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Open Carry: The Wild Wild West or Sensible Precaution?

After finding out that there's actually no law against carrying gun openly, Kevin Jensen decided to make it part of his every day fashion - and to his surprise, no one bats an eye!

Here's the story of Open Carry, a movement whose mission is to promote carrying gun in public:

The Jensens are part of a fledgling movement to make a firearm as common an accessory as an iPod. Called "open carry" by its supporters, the movement has attracted grandparents, graduate students and lifelong gun enthusiasts like the Jensens.

"What we're trying to say is, 'Hey, we're normal people who carry guns,' " said Travis Deveraux, 36, of West Valley, a Salt Lake City suburb. Deveraux works for a credit card company and sometimes walks around town wearing a cowboy hat and packing a pistol in plain sight. "We want the public to understand it's not just cops who can carry guns."

Nicholas Riccardi of the Los Angeles Times has the story: Link

(Photo: George Frey / LA Times)


If I saw that guy in Costco, I'd probably just assume he was law enforcement.

Personally I prefer carrying a sword. Its also a very fetching fashion accessory.
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You know this thread is just going to turn into a flame war between the pro-gun people and the anti-gun people.

Personally, I think it's a little scary. Carrying a concealed gun is one thing, but having it out in the open like that seems to present more of a danger. If the gun owner is not 100% on guard, any prankster or kid could snatch it. That's what I'd be worried about (more so than insecure people needing to display their firepower in the grocery store).
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No one bats and eye... if you feel threatened or uncomfortable with the stranger next to you who was carrying a gun, would you really confront him about it?
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Here in Denver IIRC, it's not illegal to carry a gun openly, but it is illegal to take it into any government building and certain public areas (such as the football stadium).
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God knows the one place you need a gun is The Home Depot. Here's hoping nobody yanks it from him and goes on a shooting spree.
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Open Carry laws help out, but I'm quite sure that quite a few people will start arguing with and yelling at me.

Soo first, I will say that Vermont has long had the least restrictive firearms carry laws, allowing citizens to carry guns either openly or concealed without any permit. Vermont also has maintained one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country. For example:

In 1980, when murders and robberies in the U.S. had soared to an average of 10 and 251 per 100,000 population, respectively, Vermont's murder rate was 22 percent of the national rate and its robbery rate was 15 percent.

Theres more information I could share but I'm by far too lazy to type any further.
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"After finding out that there’s actually no law against carrying gun open..."

This article never points out that it IS illegal in some states. Try that in CA or MA and see what happens.
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A lot of times people will open carry because their state "requires" a special permit to carry concealed. Only Alaska and Vermont recognize the right of a person to carry concealed without a special license. A good number of us gun owners believe permit requirements to be a government denial of our right to keep and bear arms, as well as a form of registration of gun owners. Historically gun registration laws have often later been used during confiscation to disarm the people.
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It simply isn't reasonable to expect any of these people to remain vigilant against criminals or kids or the mentally disturbed or anyone else who might want to make a grab for a gun. The more guns that are carried around in public, the more guns will get stolen and passed to the wrong hands, the more guns that will be fired accidentally, and the more innocent folks will be hurt. It's not a complicated equation.

I'd be willing to wager that the first person to be injured or killed by one of these fetishists' guns will be a family member or bystander, rather than someone representing one of their imagined fears.

Mr. Jensen thinks the man's belief that guns are unsafe is "irrational." Show me another object you can wear on your belt that can kill eight people in as many seconds.
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I sooo aggree with you, c-dub. I know people have rights, but I'm w2aaay too scared about how many people might abuse this one >_< I don't wanna get shot by accident. We're already such a nation of fear and I don't want to have to be afraid of getting shot wherever I go.
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BTW, "normal people who carry guns" is a nonsequitur. Wandering around with a object whose sole purpose is to kill people is pretty much by definition abnormal.

FWIW, stay away from these guys - they are the first ones the other gun toting nutbars will kill once the shooting begins.
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I live in Utah. While open carry is legal - it has two problems.

1. You cannot have the gun loaded. By definition that means you are two mechanical actions away from firing. I.E. putting one in the chamber, and then firing. Some people count removing the safety as an "action" but I'm not sure that actually counts. On a triple action trigger like on an XD, you could probably argue that pulling the trigger alone is at least two mechanical actions.

2. It's stupid. The point of carrying a gun is for self defense. If someone comes into a store and tries to rob the place, but sees that you have a gun, they're just going to shoot you first. Carrying your weapon concealed is much more intelligent.
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Well then, by your logic, I should want more of the open carry guys around so that they soak up the lead in the inevitable hail of bullets that you suggest.
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I can't quite understand what it is they're trying to prove.

