Gun insanity reigns

Open CarryThe political cartoon I have used here is going around on social media. It is a pretty good depiction of what most people think about the guys who openly carry their assault rifles in public to make some kind of point that eludes the sane majority. And it also points to the insanity of our gun culture. Just as gun deaths are going up, so are the attempts to weaken gun laws and “normalize” gun carrying in public. It’s antithetical to the real problem of gun violence in our communities and definitely not what we need.

What we need in our country is a serious national discussion about the role of guns and gun violence in our communities- not the insanity taking place in communities across America. Why is it happening? The answer is important. What or who are these guys afraid of? Their behavior makes no sense given that crime is going down in our country for many reasons. And President Obama has not taken away anyone’s guns during his two terms. The gun lobby has made claims about why we need an armed America but they are specious- not supported by the facts.

On the other hand gun deaths are going up for many reasons. And most of the deaths are suicides or homicides among people who know each other rather than random acts of violence by “the  (feared) other”. People like themselves ( “good guys with guns”) are shooting people on a regular basis intentionally or not (accidents). Shouldn’t we examine what is going on here and then deal with this national public health epidemic in ways that will affect lives and make us safer?

In America I thought we rolled up our sleeves and worked together on things that kill our children, sisters, brothers and friends. Why? Because we don’t want our loved ones dying from something preventable.  Or we engage and rally supporters and the public to educate them about the causes and effects of serious problems and then ask our elected leaders to make changes to laws, if that is what’s needed. Or maybe it’s not a law. Maybe it’s awareness that will lead to changes in behavior that can also save lives or prevent injuries. But the gun lobby has seen fit to prevent research about saving lives due to gun violence. And that is insane and troubling to say the least.

Certainly that is what happened when MADD called attention to the insanity of drunk drivers being responsible for the deaths of their children. Recent changes to our acceptance of same sex couples have led to changes in our marriage laws to allow people to marry who they love. We now recognize that second hand smoke can cause health problems. Public health campaigns encourage cancer screening tests which can save lives. Some of these efforts resulted in laws, others not.

Something interesting is happening with awareness about gun deaths and injuries, much of which changed after the shooting of 20 small children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The public is far more engaged on this issue and new polling has shown continued and mostly unchanged support for changes in laws that could save lives. With more groups and organizations pushing for change, it is inevitable that change will happen. But there’s an opposite push by a minority of well funded and increasingly bold gun extremists that makes no sense given the facts. Rather than trying to prevent gun injuries and deaths by highlighting the risks of guns, these zealots are exposing America to an underbelly of extremism that is potentially dangerous and certainly not in the mainstream or the interest of public health and safety.

Meanwhile things are getting crazier and crazier in gun world. What is the deal with the open carry activists anyway? They are pretty much making fools of themselves while also calling attention to the potential dangerous result of laws that have made it possible for gun extremists to carry any kind of gun they want to carry in public places. Our legislators should be re-thinking their favoring of the corporate gun lobby’s nonsensical notion that openly ( or concealed) carrying loaded guns in public places is a good idea. The “proof is in the pudding”.

I don’t have to give all of the examples of permit to carry holders having problems with their guns in public places do I? It’s been written about by me and many others repeatedly. But further, in a civil society not at war citizens don’t carry loaded guns around in public. I’ve traveled in countries where armed military are on the runways at airports or in public places because of unrest and potential violence. Is that us?

Take this confrontation with law enforcement in Abeline, Texas by open carriers. From the article:

Grisham tells officers that he is within his rights to loiter roadside with high-powered weapons. “This is public property,” Grisham says. The cop, however, informs Grisham that he has actually been standing on private property, and that he and his cohorts are guilty of criminal trespassing.

Grisham asks why cops felt compelled to give a warning armed with AR-15s. When police pointed out Grisham too was in possession of a large weapon, he dismissed the concern since the gun was “on [his] back.”

“I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’m minding my own business,” Grisham complains to police. “Do you know why I’m feeling this way right now?”

“I feel threatened,” Grisham explains loudly, “because you are a police officer and you have people with rifles here that are threatening me.”

Grisham and his partners in crime elected to leave rather than escalate their dispute with law enforcement. But when he gets to his car — a silver minivan with an Open Carry Texas logo on the front driver’s side door — Grisham turns back toward cops to shout at them first before getting in. “You guys wanna come up on us like we’re some sorta terrorists, then I’m gonna respond in kind,” Grisham yells toward police, before exchanging a few more tense words, and driving off.

