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Thread: Ignorance regarding Open Carry

  1. #1
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    I haven't been open carrying for very long but have run into some ignorance and other weird behavior. This is in Arizona which is a gold-star open carry state. For some reason people including LEOs can't seem to understand why I needa gun and especially why I need to carry it everywhere I go which actually isn't any of their business.

    Some places have outright prohibited it in which case I usally pretend to leave it in the car but instead just conceal carry it anyway. I don't really care that it is illegal. My right to protect my life outweighs some bogus law. Anyway, the general attitude is that people think it is extreme that I would "need" the gun everywhere I go. Yet they don't seem to think it is extreme to have a fire extinguisher in every place that they go. After all, fires never happen just like criminals always attack someone else some other place. Like if I go into a grocery store the attitude is "Do you really need a gun just to buy groceries?" Anyway, when nosey people ask I usually answer "Yes. I need to defend myself if needed."

    As to weird behavior from the general public, people act like I am a crazy person that they need to keep an eye on just in case I decide to go postal. Like at a Starbucks I was getting irritated because some idiot in front of me was taking 10 minutes to order a cup of coffee because she didn't know what she wanted or how she was going to pay for it. The lady behind me noticing my agitation seems to go out of her way to try to calm me down when I wasn't even really upset to begin with, just a little annoyed. Yet the entire time she goes on and on about "remaining calm, patience, enjoying life, etc." all while staring at my gun as if she thinks she is trying to talk me out of shooting someone because apparently being a bit irritated and having a gun must mean I'm going to go bananas, right?

    As to LEOs, a couple of responses I have encountered tells me there is really something wrong with cops these days. I was walking into a bank one day open carrying on my hip. Just as I happen to walk by an armored car parked up front with a rent-a-cop sitting in it (the guys who refill the ATM), suddenly the engine shuts off, the door opens and shuts quickly, and I hear feet running toward me. I went on about my business in condition yellow and entered the bank, bypassed the line for the teller, and proceeded toward the vault. I must have been preparing a crime-of-the-year bank robbery, right? No, actually I needed to get cash out of my safe deposit box. So I turn around and notice the security just coming through the glass doors (which is extremely unusual behavior as they normally don't even go in the bank since the ATM is outside). The man is practically shaking with his hand on his gun as if he is ready to pull it while looking right at me with an angry and disturbed facial expression. So I go into condition orange and put my hand on the grip of my gun and immediately move about 1/2 of my body behind a cement pillar and give him a funny look back. The man suddenly realizes that I am covered while he is as wide open as one can be with 20 feet on both sides. He angrily leaves the bank. I expected the entire SWAT team to be there when coming out of the booth with the safety deposit box. Instead I actually got an apology from one of the bank employees. A number of gun owners have told me to beware of rent-a-cops as they are often poorly trained and don't always go through mental health screenings like real cops do.

    The other case was simply in a bookstore where I was browsing some books and then sitting down in one of the chairs thumbing through them. An off-duty cop who was open carrying in plain clothes with his badge clipped to his belt started acting more and more nervous around me while he was in one of the chairs thumbing through magazines. Every slight movement I would make such as turning a page would cause him to suddenly turn and look at me. The longer this went on the more it forced me to start watching the cop's movements (condition orange). Every time the man lifted up either his coffee cup or one of the magazines, his hands were shaking and the paper was rattling. When he would catch me looking as he was shaking, the shaking would suddenly get worse. This was observable from 20-30 feet away. The shaking became so bad that it was identical to someone public speaking who is really nervous about getting in front of an audience. The kind of speaker whom would rattle the speech papers and stutter words. The man literally was afraid for his life because I was sitting there reading a book minding my own business and happened to have a pistol on my side. The next thing I know the man lifts his coffee to his lips and I could see the shaking out of the corner of my eye. As I turn to look and he sees me looking at him, he accidently drops the cup of coffee and spills about twenty magazines onto the floor. The man is shaking as he is picking up the magazines, uses his napkins to clean up the spilled coffee, and hurries out of the bookstore nearly shaking himself to death.

