Irrational Christian Bias Against Guns, Violence And Self Defense

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2016 · 35 Comments

Several examples of Christians opposing all violence and means of self defense have been in the news lately, and I can't deal with all such examples.  But three particular examples come to mind, and I first want to show you one example from Mr. Robert Schenck in a ridiculously titled article, Christ or a Glock. "Well, first of all you're making an immediate decision that if someone invades your home, they are going to die," Rev. Schenck replied. "So you are ready to kill another human being…… [read more]

Tennessee Bill To Allow Open Carry Without A Permit

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

WBIR.com:

A Tennessee lawmaker is hoping to loosen Tennessee’s gun carry laws.

State Rep. Micah Van Huss, a Republican from Jonesborough, has introduced a bill to eliminate the need for a permit to open carry a handgun.

Under the law, you would still need a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but if you wear the gun openly, you would not need a permit.

House Bill 40 would amend the state’s weapon laws for open carry to bring Tennessee in line with several other states.

Several lawmakers who spoke with Tri-Cities NBC-affiliate WCYB said they support the proposal.

“Tennessee has eight bordering states, I think seven of them allow what’s called open carry,” said state Senator Jon Lundberg, for Tennessee’s 1st District. “Has it changed the dynamics in Virginia and North Carolina, not really.”

The bill has been introduced twice and was rejected both times. If approved, Tennessee would join the other 29 states that don’t require these permits.

“This is one that people are passionate about, they’re either for it very strongly or against it very strongly,” said Lundberg. “So you will see those kind of passions come out this time around.”

Right now, the bill is still in the early stages and doesn’t have a senate sponsor yet.

Well, it needs a sponsor, and it needs to be passed this time around.  Frankly, I thought that Tennessee was already a gold star open carry state like my own state of North Carolina.

Tennessee needs to join the ranks of states that recognize God-given rights like this one.  Anyway, Tennessee can show the way to Texans, who have permitted open carry, and who are flirting with constitutional carry if only the awful Lieutenant Governor will get out of the way.

One Year After Open Carry In Texas, How Is It Working Out?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

We know it’s working out just fine.  That’s not what we learn from this most recent report.  The cited article is from “Everything Lubbock,” and what we learn from their LEOs is important and interesting.

Assistant Chief Jon Caspell with Lubbock Police recalls similar “buzz” about the law and questions for the police department.

“There really was a lot of talk about it and the potential it might have, but really we haven’t seen hardly impact at all,” Caspell said.

Both Caspell and Palmer said they really haven’t seen people around Lubbock excercising their right to open carry.

“Even walking around in public and teaching in classes  I really don’t see anyone really carrying that way,” Palmer said.

[ … ]

Palmer explained some insight he shares with his students:

“I also explain how disadvantageous it can be if you give away the fact that you’re carrying a gun to a potential bad guy, they already see you as a threat first rather than being able to be reactionary and maybe stopping something from happening,” Palmer said.

Another facet of the Open Carry law is that law enforcement can ask people they see openly carrying to show their license.

Assistant Chief Caspell said to his knowledge, everyone LPD has checked  with willingly hands over their paperwork .

“We don’t have any reports that we’ve had any difficulty for the most part, the type of person–generally speaking– that wants to open carry is someone that wants to enforce the law. They understand what the law is therefor the reasons behind it,” Caspell said.

Caspell said he can’t speak for other Texas cities, but he believes in Lubbock, the law has been implemented smoothly.

“Lubbock seems to be more of a gun-friendly community and because of that culture here we just haven’t seen a whole lot of problems. Maybe that phrase, “in like a lion, out like a whisper,” might be a good phrase here,” Caspell said.

He added that just because someone is openly carrying in a holster doesn’t mean they are licensed. Caspell encourages anyone who is suspicious of another person they see carrying a weapon to give police a call.

There are three aspects of this report that deserve comment.  First of all, I don’t advocate open carry any more than concealed carry.  I advocate carrying the way you feel the most comfortable and tactically suited to the situation.  But if there are never any open carriers, then this right will be seen as a permission that is rarely used.  That’s not a good outcome.