If they want my respect, earning it by behaving in a sociable manner might be more sociable than making me pretend to respect them out of fear of what might happen if I don't.
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I can't quite understand what it is they're trying to prove.

If they want my respect, earning it by behaving in a sociable manner might be more appropriate than making me pretend to respect them out of fear of what might happen if I don't.
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@c-dub: Not a complicated equation? Do a google search for "logical fallacies" and see how many you hit in your statement above.

More guns does not equal more violence - accidental or otherwise. While your argument seems reasonable, history and real world examples seem to disprove your point every time.

Guns are like nukes - if everyone has them, nobody is dumb enough to try to use them.

Here are some relevant links for you:
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55288
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I just returned from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, where private security guards walk around with as much weaponry as a soldier in Iraq. I can tell you that seeing guns everywhere does NOT make normal people feel safe. It was a great relief to return to the U.S. and visit gas stations, grocery stores and banks without firearms and violence hanging over every moment. Guys like this have their weapons and their rights, but "Open Carry" feels like it's starting to infringe on my rights to not be intimidated in public areas.
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These people usually feel that their carrying a gun helps protect them from their guvmint in the event that teh guvmint gits too powerful and all that right wing conspiracy crap...

Let me tell you something, even if that right-wing-gun-nut scenario ever did come about, having a 22 strapped to your belt ain't gonna help you a whole lot. What keeps your government in check is the citizenry being involved in it, not rednecks carrying pistols into Home Depot.
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iam for the right to bear arms and to arm bears, but it seems alot of these dudes are like those dudes who walk those pit bulls in the park: overt and unnecessary display of aggression
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To those saying they will "yank" the gun out of the holster, give it a try sometime. It's a lot harder to do than you think. I'd say it's almost impossible to grab a gun out of a retention holster on first try. A fight may ensue for the gun, but I highly doubt its coming out in one snatch.

Later,
Chrome...
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"By definition [in Utah] that means you are two mechanical actions away from firing. I.E. putting one in the chamber, and then firing. Some people count removing the safety as an “action” but I’m not sure that actually counts"

So a single-action revolver, or an autoloader with an empty chamber should be just fine. (I wonder about a double-action revolver with the first chamber empty?)
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One of the biggest lies in the world is that an armed society is a polite society. Yeah, go check out Afghanistan or any other nation where assault rifles are more common than cars and see just how lovely those places are.
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Sean, you ever seen a pick pocket at work? I had one take my wallet out of my pocket without me noticing and I have trouble taking it out at times (it's pretty thick).

Patricio, you know what I find funny is that these same people are the ones that would vote for the facist government that would take their guns to suppress revolution, rather than the "socialist" governments that really just want to minimize access to guns used in crimes.

Skipweasel, I'm convinced that American gun nuts are sociopaths, they're sick sick people. Note, I said gun nuts, not sportsmen, the person that has 7 rifles for hunting is not the person I'm talking about, I'm referring to the whack jobs that have 12 pistols for home defense.

CheeseDuck, I may be wrong, guns may be the reason Vermont is much less violent than other states, but then again it could just be because it's Vermont, and along with New Hampshire and Maine have 3 of the 4 lowest crime rates in the nation. Makes me think it's not the lax gun laws.
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If any of you actually read the article isntead of just writing it off as pro-gun male enthusiasts, youll notice that the man in ther article's wife also carries, so is she trying to flaunt her penis also?
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The most telling part of the story: Travis White congratulated Brandon Trask on carrying openly for the first time that night. "Just wait until you get confronted by a cop," White said. "It'll make you feel brave."
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How long will it be before every yahoo that openly carries a firearm decides that they're a self-appointed sheriff's deputy, especially now that Florida and other states have a 'Fire away if you feel threatened' law?

Handguns are for one purpose only: to put big, sloppy holes in things that cause tremendous damage and death. They're weapons that have no constructive purpose, unless you consider flat-out intimidation to be constructive. Maybe they'll stop a crime, or maybe they'll escalate a situation where no harm was planned into a bloodbath by their advertised presence. Handguns aren't even efficient for hunting. They're for killing people, plain and simple.

Intimidation isn't a way to breed trust and community, it's a way to remind people that the only reason they'll respect your authority is because you have a .357, and why the hell would you carry one in the open unless you're ready to use it and want to make damn sure that everyone else knows it? Can you be really sure that a stranger is trustworthy enough to use an open-carry handgun in the direst of circumstances, or are they just itching to use it under any quasi-legal excuse of 'self-defense'?

It makes us commie Un-American hippies who don't trust guns very nervous to know that someone's so obsessed with tools of death that they wear them with pride, even bragging about their personal arsenal. I question why anyone who doesn't work in a dangerous profession would carry a gun in public.
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"...and to his surprise, no one bats an eye!"

