Steve Klingaman

Steve Klingaman
Minneapolis, Minnesota,
January 01
Steve Klingaman is a nonprofit development consultant and nonfiction writer specializing in personal finance and public policy. His music reviews can be found at

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 28, 2009 6:03PM

Meet George Donnelly—He Wants to Show You His Gun

Rate: 16 Flag

George Donnelly 

Open Carry Crusader George Donnelly (YouTube) 

   George Donnelly, of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, is a blogger, a gun owner, and an open carry enthusiast.  “Open carry,” for those of you who are not gun fashionistas, is the movement to “normalize” carrying holstered handguns in public. This practice is more or less legal in 43 states, although it is prohibited in some towns and cities within those states.  Plymouth is not one of those towns.  George Donnelly carries openly.  Or tries to.

            George penned a recent blog entitled Plymouth, PA Cops Assault Me and Terrorize My Toddler Son Right Outside My Home about a recent episode in which he brought his young son to the park, carrying his holstered pistol in plain view.

            A woman who George described as an “older lady walking an angry little dog” called the police upon witnessing a man with a gun in the company of a small boy.  Now, you might not call the police in such a circumstance.  You might conclude it was an off-duty police officer, or you might think open carry is entirely normal—you might.  But when it comes right down to common sense, if you opt to carry a gun in public you might almost expect it to happen.

            If you are trying to decide how you feel about people carrying holstered weapons to the park with young children, you might be asking yourself:  what are these people thinking?  What are they like?  What are they trying to prove?  George, it turns out, offers a glimpse into the mindset of an open carry enthusiast.

            George volunteers that the reason he is carrying is that “my son is simply too precious to put at risk.” [Boldface his.]  By this you know that George is all about family values.  His son is too precious to be left unprotected, as a member of the general public might be.  In fact, you might conclude that his son is more precious than, say, your son, or daughter [Boldface mine.].  To twist the meaning of an old term, the preciosity of George’s son could, in fact exceed that of your children by a pretty extreme order of magnitude, once you get familiar with the whole open carry thing.  You see, you just rely on the police.  George has a better way.

Thugs, Thugs, Everywhere

            George lets us know, right off, in the first line of his blog, that police are thugs. [Boldface his.]  And so it follows, why would you entrust your precious child to a scheme whereby public safety is in the hands of thugs, when you can just do it yourself?

            When an officer arrives on the scene, he points out that George is carrying a gun.  George, as you might expect, points out that “open carry is legal[boldface his] in Pennsylvania.  Then he asks the cop for his badge number and bond number. [Boldface mine.]  Now I’m thinking George must be pretty savvy.  He knows to ask for a bond number.  I have never even heard of a bond number.

            The officer, or thug, provides neither.  He merely shows George his badge.

Plymouth Patrolman's Badge 

Good enough for me, but then you never know—could be counterfeit—despite the Crown Victoria.  Nonetheless, the cop and George are not getting off on the right foot.  George is miffed that the cop has not complied.  He has not provided the coveted bond number.  To George, this means, as he states, that the cop “was unwilling to prove he is a cop.”

            Then, get this, the officer asks George for some identification.  George responds, as you might expect, with the old stand-by, “I asked him if I was legally required to give it.”

            But it turns out George had a good reason:

Looking back, had I reached for it I might be in jail or worse right now since my pistol was on the same side as my wallet.

So, if you are packing, that would be an excellent reason not to surrender your ID.  What was that cop thinking?

            George continues to decode the discrepant situation:

My son immediately sensed that something was very wrong and hugged my right leg. I felt threatened by the way the man moved, too. I comforted him with my right arm which made this guy very nervous. He demanded I stop moving my hands. I put them up. [Boldface, boldface.]

            So you have the wallet, the toddler, and the gun, all on the right side.  A problem, at least in “the man’s” eyes.  Because most police officers are not killed in the line of duty by knives, or bombs, or what have you.  They are killed by handguns.  Or, as the NRA would be quick to clarify, men with handguns.  (Because guns don’t…you know.)  Anyway, the next thing you know, George has his hands handcuffed behind his back and his gun is taken away.

            This must be where the” assault” and the “terror” mentioned in the title of George’s post kick in.  Because the cop had to touch him to put those cuffs on.  And we may imagine that the  toddler might have been terrified by the confrontation.  One might even imagine that George himself was not a little terrorized at this point, given that he had lost his gun and all and his child was so very precious, more precious than average, and so on.  So I guess, in George’s eyes, this would make the police officer something of a terrorist. [Boldface mine.]

            The cop then, in George’s words (and typeface), “removed my wallet!  George pointed out on no uncertain terms that he had not authorized an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment and then he—and this may have been unfortunate—“demanded his identification again.”

            Now, small towns like Plymouth, contrary to what you (and George) might believe, don’t always have an excess of crime going around, so the next thing you know, “five other cops showed up”  [BF his.]  George pointed out “how wasteful this was,” but, curiously, the police officers seemed to be in no mood for cost-cutting just then.