That last utterance from Grisham pretty much says it all doesn’t it? What kind of sane person who doesn’t want to call attention to himself or who isn’t looking for a confrontation does this? Grisham has had his problems with the law. When the new carry law is enacted in Texas will he even be able to carry a pistol legally? From the article:

That being said, it seems like Mr. Watkins and Open Carry Texas leader CJ Grisham, two men who’ve dedicated much of their adult lives to being radical anti-government wackos fighting for gun rights in Texas, might finally be getting their wish as a current proposal would pave the way for Texans to openly carry handguns. There’s just one slight catch – neither man would qualify to do so under the proposed law. Under current laws anyone convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor is prohibited from carrying concealed handguns for 5 years, and anyone arrested on either of those charges loses their concealed license until the case is resolved. Well it just so happens that Grisham was arrested during a hike carrying an AR-15 and charged with interfering with an officer’s duties, while Watkins was arrested this past September while he and his group of anti-government activists were out harassing police officers in Arlington, Texas. It’s believed that the requirements under this new proposal would mirror the state’s current laws concerning concealed handgun licenses, which means that if convicted, neither Grisham or Watkins would be allowed to openly carry handguns for at least 5 years. Naturally, neither man believes that any form of license should be required to carry guns. As always they’ll cite the “shall not be infringed” fragment of the Second Amendment – while completely ignoring the whole “well regulated” part at the very beginning.

These are the “law abiding” “good guys” with guns who are promoting ever more lax gun laws so that they can do whatever they want with their guns. People can’t do whatever they want with anything in our country. We have laws for a reason. That’s a democracy in action.

The Open Carry nonsense is gaining traction- but not for the reasons the Open Carry folks want. Check out this parody about Open Carry on a recent Daily Show segment. The Texas pool party incident that has everyone talking took on a different meaning looking at it through the lens of satire about Open Carry. And can we talk about the totally different reaction by one set of Texas police officers towards mostly black teens in a disturbance at a swimming pool and another set of Texas police officers towards a bunch of insane men carrying assault rifles and yelling at and harassing the officers?

Something is wrong in America.

Here’s another “law abiding” good guy with a gun waiting to break a law. I thought that was just for criminals. Remember another gun lobby myth- that if we make stronger gun laws, the criminals won’t follow them anyway. Based on that mythical analysis we should not have any laws I guess. But I digress. An Open Carry Missouri activist, looking all “svelt” decked out in his finest, decided that the law about not allowing people with guns in his local zoo was just not for him:

In April, Open Carry activists marched on the Ohio State university campus to ‘educate’ kids attending school there. When a man named John informed the group that children as young as 5-years-old will be attending dance classes nearby, and politely requested that those participating leave their weapons in their vehicles until right before the walk, Jeffry Smith declined.

He said, “If children are scared, then it is because they’ve been socialized to be so.”

“It’s a zoo, not an amusement park. It’s a zoological institution. The difference between the zoo and Six Flags is that the zoo is public,” Smith said.

Under Missouri law, guns are prohibited in amusement parks, but Smith questions if the zoo is actually categorized as one. (…) The St. Louis Zoo said that it bans all weapons.

I guess when you are a white guy with an AR-15 and a pistol on your hip,you can do anything you dang well please with that gun. And why do people need guns in zoos? Maybe a peacock will get out of control and attack? Or a lion could escape I suppose. Or worse- a bear. I mean, we have bears and deer in my  back yard regularly where I live but I don’t need my gun to get rid of them nor would I use it that way. Or armed at an amusement park? You just never know when you might get stuck at the top of the ferris wheel and need to shoot yourself to safety. Insanity.

No, this guy is just strutting and showing off because he thinks he can. He mistakenly believes that his second amendment rights include doing anything he wants with his guns. And he believes that we should just socialize everyone to love having people like him around everywhere we go. And as for the kids, they will learn that we are a country at war with ourselves over gun rights- a war not seen anywhere else in the world. Wars in other parts of the world are where people actually get killed with those AR-15s or loaded guns in public. Oh right……..Sandy Hook. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Gabby Giffords. Aurora Theater…………..

Or there’s the NRA’s own Ted Nugent exclaiming on his Facebook page that President Obama should be assassinated. He’s done this before, of course, and got the attention of the Secret Service. One day, his rantings just may result in a tragedy. Do these folks actually think through what they are saying or is the fear and paranoia real? Hard to tell. Nugent is a performer- and a bad one at that.

So how to counter this insanity? Here’s an idea from a University of North Dakota professor that is worth considering. Refusing to enter an eating establishment or other business that allows folks with openly carried weapons inside is one thing. Walking out without paying may work, it may not. The businesses are stuck with the laws in their states but most could post signs that say guns are not allowed or welcomed inside. But the gun rights extremists say they can and will ignore those signs and carry anyway. The laws are not meant for them. Insanity reigns.