Second, I’ve stated before that you get to hide the fact that you’re carrying a gun to a perpetrator is the most hideously awful argument against open carry I can conceive.  It’s tactically absurd, inasmuch as if the perpetrator intends to perpetrate a crime, he’s going to regardless of whether you have a gun.  You will still have an opportunity to prevent it, and it’s more likely that you’ll be the first to engage the perpetrator.

That’s not a bad outcome unless you wish to see women and children perish before you do.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  I’m not knocking concealed carriers as cowards.  Much of the time I’m a concealed carrier.  I’m knocking those who knock open carry for the reason that a concealed carrier gets to wait to engage.  I don’t carry a weapon in order to wait to engage.  You don’t hear LEOs making the argument that openly carrying their weapon is a tactical disadvantage.  Let’s don’t look stupid by making that argument for ourselves.

Finally, this attitude by the chief LEO is disturbing and possibly illegal.  He has actually gone on record advocating that people call the police for a response when no law is being broken, or at least, when no one can demonstrate prima facie that a law is being broken.  I must remind LEOs reading this article once again that the Fourth Circuit had to slap down the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department over stopping someone for openly carrying a weapon and actually arresting him for something else.

“… where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention.  Permitting such a justification would eviscerate Fourth Amendment protections for lawfully armed individuals in those states.”

It simply could not be clearer.  Moreover, every stop must be a so-called Terry Stop, regardless of what Texas state law says.  In this way I see the Texas law as unconstitutional.  LEOs should not, and do not, have the right to stop merely to ask for identification unless they have good reason to believe that a law is being violated.  So says the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.  I said all of this before the Texas state legislature passed this bill, and they didn’t listen to me.  I would like to see this challenged in federal court, but before we ever get to that, I’d like to see constitutional carry in Texas in order to make this moot.  If Texas delays, as I suspect they will, then someone should challenge this in federal court.

In The Wake Of The Airport Shooting, The Case For Gun Carry Is Clearer Than Ever

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

News from Florida:

Last week’s shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport hasn’t put a dent in Sen. Greg Steube’s plan to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry their firearms in airports. In fact, it’s only strengthened his resolve to pass the legislation, which he says is desperately needed to prevent future mass shootings in the Sunshine State.

“The situation at the airport further puts a big spotlight on the fact that gun free zones and laws that prevent law abiding citizens to carry.. the only person that protects is the criminal,” Steube told Sunshine State News Wednesday.

Steube’s proposal, SB 140, would lift some “gun free” zones in Florida where carrying firearms is prohibited, even for concealed carry permit holders.

If passed, the bill would allow Florida’s 1.7 million CCW permit holders to openly carry their firearms. The more sweeping part of the measure, however, would eliminate gun-free zones in places like secondary schools, local centers and government meeting areas.

Airports are also included.

Since last week’s shooting which left five dead and six wounded, Steube’s phone has been ringing off the hook. On Tuesday, the day the bill was supposed to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee, his district office received 120 calls alone.

He doesn’t understand why there’s such a resistance to CCW permit holders carrying their firearms around since they have to undergo background checks.  Statistically speaking, permit holders follow the letter of the law.

A 2015 report found CCW permit holders committed crimes at a much lower rate than police officers did. A Police Quarterly study from 2005 to 2007 saw an average of 103 crimes by police per 100,000 officers.

Well, all of that is true, but notice that the argument he uses to persuade others is based on data rather than fundamental and properly basic rights.  Very well.  Remember what we’ve discussed – incrementalism.  A bill doesn’t have to be perfect to get my support.  We can go for constitutional carry later.  One step at a time.

As for the airport shooting, someone remarked to me that things like this make our argument harder.  I disagree.  It makes our argument crystal clear.  As to how the shooter got a gun in the airport, he did so legally, just like a perpetrator can do it on virtually any street corner or grocery store in America.

