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Thread: "Openly Carrying Guns Can Be Unwise, Even When It’s Legal"

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Clayton E. Cramer attempts to explain his recent Shotgun News commentary on Open Carry. What do you think?

    Here it is:

    Openly Carrying Guns Can Be Unwise, Even When It’s Legal
    October 25, 2009 - by Clayton E. Cramer

    I recently wrote an article for Shotgun News making the argument that while open carry of firearms is legal in many American cities, it may not be particularly wise. Open carry in a number of states is not just legal, but protected by the state constitution. But just because something is legal, even constitutionally protected, doesn’t mean that it is wise.

    Carrying a gun openly in a city can — and does — offend people who might not have a strong opinion one way or the other about gun control. Boise, Idaho, is about as pro-gun as any big city in the United States. But open carry advocates decided last year to go to the Boise Zoo with openly carried handguns. It was completely legal — but the reaction of other patrons was distinctly negative.

    We have a very reasonable concealed weapon permit law in Idaho (as with most states), and there are lots of Idahoans who are armed but carry their weapons concealed. I’m sure that the other patrons of the Boise Zoo know that. Yes, it is somewhat illogical to be disconcerted by seeing something in public that you know may still be all around you, but concealed. But there are a lot of areas where human beings are illogical — and pretending that you are Mr. Spock doesn’t change that human beings often respond with emotions, not logic.

    Handguns and our excretory organs have something in common: we know that they are very, very common, they are necessary, and many people have them under their clothes. (See how well I cleaned up an otherwise crudely pungent comparison of body parts to opinions?) But it doesn’t mean that we all want to see them. Context is everything. In the middle of the wilderness, an openly carried firearm doesn’t cause much of a reaction. In a shooting range, we’re used to it. In an urban setting, at least in most of America, this is a bit unusual. Because of that and because we tend to wonder, “Is guy planning to be a national news headline tomorrow?” it is a little unsettling.

    My article did not propose that open carry should be illegal. There are some unusual circumstances where it might be the best choice — and in some rare circumstances, in some states, it may be the only choice that you have. (Wisconsin, for example, completely prohibits concealed carry of handguns, but does allow open carry.) What I did argue is that gun owners should think long and hard about whether it serves our best interests to offend, disturb, or concern people that would prefer that we keep our guns as well hidden as our excretory organs.

    I was expecting some negative reaction to that article — but I was not expecting the level of vitriol. I received one polite response, yes. But I also received a number of really angry and not very polite emails, including:

    I have been a loyal SGN reader for many years and have subscribed several times.

    Having read Mr. Cramer’s column on open carry, “How to Lose Friends,” this will no longer be the case. Mr. Cramer’s column should have been titled “Why We Should Be Ashamed of Our Rights.”

    I will NOT be buying any further SGN magazines EVER; nor will I encourage my friends and family to do so, until and unless Mr. Cramer is FIRED publicly and SGN apologizes for his failure to support the rights of American citizens.

    In the course of attempting to calm this reader down, I discovered that this poor guy feels tremendously trapped by the enormous success that the anti-gun crowd is enjoying. I have talked to a few others over the last few years who seem to think that the gun control crowd is on one continuous winning streak and that at any moment, the federal government is going to complete the final confiscation of firearms from private citizens.

    The gun control movement is dangerous, in spite of their small numbers, because they exercise enormous influence over the entertainment and legal communities. But for those who haven’t been following the news: the gun control movement is in such sorry shape that if I worked in that area, I would be getting my resume up to date and looking for some other windmills to joust against.

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    Repeater wrote:
    the gun control movement is in such sorry shape that if I worked in that area, I would be getting my resume up to date and looking for some other windmills to joust against.
    OC as 'indecent exposure' reads like a job application for BCPHGV.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Clayton E. Cramer isa quintessential 'FUDD'. Ohhh... what will people SAY? I don't subscribe to Shotgun News... andI won't.

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    Regular Member Batousaii's Avatar
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    SGN is not what it used to be. I remember the day when it was thick with serious collectible and hard to find goodies. Chock full of antique, memorabilia and parts kits from surplus vendors, fancy German target rifles, and all the things that make real collectors swoon...... Now a days, it's mostly various AR-15 makers with the remainder comprising ofreally generic everyday stock that you might find at Cabela's or Big-5 Sports. it's really sad to say, but the last one i bought disappointed me, save for the single nodakspuds article that i bought it for.

