Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 30 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Open Carry Comes Up Again In Florida

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Tampa Bay Times:

Ron DeSantis told a gun rights advocacy group that people should not need a permit to openly carry a firearm in public, according to the group’s lawyer and a release sent out by the organization this week.

Eric Friday, the general counsel for Florida Carry, said he met with DeSantis in Kissimmee while the Congressman was there for the Republican “Sunshine Summit” in June, which featured a debate between DeSantis and his rival in the governor’s race, Adam Putnam, as well as prominent speeches from prominent Republicans like Ben Carson.

DeSantis’ position was originally touted in a roundup earlier this week of various lawmakers’ stances on gun issues based on conversations they had with the group.

[ … ]

“What Congressman DeSantis said is he doesn’t understand why you need a license to exercise a fundamental right in the first place,” Friday said in an interview with the Times/Herald. “He did not make a commitment to support open carry or unlicensed carry. He didn’t say he would he would push for it in the Legislature (if elected governor).”

“We were very pleased with his answers and very pleased to hear him express support,” Friday added.

If he’s merely throwing scraps from the master’s table and refuses to push for this or say he supports open carry, then why is Friday pleased with DeSantis?

Am I missing something here?

And as for our God-given right of open carry, how is this proceeding in the other more liberal states in the country, like California, Hawaii and South Carolina?

South Carolina?

If You’re Going To Open Carry, Don’t Be A Prick

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Readers know that I not only open carry (sometimes) because I hate the feel of concealed carry and find it highly uncomfortable, but also because I believe we need to normalize this behavior.  As I’ve said before, I believe that opposition to open carry is about shaming gun owners.  I’ve also observed that “there is no prima facie reason that open carry cannot be legitimately for the reason of making a statement or for education purposes.”  I believe in open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

If you do not choose to open carry for whatever reason, I’m okay with that.  I’m also okay with a gun carrier not feeling comfortable with doing something in an attempt to normalize acceptance.  I’m okay with these things as long as concealed carriers are okay with my choices and don’t criticize me for mine.  I do not open carry all of the time, but when I do, I expect acceptance from the gun community.  No, I demand acceptance from the gun community.

This all stipulates that open carriers don’t act like a jerk.  I was with an open carrier tonight waiting in a fast food line (I ended up getting a chicken salad), and he acted like a prick.  He was resting his hand on his firearm much of the time.  You’re as much of a goober if you touch your weapon as a cop is.  Get your damn hand off your gun.

He was dressed poorly and sloppily.  He then proceeded to act like a prick to the lady behind the counter about something, said hey to no one and offered no greetings, and as he sat with his family after he got his food, he blurted out obnoxious comments to his children wanting to know where they were going and what they were doing in a manner that everyone could hear him.  His poor daughter was simply going to the drink fountain.

If you openly carry, you are an ambassador for our cause.  Don’t be an ass.  Please.  Just stay home.  Dress appropriately, be nice, be respectful, observe proper rules (don’t play with your gun), and don’t leave retention straps hanging down from your holster.  Work on your holster to make it look like a gentleman is carrying a gun.

Do more than just look like a gentleman.  Become a gentleman.  Or stay home.

More On Open Carry In Miami Beach

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Following up this post, this video documents the legal response to the Miami Beach Police Department thus far.  The LEO point that they are allowed to point weapons at armed men even if armed legally (for the purpose of officer safety) is idiotic beyond belief.

If that’s true, they should go around pointing weapons at everyone since anyone could be concealing a firearm.  At any rate, this point of logic will be lost on LEOs since .. well, just because.

Miami Beach Police Draw Down On, Detain, Disarm, And Throw Around Lawful Open Carriers

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

The Gun Writer:

While traditional open carry is generally banned, Florida law allows the open carry of handguns while hunting or fishing.

To be clear, you can wear an exposed handgun in a holster if you’re fishing — period. It’s completely legal.

There are a few other exceptions.

This fishing exception was apparently unknown by Miami Beach police officers Sunday morning.

The results were almost tragic.

Thank God no one was killed or seriously injured.

Details are still emerging, but here’s what we know for sure:

A group of fishermen — who were lawfully open-carrying handguns — was fishing off of the South Pointe Pier in Miami Beach Sunday morning at around 10:40, when they were confronted by Miami Beach police officers.

