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Thread: Why we MUST OC despite harrassment from LEO's

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    I have borrowed the gist of this from the observations & thoughts shared by an active dutymilitary policeman on aUSCCA forum post.I don't think he will mind my sharing it on this forum. This brief observation puts the "Why OC ?" question in a nutshell. (I paraphrase) - If our anti-gun/anti-2A opponents have gotten out their false message that open carry is "illegal" (when it is not), and we opt NOT to OC - BECAUSE it might cause some inconvenience to us when someone reports our open carry to the police -have we not allowed our RKBA to be stifled by an obstructive, small, venomous minority ? Either we can't carry ( CC or OC) because it is "illegal", or because people "think" it (primarily OC) is (or should be) illegal. Now, my own thoughts - When we do OC, in a restuarant for example, - we need to comport ourselves in a manner that does NOTHING to create the appearance of wreckless behavior, lack of sobriety, or careless disregard for the "peace" of others. This means situational awareness that other people are observing our behavior. The fringe "antis" are in the minority. There's little to stop them from creating a "911 moment" - other than a scolding by LEO's for improper use of 911 system.The vast majority of people we impact in public are probably indifferent about OC, or curious - and may be willing to accept OC as a common respectable practice that will benefit public safety for all. Myself , if the "ambient temperature" begins to get uncomfortable I may excuse myself, or excercise the CC option - to diffuse the tension. Kind of like getting used to the water - gradual exposure reduces the "shock" factor. We don't want to alienate potential allies in the OC movement by making a " common sense " case for OC to be prohibited. This transition back into an accepted OC environment will have to be gentle, tactful, and patient.

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    SANDCREEK wrote:
    I have borrowed the gist of this from the observations & thoughts shared by an active dutymilitary policeman on aUSCCA forum post.I don't think he will mind my sharing it on this forum. This brief observation puts the "Why OC ?" question in a nutshell. (I paraphrase) - If our anti-gun/anti-2A opponents have gotten out their false message that open carry is "illegal" (when it is not), and we opt NOT to OC - BECAUSE it might cause some inconvenience to us when someone reports our open carry to the police -have we not allowed our RKBA to be stifled by an obstructive, small, venomous minority ? Either we can't carry ( CC or OC) because it is "illegal", or because people "think" it (primarily OC) is (or should be) illegal. Now, my own thoughts - When we do OC, in a restuarant for example, - we need to comport ourselves in a manner that does NOTHING to create the appearance of wreckless behavior, lack of sobriety, or careless disregard for the "peace" of others. This means situational awareness that other people are observing our behavior. The fringe "antis" are in the minority. There's little to stop them from creating a "911 moment" - other than a scolding by LEO's for improper use of 911 system.The vast majority of people we impact in public are probably indifferent about OC, or curious - and may be willing to accept OC as a common respectable practice that will benefit public safety for all. Myself , if the "ambient temperature" begins to get uncomfortable I may excuse myself, or excercise the CC option - to diffuse the tension. Kind of like getting used to the water - gradual exposure reduces the "shock" factor. We don't want to alienate potential allies in the OC movement by making a " common sense " case for OC to be prohibited. This transition back into an accepted OC environment will have to be gentle, tactful, and patient.
    I agree that for the open carry movement to really work, we at the forefront who choose to open carry for the "activism" aspect of it, really need to conduct ourselves as law-abiding, upstanding citizens. While it is certainly within your rights to carry a handgun dressed like a slob with ripped jeans, shredded Anthrax t-shirt and mohawk (using a random extreme here), you should be aware of the image you are giving to the rest of the open carry movement.

    Aco-workerof mine used to open carry around Eugene several years ago. If confronted by a store clerk, he'd get extremely vocal & belligerant, hollering " It's my ******* RIGHT to carry a gun, and if THIS STORE DOESN'T WANT MY BUSINESS because I'm exercising my right, they don't need my ******* MONEY!" and walk out (so the story was he told me, I wasn't there). I believe this sort of behavior detracts heavily on the point of the open carry movement, which is not JUST that "a right unexercised is a right lost", but that "good people carry guns too!"

