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Author Topic: Open Carry Activists
JoshCrow
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Federal snipers have the same rights as anybody to carry their weapons out in the open... [Smile]
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Seneca
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And to point them at people?
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JoshCrow
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Isn't that the next level? I think anybody should be able to handle their weapons as they please, so long as they don't shoot each other. Where's the harm?
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Isn't that the next level? I think anybody should be able to handle their weapons as they please, so long as they don't shoot each other. Where's the harm?

Is this sarcasm, or do you not see the difference between carrying a firearm (a precaution) and aiming at someone?
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TomDavidson
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Surely aiming is just the next precautionary step. You don't aim at them until you see they're carrying a gun, perhaps, and thus represent a more likely threat. [Wink]
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JoshCrow
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Aiming at someone is, of course, just a more acute sort of precaution. It improves reaction time in case of a bad guy incident. Nobody is harmed, as long as you do it responsibly and don't just aim willy-nilly. If you're suspicious of someone, why not aim at them, let them know they're being watched.
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Seneca
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I get you're mocking open carry with this false equivalence/slippery slope argument, what's sad is that it's easily applied to any civil right. How would you feel about this approach towards the 4th or 5th Amendments?
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TomDavidson
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I'm not sure how you could turn it around. See, you're asserting that the Second Amendment grants you the right to DO something; the Fourth and Fifth grant you protections FROM something. I don't know how to mock not having things unreasonably searched and seized, because unlike carrying a gun that's actually a useful right.
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Seneca
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Even the Obama administration admits there are far more defensive gun uses than gun deaths. If saving lives is a priority then the 2nd Amendment is clearly the most quantitatively beneficial amendment.
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Fenring
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Even assuming the point is valid that the current claims about the 2nd Amendment are themselves a form of slippery slope by some standard, we must however remember that nature only operates by degrees. Having to choose some particular degree as a standard is no more arbitrary than any kind of choice. By saying degree X is the standard, and suggesting that this point is arbitrary, doesn't actually imply that it may as well be any other point.

There is a clear legal and ethical difference between preparation and between actions that display what we call intent. Aiming at someone implies intent to shoot, or at the threat of shooting; carrying is just preparation. Is this distinction arbitrary? Yes, but no more arbitrary than the notion that we have choices in the first place, and no more or less invalid.

I can walk down the street with my arms at my side; having arms is a nice tool and precaution against many things. Or I can swing my fists at every passer by and just stop shy of them, in 'preparation' for the case that one of them is going to attack me. After all, being possessed of arms they themselves naturally have the capability of assaulting me and I must take precautions. Right?

Except even you would call swinging a fist toward someone's face attempted battery and any judge would declare actions in self-defence completely legitimate.

Whether or not one believes in firearm rights or open carry, this particular point seems to me clear as day.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Federal snipers have the same rights as anybody to carry their weapons out in the open... [Smile]

if they carried their weapons out in the open, they wouldn't be snipers.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Even the Obama administration admits there are far more defensive gun uses than gun deaths.
Just a note: "the Obama administration" is not a single study. [Smile] I also think that the definition of "defensive gun use" is rather fuzzy in the single study which supports that conclusion, but YMMV. By all means, continue to hang on that single piece of data if it allows you to justify things to yourself.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Except even you would call swinging a fist toward someone's face attempted battery...
I would calling "swinging a fist toward someone's face" to be equivalent to firing in their general direction. Raising your fists toward them would be the equivalent of aiming -- or, possibly, assuming a defensive stance, depending on whether you believe there's such a thing as defensive gun use.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm not sure how you could turn it around. See, you're asserting that the Second Amendment grants you the right to DO something; the Fourth and Fifth grant you protections FROM something. I don't know how to mock not having things unreasonably searched and seized, because unlike carrying a gun that's actually a useful right.

2nd amendment is a right to do, and a right from.

Right to bear arms = right to do
Shall not be infringed. = right from infringement

This is just basic reading comprehension.

Beyond that plain english reading, there are reasonable exceptions, analogous to limits on free speech and the press. I dont know anyone who acrually thinks ordinary folks should have rocket launchers, or that schizophrenics should have guns of any sort.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Except even you would call swinging a fist toward someone's face attempted battery...
I would calling "swinging a fist toward someone's face" to be equivalent to firing in their general direction. Raising your fists toward them would be the equivalent of aiming -- or, possibly, assuming a defensive stance, depending on whether you believe there's such a thing as defensive gun use.
That's actually the reason I didn't use raising fists as the analogy; it could be argued that raising one's fists in proximity to someone else is defensive; I cannot say that someone raising a gun at me would feel like anything other than them threatening to shoot me. I'd say a fist coming in my general direction aligns better with a gun being aimed at me in terms of how threatened I'd feel.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
That's actually the reason I didn't use raising fists as the analogy; it could be argued that raising one's fists in proximity to someone else is defensive; I cannot say that someone raising a gun at me would feel like anything other than them threatening to shoot me. I'd say a fist coming in my general direction aligns better with a gun being aimed at me in terms of how threatened I'd feel.