    - Oh well, sad to hear about that commentary ... another nail in the coffin of a once awesome publication.

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    Regular Member Bikenut's Avatar
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    I am sick... and tired... of hearing people complain about being "offended" by OC... or anything else for that matter.

    Since when is there a RIGHT to not be "offended"? Since when does a perceived affront to someone's ego trump RIGHTS?

    And yes, those who are "offended" are suffering from being confronted with something that slaps their ego/pride.

    From thefreedictionary.com

    of·fend play_w2("O0037900") (-fnd)v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends v.tr.

    1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

    2.
    To be displeasing or disagreeable to: Onions offend my sense of smell.

    Those who are "offended" by OC are confronted with their own inner fears and just can't stand to see that flaw in their character.

    Those who fear that someone might be "offended" by OC are again confronted with their own fears... or selfish desire to be amongst an elite group with a special permit... and can't stand to see that flaw in their own character.

    Ok... substitute anything you wish in place of OC and it still comes out the same. Those who are "offended" can't stand the stark look at their inner self.

    Our modern society has evolved this notion that "offending someone" is a horriblely terrible crime..... and the ludicriousness of that touchy feely whiney 3 year old mentality pisses me off to no end.

    Edited to repair paragraph mess ups.
    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

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    Regular Member Statesman's Avatar
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    Mr. Cramer,

    If we were to apply your open carry logic to law enforcement, it would mean that people also do not want to see law enforcement openly carrying either. It should be consistent, that, if it's "offensive" to see "people" carrying guns, it would also be offensive to see police officers carrying guns. Of course, this is absurd. The gun is not the object of the offensive nature, it's the individual carrying it. Some of you would point to liberal anti's and disagree with my assertion, but consider this. Do we expect police officers to carry concealed, in fear they might offend somebody? Of course not (well, maybe some liberal anti groups)! Liberal progressives (collectivist authoritarians) place more trust in government, which explains why they are generally not offended to see police officers openly carrying.

    I believe you are implying that it's offensive for some people to see someone not directly associated with government authority, carrying a gun. Agents of government do not automatically equate to "trusted authority". Does anyone trust Washington D.C. with their individual safety? Look at your state & local governments and police departments. They all have trust issues from time to time, and, while unfortunate, do not deserve automatic trust. Remember the police officer that pulled through a McDonalds drive through, got impatient waiting, and brandished his weapon to the clerk? Right. I believe most police officers are good people, but trust is earned, not given by blind faith.

    In my opinion, open carry by police officers is a deterrent to crime, and a show of force. In my opinion, open carry by citizens that have just as much legal authority to carry a gun openly, is a deterrent to crime, a potent form of self protection, and should be a right for every American.

    As for whether or not someone gets "offended" when they see me openly carrying in public? I really don't care. And just as I don't care if my speech offends anyone, I'm not going to prevent myself from speaking my mind. Given time, education on legal firearm ownership, and exposure to legal open carry, I believe some people will learn to tolerate open carry.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    kimbercarrier's post of Larry Pratt's essay over on the General Discussion forum is obviously a much better representation of the issue!

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/33215.html

    The essay can be found here.

    TFred


    He Had a Gun and Nothing Happened

    From New Hampshire to Arizona, Americans openly carrying firearms have been seen outside presidential appearances. The most remarkable thing about this is that some find this behavior to be remarkable.

    American citizens are the sovereigns in our system of government. Indeed, We the People created the government which, at least in theory, only does what we tell it to do in the Constitution. Sovereigns are expected to be armed.

    The Second Amendment was added to our Constitution to ensure that the individual right to keep and bear arms not be infringed. Infringement would impair the proper functioning of the militia which had been America’s homeland security system all through colonial times and well into our republican era.

    The armed attendees made it clear that they were exercising their right to keep and bear arms. Zero tolerance of firearms has become so extreme that even a picture of a gun can get a student kicked out of school. The presence of armed citizens helps correct the notion that guns are inherently dangerous.

    Americans are increasingly deciding to go about openly carrying firearms even when they might legally carry concealed. Some would like to say that this constitutes disturbing the peace. It is a strange view that accepts as normal a police officer openly carrying a firearm but finds it alarming when a sovereign citizen -- the cop’s boss -- does the same.

