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Thread: Encounter with a Virginia park personnel in Prince William County

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    I was at DCRC to watch my kids in a swim lesson. I had planned on going to do some business, so I was dressed in my suit. I did take the tie and jacket off, and switch dress shoes for some comfortable sneaks. When I found out I would not be going to a meeting, I decided to carry my Kimber 1911. I could not carry because of the whole federal property thing.

    Anyway...

    I get a phone call during the swim lesson. Because of the noise I move to the front of DCRC to some tables. While on the phone, a woman asks me a question. I didn't understand the first question, but I guess it is the same has when I said excuse me.

    DCRC Employee: "Why are you carrying a gun?"
    ME: "For personal protection."
    DCRC Employee: "So your are not a [Police Officer]?"
    ME: "No."
    DCRC Employee: "So you have a license to carry that?"
    ME: "You do not need a license to open carry in Virginia."

    She leaves. I finish my phone call and go watch my kids in swim class.

    After swim class, my wife takes the kids that were swimming to get dressed; I go the youngest out of daycare.

    While I'm waiting, I tell the people behind the desk that now that I'm off the phone, I will be happy to answer any questions she has.

    She tells me that she knows I can carry it that she called the police, "...just like anyone would do...”

    Curious, I asked her what the police said.

    DCRC Employee: "That you are within your legal right to carry it here, but that they would recommend against it..." Then she kind of mumbled something like because of all the children. Then she continued, "...and neither would I recommend it." There were also a few comments about making sure it was secure, "like if I was working out, but I told them you were here with your family."

    ME: "OK."

    I was getting ready to leave when she said that we don't know all the laws, so that's why I called the police. Thinking that she wanted to know the laws, I thought this would be a good time to provide some education in the laws of Virginia.

    She became angry and said that she feels safe [there] and didn't see the need.

    ME: I bet that is how those people in Settle, Washington felt also.

    Then my wife made me leave.


    I also called and left a message for Doug Blunt - Director of recreation for PWCPA. I told him I was harassed by one of his employees, and would like to talk to him about it.

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    I received a very pleasant and professional call back from Mr. Blunt.

    I explained to him why I thought I was being harassed, and why I thought that I should have never been asked why I have a gun. He did make a comment about it being legal for those with licenses, and I explained to him that Virginia preempted localities from imposing laws that restrict Virginia State laws. That Open Carry isallowed in public places like DCRC without licenses - I probably should have included by law abiding citizens.

    There was some talk about them even asking about my gun. I told him I do not believe that they have that right, and that it is also kind of pointless. If someone was there to "shoot-up the place"; would asking them why they had a gun really help? Would they tell them that is the reason they are there. I also do not see them asking people who are carrying racquets that question. It would be easy to beat someone with one of those. I was sitting quietly, on the phone. Even if questions were asked, they should not continue past the "Why do you have a gun?" And it should be asked nicely, and dropped after the answer is given. I also included that the police should not need to be called. This is a public place, the laws are clear, and the employees should know them.

    He promised that the staff would be better educated, agreed that the personal comments where unacceptable, and that there would be a resolution in 24 hours.

    I expressed my gratitude for his help. I also explained, that I love going there, we have had our kids in swim lessons for the past two (2) years, they went to playschool, and we have used the gym. I also explained to him that I have been carrying in parks since December, and this is the first time I have had an employee even look twice.

    I believe Mr. Blunt handled the situation very well, and I am very happy with his response.

    I am also mostly happy with Prince William County Police Department. When theyreceived a "man with gun" called, they told the person that I was within my legal right to be carrying there. Not happy with the "recommend against it", but they knew my rights, and they, in a sense, protected them by relaying the correct information.

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Way to keep your cool and then follow up with management.

    Its funny how people react to firearms. Chances are greater that employee dieing in a car accident then being killed by a law abiding gun owner. But I am guessing she doesn't 'fear' cars.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    "Chances are greater that employee dieing in a car accident then being killed by a law abiding gun owner."