What if I feel threatened by some twitchy-looking armed dude? Maybe I should draw, just in case he draws first. I shouldn't have to feel threatened out in public.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
That's actually the reason I didn't use raising fists as the analogy; it could be argued that raising one's fists in proximity to someone else is defensive; I cannot say that someone raising a gun at me would feel like anything other than them threatening to shoot me. I'd say a fist coming in my general direction aligns better with a gun being aimed at me in terms of how threatened I'd feel.

What if I feel threatened by some twitchy-looking armed dude? Maybe I should draw, just in case he draws first. I shouldn't have to feel threatened out in public.
Except that majority common sense (44 out of 50 states) and even the federal courts have ruled that open carry is not sufficient basis to feel threatened and if you are and you act on it anyway then you could be arrested.
http://articles.courant.com/2013-09-17/community/hc-glastonbury-bank-non-robbery-0917-20130917_1_your-town-news-bank-staff-cavan-lane

[ March 07, 2015, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Right to bear arms = right to do
Shall not be infringed. = right from infringement

It seems to me that "you can juggle eggs and we can't stop you" is a manifestly different right from "no one can make you answer questions about your ugly sister." In terms of mocking, it is much easier to mock the former than the latter, since there are plenty of scenarios in which juggling eggs is pretty ridiculous, but fewer in which someone who doesn't want to answer questions about his ugly sister looks ridiculous when not doing so. To bring the analogy back around, there are very few times when someone doesn't look like an idiot when carrying a gun around in public; by comparison, most warrantless searches and unreasonable seizures actually look like things government shouldn't be doing.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Except that majority common sense (44 out of 50 states) and even the federal courts have ruled that open carry is not sufficient basis to feel threatened and if you are and you act on it anyway then you could be arrested.
http://articles.courant.com/2013-09-17/community/hc-glastonbury-bank-non-robbery-0917-20130917_1_your-town-news-bank-staff-cavan-lane

I can see that's what the law says, but when a person could kill me from across the room if they felt like it, why shouldn't I be nervous about it?

Isn't this basically a microcosm of, say, the scenario of Iran possessing a weapon that could theoretically they could use on Israel. That is considered an existential threat, somehow, while the stranger in the bank with a lethal weapon is not.

I'm not arguing about the current law here - I'm arguing "ought" not "is". It's about how much anxiety is "legitimate". I don't know the person with the gun - I can't tell that he/she is a "good guy". Am I supposed to assume so?

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Except that majority common sense (44 out of 50 states) and even the federal courts have ruled that open carry is not sufficient basis to feel threatened and if you are and you act on it anyway then you could be arrested.
http://articles.courant.com/2013-09-17/community/hc-glastonbury-bank-non-robbery-0917-20130917_1_your-town-news-bank-staff-cavan-lane

I can see that's what the law says, but when a person could kill me from across the room if they felt like it, why shouldn't I be nervous about it?

Isn't this basically a microcosm of, say, the scenario of Iran possessing a weapon that could theoretically they could use on Israel. That is considered an existential threat, somehow, while the stranger in the bank with a lethal weapon is not.

I'm not arguing about the current law here - I'm arguing "ought" not "is". It's about how much anxiety is "legitimate". I don't know the person with the gun - I can't tell that he/she is a "good guy". Am I supposed to assume so?

People can strangle others with their bare hands. Living in a free society has risks. We'd all be safer chained to our beds all the time.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
People can strangle others with their bare hands. Living in a free society has risks. We'd all be safer chained to our beds all the time.
This is a crappy argument.

A gun kills me much more quickly (and with much less time for intervention from myself or others) than strangulation.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
People can strangle others with their bare hands. Living in a free society has risks. We'd all be safer chained to our beds all the time.

That's not a very strong argument... it's actually not that easy to strangle someone, and moreover I would have occasion to at least fight back, or for someone to intervene (since we're talking about public spaces).

It's worth mentioning that I'm actually kinda ambivalent on gun subjects. My current position is actually that arguments concerning guns are a proxy for a deeper cultural issue, and not really one that necessarily should be addressed in a legislative way.

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Seneca
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Then one can argue that guns are safer and more humane than hands, which draw out long, tortured and painful deaths that involve terrified struggling and fighting back.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Then one can argue that guns are safer and more humane than hands, which draw out long, tortured and painful deaths that involve terrified struggling and fighting back.