    In addition to the educational value of going about openly armed, the presence of such citizens has another positive impact. Real homeland security is being maintained. The Secret Service is tasked with protecting the president and other select individuals -- and nobody else.

    For those who object to openly armed citizens being present near presidential events, do they have any concern for the wellbeing of those who do not benefit from Secret Service protection?

    A few years ago, I was at a conference where the governor of the state of Arizona was to speak. Shortly before the appointed time a member of the governor’s security detail came into the room from a service entrance, looked around the audience which included at least a dozen people openly carrying sidearms, ducked out of sight and returned with the governor.

    The governor’s security was aware of the armed attendees, and was also aware that the guns were holstered and obviously under control. They evidently thought that was proper gun control.

    There are those who don’t like Americans owning guns at all, let alone carrying them openly. They can be counted on to run around squawking like Chicken Little that the sky is falling -- a calamity brought about by the presence of an armed citizen in public. We are warned that: “Somebody might grab the gun and do something bad! The armed citizen will intimidate others! Tempers will flare and blood will run in the streets!”

    These are the same alarms that are sounded when any measure designed to facilitate citizens keeping and bearing arms is advanced. And the alarms are always false. Before passage of Florida’s concealed carry law, for example, we were warned that the Sunshine State would become the Gunshine State. But the fearmongers were all wrong, as evidenced by the way the state’s murder rate fell through the floor.

    One would think that consistently being wrong would be embarrassing, but one would be wrong about those who assume that common citizens are untrustworthy and dangerous.

    A tip of the hat to those who have stirred the debate. And, our thanks to them for exercising proper gun control and reminding us of how homeland security should be conducted.

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    Mr. Cramer would have told Rosa Parks to shut up and move to the back of the bus.

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Democrats were the racist slave owners, and when that ran out, they just switched the same old tricks to something new while claiming to be the party of civil rights (but only insofar as it promotes socialism). All the same old lies, propaganda, and slander.

    Gun Hate is their new Racism. Even some of 'our own' are affected by it.

    The OC/CC 'debate' is the perfect example of people who wake up halfway and call it good enough.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Bikenut wrote:
    I am sick... and tired... of hearing people complain about being "offended" by OC... or anything else for that matter.

    Since when is there a RIGHT to not be "offended"? Since when does a perceived affront to someone's ego trump RIGHTS?

    And yes, those who are "offended" are suffering from being confronted with something that slaps their ego/pride.

    From thefreedictionary.com

    of·fend play_w2("O0037900") (-fnd)v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends v.tr.

    1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

    2.
    To be displeasing or disagreeable to: Onions offend my sense of smell.

    Those who are "offended" by OC are confronted with their own inner fears and just can't stand to see that flaw in their character.

    Those who fear that someone might be "offended" by OC are again confronted with their own fears... or selfish desire to be amongst an elite group with a special permit... and can't stand to see that flaw in their own character.

    Ok... substitute anything you wish in place of OC and it still comes out the same. Those who are "offended" can't stand the stark look at their inner self.

    Our modern society has evolved this notion that "offending someone" is a horriblely terrible crime..... and the ludicriousness of that touchy feely whiney 3 year old mentality pisses me off to no end.

    Edited to repair paragraph mess ups.
    I had to check and make sure that I didn't write this.

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Bikenut wrote:
    I am sick... and tired... of hearing people complain about being "offended" by OC... or anything else for that matter.

    Since when is there a RIGHT to not be "offended"? Since when does a perceived affront to someone's ego trump RIGHTS?

    And yes, those who are "offended" are suffering from being confronted with something that slaps their ego/pride.

    From thefreedictionary.com

    of·fend play_w2("O0037900") (-fnd)v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends v.tr.

    1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

    2.
    To be displeasing or disagreeable to: Onions offend my sense of smell.

    Those who are "offended" by OC are confronted with their own inner fears and just can't stand to see that flaw in their character.

    Those who fear that someone might be "offended" by OC are again confronted with their own fears... or selfish desire to be amongst an elite group with a special permit... and can't stand to see that flaw in their own character.

    Ok... substitute anything you wish in place of OC and it still comes out the same. Those who are "offended" can't stand the stark look at their inner self.

