Irrational Christian Bias Against Guns, Violence And Self Defense

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2016 · 28 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]

What Does The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Not Understand About The United States Versus Black?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Mass Transit:

During the 2016 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Bus & Paratransit Conference there was an open discussion hosted on concealed and open carry firearm laws. Firearm carry laws differ from state to state, but the biggest highlight was educating operators on those laws — to ensure that they properly address the situation.

Sgt. Charles Rappleyea, the police liaison for Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) said that Charlotte has a no carry law for all public transit. When they do get a call about someone with a weapon he said that they rarely have a problem.

“When we do, they’re often criminals,” said Rappleyea. “Everyone that we’ve encountered with a concealed permit, we haven’t had a problem.”

Whereas in Dallas, Texas, they have an open carry law. James Spiller, the chief of police and emergency management for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), explained for people with open carry licenses — their gun must be in a holster. With the law it was important to educate the public on the rules.

“In Texas, if they are open carry, as a police officer I can’t just walk up and ask them if they have a licence without probable cause,” explained Spiller.

Which raises the question, how do transit operators determine if the person boarding their bus or train with a firearm is legally authorized to do so?

“They have a button, if they’re uncomfortable they can press the button to show ‘hey someone has boarded with a gun’.”

Sorry folks, but feeling “uncomfortable” isn’t a good enough reason.  And contrary to the cited article, it’s not only the police in Texas that cannot just walk up to someone without probable cause.  All stops must be valid “Terry stops.”

As we’ve noted before, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a rebuke to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in the case of United States Versus Black.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity.  In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present.  When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave.  Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon.  Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him.  His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

The upshot of this ruling means that the conduct of an action that is perfectly legal doesn’t and can never constitute reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed.  And yet apparently the Charlotte Mecklenburg police are still stopping people who are in the process of open carry and asking for concealed handgun permits, contrary to both established law (since N.C. is a traditional open carry state) and court decision.

Why is this happening?  What possible excuse can CMPD have for this behavior?  Moreover, I think Sgt. Charles Rappleyea isn’t being forthcoming.  I think he’s mistaken, or not telling the truth.  I think the CMPD has no data on how many stops they have made on mass transit for open carry (stops which are contrary to or not in accordance with the law) and how many of those stops involved concealed handgun permit holders (besides, one doesn’t need a CHP to legally openly carry in N.C.).  And I think he’s not being honest about the judgment that while CHP holders aren’t a problem, there are actual criminals who are openly carrying firearms in mass transit situations.  In fact, I doubt that the CMPD has had any documented stops of criminals openly carrying on board bus or rail.  Is the CMPD “fabulating” for the benefit of the conference?

If so, the CMPD can correct me here, but in the absence of such correction, I’ll stick to my guns – pardon the pun.

Texas Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

KVUE.com:

Nearly six months ago, licensed open carry-gun owners in Texas were granted the privilege to carry their guns on their hip. Before the legislation’s passing, gun opponents feared it would cause problems for law enforcement.

So, has the public flooded law enforcement with complaints?

“As it turned out, we didn’t get any,” said Roger Wade, the spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

In preparation of open carry, the Travis County created a special code to track complaints, but hasn’t had any calls to start using it.

Oooo!  A special code for open carriers.  Because it’s so special and everything.

“People were scared of people walking up carrying guns. What they don’t realize is, is that there are a lot of people carry guns, you have no idea are carrying guns,” said Wade.

The KVUE Defenders checked with some of the largest law enforcement agencies in Texas: Austin and Dallas Police Departments, and sheriff’s offices in Hays County, Williamson County, Bastrop County, Bexar County and Harris County. All of the agencies report little to no complaints from the public.

“When the Texas legislature was getting ready to pass open carry last year, we heard a lot of claims from the gun control crowd saying it was going to turn into the wild, wild west, and that just hasn’t happened here,” said Lars Dalseide, spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.

It’s too early to determine if open carry has influenced violent crime in Texas. According to crime reports though, Oklahoma (-3.97 percent) and Tennessee (-3.92 percent) both saw violent crime slightly decrease after open carry became legal.

“These people are safe, responsible gun owners and they go through a lot of trouble to make sure they get the proper licensing from the state,” said Dalseide.