He told me to shut up and stop talking several times. In response to which I asked if he was also violating my first amendment right as well as my fourth.  [Boldface.]

…I did take advantage of their pauses in speaking and their questions and statements to refute their weak justifications, guilt trips and other bullshit. [Boldface.]

George had things to say, like what about the First Amendment, and these cops just would not let him speak.  They wouldn’t let him talk about open carry, about their bond numbers—nothing.  It was a shutout.  Cops – 6, George – 0.

Officer Lacy 

Officer, er, Thug Lacy            

     Sometimes that’s just the way it works.  Cops don’t always have good bedside manners.  I have pointed this out to my son who is in his twenties—and he doesn’t even carry a gun.  I have pointed out that if he is ever stopped by police, that is not the exact moment to try to prove a point, or get all up in the officer’s grill, that there will be time to sort things out later, that police have high-stress jobs and sometimes, sometimes, they make mistakes.  Big ones.  So go lightly when stopped.  That was my message.

“Stop Treading on me!”

            George meanwhile was all up in their grills.  “…demanding they return my wallet and cease violating me…”  And that “violating” part was where the “assault” part gets tied in, as far as I can tell—although when I hear somebody say, “He violated me,” I’m thinking something else.  And I think the officers themselves surmised that George was thinking about something else because, according to George, “O’Brien said it sounded like I had good basis for a lawsuit and lots of damages.”  [Boldface.]  But then they all laughed, which did not please George at all; he went on at some length about how they were not “peace officers” at all but instead were thugs and not just that but thugs with a “state monopoly” on thuggery.  Which made me think George was a little jealous, that he wouldn’t mind getting in on the action seeing as he already had a gun and knew a lot of other guys with guns and they could with little effort form some kind of milita so that there would be no monopolies involved.  But that’s just me thinking.

            The police officers, despite their perceived shortcomings, took the time to point out, when George wasn’t filling in the pauses, that he might have been, after all, a kidnapper or something but George just called that “blather.”  Because he knew he wasn’t a kidnapper.  All they had to do was ask.

            Well, pretty soon this thing is practically a kaffeeklatch:

 As soon as he appeared, Bolinsky asked me if I was an NRA member, trying to profile me as a conservative type I suppose.

Imagine.  And then, “Bolinsky asked for my son’s name and I refused to provide it.”  And I’m thinking, “Wait a minute, [Boldface mine.] if you aren’t really a kidnapper, this is something you should just do..."

            Then, in a very eloquent passage, George gets to the ironic part:

“What a Nice Day” Says the Thug

The other plain clothes person near the end said “What a nice day!” I said yes, it is a beautiful day to go for a walk with your kids, except when people like you come and assault me like this. Then he said he would not carry a firearm if he was out walking with his son. I said, that’s terribly dangerous. It’s a crazy world out there and my son is too important to me for to take any chances. Isn’t yours? And you know when seconds count the police are minutes away, I added.  [Multiple bold.]

He more or less sums the whole thing up right there, and even, despite the terrorizing nature of the situation, has the wherewithal to insert the bon mot about how, “when seconds count, the police are minutes away”…almost like he had rehearsed it.

An image from George's Web Site 

An image from George's website            

At this point, George offers up a little tidbit that you might find interesting.  He writes:

They constantly peppered me with questions and statist-perspective claims meant to get me to cooperate and submit. [BF mine.]

Apparently they were trying to wear him down, like in the movies.  But what were those perspectives? Statist?  The term statist is used, and really only used, by a branch of the libertarian wing I would refer to as the anarcho-libertarian wing of the wingnut cavalcade.  They deny the legitimacy of the state—government—of the people, buy the people, you name it, in favor of a more informal approach, such as that of an armed citizenry who know how to work it out amongst themselves, because, as you know, an armed citizenry is a polite citizenry—present circumstances excluded.  Google "statist" or better, ”statist thugs” and you’ll get at least ten pages, included some voices very near to George, people he knows.

  Old News

“If every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man, then he is free to drop connection with the state - to relinquish its protection and to refuse paying toward its support.”


~Herbert Spencer, “The Right to Ignore the State,” 1851


            So by this point, it’s all a big mess and the cops are snarling at George and George is demanding their badge and bond numbers.  But, in the end, they let him go on his way!  Because, open carry is not illegal, just, at least in this case, ill-advised—although the open carry enthusiasts would take me to task for that last observation.  They gave George his gun back, although they left the bullets at some distance on the ground.  About which, George observed, “Of course they were fully armed and even Bolinsky had a four extra magazines sitting on his belt.”—highlighting yet another inequity of the situation.

            In the aftermath, George took a timeout with his son:

I sat down and talked with my son for several minutes, hugging him and telling him, look it works, you can face the bad guys and talk sense into them until they leave you alone. [BF his.]