    When we have sworn police officers that are this scared, it tells me that it is more important than ever to have more armed citizens. I'm sure that staring at him from time to time may have escalated the situation but his paranoid behavior caused me to look. It did appear that my gun was a better gun than his gun. Whatever.

    I hope I didn't bore anyone but it does seem like open carrying carries a big liability. There are so many stupid people including cops and security that in some ways it puts me at risk simply for exercizing my rights. The problem is that not only are people scared of guns including cops apparently but that these people do not think rationally. What concerns me is the possibility that some scared citizen or security guard will suddenly try to disarm me while I am going on about my business. The two previous cases mentioned caused me to go from condition yellow to condition orange but I hope I don't have to go to condition red. If someone not known to be a LEO in uniform tries to disarm me, I will probably end up having to shoot them. Perhaps part of the problem is that so many people in Arizona are from other states with strict gun laws. Some idiot even told me one time that he thought that not only was open carry illegal but that you had the right to shoot anyone you see with a gun even if they just happen to have it on them. With people like this, it really starts making open carry a serious concern. Far too many times when open carrying I am immediately going from condition yellow to condition orange because something seems to be brewing over me having a gun on me.

    Anyway, I hope either I can get more used to this or that I can maybe pick places that aren't likely to be problematic.

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    Not that I'm 100% happy with you breaking the law doing a CC without a prmit...or grabbing the butt of your gun. I do agree people are way to panicy. I went to the local bookstore today (first time doing an OC ever) a place I go about three times a week, and people were ready to dive for cover. Even the lady who helped me find a book hundres of times was ready to jump over something. The guy at the starbucks off to the side who normaly jokes around with me was on edge. It was like I had this huge sign on me that said "I will kill everyone, have a hell of a day", even though I had a t-shirt from evanescence (don't judge) and blue jeans on. I never knew people were so fearfull of a gun. Not that I am going to stop, it just made me think about the idea that a hunk of metal and plasitc changes how people act so much.

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    lordnitrox wrote:
    Not that I'm 100% happy with you breaking the law doing a CC without a prmit...or grabbing the butt of your gun. I do agree people are way to panicy. I went to the local bookstore today (first time doing an OC ever) a place I go about three times a week, and people were ready to dive for cover. Even the lady who helped me find a book hundres of times was ready to jump over something. The guy at the starbucks off to the side who normaly jokes around with me was on edge. It was like I had this huge sign on me that said "I will kill everyone, have a hell of a day", even though I had a t-shirt from evanescence (don't judge) and blue jeans on. I never knew people were so fearfull of a gun. Not that I am going to stop, it just made me think about the idea that a hunk of metal and plasitc changes how people act so much.
    Might I ask what state you live in?

    The first poster mentioned an amored car incident. A few weeks ago, I stopped by a Barnes and Noble bookstore. There was an amored truck out front and I walked past the front of the truck, my storng side OC completely visible to the driver. Went on into the store and was there maybe 15-20 minutes. Bought a few books then left. No stares, no comments, no weird looks, no gauks, no nothing. This is completely typical of my experiences with OC'ing in my area of Virginia. Yesterday, while checking out at a Wal-Mart, a young family was next to me in line (the line was parallel to the register, not perpendicular to it). The man said to me, "nice .45" and I replied, "it's a .40". I was finishing up so I didn't have the time or chance to continue any conversation. Occasionally, I will get a comment, but have yet to hear one negative or argumentative in nature.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    I haven't noticed those kinds of reactions yet, but I'm sure those kinds of people are out there.