I guess it helps if you look like a clean cut cop. I wonder what folks (or cops) would think if you looked like Snoop Dogg.

I don't really have much problem with open or concealed carry, but I have to wonder, why bother? Crime in the US isn't really that bad. And even the smallest firearms are bulky and heavy. Carrying a very specialized tool all the time for a very unlikely event seems overkill. One could probably argue that carrying a pipe wrench all the time is much more useful in life, but who in their right mind would do that, other than a plumber? I suppose if I lived in a really rough area, I might give open carry a go. But then again, if I lived in such a rough area, it'd probably be better off to just move and avoid any potential conflict altogether.
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1. I like guns, but I'm not a "gun nut".
2. My grandfather came here from Poland in 1895 to get away from restrictive Russian laws. He bought me my 1st .22 when I was 7.
3. People who grow up with guns all their lives usually treat them with respect because they KNOW what the gun is capable of. The only people I know who are "gun nuts" are jerks who use the firearm as a penis substitute, much as a old man buying a red Ferrari.
4. I currently own over 30 guns (most of which were passed down to me by my grandfathers and father) and they are all in excellent condition and SAFELY in a locked gun safe (looks a lot like a bank vault and built like one too).
5. My oldest grandchild is turning 7 this year and I'm buying him a single shot .22 (his mother, my wonderful daughter-in-law approves) and he, his father and I will go to the range (daughter-in-law also) and punch some holes in paper. Why? Because it's a lot of fun.
6. On the other hand, you have 4 fingers and an opposable thumb.
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Thanks for the insult, Tim. I am a "tool", as in a penis? Very interesting... tell me more about your childhood...
At least I'm not a tool of a mind-control cult, Tim. So there.

And really, Peter, they're not flaunting their penises. They're trying to compensate for their feelings of penile inadequacy. So, yes, the dude's wife could very well feel like she's strapping on her own penis when she puts on a gun.

And if you must take my remarks seriously, at least try to give better responses than that. The pit bull comment was bang-on, I think. Sure, if you're hunting, you can carry your gun around, but why carry while shopping? He's just trying to feel important.
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To the anti-guners,

I exercise my right to free speech, and a I exercise my right to bear arms.

Every day I wake up I thank god I am in America, for no other country is as great as ours.

Freedom, its addictive.
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No one 'batted an eye' when Kevin Jensen openly carried his gat wherever he went huh? Let's see if the same thing happens if, oh, let's say a young Black male, does the same. Probably everyone and their brother calls 9-1-1.
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"How long will it be before every yahoo that openly carries a firearm decides that they’re a self-appointed sheriff’s deputy, especially now that Florida and other states have a ‘Fire away if you feel threatened’ law?"

And yet, where is all the "blood in the streets" that Sarah Brady and Paul Helmke prophesied about? It hasn't happened.

I also don't understand all these derogatory remarks about penises. The penis is one of our all-time great playthings. (see if you can guess what the other one is :-)

Perhaps some of you should tell the next cop that you see that the gun he (she?) carries is just a surrogate penis to hide his inadequacies. Yeah, I'll bet that goes over really good.

Best regards,
Bob

--
"It's that shoulder thing that goes up" —Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
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The US, for all its incessant crowing about its greatness in the freedom stakes, has never been all that great at actual, real freedom, by whatever metric you care to choose to measure it (other than maybe the right to bear arms).

Free speech is circumscribed by the FCC, more than 1% of the country's population is in jail (a greater proportion than any dictatorship you care to compare to), the average life expectancy is lower and the infant mortality rate higher than in any other Western nation and social mobility is lower than almost any industrial nation. The two-party system and the winner-takes-all division of political responsibilities means that no third party will ever be viable and that both parties need only to pander to the (perceived) middle. It's twice as a good as a one-party system and 2 x 0 = 0.

The government has grabbed vast, unchecked surveillance rights, can imprison even its own citizens indefitely and without charges being brought. It also practices and endorses torture in contravention of the Geneva Convention. Somehow, the media doesn't care much about these things and focuses on Britney and flag pins.

And religion has such a stranglehold on the nation that an Atheist couldn't be elected dog catcher, much less senator or - Heaven forbid - president.

Remind me again what freedoms - again apart from the guns - are available to me as a US citizen that aren't as or more readily available in any other Western nation

I love the US for many reasons, but the idea ever has been - and especially that it is now - the home of freedom on Earth is an outright falsehood.
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Ted, your reponse only helps confirm that you are a tool. Your dime store psychology has gotten you everywhere you ever imagined - being called a toool on Neatorama.
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If I saw someone like him, I would probably leave the store. Sorry, but it just scares the hell out of me. I'm sure stores are aware of how many customers like me they'd lose and won't just allow people, no matter what the laws are, to walk into their establishments brandishing weapons. Plus, even if 95% of those doing it are harmless, anyone could use that as a front and then injure or kill in a second. What owner/manager is going to take that chance?
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Wow, Tim. Your last couple of posts have been pretty nasty. Don't get your thetans out of joint. I'm not an agent of the great psychology conspiracy. I'm not much for the whole psychology thing at all, so any that I do spout would correctly be considered dime-store. I don't profess to be anything more than just some guy voicing my opinion.

