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July 6, 2014 2:39 PM   Subscribe

How should you respond when a guns-rights activist carrying a firearm walks into your vicinity? PQED.org suggests a possible response. Meanwhile, Don't Shred on Me held a mocking Open Carry Guitar rally.
posted by emjaybee (350 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
I agree with "leave immediately." If you are at a restaurant and someone was serving you, call the restaurant up to arrange payment later, and explain to them why you won't be back.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:42 PM on July 6 [23 favorites]


I'm not sure about not paying; I'd pay and leave quickly, explaining to a manager why I'm doing so. (Or at least, I think I would; thankfully I've never been in this situation.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:45 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


First day of new gun law leads to arrest
On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:46 PM on July 6 [33 favorites]


I would take the "don't pay" route...
posted by HuronBob at 2:47 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.

The customer making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other customer, who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification.


That's hilarious. Are they actively challenging each other's right to carry guns?
posted by Spatch at 2:49 PM on July 6 [48 favorites]


Honestly, I would feel massively unsafe, and I would be getting out of there ASAP. I am not going to pause to pay when my life is in danger, and when I see someone openly carrying a gun, I assume my life is in danger.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:51 PM on July 6 [24 favorites]


Leave immediately via the nearest emergency exit. Leave in a group, get through the door quickly once it is open, because many emergency exits will trigger the fire alarm and the gun nuts might start shooting. The alarm might cause a Fire Department, EMT or Police response, which is arguably a proper response to a potential mass shooting.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:54 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


At least this tactic prevents the possibility of retaliation where open carry folk track down & publicize the contact information of concerned citizens who call 911.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:54 PM on July 6


related (Target)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:54 PM on July 6


Step 1: Steal goods and/or services, because it serves them right?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:56 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


That Valdosta times story sounds like a Monty Python Skit. "You're under citizen's arrest!" "No, YOU'RE under citizen's arrest!"

I have a little theory that cultures in which open and public carrying of weapons is common (Sikh, samurai, etc.) tend to have strict norms about the use/abuse of said weapons. Probably wrong but it feels truthy. If Americans ever had such norms they certainly don't have them now.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 2:57 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


This only works if you select a special few deadly weapons to apply this logic to. We can't flip out anyone with a gun, knife, or car is in a position to mass murder us all. Society would not function. Every time you go out, you are putting your life in the care of others, trusting they won't decide to kill you. Thems the breaks.
posted by brenton at 2:57 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I've noticed that the gun-owners I know are also the fiercest proponents of gun control and opponents of open-carry nonsense. For whatever that's worth.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:58 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Yeah, Just Leave. That's exactly what I do when I see someone carrying a gun. I haven't been confronted with such things in my casual daily going-about-my-business life very often, but guns are always about violence and the possibility of violence. I don't need to be around that stuff.
posted by hippybear at 2:58 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


We can't flip out anyone with a gun, knife, or car is in a position to mass murder us all.

Cars have a utility which is not about violence.

Knives have a utility which is not about violence.

Guns have no utility which is not about violence.
posted by hippybear at 3:00 PM on July 6 [152 favorites]


Mrbigmuscles: I think the cultures you're picturing had feudal rules around who carried weapons, as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:00 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


If I'm in a restaurant and someone drives their car inside it, I'm going to leave then, too.
posted by Drastic at 3:00 PM on July 6 [155 favorites]


It's so refreshing not to be at the forefront of some bullshit like this just because I live in Louisiana.

That said, realizing that the open-carry nimrods are not the ones likely to pose a threat instead of leaving I'd probably do something like shouting "HEY! YOU THERE, WITH THE GUNS! IT WENT THATAWAY!!! YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE ESCAPED CIRCUS ELEPHANT, RIGHT?" It's a dick-waving competition after all and nobody who is waving their dick wants it to be laughed at.
posted by localroger at 3:01 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


We can't flip out anyone with a gun, knife, or car is in a position to mass murder us all.


Except that it's super easy to flip out and kill a bunch of people with a gun.


A knife? I'd probably get tired after the fourth person or so. Fifth at the most.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:01 PM on July 6 [14 favorites]


I have a little theory that cultures in which open and public carrying of weapons is common (Sikh, samurai, etc.) tend to have strict norms about the use/abuse of said weapons. Probably wrong but it feels truthy. If Americans ever had such norms they certainly don't have them now.

Sikhs don't openly carry and Kirpans aren't typically sharp.
posted by Talez at 3:02 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


For all the talking proponents do of the role of guns in self-defense, I'd love to see some numbers as to how many have ever used a firearm to defend themselves. How many home invasions or muggings have actually been stopped by someone pulling out a gun?
posted by themadthinker at 3:02 PM on July 6


I'd probably get tired after the fourth person or so.

Dude, you need to work out more.
posted by localroger at 3:03 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


This only works if you select a special few deadly weapons to apply this logic to.

That's the point. Is someone engaged in an activity (travel) for which they need the equipment (car)? Then chances are good they intend to use the equipment for the activity. Is someone bringing war-zone weapons into a peace-time civilian movie theater or other confined space full of people? What is the utility of that equipment in that activity? Leave the premises.
posted by anonymisc at 3:05 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


For all the talking proponents do of the role of guns in self-defense, I'd love to see some numbers as to how many have ever used a firearm to defend themselves. How many home invasions or muggings have actually been stopped by someone pulling out a gun?

We don't know because the CDC hasn't been allowed to study gun violence for nearly two decades. And now that the ban has been lifted by the executive its gun study funding has been set at the grand total of $0.
posted by Talez at 3:06 PM on July 6 [63 favorites]


Dude, you need to work out more.

He's a good man. And thorough.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:06 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Dude, you need to work out more.


Yeah, my stabbin' arm just ain't what it used to be.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:08 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Yea, them thar people open carrying guns who are dressed in gang colours with ranks and rituals to advance in the gang are dangerous.

They go in back yards and shoot dogs, or even kill people over the theft of a burrito. Others use high tech electrical cattle prods to get compliance via pain.

Best just leave because if they are around, there must be trouble.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:10 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Honestly, if someone is traipsing around Target brandishing a machete or a broadsword, I'm pretty much going to get out of there, too. Maybe it's different in Texas, but where I live, people just don't carry weapons around the shopping mall on a regular basis.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:10 PM on July 6 [14 favorites]


I'd love to see some numbers as to how many have ever used a firearm to defend themselves. How many home invasions or muggings have actually been stopped by someone pulling out a gun?

Studies of speculative alternative histories (X clearly would have happened but it didn't happen and it didn't happen because of Y) is obviously a difficult thing to do. There are numbers on this to supports all sides of all arguments, depending on which study/ass you want them pulled out of. But people think the numbers that support their own position are the truest numbers, so if you're pro-gun, the number clearly show that guns prevent more violence than they create, and if you're pro-control, the numbers clearly support the opposite too.
posted by anonymisc at 3:11 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


To be fair, there are also cities where I will leave a place when the cops walk in.


Chicago, for one. Paris, too.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:12 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Honestly, if someone is traipsing around Target brandishing a machete or a broadsword, I'm pretty much going to get out of there, too. Maybe it's different in Texas, but where I live in almost all of the civilized world, people just don't carry weapons around the shopping mall on a regular basis.

FTFY.
posted by Talez at 3:12 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


Yes I'd leave Target straightaway, too. I would feel a bit funny about leaving a restaurant where I had had most or all of my meal, and just leaving without paying, though.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:13 PM on July 6


I always figured that the "open carry" folks are just attention whores. Looking for any reason to spout off about gun rights, immigration, Obama, or any other hot button issue. Itching for a (verbal) fight.

I'd just ignore them and go about my business. Maybe roll my eyes if it's really over the top.

I say this as someone who is generally a 2nd Amendment and concealed carry supporter.
posted by sbutler at 3:14 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Step 1: Steal goods and/or services, because it serves them right?

No, because a stranger just brought a visible weapon into a public space, you don't know what his motives are, and mass shootings happen all the time.
posted by maxsparber at 3:15 PM on July 6 [75 favorites]


Looks like mister fancy shoes put on his best shoes. Trying to impress somebody, Mister Fancy Shoes?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:16 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Serious question. How do you know the difference between a guns rights activist and a mass murderer, before the mass murderer starts shooting people?
posted by empath at 3:16 PM on July 6 [97 favorites]


I understand people's hesitation about the restaurant situation. Here's the thing, though. I have a right to privacy, right? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm fairly sure that could be interpreted as I have the right not to be in the same restaurant as someone with a deadly weapon.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:17 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Serious question. How do you know the difference between a guns rights activist and a mass murderer, before the mass murderer starts shooting people?

With this handy guide.
posted by msbrauer at 3:19 PM on July 6 [34 favorites]


“Dine and dash” is illegal but this isn’t dine and dash.

Tell the DA that. And the Judge when brought up on charges for "dine and dash". You'll be able to tell people that you stood by your beliefs and good for you.

Because the logic of "make the gun holder pay the bill" just doesn't seem to have case law backing it up, but hey-someone has to be 1st blush.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:20 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Well, conservatives love to stand up for the rights of restaurants not to serve people, so I imagine they'll be fine being told they can't eat at tgi Fridays.
posted by empath at 3:20 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's different in Texas, but where I live, people just don't carry weapons around the shopping mall on a regular basis.

Saw a dude walking down the street the other day with arrows sticking out of quiver on his back.
Didn't see a bow, but he was wearing a backpack, so could have had a takedown.

But I gather archery is becoming a bit of a trend, so I expect I'll see more people prepared for the next battle of Agincourt.
posted by madajb at 3:21 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


(e) (1) A license holder shall be authorized to carry a weapon in a government building
207 when the government building is open for business and where ingress into such building
208 is not restricted or screened by security personnel.


Where I come from if you come into a government building with even a motorcycle helmet on they'll call the cops and have you hauled away in cuffs.

Oh I love the other part of the law where they explicitly delete everything to do with prohibiting firearms from bars and clubs. Alcohol and firearms mix perfectly well, right guys?!?
posted by Talez at 3:23 PM on July 6


Tell the DA that.

Nobody would get prosecuted for it.
posted by empath at 3:25 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


But I gather archery is becoming a bit of a trend, so I expect I'll see more people prepared for the next battle of Agincourt.



When only criminals have bows and arrows,


THEN WE'LL FIGHT IN THE SHADE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:25 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


What exactly would happen if you shouted "S/HE'S GOT A GUN!" at the top of your lungs every time you saw somebody not in uniform carrying a weapon? Just a thought.
posted by koeselitz at 3:25 PM on July 6 [16 favorites]


I would feel a bit funny about leaving a restaurant where I had had most or all of my meal, and just leaving without paying, though.

It depends. If the restaurant welcomes mass-murderers and/or protesters indistinguishable from such, then the disruption of the meal is on the establishment. Establishments where people gather in confined spaces to relax have traditionally reserved the right to bar entry based on standards of appearance. No-one blinks at "No shirt no shoes no service."

I'd leave. Return later, find out whether the restaurant was complicit in what happened, weigh their expectations and mine, and from there figure out the best way forward.
posted by anonymisc at 3:26 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


and mass shootings happen all the time.

Yes, depending on where you are. 90% of shooting victims may be civilians (or not) and with 250,000 rounds fired yes mass shootings happen all the time. ALL the time.

Yea know - depending on where you are. And who's at that location trying to get people to do stuff under the threat of force.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:28 PM on July 6


Tell the DA that. And the Judge when brought up on charges for "dine and dash". You'll be able to tell people that you stood by your beliefs and good for you.
I would be really, really surprised if the local DA prosecuted me for it. (And I know a fair amount about the local DA and have had dealings with the DA's office as a victim.) I'm willing to take my chances, because the bottom line is that I want to get out of there alive. And I have no way of knowing whether an asshole with a gun is a gun-nut asshole or a mass-murderer asshole. I can't read minds, so when I see a gun, I exit as quickly as possible.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:29 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


What if you work in the restaurant, or the Target, or what-have-you?
posted by dogheart at 3:29 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Tell the DA that.

When the restaurant manager races after me wanting me to pay my bill, I'll say "Thank God you got out too! We have to call the police!" and then I'll wait in a safe area with the manager far from the guys with the guns until the cops arrive.
posted by incessant at 3:30 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


(oh by the way this is my contribution to the #JulybyWomen initiative.)
posted by emjaybee at 3:30 PM on July 6 [18 favorites]


I'm definitely in line with letting the business know why you are leaving. Rather than make a fuss though, which might raise the adrenaline level of the armed person who has just entered, I'd pay and leave.

I'd then follow it up with a call to the manager, regional and national headquarters as appropriate. I'd also be letting my friends know that I'm not going there again unless a no firearm policy is implemented.
posted by arcticseal at 3:31 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Yes, depending on where you are.

"Leave" sounds like good advice no-matter where you are.
posted by anonymisc at 3:32 PM on July 6


What exactly would happen if you shouted "S/HE'S GOT A GUN!" at the top of your lungs every time you saw somebody not in uniform carrying a weapon? Just a thought.

It would probably make that person feel very self-conscious and I would love to be able to dissuade people from that behavior through harmless mockery, but the problem is that you wouldn't want to do anything that might escalate the situation, you know? Who knows how stable/sensible that person is, especially given that they're carrying a fucking gun around to intimidate innocent strangers?

And in states where the Stand Your Ground laws have been passed, if you walk around with a firearm and someone makes you feel scared or threatened by shouting "HE'S GOT A GUN!" then you could practically shoot people for panicking in your immediate vicinity and probably get away with it. What a country!
posted by clockzero at 3:33 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


But I gather archery is becoming a bit of a trend, so I expect I'll see more people prepared for the next battle of Agincourt.

Don't laugh. You never know when you may need to protect yourself from the sudden appearance of 3000 French Men-at-Arms. Happened to the uncle of a friend of mine. He was pretty glad he had his bow that day. Totally self-defense.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:35 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


Hereabouts, where commercial properties can post signs prohibiting weaponry (guns, knives, or else), some well-meaning citizens tried a letter and phone campaign to inform restaurants that said citizens were boycott those restaurants for banning guns on premises. The restaurant managers would ask where the citizens were calling from and then politely reply that they seemed to live too far away to be likely to patronize the restaurant, but thanks for the notification.
posted by ardgedee at 3:39 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful? Mass shootings are an incredibly rare event, and the way to tell that someone is not a mass murderer is that they are not pointing a weapon at people in a threatening manner. Otherwise, no, you can't tell - anymore than you can tell whether some maniac has rigged whatever building you're in with explosives.

You are never, ever safe and this should be reflexively obvious to any adult. If guns make you nervous, then by all means leave at the next available opportunity - but screwing over a restaurant you enjoy just because you can't keep your anxiety in check? That's low class, no matter how you slice it.
posted by Ryvar at 3:39 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


I'm reminded of when I visited friends in Arizona, who have gone whole hog "we looooove guns now." They mentioned some restaurant or other that tried banning guns and the restaurant went out of business.

I....don't think this is going to work as intended. Especially if you do it in Texas.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:40 PM on July 6


By no means a legal expert in this area, but coming from a state with very permissive gun laws I'd say the woman front and center in that first link has crossed the line from openly carrying to brandishing a weapon. How much has this been a problem in these protests?

In general I'd say that shouting "look out, gun!" for most open carry situations is about as wise as shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater, but I can definitely see wanting to stay clear of someone actively brandishing a weapon of any sort.
posted by freejinn at 3:40 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


If you have cash on hand then leaving a little bit of cash on the table as you leave probably won't slow things down much, depending on the situation.

I'm imagining a future where travelers read in their tourist guidebooks that the etiquette in America to always have some cash on-hand so you can do the polite thing in the case of your meal being disrupted by gun-toting gangs. :-)
posted by anonymisc at 3:41 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


You are never, ever safe and this should be reflexively obvious to any adult.

Wait who's the one with the anxiety problem - us? Or you?
posted by incessant at 3:41 PM on July 6 [47 favorites]


Also, walking out of a restaurant without paying hurts the waitstaff, whose pay will be docked for the tab. If you settle by phone later, the money is as likely as not to go directly into the restaurant's till without recompensating the waitstaff. Unless the shift manager is unusually ethical.

If you want to act in protest, make your actions affect the right people.
posted by ardgedee at 3:42 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


I can't believe anyone is saying you should calmly pay and leave. That's not just crazy talk, it's firmly in the domain of death-wishery. I've been in places where people have walked up with guns and all but once everyone got the fuck out. You don't know what's going through that persons mind so stop thinking that you do. You're going to get yourself and others injured or killed with that lunacy.

The only time everybody didn't make a beeline to the outside was when the nutjob (and that's what they are) stood between us and the exit. My blood pressure shot up until all I could hear was the blood pounding in my ears.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:44 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


I was worrying about what the workers are supposed to do too. And I guess in theory businesses are supposed to put signs up saying no guns allowed, right? Is the burden on the employees to tell these people to leave, or can they call the cops and get them escorted out?
posted by NoraReed at 3:44 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Hi. It's illegal to dock waitstaff for walked bills. Don't sweat it. Stay alive.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:45 PM on July 6 [26 favorites]


On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.

"I'm the Good Guy with a Gun!" "No, I'M the Good Guy with a Gun!!"
posted by scody at 3:47 PM on July 6 [23 favorites]


Wait who's the one with the anxiety problem - us? Or you?

