Skip to comments.Obvious gun holders no threat
Posted on 04/23/2009 6:09:30 PM PDT by SJackson
When I leave to go to the grocery store, there are a few items I keep in mind to take with me debit card, car keys, cell phone and maybe a pair of steel-toe boots if its the rush right before Christmas dinner.
But until now, I hadnt thought to bring a 9 mm with me.
Well, why not? Its legal. And it would probably clear the aisles pretty quick.
At least, thats the opinion of Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (not the shopping thing, Im sure his slicked-back hair is enough to scare those crowding the dairy section). In an opinion released on Monday, Van Hollen made clear what most gun rights advocates already knew and most law enforcement find bewildering: Police cant arrest you for disorderly conduct simply for openly carrying a gun, even if you dont have a permit for that gun.
Well, strap on a holster and call me John Wayne! Oh, dont worry, I dont want to shoot anyone. Nor did the West Allis man who was arrested on his own property for openly carrying his gun he was doing yard work. Nor do most of the hunters in Northern Wisconsin who treat their guns as essential tools to a rite of passage.
And usually, police should be able to tell whether youre ready to kill someone or just casually showing off your Second Amendment rights in a completely unnecessary way. In Van Hollens opinion, for example, the difference between disorderly conduct and constitutional right can be as small as yelling at someone while holding a gun.
Of course, you can understand how this would irk law enforcement. Cops in white bread parts of Wisconsin will see a man with a gun and have images of every small town rampage flash before their eyes. Before you know it, the gun-toting citizen is on the ground and a mostly inert situation has been rendered completely absurd.
But the issue for law enforcement isnt suburban, peaceful Wisconsin. Its Milwaukee.
You know, that place where gun deaths run rampant, gunfire strikes down innocent bystanders and talk radio pundits are throwing up their arms and heralding the breakdown of civilization.
And law enforcement officials there are feeling embattled by Van Hollens decision. Not only because it seems vague, but also because they seem to feel it doesnt allow them to arrest gun-wielding youth on the spot.
Well, whatever theyre still going to do it.
My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, well put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Maybe Ill end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, Ive got serious offenders with access to handguns. Its irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them.
But in what situation is Van Hollens opinion going to stop police from doing their job?
Man holding gun in his hand? Reasonable suspicion. Man with gun in car? Still against the law. The only scenario I can see where a person with a gun doesnt end in an arrest is if a suspected threat walks down the street with a gun tucked in the front of his pants, but still visible, and then simply walks by police without a single facial tick or sneer. But be realistic, how many people are going to see police while showing a piece and not react in a way deemed suspicious?
I know what gun control advocates will say: This is just one more step toward proliferating gun violence in Wisconsin. Next is concealed carry.
Maybe. But lets be honest with ourselves who handles guns, what kind of guns they have and how they get those guns is a lot more important than how someone handles their gun.
Laws prohibiting guns in public places serve a normative purpose in regulating gun use, but practical enforcement is rather limited. Once someone has a gun in public, one of two things happens: They either take it out and start shooting people or they beam with pride as they test the produce.
But either way, the police are still going to approach you. If youre about to shoot someone, theyre either going to stop you or regrettably have it end in a shootout. But if you are just going about your day and feel like alarming your neighbors for the sake of touting your newly emboldened Constitutional rights, yeah, you should be allowed to go about your shopping/picnic/other non-trigger tripping situation.
But gun control advocates will at least have the opportunity to pick their battle. There are kids getting guns in front of Chicago schools with assault rifles and mentally unbalanced individuals getting guns without any problems.
Deal with them first. The man doing lawn work isnt a threat hes just obnoxious.
Jason Smathers (email@example.com) is a senior majoring in history and journalism.
While I disagree with his tone at several points, this is a legitimate criticism of open carry. He doesn't like it, it's my right, and arrest the criminals. Decent editorial for a college kid. Ties him with the President's known college writings, one. More accurately the only one of the authors I've read, he probably has more.
You have the right to bear arms. That means you have the right to BEAR arms. To deny that right is tyranny.
Well of course. This precludes them from having to do anything so tedious as actually cracking a book and learning about the law.
Heaven forbid. Much easier to 'shoot' first and ask questions later when they have the time to THEN consult a book.
How did the sheriffs handle it in the frontier days? Most people had side arms. How did they determine between the good and bad guys?
Wow. Cops determine what rights we have?
I don’t know. You reckon that maybe they arrested someone only if they saw them actually doing something illegal?
What a concept!