It's surprising to see you lower yourself to trolling, but I guess I'm some kind of evil Xenu-monster to you. I sincerely feel sorry for you, Tim. I wish I could help you along the path to getting out of the mind-control cult of Scientology. But that's a choice you'll have to make on your own someday.
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I'm not particularly in favor of this, for purely selfish reasons. I live in Chicago, where estimates of concealed carry range from one in six to one in three. So I don't have to carry a gun to be safe, I just have to have one hand in a pocket and keep an eye out.

If open carry becomes the norm, that's just going to paste a target on those of us who don't carry.
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JET, its an interesting method of argument you have. You are arguing against "the US", which as a body collective, has apparently been "crowing" in your ear about its "greatness".

I'm sure if you googled it diligently enough, you might possibly find someone who insists that you believe the US is "the home of freedom on earth". But really here your just arguing with your wall.

Are you familiar with the state's "surveillance rights" in the UK? How about the prosecution of Brigitte Bardot and others for "hate speech" in France? Please name the country which surpasses the US so much in the "freedom stakes" (wtf) and makes us look like such a hellhole in your eyes.

Its funny that criticize the existence of the FCC. Are you aware that MTV Europe was just fined 225,000 pounds by the British Office of Communications for "offensive language"? (Not that I have any problem with that).

Speaking of Britain, are you aware of the state-run surveillance system in place there?

What laws are there in place in the US which forbid atheists from holding office? Do you approve of Germany's treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientologists? How about the French Muslim headscarve ban (unthinkable in the US)?

You are entitled to your peculiar "metrics" and dim view of freedom in the US. I'm not sure why you would remain here given the vituperative tone and extraordinary one-sidedness of your statements, but to each his own.
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"An armed society is a polite one," right? These aren't trigger-happy weirdos running around waiting for a chance to fire off a few rounds, they're just people that like a little security on their belt. Statistics show that areas that disallow open carry have higher crime. I mean really, who are you going to rob: the guy with the .45 on his waist or the guy that doesn't? Easy answer. This is a good thing that will (and does!) make criminals think twice before they try something.
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"I’m sure stores are aware of how many customers like me they’d lose and won’t just allow people, no matter what the laws are, to walk into their establishments brandishing weapons."

Brandishing a weapon is waving it around and/or threatening people with it. (I would leave too.) A gun secured in someone's holster is no more dangerous than the gun a cop carries. In fact, statistically the *cop* is more likely to shoot you than an ordinary citizen open-carrying a handgun. I'm not picking on cops, it's just that people who take the time and effort to legally carry a gun are *unusually* law abiding.

(Did you ever think about how many people are carrying concealed weapons around you and you don't know it? Open-carried guns are just the tip of the iceberg) HTH :-)

Bob
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I had a feeling someone would comment on my choice of words. I know that's not really "brandishing," but still. It would make me uncomfortable. I don't like it any more when cops wear them. I just don't like guns period.

There may be people carrying concealed weapons, but when I go to a store, restaurant, movie theater, or any other public place I don't feel it necessary to have it in my face that they're doing so. It doesn't just freak me out, it would create a generally antagonistic atmosphere and put me and I'm sure others on guard and on edge, which in our day and age of high stress, is the last thing we need.
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"Statistics show that areas that disallow open carry have higher crime."

What statistics are those? Can you show that there is a causal relationship, and not merely that areas with low violent crime rates also have an armed populace? Someone mentioned Vermont's open carry laws having something to do with their low violent crime rates, but if you check, Vermont(49th), New Hampshire (48th) and Maine (50th), all have extremely low per capita violent crime rates. Maybe the regions that allow open carry feel that the crime rates are already low enough as to not risk releasing a crowd of vigilantes onto the street. Whereas areas with large crime rates see the idea of a John Q Public toting a gun as just too much of a risk to everyone. Seems to me that places where these laws work, are ones with low poverty and low population density, places where historically there have been low crime rates.

Personally, if I see someone walking down the street with a gun on their hip and no visible badge, I think that person is just a sad, scared individual. Guns kill, you don't point and talk, you point and shoot, regardless of what you see on TV. The only reason to carry a gun is if you think you're going to need it, (otherwise it's and affectation and that's just sad too) and that's some extreme fear that would cause a person to go shopping expecting to have to kill someone.
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Oh you're so clever, you got me. I do have one, oh wait I don't wear it on my belt. so I guess your analogy isn't so good.