Imagine this being on a street corner and someone asking, “just exactly how did this person come to have a gun to begin with?”  This is a stupid question, of course.  It’s likely he bought it.  If not, he stole it.  What does it matter?  Criminals intent on crime don’t care how they prepare for perpetration of their crime.

The only defense against this is to allow others (law abiding men and women) to carry weapons, openly and concealed.  Make your choice.  Don’t dictate how a man carries his weapon.  People who do that piss me off.  Word. They should drop their pink panties and put on big boy shorts.  Grow up and leave everyone alone instead of trying to be mommy.

How a man carries his weapon is analogous to what color he paints his car.  It’s his business, not yours.

Travis Haley Open Carry Tip

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Florida Open Carry Bill Filed

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

It’s about time.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, introduced a controversial measure Friday that would allow the more than 1.67 million Floridians with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry handguns.

Steube’s bill (SB 140), which is filed for the 2017 legislative session, also would expand the places where people with concealed-weapons licenses are allowed to carry guns. It would allow them to be armed at legislative meetings; local government meetings; elementary and secondary schools; airport passenger terminals; and college and university campuses.

License holders would still be prohibited from carrying weapons at locations such as police stations, jails, courtrooms, polling places and most bars.

During the 2016 session, the open-carry measure was approved 80-38 in the House but failed to advance through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was chaired by former Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami. Diaz de la Portilla lost a re-election bid in November.

Yea, I hope I helped in some small way to ensure that it was a failed re-election bid.  But what we see here is permitted open carry, with the same failings of the Texas permitted open carry law.

Police don’t know how to enforce it, given that there is no stop and identify statute in Texas (and all stops must be so-called Terry stops anyway).  Florida is a stop and identify state, specifically for loitering and prowling.

So how does this apply to open carry?  What role does the permit play in all of this?  There is an easier way to do this, and it’s to make the state constitutional carry with legal open carry.  Stop taking half way measures.

Richard A. Nascak, executive director of Florida Carry, weighs in on the coming kerfuffle.

U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson’s viewpoint, published by the Sun Sentinel on Dec. 2, is a mini-case study on irrational fears. She flatly states that the proposals to legalize open, campus, and airport carry are a “notion that sends chills down my spine.”

The reason is revealed by her own admission. “It’s almost too easy to imagine the horrific effect and consequences that such laws would have in urban communities.” And there we have the source — her imagination. Unfortunately, Rep. Wilson’s imagination does not represent the experiences of 45 other states with regards to open carry.

In recent years, several states have legalized open carry of firearms — Oklahoma in 2012, and Texas in 2016 (adding handguns to the already lawful open carry of long guns). Similar concerns were voiced by officials in those states prior to open carry becoming lawful. For example, both Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan and Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty strongly opposed open carry citing a myriad of unsubstantiated reasons.

Likewise, the first vice president of the Dallas Police Association, Austin Police Chief Art Acevado, and a host of other Texas officials opposed open carry. Here in Florida, we hear the same rhetoric from the Florida Sheriffs Association and in particular Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who, like his predecessor Jim Coats, threatened to shoot those seen openly carrying firearms.

So, what were the results of the legalization of open carry in Oklahoma and Texas? As pro-gun rights organizations predicted, much ado about nothing. Quoting from several media sources after passage:

•”We’ve not been responding to any calls, we’ve not had any complaints, we’ve not been taking reports. No, no issues here,” said Maj. Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department. “We have not seen anything alarming or attention-grabbing at all,” said Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley.

•”I think it proves our point just a little bit that good, responsible people don’t get in trouble with firearms and that thugs and hoodlums get into trouble with firearms every day,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

•”We do not have anything interesting to report,” Cpl. Tracey Knight, spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Police Department, said last week. “Two calls so far, no issues. We have no concerns and we have had no problems.”

•”I said before this became law that I thought it was going to be much ado about nothing but I didn’t know it was going to be this much nothing,” Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said.

Rep. Wilson appears to be primarily concerned with black youths in urban areas. However as cited, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and other urban centers with a black youth population belie that concern. The fears are unsubstantiated.

