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Thread: Well... this was intense.

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    http://www.pressherald.com/news/gun-...010-05-14.html

    BILL NEMITZ
    Gun activist shares piece of his mind
    Just when you thought the leader of Maine's "open-carry" gun movement was, shall we say, a flash in the pan, he's back.
    Saturday afternoon, with his trusty Heckler & Koch USP Compact .357 Sig strapped to his side, Shane Belanger will meet once again at Portland's Back Cove with like-minded folks who think the only thing wrong with loaded weapons on the street is that there aren't enough of them.
    Unlike their inaugural Back Cove barbecue three weeks ago, this weekend's gathering comes with a rather odd community-service twist: It will be Maine's first Open Carry Trash Pick-Up.
    "This isn't in response or reaction to anything," said Belanger. "We're just going to give back to the community."
    Some would argue that Belanger, at this point, is best ignored. But we focus this morning on his latest pistol-packing publicity grab for two reasons.
    First, it's only fair to warn would-be litterbugs that you'd best be avoiding the walking path around Back Cove starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.
    Second, as it becomes clear that Belanger's Maine Open Carry movement is apparently going to be around for awhile, a couple of questions beg to be answered:
    Who exactly is this guy? And why, as he wraps up his freshman year on the University of Southern Maine's peaceful Gorham campus, does he see modern-day America as a place where you'd best be packing heat?
    Wednesday afternoon, I sat down for an hour with Belanger at USM's campus center to learn how a 19-year-old college student who grew up just outside of Caribou has suddenly become the patron saint of Maine's lock-and-load movement.
    I told him I have two theories about people who insist on exercising their legal right here in Maine to walk around with loaded firearms on their hips:
    One is that they're making a statement about the sanctity of the Second Amendment. The 18th-century need for a "well-regulated militia," they maintain, still trumps the 21st century need for common-sense firearms regulations.
    The other is that they're just plain paranoid.
    So which is Belanger?
    "I'm a little bit of everything," he said with a smile.
    He is, for starters, a very nice kid.
    He's polite, personable and well-spoken, and doesn't appear to be the least bit sociopathic. He studies hard, plays on the USM tennis team and already has lined up a 60-hour-a-week job paving roads in and around his tiny hometown of Woodland.
    And last but by no means least, he loves guns. Since he first talked his father into taking him target shooting when he was 12, he's been hooked on shooting skeet, trap, clay and, coming soon, pop-up silhouettes of bad guys at an International Defensive Pistol Association range.
    Which brings us to the non-recreational side of Belanger's passion.
    "I think open carry deters crime, first and foremost," he said.
    For the record, Belanger has never been a crime victim – although a neighbor and family friend back home in Woodland was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in an apparent home robbery just over two years ago.
    Belanger hesitates to call the yet-to-be-solved killing a life-defining moment, but it did reinforce his longstanding belief that day-to-day life is best approached with a loaded pistol at the ready.
    "Like with anything, you don't know when the next crime is going to occur," he said. "I can walk out of my house maybe 150 times and maybe nothing happens at all. But that one time, if you don't have a way to defend yourself, it sucks."
    I told him I've walked out my door tens of thousands of times over the past 50-plus years and never, not once, have I been confronted by a violent criminal. Nor, I added, would I want to go through life fearing that without a gun, my next moment might be my last.
    Replied Belanger with a smile, "An armed society is a polite society."
    "Sounds like something you read on a website," I countered.
    "I did," he readily confessed, still smiling.
    Belanger said he spends a lot of time reading about firearms on the Internet – often in the wee hours after his homework is done. It's there he gathers statistics that prove, he insists, that society would be safer with a full clip on every hip and a live round in every chamber.
    But what about the many people, most notably those in law enforcement, who worry that loaded firearms on the street are dangerous, period? That while Belanger might not go off half-cocked and shoot someone, some angry or deranged person might get his gun away from him and wreak havoc?
    "It's never, ever occurred," he said (with maybe just a bit too much certainty).
    OK, then how about the creepiness factor? What does he say to the countless peaceful, law-abiding folk who can't help but get nervous when they see a guy walking down a crowded city street with a gun hanging from his belt?
    "If people carried every day, in their everyday lives, like I do, it would get people to really say, 'Hey, I feel safer because they're here,'" Belanger replied.
    (In other words, the problem isn't guys like Belanger walking around with weapons – it's the rest of the populace's inability to relax when we see them approaching.)
    Truth be told, the only thing that worries Belanger more than his yet-to-materialize criminal assailant is the possibility that he might someday actually have to draw his Heckler & Koch (which his dad is bringing down from Woodland for Saturday's trash pickup) in self-defense.
    "That would be the worst possible scenario. You never want to clear leather," he said. "As soon as (the gun) clears your holster, the whole world is different. Everyone is going to look at every single action that was taken by them and you – and if you weren't in fear for your life, you'd better have a good lawyer."
    Then why carry the gun in the first place?
    "There's the whole thing of, I'd rather protect myself than not," he replied, safely back in his comfort zone.
    Where all of this will take Belanger is anyone's guess.
    Maybe years from now he'll look back on Saturday's armed trash pickup as a passing youthful fancy. Or maybe he'll one day be the president of the National Rifle Association.
    Either way, the more I got to know Belanger this week, the more I found myself feeling sorry for him.
    He is, after all, only 19. A kid his age, with all he has going for him, should be heading out each morning and greeting the world with open arms.
    Not a loaded weapon.