A poignant touch there, though I’m not sure what a toddler would make of all this.

Denouement:  Let the Comments Begin

            In a follow-up blog George tries to mask his disappointment that the attorney he contacted said that George had no case for a lawsuit.  I was thinking, “Hell, get a different lawyer, like the one Meleanie Hain  used.”  Because I’m thinking, if you are an open carry enthusiast, the only thing better than cold, hard steel is cold, hard steel and cold, hard cash.

            As to the original post, you might imagine George received quite a few comments on his blog—well he did, 203 to be exact.  (Eat your hearts out Open Salon bloggers.)  I guess you could call these people George’s peers.  You know how comments work; some people get a little hot-headed.

            Most of the comments were very supportive of George.  For  example: 

Kyle Bennet writes:

The old biddie with the yappy dog needs a good talking to. In a perfect world, she should get more than that, but this is not a perfect world.

Anarchist writes:

ummmm, what’s the point of having a f***ing gun if you’re not going to use it to defend yourself from police violence? if that had happened to me, things would have gone down A LOT differently.

            And you know, that’s what I wonder about, too.  In a situation like this, it could have gone down a lot differently.  And that’s what I would be thinking if I encountered a person like George while I was out in the park with my precious child.  Meleanie Hain, before she was murdered by her husband with a handgun, made the point that handguns are like fire extinguishers, but I don’t think they are.  I would say they are more like rags-and-gasoline.



 putting out fire...with gasoline

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So what did he do to be handcuffed? I understand the woman calling the police, I imagine it would be quite alarming to see someone walking around with a gun. However, does logic play no part in this? Would a kidnapper actually want to draw attention to themselves? Would a child who has just been kidnapped clutch the kidnappers leg?

While he may be part of a fringe element out there, he's right. He's not breaking any laws. Shouldn't the police be aware of those same laws?
Good points, but he made a move toward his gun; that's what got him cuffed. And if George had been the commentator using the avatar of Antichrist, he may have been going for his gun. You just never know. I don't have all the answers, I just have a bad feeling about the whole pas de deux.
You never know when those damn rabid pigeons will attack you (or your precious son).
Sorry, Steve, I must have misread. I thought it said he didn't go for his wallet because he knew it was on the same side as his gun and didn't want it to be misinterpreted.
This whole thing both amazes and terrifies me. He seems willing to sacrifice his son for a revolution only he and his other crazies are wanting to fight. Scary.
Julie, Right. He presumably moved to pat his son's head or touch his shoulder with his "gun hand." That is what put the officer on alert.
If I felt a true need to carry a gun, walking through a park, it sure as hell wouldn't be open carry. If and only if I Had to use it, in justifiable self-defense, the charge of a concealed weapon would likely never be applied to me.

That's No. 1.


No. 2: This is an important story, and hold more than a little humor within - something I'm not accustomed to with you, Steve. Thanks!
This story leaves me sort of torn. On one hand George did not break the law, and the questioning from police since he did not break the law did not give them probable cause other than the idea the police do do not like the second amendment. On the other hand because we live in a society that freaks out at the sight of a gun, although legal, carrying a gun will attract attention.

I personally have a Concealed Gun Permit, but as a rule do not choose to carry a gun, because frankly I don't feel that threatened by the world around me. And the extra weight and the responsibility of carrying a gun is a pain in the butt.

My advice to George is to get a concealed permit and as long as the gun is hidden no one is going to call the police. But, if you walk down the street with a gun strapped to your leg, chance are you will be questioned by the police because like most of our government they don't give a rat's ass about your constitutional rights.

PS. When I was a young boy growing up in Texas, every pickup had at least one gun in the rack and in rural areas it was not uncommon to see at least a 22 with snake shot strapped to a belt. But that was 40 years ago and a totally different world.
Noah needs a big ol shotgun cause his eyesight ain't so good... You might want to gather up your kids if I commence to firin'
BBE: Do me a favor and pull the original source on that DOJ finding, would you? Not the second-hand blog stuff, but the actual item. As to my attitude toward open carry as a strategy to stop crime, I think I make quite clear--it's like trying to put out fire with gasoline. An armed society is a deadly society.
I have guns. None of them are for hunting, they're all solely for the purpose of defense. I'm not a big supporter of the whole open carry thing. I think it's pretty ridiculous really, and even if it did become common-place I wouldn't do it.

Guns aren't the problem. It's the people who have the guns that are the problem, and that includes law abiding legal gun owners as well. Just because you have a gun doesn't mean you have the correct mentality to use it in a crisis situation.

This guy is a prime example of a legal gun owner that shouldn't be allowed to own them. He went looking for trouble and he fucking found it. All that people like him and that idiot Meleanie Hain do is make it harder for both, those of you who don't like or want guns, and those of us who do, to find a way to make a bad situation better.