Gun rights groups say they’re not done. They plan to push lawmakers to pass legislation making gun ownership a constitutional right, which would allow owners to own a gun without a license.

Yes, constitutional carry.  This is a good next step.  As for the notion that the wild, wild West hasn’t obtained, I think someone said exactly that and predicted exactly what has come to pass.

Again, as a citizen of a traditional open carry state, I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here.  Nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Life will continue in the lone star state unabated, and the doomsday predictions of law enforcement and the progressives will go down as a monument to their hatred of the common man.

I’ll send the bill for my consultative services tomorrow.

Please Open Carry Because You Might Kill Me

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Via reporter Mack, opinion from Virginia:

Concealed carry needs to be done away with. All gun owners should carry openly.

When you meet me on the street, you don’t know I’m a loving wife, devoted mother, Girl Scout troop leader, Sunday school teacher and soccer mom.

I don’t know those things about you either, but if you open carry, I know two things I need to know: 1. You are prepared; 2. willing to kill me.

When I see you at the counter in Starbucks, I should have the right to decide if I want that coffee now or leave the store immediately.

When I drop my sons at soccer practice and see you’re one of the coaches, I should have the right to decide if my son joins another team or plays Little League.

Concealed-carry gun owners have all the rights. It’s time people who don’t like guns have rights, too.

Kimberly Blatt

Stafford

The comments are a hoot.  Well Kimberly, it ain’t no skin off of my back.  I’ve said before many times that I would prefer to open carry simply because of the level of comfort having to do with carrying OWB versus IWB.  It is my understanding that two centuries ago it was considered dishonorable to conceal a weapon anyway.  Honorable men displayed weapons for all to see.

But the problem is this.  Suppose we stipulate that such a law wouldn’t infringe upon a right (a point I do not grant, by the way, but stipulate for the sake of argument).  Making this law doesn’t lead to observance of that law, the deadly weakness of all such progressive social planning.  Setting the regulation in place does nothing to effect compliance, because … ahem … the weapon would be concealed, not openly displayed.

In other words, such a law would only affect peaceable, law abiding men, not criminals who were never going to obey the law regardless of what it says.  So you see Kimberly, your proposed law does no more than the opposite proposal does for the folks who fear the public carrying of weapons.  Yes, that’s right, Kimberly.  Some people want to prohibit what you want to encourage.

They want to prohibit open carry because the law forces hiding the weapon, and since it is out of sight they can pretend that it doesn’t exist.  You want to force open carry by law so that you can pretend that concealed weapons don’t exist.  In either case, this is a psychological problem, one which you ought to take up with your pastor or church counselor rather than the state legislature.

Cracker Barrel Firearms Policy

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

News from Georgia:

DALTON, GA (WRCB) – A Dalton man says he was asked to leave a Cracker Barrel restaurant when managers spotted him carrying a handgun. He says there was no sign posted stating guns are not allowed on the property. Now he wants answers about why he was asked to leave.Shane Franks says he went to the Cracker Barrel in Dalton to purchase Mother’s Day cards. He says two managers escorted him out because he was carrying a gun, a gun he believes he had every right to take with him into the building.

This revolver is what triggered managers at the Dalton Cracker Barrel to escort Shane Franks out of the building Monday. Franks says he was legally carrying the gun on his hip when management asked him to leave. “If the business does not want you to carry a firearm, they are asked to make that known,” said Franks.

Franks said there was no sign posted telling him he couldn’t take the gun in until after he returned without the weapon. “When I came back there was a paper sign and place it on there and it said unless you are law enforcement you are not supposed to have a fire arm.”

Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act says it’s legal for licensed gun owners to carry in schools, churches, bars, and even some government buildings. Private businesses have the right to decide if they want guns on their property. “That’s confusing for a law abiding citizen. Thinks he’s obeying the law and walks in, gets cornered in front of everyone for doing what he thinks he is allowed to do.”

When Channel 3 visited Cracker Barrel Friday the makeshift sign was no longer in the window. A manager referred us to a corporate spokesperson, who denied our request for a statement, but a customer service representative tells Channel 3 if a gun is seen on any Cracker Barrel property the owner will be asked to return to their vehicle.  Franks says he got a similar response. “It’s our policy no one carries on the premise. I said, you don’t have any signs. He says, well that’s our decision also, we don’t put up signs.”

