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Thread: The wild, wild West . . . of Tacoma?

  1. #1
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    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/0...of-tacoma.html

    I looked down the empty streets of town, squinting against the brightness of the setting sun. As it dipped over the horizon, the shadows produced a lone figure whose dusty, er, duster, flapped in the light breeze that arose in the sun’s absence.

    The unbuttoned coat was tucked behind a holstered gun that loomed larger, suddenly, than the man himself, who now moved steadily towards me as if caught in the breeze. He reached towards the pistol, and I braced. His hand slipped, instead, into a pocket from which he drew . . . a cell phone.
    Cut, cut, cut.

    With apologies to Louis L’Amour, my purpose here is not to write a Western. That much is obvious, considering Mr. L’Amour would have risen from the dead to wallop me with a decomposed saddle blanket had I continued.

    My ironic purpose, however, is not to wrassle with literary cowboys, but to document the incident that recently happened to me a few days ago on the lonesome prairies of Tacoma.

    This gentleman was one of the promoters of the so-called “open carry” laws. In increasing numbers, these folks are challenging the status quo by moseying around in public places, armed with a handgun. Concerned and vocal critics of these folks are wondering aloud if the town, any town, is big enough for the unarmed and the “openly armed.”

    The justification for openly carrying a firearm in public is solidly based on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and further expanded in our state’s constitution – Article 1, Sec 24, if you care to do a little light reading. These laws have encouraged advocates to share, display and even tattoo their allegiance to said gun rights.

    Thus, say its proponents, “open carry” is well-founded. I would go so far as to say it could be considered reasonable. Reasonable, yes, assuming that it’s 1872 in a town filled with tumbleweeds and Texans in equal portion, where a man can stand tall at a bar with a shot of whiskey or lie still in a pine box with posies.

    In short, except for the potholes, Tacoma bears little resemblance to any place 150 years ago, west or east of the Pecos.

    But today, citizens openly displaying a holster bearing their six, 10 or 17 shooters, as the case may be, are anachronistic. Despite ubiquitous photos of “open carry” advocates sitting comfortably in a coffee shop, this action exemplifies a disconnect with today’s reality, much as an 1870s cowpoke texting on the range.

    First, and foremost, is the sincere concern and fear of unarmed individuals. How many passers-by would simply choose to pass on by, rather than stop and take a table next to an armed a) patriotic American choosing to exercise his or her constitutional rights; b) unsavory sort who relishes the expressions of fear on others’ faces; c) unstable individual with little or no firearms training, questionable judgment and maybe an unbalanced medication issue?

    The melting pot, or chunky stew, that is America guarantees that a random sample of any group will contain all of these options.

    For police officers such as myself, who sat through lengthy written tests, oral boards, polygraphs and batteries of psychological exams, all for the purpose of proving our physical and mental fitness to carry the same firearm, the issue appears unbalanced.

    The idea may have made sense in the bygone frontier era when police departments were, by and large, nonexistent, but with hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers on duty in our country, “open carry” can get complicated.
    I have responded to 911 calls involving “open carry” individuals and had to address the sincere and rational fear on behalf of the unarmed caller. But was there a threat? The answer is, it’s complicated.

    With all respect to the law-abiding citizens who openly carry firearms, it is no longer 1872. While businesses are within their rights to prohibit this activity, common sense and respect for the sincere concerns of others should suggest other options for those wishing to exercise their rights.
    If the problem is the inability to pass the background check for a concealed weapons permit, then maybe the pistol needs to stay back on the ranch.

    Police officer Brian O’Neill of Gig Harbor is a former reader columnist. E-mail him at btoflyer@comcast.net. His views do not represent that of his police agency.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    O Brother!

    Another elitist LEO that thinks the Constitution was only valid in 1872!

    Looks like some comments and an email to his email addy are in order.
    Live Free or Die!

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    Another elitist LEO that thinks the Constitution was only valid in 1872!
    I missed the part where he wrote that the constitution doesn't apply or you don't have the right to open carry.