Potentially both of us, I suppose, but the fact that I'm never truly safe is something I've known and lived with since I was very small. The responses here come off as either farcically sheltered or Republican-style dehumanize-those-who-think-different-from-me nincompoopery.

We're better than that. And if we're not, we should work on being better than that.
posted by Ryvar at 3:48 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


From audi alteram partem's link: "This isn't about open carry. This is about constitutional carry. That means no regulations, no license, nothing."

Completely unregulated, unlicensed gun ownership? I guess I shouldn't be surprised that that's their goal, but jesus. The notion that that's "constitutional" is laughable. These are terrible people.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:48 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


There have been 125 mass shootings so far in 2014 in the US. (That's "mass shooting" defined as at least 4 people getting shot, so most of these haven't been anywhere near a Columbine kind of situation, but even so I think "incredibly rare" is the wrong term.)

I just can't help thinking of things this way: when you're working in customer service, there are an incredible number of people who try to badger and intimidate you based on some combination of machismo and "the customer is always right." And being badgered and intimidated by somebody who happens to be openly carrying a gun is a singularly unpleasant experience.
posted by Jeanne at 3:48 PM on July 6 [59 favorites]


I mean, to be fair, no gun regulation whatsoever would be constitutional and I don't mean to imply otherwise. But that's clearly not required by the constitution, and there's plenty of case rulings to back that up.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:50 PM on July 6


If you live in a stand-your-ground state (like me), why not just pull out your concealed weapon (you do have one, don't you?)and drop the open carry guy in his tracks. It's perfectly legal if you feel threatened. (Note: may not apply to dark-skinned minorities)
posted by TedW at 3:52 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful?

I know, people feeling the need to walk into a suburban Olive Garden armed with AR-15s like they're in Tirkit -- oh, wait, you mean the people responding to such insanity?

This country has descended into self-parody.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:53 PM on July 6 [70 favorites]


I mean, I'd duck into the back and call the cops, because there's no way I'm getting shot for my low-wage customer service job, but it's something to maybe take into consideration.
posted by dogheart at 3:54 PM on July 6


Frankly, I'm pretty sure if I saw somebody carrying a gun in a restaurant, or some other establishment where money is exchanged for goods and services, my first concern would be that an armed robbery might be about to take place. It doesn't have to specifically be a mass shooting to be dangerous to the staff and patrons.
posted by skybluepink at 3:54 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful?

Of someone in an establishment that has a bunch of money holding a gun? I've had a gun put into my face by someone who wanted the $50 or so we had in Friendly's back in 1985. It was fucking terrifying, and I am not going to assume that anyone with a gun somewhere that you could conceivably want to steal something doesn't have some plan other than "I'm here to protest for my rights" in place.

At some point, someone is going to get the bright idea to use the gun protests to rob somewhere, and someone will get killed. Most likely someone who felt "comfortable" with people with guns in a public setting.
posted by xingcat at 3:56 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


If guns make you nervous,

It's missing the elephant in the room to suggest that it's just guns making people nervous here. People are fine with proximity to guns at gun shows, museums, shooting ranges, hunting trips, police cars, uncle Bob's collection, all sorts of places where guns are legitimate equipment with a legitimate role to play.
posted by anonymisc at 3:56 PM on July 6 [26 favorites]


dirigibleman: This country has descended into self-parody.

Man, as a Canadian living in a big city, it's so fucked up to watch these discussions take place when they do here; like a different world. How many mass shootings have we had in Canada this year? I can't understand your gun culture, not one bit.
posted by gman at 3:56 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


I completely missed the news coverage of the person who walked into a suburban Olive Garden with an AR-15.

oh wait.
posted by merelyglib at 3:57 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


vibratory: Oh absolutely they're factually in the wrong, and probably a little stressed because their worldview and culture are dying - but viewing them as potential mass murderers on sight, always, is simply obstructive. It's how you perpetuate the cycle.

Xingcat: so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?
posted by Ryvar at 3:57 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


> Hi. It's illegal to dock waitstaff for walked bills. Don't sweat it. Stay alive.

Hi. Restaurant management does not always exert themselves in the best interests of their staff.

If you live in an open carry state, you also have reason to believe that anybody in the joint carrying a gun is not trigger-happy. The mere presence of a gun is no longer sufficient evidence of being in a life-threatening situation. So walking out -- with or without paying -- is an action of protest, not of panic. Unless there was additional evidence of the situation becoming life-threatening.

If you do not live in an open carry state and you are personally in multiple situations where people are brandishing guns in the restaurants, it's probably past time to reconsider some life choices.
posted by ardgedee at 3:59 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Last place I worked had a silent alarm under the counter, you can bet your ass it would be pushed the second anyone but a cop walked in with a gun. I'm not waiting to find out if it gets pointed at me or not. I wouldn't blame anyone for immediately leaving, though I would expect them to pay later even if they never wanted to patronize the establishment again.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:01 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?

Did you miss the part where he said he'd had a gun stuck in his face before?
posted by skybluepink at 4:02 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


If you live in an open carry state, you also have reason to believe that anybody in the joint carrying a gun is not trigger-happy. The mere presence of a gun is no longer sufficient evidence of being in a life-threatening situation. So walking out -- with or without paying -- is an action of protest, not of panic. Unless there was additional evidence of the situation becoming life-threatening.

Looks like lots of people are going to be staying home.
posted by dglynn at 4:03 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Yes. Life choices. You've given me lots to think about CHECK PLEASE
posted by hal9k at 4:03 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I probably wouldn't walk out of the restaurant. I know a lot of gun owners (I am one myself) and the vast majority of them are harmless. However, I would think the open carry person was being an asshole, and if it was a chain restaurant, then a tweet to the corporate account would probably have an interesting effect and might lead to a change in policy.

Personally, even though I love the industrial design of my Sig Sauer, I would never want to show it off in public, nor do I want the responsibility entailed by carrying it concealed.

Anyways, one possible solution to this problem is to make an appeal to America's racism. If enough nonwhite people showed up in groups, carrying AR-15's, or AK's, or even a boring old deer rifle, you would see many states and many many teabaggers suddenly reconsider their need to publicly prance around with a weapon. This was the reaction of Saint Reagan and the NRA back in the days of the Black Panthers.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:04 PM on July 6 [48 favorites]


You know, I used to have to make a longish list to effectively argue that the country I grew up in should no longer be considered a "first-world" nation. Stuff like wealth disparity, private healthcare, public transit almost exclusively used by poor people, government corruption, etc.

Now I can just point to literal third-world warlord behavior and let the argument make itself.

Thanks, America!
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:04 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Sarcasm-quotes: "I know, let's let these assholes win and be dine-and-dash assholes ourselves in the process."
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:06 PM on July 6


No, seriously, you say I should be calm when a guy walks into a populated area with a rifle. I'll be calm if you can explain to me how I can tell the difference between an armed guy going out shopping and one with murder on his mind. As there is no rational reason to carry a gun to a restaurant, I have to assume that I'm dealing with a dangerous person.
posted by empath at 4:07 PM on July 6 [47 favorites]


he moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind

Not at all, it's more like Pascal's Wager - if you give the guy the benefit of the doubt, you gain a little if you're right, but you may lose everything if you're wrong.
You are deciding based on your own feelings about your own potential costs, not presuming things about the men-with-guns.
posted by anonymisc at 4:08 PM on July 6 [23 favorites]


If you want to act in protest, make your actions affect the right people.
I'm not trying to act in protest. I am trying to avoid a dangerous situation. It's no different than if the kitchen were on fire. I wouldn't stick around to pay then, either.
when did we become so fearful?
I don't think we became anything. There has never been a time when it would seem normal for someone to walk into Target with an AR-15. There has never been a time when the average American would not find that threatening. This is new, bizarre behavior that gun-nuts are undertaking because they have become completely unhinged and have completely lost touch with how their behavior appears to ordinary people. On some level, I think that's great, because it reveals in a really visceral way just how out-there the gun fanatics have become. But it sucks for the people who are being terrorized, and that includes a lot of people who support your right to own and carry guns. Gun rights folks like to talk about responsible gun ownership, but I can't for the life of me see what's responsible about behaving in ways that are designed to terrorize and provoke.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:08 PM on July 6 [75 favorites]


A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.

The customer making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other customer, who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification.
That's hilarious. Are they actively challenging each other's right to carry guns?
I'd almost be willing to bet that the guy who demanded proof that the other person was carrying legally was white, and the person whom he demanded it of was black.
posted by Flunkie at 4:09 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?

This is not a criminal trial. The gun owner is not being sentenced to any sort of punishment by the person feeling threatened and fleeing for their safety. Come on.
posted by narain at 4:10 PM on July 6 [32 favorites]


when did we become so fearful?

When people started openly carrying weapons in public?

so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?

I'm not sure that I would describe someone who is so fearful about their day-to-day life that they feel that they have to walk around armed as 'calm'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:10 PM on July 6 [63 favorites]


If enough nonwhite people showed up in groups, carrying AR-15's, or AK's, or even a boring old deer rifle, you would see many states and many many teabaggers suddenly reconsider their need to publicly prance around with a weapon.

Too much risk of a massacre of nonwhites. I wouldn't want to go near open-carry in the USA without being white.
posted by anonymisc at 4:10 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


And no, this is worse than third world. There are lots of people walking around openly carrying weapons in the third world, but they have a reason to. They're either armed guards or they're gangsters, and frankly, I was more comfortable around armed gangsters in Guatemala than I would be facing a lone nut at a shopping mall in the us. Gangsters don't tend to murder people indiscriminately the way that spree killers in the us do.
posted by empath at 4:11 PM on July 6 [16 favorites]


As there is no rational reason to carry a gun to a restaurant, I have to assume that I'm dealing with a dangerous person.

Fucking this. Christ almighty why would anyone carry a gun to a restaurant or drugstore or whatever? Are they so goddam afraid of the world that they need a gun to handle leaving the house? I guess Tim was right.
posted by Sternmeyer at 4:12 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful?

Can't speak for anyone else, but for me there are a few possibilities: the night someone was shot on the street three blocks from my apartment; or the night I was walking home and had to try to figure out how to get past the two private security guards with drawn guns, pointed at someone walking away from them, a block and a half from my apartment; or the night my friends had to hit the ground because a drive-by shooting was happening right outside their door.

I'm afraid of getting hit by a stray bullet, not from one of the mass shootings that make the national news, but from one of the individually smaller-scale shootings that happen all the time (but get less media attention). That's not paranoia, and I'm not afraid of guns per se; I quite like hunting, for example, and seeing a hunter in the woods with a rifle wouldn't scare me at all. But on a city street, or in a convenience store, or somewhere else where the only potential targets are human? In light of the things that people actually do with guns in those contexts, I think fear is an entirely reasonable response.
posted by heisenberg at 4:12 PM on July 6 [29 favorites]


Leaving the vicinity of a weapon openly carried can be done out of an abundance of caution, not blind fear or unthinking panic.
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:15 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


At a recent shooting in Seattle, the bad guy with a gun was not stopped by a "good guy with a gun" but by a building monitor with pepper spray. So, next time these open carry proponents show up, take along your own pepper spray and ask them to leave upon pain of getting a face full of pepper spray.
posted by jonp72 at 4:19 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


A couple years ago I was in my local Burger King (near a transit center) and a dude walked in with a machete in my pocket (not a euphemism). You can bet I left ASAP.
posted by bq at 4:19 PM on July 6


A couple years ago I was in my local Burger King (near a transit center) and a dude walked in with a machete in my pocket (not a euphemism). You can bet I left ASAP.

Did you take it out of your pocket first?
posted by Drinky Die at 4:20 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful?

What? A bunch of morons feel the need to wander the streets and restaurants with their firearms on display, and it's the people who are made uncomfortable by their actions who are the fearful ones?

And it's those people who insist they need to be continually armed to the teeth in order to fend off the possibility of crime who are accusing others of being fearful?

Is this BizzaroWorld or what?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:25 PM on July 6 [62 favorites]


damnit
posted by bq at 4:27 PM on July 6 [21 favorites]


So, next time these open carry proponents show up, take along your own pepper spray and ask them to leave upon pain of getting a face full of pepper spray.

Using a non-lethal weapon to threaten a person armed with a lethal weapon seems like a bad idea.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:30 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


I find it so disheartening and yet also enraging that I live currently live in a country where there are far more restrictions on my ability to own and live/travel with a pit bull than to carry an AR-15 into an Olive Garden.
posted by TwoStride at 4:34 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


They are trying to scare you out of the restaurant though.
They are trying to run you out of town.
The thing to do is to eat your meal and disdain the protests.
You know they are protesters rather than mass murderers because you're not a dumbass and don't play one for your politics.
It is scary and dangerous.
Someone could flip out, or have an accident, or actually be that rare mass murderer.
Do you like civilization? Do you like maintaining civilization?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:35 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


mrbigmuscles: "I have a little theory that cultures in which open and public carrying of weapons is common (Sikh, samurai, etc.) tend to have strict norms about the use/abuse of said weapons. Probably wrong but it feels truthy. If Americans ever had such norms they certainly don't have them now."

Back when Texas could be referred to as the wild west and people carried guns routinely, they left their guns at home when they went into town, because the town was where people were civilized.
posted by adamrice at 4:37 PM on July 6 [34 favorites]


Using a non-lethal weapon to threaten a person armed with a lethal weapon seems like a bad idea.

Seems like a bad idea to assume good faith when someone brings a gun into a restaurant too.
posted by futz at 4:39 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


wait is this thread about Germany 1921?
posted by robbyrobs at 4:41 PM on July 6


Ryvar: "I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful?"

Maybe ask the people who feel they're in such danger that they have to carry automatic weapons around openly in public.
posted by koeselitz at 4:42 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Maybe it's because I've lived in the south my entire life but people open carrying side arms doesn't bother me. It's not unusual in my town for shop keepers and random people at the feed store to have a holstered pistol and it's never dawned on me to flee these people in terror.

However, people with rifles in Target? That pisses me off. I take my toddler to Target and when you have a loaded rifle at the low ready or in a vertical back sling with a trigger easily within her tiny baby reach, we're going to have a problem. There is ZERO reason to carry around a rifle like that. It's irresponsible, it's reckless, and it's ignorant. You don't make people comfortable around guns by bringing them on a milk run, you do it via familiarization in a controlled setting.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 4:42 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


Back when Texas could be referred to as the wild west and people carried guns routinely, they left their guns at home when they went into town, because the town was where people were civilized.

Or they checked their guns at the sheriff's office like people might check their coats at the theater, to be picked up later once they had finished their business. Because carrying guns around town was not something people actually did much in the supposedly wild west.
posted by hippybear at 4:42 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


You don't make people comfortable around guns by bringing them on a milk run, you do it via familiarization in a controlled setting.

I'm perfectly comfortable around guns. What I'm not comfortable with is having guns appearing at inappropriate locations while I go about my daily business.

When our society somehow normalizes people carrying rifles into the local big box store, that's the point where things are really showing signs of being fucked up. That's "survive the zombie apocalypse" behavior.
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on July 6 [33 favorites]


I'm interested in TedW's question as well. In stand-your-ground states, isn't it also open season on the open-carry boneheads?
posted by univac at 4:50 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Maybe ask the people who feel they're in such danger that they have to carry automatic weapons around openly in public.
posted by koeselitz


Do you understand that ignorant statements such as this - implying that possession, let alone open carry, of automatic weapons in the United States is a routine matter - is at the very heart of why we can't communicate with the other side?

Legally owned automatic weapons (as in capable of sustained fire when holding down the trigger) are incredibly rare in this country, comprising less than .05% of all legally possessed civilian firearms and responsible for two known homicides in the last 80 years.

The beating heart of the liberal ideal is progress - humanity moving forward together toward a better existence and understanding of one another - and when your unwillingness to educate yourself on the basics prematurely cuts off engagement with the other side then you are choosing to make yourself part of the problem.
posted by Ryvar at 4:54 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I'm curious about a legal point regarding the Valdosta Daily Times article about the two armed men. According to the article gunman A asked gunman B to show a permit, then gunman A drew his gun, and later got arrested. A quick google shows that Georgia has a "stand your ground law".

Having a gun pointed at you would pretty clearly be a threatening situation. Would it therefore be legal for gunman B to shot and kill gunman A in this situation? (Say, if gunman B was really fast)

What if gunman B missed? Would it be OK for gunman A to open fire as well, as being shot at would be really threatening? And what if gunman A then hit a bystander? Would that be murder: By gunman A, as he was the first to draw his gun and missed, or by gunman B, as gunman B shot first?
posted by Baron Humbert von Gikkingen at 4:55 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Do you understand that ignorant statements such as this - implying that possession, let alone open carry, of automatic weapons in the United States is a routine matter

You're quibbling on the wrong point with the focus on "automatic." I'm in Target and somebody walks in brandishing a goddamned derringer and I'm still out the door. Automatic, bolt, some fucking spring mechanism, long, short, I don't care. Bullets come out of it, I'm leaving.
posted by COBRA! at 4:57 PM on July 6 [51 favorites]


Large knife, Samurai sword, taser...
posted by COBRA! at 4:58 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Legally owned automatic weapons (as in capable of sustained fire when holding down the trigger) are incredibly rare in this country, comprising less than .05% of all legally possessed civilian firearms and responsible for two known homicides in the last 80 years.