Sign or no sign,  Shane Franks said there is no hard feelings towards the restaurant he’s just looking for answers so he doesn’t have to run into this problem again. “By law, you got to have a sign so that way I know that.”

Georgia law allows a licensed holder to carry a gun. It also allows private property owners, like Cracker Barrel to ban guns from their property. The law is not clear on how and where a sign must be posted to notify customers when a gun is not welcome.

So this report is confusing, and I doubt that anything about the store manager’s reaction was well thought out or deliberate.  It needed to be.  First of all, open carry isn’t the same thing as concealed carry, and the patron was openly carrying.  When he returned without his weapon, the sign in the door referred to firearms not being welcome, as opposed to open carry.

Second, if you do a search of the Cracker Barrel web site, you’ll find nothing there that even hints of a formal corporate policy concerning firearms.  They also don’t seem to me to make it easy to contact them.  Third, if you do a Google search of Cracker Barrel firearms policy, you’ll get everything from all firearms being banned to only open carry being banned.  And of course as I said, there is no formal published policy, and there are never any postings from what I can recall from being in that store.

So here is the deal, Cracker Barrel.  Man up.  Make your decision regarding carry of weapons, concealed and/or open, publish the policy decision on your web site, and post your stores in a manner consistent with your policy.  Don’t play games with patrons – that’s rude and ill mannered.  Tell us what you want, and we can then make our decisions according to our own beliefs in light of your corporate policy.

Is that such a difficult thing to do?

Open Carry In Philadelphia

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

NBC10.com:

If you see an armed jogger in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania, these days, it’s not a “run-by” in progress.

He’s trying to make a point.

James Moody, 49, who lives in the neighborhood and comes from a self-described “firearms family,” said he began jogging with a handgun at his hip a couple months ago.

He admits a jogger with a gun in plain view on Vernon Road may be a bit “eye-opening,” but Moody, a truck driver and city native who became Pennsylvania’s Golden Gloves superheavyweight boxing champion in 1988, said he’s doing it to raise awareness about gun rights.

One police officer walking the beat in the 14th District thought it jarring enough to stop Moody mid-run Monday — and the first 15 minutes of the encounter were caught on video shot by Moody’s Go-Pro.

In it, which Moody posted to YouTube Tuesday, the officer, who identifies himself as Officer Cave, crosses Vernon Road to ask Moody about the handgun. Cave approaches with a coffee in one hand and asks Moody if he has a license to carry. Moody refuses to answer the officer’s questions about a firearms license.

As other officers arrive, they too ask Moody about a license to carry or another form of identification. Cave, a sergeant and two other officers all in turn ask Moody as the group discusses the legality of carrying a firearm in public.

None of the officers nor Moody become angry, but at least one of the officers points to her phone and tells Moody he is not allowed to carry a firearm openly.

In Pennsylvania, Moody argued in the video and then in a subsequent phone interview Tuesday, gun owners with a license to carry firearms are free to “open carry” anywhere in the state — even Philadelphia.

“Clearly, the officers don’t know the laws that Philadelphia is governed by. They had no clue about what is lawful and unlawful,” said Moody. “You can, under Title 18 Section 6108, open carry a firearm.”

“We also don’t live in a stop-and-identify state. Do they stop everyone in a motor vehicle just because they’re driving? No, you need probable cause,” he added. “You have no reason to detain me and question me. It may be a little eye opening, but it is not unlawful.”

Moody’s video of the encounter ends after about 15 minutes because his Go-Pro battery died, but he said police continued to question him about the gun and why he wouldn’t show any identification. He said they handcuffed him briefly, searched him and found his license to carry inside his wallet. He was then let go.

An attorney who has wrangled with the city of Philadelphia for decades over citizens’ gun rights, Jon Mirowitz, said the law doesn’t prohibit Moody from openly carrying his gun.

But, Mirowitz said, everyone, whether you’re a cop or a civilian, should adhere to a simple rule: Act civil.