    Our modern society has evolved this notion that "offending someone" is a horriblely terrible crime..... and the ludicriousness of that touchy feely whiney 3 year old mentality pisses me off to no end.

    Edited to repair paragraph mess ups.
    This.

    Squared.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Oy blagoy.

    It just never ends does it?
    Yes, sometimes CC is better than OC.
    Yes, sometimes OC is better than CC.

    No, we don't have an unalienable right not to be offended.
    Yes, 1st Amendment protection is a good parallel.
    No, its not like yelling fire in a crowded movie theater.
    Yes, the public psyche is not overwhelmingly accepting of firearms.

    What now?
    Nothing.


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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Cramer's Law:

    Handgun = Penis

    "Open Carry" = "Indecent Exposure"

    "Condition 1" = "Lewd and Lascivious"

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    What about women (or men) who are well endowed? Are these protuberances 'printing?' And good lord, what about wonder bras?

    What a *******.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Cramer's argument flows from a fatally flawed assumption.

    Concealed Carry, in most states, is a priveledge granted by the state. Open carry is the right. Asking the state to begiven a priveledge (CC)does not preserve the right(OC).
    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 inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Has Cramer ZUMBOED?

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    Cool. Now that everyone knows that guns are like excretory organs, when we need to discretely pardon ourselves to the restroom, does this mean we can say "excuse me, I've got to go empty a magazine" :shock:

    Hell, if it's taco night, it's like switching the selector to three round burst

    (sorry for the potty humor, but I had to!)

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    CO-Joe wrote:
    Cool. Now that everyone knows that guns are like excretory organs, when we need to discretely pardon ourselves to the restroom, does this mean we can say "excuse me, I've got to go empty a magazine" :shock:

    Hell, if it's taco night, it's like switching the selector to three round burst

    (sorry for the potty humor, but I had to!)
    I find it interesting that he thinks that switching from sexuality to waste excretion in any way lends credence to the same old broken lie of an argument.

    Oh, but it does give him a new and creative way to be insulting instead of being man enough to burst his bubble and be a decent, respectable human being. It's easier to insult and hold steadfast, than bend to a truth that hurts. It is a convenient measure of intellect and maturity that those who lack it place on display. Makes life easy for the rest of us; they really do wear a sign!

    Stupid, hateful, arrogant, and damn proud of it. Just the kind of guy I would want on my short list....
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    rpyne wrote:
    Mr. Cramer would have told Rosa Parks to shut up and move to the back of the bus.
    "Stop poisoning the well! You're ruining it for the rest of us!"



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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    KBCraig wrote:
    rpyne wrote:
    Mr. Cramer would have told Rosa Parks to shut up and move to the back of the bus.
    "Stop poisoning the well! You're ruining it for the rest of us!"
    Yeah! I wanna sit at the back of the bus!
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    Founder's Club Member PrayingForWar's Avatar
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    There was a day when the sight of two men showing excessive affection would have caused a riot and public lynching. We now regularly see such behavior on tv and in many city streets. It's a matter of getting people used to it. Not that I think that's a good thing, but killing ****** just for being queer is primitive, and as Americans most of us are well above that mentality, though many of us wish they'd stay closer to the closet door.

    Mr Cramer may not agree with us on this one issue, but he deserves no more vitriol from people who usually agree with him, than Juan Williams deserved to be called a "porch African American".

    I've considered what Mr Cramer has written, and he has a point. We have our own counter points, and should continue the dialog with him and others in order to at least persuade them to no longer oppose us, or even support us. It should be an easy thing to do. Sending the man hate mail is childish. We don't need to get in people's faces with our guns, but we shouldn't be forced to "get back in the closet", and that's what people need to understand.
    If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training. You will become a minister of death, PRAYING FOR WAR...

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    PrayingForWar wrote:
    There was a day when the sight of two men showing excessive affection would have caused a riot and public lynching. We now regularly see such behavior on tv and in many city streets. It's a matter of getting people used to it. Not that I think that's a good thing, but killing ****** just for being queer is primitive, and as Americans most of us are well above that mentality, though many of us wish they'd stay closer to the closet door.

    Mr Cramer may not agree with us on this one issue, but he deserves no more vitriol from people who usually agree with him, than Juan Williams deserved to be called a "porch African American".