I hate saying this but...

Cite?
posted by futz at 4:59 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Do you understand that ignorant statements such as this - implying that possession, let alone open carry, of automatic weapons in the United States is a routine matter - is at the very heart of why we can't communicate with the other side?
Right, right, because the important thing here is that everybody uses the term "automatic" in a precise way in casual conversation. Until everyone uses the term "automatic" in a precise way in casual conversation, we clearly should not be discussing anything else related to guns, especially, heaven forfend, gun control.

And don't get me started on those people who confuse "magazines" and "clips". The existence of someone who confuses "magazines" and "clips" clearly implies that we should never, ever, ever discuss gun control. In fact, such people should probably be deported back to Kenya or whatever communist country they came from.
posted by Flunkie at 5:01 PM on July 6 [65 favorites]


Do you like civilization? Do you like maintaining civilization?

Yes. That is another reason to just leave - loss of custom gives the establishment an incentive to adopt a "visible-arsenal no-service" policy, and thus do their bit to uphold their corner of civilization.
posted by anonymisc at 5:02 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Do you understand that ignorant statements such as this - implying that possession, let alone open carry, of automatic weapons in the United States is a routine matter - is at the very heart of why we can't communicate with the other side?

Legally owned automatic weapons (as in capable of sustained fire when holding down the trigger) are incredibly rare in this country, comprising less than .05% of all legally possessed civilian firearms and responsible for two known homicides in the last 80 years.


The problem is not whether they're revolvers, or bolt-action, or automatic or semi-automatic guns. The problem is that they're guns.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:05 PM on July 6 [28 favorites]


Bullets come out of it, I'm leaving.

I'm far, far more worried about uniformed officers carrying weapons than citizens, because I know exactly which one of those two categories is more likely to get away with what most of us would consider murder.

I hate saying this but...

Cite?


Google "fully automatic weapon homicide", like I did before typing that comment. Here's the Bureau of Justice report. Here's a conservative link. Here's a DailyKos link.

240K registered fully automatic weapons, split evenly between law enforcement and civilian ownership (mostly grandfather clause). That's 120K legally owned civilian weapons out of some 300 million in the country, or <0.05%.
posted by Ryvar at 5:09 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Legally owned automatic weapons (as in capable of sustained fire when holding down the trigger) are incredibly rare in this country, comprising less than .05% of all legally possessed civilian firearms and responsible for two known homicides in the last 80 years.

So, by extension, the need for an innocent civilian to carry an automatic weapon in response, or in fact to carry any sort of firearm whatsoever for protection, is minuscule, therefore it's ridiculous for anyone to carry a weapon. Thanks for the proof!
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:12 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


And don't get me started on those people who confuse "magazines" and "clips". The existence of someone who confuses "magazines" and "clips" clearly implies that we should never, ever, ever discuss gun control. In fact, such people should probably be deported back to Kenya or whatever communist country they came from.

This thread is so rife with misinformation and pearl-clutching it reads like a conservative parody of a liberal blog. I take strong exception to their being right about anything, ever, and basic factual accuracy is probably the easiest place to push back because nothing I say will hinder the fear stampede.
posted by Ryvar at 5:12 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


There has never been a time when it would seem normal for someone to walk into Target with an AR-15. There has never been a time when the average American would not find that threatening. This is new, bizarre behavior that gun-nuts are undertaking because they have become completely unhinged and have completely lost touch with how their behavior appears to ordinary people. On some level, I think that's great, because it reveals in a really visceral way just how out-there the gun fanatics have become

Just to provide some context as to what started this particular open carry nonsense-
Texas has some old laws on the books about it is ALWAYS illegal to open carry a pistol, everywhere. It is illegal even if you have a concealed carry license. So the state will issue you a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but deems any citizen automatically unworthy of carrying a holstered pistol. HOWEVER, it is ALWAYS legal to carry a rifle openly. You can see the absurdity of this juxtaposition? The original open carry protesters were attempting to illustrate this absurd state of the law and get it changed.

Now it has grown(somewhat) to be a fun thing to do to make hippies cry (this is how the 'protesters' view it anyway). I am reminded of J.Scalzi's maxim that the failure mode of clever is asshole.

That being said, carrying a rifle around in low ready (on sling in front of you, ready to use at a seconds notice) is just asinine and NOT going to help their cause, it puts private property business owners in a bad situation, can cause needless escalation (which unfortunately is something a poster here seems to be actively promoting and so is Mike Malloy), and is more likely to get the rifle open carry think shut down than the pistol open carry thing removed (which is the ostensible goal anyway).
posted by bartonlong at 5:12 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Legally owned automatic weapons (as in capable of sustained fire when holding down the trigger) are incredibly rare in this country

I'm not sure you're thinking this through. Someone planning a killing spree may be carrying an illegal weapon, or may have modified their previously-legal AR-15. You can't definitely spot the absence of internal modification from across the room. You don't reliably know what you're dealing with. When someone enters an enclosed space armed with what can be an automatic weapon, it's weak sauce to rip on someone for not discarding a possibility that actually can't be ruled out.
posted by anonymisc at 5:14 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


i do think it's important to make clear to establishments that you won't go and spend money at places that allow open carry when they could ban it - especially since there are so many open carry groups who harass and intimidate business owners into giving in. one of the boards i've seen where these jerks gather also made sure to point out when a business owner "wasn't from around here, but from a place with lots of sand and oil" as a suggestion to use that info to strengthen the harassment.
posted by nadawi at 5:15 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I'm far, far more worried about uniformed officers carrying weapons than citizens, because I know exactly which one of those two categories is more likely to get away with what most of us would consider murder.

I'm a little more worried about who might actually commit murder, since once I'm dead, them getting away with it isn't as big a concern to me. And I think the cops might be less likely than your average heavily armed citizen when walking into a Denny's.
posted by chris24 at 5:19 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


me: "Maybe ask the people who feel they're in such danger that they have to carry automatic weapons around openly in public."

Ryvar: "Do you understand that ignorant statements such as this - implying that possession, let alone open carry, of automatic weapons in the United States is a routine matter - is at the very heart of why we can't communicate with the other side?"

What the what? I neither said nor implied any such thing. Look, I grew up in a small town, among people who knew guns well. I have fired several kinds of weapons - not because I'm really a gun person, but just because that's what ends up happening when you grow up around gun people. I harbor no ill will toward those who own weapons.

But open-carrying automatic weapons is becoming a thing - have you not seen the news? The small number of people who are doing this as some kind of protest are nuts, they are idiots, and they do nothing but harm to the cause of those who want to carry weapons legally.

"The beating heart of the liberal ideal is progress - humanity moving forward together toward a better existence and understanding of one another - and when your unwillingness to educate yourself on the basics prematurely cuts off engagement with the other side then you are choosing to make yourself part of the problem."

The beating heart of civilization is intelligent discourse, and when you respond to straw men instead of the people you purport to be talking to, you are choosing to make yourself part of the problem.

Seriously, read comments before you respond to them.
posted by koeselitz at 5:21 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


America's been amusingly loopy for a long time, but it's really going full-on non compos mentis these days.

It would be hilarious, the kind of mental acrobatics and willful blindness otherwise rational folks need to engage in to justify a casually armed citizenry to themselves, if it weren't so sad and dumb, and if weren't for all the bloodshed.

But (provided you're looking at the craziness from outside) you've got to laugh, anyway, because what else are you going to do?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:23 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


This thread is so rife with misinformation and pearl-clutching it reads like a conservative parody of a liberal blog.

You can always leave. I am unarmed.
posted by futz at 5:24 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Ryvar, let me withdraw my previous comment. On re-reading the weave of the thread, it was specifically a criticism of people open-carrying without malicious intent, so even though there is no way for others to determine from their appearance if their weapons are or aren't automatic, legal, whether they're malicious, etc, it's probably fair to assume from the hypothetical that the person is carrying legal weapons.
posted by anonymisc at 5:25 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?

An open-carry protester is not "just going about their day," at any point where they are carrying their piece in public to show it off.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:29 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Ryvar: "I'm far, far more worried about uniformed officers carrying weapons than citizens, because I know exactly which one of those two categories is more likely to get away with what most of us would consider murder."

Look, I get that the gun debate is more nuanced than either side wants it to be. Silly gun laws deem a rifle with a sight an "assault rifle," and pretend that making it tougher to get a permit for a handgun will curb the epidemic of black-market guns and the violence they cause. I am on your side there, if that's what you mean: there's plenty of misinformation in the gun debate, on both sides.

But you seem to be missing entirely the import of this argument. People are here asserting that, if they see a gun, they will feel unsafe, and they will leave. Your response - which I can't believe you've examined - is that they shouldn't do that, because they're always unsafe. But can't you see that that's a violation of the best rational bases for responsible gun ownership?

Lots of people own guns because they feel unsafe. For decades, anti-gun people have been telling them they shouldn't own guns because they should just live with not being safe, because they're not really in danger, because the guns could never really help them anyway, etc. To a certain extent, those arguments were always ridiculous, because self-defense is a necessity in society. People are going to own guns to defend themselves in their homes, and there's nothing wrong with that. "Get rid of your guns, because you're always unsafe anyway" is a stupid argument that doesn't cut it, and gun owners were right to ridicule it.

So now, when non-gun-owners say they find guns dangerous and will leave if they feel unsafe, you're going to turn around and make the same stupid argument anti-gun people have been making lo all these many years? Really?

I don't know how I feel about intentionally not paying at a restaurant - that's a fine thing to avoid, if possible - but you know what? If people ever feel unsafe in an area, public or private, they should leave. This principle used to be taught in gun classes - if you feel unsafe, leave - and I hope it still is, although I guess I won't hold my breath. It's what gun owners have been saying for years and years. It's a good idea, no matter who says it.

So why are you trying to argue people into feeling safe and staying in places that don't seem safe to them?
posted by koeselitz at 5:33 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


Jesus, no love for the guitar rally in the whole thread?
posted by batfish at 5:44 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


So why are you trying to argue people into feeling safe and staying in places that don't seem safe to them?

Because god dammit we don't think the way to let everyone feel safe is holding tools of escalation who's only use results in permanent and irreversible consequences. You think Michael Dunn was really that scared of some shitheads playing rap music too loud? No. Because he had his piece, he felt like a man and he shot some kid for playing music too loud.

There, Dunn walked his dog, ordered a pizza, then drank rum and cola -- "stunned and horrified, (shocked how) things escalated the way they did over a common courtesy."

A lack of common fucking courtesy that he escalated. When some asshole doesn't turn the music down you don't fucking shoot them. That's just common fucking courtesy. But since he had his piece and he was apparently scared of some uppity black kids he filled their car with the legally mandated maximum amount of lead you can hold in a clip. God forbid he had a 22 round mag lest he might have managed two counts of murder.
posted by Talez at 5:45 PM on July 6 [23 favorites]


reads like a conservative parody of a liberal blog

Here's something else that sounds like a parody: groups of mostly-20-something Tea Party/libertarian dudes, in order to try to advance pro-gun causes, are holding meetups where they carry things like modified AR-15s on tactical slings into places like Starbucks, Chili's and Target.
posted by box at 5:47 PM on July 6 [30 favorites]


Jesus, no love for the guitar rally in the whole thread?
When guitars are criminalized, only criminals will own guitars.

\m/
posted by Flunkie at 5:48 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I had such a great afternoon, going about my day. I went to the gym - brought my DSLR, cause you never know when you might get a great shot. People in the locker room kept giving me dirty looks, though, not sure why. Later I stopped by the library. It was tough juggling all my book returns and my air horn at the same time, but I was heading to the big game right after and I didn't have my backpack. This morning I had to return my buddy's slow cooker and some random electronics - luckily we have the same bus route so I just brought it with me in the backpack and tucked it under a seat so he could grab it later.
posted by prewar lemonade at 5:49 PM on July 6 [18 favorites]


Thanks, anonymisc. What's deeply ironic about this thread is that I'm on your guys' side. I joined (or hacked my way into, like a lot of 14Kers) this site 12 years ago specifically because I was sick of people that I agreed with on so many things being so hopelessly mired in disinformation and fear on the topic of gun control. Specifically, it was a thread full of people engaging in pearl-clutching over the mere fact of civilian ownership of .50cal sniper rifles.

Which, much like legally-owned automatic weapons, are virtual no-shows on any chart of homicide statistics. It still bothers me, because the right wing of this country is dead wrong on virtually every factual point and slowly, mercifully dying as a result. We're already winning and we can continue to win without being disingenuous or stooping to their level.

koeselitz:
First off, I appreciate you making a good-faith effort to engage my viewpoint when I semi-jumped down your throat. Thanks, and I apologize - it is hard not to grab at anything that looks like it will afford some purchase when you feel like you're fighting a tidal wave of others peoples' fear.

That said, you're doing basically exactly what you accused me of doing earlier - I never said people shouldn't leave, just that they shouldn't let themselves get so wound up with fear that they started stiffing business owners over it. Here's what I said, exactly:

If guns make you nervous, then by all means leave at the next available opportunity - but screwing over a restaurant you enjoy just because you can't keep your anxiety in check? That's low class, no matter how you slice it.

At the end of the day this is an intimidation tactic on the part of the knuckle-draggers, a last gasp from cavemen on their way out. What I would like to see is a non-confrontational attitude of "Legally display your guns all you want, I. Am. Not. Afraid. Of. You." I want them to do their worst and feel no victory in it, and for their energy to whither and die as a result. I want history to move on from them.
posted by Ryvar at 5:55 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


is there anyway i could convince you to stop using the gendered insult of pearl clutching?
posted by nadawi at 5:57 PM on July 6 [46 favorites]


where I live, people just don't carry weapons around the shopping mall on a regular basis.

Once when I had recently moved, a storm knocked down some trees and I realized I didn't have an axe. So I drove to my local shopping mall, parked exactly where I always do, which happens to be at the anchor opposite from Sears, and I went inside and bought an axe. I walked back the length of the mall with the axe slung over my shoulder. Nobody looked askance. Security didn't approach. I was just a guy walking through a shopping mall with an axe.

This was outside Boston. Not, like, northern Maine. Granted, I wasn't wearing a trenchcoat and I don't look shady. But still. I thought it was interesting at the time.
posted by cribcage at 5:57 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


is there anyway i could convince you to stop using the gendered insult of pearl clutching?
posted by nadawi


Wasn't aware it was a thing. Am now. Thanks.
posted by Ryvar at 6:00 PM on July 6 [22 favorites]


Do you understand that ignorant statements such as this - implying that possession, let alone open carry, of automatic weapons in the United States is a routine matter - is at the very heart of why we can't communicate with the other side?

Ryvar, you are engaging in a pointless pedantic derail. The person you replied to was obviously talking about the AR-15 guys that set off this conversation. You are correct those are not automatic weapons, and a simple, "Hey these guns are actually..." is all you needed to do, instead of pretending a lack of specific knowledge about gun types is some sign of the collapse of liberalness.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:00 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


Once when I had recently moved, a storm knocked down some trees and I realized I didn't have an axe. So I drove to my local shopping mall, parked exactly where I always do, which happens to be at the anchor opposite from Sears, and I went inside and bought an axe. I walked back the length of the mall with the axe slung over my shoulder. Nobody looked askance. Security didn't approach. I was just a guy walking through a shopping mall with an axe.

An axe is a tool, not a weapon, notwithstanding that it can be used as one. Also, the US does not experience weekly axe massacres.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:01 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


A machete is also a tool, very similar to an axe. That was the comment that reminded me of it.
posted by cribcage at 6:03 PM on July 6


while it appears that target sells machetes online they aren't available in stores - so, i think that comment still stands - someone carrying a machete in target would be alarming in a way that carrying an axe through sears wouldn't be.
posted by nadawi at 6:07 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck but isn't legally a duck!

Anyone who thinks a street legal AR-15 can't empty a clip in a few seconds is grossly misinformed.
posted by Talez at 6:07 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


A machete is also a tool, very similar to an axe. That was the comment that reminded me of it.

A valid point. I think people are more likely to perceive a machete as a weapon than an axe. But I think that the unsheathed sword is a better analogy - unequivocally a weapon, not a tool.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:08 PM on July 6


because I know exactly which one of those two categories is more likely to get away with what most of us would consider murder."

Spree killers aren't interested in getting away with it. Very few walk away from it.
posted by empath at 6:09 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


t. What I would like to see is a non-confrontational attitude of "Legally display your guns all you want, I. Am. Not. Afraid. Of. You." I want them to do their worst and feel no victory in it

I'm sorry, but 'their worst' is not something you walk away from.
posted by empath at 6:11 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Following the #gunFAIL hashtag on Twitter for a while will make you question why anyone would feel the need to carry a gun around.

But maybe that's just me, I get really really tired of seeing dead kids every fucking day.

Still, you know, the price of freedom! Respect the culture!

People shooting themselves cleaning their guns. People shooting themselves at gun shows. A young father killed when a stray bullet went through the wall. Kids shooting other kids, their siblings, themselves. It. Never. Ends.

A hashtag's certainly not a longitudinal CDC study, but we are not allowed to have those thanks to the gun industry's lobby.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:11 PM on July 6 [14 favorites]


Jesus, no love for the guitar rally in the whole thread?
I was just a guy walking through a shopping mall with an axe.

There ye be...

Also, the US does not experience weekly axe massacres.