So we get to the meat of the objection – she’s worried about those black boys carrying guns around.  But some of them do anyway, you just can’t see them.  Furthermore, I don’t object to peaceable men carrying guns.  If they pull them and threaten anyone, then that’s considered brandishing, and you can swear out a warrant for their arrest and have them charged.  Problem solved.

Unless of course the real problem is that you’re worried about undisciplined black boys being irresponsible with those guns and going to prison for it.  In this case, your problem doesn’t have a solution in the law.  You need to speak to the families and churches about that.

Law Enforcement Weighs In On The Blight Of Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

The California Aggie:

Only California, Florida, Illinois, New York and South Carolina prohibit the open carry of handguns. That means 45 American states allow the intimidation of the public, wasting of law enforcement resources and endless opportunities for accidental injury caused by firearm misuse.

In a heart-wrenching moment following the July shooting of five police officers, Dallas Police Chief David Brown addressed the public and spoke on issues ranging from race to open carry laws.

“It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over and shootings occur in a crowd… We don’t know if they’re the shooter or not. We don’t know who the good guy is versus who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting,” Brown said.

Especially during an emergency, trying to weed out the bad guys from the good guys — likely with limited information about the shooter to go off of in the first place — detracts from time that could be used to stop senseless violence and instead makes an officer’s job infinitely harder.

In this sense, times of crisis or high political tension should call for a limit on open carry laws. On the eve of the Republican National Convention, the head of Cleveland’s police union called for a temporary ban on the open-carrying of guns for fear of impending violence from protestors and dissented individuals. Stephen Loomis, the president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, accused open carry participants of irresponsibility, going on to say “you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.” Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right. And openly carrying a firearm during a volatile situation isn’t right.

Open carry laws also scare the public into thinking there’s more wrongdoing than really exists. According to a San Mateo County Sheriff’s report, several incidents have arisen where people called police dispatch in response to seeing an individual carrying a revolver or a semi-automatic handgun on them. This leads to a waste of time when, consequently, police officers have to investigate these citizens who are simply “exercising their right,” but are really engendering unnecessary fear and trepidation in the minds of other citizens.

Yet sometimes this fear is more than justified. 10 minutes before an armed shooter walked into a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, the Colorado Police Department received two calls regarding the shooter. One of the callers reported him as looking “scary” at several points during the call, but the emergency response technician acknowledged that Colorado is an open carry state so, technically speaking, he was not breaking any laws. He left three people dead and nine wounded just minutes later.

Open carry is a double-edged sword. Seeing an individual with a weapon displayed is undoubtedly scary, but reacting on this fear can have wasteful consequences on law enforcement resources if the individual carrying has no bad intentions. On the other hand, a lack of response from police dispatch can also have deadly ramifications.

What’s more worrisome, however, is the prospect of accidental misuse of a firearm in a public setting. Deputy Chief of the Davis Police Department Ton Phan said that states like Texas, where it is now legal to openly carry a handgun on college campuses, are especially at risk for these types of misuse.

This is what happens with little girls who don’t know anything about guns try to write articles about guns.  First of all we’ve covered the Dallas shooting.  No one in engaged in the fire fight stopped, went to Twitter, and tried to determine who the shooter was based on Twitter or any other social media.  That’s ridiculous.

They engaged the shooter until he was dead.  All of the additional work to identify whether there were other shooters was done after the fact.  Open carriers didn’t stop or adversely affect anything.  Furthermore, whether someone was open carrying is irrelevant.  That’s just a psychological issue the writer has, and the Police share it because they want to be the only ones who get to carry weapons.

Someone could just as easily have been a concealed carrier and been a shooter, so the act of open carrying meant absolutely nothing.  The same goes for the Colorado shooter, who open carried to his crime.  Make open carry illegal, and he’ll conceal carry to his crime.  It’s a matter of convenience for him.  Nothing more.

The write is equally confused concerning the danger open carriers pose compared to LEOs.  She is apparently unaware of the danger this assumption can be.

