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Thread: Response to an article on unusually high number of armed robberies

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    A news article recently appeared in our local paper about the higher than average number of armed robberies here in Colorado Springs: http://www.gazette.com/articles/colo...y-springs.html

    While reading his article, I grew concerned about how its wording might incite someone to report me simply because I was carrying a firearm. In response, I sent the following letter to the reporter:

    Mr. Millman, I have two concerns about your article I would like to share with you.

    My principle concern is Sgt. Noblitt's comment, "If it seems suspicious, it probably is," as well as how you reported his comment. While his comment certainly holds true for someone casing an establishment, I am concerned many people will take that to mean "If you see a man with a gun, call the cops."

    The reason this concerns me is that I and many other fine, upstanding, and law-abiding citizens here in Colorado Springs carry a firearm. Some of us are licensed to carry concealed, while others carry openly. Colorado has long been an open carry state, and open carry throughout the United States is on the rise, with nearly all states allowing for the open carry of a firearm by its citizens.

    Articles which highlight the use of handguns and comments such as Sgt. Noblitt's, without qualifying that open carry of a properly holstered handgun is both legal and not grounds for suspicion, tend to elicite irrationally fearful responses, including calls to 911 along the lines of "I just saw a man pumping gas - he was wearing a gun!"

    Properly trained 911 operators and policeman will differentiate whether or not the individual in question was merely wearing the firearm (legal), or whether he was brandishing it or otherwise using in an inappropriate or illegal manner. Unfortunately, neither all 911 operators nor all policeman are properly trained when it comes to Colorado's open carry firearm laws. Some, for example, are probably unaware that a recent Federal Court decision prohibits police from detaining or harassing anyone simply because they're openly carrying a firearm (attached).

    It behooves us all to address this issue in an objective manner which avoids inciting fears by reporting PD comments such as "If it looks suspicious, it probably is." It woudl have been better, however, if you'd simply kept it to something along the lines of "increased vigilance," along with a short list of suspicious behavior.

    In closing, I would like to suggest that open carry by itself is not suspicious activity, as criminals rarely wear properly-holstered weapons. Furthermore, open carry is a strong deterrent to crime, as most criminals avoid situations in which they're likely to encounter others who're armed while they're committing their crimes.

    If you care to learn more about either open carry or the types of suspicious activities for which our fine citizens should remain vigilant, I would be happy to assist you.

    Thank you for your time.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    It will definitely be interesting to see how they respond. Have you considered attending a City Council meeting to air your (our) concerns publicly for the record? I believe in Michigan there are concerted efforts to bring these issues up with City Councils to get them to thinking about the ramifications of the Open Carry laws and how the LEO's are handling the situations.

    The moderated voice of reason can often be heard above the strident fears of hysteria ... looks like you have the opportunity.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    OKboomer, I've been perusing the schedule for just such an opportunity. Thanks!
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the Nation reported a decrease of 4.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first six months of 2009 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2008. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2009prelimsem/index.html

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    While it's true crime figures are decreasing across the nation as a while, my concern is for the local area in which I live, as well as the irresponsible reporting which tends to slant the issue anywhere towards "guns are bad."
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    so i read the article. the statement by sgt noblitt about calling the cops is not in there. did they retract that part?

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    It's going to be interesting to see how non-carry states like MD massage the 2009 data. On average, the national rates of almost all crimes trended down in 2009. Even in MD, most crime is down, but that's not the ENTIRE story...

    MD state government is practically going the "happy dance" in the streets of Annapolis with the release of the FBI's UCR numbers for 2009. They are shouting "Baltimore's violent crime rate rate is DOWN over 7%! Metro DC area of MD has a decrease in crime of over 11%!!! Southern MD crime has dropped by more than 8%!!!"

