WASHINGTON — EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer is addressing the question, Does the open display of firearms at protest rallies threaten to turn America into a Wild West’ society?
Are armed mobs becoming socially acceptable? Watching television coverage of gun owners eager to brandish their firearms in public spaces, that appears to be the desired goal of “open-carry” advocates.
Exploiting loopholes in state laws that don’t explicitly ban the open carrying of handguns and other firearms is an omission of default rather than design—who would think people would actually want to live out their Wild West fantasies in real life—open-carry advocates take delight in thumbing their noses at societal norms by brandishing their firearms.
Some go much further, portraying their display of weaponry as a visual warning shot against perceived enemies.
At a “Restore the Constitution Rally” held in April outside the nation’s capital, one speaker warned the tiny crowd of fellow “patriots” of those “pushing the country toward civil war” and declared “they should stop before somebody gets hurt.” In May, white supremacists openly carried guns at a small counter-event to a peaceful protest of Arizona’s new immigration law. One armed protester, who characterized Hitler as a great white civil rights leader, asked, “Where on the planet is there one country that’s for white people? There’s not. See, we have nowhere to go.”
The protesters insisted they needed their loaded guns for protection and that they were prepared to use them if necessary.
Surprisingly, the willingness of open-carry advocates to test the boundaries of common sense and geography has even brought rebukes from pro-gun leaders.
After the appearance of open-carry advocates outside town meetings on health care with President Obama, Second Amendment Foundation head (and convicted felon) Alan Gottlieb stated, “I would like to see gun owners think twice before they go to a rally like that with a firearm strapped on. It doesn’t necessarily put our best face forward.”
Yet open-carry advocates—from nose-thumbers to anti-government activists to white supremacists—all share a common belief that guns make them safer. Carrying guns may make THEM feel safer from the demons that populate their world, but what about the rest of us? The reality is that their bumper-sticker logic quickly fades in the light of real-world facts.
Despite promises that those who carry guns in public are uniquely law-abiding citizens who protect public safety and aid police, a Violence Policy Center research project available on the web at (vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm) reveals that since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 157 private citizens in addition to nine law enforcement officers.
And just last month, Jesus Gonzalez, an avid open-carry activist, was charged with homicide and attempted murder for shooting two men on Mother’s Day. Gonzalez claims he shot the men in self-defense. The surviving victim, paralyzed from the waist down, says he and his uncle were unarmed and merely walking to a friend’s house when Gonzalez threatened them and then opened fire.
On a larger scale, empirical data reveals that exposing oneself and others to guns only enhances the likelihood of firearm-related death and injury.
Recently released federal statistics show, as they have historically, that states with high rates of gun ownership have higher rates of overall gun-related death. For 2007, the most recent year available, gun-loving Louisiana, Mississippi and Alaska led the nation in overall gun death rates.
The same federal data also shows that in states where gun ownership is low and exposure to firearms limited, overall gun death rates are far lower. That same year, Hawaii had the lowest gun death rate in the nation followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Louisiana’s overall gun death rate of 19.87 per 100,000 was seven times higher than Hawaii’s rate of 2.82 per 100,000.
When the issue is life and death, feelings should never trump facts—even when there’s an armed mob arguing otherwise.
Josh Sugarmann is executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a national nonprofit educational organization working to reduce firearms violence in America. Readers may write him at Violence Policy Center, 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 1014, Washington, D.C. 20036; website: http://www.vpc.org.
I think it was our own Tomahawk who said, "Freedom is not a loophole."
I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.
If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?
There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.
Canard wrote:At this point I acknowledged that removing my sidearm from its holster could be considered brandishing which is against the law anyhow.
Doug Huffman wrote:
Master Doug, didn't you say there was no reference to the word 'brandishing' in the WI statutes? I would assume I would either get shot or charged with DC.Canard wrote:At this point I acknowledged that removing my sidearm from its holster could be considered brandishing which is against the law anyhow.
Interesting how the anti's are forming ranks. Also intersting how theymanipulate the numbers to make themselves look good, when in fact their numbers don't add up.
It is time for me to strap on my sidearm and go for a walk so I can brandish it and thumb my nose at sheeple.
So Doug I think you should write a response. Let's see if the Gazette is fair in their publishing and will print your response. This idiot needs to be educated.
Looks like more liberal media anti-gun garbage. Why do they allow idiots like this to print articles filled with lies and half trues?I have yet to see anything other than everyday citizens openly carrying. Are there wackos out there, maybe, but the vast majority are our friends and neighbors, you and I,who care about this country and constitution.