Have we become a nation of pussies? What happened to the country I was born in almost 50 years ago?! My father’s generation defeated Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, all at the same time!! We defeated the Soviet Union, but now we’re afraid to use our God-given rights? WTF?!!
He must not like his home very much, because he's going to lose it when he's sued and held personally liable for violation of civil rights under color of law.
In Virginia, two young men collected a total of $25,000 in settlements from the City of Norfolk within a span of six months. And that's small potatoes, friends.
The bad guys always wore black, had mustaches and always sneered. Oh, they spit tobacco too.......
Today they just ask Oblahblah & former Arizona governer Janet Napolitano's DHS for a profile.
“Have we become a nation of pussies?”
The founding fathers never dreamed we’d try to say Americans can own firearms but not carry them anywhere. The notion is ridiculous.
It is, isn’t it. They’re shaking their heads.
another reason why the press is the enemy of the Bill of rights
(by the way, what the heck does that mean?)
Well, in some cases they banned carry within town limits.
Hear what this man has to say, from hear him, hear him. I think it was a term in parliment, like asking for the floor.
Shouldn’t have said was, probably still is. Brits talk that way.
In the old days they were a lot fewer bad guys. There were no narcotics or other modern motivation for crime. Of course there were highwaymen and various bandits. Law enforcement officers were spread thin. If you were unarmed you would likely fall victim to the renegades.
There were no cell phones to call for help. In any case, if you have to call for the help of the police, its usually too late, no matter the time period..
They’ll have your profile in every squad car if it’s up to thaem.
No, it is not.
You don't suppose that the cops are going to be arresting each other, do you? That is because they presume that another uniformed officer is justified in carrying his weapon openly on his hip. All the cops have to do is recognize that every law-abiding citizen is justified in carrying his weapon openly on his hip also.
It's really not that complicated. Just treat every law-abiding citizen with the same consideration that you would a uniformed cop.
It's about time that the cops started recognizing who is the master and who is the servant.
NO the obnoxious one is you,you eliteist twit.
The transformation that you have described is, unfortunately, only cured by massive suffering. The cost may be paid many generations from now in the blood of our descendants, when the loss of liberty, typically tolerated for temporary security, fails to even put food on the table.
There is a third possiblity; they may be in the right place at the right time to stop the person he describes in alternate one- the one that starts shooting random people.
“An armed society is a polite society” I find that whether you are at the gun club or in a part of the woods where half the people are carrying firearms that this is a very true statement.
Actually some places had very strict local firearms laws- many towns did not allow you to carry in town in any fashion. Other than that I imagine they waited to see if you were up to no good or not. What a concept.
“In Virginia, two young men collected a total of $25,000 in settlements from the City of Norfolk”
Was that for carrying guns openly or something else?
They probably already do and most of the profiles are probably pretty close to the drivers of the squad cars. A LOT of them are former military and conservative. At least the ones I've met in Arizona.
And some places (towns or establishments) required you to check your gun at the door, or town limits. You were free to pick them back up on your way out.
We're going to spend a weekend with some friends in Milwaukee next month. I could use a bit of extra cash and don't mind going through both the Wisconsin State Courts and the Federal Courts.
I think it would be kind of cool to have a former big city Police Chief mowing my lawn and cleaning my pool for me. Not to mention I could find a use for a few hundred thousand extra dollars...
He’s not obnoxious for exercising his Federally-protected constitutional right, his state-protected constitutional right. Too bad if you have a personal problem with someone exercising a constitutional right. Nobody says you have to carry.
That’s like saying voters are obnoxious simply for voting. That’s like saying Christians are obnoxious simply for going to church. That’s like say, well, columnists such as this putz are obnoxious simply for writing.
What an utter idiot.
There is pre-emption law in the WI state constitution. Local govts cannot make laws that deprive citizens of their state constitutionally-protected rights.
WI needs Concealed Carry Law.
Open carry harassment. One of them was a "black man with a gun." It appears that $10,000 and $15,000 is what they offer when they just detain you, rather than "put you on the ground" (assault & battery), so I expect that a settlement from these guys will be much higher. Another fellow won a settlement from Gonzalez, Louisiana's police department.
Check out http://www.opencarry.org/
Well, it’s “Hear, Hear!!”, and is used (usually in conjuction with desk-thumping) to cheer on a point made during a speech in most Parliaments and many other legislative bodies.
It’s a civilized cheer for a speech, as opposed to whistles and hoots.
And that was the first manifestation of the difference between the urban and rural environments. It was taken as a plain truth back then that everyone had the right to carry a gun when out on the trail, as there were so many potential hazards. However, it might not be a good idea to have a saloon full of drunken brawlers with guns when they came into town for some R&R. Hence, the Sheriff might keep everyone’s guns in his office while they had a good time.