That's subject to change if Don't Shred on Me gains some traction.
Bring on the snacks and iced-cold beverages!
posted by Pudhoho at 6:13 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


I'm on the record as believing that all free people should own a rifle and know how to use it, but I can't understand feeling it necessary to carry one while grocery shopping.

bartonlong: “Now it has grown(somewhat) to be a fun thing to do to make hippies cry (this is how the 'protesters' view it anyway).”
Cf. “Rolling Coal,” David Weigel, Slate, 03 July 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 6:14 PM on July 6


Gun nut checking in. I think that among normal firearms enthusiasts, this old Onion article sums up our feelings about the in-your-face open carry movement.
posted by Hatashran at 6:17 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


(You probably already know, but there's a MeFi post about that 'Rolling Coal' article.)
posted by box at 6:17 PM on July 6


Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck but isn't legally a duck!

Thank you. Maybe now we can put that whole "but it's not an automatic weapon" bullshit to rest.

Xingcat: so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?

The only people for whom carrying an automatic weapon is merely "going about their day" are soldiers in a war zone.
posted by kafziel at 6:18 PM on July 6 [17 favorites]


I'm interested in TedW's question as well. In stand-your-ground states, isn't it also open season on the open-carry boneheads?

Of course not. I have a hard time understanding why someone might think it would be.
posted by Justinian at 6:22 PM on July 6


box: “(You probably already know, but there's a MeFi post about that 'Rolling Coal' article.)”
I actually missed it because I hadn't looked at the front page in the last few hours. Thanks!
posted by ob1quixote at 6:23 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


i agree that somehow these boneheads wouldn't be seen as threatening in a stand your ground state, but it's not a ridiculous thought since walking home carrying skittles or listening to music in your car are threatening enough to be killed. i wonder what the major difference is between those cases and these open carry jerkwads...
posted by nadawi at 6:26 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


#gunFAIL

Not for the faint-hearted... very sad.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:29 PM on July 6


Sane gun-rights activists should be shutting these guys down left and right. Instead, they're just letting it happen. I don't know if the NRA backed down on criticizing these guys because they were anticipating getting an earful from their members, or they already got one, but it seems like the idea that these tactics are getting at least implicit approval from a lot of people. So much so that I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that support for this behavior is a minority viewpoint amongst gun owners and activists.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:29 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


i agree that somehow these boneheads wouldn't be seen as threatening in a stand your ground state, but it's not a ridiculous thought since walking home carrying skittles or listening to music in your car are threatening enough to be killed. i wonder what the major difference is between those cases and these open carry jerkwads...

Skin color.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:30 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


I swear to God if I come across a bunch of idiots with their rifles at the Safeway I am going to say, loudly, "Hey, it is the Little Dick Club! How is the compensating going, boys?"
posted by LarryC at 6:30 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


yeah. i was being facetious.
posted by nadawi at 6:33 PM on July 6


That's low class, no matter how you slice it.

Through the skull? Through the chest cavity? Perhaps an exploded kneecap, or a destroyed hand?

I'll take the risk of being perceived as low class.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:37 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Using a non-lethal weapon to threaten a person armed with a lethal weapon seems like a bad idea.

Yes, but if they are bringing a lethal weapon into a public space and they want to claim disingenuously that they're not a harm to anyone, they should be willing to comply with a simple request to leave by somebody who finds their presence threatening. Otherwise, they're not as harmless as they claim to be, are they? The problem I have with the article in the FPP is that a person not endangering anybody by carrying a loaded weapon is forced to leave a public space, while right-wing white guys are given carte blanche to dominate any public space they please through intimidation. (Yes, I know some of you are going to assert that some of these open carry proponents cannot be written off as "right-wing white guys", but come on. Everybody knows if the gun-toters were black teenagers or white Occupy Wall Streeters or the local chapter of the National Organization for Women, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.)
posted by jonp72 at 6:39 PM on July 6 [28 favorites]


I saw this piece and it made me think about how I would like if, when I become a parent, to prevent my kids from spending time in homes where guns are kept. I don't know how to do that though. I'm lucky to live in a place with few [legal] guns but I'm not sure I have the guts to ask people if they have guns in their home before letting my kids visit.
posted by kat518 at 7:06 PM on July 6


Why You'll Never Change Political Parties
Underneath the light-hearted analysis, however, lies a reminder of a depressing truth: politics -- the process which ultimately determines whether bridges get built, banks get bailouts, and young men and women get sent to die in foreign countries -- is all about identity. Identifying as a Democrat or Republican isn't an expression of preferences about certain policies and governing styles; it's a way of life.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:07 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Xingcat: so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind,

This wasn't asked of me, but yes, and if you don't, you are a fool, plain and simple. Guy with a gun at a shooting range? Totally fine. Guy with a gun at a camping trip? Naturally. Guy with a gun in his own home? Just taking advantage of his Second Amendment rights to self-protection.

Some asshole walking into a restaurant visibly carrying a weapon is a threat, and I have no reason to put trust in a stranger above my own safety. At the very least, he's trying to intimidate everyone in the establishment, and that alone is an aggressive act. Fuck the people who do this, every last one of them.
posted by spaltavian at 7:19 PM on July 6 [35 favorites]


Underneath the light-hearted analysis, however, lies a reminder of a depressing truth: politics -- the process which ultimately determines whether bridges get built, banks get bailouts, and young men and women get sent to die in foreign countries -- is all about identity. Identifying as a Democrat or Republican isn't an expression of preferences about certain policies and governing styles; it's a way of life.

Whole lot of chicken or egg going on in that article.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:25 PM on July 6


even a boring old deer rifle


When I lived in Texas, there were many conversations that turned to different guns and the various types of damage they would do to a human body: the kind of holes they would leave, whether the bullet would pass cleanly through a body or travel along the bone and destroy soft tissue, what types of ammunition would do what to a chest/abdomen/face at what range.

And I recalled them well when I returned home one night to find a note on the mailbox. It was written on a napkin, in very neat and deliberate capitol letters by a familiar hand.


PLEASE GIVE ME THE OPTION TO KILL YOU AT MY WILL



I entered the house anyway, as it was my home at the time, and I had to pee.


Outside the bathroom door, chkCHK, and I cannot say I remembered exactly what a .30-.30, fired at point blank range, would do to a 150 pound woman with her pants around her ankles sitting on the toilet, but I had a pretty vivid idea of what the coroner was in for.

I can honestly say that was one of the least boring moments of my life.


Which I still have.

But a deer rifle, in the proper context I can deal with. Proper context being "people using them to hunt deer."


Rest assured, I do not need an article to tell me what to do if someone feels the need to waltz into Country Kitchen at two in the afternoon with a rifle slung at low ready like CaptainRamboMotherfuckingAmericaUSAUSA.


I would very very quietly and calmly leave money on the table if money was owed, and making no loud noises or sudden moves, NOPE DIRECTLY THE FUCK OUT OF THERE.

It wouldn't be a statement about politics or civilization or anything but my body trying to keep itself alive. I practice that shit in my dreams.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:27 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


Yes, but if they are bringing a lethal weapon into a public space and they want to claim disingenuously that they're not a harm to anyone, they should be willing to comply with a simple request to leave by somebody who finds their presence threatening. Otherwise, they're not as harmless as they claim to be, are they?

Yes, of course. But are you willing to bet your life on it? These are the guys that shoot unarmed kids for walking while black. Who are eager to strap on a gun to go get coffee. Why on earth would you expect them to behave like reasonable people? They're demonstrably not reasonable.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:27 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Motherfuckers need to stop and ask themselves, WWJCD?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:28 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


If I ever encounter an open-carrying asshole in public, I'll ask him to show it to me, put my hand on it next to his and... "STOP SHOOTING YOURSELF! STOP SHOOTING YOURSELF!"
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:30 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I'm a gun nut and I'm fine with businesses making "no open carry" part of their dress code and with other patrons of those businesses encouraging such a dress code by following the article's suggestions.

It's when businesses also prohibit *concealed* carry that I get cranky. What I wear under my clothing to protect myself is nobody else's business.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:34 PM on July 6



Xingcat: so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?



This was said by Ryvar to Xingcat - this was not said BY Xingcat - the way it is written in the comment that has been copied andpasted multiple times now makes it looks like Xingcat was the originator of the statement, when he was, in fact, the one who had a gun stuck in his face.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:35 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


It's when businesses also prohibit *concealed* carry that I get cranky. What I wear under my clothing to protect myself is nobody else's business.

It is when you might start shooting in the restaurant I'm in. I don't want to die for your safety if you miss. Sorry.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:36 PM on July 6 [24 favorites]


Hell, I'll meet the open carry nuts half way-

Sure, have your semi-auto, full-auto, or select-fire rifle with you when you go down to the Piggly-Wiggly or whatever. Just take the damn magazine out and leave the chamber clear, so that people aren't nervous that you won't drop it on its butt and cause an accidental discharge. You know, like they do in countries where they actually have well-regulated militias, and where people are taught to do that outside of combat areas.

Can you do that? No, you probably can't, because you're fucking cowards.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:45 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


It is when you might start shooting in the restaurant I'm in. I don't want to die for your safety if you miss. Sorry.

Open carry is much better there, to be honest, because at least I have a choice to consent to stay or go in that case instead of being totally unaware someone nearby has decided the premises are a potential location for a gunfight.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:47 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Xingcat: so the moment you see someone with a gun in a place of business you've essentially tried and convicted them in your mind, nevermind if they're behaving calmly and just going about their day?

Just so people are clear, that's not my quote, it was asked of me.

And no, I'm not "trying and convicting" anybody (but nice turnaround on that, accusing me of something, just as you think I'm accusing someone of something), I said that it's going to cross my mind that you could conceivably be interested in something more than a protest because of my past experience of actually being robbed at gunpoint.

This is exactly the type of thinking that these types of "protests" are (in my opinion) created to do...they work on people's reasonable fears about strangers with deadly weapons, and then try to explain how it's totally unreasonable to be fearful, because look at us! We're just totally law-abiding citizens hanging out in a big group in the middle of Target with guns! Silly gun control advocates!
posted by xingcat at 7:49 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


I didn't see it mentioned in the guitar rally article but there's an excellent episode of Harvey Birdman that makes the same joke. It includes Quick Draw McGraw as Charlton Heston.

This is the only link I could find to the episode, I assume it's region-locked to the US only (sorry).
posted by edeezy at 7:50 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


The reason for everyday concealed carry isn't because you're going somewhere you think you might get into a gunfight. If you think you might get into a gunfight somewhere then you simply DON'T GO THERE.

Everyday concealed carry is for surprise attacks in places you thought you'd be safe.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:51 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Everyday concealed carry is for surprise attacks in places you thought you'd be safe.

Right, you think places that are seemingly safe are also potential locations for gunfights. It's fine of you to think that. I just want to play it safe too, because I don't trust you won't panic in the midst of the surprise attack and kill bystanders like myself. I don't understand why it isn't reasonable for me to know that is a possibility. Open carry should deter surprise attacks anyway, right?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:55 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised everyday armour isn't a thing (yet) in the US. Seems the next logical step.
posted by bonehead at 7:56 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


But obviously you must think that you might get into a gunfight or you wouldn't be carrying a gun?
posted by futz at 7:58 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I genuinely don't get the "open carry is unreasonable but concealed carry is reasonable" thing. I don't agree with "concealed carry is reasonable", but I understand how one could think it; I just don't understand how someone could simultaneously think concealed is reasonable but open is not.

If people around me are packing, I'd like to know which people they are. The only reason I can think of for "concealed is OK but open is not" is something along the lines of "I don't want people to think I'm a dangerous asshole" (in which case maybe don't carry a gun as a matter of course and maybe people won't think you're a dangerous asshole). But even in that case, it doesn't explain why open is unreasonable; it only explains why you personally wouldn't do it.
posted by Flunkie at 8:02 PM on July 6


Let's clarify that jurisdictions are split on open versus concealed carry. In some jurisdictions open carry is the rule, and concealed carry requires a special permit. By contrast, in other jurisdictions concealed carry is the rule, and open carry is prohibited. (There's a famous story about a man who lost his license because his suit jacket blew open in the wind, a passerby saw his holstered gun, and word made it back to his local police department.)

There are different justifications. Mostly they are exactly what you'd imagine: concern that concealment coincides with malice, versus the unease of openly visible firearms. But the thing to realize is that different jurisdictions variously embrace these fundamentally different conceptions. So objecting to one from the other's perspective can feel a bit like arguing that white is black.
posted by cribcage at 8:11 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


It's fine of you to think that. I just want to play it safe too, because I don't trust you won't panic in the midst of the surprise attack and kill bystanders like myself.

Unless there's metal detectors staffed by highly trained armed guards at all the entrances (e.g., like at courthouses), there's no way for either of us to know that a crazy person won't bring in a gun and start shooting people -- at which point, bystanders like yourself are likely getting shot anyway, no?

Open carry should deter surprise attacks anyway, right?

IMO, concealed carry is a better deterrence than open carry because if a potential attacker sees people open carrying then he/she can simply choose to neutralize those threats by shooting the open carry people first or he/she can choose to go someplace else without any visibly armed people and attack there instead.

Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

So, if I could only choose one to be legal -- concealed carry or open carry -- I would definitely pick concealed carry as the one most likely to maximize safety for society-at-large.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:13 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


But disallowing open carry while allowing concealed due to "the unease of openly visible firearms" seems akin to, I don't know, disallowing people with STDs from telling their partners they have them and from using condoms. It just doesn't make sense.
posted by Flunkie at 8:14 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

Yeah, [citation needed].
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:18 PM on July 6 [24 favorites]


What I wear under my clothing to protect myself is nobody else's business.

Like hell it isn't.
posted by klanawa at 8:20 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


IMO, concealed carry is a better deterrence than open carry because if a potential attacker sees people open carrying then he/she can simply choose to neutralize those threats by shooting the open carry people first or he/she can choose to go someplace else without any visibly armed people and attack there instead.
But you indicated you're perfectly fine with businesses disallowing open, but totally against them disallowing concealed. And this explanation does nothing to say why open should not be allowed (given that concealed is).

You're saying people shouldn't be allowed to carry open because they they'd all be shot? This seems blatantly contradictory to standard gun nut rhetoric, but even ignoring that, why does this hypothetical incredibly awesome shooter who can "simply" shoot any and all open carriers, but who is worried about concealed carriers, not be worried that some of the people who are not open carriers are concealed carriers?
posted by Flunkie at 8:21 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Only on metafilter do I qualify as a gun nut (as in, I own guns, have permits for concealed carry, etc, like millions of Americans), but I find the people who fetishize the military hardware profoundly weird and discomfiting. I don't give a fuck if some hunters in deer season walk into a place with their hunting rifles (which of course they wouldn't, rifles are expensive and heavy so you leave them locked in your truck, but anyway), but this isn't Iraq so seeing a dude all dressed like Rambo with a tacticool AR gets kind of creepy. I've run into them while hiking and I don't like it at all.

Sort of like Jacqueline says, I don't know who is carrying concealed and I don't really care (personally I never do because a) it's uncomfortable and b) why??? and c) what if I want to go to a bar?); it's the in your face nature of the open carry activists taking advantage of rules meant for hunters and ranchers and other normal activities to excuse their weird wargame dress up fantasies that chaps my ass. The result is of course more anti gun hostility, more restrictions, and more hassles, all of which could be avoided by acting like a normal gun owning American.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:21 PM on July 6 [14 favorites]


But obviously you must think that you might get into a gunfight or you wouldn't be carrying a gun?

That's the same as saying that obviously everyone with a peanut allergy thinks they might ingest a peanut or peanut oil or they wouldn't be carrying an epi-pen. They go to great lengths to avoid ingesting peanuts but since no one can control the whole world they're still prepared to save their own lives should the worst occur regardless of their precautions.

So, just like a person with a peanut allergy would avoid eating anything that was baked or packaged in a facility that also processes nuts, I don't go anywhere I think I'm going to get into a gunfight. But since I can't control the whole world I'm prepared to save my life should the worst occur regardless of my precautions.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:21 PM on July 6


What I wear under my clothing to protect myself is nobody else's business.

A whole new context and meaning to "going commando".
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Concealed carry ninjas shoot themselves every week, or leave the gun in the bathroom, or have it accidentally go off and maim a bystander. Hell, people shoot themselves or others at gun shows all the time, and surely those are the most responsible owners of them all!

You know what would be safer than concealed carry? Living in a civilized world.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:23 PM on July 6 [27 favorites]


Unless there's metal detectors staffed by highly trained armed guards at all the entrances (e.g., like at courthouses), there's no way for either of us to know that a crazy person won't bring in a gun and start shooting people -- at which point, bystanders like yourself are likely getting shot anyway, no?

That is a possibility, but at least without you there I don't have to worry about another shooter hitting me by mistake during that event. Also if you are not there, I don't run the risk of you shooting and hitting me by accident when you defend yourself from an attack of any kind directed at you specifically. Also, I do not run the risk of you panicking and misinterpreting something as a threat and shooting me by accident.

We can't control what disturbed people or criminals do with guns, we can control what the sound thinking law abiding people do and they have a real impact on our safety as well. I don't get why you should be allowed the right to expose me to those dangers without informing me so I can make an informed choice about my own defense. I don't want you to be the shepherd of my "herd."
posted by Drinky Die at 8:27 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


That's the same as saying that obviously everyone with a peanut allergy thinks they might ingest a peanut or peanut oil or they wouldn't be carrying an epi-pen. They go to great lengths to avoid ingesting peanuts but since no one can control the whole world they're still prepared to save their own lives should the worst occur regardless of their precautions.