Guns are here. The argument is pointless. It's not a genie you're ever going to put back in the bottle. If any significant changes are going to be made to lower the level of gun violence advocates on both sides need to quit wasting time on a point that nothing can be done about, and put the energy towards things that will make a difference.

As for all the open carry idiots, they remind me of what my Tac. officer said in my police academy, (No, I'm not a working police officer and never have been.) "Sure, you can carry a gun out in the open on the street. But the police are going to talk to you."

Keep The Faith
We do not have a civil society with these wanna-be gunslingers walking around, trying to pick a fight. Maybe what he did was legal, but I don't want to live any where near the fucker.
BBE: Yes, I thought that was what you were talking about. It constitutes an entirely subjective survey of gun owners who thought they stopped crimes from occurring by having guns on their person, except that sometimes they just saw a threatening-looking person on the street and concluded they had foiled a crime by flashing, even "accidentally" flashing a gun. Sorry. That does not cut it, by any means.

By the way, I am not critiquing concealed carry or challenging the Second Amendment per se. Only open carry of handguns.

Finally, the statement "an armed society is a polite society" is pure propaganda and nonsense of the first order. You are not going to make points with anyone with empty cliches like that.
" An armed society is a deadly society." - Steve Klingaman

Deadly for the criminals. The facts show that the more law-abiding gun-owners there, the safer the community.
I saw the "armed society" tag on a relative's email recently. I thought she had lost her mind.

My SO rewrote it:
"An armed society is a society subjugated by fear."

I find this story fascinating, mostly because while I might think this guy is a nut (and I've been around people just like him in my youth, who insisted on carrying guns in public and then got pissed when they were questioned about it....) I also find his opinions about the police and personal rights to be very much in line with core liberal values: suspicion of authority, preservation of rights, etc.

I imagine the ultra-conservatives would find this disconcerting, if they ever realized it.....
gun shmun i coulda taken those guys out with chuck norris' bare hands dont ya know. On one hand I can understand the frustration this man must feel about the irrational color of law and fear based society, on the other he was behaving like some kinda macho moron. To me this is really a non story.
This reminds me a lot of the Henry Louis Gates story from the summer.

You have an individual who is not breaking the law, but acting in a manner which leads to a reasonable inquiry from a police officer. The individual, feeling that their rights are being infringed, choose to stand on principal and to be confrontational. The officer responds to keep the situation from escalating further.

The question is whether the officer overreacted to the situation. I am more sympathetic to the officer in this case because the potential danger to himself was much more apparent. The guy kept moving his hand in the vicinity of his gun. Even if he didn't directly threaten the cop, you can see how that would make a cop very nervous. Plus, he let the guy go once he concluded his reasonable inquiry.

Irony: George wants to show how safe it is to open-carry... by acting like a jerk while open-carrying.

What is a bond number? Is a police officer required to provide it?
People who practice open carry don't understand the basics of self-defense. The advantage of concealed carry is the element of surprise. First, one does not know if the person is armed. Second, if the person is armed one does not know where or with what. Shoulder holster? Hip holster? Ankle holster? Pocket carry? Cross-draw? Revolver? Semi-auto? .22 caliber? .45 caliber?

With open carry everything is revealed and all the important information is known. It's like playing poker while showing your opponent all your cards. Not to mention that you draw unwanted attention to yourself.

I've carried a concealed handgun for years, with a concealed handgun permit. I have never had any unfortunate experiences with police. Any time I have an official interaction with police I simply say "I have a concealed handgun permit, and I'm carrying in a shoulder holster [or whatever]. Please let me know what you would like me to do." I follow the officer's instructions. There are no surprises and no conflicts. Most of the time they way "that's fine, I don't care," because they know that in order to get the permit I went through a background check and have no criminal history.

These open-carry people really baffle me. I guess they want to make a point, but it's a dumb way to make a point in my opinion.
"" An armed society is a deadly society." - Steve Klingaman

Deadly for the criminals. The facts show that the more law-abiding gun-owners there, the safer the community. - John Knight"

That must be why Norway and Britain, where even the police are unarmed, are such hellholes of violent crime. It's like Kandahar over here. We can't go outside without body armour.

I say: Good for George! If he didn't carry a gun, these cops/thugs would never have stopped to have a long conversation with him, and he would not have been given the chance to dazzle them with his logic. Time well spent, I think.
Well, Steve, a very interesting article there.

I'd like to correct a few apparent and potential misconceptions and fill in some blanks in your story, which is really much better than one might expect!

- I am not a conservative or a patriot. I am a voluntaryist. A voluntaryist is someone who thinks relationships between people should be by mutual consent or not at all. That is to say that we are against some folks using violence to subjugate others. See, for example, governments, where certain cliques control the reins of power to the detriment of their neighbors. This is wrong. We are all equal. The corollary of being anti-aggression is being pro-self-defense. This is why I carry - in order to defend me and mine.

