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February 6, 2010

"We are not thugs!": Open Carry guys hold their biggest demonstration yet in downtown Walnut Creek

Around 50 to 60 members of Bay Area Open Carry, wearing unloaded guns and ammunition clips strapped to their belts, turned up at Buckhorn Grill in Plaza Escuela Saturday to enjoy a meal and to demonstrate their legal right in California to openly bear arms. (Other estimates put the number of members attending at 100.)

"It's time for citizens to arm up," said Gus Konstantaras, 50, of Antioch, who said he was a former military police officer and former officer for the police department in Pittsburg and a department in Louisiana. "It's a right. If you don't exercise it, you will lose it."

Gus--who added that he introduced his two kids to guns, starting when they were eight years old--said it's especially important for citizens to arm up because of all the murder, raping, maiming and other mayhem that is occurring in our communities.

Hmm. Sure, some Bay Area communities have high rates of violent crime. When I mentioned that Walnut Creek is not known for a high number of shootings, murders, and other violent crimes--and asked why his group didn't do their demononstrations of crime deterrence in more violent crime-ridden communities like Richmond--Konstantaras said members of this loosely organized group are not "vigilantes" or a "militia."

They are just "responsible citizens," he said. And they worry about how the state's budget crisis and the bad economy is causing cuts to local police departments. He and others at the demonstration contend that gun control leads to increase in violent crime. 

Gus and another guy became a bit incensed when I mentioned that some readers of my blog were uncomfortable or annoyed by the idea of their members--civilians and not uniformed police officers--coming to Walnut Creek to show off their--uh--guns. This other guy, heavy-set with a beard who was videotaping the demonstration, asserted that Open Carry members are probably better trained in how to handle weapons than many police officers. That might, indeed, be true.

Oh, and Gus added that the group had been in contact with Walnut Creek police and even met up with police near Marie Callenders in the CVS shopping center, so that officers could check and make sure that they were carrying their guns in accordance with state law.

By the way, my 11-year-old son came along with me to the demonstration. (We had to do our regular Saturday morning Starbucks run, after all). My son ended up finding the whole event very interesting. He watched as different reporters (including his mom) asked questions, and photographers snapped photos, and a KTVU news crew taped for a broadcast.

My son and I popped into Buckhorn Grill and snapped a photo of two guys (top photo). One was a steely-eyed guy named Charles (on the left, who was sporting a Glock Model 22 40-caliber pistol). The guy on the right was named Robert, who was packing a Para Ordnance 45-caliber pistol, and wearing a T-shirt proclaiming himself as "Christian American Heterosexual Pro-Gun Conservative."

Robert was a friendly guy. In fact, most of the Open Carry people we talked to were friendly and forthright. Anyway, Robert asked my son if he was scared to see so many people in a restaurant armed with guns.

"No, not really," my son said. "You're just exercising your rights as citizens and you're not going to go around shooting people."

"That's right," Robert said.

Oh, and by the way, there were no protesters from "the other side." That would be the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. To be more precise, my son and I didn't see any protesters while we were at Buckhorn Grill, but we had to take off early, so maybe the protesters showed up after we left. Gus, the former cop from Antioch, complained that the Brady campaign had been "harassing" their group by, for example, posting negative comments about them on the Internet. 

(I don't know, Gus. You're a nice guy, and it sounds like we have different world views and opinions about certain issues, like the root causes of violence in America. But, anyway, if the Brady campaign folks are posting opposing viewpoints about your organization on the Internet, that might be them exercising their First Amendment rights of free speech.)

UPDATE: As of 1:15 p.m., some of the Open Carry guys (and gals) were standing around outside Starbucks across the street from Buckhorn Grill. I saw them as I was driving to Safeway to do some grocery shopping. I saw Gus and Robert. As you might have read in the Contra Costa Times this morning, Starbucks nixed a request from the Brady campaign to ban display of weapons in their coffee houses.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of douchebags.

Anonymous said...