Not if you're gut-shot. Actually, death in a nuclear conflagration is arguably better, yet I suspect Iran's capabilities are a distinct concern to you.
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JoshuaD
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To recap:

JoshCrow asked: why shouldn't I be nervous when I see someone carrying a gun?

Seneca replied: 1) "People can strangle others with their bare hands. Living in a free society has risks. We'd all be safer chained to our beds all the time. " and 2) Death by gun is less drawn out long, tortured, and painful than other methods of killing.

@Seneca: Do you see how you failed to adequately answer the question?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
People can strangle others with their bare hands. Living in a free society has risks. We'd all be safer chained to our beds all the time.

That's not a very strong argument... it's actually not that easy to strangle someone, and moreover I would have occasion to at least fight back, or for someone to intervene (since we're talking about public spaces).

It's worth mentioning that I'm actually kinda ambivalent on gun subjects. My current position is actually that arguments concerning guns are a proxy for a deeper cultural issue, and not really one that necessarily should be addressed in a legislative way.

it's probably traumatic just experiencing an attempt to strangle you. at least my son seemed put out about it, both times it happened to him at school
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TomDavidson
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When hands are outlawed, only outlaws will have hands.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Then one can argue that guns are safer and more humane than hands, which draw out long, tortured and painful deaths that involve terrified struggling and fighting back.

Not if you're gut-shot. Actually, death in a nuclear conflagration is arguably better, yet I suspect Iran's capabilities are a distinct concern to you.
Yes because the people of Iran don't live here and don't abide by the social contract that most Americans do that allow us to walk around without assuming most people are going to nuke us.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Yes because the people of Iran don't live here and don't abide by the social contract that most Americans do that allow us to walk around without assuming most people are going to nuke us.

Is this the same social contract signed by all American-born murderers?

And the guy who works in the office next to mine is Iranian. Swell guy, too. Some Iranians DO live here.

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TomDavidson
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Which is of course why we need to carry guns to Wal-Mart: the social contract keeps us safe.
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D.W.
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quote:
I'm not arguing about the current law here - I'm arguing "ought" not "is". It's about how much anxiety is "legitimate". I don't know the person with the gun - I can't tell that he/she is a "good guy". Am I supposed to assume so?
If you see the gun being open carried, assume he/she is not intent on crime. Don’t assume they aren’t dangerous. They are aware of their mortality in the front of their head more than others who don’t think about it much. They have made a choice and decided that (or believe that) they are willing to take a life to protect their own, and possibly “innocents” in general depending on their personality. You have no idea of their proficiency with that weapon or how jumpy they are or how likely they are to interpret events as a legitimate threat.

I believe (but have no studies backing it up) that open carriers are far more law abiding and more likely to defend you than attack you. The act of carrying openly puts them under increased scrutiny and they know this. You would have to be a dumb criminal (of which there are admittedly a lot) to invite hyper vigilance and cause people to take notice of you.

If the person is acting oddly or suspiciously, a good level of anxiety is “legitimate”. If they are acting normally other than the fact they are armed, very little additional anxiety is warranted.

At least that’s my perspective anyhow. But I’m a concealed carrier who, unless I am careless swinging my coat into something/someone or my shirt hikes up high enough, you will never know is armed. There is no good way to know if I am a good guy or a bad guy. That I am doing so legally with a permit after a screening by the state police, you can’t know… How much anxiety is legitimate over concealed carriers? Those legal and otherwise?

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TomDavidson
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I think any sensible person should be a little apprehensive of anyone who decides "I should bring this gun along in case I need to threaten someone with death today."
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JoshCrow
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Thank you, D.W., for that post. I appreciate its candor and don't have much of a response (other than that I would challenge the idea that open carriers are 'more aware' of their mortality - but that's not going to be a fact-based discussion!). The rest of your post strikes me as a reasonable portrayal.

To your closing question - I suppose anxiety over something "concealed" would indeed have to be a generalized one ("anybody not wearing a spandex bodysuit could be packing") and could be dismissed as "not a legitimate fear", since it would essentially be a fear based on an absence, rather than a presence, of information and thus can't really be addressed.

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NobleHunter
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I have to sympathise with the police/security types a bit when faced with open carry protests. While they know that most protests are peaceful and uneventful, they have to consider the possibility that things may not go as planned. Even though planners for open carry protests are likely more aware of the need to adhere to proper conduct (and probably less vulnerable to infiltration by rabble-rousers and others seeking to delegitimize the protests with violence [/cynic]), there's no guaranteed way to make sure that everybody behaves.

If the usual social justice protest goes off the rails, it usually doesn't do so in a lethal fashion. The riot usually focuses on property destruction rather than personal injury. That kind of violence is relatively easy to counter with enough boots on the ground and planning.