    For police officers such as myself, who sat through lengthy written tests, oral boards, polygraphs and batteries of psychological exams, all for the purpose of proving our physical and mental fitness to carry the same firearm, the issue appears unbalanced.
    I think this is off base though. Those tests weren't so he could carry a firearm, it was so he could be hired. Hope he's not confused about that part.


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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Police officer Brian O’Neill of Gig Harbor is a former reader columnist. E-mail him at btoflyer@comcast.net. His views do not represent that of his police agency.

    If his views do not represent that of "his" police agency, then why mention he is an officer and that he is of Gig Harbor?

    And sorry, but no one in 1872 wore a camo shirt with a semi auto and showedplumber crack. They had more tact than that.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
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    Brian O’Neill is an "opinion enforcement" officer posing as a police officer.

    He needs to be fired.

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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Last I checked, no one has repealed the Constitution yet. To the writer: Have someone rob your house or try to take your kid, rape your wife, etc. and if you don't have something to defend yourself with you can try to negotiate, but the guy will just take your life instead.

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    Not a one of these opinions is based on fact, from the idea that the Old West was "wild" to his assertion that any sample of OCers is "guaranteed" to contain someone who is mentally unstable. It's all hogwash. Being an LEO does not make one good at forming arguments.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    erps wrote:
    Another elitist LEO that thinks the Constitution was only valid in 1872!
    I missed the part where he wrote that the constitution doesn't apply or you don't have the right to open carry.

    For police officers such as myself, who sat through lengthy written tests, oral boards, polygraphs and batteries of psychological exams, all for the purpose of proving our physical and mental fitness to carry the same firearm, the issue appears unbalanced.
    I think this is off base though. Those tests weren't so he could carry a firearm, it was so he could be hired. Hope he's not confused about that part.

    Here is where I take from his comments that he believe's the constitution is only applicable in 1872.Why doesn't he address the real concerns of crime in 2010? This is a clear elitist opion that 'he' the police are the only one's to defend a citizen in 2010. We know that to be untrue and to be supported by the US Supreme Court determining multiple times that 'he' the police do not have the responsibility to protect any individual citizen.
    Thus, say its proponents, “open carry” is well-founded. I would go so far as to say it could be considered reasonable. Reasonable, yes, assuming that it’s 1872 in a town filled with tumbleweeds and Texans in equal portion, where a man can stand tall at a bar with a shot of whiskey or lie still in a pine box with posies.


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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Really how complicated can it be? Either their call was unfounded (no issue) or the person was cited and charged under RCW 9.41.270.

    Also what is complicated about "Open Carry?" Common sense dictates that you as a law enforcement officer enforce the current laws and not hinder my rights or the manner in which I carry.

    Remember what the Supreme Court said back in the 1980's? "The police are not there to protect you as an individual but to protect society as a whole." The only person responsible for your safety is you. You feed yourself, clothe yourself, keep yourself sheltered, and keep yourself alive. No one else is responsible for this. That is why I carry a gun, because no one else should have to run to my rescue, the same idea and principles that were found back in 1872.


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    Here is where I take from his comments that he believe's the constitution is only applicable in 1872.

    Thus, say its proponents, “open carry” is well-founded. I would go so far as to say it could be considered reasonable. Reasonable, yes, assuming that it’s 1872 in a town filled with tumbleweeds and Texans in equal portion, where a man can stand tall at a bar with a shot of whiskey or lie still in a pine box with posies.
    I read that to mean that he thought the practice of open carry was reasonable in 1872, not that the constitution is only applicable in 1872.

    it appears you missed these points in the opinion piece

    The justification for openly carrying a firearm in public is solidly based on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and further expanded in our state’s constitution – Article 1, Sec 24, if you care to do a little light reading.