The catalog (even at this web site) of the awful muzzle and trigger discipline and behavior with guns is staggering: wrong home raids, pulling shotguns on a ten year old, pointing a pistol at a seven year old, being known as dog butchers, abusive treatment of innocent victims during a botched raid, dangerous gun play with other cops, lack of knowledge of the state of their weapons, negligent discharges, negligent discharges in an airport, killing dogs for sport, negligent discharges in police precincts, shooting each other while cleaning their weapons, hitting people on the head with guns, 600 rounds discharged in a rolling gun battle through the inner city, mistakenly shooting a gun instead of a taser, killing a man, firing a gun on a junior high campus, more negligent discharges in police stations, accidentally killing each other, shooting men in the back during raids, killing innocent men because of negligent discharges, throwing flash-bangs into baby cribs, pointing guns at city councilmen during meetings, firing rifles in court, negligent discharge of an AR-15, losing guns, 23 police officers firing 377 rounds at two men with no guns, losing machine guns, shooting each other while trying to kill dogs, and in the author’s own city, shooting 84 rounds at a man, missing with 83 of them.

So, little miss, go back to the drawing board, spend some time with gun owners and open carriers, interview them, go to the range with them and observe their safety protocols, and come back and write something less biased and more useful.  This one failed to hit the target.

Another Open Carry Fight Is Brewing In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

CBSDFW:

GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Tom Mannewitz has owned the Targetmaster Indoor Shooting Center in Garland since 1979.

He supports open-carry, which lawmakers approved in 2015, allowing people to carry handguns openly just the same as long rifles.

But Mannewitz said he opposes a new bill that would make licensing to carry a handgun, required education classes and fees optional.  I understand why people would like to have constitutional carry but I have to say I would vote against it. Not everybody should be carrying a gun. Not everybody has the right to own a gun. If the police have some way of determining are you licensed or not, I think that’s an asset to the law enforcement community,” he said.

We don’t think Texans should have to pay for the right to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, said the man who filed the legislation, HB 375, Republican State Representative Jonathan Stickland of Bedford.

Stickland said his bill would make the rules for handguns the same as they already are for long rifles.

What my bill is not it is not an expansion of who can carry. Under constitutional carry, anyone who is eligible for a CHL now would be able to carry. No one new would be able to carry.”

He said under his legislation, people would still need to pass a federal  background check when buying a firearm. But Mannewitz said he also wants the state to continue doing background checks for those who are carrying guns.

The state license costs $140 for the first time and $70 for renewal every five years after that. Once a gun owner reaches the age of 60, the cost of the license drops to $35.

Stickland though believes the cost of the required license and class can be prohibitive to people with lower incomes.  He said some gun shop owners oppose his bill because they may lose a lot of money if the gun safety classes are no longer required.

But Mannewitz said the income he generates from those classes is half of one percent of his gross revenues.

Democratic State Representative Eric Johnson of Dallas strongly disagrees with Stickland’s bill.

I have a real problem with the idea of unlicensed open carry.  It’s asking for trouble. It’s just beyond the pale. I have a real problem with open carry in large urban areas like Dallas,” he said.

As a result, Johnson has proposed his own bill, HB 291, that would exempt Dallas from open carry.

As I’ve stated before, the reason to oppose nullification at the local and county level is that little Napoleons like to rule over other people, negating duly enacted laws.  To my knowledge, there has never been a time when local or county nullification actually enabled liberties rather than curtailing them.  The advocates of exception for Dallas or other cities don’t really believe in pushing authority downward unless is suits their needs at the time.

As to Mr. Mannewitz, you really find out who your friends are when the issue invokes money, yes?  And as for the notion that Mr. Mannewitz earns half of one percent of his revenue from these classes, I wish I could believe that, but I doubt it.

There is something more going on, perhaps being a one stop shop and offering up their services to complete paperwork for a fee, or running students past counters full of guns in order to sell them to class participants.  Either way, progressives never sleep, and it looks like Texas is in for yet another open carry fight to bring constitutional carry to their state.