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    lordnitrox wrote:
    Not that I'm 100% happy with you breaking the law doing a CC without a prmit...or grabbing the butt of your gun. I do agree people are way to panicy. I went to the local bookstore today (first time doing an OC ever) a place I go about three times a week, and people were ready to dive for cover. Even the lady who helped me find a book hundres of times was ready to jump over something. The guy at the starbucks off to the side who normaly jokes around with me was on edge. It was like I had this huge sign on me that said "I will kill everyone, have a hell of a day", even though I had a t-shirt from evanescence (don't judge) and blue jeans on. I never knew people were so fearfull of a gun. Not that I am going to stop, it just made me think about the idea that a hunk of metal and plasitc changes how people act so much.
    About it being illegal, in Arizona if they say no weapons it doesn't matter if you do havea CCW permit, you still can't bring it there. However, on private property they cannot prosecute you with this type of gun law. It really isn't illegal per se because it is private property. Private property means private rules. If they ask you to leave and you refuse, then you can be arrested for disorderly conduct or tresspassing. But if the private property says no weapons but they don't even know you have a weapon and say you are concealing with the CCW permit, are you really breaking any law or just violating their in-house rules? I don't really worry about it and I imagine many gun owners feel the same way as I do. You are violating a policy that only applies to the property and not really any state statute. Now if you don't have the CCW permit, I'm pretty sure that is a violation of law. Then again, people break dumb laws all the time. Violating the CCW law is only a misdemeanor in Arizona whereas even the tiniest bit of marijuana is a felony. So we have people committing harmless felonies every day as well.

    Anyway, sorry to hear about your troubling experiences as well. I think part of my problem is that because OC is new to me, I'm still consciously aware of the gun which probably sends a signal out to others to notice it more. Eventually, it should become second-nature as you get used to it is what one gun owner told me. That doesn't mean you shouldn't remain in condition yellow, however. As to grabbing the gun, I simply rested my hand on the grip but didn't have it completely grabbed. At least the whole thing would be on camera if the guy did go bananas and I would have played it smart and not fired back unless forced to but just stay behind the pillar until the cops came. Hopefully these problems never arise in the future, however.

    As to your experiences, I don't understand why people are so fearful either. They clearly don't think logically because a criminal is not going to open carry. Now if you had asked the clerk to help you find some books about shooting sprees, then that would be a different story. Not to mention that I am guessing both of us are simply carrying a pistol or a revolver and probably not a terribly large one. I could see people getting panicky if I was carrying a 12-gauge shotgun or an AK-47 in my hands but how is a Glock handgun that is secured in a holster so terrifying? Something else I have started to notice is that some of the people that are fearful of this are gun owners themselves but the ones who never open carry. The ones who conceal carry are shocked by the open carry for some reason.



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    its better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. That's all I have to say.

    Carry your gun.

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    It seems like here in Arizona, the positive, neutral, or non-reactions to the gun are from other native Arizonans or those from other gun-friendly states. I am starting to notice that everytime I meet someone who has a problem with guns, they are either from California, New York, Illinois, or some other gun-fearing state. Arizona is becoming quite flooded with these outsiders and a lot of "winter-visitors" are just now arriving to Phoenix and Tucson from back East and other cold-climate states for vacationing. This perhaps could be the answer to the question. While one person in line who was born and raised here who has never even owned a gun won't raise an eyebrow, some visitor from NYC who has never even seen a gun will think I'm suddenly their one-way ticket to Jesus.

    Another problem I see is an increase in "gun violence" from people south of here (Mexico) who continue to illegally enter this state and own and use guns for no other purpose than crime. One of my main reasons for starting to carry in addition to self-defense is that there are so many illegals and crooks with guns that we need to counteract that with decent people carrying. I am not looking for trouble but because there is so much of it anyway, open carrying also carries an intimidation factor that says I am not going to put up with BS. I know we gun owners don't want to be viewed in such a light but if I am minding my own business getting a soda at a gas station, nobody should be bothering me. The visibility of the firearm should be a deterrant to most troublemakers many of whom are illegals from Mexico. This is probably getting to another topic but I believe this illegal immigration in this state is getting so out of control and so crime-ridden that it is essential that every law abiding citizen here starts carrying because I can picture mass rioting and even a civil war in the future if the politicians and law enforcement don't get it handled before its too late. So in my opinion every Arizonan who is open-carrying is basically another police officer standing between an illegal and a crime they might wish to commit.