This police chief seems to lack the minimum IQ needed for the job. He's admitting that "serious offenders" already have access to guns. Presumably he realizes that he and his "troops" are not presently free to "take down" people who they recognize as having previous criminal convictions just for walking down the street with no visible weapons. But somehow he imagines that allowing open-carry will increase the ability of "serious offenders" to go about the city in possession of guns. Does he actually not get what the baggy-saggy pants fashion is about?
It is also the author’s federally-protected Constitutional right to view open-carry in supermarkets and while mowing one’s lawn as “obnoxious”, and to share that view with the general public. He is simultaneously recognizing that there’s no rational basis for outlawing this form of “obnoxiousness”.
His approach is more likely than yours to convert people who oppose the attorney general’s position, into people who support it. He’s writing for a college audience, and it’s certain that a majority of Wisconsin college students think people who open-carry in situations where there’s no particular threat are “obnoxious”. He’s telling them, “Yes, fine, I hear you, that’s what I personally think of them too. But here’s why you still shouldn’t be opposed to the AG’s recently pronouncement that open-carry is perfectly legal.”
I want to know how you KNOW there is no particular threat to a particular person? How did you and the author both arrive at that assumption? Do you know if the guy has had death threats from certain people? Perhaps he is a small business owner that carries monies with him when he goes to the bank? Maybe he lives in a dangerous area of town? Maybe he’s got physical problems that he can’t handle getting beaten up without suffering serious permanent injuries and wants to be able to prevent that from occurring.
I mean you can make a snap judgment and say he’s obnoxious, but realize that you are doing so from your own point of view, and do not have all the facts and reasons the guy actually carrying, does.
The whole point is that the guy made a value judgment (that the guy planting a tree in his yard was obnoxious) but had no basis for doing so. He has no idea why the guy is carrying, and it is clear it did not matter and that he didn’t take two minutes and think about why a peaceful guy might want to be armed.
It’s a problem because he’s trying to say there are times when exercising your right to have protection is obnoxious, and some times where it isn’t, and that who decides whether it’s obnoxious is NOT the guy actually doing the carrying. And that is dangerous, because only the person carrying knows why they are exercising that right. They don’t need to justify it to everyone else and have them say, “OK I guess you can carry” before they can actually carry.
Well, Ed, I'll tell you - if your "troops" tackle me and put me on the ground without probable cause I'll sue your sorry butt and the city's as well until your eyes bleed. The word for that is assault and battery. And a firearm isn't probable cause.
“Taking them to the ground, and figuring out if they can carry later” is a heck of a lot different than a couple of officers asking a lawful gun owner a couple questions and then going on their way.
THey will get sued, and the officers could get sued personally.
We don’t need to know. We’re free to think what we want, even if we’re wrong. But seriously, if I see somebody mowing their own lawn while wearing a sidearm, I’d think they’re irrational and paranoid. If your home is in such a dangerous neighborhood, or if you have such serious threats against you, that you have good reason to feel it’s unsafe to go out in your own yard in broad daylight without a sidearm, you should probably be focusing on more urgent matters than shortening the grass. If you’ve got two hands on the mower, and are repeatedly changing directions as you mow so that your back is periodically facing any direction in which an attacker might be lurking, and are right next to loud noise of the mower so that you can’t hear someone sneaking up on you, you can be picked off quite easily. Lawn-mowing is pretty incompatible with protecting yourself from an immediate threat. Now if there’s snarling pit bull in an adjoining yard, it might well make sense to have the sidearm handy whenever you’re out in your yard, and that scenario would change my personal assessment of the armed homeowner-mower’s mental state — would probably change the author’s assessment too.
Well, if only you could make everyone’s personal decisions for them then the world would be correct.
You’ve got real problems with people being able to make their own choices, and I base that on what you wrote in your last response. The fact that you consider a person who is exercising both a federally-protected and state-protected constitutional right to be armed, to be irrational and paranoid, tells me you are not a pro-2nd amendment person, and that the right to self defense is a foreign concept to you.
The fact you fail to understand that if a person has a right, they don’t have to explain it or justify it or ask permission of anyone else to exercise it. If someone attacks me I don’t need permission to defend myself. If I want to carry a weapon for self protection I don’t need to justify it with anybody else, because I have a right to do so.
How would you like to have to explain and justify to a police officer, why you are going to church?
How would you like to HAVE to explain to an officer your reasons for showing up to vote?