The thing is, a civil society is a society where people help each other and care about each other enough to not to harm or inflict violence on others. Certainly having guns openly carried discourages the idea of civility. How can one have a serious conversation with someone displaying an AR-15 over their shoulder? And why an assault rifle? There is a clear message sent by the carrier of these guns. Don’t mess with me. “Molon Labe”- come and take it. We get the message. It’s flawed and full of potential problems. Our message is that we don’t want you carrying these guns around with you in places where our families hang out. Leave them at home where you can use them for self defense, or um,  for whatever people think they need them. 

As I said before, we need a serious national discussion that is beginning to happen in spite of efforts to stop it ( by the corporate gun lobby). There are films and plays in the works. There are publications and studies. There are protests. There are blogs and new web sites. There are Tweets and Facebook pages and new studies showing consistent support for common sense when it comes to stronger gun laws.

June is gun violence awareness month. June 21st is ASK day encouraging parents to ask about loaded unsecured guns in homes where their children play. We have had more than enough incidents of kids “accidentally” killing kids to know how important it is to ASK. On June 22nd, HBO will run a documentary about gun violence victims. titled “Requiem for the Dead”.  The film is full of incidents taken from news media reports and Facebook and Twitter links to actual deaths of real people. As long as real people die every day, these kinds of films will be important as a documentation of the facts.

Please join me in efforts to take the insanity out of our gun culture and gun laws. Too many people are dying every day. What we need are cool, sane, calm and reasonable voices with the facts at hand if we are to influence the decisions made about gun policy. Lives depend on our getting this right.


I am updating this post to include this blog post by Mike the Gun Guy. It’s all about the appearance of Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign on Sean Hannity’s FOX news show the other night. From the blog:

But nice-sounding platitudes aside, I find it interesting that someone as pro-gun as Hannity would give Dan Gross an opportunity to appear before a large Fox audience to prove, if nothing else, that he’s not Lucifer in disguise.  Because although Hannity threw in a couple of red-meat comments that are de rigueur on Fox when anyone mentions guns, such as his fear of the ‘slippery slope’ of gun control, he basically let Dan tell the audience how much gun owners had in common with supporters of the Brady Campaign, which is entirely contrary to what usually erupts from the NRA.

Ever since the Brady law was voted in 1994, the NRA and other pro-gun groups have kept up a steady drumbeat of anti-Brady commentary designed to convince gun owners that any expansion of background checks is nothing short of a conspiracy to take away all guns.  Here’s a typical comment from the NRA in 2013 after Brady mounted a video to mark the 20th anniversary of the original background-check law:  “The Brady Campaign’s proposed expansion of federal background checks would force even many family and friends to get government permission for firearm transfers amongst each other and subject all lawful gun transfers to federal paperwork and recordkeeping requirements, the prerequisites for a national registry.”  Of course this statement is simply untrue, but it plays directly into the old slippery-slope gun control nonsense that Hannity found necessary to mention on the show.

I have been saying recently that the smartest thing Brady and Everytown have done is to move into the safety space which until now was owned lock, stock and barrel (pardon the pun) by the NRA. But while everyone’s in favor of safety, there’s one safety issue which puts the two sides as far apart as the Brand Canyon’s rims, and Hannity gave it away when he said that no matter how many laws were passed to prevent guns from getting into the ‘wrong hands,’ criminals wouldn’t obey laws anyway, so what was the point of passing more laws?

The pro-gun community falls back on this argument every time that any new measure is proposed that would increase regulation of guns.  The problem is that if we only passed laws that criminals would obey, there wouldn’t be any laws at all. Which is actually what the pro-gun community would prefer as regards gun ownership, particularly when a Democrat happens to be renting living space at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

You may remember that I wrote something very similar earlier in this post. It’s true. Another gun lobby myth that doesn’t hold water. It’s time, as I have said before, to de-mythify the gun lobby arguments so we can deal with the facts when dealing with saving lives.

51 thoughts on “Gun insanity reigns

  1. J. Edwards says:

    I have to agree the open carry folks in some parts of the country are pretty ignorant. They are just stirring the pot and abusing their rights. Open Carry of a firearm has its place and purpose but when they walk down the street with an AR or Kalashnikov rifle on their back, they are not making themselves safer. They are trying to get attention. They want a confrontation with the local PD. They are painting a fat target on themselves.
    Is it legal? Yes. Is it hurting anyone? Nope. Is it smart? Hell no. I’ve open carried myself on the rare occasion that It is illegal or impractical to carry concealed, (at the DMV or Sheriff’s Office). I’ve open carried on hikes out in the desert or in the wilderness. If I have to do it in public, it’s with a pistol in a low key, inside-waistband rig with a retention device.
    The Open Carry guys are no different than the gay-activist who marches down the street with a purple dildo strapped to his forehead. I’m all for gay rights and gay marriage. (Everyone should have the right to be miserable, not just straight folks). But when you have an in-your-face gay parade, it is no different than the dummy that walks around with an AR on his back, talking about his rights.
    I do have to note however, that I agree with “carrying past the no-gun signs”. The reason being is that the right to self defense under the law does not stop when you leave the home and the signs that businesses post have no authority in law. Of course businesses can start trespassing people that carry guns but if the gun is concealed they have no way of knowing it’s there and no laws are being broken. If the building is a public facility, then they cannot even be legally trespassed. Of course those are just the laws in my state. I can’t speak for other jurisdictions.