    But what they DON'T tell you is that even though, overall, the rates of murder, forceable rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, B&E, auto theft, and arson ARE in fact down (in most cases) in MD, those rates--in almost EVERY region of MD--are significantly higher than the national average, and in Baltimore, the DC metro area, and Southern MD, the violent crime rated have been, for the last 2 decades, trending as much as 250% higher than the national average.

    What they DON'T tell you is that the SAME FBI UCR preliminary data set for 2009 shows an average decrease in murder in the Northeast region of the US of almost 14%, a decrease in rape by 6% and a decrease in motor vehicle theft of almost 20%.

    So yeah, murders, rapes and armed robbery rates MIGHT be dropping a little in MD, but the fact is that they are still nearly twice the national average, and compared with "low crime states", it's as much as 10 times their rates. (actually, the state wide average in MD for forceable rape is UP 6%, and for some reason the HUGE increase in coming from the rural counties)

    While the rest of the Northeast region of the US is experiencing statistically significant drops in crime, and nation-wide most violent crimes are trending down, MD is STILL dramatically higher than the national average in most crimes, and rape, murder, and assault are actually trending UP massively in some regions of the state.

    In other words, the 8% reduction in dead folks in MD is still an AWFUL lot of dead folk in MD when you're talking about twice as many dead folks (per 100k population) as the national average....

    Wake up MD--you're government is committing intellectual, moral, and ethical fraud upon you--they are allowing criminals to rob, rape and murder you, while they turn their back on you--the People--and pick your pockets through increased taxes to pay for their own personal armed bodyguards and home security systems. The MD state government has established a criminal oligarchy, and You the People are going to continue to be raped and robbed by criminals in the dark alleys AND in the bright marble halls of Annapolis. You will NEVER get rid of the thugs and criminals in the dark alleys and lonely parking lots of MD until you FIRST get rid of the criminals and thugs that prowl the well-lit marble halls of the historic State House in Annapolis by voting them out.

    If the criminal government of Maryland won't let you Keep and Bear Arms to exercise your FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT to self defense, then AT LEAST go out and vote the bums out while they will still allow you access to the polls, because it's just a matter of time before they put restrictions on THAT right too...

    WAKE UP, People of MD...
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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    bomber wrote:
    so i read the article. the statement by sgt noblitt about calling the cops is not in there. did they retract that part?
    Quote from article:
    “It’s not an extraordinary number,” said police spokesman Sgt. Steve Noblitt of the 42 robberies so far. “Robbery investigators are not alarmed by it.” Noblitt made his remarks to the Gazette on Friday.
    Bomber, as you can see, Sgt. Noblitt was simply a spokesman.

    Since9 will have to comment on the rest of your question himself.

    However, I believe his original post has come from ongoing issues where MWAG has been sent over the police band without any type of qualifyer such as, "the RP says the gun is in a holster in plain sight." This indicates that the dispatcher is not gathering any information that may give the officers some indication of whether they are rolling up on a gang-banger brandishing, another type of person going postal and being a danger, or some citizen simply walking along exercising his 2A, 1A, 14A rights in public. This could determine whether some citizen gets handcuffed, detained and illegally searched, and/or his weapon siezed illegally.

    I was looking down the barrel of an officer's gun simply because some other citizen didn't recognize a X28 Taser and the officer responding didn't see me, so he had to circle around the structure and of course he pulled his gun when going around a blind corner. Luckily, it was a Deputy Sheriff and he and I laughed about it as soon as we both relaxed enough ... then he wanted to see my unit and such ... no handcuffing for me this time.

    Bomber, it would also help for folks to address your questions and such if you would include at least a state of residence in your profile

    For instance, I don't know if you live in a state with OC, CC, or NoCarry and this might have a bearing on why you are unfamiliar with MWAG or GATTTATP incidents that have led to Constitutional Rights violations by some PD's on a regular basis (see the issues in the Michigan forum.)


    cheers - okboomer
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Lead, follow, or get out of the way

    Exercising my 2A Rights does NOT make me a CRIMINAL! Infringing on the exercise of those rights makes YOU one!

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