Get more info on voluntaryism here:

- I am a well-educated and traveled person. I graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and lived 4 years in Japan, 8 years in Colombia. So anyone who wants to paint me as ignorant or a tea-partier or a birther, you will fall flat. Call me a wacko or a wingnut if it makes you feel better, just don't call me right wing.

- Under PA law, you are not required to provide ID just because a cop wants it.

- I did not put my son at risk of anything. I protected him. Imagine if there really had been a kidnapper and I'd had to rely on the cops. The bad guys would have gotten away gone with my boy.

- I made no moves toward or around my gun. That is a gross falsehood. I had my arm on my son's back, way down below the securely holstered firearm.

- I put up no protest until I was handcuffed. Lacy had NO reasonable articulable suspicion or probable cause to handcuff me. What he did exceeded the government legal system's own limits on his power.

- There is a never-ending debate between concealed carry and open carry folks. It's a pointless debate because it's just a question of personal preference. In favor of open carry, there is the fact of the faster draw.

- Their own police report makes no mention of a suspicion of kidnapping. Interesting, eh?

- I only contacted an attorney because so many readers demanded I do so and sent me leads. It is clear in my writings on this that I have NO interest in suing the local government or police department. That's not my goal and it's a useless waste of time anyway to sue government. They have sovereign immunity!

- No I do not want to show you my gun but if I see you at the range and you ask nicely I'll be glad to show you how it works and give you a short class on firearms safety. ;D

Reasonable folks can differ and still be coexist peacefully as long as we all refrain from using aggression to get our way.

The government will always have bigger and more effective instruments of death than private citizenry.

Open carry is a dumb idea. In any neighborhood where you're actually at risk for violent crime, it's like putting up a red blinking light asking for someone to sneak up on you, steal your weapon, and kill you. Anywhere else, you're just gonna freak people out. This is the problem with extremists of any kind. Instead of taking small steps to get people to see the validity of their side of the argument, they go to the extreme, acting as if they already live in the utopia they dream of. If you want to educate people as to how guns are a great deterrent to crime, then go put a booth up in your local park and hand out some pamphlets and offer some education. In that case, open carry would not be ridiculous because people would know what you were about. Lots of people are afraid of guns, even though it's pretty silly to be afraid of an inanimate object. Failing to take into account basic human behaviour is why shit like this will never convince anyone of anything except that this guy is an asshole.
My fellow man (sounds better than a***e), have you heard of direct action? It's a form of activism where you instead of begging government to use aggression to do what you want or instead of whining about the problems you see, you simply do it yourself. Some might consider open carry to fall in that field. Why should I beg government to protect me or my fellow man to understand me when I can just go ahead and perform my non-aggressive actions myself with a better result?
George shows up in person! Me like. Can we convince him to write a blogpost about his views on open carry v. the danger of escalating an everyday situation into an armed and dangerous one?
Thanks for at least spelling my name right... oh, wait.

One purpose of open carry is to attempt to re-normalize the practice. Most of the experiences people report are positive, opportunities to discuss the issue calmly and answer people’s questions and concerns. The hope is that this will erode the irrational fear.

There were many within the black civil rights movement who advocated laying low, staying below the radar. Similar advice came from within the later gay rights movement. You may not think that the 2nd amendment movement is on par with those, but the fact remains that those movements succeeded only after the advice to “carry concealed” was ignored.

Despite how it may look, my quote was not a suggestion of violence against the “old biddie”. In a perfect world, she would have been a pariah in the neighborhood, rightly seen as a troublemaking busy-body. The context of other discussions on George’s site, and in the larger voluntarist discussion would rule out the implication of suggested violence. You also might have noticed that my comment, and several others, were critical of the violent comment by “anarchist” that you quoted here, perhaps for its inflammatory nature.

Additionally, in a perfect world, this never would have happened at all, because the police dispatcher would have laughed at the woman hung up on her. A report of “a man carrying a gun” would be no more cause for alarm than a report of a man eating a cheeseburger.

Was “government ... buy the people” a Freudian slip or sly commentary? If the latter, well played!
discretion would seem to be the better part of valor, i.e, when you look scary, guess what, you scare people.
Don, sometimes scary is in the eye of the beholder.
My goodness, the whole crew is here! Where is Antichrist?

Well, George, welcome to Open Salon...I guess. You know, I'm going to avoid making this a debate in the comments section. Maybe you moved your hand, maybe you didn't. Maybe you seemed to move your hand. It's all a matter of perception in a split second, isn't it?

As to your political philosophy, I read our description of it. Frankly, the post was long enough as it is. I'll let you proselytise on that score. Personally, I think the name voluntaryist is just awkward. I don't know, volunteerist might work. Or maybe something in Greek, like that Molon labe handle, might have more grit. Anyway, the philosophy, which you describe amply on your web site, is not news to me. Anarcho-libertarian with a touchy-feely spin works for me.

Seriously, there are shades of gray here, with a sharply divided mix of reactions. I hold that the 2nd amendment is subject to regulation. I take your stance to be slightly more absolutist.