    1. You certainly picked an interesting example of gay rights to use here. I don’t agree with you about the signs. If a private business does not want guns inside, that is what they mean. They don’t want guns inside. Just like they say no shirt, no shoes, no service. A gun is quite different from shoes and shirts in that they are deadly weapons. Gun rights folks who push this will also be in people’s faces and not make any friends. Gun permit holders comprise a whopping 4% or so of citizens. Their rights should not supersede the rights of businesses to determine what they want for their businesses.

  2. J. Edwards says:

    Lol. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. The “in your face approach” is never appreciated by anyone. You are absolutely correct; business owners make the rules on their property and they can legally trespass anyone from their property at anytime. However when my gun is concealed, nobody is aware of it and it is not a problem. I will continue to follow local and state laws. My state constitution reads:

    Right to keep and bear arms; civil power supreme.
    1.  Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes.

    The permit I carry allows me to carry in any public building outside of airports and schools the law reads:

    Permittee authorized to carry concealed firearm while on premises of public building; exceptions; penalty.
    1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsections 2 and 3, a permittee may carry a concealed firearm while the permittee is on the premises of any public building.
    2.  A permittee shall not carry a concealed firearm while the permittee is on the premises of a public building that is located on the property of a public airport.
    3.  A permittee shall not carry a concealed firearm while the permittee is on the premises of:
    (a) A public building that is located on the property of a public school or a child care facility or the property of the System of Higher Education, unless the permittee has obtained written permission to carry a concealed firearm while he or she is on the premises of the public building pursuant to subparagraph (3) of paragraph (a) of subsection 3.

    Even at my kid’s school, I can carry my gun as I have written permission from the administration to do so. Nobody but them and I are aware of it however as it is always properly concealed. I notice you said CCW holders only make up about 4% of the population. I ran the numbers in my state and it’s actually even less; just over 3%. However just because someone is a minority does not mean they have no rights. I believe this is still America and everyone, no matter race, religion or creed is welcome and equal so long as they follow the laws where they live.

    1. For a minority, however, the gun rights extremists have the idea that their rights don’t come with responsibilities and that they can force them on the rest of us. Your right to bear arms comes with the responsibility to follow the law and be safe. Otherwise, it can be taken away. Your state’s permit law does not specify private property and what happens when private businesses post signs. Or does it somewhere else? Can I ask a question? Why do you feel the need to carry in your child’s school or in other public places? Are you that afraid that something will happen to you? Schools are actually safer for kids than homes when it comes to overall gun deaths. Have you ever used your gun for justifiable self defense? And I don’t mean displaying it to someone with no proof other than your saying you did.

  3. J. Edwards says:

    You’re absolutely right that carrying a gun is a huge responsibility. There is no law concerning private property because private property is just that: private. Carry laws do not cover private property here and on private property, citizens are allowed to carry how they please, permit or no. The signs that a business posts have no authority under law and legally mean nothing. The reasons for me carrying are kind of an interesting story. When I was just getting out of high school, I met a guy in his late twenties that carried a gun everywhere. I thought it was ridiculous that he did so. I thought, “why would you need a gun everywhere you go? He is crazy. He must be a coward.” I thought “If I need to fight, I can do it with my fists. Only a coward would need a gun.”

    Before I turned 20 years old, we had a couple incidents in my county that made me start to think differently. A disgruntled employee at a local Wall-Mart decided he hated his job, his life and everyone in it and he went to work with a gun. He shot 5 people, including his manager, a co-worker and three other customers who were just shopping at the time. In the next county over, a deranged man stole an AK-47 rifle from a family member, walked into a IHOP restaurant at breakfast and began shooting people. I forget how many he shot now but I know some National Guardsman were in there eating breakfast and they were all crippled or killed. The man then shot out the windows at some people in the parking lot before killing himself. Another shooting happened at a popular barbershop that I frequented. A female stylist was killed by her ex husband. The guy came in, shot her and shot the poor schmuck that was in the barber chair. It seems that staying away from troubled areas and minding your own business was no longer enough to avoid getting killed randomly in public. I decided it was better to have a plan
    for defense. So I looked into carrying a gun legally.