    Let me start off by saying that I am not mocking you, VAopencarry, but I find this statement humerous. Think about it. When would a LAW-ABIDING gun owner kill someone?If the gunowner is truly law-abiding, thegun owner would only use deadly force when he/she or a loved one isbeing attacked in a mannerwhich would inflictgrave bodily harm or death. Thus, the only people whom should fear LAW-ABIDNG gun owners are criminals (which is what we want). Other law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about.

    Would we consider the Naveed Afzal Haq (the guy from Washington who killed the Jewish ladies) a law-abiding gun owner? "The day before the shootings, Haq picked up .40-caliber and .45-caliber semiautomatic handguns from two different stores in the Seattle area after honoring the waiting period for purchasing weapons…" He appeared to follow the laws to obtain the guns (unless there is a question about whether you plan to use the guns in a crime...can't remember...guess I should go buy another to find out!!). I would not consider him a law-abiding gun owner because he used them in the commission of a crime.

    I am making my point in a really round-about way, LAW ABIDING CITIZENS ARE LAW-ABIDING REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THEY OWN A GUN!! Maybe we should stop distinguishing ourselves as "law-abiding gun owners." We are really just law-abiding citizens and should be treated just like anybody else...I think this theme is parallel to what Possumboy was saying in his post, he does not want to be treated differently because he carries a gun (nor do I).

  5. #5
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    nova, true but that was my point, a 'law abiding' gun wouldn't kill someone without just cause. I can't say I really understand your point. Maybe I should drink my morning coffee first then read it again.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    I do not wanted to be treated bad because I carry a gun, but I believe everyone carries a gun to be treated differently.

    Law abiding citizens carry it for protection. We choose not to be sheep, live in ignorant bliss, or depend on other (Law Enforcement) to protect us. We expect the crimials to move to the next person, or we except to be the one walking away. I am not saying that is the best way of thinking, but a thug is less likely to follow us out to the car to rob us than a non-armed citizen. Like it or not, it is them or me problem.

    Criminals carry to intimidate, scare, and control. They also expect to be treated differently.

    NOW, with that being said.

    I expect no different treatment from a public employee than they give to others. I have every right to be there, I have fought for these rights (OK, I'm starting the fight, Philip and them have been fighting), and it is none of her business. If it was not an employee, I would not have had any problems. Employees that I know that just ask politely why I carry a gun, I do not have problems with that either. I have had employees there ask about it. Most questions are answered with "for peronsal protection" or "no, I'm not a cop, I carry it for personal protection". There were no personal comments, no harsh or angry tones, and question about it. I encourage those types of question. The ones that realize I'm making a personal choice, just the same as I choose to drive a minivan for extra protection of my family over a smaller car that would still fit a family of five (5). I do not want anyone telling me that I cannot carry a gun. Even if those people do not deserve it, I give them the right to their choice - to not carry. It would be wrong of me to try to force my views on them. One of my friends did say that if something did happen, they would all be looking to me for help. Their thoughts on someone carrying would change with the realization that they are unprepared.

    I think that people like this women truely believe that I have a goal of hurting someone. That I walk around just looking for a reason. Someone asked if you could have one (1) thing (gun related) what would that be. I didn't answer because what I want seems silly. I would like to live in a society that truly does not need some form of personal protection. A society that I am not required to lock my doors, drive a vehicle that provides protection, have a security system, have law enforcement, or that I need to be prepared to defend my family, friends, and person at anytime.

    Unfortunately, we do not live in that society, I refuse to live in ignorant bliss, and I am aware of the world around me. So I live with the thoughts and fears that I will have to defend my family by any means necessary. That thought scares me to death. The last thing I want to be forced to do is hurt another human.

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    VAopencarry, my point was just that law-abiding citizens are law-abiding citizens regardless of whether or not they are carrying a gun... and all law-abiding citizens should be treated the same.I noted in the post that I was making my point in a really round-about way...too much morning coffee!!


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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    got it!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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