    ....patriotic American choosing to exercise his or her constitutional rights

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    Regular Member Aryk45XD's Avatar
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    maybe we need less cops on the payroll and more armed citizens

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    I was watching the BS thing on health care where all the senetors got up and made their minute speech's, half of them used the constitution for their argument, so it must still be good for something.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

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    The idea may have made sense in the bygone frontier era when police departments were, by and large, nonexistent, but with hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers on duty in our country, “open carry” can get complicated.
    I don't see any complication. Our hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers have the about the same ability to thwart crime now as when they were "by and large, nonexistent." While their documentation and investigatory skills have certainly improved over the years, these are not the reasons why we carry.

    Perhaps he means that with hundreds of thousands of officers it gets complicated sending out all the training bulletins that open carry is legal, or that it is complicated because a portion of their ranks will always know what is best despite what the law may say.

    My responsibility as a father, husband and fellow citizen to protect myself, my family and those I care about has not changed since 1872. No amount of nanny state police presence will ever diminish this responsibility. Anyonein disagreementdeserves a Chicago zip code.

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    Regular Member Dave_pro2a's Avatar
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    deanf wrote:
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/0...of-tacoma.html

    This gentleman was one of the promoters of the so-called “open carry” laws. In increasing numbers, these folks are challenging the status quo by moseying around in public places, armed with a handgun. Concerned and vocal critics of these folks are wondering aloud if the town, any town, is big enough for the unarmed and the “openly armed.” ...
    Thus, say its proponents, “open carry” is well-founded. I would go so far as to say it could be considered reasonable. Reasonable, yes, assuming that it’s 1872 in a town filled with tumbleweeds and Texans in equal portion, where a man can stand tall at a bar with a shot of whiskey or lie still in a pine box with posies. ...
    But today, citizens openly displaying a holster bearing their six, 10 or 17 shooters, as the case may be, are anachronistic. Despite ubiquitous photos of “open carry” advocates sitting comfortably in a coffee shop, this action exemplifies a disconnect with today’s reality, much as an 1870s cowpoke texting on the range. ...
    Police officer Brian O’Neill of Gig Harbor is a former reader columnist. E-mail him at btoflyer@comcast.net. His views do not represent that of his police agency.
    Hmmm, I wonder if Police Officer Brian O/Neill of Gig Harbor understand irony?

    He is against the open carry of firearms. He claims it is an activity that is out of place in the modern world... and yet I assume he open carries a firearm every day that he works. Hypocrite? Yes.

    If you feel so strongly about this issue Officer Brian O'Neill, then leave your gun and holster at home, every day.
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    Regular Member Dave_pro2a's Avatar
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    Oh this is choice!

    If the problem is the inability to pass the background check for a concealed weapons permit, then maybe the pistol needs to stay back on the ranch.
    Officer Brian O'Neill insinuates that those who open carry are all felons! ROFLMAO.

    With that kind of specious resoning I hope he never becomes a detective, has to investigate a crime, or even give testimony in court.

    "I'm just a no-account screed-peddler" Dave Workman http://goo.gl/CNf6pB

    "We ought to extend the [1994] assault weapons ban" George W Bush

    "The Bush Administration declared a permanent ban today on almost all foreign-made semiautomatic assault rifles." George Bush Sr, New York Times on July 8, 1989

    "I support the Brady bill and I urge the Congress to enact it without delay." Ronald Regan.

    "Guns are an abomination." Richard Nixon

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    deanf wrote:
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/0...of-tacoma.html
    The unbuttoned coat was tucked behind a holstered gun that loomed larger, suddenly, than the man himself, who now moved steadily towards me as if caught in the breeze. He reached towards the pistol, and I braced. His hand slipped, instead, into a pocket from which he drew . . . a cell phone.
    Sooo... What you saying here, is that this "Cowboy", straight from a scene of Blazing Saddles, this open carry vigilante, this.... this... normal human being?? Didn't whip out his 17 shooter and start mowing down the innocent people around him? He just grabbed his cellphone?

    better cancel that Brady / Cease Fire news conference, better tell all the people that it's safe to come back out of the basement, the vigilante was just..... making a call. Whew! Crisis avoided!