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    protector84,

    I know decent people here in TX who carry "illegally" (i.e., not getting one of those illegal un-constitutional state CHL permits)...and I don't blame them at all. Nor am I worried about all those "illegal guns" out there on the streets (because of decent people carrying "illegally").

    More power to them.

    I also agree: To hell with bad laws...carry anyway and anywhere.

    Civil Disobedience.

    -- John D.



    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    protector84 wrote:
    <snip>However, on private property they cannot prosecute you with this type of gun law. It really isn't illegal per se because it is private property. Private property means private rules. If they ask you to leave and you refuse, then you can be arrested for disorderly conduct or tresspassing. But if the private property says no weapons but they don't even know you have a weapon and say you are concealing with the CCW permit, are you really breaking any law or just violating their in-house rules? I don't really worry about it and I imagine many gun owners feel the same way as I do. You are violating a policy that only applies to the property and not really any state statute. <snip>
    I would check the statutes for your state. In VA, if you are asked to leave private property and you do not, you are guilty of a criminal trespass. There are some states that if you know there are no firearms allowed signs posted and you enter anyway, you are breaking the law.

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    The statutes in Arizona don't even mention anything about private property. Private property can prohibit weapons just like they can prohibit wearing hats inside. If you violate their in-house rules, they can ask you to leave. If you refuse, they can call the cops who can arrest you for disorderly conduct or tresspassing. They cannot prosecute you with a gun law if the gun is legal (i.e. you aren't a prohibited possessor) because you didn't violate a gun law but you did become a disturbance to the peace of the establishment. So say you bring a concealed pistol into Grocery Store X that has a sign saying "No Weapons" and you have a CCW permit. The gun is legal but since nobody in the store knows you have it, what can they really do? Other states might work different but in Arizona, the statutes don't mention a word about private property. The same would go for other laws as well. They can't give you a speeding ticket if driving too fast in the parking lot because it is private property. Private property basically has its own rules and only if you violate those first and refuse to leave can the real law come after you. This certainly isn't true for all laws and in all states but again the statutes don't mention private property.

    As to breaking laws, a good citizen questions authority while a sheep simply blindly follows the pack. There are plenty of stupid laws on the books many of whom actually hurt people. For instance in Arizona, it is a felony to smoke marijuana yet perfectly legal to fill your lungs with cigarette smoke and fry your liver with alcohol. People violate possession laws every minute and often those who are caught end up in worse trouble from the law than from the drug itself. As to gun laws, it is illegal to bring a gun on a commercial aircraft but if one passenger on each of the four hijacked planes on 9/11 had violated that law, 3,000 lives would have been saved. Being a good citizen and a law abiding citizen are not always the same thing. The Constitution which is the highest law in theU.S. gives the people the right to keep and bear arms without any exceptions. So in reality it is the politicians and the cops who are breaking the laws, not the gun owners who exercize their 2A rights.

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    It's my view that laws are to be man's servant, certainlyNOT his master.

    But really, good people don't needANY laws...it's the badpeople who require them.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    protector84 wrote:
    The Constitution which is the highest law in theU.S. gives the people the right to keep and bear arms without any exceptions. So in reality it is the politicians and the cops who are breaking the laws, not the gun owners who exercize their 2A rights.
    This is an excellent point to highlight, ... BUT. They have more guns than we do(if the SWAT team comes lol), and courts who will back them up. It's discouraging.

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    The "bogus" law you complain of is real enough. I'm up on charges for CCW - a felony that will surely ruin my life if it sticks. Even if/when I beat it, it'll be several months and thousands of dollars down the toilet, over some academic point. Do yourself a favor and get a permit.

    -ljp

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    If you're referring to me, I know the "bogus law" is real...but it needs to be challenged, a test-case, a federal case made out of it...someone getting arrested forcarrying without a permitwho then turns around and sues the state...all the way to the SCOTUS.This isn't news though, that's been said here and in other gun forums many times...but still no test case.

