Dear Sheriff Jim Arnott, I’m Not Sure I Believe You’re Being Honest With Us

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 4 months ago

Springfield News-Leader:

Answer Man! I was sitting in Mr. Smith’s Fast Lube on Sunshine Street, waiting while I was getting my oil changed. A man entered with a holstered handgun on his hip. He was getting his oil changed, too, and sat next to me. He seemed nervous and I was concerned about the gun. Is this legal in Springfield? — Joey Pulleyking, of Springfield

The short answer, Joey, is that in Missouri the man had the legal right to openly carry a firearm into the business.

The answer is nuanced. Since there’s such great interest in guns in the Ozarks, I’m going to explore your question further, Joey. For example, I interviewed two Springfield men who openly carry. I’ll get to them later.

Over at Mr. Smith’s, I learned the owner is not a Mr. Smith. The owner goes by the name of Earl, although he is not an Earl, either.

His name is Scott Mather. When I walk into his business, he recognizes me: “Hey, Answer Man, need an oil change? Mr. Smith’s Fast Lube loves your car as much as you do.”

I tell him my car appreciates the love, but no thanks on the oil change.

Instead, I ask how he feels about customers bringing firearms into his business. In Missouri, you don’t need a permit or firearms training to openly carry (but you do if you conceal the weapon).

First, he says, rarely does he see anyone openly carry in one of his shops.

“If people want to do that, they can do that,” he says.

That’s why he does not post a “No Guns” or “No Firearms” sign at his businesses.

According to state law, business owners who don’t want guns on their property must post a sign at least 11 inches by 14 inches in a conspicuous place. The letters on the sign must be at least one inch in height. (Business owners cannot prohibit people from leaving their guns in their car in the parking lot.)

A business owner who prohibits firearms — and then spots a customer with one — must then ask the person to leave and return without the weapon. If the person refuses to exit, the owner can call police, and the person with the gun can be charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor.

[ … ]

Jim Arnott, Greene County sheriff, first wants to make something clear.

“I don’t want it to come out that I am against open carry,” he says.

He’s not. But … “I am a big advocate of concealed carry.

“If they open carry to defend themselves or to intervene in a situation — the first person that the bad guy is going to take care of is the guy with his gun on his hip.”

Arnott says most people he knows conceal carry to maintain the element of surprise.

“The coach of a football team is not going to give up his plays to the other team,” he says.

If you open carry, Arnott says, there’s also a chance people will see your firearm and quickly call police.

So with this in mind, I have a number of things puzzling me.  Let me get right to it.

First, I hear that all the time, i.e., this meme that the first person an active shooter will seek out is the person who is open carrying.  I monitor news reports all the time, as you can imagine of a gun blogger.  I have never seen a news report of an active shooter, robber, criminal, or other ne’er-do-well entering a building and seeking out people with open carry weapons.  You spoke with such authority on the matter, I assume you have some evidence of your claim.  Can you share that evidence with us?

Second, if you believe that, I assume that you have a department policy that your officers conceal carry and wear plains clothes, except for the badge on their belts so people can identify them?  I mean, so active shooters won’t seek them out and so they can hide their game plays?

Third, you say you aren’t against open carry, but in fact you seemed to spend a good deal of effort to dissuade folks in your area from openly carrying.  Why did you do that if you’re not opposed to open carry?

Fourth, is it a good thing if I ensure that I’m the last person an active shooter seeks out?  I have given it some thought in the light of John 15:13, and I have concluded that it would be fairly unseemly, cowardly and dishonorable of me to sit back and say, “Crap, I hope he takes out that woman or kid over there instead of me!  I wanted to watch that show on TV tonight!”  I’m not sure I could live with myself if I decided to slink away and retreat in the face of danger to women and children around me.  In fact, I’m not sure I mind the fact that I’m the first one he confronts, since I’m likely the only one in the vicinity who has planned for this and thought about it a great deal.  I try to keep my head on a swivel, as I’ve discussed many times before.

Do you agree, or would you advocate being the last one to die?


Comments

  1. On February 11, 2016 at 10:41 am, James McKenna said:

    I agree.

  2. On February 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm, TheWraith said:

    Agree. I often refer to this article when someone drums up the “open carry makes you a target for the bad guys”. In essence, the article describes this:

    —–
    Concealing one’s weapon as a tactical advantage is an offensive strategy, not a defensive one. The people who say they carry concealed so they can surprise an attacker are misguided. In most cases you will have only seconds to realize what’s happening, make a decision, and react. Consider this: you see a potential encounter coming. Is their intent to victimize you? If you draw your concealed pistol on an innocent person who just wants to ask you directions on how to get back to the interstate, you will likely be arrested and lose your firearm rights. If you wait until there’s an actual threat, you have to decide between complying and trying to draw your hidden pistol, if you think you can.

    If you have to surprise someone, you’re already in deep trouble. After you’ve been attacked, surprising your attacker is ridiculous. They already have the upper hand.
    —–

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/22/the-pro-liberty-choice-dispelling-the-myths-of-open-carry/

  3. On February 11, 2016 at 1:29 pm, Renov8 said:

    To each his own………open or concealed. I prefer carrying concealed. Even if it improves my chances by 1%, I will take it. If open carry were to show the higher probability of coming out ahead, I would then consider it too.

  4. On February 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm, t_reese said:

    I carry concealed and will continue to do so simply because, there are still folks that are upset and even scared by the sight of someone other than a Police officer carrying a gun and I see no sense in causing them to be upset.

  5. On February 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm, Fred said:

    I Agree. I would take the bullet if it gave a child even one more second to attempt evasion. I too, considered Christ’s words from this verse, upon making my decision some time back. I OWB carry under a shirt but it’s readily obvious that I have a big fat gun there. It’s most comfortable for me OWB. ‘Round these parts open carry is legal so I don’t care if it shows but it is not our custom therefor I keep it under my shirt.

    Most importantly in this conversion; Jesus upheld his own conviction and died for us. Thank you, Jesus.

  6. On February 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm, henrybowman said:

    This assumes the perp is definitely going to shoot someone. I can certainly imagine that a perp is likely to come into a stop-and-rob waving a gun to show everybody that he means business, expecting no resistance; but if he sees someone in the shop other than him with a gun, he might panic and decide to take that person out then and there as an immediate threat to him. Not having a visible gun lets you buy valuable time.

    Just because something is a right doesn’t mean it’s tactically your optimal choice.

  7. On February 12, 2016 at 11:41 am, Jack Crabb said:

    Straw men are good men when it comes to lie-berals making arguments.

  8. On February 12, 2016 at 1:50 pm, Billy Mullins said:

    “lie-berals” I like that. Probably use in the future. Thanks.

  9. On February 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    You’re welcome. lol. I probably saw that somewhere or other, I can’t say for certain. It seemed to fit better in this context than either of my go to terms – libturd or libtard.

  10. On February 14, 2016 at 10:29 am, TexasScout Noneofyourbusiness said:

    “this meme that the first person an active shooter will seek out is the person who is open carrying.”

    Quite the contrary, MOST “active shooters” kill themselves at the first sign of resistance, a gun, or the cops.

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You are currently reading "Dear Sheriff Jim Arnott, I’m Not Sure I Believe You’re Being Honest With Us", entry #14763 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published February 10th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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