I understand why they need to flaunt their big guns.... but couldn't they just overcome their lack of manliness with a Viagra?

LeftCoast said...

"He and others at the demonstration contend that gun control leads to increase in violent crime."

So again then why are they here? The gun control laws haven't changed an violent crime hasn't changed appreciably in WC so why the need to carry?

Also, why not go to east Oakland, it doesn't man you are militia just because you are there. Ah it's because this is a right you are only willing to exercise among those who don't carry.

LeftCoast said...

"Gus--who added that he introduced his two kids to guns, starting when they were eight years old--said it's especially important for citizens to arm up because of all the murder, raping, maiming and other mayhem that is occurring in our communities. "

Umm but that isn't a problem here so why arm up in WC?

Oh yeah, because s is a cowardly hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

What a moronic campaign.

I'm a left-of-center Democrat and yet I totally support the right of people to own handguns, but I think this Open Carry movement is either designed to inflame and intimidate others OR it's the sign of people who are bizarrely scared by some kind of ill-founded rumors about the Obama administration and gun policies in the United States.

Even worse were the gun-toting guys pictured in news stories last year, showing up at already highly emotional rallies over health care. Why were they there, at those meetings in particular, that were so highly charged and whipped into a frenzy of name-calling and hate-mongering by the fringe element (Palinistas, Lyndon LaRouche people, etc.)?

The only good I see coming out of this movement is the fact that some restaurant had an upsurge in business. Beyond that, it seems like a selfish, short-sighted, kneejerk movement by some misinformed right-wingers.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, he's a Heterosexual too! What a man he is! I wonder how big his truck is.

DumbAsBricks said...

We do not have a gun in our home.

I am not a right winger. I am not hippie either. I have learned quite a bit about the laws in CA due to these guys efforts. I feel a little safer for this reason.

IF...something should happen to me and my family, whatever that threat might be, I know I could take a weapon out of my home and the conditions under which I may carry it without getting arrested.

There are a lot of misguided people out there. I don't agree with all of their reasons for doing this, but the outcome has been positive for me and my family already.

I know what my rights are and how to excercise them if I need to.

Anonymous said...

hey, nice meeting you today. your readers are... interesting. its nice to be in a country where you are free to come out, take pictures and notes, ask questions, and report what you like, without being called a douchebag. someday i hope to see equal rights for everyone, including us open carriers.

why does everyone think we are right wing? im deffinantly not. i believe in the constitution and i want to see it upheld for everyone.

i carry a gun, i am also pro choice, in favor of same sex marriage, and i think marijuana should be legal. my gun should not be a label or a generalization of who i am.

its crazy to me that some of your readers jump to the conclusion that we are out to intimidate others, that we are all right-winged bush loving idiots, and that we need viagra. it shows a certain level of maturity.

did you see anyone running in fear today? did you see any of us intimidation people? calling names? being at all immature? i thought it was a pretty mellow event, a lot of commotion with all of the media and the large number of open carriers, but everything was smooth.

leftcoast, the reason we were in WC because we are normal people, in a normal setting, doing what should be normal things. you have your bay area blinders on, and apparently have not seen the rest of america. i know that to people like you open carry seems crazy, but in the rest of america, guns are a part of everyday life.

thanks for coming out today, i thought your blog post was pretty fair.

Anonymous said...

Walnut Creek's Open Carry demonstration up on You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQzV04fyYmM

Anonymous said...

For gosh sakes, the one guy is wearing a T-shirt that proclaims him to be American, Christian and heterosexual? What is the point of that?

Threatened much?

This guy sounds as though he's quaking in his boots at the sight and sound of people unlike himself living with rights in a country whose diversity is, in fact, a big part of its strength and appeal.

Maybe he should top off that T-shirt with a big pointy white hood.

Anonymous said...

If I came across one of these guys I'd put one in their head and two in their chest just to show them whose boss.

Anonymous said...

They may not be thugs, but they're sure as hell embarrassing. If I was standing next to one, I'd need a sign saying "I'm not with him."

