].

          But you do know what she is trying to say (“he’s carrying a scary looking gun that I always see spraying bullets in the movies or the news”), and responding to her claim by simply denying it is pointless. Without your knowledge (and she doesn’t have your knowledge) of what mistake she’s making in her assertion, it just looks like you are calling her a liar.

          Now to be perfectly clear I am not saying you shouldn’t call her on her misuse of terms; I am just saying simply denying her statement out of hand because she misused a term isn’t the way to do it. (A lot of people here were denying this incident ever even happened, at first, and I know I thought you were one of them.)

    • It wouldn’t be the first time a tactical vest had been misidentified as ‘bullet-proof body-armor’. corrections (if they ever get published) are on page 17.

      • I choked on my beer when I saw those two numbers side by side. I would have shrugged it off as a given that there were more dog attacks than shootings annually but I would have never guessed the spread was that outrageous.

    • One of the first ideas I has as well, talk to this person. Then again, I doubt that even made the list 🙂

  5. I wonder if Bruce really exists.

    The reference to body armor (no doubt with rows of 30-round mags, each stacked one behind the next, like shark’s teeth, so as to maintain an ever ready state of legality) makes me question its veracity. After all, not even the infamous Chipotle ninjas had body armor, and if Bruce did, there’re be a picture of him armored up, with his AR-15 and his cappuccino, slapped on every mainstream new outlet in the country.

    If on the off chance Bruce does exist, then for the love of God, stop.

      • It looks like Bruce is also harmless, and most people responding are telling Mary to go somewhere else if she doesnt like the company at that Starbucks.

        Not that I agree with Bruce’s wardrobe choices. The vest and long gun seem a bit much, in addition to the OC handgun, but hey, thats just my two cents. YMMV.

        PS: the dog thing is just rude. Even if its not breaking the health code there, the fact is there are many people who have had a bad experience as kids, or smiply are not comfortable with dogs, and she is blithely threatening them with hers- no matter how “nice” they might be. And I am a dog guy, btw.

  6. I have no idea why this fellow comes loaded out to drink a frappuccino. He’s obviously beyond caring what people think, so I’m not sure any of us would be able to reason with him, if we had the chance. In that way, he’s no different than the unwashed weirdo with dreads who chats up patrons at my coffee shop and bugs the snot out of us, both with his funk and unbidden conversation. Life is full of little annoyances.

    Just thinking: I don’t OC, but in either of these situations, I just might. At least dreads guy might leave me alone.

    • Wow, so much cognitive dissonance:

      At least dreads guy might leave me alone.

      Is that the same dreds guy about whom you said, “…who chats up patrons at my coffee shop and bugs the snot out of us, both with his funk and unbidden conversation.“?

      As compared to the person referenced in the letter, who does nothing other than “… sit[] at Starbucks every morning with a gun, bullet-proof vest and assault rifle“?

      So, using your logic, the dude who does nothing other than sit, drink his coffee, and mind his own business somehow bothers you, yet the guy with the funky smell who strikes up unwanted conversations with people is “leaving you alone”?

      Maybe that logic needs a bit of re-thinking?

      • Maybe you need to reread your comment, or at least reread mine. Did I say I was bothered by Wyoming OC guy? No. Mary Keane is, and she would be equally bothered by funky dreads man. You really think Tactical Joe is there to mind his own business? Ha. His getup is there to get a reaction. In fact, I would say dreads guy probably has less of an eff you attitude — he thinks he’s being friendly, at least, in his own unhinged way.

        What I’m saying is that you go to public places, you have to deal with the public. Not everyone is you.

    • there’s two kinds of people who go and sit at Starbucks:

      College students who really don’t have anywhere better to be and the wifi is free

      Attention whores who want other people to see them with their stuff.

    • “He’s obviously beyond caring what people think, so I’m not sure any of us would be able to reason with him…”

      So, lacking a desire for social acceptance is an indicator of irrational thought?

  7. Ma’am, if your description is accurate, the guy does sound a little strange. However, the “right to live our lives without fear” doesn’t exist. You don’t have a right to not be afraid or offended or any other emotion. You bring your dogs to Starbucks – what about other patrons who might be afraid of dogs? What about their “right to live without fear”? What if someone is afraid of black men? Do you see where this can lead, and why your fears don’t trump other people’s actual rights?

    • Yep. What you said. But, I’m also not unsympathetic. Her reaction is like what happens when loud, drunken, bikers begin to take over your favorite bar. Sure they have a right to be there but, finally, you just have to leave. I don’t know if Mr. AR actually exists, kinda doubt it, but this guy is doing more than just quietly enjoying a coffee and conversation: he’s claiming space. I’m all for OCing but this doesn’t cut it.

      • I definitely agree. If this really happened (which I kinda doubt), then the guy is going about it all wrong. He’s not promoting and extending gun rights, he’s being aggressively in-your-face. If you want to “normalize” guns in everyday life, wearing body armor and toting an AR isn’t the way to do it. A gun on the hip, not drawing attention to it, is going to work better in the long run.

        Of course, she called him “Bruce”, so she’s apparently on a first-name basis with the guy. He must not be that scary.