“In this sort of a confrontation, there is nobody that’s right or nobody that’s wrong,” Mirowitz said. “Being civil is the key. All the guy has to do is say, ‘Here’s my ID.’ All the cop has to do is say, ‘I’m not giving you a hard time. I just want to see some ID.'”

There’s video at the link.  So here’s a few takeaways from this.  First of all, the cops need to learn the law and obey it.  Because they want to do or see something isn’t a good enough excuse.  Kudos to Mr. Moody who knows the law, including whether they are a “stop and identify” state.

Second, I’m okay with simply trying to prove a point.  When I open carry, it’s usually because I cannot stand to conceal (e.g., it’s a hot day and I don’t want to sweat my weapon).  But in this case proving a point is the right thing to do.  The cops need to be called to account.

Third, the lawyer is a putz.  He’s basically saying, “It doesn’t matter what the law says, do what the cops want anyway and everything will be just fine.”  He is a horrible lawyer, and he is no lover of liberty.

Gun Permitting As A Revenue Stream And State Jobs Program

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

News From Oklahoma:

The Oklahoma House Thursday overwhelmingly adopted legislation that would permit gun owners to carry their weapons openly without a state-issued license.

House members voted 73-15 for House Bill 3098, the so-called “constitutional open carry” measure, and sent it to the state Senate for debate and a vote.

The measure’s author, Republican Rep. Jeff Coody of Grandfield, said it is similar to open carry laws in more than 30 other states and would allow gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry firearms openly, such is in a holster, without having to comply with existing state government licensing requirements.

Coody said persons who want to carry a concealed weapon would still be required to obtain a state permit.

“It’s the ultimate freedom bill regarding open carry,” Coody said. Coody and other supporters said citizens who are qualified to own a handgun should not be required to ask the government for permission and pay a fee to openly carry it.

“It’s our God-given right to defend our self,” said Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw.

But opponents said it would have serious financial consequences for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which administers firearms licenses issued under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

A fiscal analysis performed for the House indicates the measure would reduce OSBI’s revenue by at least $6 million and would lead to the loss of jobs and reduced operating expenses at the agency.

The reduction in revenue would be because firearms owners would no longer seek concealed carry licenses – which cost $100 for initial 5-year license and $200 for 10 years – if they could carry a gun openly without a license. There are now more than 238,300 Oklahomans with active licenses to carry handguns, according to state figures.

Seldom do you see it in such stark words.  Recognizing God-given rights will lead to the rejection of state-granted rights, thus leading to less power by the state, and fewer jobs at the feeding trough of public wealth.  Therefore, the statists are against recognizing God-given rights.

So there you have it.  I believe some of these grievances are similar to those that were enumerated by the colonists against King George.  Yes, now that I think about it, I’m sure of it.  “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

For The Peace, Good And Dignity Of The Country And The Welfare Of Its People

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeremy Bryant makes a 420 mile trip through Oregon to his grandfather’s funeral open carrying a .357 Magnum, hitchhiking all the way.  This is well worth watching in its entirety.  And Jeremy has given me a brand new expression which I will shamelessly parrot until I no longer have breath.  “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

Open Carry Bill Is Officially Dead In Florida

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

News from the misplaced Northern state:

Usually when the NRA and other gun groups say jump, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature says, “How high and how many guns should we carry when we do it?” But a few gun fantasies are just a bridge too far for even some Floridians.

Yesterday, Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami Republican and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, announced that bills to allow “open carry” and another that would allow guns in Florida airports are dead.

As chair, Diaz de la Portilla basically has the power to kill any bill that comes through the committee by refusing to bring it up for a hearing. Bills in the Florida Legislature must pass three committees before making their way to a vote before the full House and Senate. The open-carry bill had already passed in the full House earlier this month.

Open-carry laws allow gun owners to basically walk around with guns on themselves and totally visible to the public. In some states, that right has led to bizarre sights, such as people toting around large, high-powered machine guns inside Target and Starbucks locations.

Florida’s proposed law would have allowed those who already have a concealed-carry license to openly carry their guns. Since Florida’s concealed-carry license laws apply to only handguns, open carry would still not have applied to larger guns.

“Open carry is not going to happen; it’s done,” Diaz de la Portilla told reporters yesterday, according to the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau.