Unloaded guns, big trucks and dogs. All to overcome their one great shortcoming.

Anonymous said...

4:04,

It's code.

White = not Obama
American = not Obama
Christian = not Obama
Heterosexual = Homophobe

The White, American, Christian crap comes from all those "I'm a patriot" teabagging birthers.

Those White Patriots hate non-Whites (esp. Latinos), LGBTs, etc.

They're terrified that there will be political demographic shifts, and some minority will take their 'power' away. It's always about fear.

Anonymous said...

We live in WC, own guns, and know how to shoot. I'm glad the open carry group was able to meet today in WC.

We will support Buckhorn Grill and Starbucks because they did not ban this group.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:37,

Well if that is how you feel so be it. I will be boycotting your establishment and I will refuse to hire your children in the future. Good luck supporting them for the rest of their lives.

LeftCoast said...

Ok Anonymous at 3:28

I have no doubt in general you are probably a decent guy and your support of issues, right or left, while I agree with most of what you say aren't really relevant to the issue of "just because you can therefore you must" in terms of open carry. It still doesn't really answer the question "why?"

The only real reason to carry a fire arm is to use it, even if the probability is low or "just in case". If that is why you carry then your intent is to actually be able to use it at some point.

If you don't intend to use it under some condition then there would be no reason to carry. The problem I have is you are in such a safe area in terms of where you congregate that there is really no need to carry because there really isn't a realistic situation, other than an utter fluke of life, that would require you to use it. So for the rest of us the NEED to create the display defies any practical logic.

I have no doubt too that your group attracts its "nutter" fringe like any other group, including some guys YOU probably would not want to be around much. What makes me nervous in this case is IT IS GUNS and now they have found a home and advocacy group in which to congregate. Sooner or later one of these guys goes off and hurts someone, and it usually starts with an idiotic post about a waitress at a restaurant and over time their actions escalate into something that damages the group as a whole and gets someone hurt.

Finally the issue I have comes straight from he open carry website regarding if you don't exercise your rights you will lose them. I don't buy it. Many of the rights and freedoms we have lost have have come because someone has so abused the freedom granted to them, usually at the harm of others, that we have had to put a law in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.

So I have question for you, if I came into the restaurant while you were there with your buddies and I said that the guns made me and my kids uncomfortable, would you please mind putting them in your car, would you do me that courtesy?

Actually another question. You could have open carried your whole adult life, but until a group made it an issue to do so you probably didn't, why is that?

rkt said...

"Black people make me and my children uncomfortable, would you black people mind leaving the restaurant?"

There are lots of different reasons people get involved in open carry.

One frequently cite point is to "normalize" the view of gun owners, as the people who are around you everyday.

Another reason is because in most of urban and susurban CA permits for concealed carry are essentially unavailable.

People will mock the guy with his "I'm a conservative" shirt - which is definitely loud and "lookatme" in its style, but c'mon now, who are the people with an unending supply of jokes/fascination with penises?

@CiS - nice hearing your conversation with those guys on the claycord recording.

PS I'm not an open carry advocate, I think it is a bad idea. I wasn't at the WC event.

rkt said...

shpelling and grhammar crackers are not my strong points today apparently...

LeftCoast said...

Beautiful RKT,

Only problem is I'm not particularity worried about any ethnic group feeling a need to carry bullets 10 inches away from their Glock and unloading.

The comparison you present is idiotic.

LeftCoast said...

To further make the point, the example didn't ask HIM to leave just the firearm.