    I also like the comment about all his training, tests and experience... So when a person, in his mind, is about to draw a firearm in public, all he does is... Brace for it..
    www.WaGuns.org

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    The wild west, huh? I'd venture to say that's only half correct. This IS the west, we're on the coast that's on the left side of the continental US on the map when north is up, but this isn't the wild west.

    Get off your high horse, Tex.
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    Not a very well-thought-out argument. I wonder what he really thinks...

    Since he didn't argue against guns in general or CC, his premise seems to be that OC is too scary for modern times. But then he muddies it up by trotting out the (mostly irrelevant) "training and fitness" strawman. Wouldn't that one apply equally to CC?

    The impression I get is that this is an example of the anti's new tactics: Don't come out and say you're anti or that 2A doesn't apply. See if you can reform public opinion around the concept that 2A is "obsolete" and needs to be "reconsidered."

    This paragraph is one of the most arrogant things I've ever read:

    "With all respect to the law-abiding citizens who openly carry firearms, it is no longer 1872. While businesses are within their rights to prohibit this activity, common sense and respect for the sincere concerns of others should suggest other options for those wishing to exercise their rights."

    He must be the common sense and concern czar, although I may have missed the White House bulletin on that appointment.

    Some would argue that article "exemplifies a disconnect from today's reality." He should make another attempt at Western fiction writing, which appears to be his true desire. There's some deep-seated contempt for individual liberty in that article. Highly unAmerican.

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    I sent this e mail to Mr rights police.

    As a retired (27 years) LEO, and former judge, I take exception to the tone of your article about Open Carry.

    I would suggest that you read this very carefully, especially the last paragraph.

    It is not unlawful to openly carry handguns in Washington, and that like most states, no license is required to open carry on foot, and local ordinances to the contrary are unlawful as a matter of state preemption law, RCW 9.41.290. The United States Supreme Court has established that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment for the police to seize a person absent reasonable articulable suspicion ("RAS") of crime afoot. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Accordingly, the Washington Court of Appeals has recently affirmed a trial court's holding that Washington law "does not and, under the Constitution, cannot prohibit the mere [open] carrying of a firearm in public." State v. Casad, 139 Wash.App. 1032 (Wash. App.Div.2 2007) (suppressing evidence of unlawful possession of firearms because stop of Defendant was not grounded in reasonable articulable suspicion of any crime).

    Further, even during a valid Terry stop, the United States Supreme Court forbids police to even conduct a light pat down or seize weapons unless subsequent to RAS for the stop, the "an officer is justified in believing that the individual whose suspicious behavior he is investigating at close range is [both] armed and presently dangerous to the officer or to others." 392 U.S. at 24. Stated another way, only "[s]o long as the officer is [both] entitled to make a forcible stop, and has reason to believe that the suspect is armed **and dangerous** . . .may [he] conduct a weapons search limited in scope to this protective purpose." Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 146 (1972) (emphasis added). So even if there were there to come a time that a Washington law enforcement officer properly seizes a person pursuant to RAS for brief investigatory purposes, the officer is not entitled to seize an openly carry weapon absent "reason to believe that the suspect is . . . [also presently] dangerous." Id. Should an open carrier stopped validly under Terry consensually produce a Concealed Pistol License, this fact weighs heavily against any officer's claim that the suspect is "presently dangerous" such that the gun maybe lawfully seized and serial numbers obtained. Accordingly, suppression of any evidence obtained in seizing the gun is likely under these circumstances.

    Nonconsensual stops of open carriers to demand identification or check gun serial numbers are unlawful in Washington.

    A mere report of a man with a gun is not grounds for a Terry stop. Florida v. J. L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000). Americans cannot be required to carry and produce identification credentials on demand to the police. Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983). Washington does not have a "stop and ID" statute. However, even where a state enacts a "stop and ID" statute, stop must be limited to situations where RAS exists of a crime, and further, stop subject's statement of his name satisfies the ID requirement as Kolender, discussed supra, has not been overruled. Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004). Even where a state has established a duty to carry a license for some activity, absent RAS for the stop, the license cannot be demanded. State v. Peters, 2008 WL 2185754 (Wis. App. I Dist. 2008) (driver of vehicle has no duty to produce driver's license absent RAS) (citing Hiibel). Law enforcement officers seizing persons for refusal to show identification are "not entitled to dismissal of . . . [42 USC 1983 claims] based on qualified immunity." Stufflebeam v. Harris, 521 F.3d 884, 889 (8th Cir. 2008).

