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Thread: Vancouver Sun - U.S. gun rights advocates open carry with pride

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    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/rig...583/story.html



    U.S. gun rights advocates pack heat with pride



    By Virginie Montet, Agence France-PresseMarch 21, 2010 3:02 AM

    With gun control legislation stalled at the federal level in Congress, a number of states have taken matters into their own hands to make it easier for residents to pack heat.







    Photograph by: KAREN BLEIER, AFP/Getty Images

    FALLS CHURCH, Va. - About 60 gun rights activists gather in a pizzeria in the Virginia suburb of Falls Church, just outside of Washington DC, their firearms openly displayed in waist holsters.



    They are celebrating what they expect will be the successful enactment in Virginia of legislation expanding gun rights for residents. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has pledged to sign the measure.



    With gun control legislation stalled at the federal level in Congress, a number of states have taken matters into their own hands to make it easier for residents to pack heat.



    As many as 43 states already have some form of open-carry laws that allow citizens to carry firearms in plain view.



    "Gun laws (authorizing openly carrying weapons) and popularity of gun ownership have been going up considerably," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, carrying a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol strapped to his belt.



    Many gun rights proponents feared that President Barack Obama's administration would take steps to curb gun ownership, but Van Cleave said this has not happened.



    In fact, says John Pierce, co-founder of the pro-gun group Opencarry.org, Obama "has done more for us than anybody in recent history," by spurring gun owners to organize at the grassroots level. Also positive, they said, was Obama's decision to allow guns on Amtrak trains and national parks.



    "There is absolutely no reason for gun owners to feel insecure at this point," he said.



    According to some estimates, roughly 200 million guns are in circulation in the United States in a population of just over 308 million.



    Only seven states ban the carrying of firearms openly.



    In Virginia, where residents can already openly carry firearms, the new law would expand gun rights to allow concealed carry permit holders to bring loaded weapons into establishments that have a liquor license, including bars, nightclubs, restaurants, pizza parlors and bowling alleys.



    "It's legal here, it's been a right since the beginning of the country," says gun owner Rose Brahin, a retired 64-year-old secretary.



    "We need to protect our right because if you don't use it they are going to take it away."



    Even mass killings like the 2007 shootings of 31 people at Virginia Tech University, a short drive away, have not shaken the conviction of gun rights proponents.



    "I carry a firearm for personal protection. I openly carry to show my support for the Second Amendment (to the Constitution) which is our right to bear arms," said 23-year-old student Elizabeth Webb, carrying a Smith & Wesson .38.



    "It's a personal responsibility to defend your life in the event of an attack."



    Ray Fary, a 53-year-old equipment operator, said carrying a gun is becoming more accepted.



    "In most places I go, they treat the pistol as if it may as well be a cellphone or something else you carry under the belt," he said.



    Coffee shop giant Starbucks Corp. was forced recently to wade into the gun rights debate, reluctantly saying it would allow customers to openly carry firearms into its stores, as long as they are in compliance with local laws.



    The decision sparked outrage among anti-gun activists.



    "I don't think having at the next table a guy with a gun is a relaxing way to drink a coffee," said Jill Lucas of the group Protest Easy Guns, which is pressing for more background checks on gun owners and tougher gun control laws as a way to stem gun violence.



    While gun rights activists say Virginia is the vanguard, others say the state is asking for trouble.



    Virginia Beach police chief Jake Jacocks wrote to the governor, "We can fully expect that at some point in the future a disagreement that today would likely end up in a verbal confrontation, or a bar fight, will inevitably end up with gunfire if you sign this legislation into law."

  2. #2
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    We are not "activists." We are people going about our business, exercising a right that should be no big deal.

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    I second that!!!!

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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    eye95 wrote:
    We are not "activists." We are people going about our business, exercising a right that should be no big deal.
    That depends largely on where you are and the state of the restrictions that are being imposed upon you.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


    Support the 2A in California - Shop Amazon for any item and up to 15% of all purchases go back to the Calguns Foundation. Enter through either of the following links
    www.calgunsfoundation.org/amazon
    www.shop42a.com

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    ConditionThree wrote:
    eye95 wrote:
    We are not "activists." We are people going about our business, exercising a right that should be no big deal.
    That depends largely on where you are and the state of the restrictions that are being imposed upon you.
    That is not to say we won't become activists. Personally, I just ticked the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to 1776. However, activism is not the stated purpose of this site--at least as I interpret it.

    I understand that we are trying to exercise our rights calmly, to educate people as to those rights, and to use ration to motivate legislatures and judiciaries to protect those rights.

    The word "activist" implies a lot more limitlessness to what folks are willing to do as part of their advocacy.

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    Fine. Be an activist. But, as I understand it, the stated purpose is for the site is to promote OC without making any big deal when we do it. If some of us act in activist ways while OCing, that draws attention to the OC in a way that promotes a dismissive reaction by those who are predisposed to think of us as gun nuts. I'd rather someone happened to notice the OC and had the sudden realization that it was routine and nothing to be concerned about.

    Activism promotes concern, and concern will work against us.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    eye95 wrote:
    Fine. Be an activist. But, as I understand it, the stated purpose is for the site is to promote OC without making any big deal when we do it. If some of us act in activist ways while OCing, that draws attention to the OC in a way that promotes a dismissive reaction by those who are predisposed to think of us as gun nuts. I'd rather someone happened to notice the OC and had the sudden realization that it was routine and nothing to be concerned about.

    Activism promotes concern, and concern will work against us.
    That's what I do... and have done. Nothing showy... not even the pistol. Plain Jane, Bare Bones purpose carry.

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    If you pick one side or the other you are an activist. If you do nothing you are sheep. You don't know what side to believe. People OC are trying to make it where it is accepted and protecting themselves and their loved ones at the same time. Antis think they are saving everyone It is your opinion on what side you are on and you know what they say about opinions. Just like we believe that we have the right to own guns some people believe you don't the important thing is we respect each others personal beliefs and continue to be a united nation. Now we people resort to violence and dirty tactics to strip the rights of either side something is wrong. We carry and if someone says they don't want it on their property we leave. We are both making statements for our side.

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    That's an overbroad definition of activism.

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    Virginia Beach police chief Jake Jacocks wrote to the governor, "We can fully expect that at some point in the future a disagreement that today would likely end up in a verbal confrontation, or a bar fight, will inevitably end up with gunfire if you sign this legislation into law."
    I think his name covers it... If that's not a typo, it's prophetic. I bet he loves them.

    So, this Open Carrying that has been going on since the founding of the nation, that not once anyone can cite it being a cause for violence, or even a factor; it is now a ticking time bomb?

    Why wasn't it a ticking time bomb last year? Or last decade? Or last Century? Exacly when does this bomb go off? Or does it just tick forever and nothing happens, as reality seems to suggest by all the NOTHING that keeps happening....

    when people choose to resort to violence in a disagreement; they just do it. Resorting to violence in a disagreement is not a well-thought-out process. Carrying a gun, is. The mind at work precludes his idiotic conclusions.

    He seems to suggest that no one ever gets into a fight, or assaults each other with deadly weapons... If there is any change in human behavior at all, it will be a reduction in the behavior he suggests will increase.

    But, I guess he needs to create some job security for himself by outright lying to gullible asshats.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

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