Anonymous said...

leftcoast, "3:28" here.

i would say i carry 70% in political protest of how impossible it is for me to get a concealed carry permit, 30% for "just in case". no, i do not have an intent of using it, my wife carries a tazer, not with intent or hope to use it, but to help ensure she is not a victim of some lunatic. this seems to answer a few of your questions, like i said, im not carrying in WC in fear of getting caught in a gang shoot out, i carry in political protest, places like WC seem to have be made up of pretty decent, articulate, educated people. people that can understand the political motivation behind the movement.

a right unexersized is a right lost... a slogan i too find a little extreme at times, but on the contrary, look at states like colorado, nevada, or texas, they exersize their 2nd amendment right in full and no one questions it. here in CA, polititians feared the black panthers and quickly infringed on the 2nd A in fear, people became restricted and exersized their rights less and less, the "2A" is almost done for here in CA, another reason i carry, i dont want to stand by while the constitution withers away. im sure if the first amendment was in question you would fight for it just as i would, you may not agree with the open carry movement, but please try to understand that we are fighting for a supposed "inalienable right".

on to your 2 questions...
no, i would not leave if you asked me to, nothing personal, but me nor my gun are a danger to anyone. me and my gun are probably as threatening as you and your hat, if you were to feel offended by something that could not cause harm without a crazy person behind it, im sorry, it has nothing to do with me though.

your second question, i have been a part of the open carry movement for quite some time. today there were about 75 people carrying guns, i was carrying when we had "large" groups of 10. come to think of it, i was there when we had a really hard time getting a group together and it was just me and one other guy having coffee with our guns talking about what ever. i didnt join the band wagon.


anon 5:24, good job, you made another small penis reference. mature, and well founded. i dont have a dog, if i did it would probably be a dachshund or a boston, and i drive a very small car, im currious, if people with dogs and big cars have small "members", how big do you think mine is? oh, also, my firearm is on the smaller side too. jk, dont care for your answer.

Anonymous said...

This is nuts. If I were there with my kid I'd tell her in a loud voice that they were carrying these big guns to make up for their small penises.

Anonymous said...

hey cool, another small penis comment.

LeftCoast said...

Anon 8:32

Ok just a couple of things then I'm going to let this go because it's going to play out on a larger stage than here. And I promise no penis references.

I spent 6th grade thru high school in Colo and did grad school there near the Wyoming border. Never once did I see anyone open carry. It doesn't negate your point about rights but it makes me wonder how informed your opinion really is.

In my example I didn't ask YOU to leave, just to put the guns in a car. I'm happy to dine with you. Does that change your answer now? Is it really something you can't do?

If you are 30% just in case in WC then I'm sorry but I still think you are insecure and scared of something and are wrapping it with a political statement to legitimize it. I have no problems with the right to bear arms, but never have I felt the need to do it here.

If the purpose is REALLY to get across how hard it is to get a concealed permit you all are going about this the wrong way, and I mean seriously the wrong way. I haven't talked to a person yet that has had any connection to your very public display and that particular issue, in fact you are most likely hurting your cause in that regard.

Your wife carrying a Tazer isn't really germane here, but more power to her, I would encourage my wife to do the same thing if she chose to.

Also, if you do end up in a situation where you do need to use it I'd give even odds that the other "guy" either won't be alone or will be better armed. You may win and you may lose and I hope you never have to find out, again in WC I can almost guarantee it.

And finally I think the public demonstration will ultimately be this groups downfall, mainly because eventually something is going to happen, most likely a mistake, but the public will want to revoke the right based on the incident because it put families in danger. Again I hope not. In the end I don't think this is going to go the way you want it to. I think you are wrong in thinking that people here understand and support the politics of your argument. I also think the Black Panther argument is lost in history for most people and has little to do with their viewpoint or desire to carry. I really think that folks in WC just don't feel the need to carry. Honestly, if they did they would, and if you look around they don't.

LeftCoast said...

Just to add, I do appreciate your post here, and while I may disagree with the position and reasoning, at least you took the time to do it and you have given it thought.