My point still stands, a sidearm for the common man is either a symbol of their deep rooted fear. Or it's an affectation, something to say "ooh look at me, I have to be the center of attention" like the guy that wears a top hat at WalMart, or the lady with the chihuahua in her purse.
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What ever happened to "a well-regulated militia"? The gun lovers seem to forget the well-regulated part, as well as the militia part. Militias would be armed with rifles, not handguns.
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That and the fact that militias are only needed where professional armed forces don't exist, therefore the need for a well-regulated militia became obsolete with the creation of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and National Guard. In this day and age, all the self described militias are the last people I would want protecting me and my neighbors/family from anyone.
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@sam:

Rather than lecture me on the definition of "logical fallacy," maybe you should re-read my comment. I stated that as the number of guns increase, so will the number of stolen guns and gun-related accidents and injuries. There are no fallacies there. In order for my statement to be untrue, the percentage of open-carry guns that are stolen or involved in accidents would have to decrease -- and there's no reasonable expectation for that to happen.
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Hi, I live in Belgium (thats Europe).And if I had to carry a gun openly here,someone would call the cops because he/she would think that I am a danger.And that is what I am when I carry a gun. I have the power to kill somebody.I don't understand why somebody(except cops) should carry a gun (openly), even if its legal.Do you feel safer? Do you feel better? Welll, perhaps we should encourage everybody wearing a gun so you all feel "free". (And this would also be good for the arms industry because after all it's all about the moneeeeey). If you have to carry a gun to feel free or call the possibility wearing a gun legally freedom, come live in my country. I have never saw a gun in my life, I even don't know a single person who has been robbed. Maybe it's because it's illegal to have a gun in our possession? Trust me... it's the guns that kill, not the people. If you have a gun, the possibility to kill, you will use it. I have a fire extinguisher to protect myself from fire, so I don't have to live in fear for fire. It's common sense and the ability to speak that protect me from criminals.
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"who are you going to rob: the guy with the .45 on his waist or the guy that doesn’t? Easy answer."....

Probably the guy with the gun... but I'd shoot him in the back first. (must be carrying something valuable... and... a free gun)
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Let me know when the number of crimes stopped by gun-toting civilians is equal to or greater than the number of accidental and unlawful injuries and deaths caused by gun-toting civilians or their improperly-secured guns and I'll consider changing my opinion that guns are a good idea.
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I think we're all forgetting about how truly different areas in the US are. This would not be good in my city. There's already a high crime rate and I wouldn't feel comfortable seeing guns (on someone not in uniform) in my packed grocery store. If I lived in a low population town, where everyone seems to know everyone, it would probably be a different story. There's more security in a situation like that.

I just don't like the idea of weapons being flaunted in public. I'm not saying this as the "extension of the penis" angle, but just seeing how many weapons are actually available would be terrifying. Someone mentioned it's hard for someone to rip a gun out of a holster, which is absolutely true. But what if someone came up behind an open carrier and hit them over the head with a baseball bat. Now they have a gun.

I just don't understand the idea of weapon carrying. Seems like an extreme safety measure. Sure, it might turn away a crime, but it's just too dangerous otherwise.

Again, I'm from New York, and I'm thinking how it would work here. And it just wouldn't.
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The National Guard became the "well-regulated militia." That's exactly what the framers were talking about: Americans at the ready in case of an invasion by the British, or whoever.

2nd amendment fans rally against the attempts to regulate whet guns they can buy, and the types of ammo, but the amendment that gives us all the right to own a gun specifically gives the government the responsibility of REGULATION. They weren't vague on that one "...a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state..."

In fact, the supreme court ruled similarly in United States v. Miller, in which a man argued that the 2nd amendment gave him the right to carry a sawed-off shotgun:
"Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense."

The prosecution rests.
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Tried to read everything but the post was too hot ;)

Anyway, I googled 'western cliche' and I think we should add this sentence to the article :
"There's a shootout between some drunken cowpokes over at the old corral, the schoolmarm's been kidnapped by the Boulder Gang, a dying rider with an arrow in his back says that the Indians have attacked a passing wagon train, and Deputy Bob's got a bullet in him but Old Doc's passed out from too much whiskey. Just the start of an average day for a Sheriff in the Old West."
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lol you idiots, it clearly states the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Anyone who argues differently is a moron.
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"What ever happened to “a well-regulated militia”? The gun lovers seem to forget the well-regulated part, as well as the militia part. Militias would be armed with rifles, not handguns."

In the 18th century, "well regulated" meant "well functioning", like an Regulator clock. It still means that, it's just not a common usage anymore.