    What I found surprised me. I had no idea there were so many people that carried and that the idea stemmed from veteran law enforcement. I learned about the laws governing the use of deadly force for civilians and law enforcement alike. I learned about the different levels of man-slaughter and homicide and how they vary depending on what state you are in. I also attended many different classes and academies both local and national that taught combat handgun techniques, situational awareness and criminal behavior patterns.
    I carry everywhere I go now. I don’t see how a school could be any safer than anywhere else, particularly when there are so many school shootings these days. As for using my carry gun for justifiable self defense, yes I have. The only time police were involved was at a relative’s home. An unstable in-law showed up on drugs and hammered drunk and he decided his sister, (who owned the home) was the root to all his problems. After a heated verbal argument he grabbed her around the throat and proceeded to try and choke the life out of her. I pulled him off of his sister and drew my carry gun, (at the time a Glock 17). Ordering him to the ground, I held him at gunpoint for the next twenty minutes awaiting the arrival of the county sheriffs. When they finally showed up and took him into custody they found he was carrying a Para Ordinance .45 in his waistband. Even without him being armed, I was on solid legal ground to shoot and kill him in order to stop his felonious assault. No I don’t currently have a copy of the report I filled out. I’m sure I could get it from the sheriffs’ office although it is not something I would put on a public forum. I do know the offender in question is out of prison now and is working towards being a reformed felon. I also see many instances in local news and other news reports across the country of people using guns for self defense. These are important things to study as there are lessons to be learned from each case.

    1. I find it offensive that gun permit holders ignore signs posted by private establishments who clearly don’t want guns inside. As to guns in schools, fewer than 2% of gun homicides occur inside of schools. Most occur in homes. Read this for the facts.
      Yes, justifiable self defense shootings happen. In the one case you provided, a bullet was found across the street. That is a problem for sure- innocent people can also get shot. But guns for self defense use are far smaller than guns used to kill someone in an intentional or unintentional shooting.

  4. paladin says:

    some private establishments are actually pro-gun, one of my local bank employees told me the sign is for insurance reasons in case something would happen it would help cover their butt. they are aware certain patrons have the mantra that if they have cloths on that they are carrying, they are fine with it and don’t wait at the door to frisk them when they show up.

    1. Your local bank welcomes guns inside? I find that hard to believe. How will they know a “good guy” with a gun from a “bad guy” with a gun? Do they really want to take a chance of someone with a permit getting involved in a bank robbery and shooting off their own gun inside with other people around who could be hurt or worse? Yup. For sure- they would have a problem if a gun permit holder did something wrong inside.

  5. paladin says:

    I agree with you about finding it hard to believe they “welcomed” guns in the bank, because that is NOT what I said. I said they are pro gun. how will they know the “good guy” with a gun from a “bad guy” with a gun? the bad guy would be the one pointing the gun at THEM demanding not asking for a withdrawal.

    1. But they have a sign up on their building so they assume people will follow the sign and not carry guns inside. You may have found one or two folks inside that bank who are “pro-gun” as you call it. I am betting that most bank employees do not want guns inside of their buildings either carried by “good guys” or “bad guys”. And if you see someone openly carrying in a bank as Mr. Edwards says he does, you won’t know the difference until it’s too late.

      1. Bad guys don’t carry their firearms in holsters. Also signs mean nothing to those bad guys either. Do you really believe that if a bad guy walked up to a place of business and saw one of those signs that they would turn around and leave? If you look at history, it’s those gun-free zones that are the prime targets for all bad guys, here and abroad.

        I carry openly because I don’t wear baggy clothes and I don’t carry a purse. There’s lots of reason why people choose to carry openly and member size or insecurity are not high on the list.

      2. Why wouldn’t “bad guys” wear their guns in holsters? If everyone else does, they would just blend in and no one would know who is who? There is no evidence, as I have pointed out, that a “bad guy” with a gun is turned away by the sign or looks for the signs as a place for a shooting. Gun free zones are absolutely NOT prime targets for “bad guys”. Abroad? Compared to the US there are so few shootings abroad that we shouldn’t even be discussing it or trying to compare.