If we ever meet up first beer is on me, just leave the heat in the car :-)

Anonymous said...

leftcoast, heres a map for you:

http://www.concealedcarryassociation.com/images/ccw_map.jpg

in CO you can easily get a concealed carry permit, thats why you didnt see a lot of open carry.

sorry, i should have elaborated more i guess... durring demonstrations like today in WC, i carry mabye 3% for "just in case"

i think you are wrong about our demonstrations huring us. the 2nd amendment isnt going anywhere. the reason open carry is legal is because the state has to provide a means to bear arms, if they dont want to issue concealed permits, then they have to permit open carry. its both, or one or the other, they cant just end the 2nd amendment.

here is a video to back my black panther statement:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nckgyfGbdnU

i personally spoke with 2 people today while in WC that were unaware of the movement and decided to join us, one actually went home, got his gun, and came back. some people in WC do care.

anyway, we probably both have better thing to do than go back and forth here. ill check in here if you have anything you want to add or ask. thanks for reading and responding.

LeftCoast said...

LOL, fair enough but couldn't you all strap water pistols to your sides and carry signs and make the same point? You still get the same coverage if the point is to really raise attention to the issue. You are wrong about Colo. I lived there for too long, it isn't like that. Even if the interwebs says it is.

Also you had one guy get a gun and about a zillion others who know about Peet's, Starbucks, Cal Pizza Kitchen Buckhorn and your movement who didn't. What does that say? (rhetorical; no need to answers as we are stuck here)

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of you white, Christian NRA lovers showing off in Richmond. Likewise I'd like to see some black NRA lovers begin showing off in WC. Now that would be making a statement.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Hey RKT,
Yeah, that was me on Claycord. Okay, I'm not a broadcast journalist. I listened to it and cringed. I hate the sound of my own voice. Oh well, I'm glad I asked questions. And then this other guy, an Open Carry supporter with a video camera, started having a conversation with Gus and getting mad when I said that some of my readers are not fans of their demonstrations.

I do wish I had pushed some more on Gus' contention that the Brady campaign was harassing them. In what way? By having a different viewpoint?

AKA Soccer Mom said...

But, I should continue, as I wrote in my post, it was peaceful, and the Open Carry members were friendly, including Gus. He's just passionate about what he believes in.

rkt said...

@ AKA Soccer Mom - Hey - I wasn't trying to beat on ya, it was just when I listened to the audio, even before I read up over here for your take I knew that had to be you when you said you had a blog too :) Either that or Mr. Mayor has a very fem voice!

anyways, i think you presented some of what went on, but can you give us your honest take on what you saw?

Did they look like a regular bunch of folks like you would normally see in Buckhorn or any other place for the most part, or did it look like a geeky star trek convention sans leotards as some have posited? True believers, regular joes, or attention whores, what was the overall impression you got? Just curious.

Gun Toting Liberal said...

I am an NRA member and, obviously, support the 2A. I am also a Democrat and tend towards a liberal bent. However, I must say that open carry is probably not a good idea for armed citizens here in the Republik of Kalifornia. Who do you suppose the bad guys are gonna shoot first? Keep it on the down low and let the element of surprise be on your side.

PS: I'm 50, I drive a Honda and I do not need Viagra.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

RKT:
In answer to your question: "Did they look like a regular bunch of folks like you would normally see in Buckhorn or any other place for the most part, or did it look like a geeky star trek convention sans leotards as some have posited? True believers, regular joes, or attention whores, what was the overall impression you got? Just curious."

You put it very well, and I found them to be a mix of all the types you presented. Yes, they wanted attention, and, yes, there was somethihg Trekkie geekie about it all. They will talk about making a political, ideological statement. Okay, but seeing them all together, with their guns and ammo and comraderie over it, well it's a bit dorky. It's a little like coming upon a pack of Twilight movie lovers, or rabid fans of any political ideology (Left or right) or any cult TV show/movie/cultural phenomenon. And, mixed in to the fans, were the regular Joes.

Some Open Carry supporters posting here and on Claycord say they resent being typecast as right-wing, religious fundamentalist, homophobes.

The religious affiliations or viewpoints about other hot issues didn't come up. However, there was Robert with his TV shirt, suggesting he was anti-gay rights.

