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Hypercaffeinated gun-toting constitutional-rights enthusiasts
Old 03-08-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
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Hypercaffeinated gun-toting constitutional-rights enthusiasts

I can't believe that I'd want to read JG's input on this subject, but here goes...

This NYT article caught my eye:
StarBulletin.com - Mobile Edition

My first thought was "Ruh-roh, this can't end well..." but on further reflection I think it's an interesting statement on how the media manipulates public perception.

I've been around firearms all my life, although I don't bother to own or carry one. (Submarine sailors + firearms = one of the most deadly Darwin Awards known to man.) When I leave the house, I already have enough possessions on my body to keep track of, and I think a holster would just be hot/sweaty. I personally feel that packin' heat tempts testosterone-poisoned individuals to barge into situations that I'd be better off avoiding (or running like a scared bunny) and in Hawaii it's very inconvenient to own even a licensed firearm. I certainly don't want to be in that database when the patrol car checks my license plate.

But when I read the article I automatically assumed that a Starbucks full of firearms is a bad thing. Intellectually I know that's not the case, and now I wonder about the causal correlation between open carry and crime rates. (Open carry::accident rates is another correlation that I can probably already predict.) I'd attend one of these events just to see what's fashionable.

Is this activism causing a fuss on the Mainland, or is it just media hype? Any other perspectives?
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Is this activism causing a fuss on the Mainland, or is it just media hype? Any other perspectives?
Odd as it may seem, this has barely made the news in my part of the world.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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Just wait until someone tries to jump the line at Starbucks, and the soccer moms twitching for a caffeine fix are all packing heat...
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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Is this activism causing a fuss on the Mainland, or is it just media hype? Any other perspectives?
Not much of a ripple as far as I can tell. I saw the article in the paper, but the issue doesn't seem to have gone "viral."

I think the "open carry" folks are misguided on this issue and they are hurting their cause. Here we have a retailer that allows open carry (and does not prohibit concealed carry). That's a good thing. So, these nuts show up packing heat, making a scene, and driving off the other paying customers. Starbucks would be entirely justified in changing their policy to deny entry to all those openly displaying firearms in reaction to this dust-up.

If these folks want to advance open/concealed carry issues, they should be writing letters to merchants in appreciation for permissive policies and noting how often they frequent these merchants. They should be polite and low key. And, they should carefully consider what they gain by open carry that they could not just as well achieve by concealed carry. I can't help but think that a lot of these folks just want to be seen in public with a gun, craving the attention they get. Just go get a body piercing instead and stop stirring the pot, I say.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:08 PM   #5
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I just became aware of it a couple of years ago when I was researching some other gun-related issue online and found a website devoted to promoting legalized open carry. Outside that encounter though, I haven't seen or heard anything.

I don't think it's about self-defense as much as it is a push to get states to back off on restrictions on carrying weapons in general.

Politics aside, as a self-defense technique I think it's stupid. Guns not magic amulets that ward off evil spirits, they're tools to be used effectively and soundly. Cops in uniform who openly carry get taken on all the time by armed offenders, and other cops are constantly learning how to prepare for that - often by studying the mistakes made by others. There is a lot more to being credibly capable of using a weapon in self-defense that goes way beyond ownership, a little practice, and carrying it where everyone can see it. Attitude and preparation is a giant part of being ready, if you're going to whip out your hogleg but aren't really prepared to kill someone, you need to carry a gun made out of milk chocolate - because there are a lot of dudes out there who aren't scared and will make you eat that thing.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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Is this activism causing a fuss on the Mainland, or is it just media hype? Any other perspectives?
Yeah, kinda sorta:

Students Fight University for Right to Pack Guns

Just Google Guns +Univesity for a bunch more.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:27 PM   #7
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Yes, it seems like a lot of hype.