  6. J. Edwards says:

    Well Sir, I suppose that is the beauty of living here in the USA. Folks have the right to offend and we all have the right to be offended. I know the chances of me needing my gun at my kid’s school are slim. Heck, the chances of me needing the gun anywhere are slim but stuff still happens in different places all over the country. I could ignore all these incidents and say “It will never happen to me and mine” and it might not ever happen. Then again it might just happen and I would hate to think “Ah crap. I wish I had my gun that I left in the truck today.” I also do not expect to have to use the fire extinguisher in my home but I still have it and I keep it serviced so it works if I do need it. Same with the trauma kit under my seat in the car.
    Just two years ago, we had a shooting right here in my town at a middle school. A kid was being bullied so he got ahold of his parent’s unsecured handgun and shot two classmates and killed the teacher who tried to talk him down. Then he killed himself. He was twelve. I remember that morning; I had just dropped off my 1st grader at his school down the street from the middle school and was driving to my toddler to his pre-school/learning center when the SWAT truck passed us.
    It’s pretty sad that his folks kept unsecured firearms around their unstable kid. Just another example of folks buying guns without the proper training of how to use and store them. I understand that every home situation is different. As a general rule of thumb I would say any gun for self defense should be on someone’s hip and any other guns should be stored in a locked container until ready to use. If someone does not want to have guns in their home because they have children, then they just proved to me that they are not responsible enough to have either one.
    I have never had a negligent discharge with any firearm. If you want to prevent them, there is one simple rule to follow: “Keep your Booger-Picker of the Bang Switch”. If you do not put your finger on the trigger, there is no modern firearm that will “go off”. In a semi-auto handgun; A magazine must be inserted, the slide must be racked to chamber a round and then, (providing there are no other external safeties) the trigger must be pulled. Every time someone has a negligent discharge, it is because the “safety between their ears” failed and then tragedy resulted.

    1. It’s just too bad and too tragic that way too many people do not follow those safety rules. When people are scared into buying guns for self defense by the gun lobby they often have no idea what to do with a gun once they get it home. And when people, yes even people like you, are so afraid in public that something awful will happen that they are convinced to carry a gun bad things can happen. The 97% of us who don’t carry are mostly safe in public from shootings. It’s mostly in our own homes where we are less safe from someone we know or love. That is more likely to happen, as I said. It happened in my family. It could happen in yours as well. That is what we should all be more afraid of.

  7. J. Edwards says:

    I also carry in Banks, both concealed and openly. Never had an issue in both Bank of America and Wells Fargo. I have seen others there carry openly too.

  8. paladin says:

    J.Edwards your “safety between their ears” comment = one of the best I have ever heard.
    commongunsense; “But they have a sign up on their building so they assume people will follow the sign and not carry guns inside” If I wore a shirt that said do not rob, steel from, mug, threaten, rape or otherwise molest me could I assume that bad guys would leave me and mine alone? if that were the case I would gladly leave my gun at home and not carry. better yet since there is zero chance of that happening if someone would just tell me the time and day I will be accosted I will either stay home or only carry on that day, other wise, sadly, I will have to continue to carry every day since my loved ones do care that I come home safely at the end of EVERY day and I do not know when or where something bad could happen. so like mr Edwards says about the fire extinguisher or trauma kit keep it handy and hope you N E V E R have to use it.

    1. I have no reason to believe either of you are safe between the ears.
      What I do know is that no business should have to put up with asking someone to take their gun out of their premises.

      If it is reasonable not to have dogs in retail establishments, it is a damn sight more logical to keep guns out for many of the same reasons.

  9. J. Edwards says:

    Afraid? No sir I don’t live in fear. I also don’t live oblivious to what goes on in my community. Nobody told me I needed to go get a gun. I looked at what was happening and made an adult decision that best fit my needs. It’s not that I like strapping on a heavy object that I have to wear all day long. Sometimes it is a literal pain in the ass to carry but I do it anyway because I know just as before, I will not get to pick the time and place if another violent encounter happens. I also happen to hold a CPR/First Aid card (and an EMT Basic Cert that is no longer current). Does that make me afraid or paranoid that someone might need CPR some day? I don’t believe so. I believe the more you learn, the better off you will be. Personal responsibility, situational awareness and self-reliance might be antiquated terms but I still live by them. I still call emergency services when I need them but I can do more then wring my hands and cry about it while I’m waiting for them to arrive.

      1. J. Edwards says:

        Doggone, I had to chuckle at that. I am in no way a vigilante. I simply follow the law where I live. Vigilantes look for law breakers. I mind my own business and defend myself when needed. Just cause I carry does not mean I go “trolling for muggers” in the park at 2am. The last time I spoke to the police in a violent incident, the officer told me, “next time, shoot the (expletive)”. and under the law where I live, he was absolutely right.

      2. I am sure glad I don’t live where you do. That attitude expressed by police officers is playing itself out in front of the public regularly. It is not leading to safer communities. The officers involved in the shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice are in a lot of trouble for thinking that way.

      1. J. Edwards says:

        That is a New York Times article about Ms. Collins opinion. My gun is only in someone’s face if they are trying to kill me so i don’t think I offend anyone in my community and if I do, oh well. We all have opinions. Nobody cares.