Fast-forward 150 or 200 years and they would be armed with machine guns. Are you sure you wanna go there? (before you protest that the Founders never imagined machine guns in their day, do you think they imagined cell phones, the Internet, and high-speed printing presses? Does that make the 1st Amendment any less relevant?)
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It’s impossible to effectively argue logic with the gun fetishists, because as soon as you do, they invoke the Second Amendment. And you know what? The Second Amendment is nonsense. Maybe it was an important document when it was written, but it’s neither necessary nor effective today. You need some means of controlling the government? My friends, this is a democracy: you ARE the government. Try exercising that right and responsibility in a more meaningful way than strutting around town with a killing machine stuck to your hip. The only thing you accomplish by wearing a gun in public is promoting a culture of paranoia – and endangering innocent lives in the process.
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"And you know what? The Second Amendment is nonsense. Maybe it was an important document when it was written, but it’s neither necessary nor effective today. You need some means of controlling the government? My friends, this is a democracy: you ARE the government."

Have you ever heard about The Battle of Athens (1946)?
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1985/2/1985_2_72.shtml

It's an interesting read. Really :-)
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When are people going to stop worrying about everyone else and start worrying about themselves. No matter how hard anyone tries there simply is no possible way you can prevent everyone from doing stupid things, breaking laws, committing crimes, etc. We're all imperfect. Owning and carrying firearms is fundamentally about taking charge of your own life and own self defense. It's not about wanting to kill people as some have so naively implied. It's about YOUR right to own tools for your self defense. Ask yourself how much you value YOUR own life, how much do you want to live? A firearm is a tool, sort of a force multiplier. It evens the odds for 100lb females versus 250lb 6'5" rapists. It evens the odds for elderly people faced with a group of young robbers. Would you really deny people who are disabled or disadvantaged the right to defend themselves, in essence the right to live? No of course you wouldn't. Owning a firearm doesn't have to be about wanting to kill as some imply, it can simply be about loving yourself and/or your family so much that you want to live and not be at an attacker's mercy or face certain death.

Legislation is NO substitute for morality or a lack thereof. People need to stop thinking in that manner and trying to legislate against everything they dislike or everything they are afraid of and don't understand. As humans are imperfect, we will always have idiots and criminals, at least for the foreseeable future in my lifetime. Stop worrying about what those fools are doing and start worrying about taking care of yourself. I'm a law-abiding gun owner. I follow the law, I exercise firearm safety and don't endanger anyone, therefore what I do is my own business and in no way affects other's lives. If some of you can't reconcile the thought of strong-minded individual's taking charge of their own lives and taking charge of their own self defense, then keep living in your own little world of fear. I can assure you, firearms do not have minds of their own. Just because some people do carry them, does not mean the guns are going to fly off of people's hips and start shooting up the room on their own. Be afraid of the criminals and idiots and stop worrying about us safe and law-abiding gun owners as we do not deserve it.
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I don’t particularly worry about criminals – that’s why I don’t feel a need to own or carry a gun. If you were to ask me who’s living in their “own little world of fear,” I’d say it’s the guy who’s sleeping with a gun next to his bed, not me.

Personally, I choose not to expose my family to the real dangers of firearms in order to feel secure against some perceived, minor threat. Yes, you can be a responsible gun owner, of course, and if you want to keep guns in your own house, I won’t object. I think it’s silly, and careless, but I won’t object. I will object, though, if you decide to have a gun in the presence of my family. You want me to start taking care of myself and my family? Ok, I’ll start by asking you not to carry incredibly dangerous objects around my children.

But to get to the heart of the matter: the reason why we have more gun-related crime in this country than most (all?) other developed nations is not because we have more guns, or different laws. It’s because our culture is simultaneously infatuated with violence, and paranoid. We won’t make any progress on this issue until we affect change in both areas – and toting guns around in public is a move in the wrong direction on both counts.
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Freeman:"I mean really, who are you going to rob: the guy with the .45 on his waist or the guy that doesn’t?"

Let's think this through then.

Someone goes out intending to rob someone.
He sees you with a gun on your hip.
He chooses to rob someone else.

The upshot is that /someone/ has been robbed. What you've done by carrying an visible weapon is pushed the problem onto someone else who doesn't carry a gun. You may think that's OK - you're probably thinking that /everyone/ should carry a gun so there'll be no robbery.
EVERYONE.

What about children?
What about weird people with voices in their heads?

By your standards they would presumably deserve the perceived protection that a weapon offers and you'd be happy for them to carry a gun - indeed, you'd expect them to carry a gun.
Now that /is/ weird!

Me - I'd rather not.
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The biggest problem with guns is the fact that the most opinionated people on the subject no nothing about them. These are also the people who live in fear of firearms.

