Monday, June 16, 2014

"Open Carry" of Firearms - Too Much and Too Dangerous

Anyone who has read previous posts here will know that I am one of the staunchest defenders of the right to own firearms (nothing more than modern swords or bows and arrows) and am against laws that make it difficult to obtain a concealed weapons permit.

What I am against is making an effort to prove some unknown kind of point by taking an unfair advantage of laws that enable one to actually carry an exposed  firearm (normally rifle or shotgun but also handguns in some cases) while in public. The general term for this is "Open Carry" and the reasoning seems to be to ensure that someone who is transporting a firearm from place to another for any non-criminal purpose is not charged with a criminal offense.

There have been dozens of incidents in the last two months in which people have deliberately carried exposed firearms, apparently just "because they can".

This is not gentlemanly, ladylike, nor is is consistent with any American rule of decorum. In the US, people will understandably call the police if they see someone with an exposed weapon, and the cops are obligated to respond if called. Police that are dispatched to investigate are no longer available to respond to other calls for assistance, including accidents with injuries, fires, or actual criminal activity. 

The continuance of this selfish and prideful act by individuals will have one result - at some point, someone who refuses to cooperate and is determined to be an immediate threat will be shot by the police. If we are fortunate, open carry laws will be changed before this to enumerate circumstances in which it will be allowed and when doing so will be an illegal act.

Either way, state laws will be changed, and the open carry jerks will have no one to blame but themselves.

I also wonder of some of these people are anti-gunners who are doing what they can to make firearms appear as dangerous as possible to the public.

The cops who responded in this case did a great job and I commend them. I hope that he at least charged with a statue (If Michigan has one) such as New Jerseys' Obstructing Administration of Law. This law prohibits any willful act or acts that makes it difficult for a police officer to perform his duties in any way.

".......Video and records obtained by the Kalamazoo Gazette show 63-year-old Joseph Houseman in public with his rifle and his interaction with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers, who weed their way through honoring the man’s right to openly carry the firearm while also trying to protect the public from any possible harm.

In Michigan, it is legal to openly carry a firearm, but not to brandish it, which KDPS Assistant Chief Donald Webster told the Gazette would include “waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner.”

The police responded to several calls from locals wanting them to check out the situation with Houseman in early May.

Here’s how the initial interaction between Houseman and Sgt. Sean Gordon went down:

Gordon: Hey partner, how you doing? Can you set that down real quick and talk to me?
Houseman: I’m not setting it down.

Gordon: Well you can’t cross the street like that.

Houseman: Am I being detained?

Gordon: Yes, you are being detained right now. You crossed the street illegally. Place the weapon down on the ground please.

Houseman: I will not.

Gordon radios that it appears the man will not drop his rifle.

Gordon: ”Look, you crossed the street illegally; I just want to talk to you. I just want to talk to you. You’re walking around here scaring people, man.

Watch this video obtained by the newspaper to see a few minutes of encounter, which the Gazette reported lasted 40 minutes total (Content warning: strong language):"

-Wasting  40 minutes of time for dispatched emergency service personnel - unbelievable. 

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