BTW, my son's answer to Robert was an honest expression of how he felt. My son did form the opinion, on his own, that Open Carry members hould have to right to carry their weaspons, if that's the law. He wasn't just telling a grown-up what he thought he wanted to hear, just to be polite.

However, my son wondered if Robert was anti gay rights and gay marriage. My son detests homophobia and his pro-gay rights and pro-gay marriage.

LeftCoast said...

Hey GTL didn't know you visited here! For those that haven't visited GTL's website (if it is the same perdon and I think it is) the Gun Toting Liberal runs a very nice blog as well.

Elizabeth said...

I lived in Europe for two years and was amazed at how they seem to get along fine without this stupid "right to bear arms" crap! This isn't the wild west anymore.
You go to England, and even the cops don't carry guns...only the Scotland Yard, yet you feel totally safe, since the criminals aren't armed either!
Sorry, those guys are creeps!

Anonymous said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Maybe I can sleep through the whole controversy and it will simply dissipate from boredom by the time I awaken.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

One thing I forgot to mention is that Gus and some other attendees were waxing nostalgically about the good old days in California when people would walk around with their guns openly displayed. I guess they were talking about the cowboy days.

Gus wanted to paint an image of a country over-run with violence and mayhem. Well, it depends on where you live and your personal demographics.

A 50-year-old middle-class white guy living in an East Bay suburb has a very small chance of being the victim of a shooting or other violent crime. Look up the FBI crime stats. Those of us who live in affluent suburbs like Walnut Creek simply are not at a high risk of being victims of violent crimes, of shootings or other kinds of assaults.

Someone might cite the Alamo jewelry store robbery as an example of how a business owner, armed, protected himself from someone tried to hold him up. But remember, the suspect in that case was a once successful building contractor, with a multi-million-dollar home, who had apparently gone off the rails because of financial reserves. AND, he was a military veteran and apparently a proud member of the NRA and had a cache of weapons in his home.

Now, if you are a young African-American male, say 15 to 25, and living in Richmond's Iron Triangle, yes, you probably have good reason to worry that you might get shot at some point, even if you're trying to mind your own business, do well in school and work, and not hang out on street corners.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth,

I lived in the British Isles also for several years and there was plenty of crime around and many places one didn't feel safe walking or driving through.

Bully Boys abounded and ethnic gangs have become a real problem. Knives are the weapon of choice although they do have their fair share of people being shot also. Just because the Police are not armed doesn't mean the bad guys aren't there or will go away willingly if an officer shouts stop.

A high percentage of the citizens live in government subsidized housing for generations which breeds criminal activity in itself. The fact that many of these people cannont afford cars and have lower paying jobs just might have something to do with the lower rate of drive-by shootings.

Australia, with their strict gun laws, is a good example that by disarming law abiding citizens your crime rate and gun related crimes do not go down. Criminals will always find a way to get guns and ammunition thereby leaving the honest folks unarmed.

Anonymous said...

I got this from an anonymous post on the Claycord blog.

"I agree, theses guys are wacky. They only do this because an Open Sausage Event would be illegal."

That Claycord poster hit a home run.

Anonymous said...

Men who carry big guns in their pants are compensating for something else small in their pants.

Anonymous said...

Not only because it would be illegal, but also these nuts only could compete in the tiny weenie category

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me how I'm supposed to tell the difference between a responsible citizen practicing 'open carry' from a maniacal killer who's about to go postal on the patrons of a restaurant? I have no idea should I witness a man with a big old gun strapped to him I'll likely let out a blood curdling scream.

Informed Open Carrier said...

You can tell the difference between a law abiding citizen who is open carrying and a maniacal killer by whether or not the person has his/her gun(s) in his/her hand and whether or not s/he is shooting people with it. The man or woman who is eating his meal quietly with a gun on his hip is the law abiding citizen. The man or woman who is shooting people is the maniacal killer.

Informed Open Carrier said...