You know who is likely to follow gun laws? law abiding citizens – you know who will have guns despite the strictest of gun control laws? criminals.

A good example is all this "someone will grab it out of the holster" talk – guns are incredibly difficult to pull out of someone else's holster; you'd practically have to incapacitate the owner first.

You know who's opinion I will respect? The people who've gone to shooting ranges, learned about gun safety, and maybe even fired a few rounds. If you've done that – and still want to tell me that guns are some sort of ticking time bomb then go ahead; but I'm really tired of armchair politics on the subject who don't even bother to educate themselves on the subject besides googling "gun control statistics".

I also have this to say to the fellow from Belgium above – do you hear about all the stabbings in Japan? Maybe they should outlaw knives as well – point being, people kill people.

Although, in this case I prefer concealed rather than open-carry; but it's not my place to decide for this guy.
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This is the solution to inner-city crime. Give everyone a gun so all streets can be safe for Betsy Sue and Jim Bob to stroll through cheerfully.
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"It doesn’t just freak me out, it would create a generally antagonistic atmosphere and put me and I’m sure others on guard and on edge, which in our day and age of high stress, is the last thing we need."

This freak out condition is indicative of your ostrich like reaction to percieved danger. If and when you decide to take control of your life and not be a victim in waiting, you will understand why we chose to go armed. I never knew about guns until I served in the military (all should be required)and wore a sidearm to protect our nuclear devices. Why is it you (American Society) trusted me to do that but not to protect myself or my family? I never abrogated my responsibility for that to any police or government entity. I am historically aware and understand that government encroaches on the freedom of the individual by definition and I propose to limit that activity with my education, passion and political activism.Stop giving in to fear and become a responsible contributing memeber of society by being in charge of your own destiny.
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@Mr.2ndA:

It isn't a choice between carrying a gun and living in fear. I do neither. And I'm hardly a "victim in waiting": instead of confronting the problem with the threat of violence, though, I confront it by being involved in my neighborhood, my government, and my community.
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Several commenters have mentioned how hard it is to pull a gun out of another person's holster. I grew up around guns and I know a little about them, and I'm sorry -- it's just not that hard. Unless the holster has some sort of retention system beyond a simple thumb-break (and most don't), you just have to pull in the right direction and the gun comes out. That's how holsters work.
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How am I a "victim in waiting" by not wanting to be surrounded by defensive weapons? I'd say the person toting the weapons is the one expecting to be a victim, otherwise they wouldn't be carrying it. I just don't walk around thinking about things like that, and I don't feel I should have to. The person bringing the guns out in the open is the one causing the perceived danger, not my fear of a criminal society that I need to protect my family from.
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What a loser. If you want to keep a gun locked up at home, fair enough. But this is just another example of mediocrity and stupidity insinuating itself into society. Normal people in society talk about literature, film, music, etc. These gun-obsessed (i.e. must always be in possession of their weapon) people are too stupid or illiterate to engage in such conversation, so they create their own niche clique where guns become an object of obsession and worhsip. Trust me, this is the kid who had no friends in high school because he had no humor, wit, or imagination, so he turned to guns as a way to fit in with other gun-obsessed losers.
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Today, a four-year-old girl in South Carolina shot herself in the chest with a gun that her grandmother carried into a Sam's Club. The gun was legal, and permitted.

Luckily, the girl survived, and I can only I imagine the grandmother is regretting her decision to carry the gun.
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You know what?
It doesn't make any difference what you pussies think.
The 2nd Amendment is not going anywhere. We need it as much as we need the other 9.
Obviously most of you that are worried about that eeevil Chimpy Bush McHitler taking away all your rights don't have any problem with doing away with the 2nd Amendment.

You can't have it both ways. It's all or nothing.
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You know, Ray, it's not all-or-nothing, and it never has been. That's a nonsense argument: I can value the First Amendment, for example, without valuing the Second. That sort of reductive thinking is completely meaningless.
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"Today, a four-year-old girl in South Carolina shot herself in the chest with a gun that her grandmother carried into a Sam’s Club. The gun was legal, and permitted. Luckily, the girl survived, and I can only I imagine the grandmother is regretting her decision to carry the gun."

It is a tragedy. I hope the kid recovers OK. But if guns were outlawed for ordinary people, this grandma would still have hers because she is a judge (a "magistrate", actually).

It's ironic that you'd bring this case up in this particular discussion, because if she was open-carrying this would not have happened (the gun would be on her hip instead of in her purse where anyone could steal it or the kid get to it)
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I posted that because I think it demonstrated my original point that people can't be expected to maintain vigilance over a weapon while going about their daily lives. A moment's inattention is all it takes for a tragedy occur, and that fact doesn't change whether one is a judge or a janitor or an astronaut or whatever.