An epi-pen that could accidentally miss and kill someone else.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:28 PM on July 6 [16 favorites]


Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

Do you have any actual evidence to back this belief up? I've seen studies indicating the opposite is true: your act of owning a gun concealed or otherwise, makes me (and my family) less safe.
posted by Poldo at 8:31 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


(Good night, not trying to pick on you specifically Jacqueline it just annoys me I can't opt out of being exposed to this.)
posted by Drinky Die at 8:34 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

I can see how that makes a sort of intuitive sense. I'm not sure that it's true.

One thing we do know for sure is that people who own guns are more likely to die by firearm suicide and firearm homicide than non-owners. So if everyone has a gun, more people are going to die from firearm-related deaths anyway, regardless of any deterrent effect. I can't see how encouraging widespread concealed carry is worth lots of extra death and attendant suffering on the strength of an unproven empirical hypothesis.
posted by clockzero at 8:36 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


You're saying people shouldn't be allowed to carry open because they they'd all be shot?

I think you're misreading me. I'm not saying that open carry shouldn't be allowed -- my husband allows open carry at his business (and often open carries while he's working). Similarly, we also don't mind if customers come in wearing tank tops and flip flops, because we don't have a dress code.

What I'm saying is if other private businesses want to set a dress code that prohibits open carry, that's their right and I won't boycott them for doing so. But I will boycott a business that also prohibits concealed carry (e.g. Starbucks), because that goes beyond dress code into infringing upon my personal safety. I'm only comfortable with "no guns allowed" rules in places where metal detectors and armed guards are employed to ensure that everyone must obey that rule (e.g. courthouses).

Meanwhile, I'm also saying that IMO concealed carry is a better deterrent than open carry, so if we can only have one or another (many jurisdictions make this choice), I think it makes more sense for concealed carry to be the legal/common choice.

Yeah, [citation needed].

Hence my prefacing that entire section of my comment with "IMO" (in my opinion) because there is indeed a lack of scientific research into gun violence so we can't really know the effects of concealed carry vs. open carry, can we? And I agree that the research ban and lack of funding is retarded. I don't respect anyone who would prefer to live in ignorance just because discovering the truth might discredit his/her ideological beliefs.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:36 PM on July 6


The chances of my concealed epi-pen causing the death or injuries to another person is...

Oh ferfuckssake what is the point. This is so dumb that I need to try and go undumb myself now.
posted by futz at 8:38 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


it just annoys me I can't opt out of being exposed to this.

The entire point of the article linked in the FPP is that you can opt out. Just leave.
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on July 6


So, how do we feel about the Black Panthers? The Pink Pistols?

I mean I know how we feel.

They're "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." Oh wait, that was Hoover.

I realize as a progressive this isn't the proper opinion to have. But when I read about these open carry protests, and they are protests, a valid form of community organizing, I recognize the fear these people have. They have identified the symbol of the gun with freedom. This isn't by accident, it's been reinforced by their peers and our shared culture and mythos.

These fellow citizens aren't lone gunners. You don't have predetermined meeting times and mailing lists and what not for that. They feel like they've been driven into some metaphorical corner. And we're flaming the flames.

The context of current day America isn't the same as the 60s. The gun, once a symbol of leftist revolutionary power, now belongs to the right. Left is right, right is left. We gave it up.
posted by formless at 8:40 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I think Drinky Die was talking about being unable to opt out of coexisting with concealed carriers. The FPP is about open carry.
posted by cribcage at 8:41 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


They have identified the symbol of the gun with freedom. This isn't by accident, it's been reinforced by their peers and our shared culture and mythos.

And the lobbying strong-arm of the NRA, which itself is basically a promotor (and a well-funded one by gun makers) for sales for the gun manufacturing industry.
posted by hippybear at 8:45 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Anyhow, the main point I was trying to make by dropping into this thread is that the all-open-carry-all-the-time folks are not representative of gun rights activists in general and that there are some gun nuts (like me) who are fine with businesses prohibiting open carry and with customers putting economic pressure on businesses to adopt this policy.

In other words, I endorse the strategy the FPP article is advocating.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:50 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


screwing over a restaurant you enjoy just because you can't keep your anxiety in check? That's low class, no matter how you slice it.

Real high-class people eat at restaurants just chock-full of guncarriers. This is why, in traditional slobs-vs-snobs movies, the fancy high-class people are always shown in their country clubs surrounded by the rustling clicking of thousands of weapons, all jostling around the periphery of each lace-covered table. it's low class not to be cool with weapons that shoot people
posted by Greg Nog at 8:59 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


infringing upon my personal safety

Oh, please. Carrying concealed does not make you safer, even if it makes you feel safer.

More importantly, my right to be safe trumps your right to feel safe. Every time.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:01 PM on July 6 [32 favorites]


Well, that's not what the giant floating head told me.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:05 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

Hello from Canada! Where I know what you are saying to be categorically false.
posted by wats at 9:08 PM on July 6 [48 favorites]


These fellow citizens aren't lone gunners. You don't have predetermined meeting times and mailing lists and what not for that. They feel like they've been driven into some metaphorical corner. And we're flaming the flames.

People can do bad things as a result of being made to feel something bad. Just because a reaction emerges from real circumstances, with the choice to carry firearms in public clearly being at some level of interpretive remove from these ostensible feelings of claustrophobia, doesn't imply to me that the content of that reaction is now evaluated by some set of rules in which the emotional authenticity (or whatever it is) of an act is more important than its effects. So why does it matter that people are doing it for that reason and not some other reason?
posted by clockzero at 9:10 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


You're saying people shouldn't be allowed to carry open because they they'd all be shot?

I think you're misreading me. I'm not saying that open carry shouldn't be allowed -- my husband allows open carry at his business (and often open carries while he's working). Similarly, we also don't mind if customers come in wearing tank tops and flip flops, because we don't have a dress code.


Guns aren't clothes. Your work dress code is not the same as open carry, it is not "similar."
posted by sweetkid at 9:30 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

Hello from Canada! Where I know what you are saying to be categorically false.


There's actually quite a lot of research on it. For example, these citations from the discussion in a previous thread.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:30 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Did I miss it, or did nobody yet suggest to simply call 911 every time and let the cops figure it out? That's what I'd do.
posted by monospace at 9:35 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


From what I've been hearing (granted, from across the country) the local police departments have been mostly diligent about showing up when these demonstrations happen and talking calmly to the demonstrators about, "yes, okay, this is your right under the law, but here are some other considerations to maybe think about."
posted by cribcage at 9:41 PM on July 6


MetaFilter: So dumb that I need to try and go undumb myself now
posted by Gotanda at 9:48 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Unless there's metal detectors staffed by highly trained armed guards at all the entrances (e.g., like at courthouses), there's no way for either of us to know that a crazy person won't bring in a gun and start shooting people -- at which point, bystanders like yourself are likely getting shot anyway, no?

There is ample empirical evidence that the best way to reduce injury or death from guns is to restrict their availability in the first place, not to make them broadly available and then conditionally restrict their movement after the fact. Metal detectors and trained, armed guards are not how basically the rest of the world prevents gun injuries and deaths; there is no good reason it should be the method used in the US.

Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

Availability does not provide 'herd immunity' from injury or death due to guns. If it did, there would be less gun injury and death where guns are broadly available, and more where they are broadly restricted. This is not what we observe when we look at gun availability versus gun injury and death worldwide.

Instead, what we observe is that in most places more guns leads to more gun injuries and deaths, due not just to violence but also to accidents and suicide. A 'good guy with a gun' is not a meaningful deterrent in the case of accident or suicide; in the case of violence, it is sometimes not a good deterrent because people are willing to die in the commission of that violence.

That's the same as saying that obviously everyone with a peanut allergy thinks they might ingest a peanut or peanut oil or they wouldn't be carrying an epi-pen.

An epi-pen is unlikely be used for self-defense, violence, or suicide like a gun. It is unlikely to accidentally injure or kill like a gun. If epi-pens and guns were fungible, gun advocates would be willing to exchange their guns for epi-pens. They are not.

Hence my prefacing that entire section of my comment with "IMO" (in my opinion) because there is indeed a lack of scientific research into gun violence so we can't really know the effects of concealed carry vs. open carry, can we?

I don't know about open vs. concealed, and it'll probably stay that way because gun advocates block study of gun policy. Despite their efforts, we know that restricting the availability of guns is more effective at preventing injury and death than making guns broadly available.
posted by amery at 9:58 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


Just move to Japan.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:01 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.

Gunfight at the Circle K Corral.
posted by yonega at 10:11 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


Honestly, if someone is traipsing around Target brandishing a machete or a broadsword, I'm pretty much going to get out of there, too.

In many states, openly carrying a sword is illegal, because there's no reason to carry around in public something that you can only use to hurt or kill people.

Naturally, some of those states allow the open carrying of guns.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:27 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


I'm surprised and saddened by the hysterics on display in this thread - when did we become so fearful?

This past post is perhaps pertinent: How many people do you know who have been shot?
posted by madamjujujive at 11:02 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Don't laugh. You never know when you may need to protect yourself from the sudden appearance of 3000 French Men-at-Arms.

Of course, around here, we're usually manning the barricades against the invasion of the Summer People.
posted by madajb at 11:04 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


So, how do we feel about the Black Panthers? The Pink Pistols?

I mean I know how we feel.

They're "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." Oh wait, that was Hoover.

I realize as a progressive this isn't the proper opinion to have. But when I read about these open carry protests, and they are protests, a valid form of community organizing, I recognize the fear these people have. They have identified the symbol of the gun with freedom. This isn't by accident, it's been reinforced by their peers and our shared culture and mythos.


I recognize the fear too, but they're no black panthers. They're afraid of the erosion of their institutional power, of their tribal identification/"way of life" dying out or changing into something that they don't recognize. Their other fears are mostly lies they have chosen to believe, but those things are real. These are reasonable things to be afraid of, and anyone can empathize with that, but they've chosen to fight it with threats and harassment.

The Black Panthers were afraid of the full weight of state oppression, and they were correct to fear it. They did not bring the threat of violence into their fight, the threat of violence was there before they came onto the scene and they chose to arm themselves in reaction to that. So I don't think it's a fair comparison.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:07 AM on July 7 [9 favorites]


Well, I tell ya, I'm here in the heart of the YeeHadists and their Open Carry "revolution". I have personally laid eyes upon these idiots, and I can tell you that they have done more to change hearts and minds about guns in this part of Texas than I could ever have imagined. There's all sorts of people who used to be ok with guns that now think perhaps it's time to rein this in a bit.

See, deer rifles in a rack in the truck, are a whole lot different than coming around the corner in a restaurant and running into these twits.

See, a responsible gun owner, who doesn't want to frighten people, doesn't hang his gun like it's an extra penis, he doesn't hold it up with his finger near the trigger, he doesn't carry it locked and loaded in such a fashion that a kid in a stroller could hit the trigger. He most especially does not go swaggering into places, making sure that everyone can see his gun, in the hopes that people will either be frightened, or impressed. All things I've seen the Open Carry bullies do.

I've seen the Open Carry guys stalk a group of moms who got together after Sandy Hook to talk about bringing some sense of sanity to the gun culture in this country. These guys stood outside the restaurant, fully armed, daring the women to come outside.

These are not rational acting gun owners. These are not people who are carrying guns, this is people who are brandishing guns, and doing to to frighten people. How that is not terrorism is beyond me.

But see, here's the thing; gun rights people are in the same crosshairs as the Republican party...if you fall off the deep end defending these, the most lunatic of your fringe, you will be eaten by them, just as the GOP is being eaten by the Teahadists.

Sometimes the way forward is to realize when you've gone too far.
posted by dejah420 at 12:20 AM on July 7 [30 favorites]


In many states, openly carrying a sword is illegal, because there's no reason to carry around in public something that you can only use to hurt or kill people.
Naturally, some of those states allow the open carrying of guns.


Heh. That reminds of tritium lights - in the USA they're restricted from general use on grounds of public safety (they use a beta-emitter). But if you take one of those restricted lights and stick it on a gun, it becomes totes legal. Because public safety!
posted by anonymisc at 12:37 AM on July 7


That reminds of tritium lights - in the USA they're restricted from general use on grounds of public safety (they use a beta-emitter).

Really? I have one on my keychain. They're not exactly common, but they're reasonably popular, and easy to buy off Amazon or the like.
posted by CrystalDave at 12:43 AM on July 7


Jacqueline: "Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime -- if potentially *anyone* could be armed and prepared to defend themselves, then the potential risk of attacking any given person becomes high enough to deter criminals who don't want to die and thus even people who don't choose to arm themselves are safer.

So, if I could only choose one to be legal -- concealed carry or open carry -- I would definitely pick concealed carry as the one most likely to maximize safety for society-at-large.
"

I post here pseudonymously, so I can't speak for my profession even if I could speak for my profession, which I can't because I have neither been asked to do so nor am I certain I represent the majority of epidemiologists, much less of public health professionals - but still, I have to ask, please don't appropriate the terminology of public health to justify your individual decision to carry a loaded firerm. Routine vaccination is intended to save humans from the consequences of infection by pathogens. In your analogy, some armed people are less than human, others are noble servants of humanity, and those who choose not to go armed are as misguided and antisocial as those who opt out of vaccination out of fear. That is more than a little offensive to this particular public health professional. And human.
posted by gingerest at 2:00 AM on July 7 [45 favorites]


Cool, a link to Barry Kooda on mefi.

He was in the nervebreakers:wiki link

I watched him get the open guitar rally idea started on Facebook, nice to see it make it over to the blue. He's a hell of a great person. A Dallas treasure.
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:40 AM on July 7


The context of current day America isn't the same as the 60s. The gun, once a symbol of leftist revolutionary power, now belongs to the right. Left is right, right is left. We gave it up.

Even if we take this premise at face value, the problem isn't that the left gave up the gun as a symbol, it's that it's something antithetical to so much of the left to begin with. Because when it comes down to it, the gun is a symbol of white male power in the US, it has and probably always will be. The right to bear arms (and I'm not really talking about the unlimited right these wackos ask for) is meant primarily for them, outside of highly proscribed situations amenable to them. It's why Reagan and the NRA of the 60s and 70s sounded like the Bloombergs of today. It's why the NRA and other gun groups continually toss out imagery of non-whites as savages that may need to be put down when shit goes sideways. It's why they chide rape survivors for not arming themselves in the same way misogynists would do for "dressing provocatively." It's why they refuse to acknowledge the problem with "urban" (read: black) Chicago's gun violence is Missouri's lax gun laws. If non-white activists, union organizers, immigration advocates, radical feminists, environmental groups, or any other group identified with the left ever arm themselves en masse to advocate something that was at odds with the image and goals of so many of the organized gun-rights advocacy groups, we'll see their tune change very quickly.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:32 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I work in a library that's been an ongoing target of an open-carry group. For several months we'd have visits at least weekly from assholes who'd caravan in from the sticks to sit around our children's section fully armed, staring down our security guards and arguing with the cops (who inevitably stopped responding to our calls after a month or so). Other patrons would leave, and hell, I'd encourage them to go if they felt uncomfortable, but our staff obviously had to stay in the building. They're acting within the bounds of the law, but these fuckers are terrorists.
posted by libraritarian at 5:54 AM on July 7 [45 favorites]


"I'd almost be willing to bet that the guy who demanded proof that the other person was carrying legally was white, and the person whom he demanded it of was black." - flunkie

In the case in Valdosta you are referring to, you would lose that bet, as it was the other way around.

"These fuckers are terrorists" - not really, no. Nor are they violent extremists. Morons whose tactics are extremely misguided, absolutely, but I think their point is you *shouldnt* be terrified by the site of a gun. They are legal to own and in some jurisdictions legal to display in public.

Its *sort* of in the same vein as a woman walking through Times Square topless to show being topless in New York is legal. It makes a very visible, shocking head turner of a point.

But they are extreme tactics, and virtually every sane pundit on the right denounces their tactics. There are better ways to get your point across, walking in to a Subway with a .45 on your hip is juvenile.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:33 AM on July 7


I do think, however, that making a fuss and a scene and engaging is exactly what these folks want. They want attention, they want a verbal skirmish, they want to be noticed and engaged.

I would just get up and leave. Not shake my head, or speak to management. Just silently get up and walk out. I own guns and enjoy the firing range regularly, but there is a level of trust at ranges that just simply doesn't exist in public. I hope we never get to a point where that trust extends past the firing range or law enforcement, and giving these morons the attention they crave will only spur on more of them. People are attentions seeking idiots.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:38 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


it's not even close to being in the same vein as women being topless in new york. i could maybe see a comparison to a kkk parade - that some would be of the mind of "i disapprove of what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it."
posted by nadawi at 6:43 AM on July 7


BlerpityBloop: "These fuckers are terrorists" - not really, no. Nor are they violent extremists. Morons whose tactics are extremely misguided, absolutely, but I think their point is you *shouldnt* be terrified by the site of a gun.

They do want to scare people, above all liberals. They're taking over public spaces with the threat of violence. "Terrorist" is extremely apt.