    Editorializing against open carry is not the province of law enforcement. If officers have any objection to open carry, they should contact their state legislator on their off duty time and not use the color of authority behind their badges and uniforms to stifle both the right to bear arms and the First Amendment right of expressive conduct to open carry firearms.

    Unlawful stops of open carriers will result in suppression of evidence even if unlawful conduct is uncovered, allowing criminals to get off the hook.

    In Casad, discussed supra, the Appeals court suppressed evidence of the unlawful possession of firearms because law enforcement seized a man for merely openly carrying firearms in public. This result is not unusual, see Goodman v. Commonwealth, 2007 WL 2988343 (Va.App. 2007) (same result as Casad), because the result is as a matter of federal Constitutional law commanded by the United States Supreme Court. As discussed supra, see Florida v. J. L.; Hicks.

    As it is clearly established law that the open carry of handguns in holsters is lawful without a CPL, qualified immunity does not attach for the unlawful harassment, ID checks, see Stufflebeam discussed supra, and gun serial number checks, see also Hicks and J.L. discussed supra. Those actions will subject law enforcement to personal liability for damage claims under 42 USC 1983. See Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989); Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908).

    It is the constitutional right of open carriers to enjoy the same freedom of movement and right of assembly in society as those wishing to carry concealed, or not at all. The purpose of law enforcement is to help ensure open carriers enjoy these freedoms, not to stifle them.

    As you quoted in your "opinion",

    With all respect to the law-abiding citizens who openly carry firearms, it is no longer 1872. While businesses are within their rights to prohibit this activity, common sense and respect for the sincere concerns of others should suggest other options for those wishing to exercise their rights

    I would suggest that you consider your right to freedom of speech and freedom to express in the written form of speech. Maybe you should also use"other options for those wishing to exercise their rights"




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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Ya.....

    What Trigger Dr. said.....

    just sayin'
    Live Free or Die!

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    This gig Harbor cop might fit right in with the following video clip from Shreveport La.

    http://www.conservativedrink.com/med...f0a165610acf24&






    Dear Craig,

    A few months ago, the National Association for Gun Rights first broke this incredible tale out of Shreveport, Louisiana.

    At the time, no other gun rights organization had touched the story. But when we tracked down the victim for an interview, we couldn't believe what we heard, and we immediately sent out a nationwide alert.

    The story went viral overnight.

    If this tale of government abuse moves you, send it to a friend or family member to get the word out.



    [line]


    Welcome to Shreveport: Your rights are now suspended.According to Cedric Glover, mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, his cops "have a power that [. . .] the President of these Unites States does not have": His cops can take away your rights.

    And would you like to guess which rights he has in mind?

    Just ask Shreveport resident Robert Baillio, who got pulled over for having two pro-gun bumper stickers on the back of his truck -- and had his gun confiscated.

    While the officer who pulled him over says Baillio failed to use his turn signal, the only questions he had for Baillio concerned guns: Whether he had a gun, where the gun was, and if he was a member of a pro-gun organization.

    No requests for a driver's licence, proof of insurance, or vehicle registration -- and no discussion of a turn signal.

    Accordingly, Baillio told the officer the truth, which led the police officer to search his car without permission and confiscate his gun.

    However, not only does Louisiana law allow residents to drive with loaded weapons in their vehicles, but Mr. Baillio possessed a concealed carry license!

    What does such behavior demonstrate, other than transparent political profiling -- going so far as to use the infamous Department of Homeland Security report on "Americans of a rightwing persuasion" as a how-to guidebook, no less?