    I would also suggest to people when confronted by LEOs: Is it really worth it to try to flex all of your rights at once? While it certainly is within your rights while open carrying to not give any photo identification or answer questions when confronted by an officer, or to ask the question "am I being detained?" What kind of image is this giving to the officer about the open carry movement?

    If a cop unfamiliar with why anyone would open carry approaches youoverly-cautiousand gets a bunch of lip and opposition right off the bat, do you think he's then going to be open to you explaining why you're open carrying, or correcting his ignorance of the law? How do you think he'll deal with the NEXT open-carry advocate he meets?

    I plan on being co-operative and polite to the police as much as I can, up to a point. If I'm open carrying and confronted by a LEO,I will start my voice recorder (cell phone), and I plan to hand over my license (or when I get it, my CHL) when asked. I plan to answer their relavant questions politely and respectfully, and if I can manage to get a rapport going with the officer, I may discuss the movement with him. Maybe try and clarify my understanding of the law with him, by showing him the Statutes and seeinghow HE interpretsthem (rather than just telling him he's got it wrong).

    If I encounter an officer who just FLAT OUT has it all wrong and wants to be a total jerk, then I will start flexing my other rights by remaining silent, except for verbally refusing to consent to any searches, verbally refusing to consent to being disarmed, only providing name, DOB and address, etc. This is my worst case defense and something I'll avoid doing if I can. Since I'll also have my voice recorder going, this will also help me if anything has to go to court or I choose to file a lawsuit.

    For a good example of how NOT being a jerk to Law Enforcement worked wonders for the cause, listen to this episode of the "Saturday Afternoon Shootout" on youtube, and Jerry's run in with local and state cops in Michigan:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=I40zAQGhXkU

    I agree we need to be tactful and patient, like Jerryin the video.I feel that once we can get LEOs and the rest the public used to seeing more people carrying their firearms out in the open, THEN we can make sure they understand and comply with the law on our other rights too. Hopefully by that point we won't need to.

    ...Orygunner...

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    Like you were hinting at it is all about attitude. The way I'm going to react to the officer depends on how he confronts me. If he comes at me barking orders, demanding this and that, or talking down to me I'm going to be as big a jerk as legally allowed. But if he approaches me as if he were just a concerned, curious individual then I'll be more than happy to answer his questions and let him see my ID.

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    I feel like we are all trying to become informed so that in the event ofany "encounter" while OC'ing we will be able to turn it into a "learning moment" for all concerned. I am motivated to OC because I have a family member who is a wonderful, loving person and a credit to our community who is NOT eligible for a CO CHP - and therefore MUST OC. Now the SCOTUS has affirmed in "Heller" that "OPEN CARRYING "is a RIGHT protected under the 2A.The environment is rapidly changing (post "Heller"). I believe the DenverOC ban is indefensible under "Heller" . It will take timefor anti-rights bigots to get used to seeing holstered side-arms in public places AGAIN. That holstered side-arm on the hip is a RIGHT - serving notice that the wearer has assumed responsibility for their own safety in public -thank you very much. That won't change the reality that we are each RESPONSIBLE for our conduct and adverse consequences of our actions - nothing new about that. "Reasonable" restrictions on ANY civil right may apply under REASONABLE circumstances.

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    Can't get a permit to carry concealed? If you don't mind my asking, what for? I mean is it a technicality or what? Since you said that person has to OC I assume it wasn't a felony since that would disqualify them entirely from having a firearm.

    The reason I ask is because my wife is in a similar situation. She can't get a CDWL in Kentucky because she isn't a citizen, although she is a LPR (lawful permanent resident). They changed the law in Kentucky a year or two so that only citizens could get a permit, but LPRs can still open carry if they are here legally.

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    OC has been an activist movement. Harassment here in Virginia is as of late a rare thing. (Colleges being a notable exception)

    We should be cementing our relationship with Law Enforcement to ensure their support in future General Assembly sessions in Richmond, and in liaison with Law enforcement in non permissive states. Testimony from Virginia LEOs about the lack of "blood in the streets" would go a long way to helping Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and others to accept open carry.