Comparing this to the topless protesters, even "sort" of is incredibly misguided. There's no threat of violence there.
posted by spaltavian at 6:43 AM on July 7 [19 favorites]


Its *sort* of in the same vein as a woman walking through Times Square topless to show being topless in New York is legal.
Wow. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that my tits can actually kill people!

I grew up in DC in the '80s, and although I was relatively sheltered by DC-in-the-'80s standards, my first memory of flirting with a boy is getting a ride in the new wheelchair of a kid who had been paralyzed from the waist down when he caught a bullet that was meant for someone else. We were 12. My experiences with guns all have to do with knowing people who were hurt and killed by them and with growing up in a city that was warped and devastated by their presence. It boggles my mind that gun nuts seem to legitimately believe that it is irrational to be scared of guns. I feel like we're talking across a cultural chasm that may just be literally unbridgeable.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:48 AM on July 7 [17 favorites]


Open carry is not a threat of violence, that's exactly the point.

As for the topless protest, the point is it's a visible display of something that is legal, but somewhat shocking. Yes tits are not guns, Jesus, it's the method of protest that is somewhat similar.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:50 AM on July 7


they might not mean it to be an open threat of violence (which is up for debate) but it is sure as shit taken as an open threat of violence, which is why it's more like a kkk parade - legally defensible, but still threatening to people not involved in their show.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Just go ahead and forget the boob reference, that's not going to get us very far. Withdrawn!
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:53 AM on July 7


As for the topless protest, the point is it's a visible display of something that is legal, but somewhat shocking.
Naked breasts are shocking because of puritanical hatred of the female body. Guns are shocking because they shatter bones, pierce organs, and end lives. There is no legitimate reason to fear a naked breast. There are very good reasons to fear a gun. The fact that you see these two things as in any way analogous is bizarre and, frankly, kind of revealing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:53 AM on July 7 [22 favorites]


Open carry is not a threat of violence, that's exactly the point.

No, the point is to normalize this threatening behavior, so the "right" people can be free to threaten and scare the "wrong" people. This is about aggro right-wing assholes attempting to grab police powers. It is, and is meant to be, a threat of violence.
posted by spaltavian at 7:01 AM on July 7 [21 favorites]


I think their point is you *shouldnt* be terrified by the site of a gun. They are legal to own and in some jurisdictions legal to display in public.

Why shouldn't people be terrified of guns being brandished without warning and/or by someone who appears ready for aggression? They're designed exclusively for injury and destruction, they have no other use. They're much more likely to be used for intimidation in this day and age than to secure freedom, and the "freedom" being asked for by many of these people seems to exclude many demographics. Their loudest advocates seem to be morons, bullies, racists, or some combination of the three. Standing up to them--or just advocating non-violence--gets you put on an enemies list, harassed, and sent death threats. It doesn't matter if you're a child or a disabled victim of gun violence, they will (pun intended) put you square in their crosshairs.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:03 AM on July 7 [21 favorites]


I really don't see how the situation described in the second link in dejah420's post could be considered anything but terrorism.
posted by LindsayIrene at 7:07 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]




Open carry is not a threat of violence, that's exactly the point.

I think you've confused "the point" with the effect. On one hand, knowing why people do this is important; but it's naïve to think that everyone is just interpreting it wrong, that we should feel totally safe because there's this other way to interpret the act that reflects more positively on the people who do this.

I can understand the desire to banish fear by carrying a powerful weapon that's openly displayed. But that doesn't make it okay to do, nor is it a rational or sane response to actual threats.
posted by clockzero at 7:20 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Was there ever a time or place in US history that this sort public firearm brandishment was accepted? I have a feeling Hollywood westerns may have mislead the current generation of gun owners into longing for some good old days that never really existed.
posted by klarck at 7:31 AM on July 7


Boy, between the people saying "but if someone practicing open carry is just standing there with a gun it isn't a 100% chance that they are automatically going to hurt you" and the people responding "but we don't know that", this is reminding me of the Hi, Whatcha Reading thread.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Was there ever a time or place in US history that this sort public firearm brandishment was accepted? I have a feeling Hollywood westerns may have mislead the current generation of gun owners into longing for some good old days that never really existed.
And one fact is usually ignored: Back then, Tombstone had far stricter gun control than it does today. In fact, the American West's most infamous gun battle erupted when the marshal tried to enforce a local ordinance that barred carrying firearms in public. A judge had fined one of the victims $25 earlier that day for packing a pistol.

"You could wear your gun into town, but you had to check it at the sheriff's office or the Grand Hotel, and you couldn't pick it up again until you were leaving town," said Bob Boze Bell, executive editor of True West Magazine, which celebrates the Old West. "It was an effort to control the violence."
Oh and in Kansas...
Guns were obviously widespread on the frontier. Out in the untamed wilderness, you needed a gun to be safe from bandits, natives, and wildlife. In the cities and towns of the West, however, the law often prohibited people from toting their guns around. A visitor arriving in Wichita, Kansas in 1873, the heart of the Wild West era, would have seen signs declaring, "Leave Your Revolvers At Police Headquarters, and Get a Check."

A check? That's right. When you entered a frontier town, you were legally required to leave your guns at the stables on the outskirts of town or drop them off with the sheriff, who would give you a token in exchange. You checked your guns then like you'd check your overcoat today at a Boston restaurant in winter. Visitors were welcome, but their guns were not.
Back then they recognized there was no place for guns in civilized society.
posted by Talez at 8:00 AM on July 7 [27 favorites]


There are some pretty questionable assumptions made in the current debate on guns. For one, I hope to never hear the phrase "an armed society is a polite society" again. Whether it's white guys in Florida gunning down black teenagers or gun owners deluging anyone who disagrees with them with death threats (when they aren't out intimidating unarmed mothers as mentioned above), gun rights advocates have become a bunch of flaming assholes. They aren't interested in any kind of discussion. They seem to think anyone should be able to carry any kind of gun anywhere, any time. It's as if the words "well regulated" don't even appear in the second amendment.

Then there's the idea of the responsible gun owner. In the last few days I have seen an acquaintance post on Facebook "LOL! One of the dogs just grabbed my .40 cal off the table! Glad it didn't go off!" and read of a local deputy letting a child get hold of his Taser (typically left on his service belt along with his gun) and shoot another child with it. Why do people need all these guns? We are told it's because criminals all have guns. But where do criminals get their guns? Are there underground gun factories make illicit weapons? Are illegal aliens running guns into this country along with drugs and diseases? No. All those "illegal" guns started out as legally owned firearms that made it into the hands of criminals either by way of the loopholes in gun regulations that the NRA fights so hard to keep open (the best way to be a war profiteer is to sell guns to both sides) or because responsible gun owners can't be counted on to properly secure their weapons. I used to consider myself a moderate on guns. I own several (they are in a safe deposit box at my bank) and used to have a concealed carry permit (I let it lapse; never actually carried when I had it). But the latest escalation in rhetoric and behavior from the pro-gun camp has driven me strongly in the other direction. If Obama, or Hillary, or the ghost of Ted Kennedy were to come for everyone's guns tomorrow, I can't say I'd have a problem with that.

One last thing. Carrying a gun for self-defense against other gunslingers is highly overrated. If a criminal with a gun attacks you, he will almost certainly have the drop on you and if he is paying attention at all he'll shoot you while you are drawing your weapon. Better to be aware of your surroundings and remove yourself from a questionable situation before the bullets start to fly.
posted by TedW at 8:15 AM on July 7 [16 favorites]


[Folks, please do not turn this into a one-guys-opinion show again. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:20 AM on July 7


This is about morons asserting their legal right to open carry, attention seeking, and how we should react. They believe open carry is not about a threat of violence, you may disagree

To be perfectly honest, I don't believe many of them really believe that anyway. People are dishonest about their intentions all the time, especially when they're doing something that's objectively anti-social and causes alarm to others, and it's not exactly hard to see how that may be happening here. It's a bit peculiar if not perverse to insist that these open carriers should get some totally unearned benefit of the doubt precisely because their behavior is freaking everyone else out.
posted by clockzero at 8:23 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Widespread concealed carry provides a sort of "herd immunity" deterrence against mass violence and other crime

The height of American Exceptionalism. In no other nation on earth do people believe guns prevent violence.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:29 AM on July 7 [18 favorites]


On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.

"I'm the Good Guy with a Gun!" "No, I'M the Good Guy with a Gun!!"


No True Good Guy with a Gun.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:31 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


It is somehow never the right time to talk about the effects of the broad availability of guns. This has the effect of perpetuating the status quo, with tens of thousands of guns deaths per year.

The number of gun suicides alone is greater than the number of murders from all sources. It is greater than the rate of murder with a gun and police shootings combined.

The most likely way I die to a gun is by my own hand. The most likely person to kill me is me. Focusing on the intent signified by carry techniques or the motivations for carrying instead of the effects of widespread gun availability misses the truth of how guns are actually used.
posted by amery at 8:33 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"Why do people need all these guns" - well I can't speak for all people, but the guns I own all serve a different purpose, have different skill levels, and give a different experience at the range - rifle for long distance accuracy, shotgun for reflex trap shooting and hunting, pistols for close range accuracy. The different calibres are also a matter of preference, my wife prefers a .22, i prefer a 9mm, we both dislike the kick of a .45, which some people love. Revolvers are different than semi-auto, double action triggers are different than single action. The variety is interesting.

It's like asking a guitar player why they don't just stick to a stratocaster, why own more than one guitar? Because they are all different experiences and collecting variations of a hobby is fun for people.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 8:54 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Hashtag for this discussion is presumably notallmenwithguns.

Speaking personally, I see absolutely no reason not to book it if someone with a large-magazine, self-loading weapon walks into a restaurant I'm eating in. That's just good sense - like seeing someone at a gas station smoking a cigarette. It's probably going to be fine, but why take the risk?

That's not about principle: it's about personal safety. I tend not to have a list of potentially disgruntled ex-employees of every restaurant in a city, with photographs.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:02 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


It's like asking a guitar player why they don't just stick to a stratocaster, why own more than one guitar? Because they are all different experiences and collecting variations of a hobby is fun for people.

Yeah, but Stratocasters aren't capable of potentially killing people by vomiting forth small projectiles at them. (Quite the opposite, in fact - in the hands of someone like Hendrix or Prince, an artfully-used guitar could potentially get people pregnant.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


I was going to bring up the Wild West as an example of the norms I was talking (out of my ass) about. Cool links Talez.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 9:09 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


The height of American Exceptionalism. In no other nation on earth do people believe guns prevent violence.

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
posted by Talez at 9:35 AM on July 7 [14 favorites]


like seeing someone at a gas station smoking a cigarette. It's probably going to be fine, but why take the risk?

Because there's almost no risk almost no risk in this case. A cigarette does not burn hot enough to light gasoline vapors. The open flame from lighting a cigarette will but just smoking one won't.

But seeing someone walk into a restaurant with a rifle or other gun, you bet I'm leaving and calling 911.
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:35 AM on July 7


Because there's almost no risk almost no risk in this case. A cigarette does not burn hot enough to light gasoline vapors. The open flame from lighting a cigarette will but just smoking one won't.

Also, most stations with vapor recovery nozzles will barely have any emissions to light to begin with. It's almost like they saw a problem, made a regulation, profit be damned and dramatically lowered the effect that problem was having.
posted by Talez at 9:43 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


"But seeing someone walk into a restaurant with a rifle or other gun, you bet I'm leaving and calling 911."

I do find it interesting that people afford Law Enforcement officers more accommodation than regular citizens, given the disdain I've seen for cops around here. The screening process, in most states, for open carry is often (but not always) more rigorous than the police entrance examination and mental health check.

Presumably you wouldn't call 911 on a cop eating at Denny's, gun on his hip, why do you feel that a random citizen doing the same is a worse? Is it because it's weird and foreign, or do you generally trust cops more than citizens?

Honestly, not trolling, I've seen so many posts here about police shootings and abuse of power, but somehow a citizen with a gun equals "crazy power hungry aggressive guy".
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:06 AM on July 7


Rolling Stone did a great article in the recent issue: Lone Star Crazy: How Right-Wing Extremists Took Over Texas, which has a little more information about the crazy bastard who is leading this Open Carry lunacy.

It's also important to note here, however...that even the liberal hero Wendy Davis supports the gun crazies. There is no politician on the Texas stage who will speak against guns.


Blerp...what "screening process"? There is no screening process for Open Carry. You go buy the biggest scariest gun you can find, and then you wave it around like it's a fully loaded penis. Screening. Ha. I wish.
posted by dejah420 at 10:09 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Presumably you wouldn't call 911 on a cop eating at Denny's, gun on his hip, why do you feel that a random citizen doing the same is a worse? Is it because it's weird and foreign, or do you generally trust cops more than citizens?

Because they're a sworn officer that holds a weapon as part of their profession and not some nutjob that wants to flash his piece around?
posted by Talez at 10:10 AM on July 7 [22 favorites]


Presumably you wouldn't call 911 on a cop eating at Denny's, gun on his hip, why do you feel that a random citizen doing the same is a worse?

Why does a cop have a gun in a denny's? Because its his/her job to have a guy when they're on duty.

Why does a random citizen have a gun in a denny's? Because they're a belligerent ass who is itching to off someone.

That help?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:14 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Talez, using the word "nut job" isn't helpful.

Why don't you compare the statistics of wrongful police shootings vs wrongful armed citizen shootings and get back to me.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:15 AM on July 7


Why don't you compare the statistics of wrongful police shootings vs wrongful armed citizen shootings and get back to me.

Both of them are shitty things and we have an easy way to stop the latter.
posted by Talez at 10:18 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Ahhhh, the "if it saves one life argument".

Always a classic.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:20 AM on July 7


And again, we're not talking about people with revolvers...like street cops. But I guaran-gawddamn-tee you that if a fully loaded swat team was coming towards me, I'd get the fuck out of the way, and fast. Those guys can and will kill you with no penalties. Just like the FBI has been able to shoot a hundred or so people and never get in trouble. Or the border patrol.

Americans have (for some unknown reason) accepted that we have fully armed military firepower in our law enforcement. But cops have pretty stringent rules on what they have to do to keep their guns at their sides, including training, regular shooting, exams, psych profiles, etc.

But I could go buy a long gun today, that looks JUST LIKE a fully automatic, with no training, no idea how to use it, no idea how to load it, unload it, or engage the safety, and I could load that beast up with a 30 shot mag/clip/ and the Open Carry people would encourage me to take that weapon with me while I go pick up eggs and butter.

It's insane. It's bloody insane. And while I, up until recently, was a pretty strong supporter of guns; I live in the country for goodness sake, and until a few years ago, rode the range around a large cattle spread, where one carries a rifle in case of rattlesnakes...but I tell you what, these lunatics are just contributing to my "I have got to get the fuck out of Texas, and maybe the U.S." leanings lately.
posted by dejah420 at 10:20 AM on July 7 [13 favorites]


It's like asking a guitar player why they don't just stick to a stratocaster, why own more than one guitar?

It's not a bad analogy. The more interesting question (in my opinion, anyway) is about licensing. We license firearms and not guitars because, well, they're different. And within those categories, the individual tools are also different. Just because you're familiar with a Stratocaster doesn't mean you have the faintest idea what to do with the knobs on a Les Paul. Likewise, knowing your way around a revolver doesn't translate to knowing your way around an AR-15. Now again, with guitars there's no reason to license the category, so we don't care about the subcategories. But if we were going to license guitars, isn't this something we might think about, whether it makes sense to throw all together Strats, archtops, and nylon-strings?
posted by cribcage at 10:25 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Revolvers? For street cops? This isn't 1937.

The standard issue gun for most patrol officers is a Glock 17 semi-auto 9mm or semi-auto .45

There are no long gun automatic rifles outside of the military. Magazine sizes have been limited to 10 shells in most states.

Come on.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:26 AM on July 7


Ahhhh, the "if it saves one life argument".

Something that's used exclusively to shoot and kill things shouldn't be allowed to be carried among the general public by people who, by virtue of being human, have emotions and aren't perfect either in action or accuracy.

This isn't "saves one life". This is common sense in the rest of the world.
posted by Talez at 10:27 AM on July 7 [10 favorites]


Ahhhh, the "if it saves one life argument".

Always a classic.


Let's just look a little ways upthread.

Honestly, not trolling


Well, that didn't last long.

More generally, this is a really weird and inapt equivalency. Calling 911 and saying "there's a policeman carrying a gun in this restaurant" would be a silly thing to do, because 911 is not used to report policemen carrying guns. It would not have a productive outcome.

On the other hand, 911 is used to report potentially dangerous situations that might require police intervention. Someone in combat gear walking into a place of business carrying an AR-15 clone, with the magazine locked, resembles more closely the beginning of a spree killing - like this one a few weeks ago in Las Vegas.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:27 AM on July 7 [9 favorites]


"Something that's used exclusively to shoot and kill things shouldn't be allowed to be carried among the general public by people who, by virtue of being human, have emotions and aren't perfect either in action or accuracy"

It's interesting that you feel cops are not part of the general public. Because badges? Are they immune to emotion?