    Mr. Baillio made no secret of his political affiliations: An American flag centers a wide flourish of pro-freedom stickers and decals on his back windshield.

    In fact, when Baillio asked the officer if everyone he pulls over gets the same treatment, the officer said no and pointed to the back of his truck.

    Baillio phoned Mayor Glover to complain about this "suspension of rights" only to find that his city's morbidly obese "commander in chief" was elated at the story: According to Glover, Baillio got "served well, protected well, and even got a consideration that maybe [he] should not have gotten."

    Thankfully, Mr. Baillio recorded a good bit of that phone call. You can watch a video with the transcriptions here. I've reproduced a chunk of the call below:


    Baillio: (in the context of being asked about the presence of a gun) Well, I answered that question honestly, and he disarmed me.

    Glover: Which would be an appropriate and proper action, sir. The fact that you gave the correct answer -- it simply means that you did what it is you were supposed to have done, and that is to give that weapon to the police officer so he could appropriately place it in a place where it would not be a threat to you, to him, or to anyone in the general public.

    [. . .]

    Glover: My direction to you is that, had you chosen not to properly identify the fact that you had a weapon and directed that officer to where that weapon was located; had you been taken from the vehicle, and the officer, in the interest of his safety, chose to secure you in a safe position, and then looked, found, and determined that you did, in fact, have a weapon...then, sir, you would have faced additional, [inaudible], and more severe criminal sanctions.

    Baillio: So what you're saying is: I give up all my rights to keep and bear arms if I'm stopped by the police: Is that correct?

    Glover: Sir, you have no right, when you have been pulled over by a police officer for a potential criminal offense [which would be what?! - DB] to stand there with your weapon at your side in your hand [Baillio's weapon was nowhere near his side or his hand, and Glover knew that. - DB] because of your second amendment rights, sir. That does not mean at that point your second amendment right has been taken away; it means at that particular point in time, it has been suspended.
    Will Grigg from ProLibertate, an excellent freedom blog, has this to say:


    According to Glover, a police officer may properly disarm any civilian at any time, and the civilian's duty is to surrender his gun -- willingly, readily, cheerfully, without cavil or question.

    From Glover's perspective, it is only when firearms are in the hands of people other than the state's uniformed enforcers/oppressors that they constitute a threat, not only to the public and those in charge of exercising official violence but also to the private gun owner himself.
    NAGR spoke with Mr. Baillio, and he told us that he's in the process of securing the official procedures and codes for firearm handling and private property confiscation for the Shreveport police department.

    So far, the city has been half-heartedly cooperating with him.

    "I felt sick," Baillio told NAGR. "My uncles didn't die for this country so I could surrender my rights like a wimp. I felt terrible. I was just thinking of all that my family has done for freedom in this nation -- including dying -- and here they are disarming me at a traffic stop."



    [line]




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    Regular Member Aryk45XD's Avatar
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    WOW! I was going to break that story down and comment when I got home today. After reading the recent posts, I have decided that Dr. Trigger is my new hero for the month and has a great lead for next month. I cannot even remember what my points were... I'm speachless.

  23. #23
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    If the problem is the inability to pass the background check for a concealed weapons permit,...
    What's a "concealed weapons permit"?
    Hoplophobia is a social disease.

  24. #24
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    This guy's opinion is, or should be, an embarassment to the entire West/South Sound law enforcement community. Good cops worry more about the weapons they don't see, in the hands of the bad guys, not the guns displayed by law abiding citizens.

    Never encountered a felon carrying a handgun -- in a holster -- openly in public. Never enountered a felon even using a holster (not even a cheap nylon Uncle Mike's).

  25. #25
    Regular Member Aryk45XD's Avatar
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    geojohn wrote:
    If the problem is the inability to pass the background check for a concealed weapons permit,...
    What's a "concealed weapons permit"?
    Welcome to the board. WA doesn't have a "weapons permit" as some states do. They cover weapons in addition to handguns... or so I have been told ny the firearms instructor. I think I read it somewhere too.

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