But I would personally feel very uncomfortable going to any place where Joe Blow can power trip by carrying a clearly visible gun. I have no problem with concealed carry though.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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... Attitude and preparation is a giant part of being ready, if you're going to whip out your hogleg but aren't really prepared to kill someone, you need to carry a gun made out of milk chocolate - because there are a lot of dudes out there who aren't scared and will make you eat that thing.
Couple years ago a friend who carries was jumped by a druggie stepson and several of his 15-16YO friends. Told me his main concern was keeping his concealed weapon concealed. He got scuffed up pretty well, got in a few licks himself, but no one died. Comparatively clean and simple outcome.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Just had a local dude with conceal/carry permit flash it at a guy in another car that was following too close...or some other "transgression". The police caught the concealed carry guy and I do believe he is in some trouble.

My fear is that most/many of the CC guys are convinced they need to be personally armed to unilaterally "fix" all they deem wrong with our country...and also to be the righteous rule of law when required. Not sure it is a good idea. I think we will have more pulling of guns during temper tantrums...
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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Here’s what a search on Walnut Creek and guns brought up in the local newspaper archives:

Gun rights activists take up arms at Baker Beach

That might be a more interesting story in a warmer time of year as Baker Beach is “clothing optional.”
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:59 PM   #11
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I come down firmly on the right to legally own and legally carry a weapon but I'm not in favor of displaying the weapon. Just seems like asking for trouble.

And why do police have the "right" to inspect a weapon? The quick answer would be to see if it were stolen but if that's the reason why not inspect folks with cell phones to see if they are stolen.

Not in favor of folks openly displaying a gun but am in favor of their right to do so.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:14 PM   #12
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I think if we got a bunch of hyper-caffeinated soccer moms and put out some videos showing them driving tanks and flying fighter jets, North Korea would be more than happy to back off their nuclear program...........
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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I think if we got a bunch of hyper-caffeinated soccer moms and put out some videos showing them driving tanks and flying fighter jets, North Korea would be more than happy to back off their nuclear program...........
if you shot the video during the right wrong week of the month, even Iran would fall in line...
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #14
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It got some attention around here. Some gun control proponents demonstrated in front of a Starbucks in Old Town Alexandria, VA. I don't think most people care one way or the other.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:14 PM   #15
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I grew up in rural Montana where open carry was commonplace. It wasn't a bit unusual to see hunters, hikers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts pushing a cart through the grocery store with a sidearm on their belt. If anything, it was often a conversation starter "Hey, how do you like your Ruger Blackhawk?"

I feel that concealed carry is better and hold a permit to do so. Why upset the folks who aren't comfortable with visible firearms? And why not leave the bad guys guessing about who does or doesn't?
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:25 PM   #16
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I'm willing to stipulate that these guys are "manlier" men than I am. Do you suppose that will satisfy them enough to put their guns away?
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:32 AM   #17
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In 2001 the concealed weapons permit process was opened up in Michigan to basically anyone that is not a convicted felon or visibly crazy. The prediction was open gun battles in the streets, but anecdotally, it seems to have changed little. Once in a while there is a story of a shooting in Detroit, usually involving someone reacting to a crime or attempted crime.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:48 AM   #18
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Frankly if I noticed a person carrying anything other than a shotgun in a public place I would leave. If the merchant thinks that is OK because it is legal then they won't get my business. I too have rights and I vote with my pocketbook.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:35 PM   #19
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Frankly if I noticed a person carrying anything other than a shotgun in a public place I would leave. If the merchant thinks that is OK because it is legal then they won't get my business. I too have rights and I vote with my pocketbook.
Funny, I'd leave if I saw someone carrying a shotgun because that seems much more out of place than a person with a holstered pistol.

BTW, have you seen someone with a shotgun in a public place like a convenience store or Walmart. That would scare me a bit. A pistol, not so much.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #20
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I guess you don't have bird hunters in your family.

Frankly guns of any kind aren't what I want to be around; but a shotgun, depending on the setting, is less threatening. A guy carrying a shotgun dressed up for bird hunting isn't threatening to me, people aren't the target in mind. Now if a person wasn't in a bird hunting environment I would sashay out of there too.
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