At some point during the confrontation, a Miami Beach police officer pointed his gun at the group. At least one man was unlawfully detained and his weapon was confiscated.

Police injured one man’s shoulder when they took him to the ground. He was later transported to a hospital.

So now do you want to hear how the MSM reported this event?  Hold on to your breeches boys.

Six armed people who were fishing Sunday morning at the South Pointe Pier in Miami Beach were detained by police and then released.

The anglers, whose guns were openly displayed on their hips, cited a state law that allows people to carry a firearm while fishing, hunting, camping or attending a gun show, said Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.

Park rangers spotted the group about 10 a.m. Sunday and summoned police. The anglers were questioned by police but allowed to stay after mentioning the state law, Rodriguez said.

“Out of an abundance of caution we have assigned two officers to the pier while they remain,” he said. “We are encouraging visitors to use other portions of South Pointe Park.”

It all sounds so peaceful and well-intentioned, yes?  So here is a question for you.  Abundance of what caution?  Exactly what did the police think they were protecting?

Let’s pose a question. “Why officer, you don’t want us to see a weapon on the carriers, but carrying concealed is acceptable, then exactly what are you doing by recommending we stay away from these men?  They could be carrying anyway and it be legal, it’s just that we wouldn’t know about it?”

They would only have one answer.  “We don’t want you to see peaceable men openly carrying weapons because you may figure out that there is no difference between open and concealed carry except that you don’t know it if someone has concealed their weapons.  Then you may demand that these men be allowed to do that everywhere, or at least not oppose open carry, and we can’t have the peasants with the same rights we have, can we?”

But the MSM reporter doesn’t go there, because like all MSM reporters, she got her talking points from the cops.  The MSM is an organ of the state.  It always has been, it always will be.

One final thing.  Let’s stipulate that the cops were poorly bred, uneducated imbeciles for a moment (that’s usually a good approximation for cops).  The first thing out of my mouth if I had responded to this event as a cop would have been this.  “Hey boys, how’s the fishing?  Catching anything today?  Let’s talk about what you’re doing here, sirs.”

Unholstering a weapon and pointing it at someone who is peaceable and innocent is the most idiotic, irresponsible, dangerous and thoughtless thing a person can do.  The cops truly are morons of the highest order.

South Carolina State Senator Luke Rankin Is Anti-Gun

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Greenville News:

A bill that would allow lawful gun owners to carry their firearms without a permit has been removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s meeting agenda, and the chairman is not saying when it may return.

Its removal came as lawmakers and political candidates have debated what should be done to combat school shootings, and it came just days before a bill related to school safety receives a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

The bill’s sponsor and members of the committee questioned this week by The Greenville News said they were not aware of the bill’s removal.

Sen. Luke Rankin, a Horry County Republican and chairman of the committee, said the bill was pulled by him to “to give full attention” to an abortion bill that was debated and passed by his committee Tuesday.

He said he did not know when the gun bill might return to the agenda but said its absence was not due to the recent school shooting in Florida.

Asked why he did not know when it might return, he said, “It was not on the agenda today. That is the answer.”

The controversial bill had been debated briefly at the last meeting of the committee two weeks ago, but no action was taken.

The so-called “Constitutional carry” or “open-carry” bill, sponsored by Sen. Shane Martin, a Spartanburg County Republican, would not do away with concealed weapons permits for those who wanted to carry their guns to other states.

[ … ]

On Wednesday a Senate judiciary subcommittee will hear a bill by Rep. Sandy Senn, a Charleston Republican, that would create the crime of threatening, soliciting or conspiring to threaten to use a firearm to cause injury, death or damage at a school, college or university.

This is news from February that I had missed because I wasn’t watching closely enough.  State Senator Luke Rankin is dismissive and haughty because he doesn’t care about gun rights.

I’ve made it clear not only that gun control has its roots in wickedness, but gun control also to do with how a many bears his arms.  Forcing a man to conceal his weapons is an act of shaming him and making him behave like a criminal.

But, he claims, they can’t chew gum and walk at the same time.  They want to focus on an abortion bill.  Good.  We’ll see if anything comes of that.  Meanwhile, they have the time to debate a bill that makes it a crime to engage in “threatening, soliciting or conspiring to threaten to use a firearm to cause injury, death or damage at a school, college or university,” or in other words, make something that is already a crime, a crime.