You have these protected rights (freedom of religion, ability to vote as a law abiding citizen over 18), yet are those people who eercise these rights ‘paranoid’ and ‘irrational’? Atheists will argue that the religious folks are irrational.
The fact people may be uncomfortable about certain people wanting to exercise their rights that they’ve had for hundreds of years - because realize this opinion did not change the existing laws, it just commented on them - does not make those people irrational and paranoid. Unarmed law abiding people are killed and preyed upon by criminals, and it happens every day, and we see the stories reported on every day. Rapes, robberies, murder, assaults by armed felons against unarmed law abiding citizens. It is not paranoid to not want this to happen to you, and to be able to defend oneself within the law.
Do you believe police officers are paranoid and irrational for carrying weapons? Many of them, especially in suburbs, have never pulled their gun. The same piece of the state constitution that allows citizens to carry a weapon in the open is the same section that allows police to wear a weapon in the open. The weapon is there IN CASE THEY NEED IT. That is the same reason why law-abiding gun owners wear their weapon - IN CASE THEY NEED IT.
You are the kind of person that may actually have to be a victim of gun violence in order to change your mind about this. I hope you can figure it out without that happening to you.
And I would actually say that it would be irrational to assume being attacked would NEVER happen to you and to go unarmed all the time. It would be more irrational to believe the police will always be there to protect you. Because in the real world, people who never think they will get attacked, get attacked, and people who naively believe police will keep them safe, die after calling 911 and waiting for the police to arrive.
When seconds count, the police are minutes away. And you’ve become a statistic. And possibly worm food.
I carry 100% of the time that I’m off my property in my home state (though I spend much of time in NYC, which is a whole different ball game). But concealed-carrying and open-carrying are very different things. My gun lives in the outer pocket of my shoulder bag, and therefore automatically goes anywhere that my wallet goes. But carrying at all while mowing one’s lawn, much less open-carrying while mowing one’s lawn, looks like either clinical paranoia or a desire to annoy neighbors who are uncomfortable with displays of firearms (or uncomfortable with residents creating the impression that the neighborhood is so dangerous, that people feel they have to be armed to mow their lawns — an impression which puts a damper on property values).
I think you missed the whole point of the article. The author said nothing about insisting that people who open carry while mowing their lawns or grocery -shopping having an obligation to “justify themselves” — he just said he thinks they’re being obnoxious. He was supporting the AG’s open-carry pronouncement, pointing out that the people who “obnoxiously” open-carry in settings where there’s obviously no need for it, are not a threat, and that it’s concealed-carrying criminals the police ought to be focusing. Open-carrying does not improve your ability to defend yourself, and may even somewhat hinder that ability in some situations, by advertising to a criminal where your gun is located.
Do you not understand that it is illegal to carry concealed in WI? Do you not think he would if he could? He doesn’t want to break the law.
And your attitude is the reason people need to get desensitized to it. People that pose no threat carry out in the open. You know, like law officers do. Nobody is paranoid about that because they know there is nothing to worry about. We are already trained to recognize that law-abiding people carry weapons openly. Thieves are the ones that hide their guns. They don’t walk around with them in the open.
What bothers you more, obvious gang members concealed carrying or a guy that looks like you going about his business with a gun on his hip?
I didn’t miss the point. He spent most of the article being just fine with it, then at the very end he compromises and says to the people that don’t like open carry, he says “well personally I think it’s obnoxious too, but they can do it.”
He’s trying to have it both ways by sympathizing with people who don’t want open carry by buddying up to them and saying, look I think it’s obnoxious too. He’s a pussy and a hypocrite, and he just showed what he really feels about people who open carry. And he also sets himself up to be the judge as to when open carry is, or is not, obnoxious. He gets to set the rules of what is obnoxious or not, because he certainly doesn’t allow the person carrying to do so.
You know, you ought to realize that you never know when a threat is going to come upon you. You said you carry 100% of the time off your property. Isn’t that kind of paranoid and irrational? 100% of the time? You’re concerned 100% of the time something could happen to you? If you are carrying 100% of the time, you are certainly carrying your gun at times when somebody, somewhere, could point to and say there is no need for you to be carrying your weapon.
But you are the one who has to make the determination if you need it or not. you allow yourself to carry all the time, and you have decided that for you, it is NOT OBNOXIOUS, or IRRATIONAL, or PARANOID that you carry your gun 100% of the time you’re off your property.
You sir, are a massive hypocrite. The only difference is that this man HAS to carry openly because otherwise he would be breaking the law carrying concealed, and he does not want to break the law.
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