    I've considered what Mr Cramer has written, and he has a point. We have our own counter points, and should continue the dialog with him and others in order to at least persuade them to no longer oppose us, or even support us. It should be an easy thing to do. Sending the man hate mail is childish. We don't need to get in people's faces with our guns, but we shouldn't be forced to "get back in the closet", and that's what people need to understand.
    Perhaps not hate mail, but someone has to call the spade a spade...
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

    https://gunthreadadapters.com

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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    ixtow wrote:
    PrayingForWar wrote:
    There was a day when the sight of two men showing excessive affection would have caused a riot and public lynching. We now regularly see such behavior on tv and in many city streets. It's a matter of getting people used to it. Not that I think that's a good thing, but killing ****** just for being queer is primitive, and as Americans most of us are well above that mentality, though many of us wish they'd stay closer to the closet door.

    Mr Cramer may not agree with us on this one issue, but he deserves no more vitriol from people who usually agree with him, than Juan Williams deserved to be called a "porch African American".

    I've considered what Mr Cramer has written, and he has a point. We have our own counter points, and should continue the dialog with him and others in order to at least persuade them to no longer oppose us, or even support us. It should be an easy thing to do. Sending the man hate mail is childish. We don't need to get in people's faces with our guns, but we shouldn't be forced to "get back in the closet", and that's what people need to understand.
    Perhaps not hate mail, but someone has to call the spade a spade...
    agreed

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Posted on that particular comment board.

    Clayton,

    I have to vehemently disagree with you on this. We’ve worked together on issues with open carry before, specifically with the state of Washington and open carry being de facto illegal due to police misinterpretation. You may remember me and Jim March, and I was known under a different name.

    I take a tremendous objection to your comparison to open carry with same sex affection, and open carry gathers as the same as “San Francisco-style” pride events.

    I seem to remember you claiming that if “San Francisco-style Pride events happened in every town above 10,000, LGBT folk would have completely lost their current battle”, I am paraphrasing you on this.

    You seem to not quite understand that the Pride parades in places like San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland have always been quite a bit “outrageous”. It has to do with local culture more so than just “the gays”. Do you really think that such activities is similar in Montgomery Alabama, Boise, St. Louis? NYC Pride is also positively subdued in comparison to San Fran Pride. It’s about the local culture.

    As for gay kiss-ins, those are methods of political protest. Straight people (such as yourself) can at their own option take for granted the ability to have low-key public displays of affection without being spit on, challenged by security officers (who ignore opposite gendered couples doing the same thing), threatened with violence by third parties, etc.

    It also doesn’t matter if you personally believe that PDA’s should not be shared at all in public no matter the genders of the couple. It doesn’t bolster your moral argument, and doesn’t cloak the fact that you’re not only bigoted against a constitutionally protected choice of open carry, you’re also bigoted against an aspect of mutual affection between consenting adults of the same gender.

    The open carry movement in Washington State and in Oregon, which has grown in the last 4 years from my early efforts to educate the local law enforcement agencies on it’s legality, makes your entire argument essentially an utter falsehood. 3-4 years of open carry in Washington State has not resulted in open carry ban proposals by the State Legislature.

    The only issue that we are really dealing with is Seattle asserting private ownership over public parks and banning gun owners via trespass. This was caused NOT by open carriers, but by a concealed carrier with a methadone habit, who was later convicted of a felony. SAF is going to be filing a legal challenge to that rule soon, and a coalition of gun owners and other groups in Seattle made Mayor Nickels a lame duck, getting him 3rd place in a primary. Seattle will likely pick Joe Mallahan for Mayor, who made it very clear that he doesn’t support what Mayor Nickels did, and will likely fold as soon he takes office. Though Mallahan is anti-gun, he at least understands that he must ask the State Legislature first, which is legally (though not constitutionally) correct.

    Btw, I open carry in my credit union all of the time. They know me by my first name and I have good relations with them, and they actually tell other customers who may ask that I’m one of the good guys. They’re usually pretty relieved that they know me. It’s sort of an advantage of having a credit union based in a very pro-gun state.

  25. #25
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    I'm going to see how he responds to my post. If he pushes the issue and continues to be an ass, I am going to go all out and call him on the fact that he seems a little obsessive over certain subjects.

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