Clearly, I question your judgment. I have done enough research at to know that I question the judgment of a huge number of people in your little movement. Asyour buds in the NRA imply, the problem with guns is people. Which is my point exactly.

Did I mention that I oppose open carry?

Still, I give you kudos for discourse here, even if I think you were not at your best in your tête-à-tête with Plymouth's finest.

And I think you should use less boldface.
This is a perfect example of why, as a society, we are not 'ready' for open carry. People have an inherant 'wuss' factor that prevents them from being able to deal with the sight of someone with a 'tool of violence.' Much like when I carried a toaster around for a day. People were freaking out constantly.
You can't cure this thorugh some sort of saturation therapy.
You can't cure it at all. It's a mindset brought about by popular media and endless anti-gun propaganda madness.
Now granted, the A-Hole in question had some serious attitude issues, but that's not the real problem.
The real problem is the wuss factor. It can't be eliminated, period. Therefore, open carry should never happen.
Which is exactly why I support concealed carry.
(with guns, not toasters, jackass)
I find it an interesting, and ultimately sad, delusion that everyone who carries a gun around to protect themselves seems convinced that they would come out the winner if they had to use it. Statistics do NOT support that at all. Great post, Steve, and funny as hell in a sick sort of way. Glad I don't live in a country where people feel the need to pack heat simply to take their toddler to a park.
"discretion would seem to be the better part of valor, i.e, when you look scary, guess what, you scare people."

Hmm. It strikes me that this is precisely why long hair (60s) and baggy pants (more recently) have garnered such violent reactions from the establishment - they scare people. Talk of communism, interracial marriage, homosexuality, racism, anti-queer, ditto. They scare people. Hell, an idea is much more potentially destructive than a gun, so people who are prone to fear ought rightly to be quashing 'dangerous ideas' rather than worrying about a few guns. But that would be wrong, and counterproductive.

Dogs scare some people - a LOT. And I'd guess that the average dog owner has a lot less control over his dog than the average gun owner over his weapon at any given time. Children are routinely harmed by dogs. Dogs provide about as much function in today's society as guns - recreation, some protection, and maybe hunting help (though that's mostly recreation, too). Of course I won't suggest that guns provide companionship :) but otherwise they're fairly equal. No one has EVER seriously suggested that we stop walking dogs in public, or owning dogs, or that we restrict the possession of dogs to a special class of government employee.

Something to think about.
"I find it an interesting, and ultimately sad, delusion that everyone who carries a gun around to protect themselves seems convinced that they would come out the winner if they had to use it."

I am happy to help educate you out of a misunderstanding - that is, if you really want to learn what people really feel and think. I certainly hope so.

I doubt any gun owner feels that his or her gun is an 'invincible shield' - I know I don't. I *do* feel, though, that if something bad is happening, I have a much better chance of coming out well on the other side if I am armed than if I am not. And 'armed' can mean a stick, or a particular fighting technique, or a gun, or training in negotiation, or... almost anything.
From the tone of this post, you seem to be implying that anybody who wants to carry a firearm is most likely dangerous and unstable. That's just not true. I used to think people openly wearing guns was strange myself, because where I grew up nobody did. The first time I ever saw people wearing sidearms publicly was in Idaho; I walked into a bar and grill and at least half the people in there were sporting pistols. Though I was a little taken aback at first, I soon realized I was in no more danger there than in any other bar. It was just a normal Western bar scene, there was no sense of menace, and nobody in there had the attitude of the guy you describe in this post, let alone the attitude of the lady who called the police. The reason nobody was on edge is because guns were just a fact of life in that area; to those people it was nothing to raise an eyebrow over. It's all a matter of what a culture says is OK really; if people weren't socialized in this country to freak out at the sight of a gun, the scene you describe in this post would never have taken place. The topic of firearms, let alone the sight of them, causes people to lose their cool; the mantra is "Guns are evil, people who have them are crazy" and it's repeated so relentlessly that we react to the sight of a gun with Pavlovian horror. We're told so often that people with guns are scary lunatics that we believe it reflexively, and you're furthering that dynamic with this post. My suggestion is that you open your mind a little bit and consider the possibility that not all gun owners, not even all those who advocate open carry, are deranged right wingers.
The problem with Donnelly's justification is that he discusses at length his rights. But citizens don't just have rights, they also have responsibilities. We live in a country with relative peace and safety because of effective government and policing and the fact that most citizens support them.

I've been to my share of the world's hell holes. In any, you can easily find armed men determined to fight off criminals and protect their families, just like George Donnelly. A country with a million George Donnelleys and without a decent gov't or police force equals a hell hole.

Time to recognize what works.