If an open carry protest goes off the rails, it seems inevitable someone will start shooting. While the inciting event would likely have to be more severe, any subsequent riot would be impossible to handle with conventional tactics. Unless the National Guard is kicking around, I doubt the authorities would be able to restrain an armed mob that really got going. So it almost makes sense to have snipers ready to make sure that overly antagonistic individuals aren't allowed to incite more violence.

Bureaucrats seem to be more sensitive to post-event criticism than consequences from an event itself. I think they're more worried about being called out for not having sufficient force on hand after something went wrong than in avoiding the appearance of being heavy-handed.

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D.W.
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We all embrace some form of the illusion of safety. Seeing a gun may shatter that for someone, having a gun may grant it to others.

I’m firmly in the, “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” camp. That the odds that I will find myself in need of it AND make good use of it to better the situation for myself are vanishingly small. Yet I obtained the required training, license and weapon despite this. Because you never know what you may have to do today in order to see tomorrow.

Air bags, seatbelts, auto insurance, health insurance, and firearm; all there to increase the odds of a favorable outcome should something bad happen. That’s also sensible.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Thank you, D.W., for that post. I appreciate its candor and don't have much of a response (other than that I would challenge the idea that open carriers are 'more aware' of their mortality - but that's not going to be a fact-based discussion!). The rest of your post strikes me as a reasonable portrayal.

To your closing question - I suppose anxiety over something "concealed" would indeed have to be a generalized one ("anybody not wearing a spandex bodysuit could be packing") and could be dismissed as "not a legitimate fear", since it would essentially be a fear based on an absence, rather than a presence, of information and thus can't really be addressed.

Criminals conceal. This is because most criminals are known to police and can be arrested for open carrying if and when the police recognize them.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I have to sympathise with the police/security types a bit when faced with open carry protests. While they know that most protests are peaceful and uneventful, they have to consider the possibility that things may not go as planned. Even though planners for open carry protests are likely more aware of the need to adhere to proper conduct (and probably less vulnerable to infiltration by rabble-rousers and others seeking to delegitimize the protests with violence [/cynic]), there's no guaranteed way to make sure that everybody behaves.

If the usual social justice protest goes off the rails, it usually doesn't do so in a lethal fashion. The riot usually focuses on property destruction rather than personal injury. That kind of violence is relatively easy to counter with enough boots on the ground and planning.

If an open carry protest goes off the rails, it seems inevitable someone will start shooting. While the inciting event would likely have to be more severe, any subsequent riot would be impossible to handle with conventional tactics. Unless the National Guard is kicking around, I doubt the authorities would be able to restrain an armed mob that really got going. So it almost makes sense to have snipers ready to make sure that overly antagonistic individuals aren't allowed to incite more violence.

Bureaucrats seem to be more sensitive to post-event criticism than consequences from an event itself. I think they're more worried about being called out for not having sufficient force on hand after something went wrong than in avoiding the appearance of being heavy-handed.

When was the last time an "open carry protest" turned violent? Now, compare that to other protests.
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NobleHunter
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Is it impossible for open carry protests to turn violent?
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Is it impossible for open carry protests to turn violent?

Why would you worry about something that doesn't happen? Where are the armies guarding against unicorn invasions?
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D.W.
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Your points about the protest I find odd. It is likely I’m projecting as I’m not really part of that whole scene. Seneca may be able to give a better perspective being in both camps where as I’m not really in either side of such a situation.

An open or concealed carrier is going to avoid conflict. They do not have the “luxury” of getting into a scrap or antagonizing someone to violence for political gains. “Is this worth a life or death situation?” That has to go through your head every time a conflict presents itself. This type of group is not going to incite hostile responses from the cops because they know the likely hood of death is high should that happen. That said, if the police act illegally or attempt brutality things would end messily for all involved.

This doesn’t happen because the police also know this. They must change their calculation from, “What happens if we end up beating/killing someone today?” to “Will I survive if this devolves into violence?” I mean we talk a lot about justified shootings by police that feared for their life. (and I generally support these) But they are normally sudden incidents that flare up into violence without much warning. They are not being triggered by the police.

An open carry demonstration is safer than a bunch of angry unarmed protesters. For both sides it is safer because both sides know the stakes and are unwilling to make that gamble. In a “traditional” rally, violence is possible because both sides have the expectation of safety even if they cause ugliness. At least hear in the states.

And if they aren't "safe" they will at least recover and will win political points possibly as a result. Where as martyr to the cause of open carry is probably shot dead or tried and put to death for stopping "unconstitutional oppression".


EDIT: obviously Seneca DID reply as I composed this. [Razz]

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