I think Senator Rankin is a liar and weasel.  I think they can chew gum and walk at the same time, and I think he is being coy and dismissive in order to hide something.

What is he trying to hide?  What does he believe about gun owners and their manner of carry that he isn’t telling us because he is cowardly and doesn’t want us to know?

I also think it’s time to Larry Martin Mr. Rankin.  Mr. Rankin, you now have a target on your back.  You’re next, so look for something to do with your time other than be a state senator.

 

Olmos Park City Council Repeals Open Carry Ordinance

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

News4SA.com:

The video has gone viral. Open Carry Texas President CJ Grisham and several other members were along the streets of Olmos Park protesting their right to carry a loaded gun.

Grisham and two other men were arrested by Olmos Park police, facing various charges including resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.

“He was legally carrying and they are drawing down on him like he is a terrorist, he had his hands up and he is backing away, which they will say he is resisting arrest, but doesn’t everyone back up from a threat,” said Open Carry Texas member Felix Cano.

Open Carry Texas says they were protesting a Olmos Park city ordinance that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on public streets. Thursday City Council voted unanimously to repeal that ordinance.

“The City of Olmos Park had from a long time ago put in place an ordinance that none of the current council members were involved with, regarding not allowing those two types of weapons to be loaded,” said Olmos Park City Council member Enzo Pellegrino.

Open Carry Texas says this was a victory for them.

“There shouldn’t be any more illegal arrests and throwing down Americans that are legally allowed to carry and putting other charges that don’t belong there,” said Cano.

“Open Carry Texas says this was a victory for them.”  Well I guess so.  It was indeed a victory for them.  I had followed this story from a distance, not knowing the back story behind it and not wanting to do the research necessary to understand it.

But this is the backstory.  It looks like the city of Olmos decided to engage in a little nullification themselves, being the little Napoleons they are.  Open carry is now legal in Texas, and while Olmos challenged that, Texas Open Carry decided to challenge Olmos.

Texas Open Carry won.  Good for them.  The city cannot make its own laws.

South Carolina Senators Kill Proposal To Ban Felons From Having Guns, Ignore Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Greenville News:

Although federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing guns, local and state law enforcement officers as a rule don’t work to enforce federal laws, lawmakers say. State law bans only those convicted of violent crimes from possessing guns.

The bill prompted questions by Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg Democrat, starting with why a 36-year-old who was convicted at age 22 of breach of trust with fraudulent intent for embezzlement shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.

“They’ve done their time,” Hutto said. “They’re fully off probation. Now they’re gainfully employed. They’re married. They’re a deacon in their church. Why are we going to reach back to those people that I would think have just as much right to defend themselves in their own house?”

Hembree said it is already federal law that the embezzler cannot own a firearm.

“But the federal government doesn’t come to my house every day, but the local constabulary might,” Hutto replied.

Hembree said the real solution is to fix the state’s expungement law instead of making the state law on guns different. Expungement is a court order that removes something from a person’s criminal record if that person meets certain conditions.

“You’re not fixing it by having a different state law,” Hembree said. “You’re fixing it by expungement, because if you fix it through expungement, then it’s not a federal violation. That’s the right way to fix it.”

Hutto said another problem with the bill is that if a spouse of a felon owns a gun, the spouse would have to remove it from the house. He believes most households in the state have guns for self-protection.

Hutto also said he wanted to be sure divorcing couples couldn’t use the law to remove each other’s firearms if a judge as a precaution placed a restraining order on both. He said in the heat of emotions, judges sometimes issue such orders to keep relative peace, while there is no evidence in many such cases of any threat of physical harm.

Good points sir.  I agree with every single one of them.  Now, tell me why you’re still ignoring the issue of open carry in South Carolina, and why you’re still like New York and California when it comes to how a man decides to carry his firearm?

What right by God do you have to make a man who openly carries his firearm a felon?  How can you defend an embezzler and call an open carrier a criminal?

Opposition To Open Carry Is About Shaming Gun Owners

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

I want to cover this ground one more time for good measure.  The lawmakers in South Carolina are toying with constitutional carry, and this is a small step forward for liberty, but the largest step has yet to be taken and is still opposed by the power brokers in South Carolina.  Open carry.

Please realize that as gun owners, you’ve been conditioned to be embarrassed and ashamed of the fact that you own and carry weapons.  What was once considered poor taste, ill-bred and even criminal, hiding your weapons, is now required of you in order to keep them out of sight of all of the offended parties.