    Still, sometimes you just have to stand up for something, if you believe in it enough, regardless of the cost.

    But I will admit thatsome of us are more "judgement-proof" than others.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I was referring to whoever described the CCW laws as "bogus" above...

    Ideally, I'll win at trial; in any case I'd prefer not to spend the next 5 years in the appellate courts. I think the more expeditious route would be to prevail upon the state legislature(s) to fix the relevant laws. Ohio's are ambiguous and the root of my legal problem (that and the corrupt/stupid/power-mad detective didn't help).

    -ljp

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    protector84 wrote:
    The next thing I know the man lifts his coffee to his lips and I could see the shaking out of the corner of my eye. As I turn to look and he sees me looking at him, he accidently drops the cup of coffee and spills about twenty magazines onto the floor. The man is shaking as he is picking up the magazines, uses his napkins to clean up the spilled coffee, and hurries out of the bookstore nearly shaking himself to death.
    Honestly, I think I would be rolling on the floor laughing at the guy at this point, if not earlier.

    Granted, being an evil bastard deep down, I would have also been tempted to dial 911. "Hello? I'm at the bookstore, and there's a guy here in a police uniform that appears to be very unstable. He's acting very jittery and nervous, to the point of having visible tremors from over 20 feet away. I'm afraid he might be about to snap and do something violent."

    Technically, every part of that statement would be true in that situation.

    This just reminds of the drawbacks to people assuming I'm a police officer whenever they see me. I miss out on all the fun.

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    Weird behavior ? Yep I have seen my share of it, but putting your hand on your weapon or reach for it was ignorant. I owned a security guard company for ten years and was reduced to recruiting student nurses( much sharper group)from the local community college to avoid hiring the gun ho " I want to shoot someone " security professional. Some of the idiots I refused to hire or fired over the years probably would have shot you. One guy showed up for the interview in a old auctioned off police car with a mini-14 and extra handcuffsin the trunk that he insisted on showing me. We need to be careful when dealing with security nuts, as we don't need an exchange of gun fire with these clowns.

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    I think he was more worried that the guard was going to start shooting anyway.

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    I didn't fully grab the gun in the bank. I rested my hand on the gun with the fingers of my hand resting over the side of the gun while the palm of my hand was actually on the grip. When OC'ing I usually have my hand close to my gun anyway but casually. Sometimes my hand almost conceals the gun but state law says that only the holster must be partially or wholly visible. For my safety, I have to ensure that no crazy person will try to grab it away or if there is a situation that I can quickly draw it if needed. Some might see this as paranoia but if there weren't so damn many nuts out there, we wouldn't need guns in the first place.

    Since the bank has so many cameras as well as witnesses, if something serious had happened, the truth would likely come out. The proper course of action from a police officer or one acting as a police officer (security guard or citizen) would have simply been to casually follow me into the bank being very observant to see if I was legitimate or actually about to do a robbery. Once it was confirmed that I wasn't a threat, the officer/citizen/guard could simply either leave and go back to their work or break the ice by striking up a casual conversation such as "What caliber Glock is that? My wife has a Glock also."

    I don't know if it is just an Arizona thing or all of society, but it seems like I am witnessing more and more unstable and mentally disturbed behavior over the years. For a guard who probably gets less than $10/hour and no benefits, why would he start running after a man with a gun shaking and causing the gunman to notice him and grab his gun as if to start a gunfight over nothing? Clearly insane behavior. Same with the idiot cop in the bookstore. The man was shaking almost like he had the DTs. If someone is that scared over a man relaxing in a chair reading a book, I don't think any sane individual would recommend giving that person a uniform, badge, and gun.