  2. #2
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    Very interesting... very opinionated piece. Opinions? I guess even answering all the questions in all the right ways will still get you some of these? Too bad really.

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    looks like you did well. he came off looking like an idiot who just can't handle the truth of it, and you came away looking knowledgeable and having an answer to his every retort.

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    Nemitz wasn't too hard on you. You are likable and they (opposition) have not found any good dirt on you.

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    Either way next time the PPH calls I will NOT give an interview. They can call somebody else and talk to them. A newspaper is supposed to be news* not opinionated pieces where you say how you feel or what you think. You are supposed to give the news and both sides of the story... not your side.

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    doorbell wrote:
    Nemitz wasn't too hard on you. You are likable and they (opposition) have not found any good dirt on you.
    I have to disagree, it looks to me that the writer was trying to create a little dirt out of thin air and dent his credibility with his own innuendos.

    I think the interviewer came off looking like an ignorant jerk with an agenda and that the young man held up pretty well. Its all adds to his total experience though which can be nothing but a positive.

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    MK wrote:
    doorbell wrote:
    Nemitz wasn't too hard on you. You are likable and they (opposition) have not found any good dirt on you.
    I have to disagree, it looks to me that the writer was trying to create a little dirt out of thin air and dent his credibility with his own innuendos.

    I think the interviewer came off looking like an ignorant jerk with an agenda and that the young man held up pretty well. Its all adds to his total experience though which can be nothing but a positive.
    This is what I think. He kept telling me "don't you fantasize about using your gun? Don't you fantasize about being able to say there... it DID save my life" he even said the he would fantasize about it... I told him that honestly NO I don't have some sick fascination like he obviously does, of course I didn't say that out loud just thought it. The whole time he was really prodding to try and get me to in essence incriminate myself. I felt like I was talkin to the Portland PD all over again for the first time.

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    MK wrote:
    doorbell wrote:
    Nemitz wasn't too hard on you. You are likable and they (opposition) have not found any good dirt on you.
    I have to disagree, it looks to me that the writer was trying to create a little dirt out of thin air and dent his credibility with his own innuendos.

    I think the interviewer came off looking like an ignorant jerk with an agenda and that the young man held up pretty well. Its all adds to his total experience though which can be nothing but a positive.
    Read some more of Nemitz's columns. He can be pretty bad. I live in Portland and read the online version of the PPH every day.