You’ve been taught that all of your gun owning life.  You have holsters for concealed carry.  Instructors and trainers are there to teach you to draw and present from concealment.  You know all of the applicable laws on concealed carry for your state.  There are entire posts and videos on carrying in non-permissive environments.  It’s even in vogue for the gun community to criticize open carry and viciously attack open carriers, with largely irrelevant and ridiculous notions of tactical advantages on concealment.  Those advantages, as you know, cannot be demonstrated to be advantages with any statistical significance that meets the Central Limit Theorem.  Finally, the tactical advantages of open carry, which is quicker draw and presentation, is largely ignored in these conversations.

Comfort is largely irrelevant to the conversation, as is the fact that you’re sweating and dirtying your weapon with IWB carry.  All of these things are signs and symptoms of the fact that gun owners have been taught by society to respond like dogs or other pets by “operant conditioning.”  The first time you ever openly carried caused you some degree of self consciousness, didn’t it?  Just go ahead and admit it.  It’s useful to demonstrate my point.

Gun owners, and in particular open carriers, are treated like second class citizens, inferior men, uncouth savages, like those who have no etiquette, when exactly the opposite would have been true two hundred years ago.  That’s one reason I openly carry when I can.  In some small way I want to change all of this.  I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”  So should you.

“Bearing Arms” Continues The Irrational Hatred For Open Carriers

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 weeks ago

Bob Owens and I always disagreed on open carry, and I told him so very plainly.  It looks like the visceral, emotional, irrational hatred for open carriers continues in Bob’s absence with a writer named Tom Knighton.

There’s a lot of debate that takes place around the idea of open carry. Many argue that open carry is tactically stupid as it makes it clear to any potential bad guy who to take out first during a robbery. Others counter with arguments about how open carry initiates conversations about the Second Amendment and our right to keep and bear arms.

Both are good points, but for one open carrier in Fayetteville, NC, open carry isn’t such a grand thing these days.

[ … ]

Officers arrived and discovered that a man had grabbed a gun off another man who was open-carrying the weapon. The man who grabbed the gun then ran off.

Of course, this illustrates one of the main problems with open carry. Besides freaking out the uninitiated citizen, it also makes yourself a target for crap like this.

To be sure, there are things you can do to mitigate this kind of thing. First, look at your holster and see how easily it is to draw from someone else’s hip. I’ve found that some holsters are very easy to draw from when they’re no your hip, but not so much when they’re on someone else’s.

Also, look at learning some weapon retention techniques. These are, in my opinion, a good idea for anyone who is carrying a firearm, whether open or concealed. The last thing you want is for your decision to rely solely on stealth to come back and bite you in the rear should someone figure out you’re packing.

That said, stealth–in other words, carrying concealed–is the best way in which to carry as a general rule. If you want to make a statement, that’s fine, but don’t expect anyone to listen to you when they’re concerned about the heater on your hip. Some will, but a lot more won’t.

But if you’re serious about protecting yourself and others with a firearm, carry it concealed. Doing so means that not only will you minimize your chances of being murder target number one in the event of a robbery, but you’ll also help make sure that you actually have your gun at that key moment, rather than having lost it to some schmuck in a local Walmart who snatched it and ran off.

Folks, if we want to be considered responsible gun owners, we need to act like it. That means not advertising what we have so would-be thieves like this can grab a hold of our weapons and run for the hills. The last thing any of us want is to help arm criminals, but just what do you think happened with this weapon?

This is an idiotic commentary.  First of all, I absolutely hate the words “packing” for carrying (concealed or openly), and “heater” for firearm.  It comes across as fifth grade level writing (or worse, something a MSM “journalist” would say, but maybe I’m being redundant).  It’s language like this that serves to poorly educate the public rather than open carry.  I don’t “pack a heater,” and neither should you.  I carry a firearm.

He states that “Many argue that open carry is tactically stupid as it makes it clear to any potential bad guy who to take out first during a robbery.”  I’ve made it clear what I think about that argument.

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 when circumstances prevent me from open carry.  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.