      2. Actually Gail Collins speaks to how the majority believes. Nobody cares? I care. Those who lose a loved one to gunshot injuries care a lot. So you don’t care about the shootings then?

      3. J. Edwards says:

        She does not speak for the majority in my community. Of course I would like to see less people accidentally shooting each other and the answer lies in education. In every accidental shooting, if the whole story is told I can always point out the “user error” where the person controlling the gun made a fatal mistake.

      4. Is it user error when a child finds a gun and shoots it off accidentally killing him/herself or a sibling or friend? That is a responsible gun owner’s fault. Is that the user then? And what do you propose to stop these tragic and avoidable shootings?

      5. J. Edwards says:

        It is absolutely “user error”. The owner of the firearm did not secure the firearm properly. Even worse he did not educate his children properly about the dangers of firearms. Those “users” are not responsible enough to have guns or children. We must educate people on how they are used. If the “gun lobby” is pushing guns to people that don’t know how to use them then there is a problem there. If people are stupid enough to buy something without reading the manual then they are pretty dumb too. What I do, is I offer free gun safety training to anyone in the community who wishes to learn. I don’t even charge for my time. i also give out free gun locks,(I get them free of charge from the local sheriff). I do what I can in my community. What I don’t do is go telling other people across the country how they should live and what they can and cannot do.

    1. It is inappropriate given the potential for bank robberies.

      Your carry doesn’t belong anywhere except hunting, on the range, or in your own home — and then ONLY if you practice adequate gun security, which should include trigger locks, separate locations for the gun and ammo, and a gun safe.

      1. J. Edwards says:

        Well, given the written law where I live and the permit that was issued to me by the sheriff of my county you are incorrect. It belongs on my person at all times wherever I choose to legally go or it is in my safe.

  10. J. Edwards says:

    I also went a BBQ place in town that gave a 10% to folks who carried. I was also walkinh through a Smith’s grocery store, (a grocery chain where I live) and walked past the store manager. He loudly proclaimed, “That’s how every American should look! Good for you!”. Another time I carried openly in a very busy Whole Foods. Nobody even seemed to notice the gun except for an elderly lady who said, “Glad to see you carrying your piece.” Not all businesses dislike armed customers and the handful of times I’ve openly carried I’ve never been asked to leave anywhere.

    1. And yet the trend is the opposite. I will complain to any store where I see knuckle draggers who insist on carrying guns openly. There is something fundamentally wrong with the need to display lethal force in a commercial environment.

      Examples of that trend would be Starbucks.

      You expect the rest of us to trust, blindly, without knowing you, that you are safe and responsible and ALWAYS exercise good judgement.

      The statistics say otherwise. The statistics say we have too many people who misuse guns or carry guns unsafely — the deaths of children from firearms, roughly one child every three or four days argues not to trust you. The number of suicides and murder suicides say not to trust you. The number of shootings just at Walmarts, more than one a week, say not to trust you.

      If there were much more stringent and restrictive gun regulation, back ground checks, adequate liability insurance requirements for both gun ownership, but also for ammunition purchase, I might feel otherwise — IF, and then ONLY IF, the numbers of gun violence in this country were as low as they are in other countries with stricter gun control.

      But that is not the case. Just by seeking to display lethal force, you present yourself as a violent, or certainly potentially violent person.

      It’s past time to treat gun control as a pubic health issue, including as a mental health issue.

      I would point out that EVERY gun starts out as a legal gun, yet we have had far too many of those firearms, both hand gun and long weapon, end up in the hands of people who are criminals, who are dangerous. Clearly not all of those firearms were stolen — but if they were, then we have a SERIOUS problem with inadequate requirements of gun security (which should include liability insurance). However the reality is that we have far too many legal gun owners facilitating the transactions where those guns change hands into the hands of criminals and irresponsible people.

      Click to access fuo.pdf

      “Among prisoners who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were serving time in 1997, 14% had bought or traded for the
      gun from a store, pawnshop, flea market, or gun show. The 1997 percentage who had acquired their firearm at a retail outlet represented a significant drop from 21% in 1991. The percentage of inmates receiving their gun from family or friends rose from 34% in 1991 to 40% in 1997.”|

      When I see you carrying, J. Edwards, or someone unknown to me like you, I have no reason to believe you are safe, I have no reason to believe you are legally entitled to carry that firearm, or that it is even YOUR firearm (as distinct from one that is acquired otherwise).

      1. J. Edwards says:

        That’s perfectly fine. I do not need your permission to do what I do. The law stands as it is and i will continue to carry.

  11. paladin says:

    I own a business and have employees on the road all week long I hope/encourage them to carry, does that count?