I told you this wasn’t the end of it when they passed that ridiculous law allowing permitted open carry.  Stay frosty folks.  The war isn’t over yet, you’re just in an interlude.

Bob Owens Hating On Open Carriers

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Bearing Arms:

Uniformed security guards are hired by stores to provide peace of mind and serve as a deterrent to casual criminals, such as petty shoplifters and aggressive panhandlers. They are not law enforcement officers, do not generally have good training, and the physical and mental screening for security guards isn’t that high (which is perhaps why we’ve had two security guards go on terrorist killing sprees this year alone).

Aggressive predators are not deterred by either unarmed or armed security guards, but it is relatively rare to seen a criminal so callous that he would murder a guard just to acquire an additional handgun.

A man who would murder someone for a handgun would presumably have no problem doing the same with an open carrier who typically has even less training and general awareness than armed security guards.

We’ve noticed that there are generally only four kinds of open carry stories.

  1. a group of people open carry as a form of political protest (generally without law enforcement involvement)
  2. an individual open carries as a form of political protest (often with law enforcement involvement, including occasional arrests)
  3. an individual open carrier who is oblivious to his surroundings has his/her picture posted to gun forums pointing out his/her utter lack of awareness and generally poor choice of gun and holster.
  4. an open carrier is attacked for his weapon, with the criminal generally being successful.

We would love to report that open carry deters crime, but there is simply no data suggesting that this is a true statement. Folks, criminals laugh at open carriers. They view them as targets, no different than someone with a cash-filled wallet hanging out of their back pocket as they stand in the checkout line, nose buried in a smart phone and oblivious to the world.

I’ve seen Bob hate on open carriers before, but this is ridiculous.  This commentary is completely out of control (I hesitate to call it an “analysis” because nothing is being analyzed).

Bob doesn’t really know that all uniformed security is poorly trained.  He doesn’t know that open carriers are even more poorly trained than uniformed security.  He also doesn’t know that open carriers have poor situational awareness.

He doesn’t know that open carriers fall into only the four categories he lists.  He’s just referring (anecdotally, not analytically) to news accounts he believes he has read.

He especially doesn’t know that criminals laugh at open carriers.  In fact, I challenge Bob to supply me with one verifiable instance in public where a known criminal laughed at an open carrier.  I’ve open carried many times, and I’ve also been around people I knew to be gang members when doing so.  No one – no one – has ever laughed at me.  In one particular instance when multiple gang members were heading my direction on the sidewalk (it was four or five of them), they saw me open carrying and decided to cross the road, walk past me, and cross back over when they were clear of me.  They kept their heads down and studiously avoided making eye contact with me while walking on the other side of the road.

As I said, this commentary is completely out of control, and I simply have no earthly idea what Bob’s problem is with open carry.  There is no law requiring him to do it, so why the negative attention?  It’s legal, so what business is it of his to bash the practice?  How does a crime against uniformed security turn into open carry bashing?  I’m beginning to think this is a psychological issue that Bob has.

What is your malfunction, Bob?

LEOs Against Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

OUDaily:

I am a retired police officer. I’m also a gun owner, but I am weary of the “guns-solve-everything” mentality. I’m tired of the proliferation of open carry proposals that increase the visibility of firearms in public places — particularly in schools, colleges and universities. I am not convinced more firearms on campus will deter or stop active shooters.

Frankly, people who openly carry sometimes make me nervous. Some of them seem smug, over confident, even demonstrative — wanting people to notice they are indeed carrying a loaded weapon. It is a political statement, a warning and a boast. I watch them strutting into stores, sitting in restaurants and walking down the street fairly oblivious to the burden of carrying a firearm in full view.

Except for him.  You see, he isn’t tired of LEOs carrying guns, just you.  And by God, make sure that no one sees that you’re carrying.  He is a LEO, just like you, only better.  Only he can be seen carrying a gun.