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    You did great. Anytime someone in the media is presented with a OC proponent who does not fit their preconceived notion or fit into their narrative (e.g. not an overweight, middle-aged, rural white guy) it blows their mind. It's obvious this guy wanted something, anything, to use to sully you. At any rate, he determined that you are not in fact a sociopath, so now you can rest easy
    I'm not familiar with the PPH. Do they have a consistent political and/or anti lean?

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    petrophase wrote:
    You did great. Anytime someone in the media is presented with a OC proponent who does not fit their preconceived notion or fit into their narrative (e.g. not an overweight, middle-aged, rural white guy) it blows their mind. It's obvious this guy wanted something, anything, to use to sully you. At any rate, he determined that you are not in fact a sociopath, so now you can rest easy
    I'm not familiar with the PPH. Do they have a consistent political and/or anti lean?
    I guess the PPH has a huge liberal slant? That's what i've been told

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    shanebelanger wrote:
    MK wrote:
    doorbell wrote:
    Nemitz wasn't too hard on you. You are likable and they (opposition) have not found any good dirt on you.
    I have to disagree, it looks to me that the writer was trying to create a little dirt out of thin air and dent his credibility with his own innuendos.

    I think the interviewer came off looking like an ignorant jerk with an agenda and that the young man held up pretty well. Its all adds to his total experience though which can be nothing but a positive.
    This is what I think. He kept telling me "don't you fantasize about using your gun? Don't you fantasize about being able to say there... it DID save my life" he even said the he would fantasize about it... I told him that honestly NO I don't have some sick fascination like he obviously does, of course I didn't say that out loud just thought it. The whole time he was really prodding to try and get me to in essence incriminate myself. I felt like I was talkin to the Portland PD all over again for the first time.
    I know exactly what you mean. The second to thelast thing I would ever want to have to do is play hero. The last thing I'd want to do is kneel down, cowered under a table begging some armed lunatic to spare my life because I have a wife and kids that desperately need me.

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    Its only a matter of time before these whacko anti-self defense freaks start putting a gun in the hands of some drunk, dirty whino and pay him 10 bucks to do an interview for them. I wouldn't put that ideapast them.

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    I'm one of those people who like to head out each morning and greet the world with open arms, and a loaded weapon on my belt.

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    On balance I think it was fine. Bill Nemitz is a columnist, not a reporter. For future reference, I would never do a sit down with a columnist, particularly one like Nemitz who hacks out a living writing predictable, snarky, left-wing drivel. He grabs the low hanging fruit and plays to the easy applause. Meaning in Portland, Maine, his column on you was full of wink, wink, nod, nod digs on you and the whole open carry crowd. He's a putz, but on balance I think he mainly solidified his position as hack in chief at the mighty PPH, while your willingness to be interviewed by a columnist clearly intent on doing a drive by (no pun) on you provided a level of transparency and honesty that is worthy to the cause.

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    bill nemitz is a un-informed over opinonated , assumption artist. who puts his own beliefs and ideals into his column and leaves retorts or replies that make him look bad on the cutting room floor. He is not a journalist, a reporter, even a weather man. he is a overconfident overzealous jerk who does so called "interviews where he makes himself look good and the person he is talking to look bad. its this type of disgraceful CRAP writing that makes actual journalists look bad. if we could get rid of this crap literature. Good smart students like shane would not be made to look a fool by snive close minded morons like bill..........sorry this word trap moron tried to make ya look "sad" shane......in the end this idiot shows us all how un-intelligent he is.

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    Shane -

    Be patient with the interviews - don't be afraid to walk into the "lion's den."

    We have saying that even a poorly conducted interview is a good interview - it gets people thinking. Those with any degree of open minded intelligence will get the message and it will cause them to think.

    Time and repeating the same fundamental truths will win many to your corner. Just keep doing what you are doing. Let the opposition be thought fools and prove it when they open their mouths.

    Yata hey




    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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