    1. Has any one of them encountered a situation where they needed a gun? I sure hope they have the right to tell you they are not interested in carrying. I know many people who travel all the time who seem to get to where they are going and home again with no need for a gun and no dangerous encounters. This is more likely to happen than using that gun in self defense-


      I’m sure those folks thought they were trained and knew how to use guns. Guns are dangerous weapons designed to kill. There are any number of other such incidents which, as it turns out, in total, account for more gun injuries and deaths than guns used in self defense. Accidental gun discharges are pretty common in public places actually and certainly in homes where small children are accessing guns owned by law abiding gun owners and permit holders. I posted about 3 of them just in Ohio in the past week on my Facebook page.

    2. Your people have no legitimate reason to carry unless they are armored truck drivers who are making pickups of large amounts of cash. The reality is the more guns we have being carried around without legitimate reason the more risk we have of misuse and abuse. I would feel a whole lot better if you had to insure every gun and every employee against a bad outcome from the presence of firearms.

      Just the issue of guns going off relative to seat belt use alone is an example of why this creates, rather than solves, problems.

      A civilized society is one that does not rely on widespread lethal force or even just brute force and intimidation.

      Here is one example:

  12. J. Edwards says:

    commongunsense and doggone2, those are all great examples with a lesson to be learned from each one. Unfortunately not enough info was provided in these news articles to say the exact negligent act that caused the shooting with the exception of the man with the leather holster. Inspecting your equipment is very crucial to any weapon system. The holster, belt and sidearm must all function well together. Not too long ago, the majority of the carry community has gravitated towards kydex as a suitable material and leather has fallen a bit to the wayside. Kydex is preferred by most because it conforms well to the body while providing a ridged shell for your gun. As for employees carrying guns, I fail to see a problem with it.

    Check this out:

    There was another where a young man was at the SONIC drive thru when he was the victim of a robbery, untill he shot the would be robber.


    I know I might be in the minority as a permit holder but I know many of the people I work with that carry guns in their cars. Many folks don’t want to have to pay the local government for their right to firearms and they either discreetly open carry or just keep it in their vehicle.

    1. There is no excuse for faulty equipment or a gun that is not safe. The gun lobby has stopped all efforts to hold manufacturers accountable for bad products. That’s inexcusable. We know there are justifiable self defense uses. That’s been covered. What’s also been covered is that there are far more accidental shootings and intentional shootings than there are DGUs. Those are the facts. If I were you I wouldn’t admit that your buddies refuse to follow the law. I thought you were all “law abiding” gun owners. This lends the lie to that assumption. Shame on all of them. If something happens with those guns illegally stored in cares or when someone discretely carries into a public place, it won’t be fun to say the least. You are only affirming what most of us know. You actually are not “good guys” with guns. And that is what our problem is in this country. There are way too many irresponsible gun owners. Something has to change. People are dying every day because of it.

      1. J. Edwards says:

        Hold on now, you made alot of assumptions there. First off, the holster in that incident was a quality made holster from Galco. The problem was the user had it for so long that the leather had worn out and it was no longer safe. That was a user issue so let’s not blame the manufacturer. I did not say that my buddies refused to follow the laws. I stated that they legally open carried or stored the loaded firearm in their car,(also legal) rather then get the “government permission slip” like I did. You can “discreetly” open carry a handgun by putting it in a IWB (in the waistband) holster and tucking in your shirt. It is completely legal. So shame on no one. They followed the laws too.

  13. J. Edwards says:

    I’ve never seen a case where something was “kinda” illegal. Either it is expressly illegal or it is allowed. You cannot change the wording of the state statutes to fit your ideas, although I have seen some here try as they post no firearms signs that bear a revised statute number that only has to do with concealed carry and has no weight under the law for those that openly carry. I already commented that signs posted in my state legally mean nothing. As for Remington making unsafe rifles, sure, if they are screwing up, sue the hell outta them and make sure they make things right. I was just pointing out that the Galco holster was originally a good one when it was purchased 10 years ago.

  14. paladin says:

    doggone 1) LOL!!! and you have not proven to me that just because you have a license you are capable of driving a car.
    2) so what are you saying just because I carry inside my bank I myself am more likely to rob it?
    3) why should only “armored truck drivers” be able to carry? Oh and bye the what is a “legitimate reason” to carry a gun?

    1. I wasn’t going to respond to this because we are beating a dead horse and I’m tired of your comments now. It’s a beautiful Sunday where I live so I won’t be posting any more from you today. Give it a rest. But I do have to seriously challenge the idea that private citizens should be able to carry because armored truck drivers carry guns? Or do they? Do you think of yourself as the same as an employed person who is carrying large amounts of cash around for businesses? Wow.

  15. paladin says:

    ok last reply, no I do not think of myself the same as an employed person carrying cash, because I value my life more than any amount of cash.

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