As for the part about making a political statement, I’ve never done any such thing (not that it would necessarily be a bad thing to make a statement), and only open carry when it’s hot and I sweat my weapon when I carry IWB.  Here in North Carolina – a traditional open carry state – I’ve never had a problem with LEOs giving me a hassle about open carry.  And blood doesn’t run in the streets around here, and women and children don’t run down the road screaming.

But apparently it’s even worse in Connecticut.

In an effort to cover up their unconstitutional actions, Connecticut State Police made up charges against a young open carry activist last year.

The state eventually dismissed all charges when they heard Michael Picard’s recording of cops plotting to trump up charges against him to “cover our ass.”

Now Picard is suing Connecticut State Police with the help of the ACLU for trumping up fabricated charges against him as well as violating his First and Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

The September 2015 incident was all caught on video after State Troopers John Barone, Patrick Torneo, and John Jacobi illegally seized Picard’s camera and inadvertently left it on, all while their illegal actions were plotted. The video can be seen at the bottom of the page.

“Let’s give him something. We can hit him with creating a public disturbance. We gotta cover our ass,” Barone was recorded as saying.

Picard was in West Hartford protesting a DUI checkpoint by holding a big sign that alerted drivers. After an hour of protesting, police approached Picard and knocked the camera out of his hand, noting that Picard didn’t have a First Amendment right to record the trooper.

It was then that the troopers illegally search Picard and discovered he was open carrying a gun, which is legal in Connecticut. The troopers confiscated the camera along with the gun to run a permit check, only to find out that Picard’s gun permit is valid, all while violating the young man’s Fourth Amendment right to protection against illegal search and seizure.

“Oh crap we gotta punch a number on this guy,” a trooper can be heard saying.

“What we say is that multiple motorists stopped to complain about a guy waving a gun around, but none of them wanted to stop and make a statement.”

But then one of the troopers noticed that Picard’s camera was still on.

“Oh shit!! I think the camera is on, it says it is still recording.”

There you go.  It’s that pesky constitution thing again.  If LEOs just didn’t have to mess around with things like law and rights everyone would be safer.

Connecticut.  Oh yea, that’s the home of communist and traitor Barbara Bellis.  I’m kind of getting bad vibes about that place.

“He’s Got A Gun!”

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

The Hill:

Jack is walking down a busy sidewalk carrying a handgun in a holster on his belt. Someone screams, “He’s got a gun!” A nearby police officer sees the firearm, draws his weapon, and orders Jack to stop, show his hands, and lie down on the ground. The officer then handcuffs Jack, takes his firearm, and detains him for questioning about why he is carrying the firearm.

With more states legalizing the open carry of firearms, this kind of scenario has and will occur with greater frequency. Let’s assume the person with the firearm is not carrying in a prohibited place, brandishing the weapon in a threatening manner, refusing to follow police orders, or otherwise acting suspiciously. Does the mere carrying of a firearm openly in public give the police sufficient reason to stop the carrier and seize the firearm?

In an open carry state, in this instance the police have violated the constitution of their respective states (or the body of case law appurtenant to this), and the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution of the United States.  So says the Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio.

In such cases, the responsible officer(s) should be charged with violation of the state laws, violation of the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution of the United States, disturbing the peace, illegal seizure of property, and reckless endangerment due to lack of muzzle discipline when he pointed his weapon at an innocent citizen.  He has absolutely no right to detain the individual, touch his property (including his firearm), or make a public spectacle of the detention.  Such behavior is thuggish and illegal, regardless of whether the courts allow them to get away with it.

What someone who needs their safe space or doesn’t know the applicable law feels concerning this is completely irrelevant.  “He’s got a gun” should be followed by “Ma’am, please be more specific concerning the law you believe to have been violated.”  Open carry isn’t brandishing.  The more we allow police officers to get away with this kind of behavior, the worse it will become.  They need to be reminded of the decision of the fourth circuit in the case of Nathaniel Black.

This is simple.  Teach police officers the law, expect them to obey it, and charge them when they don’t.  The title of the article at The Hill is “Open carry complicates police encounters.”  It only complicates matters when the police do illegal things.  Otherwise, this really is all quite clear and easy to process.


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