Diaz de la Portilla also killed a bill that would have allowed guns in airport terminals. Earlier this session, he dealt the same fate to a bill that would have allowed people to take their concealed weapons onto college campuses.

Gun-rights Republicans have tried several times in previous sessions to pass similar bills, but the efforts have almost always been killed in the Senate by more moderate Republicans.

This is the same thing that happened in South Carolina.  State Senator Larry Martin is head of the judiciary committee and single handedly killed open carry in S.C.

As for those moderate republicans, you mean communists, don’t you?  And as for the man who did this, Diaz de la Portilla, he seems rather proud of himself, doesn’t he?  Hey, that name … that sounds Hispanic.  I thought all of those Hispanics were going to be conservative rather than anti-gun?  That’s what they told us, anyway.

So what are you Floridians going to do about Diaz de la Portilla?

Sheriff Says Texas Open Carry Is Not A Problem

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

News From Texas:

Some predicted that the law would lead to a surge of 911 calls, but according to Cpl. Tracey Knight, spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Police Department, not much has occurred:

“We do not have anything interesting to report. Two calls so far, no issues. We have no concerns and we have had no problems.”

Sheriff Dee Anderson adds:

“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.”

Carolyn Daniel, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, argues it’s “too soon to tell” what effect this law will have:

“Changes in legislation can take years to determine an impact.”

Fox News reports that a number of local businesses are now banning firearms on their premises, “as well as national chains, including Starbucks [and] Jack in The Box.” But other businesses, like Home Depot and Bass Pro Shops, have embraced open carry.

But if we look to another state in which open carry was signed into law, the evidence suggests the new Texas legislation will not be an issue.

Mississippi began allowing open carry on July 1, 2013. Fourteen months later, virtually no issues had arisen.

WAPT reported in September 2014:

“The Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Jackson and Byram police departments said there have been little or no incidents reported. Utica police had one incident, where a man forgot he had his weapon on, but he put it back in his truck, authorities said.”

WAPT also quoted Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong:

“We have seen several [people utilizing the open-carry law] over the last year. I would imagine somewhere between 10 and 12…

I have to admit, initially I was a bit nervous about the debate of the law and the passing of the law. But to my surprise, we have not had one single incident as it relates to open-carry.”

Some Mississippians had similar fears regarding open carry, specifically relating to open carry at bars or pubs.

Prior to the Mississippi law going into effect, Hinds County Constable Jerry Moore argued it would be “total chaos” if the law were to be implemented:

“You get enough fights at the clubs and things that we have to respond to now. Can you imagine running up into a club of 50 to 100 people and trying to get order?”

Law enforcement also has mixed feelings about the Texas law. A survey conducted by the Texas Police Chiefs Association yielded some interesting results.

I told you so.  I said this.

Oooo … boogey man gonna getcha!  Hold me Uncle Bob!  I askeerd!  “Walking disaster.”  “Trouble.”  “Volatile and deadly situations.” Oooo …

Again, as a citizen of a traditional open carry state, I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here.  Nothing.  That’s right, nothing.  Life will continue in the lone star state unabated, and the doomsday predictions of law enforcement and the progressives will go down as a monument to their hatred of the common man.

And this.

Really, folks, this has become a silly, exaggerated, inflated, dramatic, overly-complicated, hysterical fit.  I can say that because my home state is a traditional open carry state, and I have open carried, and seen others doing the same.  It’s just not the problem you are making it out to be.  When it’s time for open carry to be legal, some men will decide to open carry, and life will go on.  Business will occur, and the only crimes that may spiral out of control would be SWAT call-outs from politically motivated callers who use the cops to drive their points.

Here’s a note to Texas police departments.  If you don’t want to be used, don’t oblige.  Don’t do it.  Just say no.  Stand up for yourself.  Be men.

Blood won’t run in the streets, I have said.  The sky won’t fall, chicken little can go back to sleep, and the world can know that open carry isn’t the problem the “Moms demand [fill in the blank]” and LEOs say it is.

Florida is next.  And then comes South Carolina, if communist State Senator Larry Martin gets out of the way.

Guns Tags:

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

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks 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?


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