Since one of you was referring to England and all the time you spent there and in Europe, allow me to provide you with a few facts regarding the effective gun control measures that you so espouse there.

Ever since the institution of their wholesale handgun ban in 1997, there are so few legal handguns in the UK that even most of the cops there don't carry them. And yet, the criminals there have absolutely no problem whatsoever getting theirs. Don't believe me? Check out what the British mainstream media have to say about this topic:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/up-to-4m-guns-in-uk-and-police-are-losing-the-battle-505487.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1440764.stm

Informed Open Carrier said...

In fact, since the institution of that wholesale handgun ban in England in 1997, the violent crime rate in that country has become so unacceptable that the government has resorted to lying about it and has been caught by their mainstream media for under reporting it by as much as 60%. If you don't believe me, feel free to click on the link here and see for yourself.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/3222063/Gun-crime-60pc-higher-than-official-figures.html

The published violent crime rates, all from their respectively linked government sources below, tell you the effect by which gun bans have in raising those rates:

USA: 466/100,000
Canada: 900/100,000
U.K.: 3580/100,000

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_01.html
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/080717/dq080717b-eng.htm
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/hosb0708.pdf

Keep in mind that the violent crime rate for the UK, as horrendous as it is, is under reported by as much as 60%.

Informed Open Carrier said...

As far as your fears about common, law abiding citizens shooting each other with the guns they carry on themselves in public, rest assured that your fears are unfounded. Allow me to demonstrate with an example. Common, law abiding citizens who are CCW permit holders are actually a freakishly responsible segment of our population. As an example of just how responsible CCW owners in this country are, take a look at this statistic that comes directly off of the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. Out of 1,723,590 CCWs issued in that state in 23 years, only 167 CCW holders committed a crime with a firearm after licensure. That's less than 1 in 10,000 CCW permit holders. If you do the research and find out what the instances of crime are for the rest of the general population and even police officers in the US, you will find that CCW permit holders represent the very pinnacle of responsible citizenship.

http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/stats/cw_monthly.html

Since the anti-gun lobby has done such an effective job at preying on the general publics' fears regarding guns, allow me to provide you with the facts regarding this issue.

Here is an unbiased, academic study that will provide you with the information you are looking for with a copious number of references cited that you can check and verify for yourself. Keep in mind that this is not just a national study conducted in the US. It is an international study that provides you with implications of gun ownership worldwide. The truth is, that cold, hard statistics prove that the higher the instance of gun ownership by law abiding citizens in a country, the lower the rate of violent crime in that country.

http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7212&context=expresso

The Mauser-Kates Study I cited above was academically peer reviewed and then published on Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694).

I think this covers most of the issues raised here in this thread. If any of you have any other issues or questions about gun control, please feel free to let me know. I will be happy to answer them for you with unbiased and independent facts drawn from peer-reviewed academic research studies, government backed evidence, and government sourced statistics as I have already done here.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people are so "up in arms" pardon the pun, over these individuals exercising a constitutional right. People who own firearms for self defense and or sport do not debate one's right not to own or carry a firearm if that is there free choice. Why is it that those who have chosen to exercise their right not to carry a firearm feel that it is their duty to deny me my right to carry a firearm if I so choose? Do they own fire extinguishers because they are arsonists or do they use seat belts because they intend to drive dangerously? Of course not, we have these things for self protection "just in case" we find ourselves in a situation that they may used to prevent us from being seriously harmed! I own and carry a firearm for that same reason.

Anonymous said...

Yeah what's with all the small penis allusions? Obviously what they have are small brains. Oh, sorry for feeling uncomfortable around you. You're carrying a weapon that can kill me and my family and I don't know you from Adam - you truly might be a lunatic. You see, anybody I don't know personally as a good guy brandishing a weapon, concealed or open, I consider a threat to myself and my family. It's a lethal weapon. I walk into a room. There's a tiger in it. I'm scared and I should be. The tiger can kill me. The tiger poses a threat to my life. You with a gun pose a threat to my life.