    Now that bearing arms has been affirmed as a civil right, those governmental bodies that oppose our civil right should be branded as evil civil rights violators.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Now, my own thoughts - When we do OC, in a restuarant for example, - we need to comport ourselves in a manner that does NOTHING to create the appearance of wreckless behavior, lack of sobriety, or careless disregard for the "peace" of others.
    This is exactly why civil rights activists in the 60's dressed neatly and sat quietly and silently at "whites only" lunch counters while they were studioiusly ignored by the waitstaff and were yelled at, intimidated, and had drinks poured over their heads by angry customers.



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    N00blet45,

    I don't know about other states, but Texas has to have theLONGEST list of disqualifiers re: getting a CHL, some of which seem quite arbitrary and unrelated to the self-defense issue.

    For example, if you owe any school loans to the state of Texas (whether you are a rich deadbeat who could/can pay them but didn't, or,whether you are dirt poor and couldn't/can't pay them)such as a GSL/Stafford loan,you are disqualified from ever getting a CHL so don't bother even applying. It may as well be a felony on your record, same result.

    I suspect a more than a few people here are snagged by that one.

    And delinquent school loans stay on your credit report for life...if you're poor and there is no likelihood of ever paying them off, there is almost no escape from them except by dying! If you are 100% disabled (nothing less) and no longer able to work -- i.e.,there is zero likelihood you willEVER have any $$ to pay said loans off because you will NEVER be going back to work again -- there IS a process to get the loan(s) discharged, but it takes several years and there is no guarantee whatsoever the lenders willapprove your application for discharge andlet you off.

    In short, if you owe TX any $$, your life isn't worth anything to the state...I would think they'd want to keep you alive so they can get their money but that's how it is.

    So sometimes, it has nothing to do with some criminal past as most people think of when someone says he/she doesn't qualify, it can besomething else like just being a debtor.

    At least here in Texas it can be.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    How owing money to the state has anything with "a view to prevent crime" is simply beyond me.

    It's a shame that of all places, Texas so vigorously and thoroughly violates its own Constitution.

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    If Austin, TX weren't so persistentlyliberal, maybe things would be different.

    Reminds me of liberal Boulder, CO.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I've OC'd every day for 3 years... and off 'n on here since 1967. I have NEVER been accosted by any LEO in Arizona... not yet anyway. I don't expect to be either. 'Used to be... upon entering a bar... you could unbuckle yer gun belt... wrap it up and hand it to the barkeep. 'Get it back whan ya left. Not so much anymore... Some places away from the cities you can still do that tho.

    I prefer a gun belt to a 'pants belt' to carry... I carry butt reversed (cross draw) on my left hip (forward) for several reasons...

    1. It's easier to draw... rather than have my pistol up in my armpit before I can clear the holster.

    2. It doesn't interfere with my seat belt... and I can draw 'seated'... 'same as on horseback.Hollywood aside... cowboys seldom carried strong side... or used 'tie-downs'. Try that when mounting a horse. A random check of the old photo's of the 19th Century horseman will bear that out.

    3. I can hang other things on that same gunbelt that otherwise would be an encumbrance.

    4. Around the area... and the house/property... I just use an open bottomed 'bucket' pouch. No retention... not needed. Right now... I'm sittin' here with a 9x18mm Makarov in one of those on my pants belt. I live close to the border... 'n then there's tweakers to consider.

    There's maybe 5 Deputies per shift to cover 155 sq. miles. The LEO's are fully aware and appreciative of those who are pro-active in their own defense. Sad that ain't the case elsewhere. I figure it's comin' tho... The anti-gunners ahve been proven wrong again 'n again. Besides... The Constitution should not be trumped... anywhere.




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    That's also one reason I look forward to OC here in Texas: Not only couldI carry COMFORTABLY, but I can carry something BIGGER if I wanted to.

    Being a "big" guy, I am NOT able toCC a full-sized 1911 comfortably. An ankle holster (the most comfortable way to CC for ME) is maxxed-out with a S&W M60 Snubby or a Betetta 3032 Tomcat. Anything larger is not only UNcomfortable but it shows, especially since we don't wear bell-bottoms anymore.

    OC-ing and wearing a gun belt would allow me to carry my 1911 comfortably AND let me carry 1-2 dual magazine pouches, too.

    BTW, I prefer crossdraw myself.

    Looking forward to OC-ing in TX soon,

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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