You don't think it works well enough? Make it better.
I thought about writing a post about this subject, because what I have learned in yours, Steve, scares me shitless. But, seeing the number of aggravated, belligerent gun-owners that are on this site, I am afraid to express a strong opinion or they'll hunt me down and take care of me, like the "old biddy" in "a perfect world." I did a quick check on open-carry laws in my state and found a message board on the subject, and these people describe the rest of us as "blissninnies." Now what does that mean? I guess hippie is old-fashioned now, but basically it sounds to me like the gun owners think they are the realists here and we are lost in our bliss. Yeah right. I just have to wonder if the crime rate where these folks live is so high that they regularly use their guns to prevent it or if they are just scared all the time. Now who's the ninny here? Personally, I am more afraid of the collateral damage from pseudo-militiamen trying to protect their massive wealth from the hordes of criminals they envision, than a takeover by the government, heavy-handedness by the police or whatever they're so afraid of. At least the police are subject to laws and the people elect our police commissioners. These gun owners seem to reject all regulation or the wishes of their neighbors, and that is a recipe for tragedy.
BTW, I am not opposed to gun ownership for the purposes of hunting and the protection of farms and ranches and other situations where wild animals are a threat. People are not wild animals, even though these gun owners seem to equate them.
Stella, Actually the intent of the founders of this country expected the citizens to have "military style weapons" for defense from both foreign and domestic enemies.

Also, the second amendment is closely tied to the idea of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not that those things are guaranteed but the right to pursue them are. Without adequate means to protect those ideas they just become words on paper.

In a perfect world everyone would respect the rights of other and we all could walk the streets without fear. Granted we have one of the most stable societies in the world and most of the fear is generated by the media. In my 54 years of life I have only been in several situations that I worried about my physical well being, but even then the need for a gun was not warranted. I do not think my experience is outside the norm. With that said I do own hand guns and expect to never have to use them for there intended use. But, in the event my life or the life of my family are in jeopardy I would not hesitate to use a gun to defend them.
I think every adult involved in the above story (except maybe the lady who called the police) was implicit in making the situation worse. If it's legal to openly carry and not show ID, the police should have left him alone. On the other hand, all of that garbage about the police badge number, etc. just inflamed things as well.

While municipalities can't just ban guns (according to the SCOTUS in Heller vs. DC), they can make reasonable regulations. If the city thinks open carry is a problem, they need to make it illegal. If not, they need to direct their police force to stop hassling folks who are doing something that is clearly not against the law.
Malusinka, I *am* working to make it better.

The responsibility that accompanies the right to carry a firearm is the one to do it safely and use it only in self-defense and only when the level of aggression used against me justifies it (ie my defense response must be symmetrical). What other responsibility did you have in mind?

Steve I realize your argument relies on inventing moves by me towards my gun. If that makes you feel better, I understand. Just keep in mind that it's hard to take a writer of non-fiction seriously when he plays fast and loose with the facts. In the future you might do better keeping fact and opinion very strictly separated.

btw for all you anti-open-carry folks: I open carry every day in that same park and often with my son. I even open carry into the Plymouth township police department. I will continue open carrying indefinitely.
Stellaa thanks for that analysis. Do you charge by the hour? You are a psychologist, correct? I mean, you claim to know what's inside my head, so you must be a professional in these things I suppose?

You state that guns are primarily created to make a quick easy kill.

I don't disagree, but that is why I do have guns. There are times when it may be necessary to make a quick easy kill. I have fortunately not encountered them, but I've also never needed the airbag in my car.
"your act is done to purposefully offend"

Do you have any evidence of this claim?

Your last couple of posts are loaded with unfounded assumptions about me, my motives and what happens inside my brain. Are you aware that it is pure baseless speculation and not logical, reasoned argument?
You know what is also pure baseless speculation and not logical, reasoned argument?

Thinking that you and others are safer when you and others are openly carrying firearms.
I wasn't talking about responsibilities relating to gun ownership, You have a responsibility to maintain the peaceful, orderly society that you enjoy. That means supporting the police in their attempts to keep order, even if occasionally they mistake you, or others, for suspects in a crime.

My guess is that you take for granted the freedoms that come from living in America and not, say, Haiti. Those include the freedom from fear and freedom from persecution (and the unfortunate incident in the park hardly qualifies as persecution by standards in less privileged places than the US) among others.

Your interaction with the police focused almost entirely on your rights. Your right to withhold your ID, your right to this. No where did you think of your responsibility to support a peaceful society.

The society you live in, no matter what its flaws, is one of the best in the world and that is because of citizens both exercising rights AND responsibilities.

Be a responsible citizen.
Most of the world's problems would go away if people minded their own affairs, rather than worrying over the activities of strangers. But that is only my opinion...
I said in my comment last night "not all gun owners, not even all those who advocate open carry, are deranged right wingers." I stand by that statement, but there's no denying that a lot of them ARE deranged right wingers:P
"Derangement is equal opportunity."