And you're probably right, having the gun holstered would have been considerably safer, but it would have been far, far safer for her to keep it locked up at home. The simple fact is that carrying a gun creates exponentially more opportunities for these kinds of accidents to occur.
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Good point C-dub. But, it has been estimated that 2 million crimes are stopped every year by civilians owning guns. I have seen the number vary greatly (Anywhere from 500k to 2 million). But, in countries where arms are permited or FORCED Crime rate is way lower. Switzerland forces eery male enlist in the militia. He gets a fully automatic weapon and is trained to use it. Is it the wild west? (The wild west's crime rate was lower then most cities in the USA) The answer is no. Other countries have very high gun to people ratio (Norway) and have very small crime rates. I have seen stats very about what causes crime; but their is a very clear line that gun control raises violence. States like Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, Idaho all have open carry and are ranked in the top 15 safest places to live. States like Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee do not. And they are ranked in the top 15 most dangerous. If the 2nd amendment is ever erased it will be a revolution. And I will most certainly be taking part.
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Sorry if you feel your rights to feeling safe are being infringed but if you don't agree with it, YOU are the one that is living in the wrong country according to the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution (the ultimate authority in the US).

You know, feel free to move to my state (New Jersey) where the murder rate is far higher than Vermont even though we have the most strict gun laws along with CA.

You know whats funny? When the laws get as strict as they are here.. you start to feel like the only ones who have the right to effective self defense are the criminals (who don't obey your pieces of paper anyway).

Some of you people really make me ashamed. You call yourself civilized, I call you delusional.
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glad to see the topic is so popular.

God bless this man for being a responsable adult exercise and remind people of the 2nd amendment right which is almost dead in this country.

basically, w/o the 2nd amendment, every other right will disappear b/c once disarmed...you are defenseless and not getting them back.

i personally love to see guns on good people, it desensitizes the liberal and victimhood embracers to the fact that honest citizens like guns, love self defense and cherish liberty.

id like anti-gunners to stop blaming gun owners if thru no undue neglect of their own, criminals or thugs steal their weapons. Anti-gunners can condone the criminal behavior and condemn the gun as if it had a mind of its own to be a violent weapon. That bewilders me.

recently i read a few articles about OK corral and wild west & learned that their murder rate wasnt much different from chicago or new york.

The difference being that in the wild west, both good and bad guys had guns & were on even playing fields in a shoot out.

In modern cities with draconian gun laws, the good guys are forbidden to have guns while the bad guys have access to all sorts of firearms thus having a gigantic advantage over the honest citizen.

gun control is for controlling people to be subjects and perenial infants of the govt. In their eyes, were too immature to take responsability for our own actions and not trusted or allowed to act in our own self defense.

when are life is in urgent peril or our childrens life, how are we supposed to protect ourselves from armed gunmen for the 14 plus minutes which is the avg. 911 response time?

911 and police are fine as a back up plan but every citizen should be able to protect themselves as the first line of defense.

keep in mind, its better to have a gun and not need it than need one and not have it. Criminals, rapists, burglars, kidnappers, murderers and serial killers rarely if ever make an appointment.

be prepared
yeah 2nd amendment
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jessssssus

i just read thru the rest of the comments and am disheartened to see so many anti-gunners. very saddening to read the negative comments.

some say the national guard is the militia the founding fathers were talking about, however the national guard wasnt created until roughly 100 years after the 2nd amendment. They meant every able bodied male was expected to keep arms and be proficient in case he was called up to protect his country from foreign or domestic enemies ie. a tyranical govt. which over extends its authorities and imposes its will on the states and citizens (sound familiar?)

to put how important the right to bear arms is, Stalin, hitler, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Musselini & Amin all created or enforced draconian gun control and registration to disarm a population prior to a genocidal campaign. Think it cant happen in the USA?

I just dont understand how a father or mother fall asleep at nite knowing they are incapable of defending their children from an armed home invader. A typical scenario is the calvary arrives in about 14 minutes, gets an ambulance for the lucky escapees and some some body bags for the unlucky one. The cops get statements from some of the neighbors to see if anyone saw anything and they file their report and investigate it. Life goes (well not for everyone unfortunately)

forget gun control, just enforce criminal control. leave law abiding gun owners alone. when some whack job open fires in a gun free school or mall, youre going to go hide under a table and cross your fingers that an armed civilian is present who can defend you until the police get there. my advice is you too should be one of the good citizens prepared to responsably defend yourself with a firearm.
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If there is such a huge risk of open carriers getting their gun snatched away from them by somebody sneaking up on them, why does every uniformed police officer in this country openly carry his or her weapon instead of carrying it concealed???
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