Again, the process of getting a conceal or open carry permit is often more rigorous than your average police cadet screening. That you put trust in cops over fellow citizens is interesting, not wrong, just interesting. There have been multiple studies about the motivations of police cadets, they are often unflattering.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:34 AM on July 7


When our society somehow normalizes people carrying rifles into the local big box store, that's the point where things are really showing signs of being fucked up. That's "survive the zombie apocalypse" behavior. (way upthread)

I'm from Montana and that's a place where you actually go to big box stores to buy or sell guns (and possibly have them cleaned and serviced). Every so often I go back and need to go to one of these stores (sporting goods stores are your best bet, but I think Wal-Mart and KMart might still sells guns; in small towns, general stores sometimes do, too.) and more than once have seen someone taking a rifle out of their gun rack into the store, and it takes me a minute or two to realize what is happening. It'd be a lot better if the person used a gun bag because that makes it look like the gun is not intended to be used. Anyway, my point is that there are some places in the US where taking a rifle into a box store is normal. Doesn't make me any less at ease, though, and I don't like any of this open carry blustering about, and I'm a somewhat avid rifle hunter. Most years I shoot about three bullets, though sometimes less. One or two to make sure the scope is working, and one to get a deer.

That also reminds me of my first time in Russia when I was studying there in 2004. On one of the first days, I saw big truck that looked an army vehicle stop at a store and three or four guys jump out with full combat gear and AK-47s. I stopped our group of American students and said that we should be careful. We held back until the guys came back out. Turns out it was an armored car crew going to a jewelry store to pick up or deliver merchandise or money. Saw that same scenario many more times but it always felt off-putting. Haven't seen anything quite like that in recent years when I've returned. I'd bet the armored cars in larger cities are better funded now and don't look like a bunch of nogoodniks.
posted by msbrauer at 10:36 AM on July 7


It's interesting that you feel cops are not part of the general public. Because badges? Are they immune to emotion?

C'mon now, try harder. The reason a cop carries a gun is because it is THEIR JOB. The reason a civilian carries a gun is because WTF.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:40 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


As an aside, I was born in a country where the police are not by default armed with handguns - and indeed where the police have traditionally resisted being armed with handguns, because it would close the book irrevocably on a history of policing by consent.

Seeing an armed policeman in that country is generally a weird experience, and a good sign either that you are near an embassy or political building (in which case they will probably have long arms) or that shit is going down nearby and you should exercise caution. It would be very strange indeed to see an armed policeman sitting in a cafe.

However, seeing an armed policeman is, although often disconcerting and cause for caution, colored by an awareness that, however one feels about the police, they generally do not start indiscriminately shooting at people, not least because they would lose their job and pension benefits if they did so.

That doesn't mean that there are not reasons to be cautious of the presence of the police, in particular if you belong to an ethnic or cultural minority, are an Occupy protestor, look like you might be an Occupy protestor and so on. It does mean that members of the police force are statistically unlikely to be about to open fire indiscriminately on a group of people in a place of business.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:53 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Look, I'm not worried about the guy walking into a Chili's with a gun because I'm afraid he's not in control of his emotions. I'm worried because I don't know what his purpose his. Is he there to rob the place? Kill everyone? Take a bunch of hostages and try to get a million dollars or whatever?

I also do not know if they have taken any training, if the safety is even on, or if they know not to point the thing at people (even for a joke, it is not a toy people!).

Have the Open Carry people tried to pull this little stunt at a bank? I wonder why not? Could it be that the people at the bank will probably jump straight to the robbery assumption when they enter a bank with a gun? Why do the rest of us not get to make that assumption if they open carry a weapon into a restaurant or store?

I don't trust the police either, but at least they have had some training. And I seriously doubt that an officer's weapon will be discharged accidentally. They may "accidentally" shoot suspects, but I don't have to worry about a cop's gun going off because he wasn't treating it with the caution that it deserves. (on preview, what squabble fest said).

If they feel that they need to carry a gun around with them at all times, then just take the stupid CHL course and carry that shit in secret. Then they can feel great about themselves without scaring the hell out of everyone around them.

And really, I would call 911 because I want those Open Carry jerks to be harassed every time they take their rifles out into public businesses. I just want to annoy them enough to stop.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:55 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"C'mon now, try harder. The reason a cop carries a gun is because it is THEIR JOB. The reason a civilian carries a gun is because WTF"

A gun is not part of a cop's job (see Europe/rest of the civilized world). It's an accommodation we have grown used to.

The reason a civilian carries a gun is because it's legal, and they want to. Weird, but legal.

So go ahead and argue that citizens shouldn't be armed in public, that's totally fine, and I agree somewhat, but cops are just citizens who passed a random test.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 10:56 AM on July 7


Presumably you wouldn't call 911 on a cop eating at Denny's, gun on his hip, why do you feel that a random citizen doing the same is a worse? Is it because it's weird and foreign, or do you generally trust cops more than citizens?...It's interesting that you feel cops are not part of the general public. Because badges? Are they immune to emotion?

No, it has nothing to do with a putative immunity to emotion on the part of the police. It has nothing to do with interpersonal differences between unknown citizens and unknown police officers. As a sociologist, this issue is very interesting to me and I will try to answer your question.

It's about the legitimate use of force. One of the most influential social scientific theorists of the modern age once said that a state can be described as an institution which controls the legitimate use of force in a delimited geographical region. I think what you're seeing is an unwillingness to devolve that monopoly of legitimacy to, as you say, random citizens. There's no compelling moral or pragmatic reason to do so, and the justification for having people swaggering around with semi-automatic rifles never rises to the level of advocating plausibly for any broad social benefit. Wanting to feel like a bad-ass who can easily kill people, or even wanting to feel completely safe and not caring about how that makes other people feel, isn't a compelling reason to confer legitimate control over life and death to a random citizen. In fact, it should probably disqualify them from it.

In other words, cops have a justifiable reason for carrying firearms which is also directly observable from their appearance, though I'd argue that even they shouldn't necessarily carry as a matter of course. Random citizens have no good reason to carry firearms in public, and there's also no way whatsoever to know what their intent is. The two scenarios couldn't be more different, despite the entirely superficial similarity of both involving guns.
posted by clockzero at 10:56 AM on July 7 [16 favorites]


BlerpityBloop: "
There are no long gun automatic rifles outside of the military. Magazine sizes have been limited to 10 shells in most states. Come on.
"

I never said anything about automatic rifles. I said LOOKS JUST LIKE...and you tell me, how at first glance, when I'm sitting in a restaurant, with a group of armed idiots toting rifles and magazines taunting unarmed women to come outside, how I'm supposed to know if that SLR has been modified? How can I tell if that magazine is a 10 or a 30? How can I do the math to know how fast he can reload, and if I'll be one of the lucky not-10 or not-30 that doesn't get shot?

I will say it again, since you missed/ignored it the first time:

There are NO requirements for Open Carry semiautomatic, self loading long rifles in Texas.
There are NO restrictions on magazine/clip sizes in Texas for SLR.

An AR15 looks like a military weapon. It looks fully automatic. It scares the fuck out of normal people when someone points one at you, loaded or not.

We are talking here, about people who were willing to dress up in black, hide outside the porch of a woman paralyzed by a gun attack, and then jump out and spray her with a water rifle and taunt her about not having a gun to shoot back...and you want to defend them? Are you serious, or are you just trolling the liberals for fun?

You can defend these bullies and terrorists until the cows come home, but all you're doing is pushing moderates like me away from gun rights and towards full restrictions. If you can't see the difference between guys like the Open Carry movement, and rational gun owners, then you are part of the problem, and perhaps it is time to put some serious restrictions on guns on both citizens and law enforcement.
posted by dejah420 at 10:58 AM on July 7 [12 favorites]


A gun is not part of a cop's job (see Europe/rest of the civilized world). It's an accommodation we have grown used to.

Its part of their job. You can argue that it shouldn't be, but its part of being a cop that they carry a gun.

This is getting really silly really fast.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:59 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


The reason cops are heavily armed is that people are heavily armed. Cops in the uk still don't carry guns, do they?
posted by empath at 11:01 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'm scared of and distrustful of cops. I fucking live in Albuquerque. Most people here are. I do generally avoid being in places with lots of armed cops. And yeah, if cops wearing these big-ass guns across their chests come into a place of business I am patronizing, I'll prolly leave then too.
posted by NoraReed at 11:07 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Having grown up in urban Canada, the only people I have seen outside with guns were police (and the military in parades). Traveling, I saw military with guns in French and Mexican airports. That's it for me and guns. That's more than enough.

So, I going to add those states with this level of open carry swagger to my list of places to never go. And I don't doubt that there are others choosing to do the same thing.
posted by drinkmaildave at 11:12 AM on July 7


Chiming in with some others from upthread -- observing the US as an expat, it really does seem to have just gone completely bonkers.
posted by junco at 11:12 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


A gun is not part of a cop's job (see Europe/rest of the civilized world). It's an accommodation we have grown used to.

Good point. So let's disarm both civilians AND the police.
posted by ymgve at 11:16 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Why don't you compare the statistics of wrongful police shootings vs wrongful armed citizen shootings and get back to me.

Armed citizens can run if they think confrontation is too dangerous. Police have to deal with the situation. I'm pretty confident that if you forced random citizens with no training to confront the situations police do with the options they do, the police results would look a lot better.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:17 AM on July 7


Dejah420, if you read my original comments in this thread, you would see that I, too, am fearful of any gun outside of the firing range.

We are on the same page here.

empath, cops in the uk carry firearms, but they are a select few. They have swat teams just like we do but your average patrol bobby carries a nightstick. Detectives are armed (mostly). Some patrol guys are armed but you have to jump trough some SERIOUS hoops to patrol your beat with a gun. The cops in UK are armed, make no mistake...

....which saddens me. It was a lovely thing to bring up about guns, but in the uk it simply isn't the case these days. You see well armed patrols at the airport and even in Leicester square.

Look. I'm not advocating for an armed populace here, while I own guns I truly believe they have a place and time. Denny's on a Sunday is not one of them. These morons open carrying are hurting responsible gun ownership. I loathe what they are doing, wish they would stop, but idiots gonna idiot.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 11:17 AM on July 7


so lets make laws to not allow that type of idiocy to continue. then when idiots idiot in this manner they'll be arrested and hopefully charged with a felony so they lose their guns. that seems like a winning solution to me!
posted by nadawi at 11:19 AM on July 7


What should be the response to a person wearing a sticker that says "I AM LAWFULLY CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON"? What about "I HAVE A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT"? What about if a Google Glasses app used facial recognition + concealed carry permit lists to tell you who around you had a permit? What if the app revealed who merely owned a gun at all*? Where along this spectrum of knowledge is it justified/prudent to flee? If concealed carry remains legal, and open carry is banned, should either sticker above be legal?

*I realize this one isn't actually possible because there aren't any accurate lists of gun owners
posted by Pyry at 11:23 AM on July 7


A gun is not part of a cop's job (see Europe/rest of the civilized world)

Police in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden seem to carry handguns.

More generally, this is a very weird thing to say about Europe given the prevalence of gendarmerie / carabinerie agencies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:26 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's a strange claim. I saw a lot more guys carrying submachine guns or something in Europe than I ever do in the USA outside of a military base.
posted by Justinian at 11:30 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Have the Open Carry people tried to pull this little stunt at a bank?

Not a bank to my knowledge, but Open Carry Texas seem to turn up at the Capitol in Austin with black-powder revolvers trying to get arrested fairly regularly.

There's a video here, which is much as you'd expect - lots of white people, some with guns, pointing cameras and phones at African-American security guards.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:40 AM on July 7


Look, could the Open Carry people just let us know if we're going to skip right over Mad Max and go straight to Zardoz? 'Cause I need to set up a loincloth fitting if that's the case.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:46 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


like this one a few weeks ago in Las Vegas.

Which gun advocates don't like to talk about much, because the only civilian victim other than the shooters and the cops they ambushed was a Good Guy With A Gun who hitched up his britches and marched off to take care of Clyde instead of removing himself from the situation, forgetting that Bonnie might be lurking off to the side ready to pick him off.
posted by localroger at 11:52 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if this is a parody or made by real Open Carry advocates, but I really hope for the former. If not, someone will end up dead.
posted by ymgve at 11:58 AM on July 7


I would love if we could get fewer cops in the US routinely carrying guns, but that's a tough sell. The cops will fight it tooth and nail, and there's not enough popular support for the idea to make it even worth trying right now.

Getting these people to knock it off is a pretty popular cause. I'm not sure anyone in this thread is against that.

Getting fewer civilians carrying/owning guns is somewhere in between those two in terms of general support, and that's why that's the argument we're having. I think it's important to recognize the current site of political debate and meet it there, and understand the difference between that and your full ideological commitments. Leftists in the US have had difficulty with that for a while now, to our detriment, cf. democrat/republican equivalency notions.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:06 PM on July 7


One thing I've never understood: If an armed society is a polite society, why do gangs still shoot each other up? Shouldn't they be afraid of mutually assured destruction?
posted by desjardins at 12:25 PM on July 7


ymgve - that was posted by a troll twitter account.
posted by desjardins at 12:25 PM on July 7




Again, the process of getting a conceal or open carry permit is often more rigorous than your average police cadet screening.

This doesn't make any sense. I understand that police training isn't everything it could be, but the whole exercise is about assessing the candidate's fitness for the job, it's mental and stresses and the person's likely success as a member of a police force. The entire training process is "screening" if you like, and it's a lengthy, expensive process because it will protect both the officer and the public as that person carries out his or her job duties.
posted by sneebler at 1:53 PM on July 7


Which gun advocates don't like to talk about much, because the only civilian victim other than the shooters and the cops they ambushed was a Good Guy With A Gun who hitched up his britches and marched off to take care of Clyde instead of removing himself from the situation, forgetting that Bonnie might be lurking off to the side ready to pick him off.

This is a really, really unkind thing to say about someone who was trying to do the right thing. Isn't it far more noble and civic minded to try and stop those maniacs? Especially when it isn't even your job? But no, lets make fun of the guy who owns a gun is a really fun and popular pastime isn't it?

BTW the general attitude about that guy in the gun blog world was he died a hero or at least doing the right thing, not something to be hidden or ashamed at. There is some monday morning quarterbacking going on about how he could have stayed alive (and some with the attitude he should have left) but not really any one in that community making fun of him.


Again, the process of getting a conceal or open carry permit is often more rigorous than your average police cadet screening.


this very much depends on the jurisdiction. Some states (arizona, alaska, vermont) have zero requirements and anyone who cares to can carry concealed. Some states have insane requirements and NOONE who isn't politically connected gets a permit (New York, California, Hawaii, and so on).

In most states that are shall issue you have to pass a very rigorous background check, take an all day class (somewhere between 4-8 hours usually), pay a fee, and get it renewed on a regular inerval (2-4). So while somewhat more difficult than getting a drivers license, it really isn't the same as becoming a police officer, cops have to learn a whole LOT more than just weapons handling however. The qualifications most cops do for their firearms is not very tough and most cops do NOT practice as regularly as concealed carry permit holders.

They do tend to be much more competent with their guns than most cops however. Concealed carry permit holders have a far higher perpetrator hit rate, far lower bystander hit rate, and much, much lower shot count than police do. They also, as a group, are extremely law abiding at higher rate than police are (on a nation wide comparison).

Concealed carry people are NOT the problem with guns.
posted by bartonlong at 2:54 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I think the point that was being made is that people who want more guns trot out the NRA's talking point of, basically, "all it takes to stop a bad man with a gun is one good guy with a gun"--the idea that any non-bad-guy with a gun will be the summer-blockbuster-action-movie-superhero, impervious to bullets and riding (shooting) in to save the day.

No, in this case--in the real world--this non-bad-guy with a gun, despite his best intentions, only resulted in yet one more needless murder.
posted by blueberry at 3:00 PM on July 7


I'm not sure if this is a parody or made by real Open Carry advocates, but I really hope for the former. If not, someone will end up dead.

It's worse than you think - that's Holly Fisher - a member of the family that owns Hobby Lobby. The similarity was apparently unintentional.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:01 PM on July 7


This is a really, really unkind thing to say about someone who was trying to do the right thing.

Except that he didn't do the right thing. By every objective measure he did the WRONG thing. It's an indisputable fact that he would still be alive if he had followed the sensible advice to, if possible, remove yourself from the situation instead of engaging. There was nobody to be rescued; the shooter yahoos were interested in the police and were letting the civilians evacuate. He had no reason to engage except a desire to play hero. And because he had none of the other advantages of the cops who were already arriving, such as body armor, recon, and backup, it uselessly cost him his life.
posted by localroger at 3:06 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Again, the process of getting a conceal or open carry permit is often more rigorous than your average police cadet screening.

Not in the states where I live and work, where it varies from no class and a simple background check to a simple evening class (only talking, no shooting or practical skills required) -- which amazingly provides reciprocity across much of the US. It is absolutely not the case that CCW permits are always rigorous or hard to get.

As emphasized above, even this most minimal of screenings seems to largely work; it doesn't appear to take much to filter out the worst.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:15 PM on July 7


His thoughts were red thoughts: “I'm not sure if this is a parody or made by real Open Carry advocates, but I really hope for the former. If not, someone will end up dead.