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    Another OC observance but this time better:

    So I pull up to the Circle K gas pump at about 10pm. As usual, nobody's normal. You have about six Mexicans loitering in the dark back corner of the parking lot by their pickup trucks who clearly haven't gone in the store and have no intention of doing so. By the entrance you have a white lady sitting on the ground of the sidewalk in front of the store wearing sunglasses, singing to herself, and dancing back and forth while seated. As I go in, there is a black man sitting in a pickup truck who suddenly becomes nervous after seeing my pistol. The lady behind the counter who probably just got "let out" doesn't notice the pistol because she is either too doped up,boozed up, or both. So anyway when I leave, the (previously nervous) man in the truck says "Can I talk to you for a minute?" which seemed a bit strange. Turns out he was an off-duty cop who was just curious what type of handgun I had. He showed me his concealed weapon by lifting his shirt so we ended up comparing handguns (without actually removing them from the holsters of course). He did comment that he thought it was interesting to see someone open carry. It ended up being a pleasent encounter despite the original concerns over one of the oddballs at the gas station losing it. I never saw the badge so who knows whether or not he was a cop but it was an interesting and positive encounter with another gun owner at a place I certainly wouldn't expect to have one.

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    One time a couple of years ago when I was open carryinga knife, some girl in her twenties confronted me about it.

    "Why do you have that knife?"

    "For protection."

    "You would be willing to stab someone with that thing?"
    "If my life or someone else's required it, yes."

    "I don't understand how a nice guy like you would want to take another person's life."

    "I never said that I wanted to but that the situation may require it. How else would you handle criminals threatening someone's life or your own?"

    "I don't believe in killing. They should be rehabilitated."

    "Ok. I see what you mean. Give your rapist a hug."

    Another time I was open carrying a knife ina Starbucks, a customer in line in front of me who appearedquite stoned, says:

    "Whoa, dude. I don't know if you were like aware of this um but you like um have a knife on your hip."

    "Thanks for pointing that out. I have no idea how it got there."



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    pr
    ...As to LEOs, a couple of responses I have encountered tells me there is really something wrong with cops these days.
    Understatement of the year my friend.

    Sickening, really, the way the po-lice has become it's own ruling class in the eyes of the sheeple.


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    protector84 wrote: My comments in blue - Grapeshot
    ....... I rested my hand on the gun with the fingers of my hand resting over the side of the gun while the palm of my hand was actually on the grip. In Virginia this would be described as brandishing! For my safety, I have to ensure that no crazy person will try to grab it away or if there is a situation that I can quickly draw it if needed. I would suggest a good retention holster like a Serpa. Some might see this as paranoia but if there weren't so damn many nuts out there, we wouldn't need guns in the first place. Really...I'd still want one though.
    I carry 24/7 while awake (OC mostly) and have had very few problems over the years - a few minor ones that I generally report as humourous and one or two that could have gone south in a minute but did not.

    I hope that those of you that are CCing (in states that require a permit) without a permit get one unless you care to right the wrong imposed on us all by footing the bill for a Constitutional challange re the 2nd Amendment. I would only appreciate it if you won.
    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Well, if you're in jail because of it, what else are you going to do productively with your time...write another version of Mein Kampf perhaps, or, you can decide to sue like any other prisoner can...and the state pays for it. One of those rights criminals have that we don't...

    So instead of suing because you're served creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy, or suing becauseyou don't get HBO on the dayroom TV, or suing cause they canceled your Playboy subscription, you can sue the state for illegally selling/renting you your unalienable right of self-defense via the illegal permit system.

    So unlike the other suits brought by the POS trash in the prison system, this one wouldn't be frivolous.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    cloudcroft wrote:
    Well, if you're in jail because of it, you can sue like any other prisoner can...and the state pays for it. One of those rights criminals have that we don't...

    So instead of suing because you're served creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy, or suing becauseyou don't get HBO on the dayroom TV, or sbeuing cause they canceled your Playboy subscription, you can sue the state for illegally selling/renting you your unalienable right of self-defense via the illegal permit system.

    So unlike the other suits brought by the POS trash in the prison system, this one wouldn't be frivolous.

    -- John D.

    Are you volunteering?
    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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