"To sin by silence, when we should protest makes cowards out of men."
Ella Wheeler Cox
We must contact our lawmakers today, tomorrow and the next day to remind them of Constitutional Carry.
Laws are not written because of the actions of many, they are wrtiten because of the inactions of many.
Open Response to:
Josh Sugarmann of the VPC
If and only if every one of our prisons are empty,--- if no one is awaiting trial for a crime of violence, robbery, rape,--- if all violent thugs have proven that they don't possess or own or have the ability or intent to ever acquire a firearm, --- if ALL of our Law Enforcement Officers and MILITARY organizations the world over determine that weapons are not needed and completely disarm themselves of all weapons,--- If all government officials, agents, or the governments they represent will never violate any persons rights or resort to force of any kind, then and only then will I even CONSIDER giving up MY RIGHT to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.
Notice: I said "Consider," I didn't say that I would agree to it!
I don't speak for my children or any other person..... they will have to make their OWN decisions on this but I will endeavor to teach them the PROPER function of a Government of the People, for the People, and By the People--- one dedicated to following the ORIGINAL INTENT of the Founders of this Nation as directed, guided, and limited by OUR United States Constitution including the Bill of Rights.
I suspect you have your work cut out for you to accomplish your goals!
Edited X2 to correct spelling of "Sugarmann" and "governments".
RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!
Life Member NRA
Life Member GOA
2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"
brandishing? nah, i'm just real affectionate with 'ol prescious! the ol girl sloggs around on me all day, gets all dirty, bumped and nicked, and still manages to prevent crime via deterrent effect, and protect my life and property that day. makes me just want to cuddle and smooch her, maybe take her out to eat or something. heh-heh.
The invincibly ignorant Josh Sugarman is beyond education.
Besides, I wouldn't want to but a false face on the pro-gun movement, lipstick on a pig as it were, me being a mere citizen and not a CEO or Chairman or professional small businessman, your leaders.
I don't have a leader. Except for fishing.
For Josh Sugarmann any activity not prohibited by law should still be unlawful because it is an oversight that it was not prohibited in the first place.
Sugarmann's law: Unless the state specifically enacts legislation allowing something, that something is prohibited!
I hope you can hold your breath for a long time, as I do not believe WI law specifically allows breathing.
Typical Obama worshiping zombie...spewing anti gun, socialist, liberal CRAP.
http://youtu.be/xWgVGu3OR4U AACFI, Wisconsin / Minnesota Carry Certified. Action Pistol & Advanced Action pistol concepts + Urban Carbine course. When the entitlement Zombies begin looting, pillaging, raping, burning & killing..remember HEAD SHOTS it's the only way to kill a Zombie. Stockpile food & water now.
Please support your local,county, state & Federal Law enforcement agencies, right ???
Glock34 wrote:Oh look his lapel is ripped on his suit. That's really to bad.Typical Obama worshiping zombie...spewing anti gun, socialist, liberal CRAP.
i was greeted with this filth this morning, while reading my local paper, in the commentary section.
armed mobs.......didn't see a pitchfork or a torch at the picnic anywhere yesterday.
wild west fantasy...........yup...call me McX durango baby.
thumbing my nose...................only if there's a booger in it.
percieved enemies....................are criminals percieved enemies?
linking us in with the fringe groups...............nah, anyone here join the IRA or black panthers lately? i didn't think so.
they feel safe, but what about the rest of us? ......buy a gun you knobs.
reference to Mr. Gonzoles.........don't even go there with that smear.
then the usual 'statistics' under the guise of empirical data...............blah, blah, blah, heard it before, this going to be on orpra this week?
ran out of words here to express my disgust,
Post a link URL?
doug, i went to their internet site, and can't find anything there, but it's printed in the paper this morning; Opinions page 4A, in the 'printed' paper. bottom of the page.
MJS? What paper?
oh, sorry, the racine journal times.
at supposedly; journaltimes.com/opinion
probably should be journaltimes. crap
Not yet on line apparently http://www.journaltimes.com/news/opinion/
well, the printed version was enough to truly pee me off this a.m. cast a cloud on my day, after a good weekend. my wife is searching for ways to save money at home, i mentioned to her this morning; why don't you cut that rag paper out of our budget.
I think you may have been reading the same article that Doug posted.
yes, mr. gleason. it was bad enough to read it here, then to find it in my local paper. maybe i should switch to the enquirer, or the star to get accurate real journalism. :X
The subscription business model has failed. Think how many 'subscriptions' bring excellent service, NRA, MJS? Today's NYT blames some of the MSM failure on excessive advertising income.