It's worse than you think - that's Holly Fisher - a member of the family that owns Hobby Lobby. The similarity was apparently unintentional.”
Just to clarify, the picture that goes with the comment you quoted is a fake "let's open carry at a bank" meme, not the picture of Fisher in front of the flag.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:20 PM on July 7


Where I live, all you need to get a concealed carry permit is to take an hour-long online class, followed by a 20-minute online test. You can also take a similar class and test in person. You have to be 21, not have any felony convictions, not have any domestic violence convictions, and not be prohibited by federal law from owning a firearm. And that's it. There may be states where it's harder to get a concealed carry permit than to become a cop, but I sure as hell don't live in one.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:28 PM on July 7


This is a really, really unkind thing to say about someone who was trying to do the right thing.

I agree with you, but I would suggest we sidestep that particular derail.

I would love if we could get fewer cops in the US routinely carrying guns, but that's a tough sell. The cops will fight it tooth and nail...

Probably yes, but not because they just get a kick out of fighting stuff tooth and nail. That's sort of an unfair phrasing. Police officers in the United States need weapons of certain capability. In my opinion, non-lethal technology has advanced to the point where it could successfully replace many officers' sidearms; but that's a minority opinion, and I'm hardly an expert on the science, and in any case there's still a cost hurdle. As a separate issue, I'm not aware of anybody seriously arguing that the technology has advanced sufficiently to replace the rifles deployed in emergency-response situations.
posted by cribcage at 3:29 PM on July 7


This is a really, really unkind thing to say about someone who was trying to do the right thing. Isn't it far more noble and civic minded to try and stop those maniacs?

As has been pointed out, the more unkind thing here was probably that he had been told, over and over again, that a good guy with a gun is the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun. As a result, he threw his life away by engineering a situation he was not trained for, as a result of which he was outflanked and killed.

I don't fault his courage, but I do fault the people who sold him that bill of goods. As it turns out, what stopped these bad people with guns was one of the bad people with guns: when they were contained by the police, one killed the other and then killed herself. The police were able to contain them because they had weight of numbers, armor and the ability to surround and suppress - none of which are possessed by a single person with a sidearm and no training.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:50 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Again, the process of getting a conceal or open carry permit is often more rigorous than your average police cadet screening.

This comparison is nonsense, because police CADETS then have to go through hundreds more hours of training and evaluation before they're actually allowed to be police officers. You're comparing apples to pomegranates here.

In Ohio (my state), it's 12 hours of training to get a CCW permit, 605 hours (pdf link) to pass peace officer basic training.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:05 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Just to clarify, the picture that goes with the comment you quoted is a fake "let's open carry at a bank" meme, not the picture of Fisher in front of the flag.

Whoops. The perils of multiple tabs. Sorry folks.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:19 PM on July 7


"In Ohio (my state), it's 12 hours of training to get a CCW permit, 605 hours (pdf link) to pass peace officer basic training."

Ummm, you realize that there is no mental health test to enter the police academy in Ohio, right?
posted by BlerpityBloop at 4:33 PM on July 7


Ohio Police Academy requirements for education state that the applicants must possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED) time of application. Correspondence or mail-order high school diplomas are not accepted.

Applicant will be required to take a written/oral examination, psychological test, as well as a polygraph examination.


You sure about that there, chief?
posted by Talez at 4:41 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Seriously though, can you make a good faith effort to check your facts?
posted by Talez at 4:42 PM on July 7


Talez, are you familiar with the psychological test of police cadets? Are you aware of how it differs with the psych test to obtain a CC permit for a citizen?

Or are you just goggling and hoping you are correct?
posted by BlerpityBloop at 4:47 PM on July 7


Are you aware of how it differs with the psych test to obtain a CC permit for a citizen?
In my state, one big difference is that there is no psych test to obtain a concealed carry permit. There is mandatory psychological evaluation for prospective police officers.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:53 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Ohio CCW
Mental Competency
The law states that you must not have been adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to any mental institution, under a current adjudication of incompetence, found by a court to be mentally ill subject to hospitalization by court order, or an involuntary patient other than one who is a patient only for purposes of observation.
Generic Police Psych Testing info:

What does the exam consist of?

The exact content and procedure of pre-employment screenings can vary widely from agency to agency, but typically consist of two main components: a clinical interview and one or more standardized (usually paper-and-pencil) psychological tests. During the interview, the psychologist will ask you a range of questions about your background, work history, current lifestyle, any symptoms or problems you may be experiencing, and what your expectations are about the job.

A properly conducted psychological interview should not feel like an al-Qaeda interrogation; in fact, it shouldn’t be any more of an adversarial process than any other kind of job interview. I want you to be straight with me, I want you help me find out as much about you as I need to know to professionally assess your fitness to do this job, but I’m not out to trick you, trap you, burn you, or screw you. What would be the point? The more prickly and defensive I make you feel, the less accurate will be the data I get from you.

The number of psychological tests employed may range from one to a dozen, but typically, between two and four well-standardized measures will be administered. In fact, you’ll probably spend most of your psych eval time hunched over a table with a number-2 pencil in your hand, blackening in little boxes and circles on multiple pages. Do your best on each test; this data is important. The evaluator will put the results of these tests together with his or her impressions from the clinical interview to determine your fitness for the job.


So unless I see otherwise the law in Ohio for "mental competency" to get a CCW means you haven't been 5150ed lately.
posted by Talez at 4:53 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Blerpity, if you know things, then tell us. If you don't, then say you don't. If what you know conflicts with what someone else has presented, then state that.

Questioning how other people get their facts — not even bothering to contest the facts, just the methods — is Junior High debate. Please don't waste our time.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:54 PM on July 7 [23 favorites]


Probably yes, but not because they just get a kick out of fighting stuff tooth and nail. That's sort of an unfair phrasing. Police officers in the United States need weapons of certain capability.

Sure, and given the rates of gun ownership in this country it's not unreasonable for police to carry firearms standard. But police organizations are notoriously conservative and reluctant to give up power they have (see what's been going on in seattle lately for a great example, and this is with the federal government leaning on them to reform). If we ever reach a point where it is reasonable to start disarming cops in this country, I don't expect them to let go of their guns willingly. I do not expect to reach that point anyway, not in my lifetime, so it's irrelevant.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:02 PM on July 7


I do find it interesting that people afford Law Enforcement officers more accommodation than regular citizens, given the disdain I've seen for cops around here. The screening process, in most states, for open carry is often (but not always) more rigorous than the police entrance examination and mental health check.

It's not interesting, it's wasting time because you're busy thinking about a straw man that doesn't exist. Even putting aside the apples and oranges, when someone sees a gunman walk into a space, the status of their licensing is not part of the available information. When someone sees a man step out of a police cruiser wearing full police uniform, the status of their licensing is known.
posted by anonymisc at 5:03 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Yeah but what if it's this guy, anonymisc? Then what do you do? Huh?

BlerpityBloop's derail is just weird. We have to use some heuristics or we might as well not interact with other people at all. My mental calculus says that the overwhelming majority of police officers are not out to shoot me while I'm eating in a restaurant, so I don't have much of a fear response when I see one (except to wonder if they've arrived because someone else is causing trouble). How many documented cases are there of police randomly opening fire in a business? (And I mean randomly, not as part of a shootout with a criminal.)
posted by desjardins at 5:18 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Oh, and to the "automatic" vs "semiautomatic"; I asked someone I know, who is a licensed gun dealer, how hard it would be to convert an AR15 to fully auto. He said, and I quote; "15 minutes, a $100 kit, and it's completely undetectable unless you know exactly what you're looking for." So...yeah, I'm going to keep assuming that Yeehadists are waving fully automatics, because they can.


Speaking of "because I can", this is the leader of the Open Carry folks, and the arrest that started the whole "movement".
posted by dejah420 at 5:33 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Oh, and to the "automatic" vs "semiautomatic"; I asked someone I know, who is a licensed gun dealer, how hard it would be to convert an AR15 to fully auto. He said, and I quote; "15 minutes, a $100 kit, and it's completely undetectable unless you know exactly what you're looking for." So...yeah, I'm going to keep assuming that Yeehadists are waving fully automatics, because they can.

Alternatively, the slide fire stock, which uses a small slide action to bump the trigger back and forward against the shooter's finger, allowing bullets to be fired at the speed the next round can be chambered rather than the speed a human can tense and relax their finger. As approved by the ATF and (according to the promo video) James Madison Jr.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:42 PM on July 7


The screening process, in most states, for open carry is often (but not always) more rigorous than the police entrance examination and mental health check.

Maybe this is my ignorance from living most of my life in the west, but I wasn't aware of needing any permit (much less a rigorous screening process, wot?) for open carry. This map largely agrees, showing 30 states with no permit needed and only six that ban open carry, with 14 needing a permit. There's at least a minimal level of scrutiny for a CCW, but in most of the US open carry is legal if you are legal to own the gun, no oversight or permitting process whatsoever.

And "mental health check"? LOL. For all of my firearms purchases and CCW applications, that has meant checking a box on a form saying that I'm not nuts. I am not aware of any central database or follow up checking on this, much less actual mental health testing or interview process. I could be crazier than a fruitbat and there's nothing in the process that would trigger a rejection, as long as I had stayed out of whatever databases get searched during the (very minimal) background check.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:50 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


RE: the full vs. semi-auto derail, the fact is for an individual shooter hoping to maximize spree kill, you DON'T WANT full auto. Full auto will go through your 100 round clip in a few seconds, with most of the bullets either hitting something you've already hit or hitting nothing at all. No, what that kind of killer wants is SEMI-auto, so he can aim, shoot, aim, shoot, aim, shoot, lather rinse repeat until the clip runs out, with hardly anything wasted if you can aim the damn thing at all.
posted by localroger at 6:09 PM on July 7


That slide fire video reads like an SNL commercial to me.

I realize now there are probably people who think Don't Forget the Guns is serious, or at least ha-ha-only-serious.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:26 PM on July 7


RE: the full vs. semi-auto derail, the fact is for an individual shooter hoping to maximize spree kill, you DON'T WANT full auto.

But if you believe that you are going to be resisting attempts by the government to take your liberty as part of an organized militia, you want to be able to maintain a high rate of fire in an emplaced position. You can do this while retaining ATF compliance with a belt-fed semi-automatic rifle and a bump fire stock- like this mod for a Colt 6920.

Not that this really matters in terms of assessing the threat when one or more people walk into a store or diner carrying an AR-15 clone. Which is where we came in.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:55 PM on July 7


[Comment removed; it will help this thread go better if folks avoid phrasing stuff in a "this is what I would say if I were a racist" sort of way.]
posted by cortex at 7:28 PM on July 7


"15 minutes, a $100 kit, and it's completely undetectable unless you know exactly what you're looking for." So...yeah, I'm going to keep assuming that Yeehadists are waving fully automatics, because they can.

And if you have a hacksaw blade, some files and some patience, you can make a part to turn an AR full auto. I am not linking or naming the part, but it sure isn't hard.

I fall into the gun-owner-who-thinks-these-OCT-people-are-idiots camp. I see them, I'm leaving. Even without full-auto, I have no interest in having my family anywhere near these people. I'll happily call 911 and if these people want to intimidate me for it, so be it. It proves their intent.
posted by Seamus at 8:50 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


a history of policing by consent.

What a delightful, civilized concept. Shame they gave it up.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:45 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


If I see people posed like this, that's not a protest. That's them waiting for a target to come out. How is this acceptable in any context?
posted by defcom1 at 6:04 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


The group then waited in the parking lot for the four MDA members to come out. The spokeswoman said that the restaurant manager did not want to call 911, for fear of “inciting a riot” and waited for the gun advocates to leave. The group moved to a nearby Hooters after approximately two hours.

On one level, this is obviously too perfect for words - he who sacrifices freedom for hot wings deserves neither! - but it's also kind of too awful for words.

This is the gun rights version of "because of the implication", basically, isn't it? You don't call the police to mention that there are armed men staking out your parking lot - because of the implication that, if you do, they may start shooting, and it may turn into exactly the kind of bloodbath that they insist guns have no part in causing.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:45 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


Actually, circling back to one of blerpity's earlier arguments:

It's like asking a guitar player why they don't just stick to a stratocaster, why own more than one guitar? Because they are all different experiences and collecting variations of a hobby is fun for people.

Just thought of another reason why this analogy isn't germane to the topic at hand. Because people who own more than one guitar do not have all of them slung over their shoulder at all times. On the contrary - they only have them along if they're on their way to a gig, and it'd be in a case, usually. If it's a really valuable guitar, it'd be at home.

So yeah, guitar players may own than one guitar, especially if they're hobbyists, but they don't brandish them if they're just going to be waiting in line at the drug store or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


My wife, a good friend, and I were sitting at a table in Ashkenaz the night David Nadel got shot. I heard the gunshot and threw us all under the table, then made for th first emergency exit I saw (given that the shots came from the main exit.

I grew up shooting skeet in NJ w/ my gun-owning father, and I will NEVER treat someone walking into Burger King open-carry as normal.

This is why I'm behind the "Just Leave" idea; the gun-nuts want to shift the terms of what normal through fear & intimidation.

Same advice as if an 1%er outlaw motorcycle gang suddenly rolled in and entered the bar. I leave, because violent people attract violence.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:05 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]


And if you have a hacksaw blade, some files and some patience, you can make a part to turn an AR full auto. I am not linking or naming the part, but it sure isn't hard.

This is a very common myth and largely untrue. A fuller response is here.

The modification you are talking about is extremely dangerous and results in a broken, not modified weapon, and is generally only done by idiots and criminals who don't know better (admittedly these open carry fools might just be the type...)

If I see people posed like this, that's not a protest. That's them waiting for a target to come out. How is this acceptable in any context?

This group is posing for group photo, not standing there waiting for someone. The photo was taken to deliberately paint them in a bad light and is extremely misleading. I am at work now, and don't have access to my link library on this, but I can post it later if anyone cares.

BTW the more mainstream position among gun rights activists on open carry activism is to carry an empty holster to get people to engage in conversation with you, and not scare and intimidate people. Even doing that it is amazing the amount of people who overreact to a simple, very non threatening accessory.
posted by bartonlong at 10:59 AM on July 8


BTW the more mainstream position among gun rights activists on open carry activism is to carry an empty holster to get people to engage in conversation with you, and not scare and intimidate people. Even doing that it is amazing the amount of people who overreact to a simple, very non threatening accessory.

Does the overreaction involve the phrase "Excuse me, did you leave your gun in the bathroom"?
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:43 AM on July 8 [8 favorites]


it took them 2 hours to take a photo? they just happened to pick the parking lot of the place the mom's group was at? really? come on.
posted by nadawi at 12:21 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


posing for group photo

photo was taken to deliberately paint them in a bad light


hmmm
posted by Drinky Die at 12:34 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]


It might be a function of geography and culture—I'm not a Texan, nor an expert on Texas gun culture—but I'm not sure I would describe any kind of open-carry activism as mainstream (or even "more" mainstream). It's my impression that open-carry activism is relatively fringe in the larger pot of "gun rights": licensing, registration, private sale, storage, insurance, reciprocity, etc.

Separately: setting aside whether or not open-carry demonstrations constitute an emergency, it's worth mentioning that many police departments have a non-emergency phone number. And in the context of assessing what does or doesn't make sense to carry when you leave the house, this is worth thinking about. I have most of the nearby towns' numbers stored in my phone. I've had plenty of occasions to inform the police about something or to request their help, but fewer to dial 911.
posted by cribcage at 12:37 PM on July 8


This group is posing for group photo, not standing there waiting for someone. The photo was taken to deliberately paint them in a bad light and is extremely misleading. I am at work now, and don't have access to my link library on this, but I can post it later if anyone cares.

Oh good. That makes me feel way better about an armed mob showing up at the same place that gun control proponents were at and waiting two hours for them to come out.
posted by Talez at 12:57 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


OK, I do think the Texas group were intending to intimidate the Moms and I think they have proven themselves be bullies, creeps & paranoids that I would rather not be around.

But the photo thing does make them look like they are taking aim -- and the reality is that this was the photo taken at the same time from the front view. I think that side view is a bit misleading because the crouch is very alarming in the side view and much less so in the front view. They look plenty bad enough, not much need to make them look worse, imo.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:04 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I don't know how the hell that "front" view is supposed to make it any less worse, or how the "side" view was in any way misleading.

Guns are weapons. Amassing with weapons outside a meeting of people you disagree with politically is an intimidation tactic. Just because you look like dorks rather than commandos doesn't change that. It's a threat, exactly as those people intended.
posted by spaltavian at 1:30 PM on July 8 [11 favorites]


One thing the front view does show, which the side view does not, is that one of the women in front is holding her rifle in such a way that an accidental discharge would have a fair chance of ricocheting into one of the mother next to her's children.

So, yeah.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:39 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


It's kind of important to note, I think, that the "side view" photo – the one some are saying was taken to "deliberately" paint the open-carry activists in a bad light – was (by all accounts) taken from inside the restaurant where the meeting was taking place. It would not have been possible to see the group from the front, much less take a picture from the other angle, without walking out of the restaurant and confronting the open-carry activists directly.

So you could argue that the photo was "intentionally misleading" in the sense that at other times during the two-hour protest maybe the folks with the guns were milling around, or sitting on their cars, or chanting slogans, or waving flags, or doing something else. But this is clearly not a case where someone deliberately picked the most misleading camera angle and used it. This is a case where someone picked the only camera angle and used it.
posted by koeselitz at 2:11 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


I try and keep my poses as free of implied threats of long range lethal violence as possible from all angles. Is it possible something they are doing is making that difficult for them? The hats maybe?
posted by Drinky Die at 3:26 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


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