Next, he charges open carriers like me with being irresponsible and unserious.  I’m simply befuddled where he would come up with something like that or why he would make that charge.  He gives no reasons at all, he just reacts like a schoolgirl to something he read in the news.  If he wishes to demonstrate that he can present from a concealed position faster and more reliably than I can present from an open position, I’m waiting and I’ll take the challenge any time.  And while I don’t want to appear “holier than thou,” it’s better for me to engage first and be the one a perpetrator shoots at than some woman or child, even ones I don’t know.

So if you’re an open carrier, use this as a great learning example and do better than the man in the report.  Be more vigilant and aware of circumstances, and wear a retention holster.  I am and I do.  Next, he states unequivocally that more people won’t listen to us than do listen.  He doesn’t really know that, he just made it up.  I’ve had many conversations with folks asking me about it (from the perspective of God-given rights to the laws in my state), and while I initially took the position that I open carry because I simply hate concealed carry and I sweat my weapon, I have morphed to a position of speaking out and trying to educate with my practice of openly carrying.  I think it makes good sense, or otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

I’m guessing it’s been more than a year since I’ve read anything at Bearing Arms, and now I know why.  This is simply awful firearm commentary.  They should be doing a much better job of arguing for and discussing what we see as our God-given rights rather than trying to make sure they run to the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.  At one time open carry was the common practice in America, and it was considered uncouth, crass, ill-bred and even criminal to conceal your weapons.

We should return to that practice, and the only way to do that, other than changes to the law, is educating an ignorant public.  As I’ve said, I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”  Just so.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Writes That Open Carry Is The Law In Arkansas

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 weeks ago

But wait, that’s not the whole story.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has informed the Arkansas State Police that he believes a 2013 law made open carry of hand guns the law of the land in Arkansas and they should act accordingly.

There is, as yet, no definitive court case that substantiates this view of the law. Ever since its passage, a debate has raged over the law’s meaning. Some contended it was merely meant to be a technical correction to Arkansas law that long had allowed the carrying of weapons on a “journey,” but not in all circumstances. Gun advocates argued that the wording validated open carry. Critics argue that such an expansive view might override some of the restrictions in law on where concealed weapons may be taken.

The governor’s letter comes as he faces a challenge in the Republican primary from Jan Morgan, a gun range owner who’s depicted Hutchinson (a former spokesman for the NRA) as somehow soft on guns (she was critical of some limitations added to the campus carry legislation, among others). His opinion carries no force of law, but the directive to an executive agency will have the effect of guiding state troopers, as indicated by a notice sent yesterday to troopers by Col. Bill Bryant, director of the State Police.

Context: An off-duty trooper in 2014 arrested a man who was carrying a weapon in a Searcy Walmart. He was acquitted of an obstruction of governmental operations misdemeanor charge, but lost a lawsuit at the circuit court level in which he sought to have his concealed carry permit restored. Judge Wendell Griffen rejected James Tanner’s argument that the 2013 law allowed open carry so long as no unlawful intent was present. The judge called that interpretation “senseless.” The judge ruled Tanner wasn’t entitled to get his license back because he openly carried a concealed weapon as a permit holder and refused to provide identification to an officer who asked for it. That case has not been appealed, court records indicate.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued an official opinion in 2015 that indicated open carry was legal in Arkansas, but she also commented that confusion about the 2013 law suggested clarification would be useful. Her predecessor, Dustin McDaniel, had opined the law was only a technical correction, not legalization of unlimited open carry.

Rutledge also enumerated these caveats about open carry:

* Law officers can freely question anyone openly carrying a weapon about their purpose.

* Other statutes prohibit open carry in certain circumstances — in government buildings such as the Capitol, for example.

* Private property owners are entitled to keep firearms off their property, and armed people who refuse to leave can be prosecuted for trespass.

* The law doesn’t affect concealed carry statutes. All carrying concealed weapons still must comply with permitting and other requirements.

By “soft on guns,” Morgan means that Asa isn’t the gun rights supporter he purports to be.

Hutchinson hasn’t been hard enough on the gays and the transgenders; he once took a meeting with gun control advocates; he wouldn’t sign a meaningless anti-Sharia law bill; he’s supported the continuation of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Arkansas is in fact a stop and identify state, but only for loitering.  The judge that decided the case against the open carrier, Wendell Griffen, is clearly an idiot and communist.  Expect the police to ignore the governor’s edict and work towards their communist ends.

As for the governor’s race, I don’t know what will happen.  But Arkansas is as much a mess as every other state.


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