Definitely. As is reacting in a biased manner to anybody who dares to disagree with you on the topic of gun control. There are closed minds on both sides of the debate is what it comes down to.
Stella, unless the people have a means to right a government that would suspend the constitution it is all talk. Fact is legal gun owners who abide by the law are not going around shooting people. Each year 1.5 million crimes are prevented by private citizens with guns.

When it comes to protection, the police are not going to stop violent crime. It is not their fault because they can only respond once a crime has been committed. We do have gun control and the reason it fails is because criminals buy guns. The only laws that work are laws followed by law abiding citizens and they are not the problem.

I for one believe that all rights carry responsibilities. Gun ownership should be tied to training. I have had relatives who have never owned a gun ask me what gun to buy. My answer is always the same. Unless you take training in the law, safety, and handling a gun you are better off not owning a gun.

The pursuit of happiness is directly tied to keeping your freedoms. There has never been a case in history where a government with absolute authority did not abuse it. The founders of this country understood this all to well. The fact that our citizens are armed is a deterrent. One hopefully that will never be needed, but it is there.
M Todd: That statistic is merely the number of crimes that gun owners think they thwart by carrying guns. I know that gun owners claim a Clinton era Department of Justice as a source on the that number, which, by the way, gets thrown around as 2 million. Why not 20 million?

Here is what the Clinton-era DOJ actually said about gun violence:

" Despite significant progress, gun violence remains a national tragedy. In 1998, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 30,708 people died from gun-related injuries in this country, and over one-third of a million violent crimes were committed with firearms. Every day, on average, 84 people-including 10 children-are shot and killed in the United States. In the last two years alone, more American civilians died from gunfire than all of the American soldiers killed during the nine years of the Vietnam War. And for each fatal firearms injury, there were nearly three non-fatal injuries.

The carnage caused by guns in the United States is unique among developed nations. Children under age 15 are murdered with guns in our country at a rate 16 times higher than in the 25 other wealthiest industrialized countries combined. Firearms injuries are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and a leading cause of injury-related death. The economic impact of this violence is staggering. The medical costs of gun injuries have been estimated to exceed $2 billion each year, and work loss costs have been estimated at $20 billion or more per year."

Stella, I am confused. You don't want to trust Peridochas' judgment but you demand I trust in yours? That's hypocritical.

Jeannette, thank you so much for confirming that Stellaa's comments are "pure baseless speculation and not logical, reasoned argument." I was gettin' worried there!

btw how many people here know that the supreme court has ruled that the government and police have no duty to protect you individually, only to protect society as a whole?

Complain all you want, I continue to open carry. In fact, I'm doing it right now!
George, thanks for pointing out that I inadvertently left the word "also" in my comment. You should know that I don't consider Stellaa's comments to be "pure baseless speculation and not logical, reasoned argument". (Well, I'm sure you already know that.)

I do, however, consider those who think they are keeping us all safer by openly carrying firearms to be engaged in baseless speculation and illogical, ill-reasoned argument.

So, if you and your fellow "voluntaryists" are going to invoke your right to openly carry firearms, I am going to invoke my right to debate the merits of such behavior, and to tell you that I think you're wrong.

What are you going to do, shoot me?
Jeannete, did someone tell you not to criticize others or something? I mean, who are you arguing with exactly?

I have never shot anyone and hope I will never have to. I would only consider using my firearm if the level of aggression used against me warranted it and only if I couldn't escape safely with me and mine.

Contrast this with the thugs whose salaries you pay that flaunt their ill-gotten power all day long everyday, tasering, macing, shooting and locking people up over victimless crimes and otherwise committing aggression against peace-loving folks. When will you put down YOUR gun, Jeannette?

Oh yes, you have a gun. Your gun is wielded by your government, which you support with your voluntarily given consent and with your labor. Your gun is aimed at your fellow man every day, whether he does something wrong or not. Your gun is used aggressively. It is routinely unholstered and pointed about. When will you put your gun down Jeannette?
Stella, first if the event happened and it was our people fighting our own government history shows that the people will prevail. You forget this country and its ordinary people defeated the super power of its time.

As for our army making mince meat of the Afghans I will say it will end like every other attempt to occupy that country. We will spend billions of dollars, and loose countless lives and we will withdraw and the strongest group of people will take back their country as if we were never there. We should have learned a lesson from Russia.
I'm a fan of yours Stellaa, but please don't make generalizations like:

"A gun to the typical American gun wielding male or female these days is a totem, a totem of a freedom and some vestige of romantic control gleaned from the heroic images of the past."

That is bullshit. That is what YOU think a gun is to the average gun owning American, not what a gun means to someone (like me) who's grown up around them and doesn't equate them with politics or symbolism or any of this other shit you're laying out. A gun is a gun to me, not a totem, not an icon, not anything else but a gun, so give me a break from the pop psychology already.
The same, dear Stella, could be said of word processors. Or pens. They are the instruments of exercising a freedom granted by the Bill of Rights.
The difference of course, is that no one feels threatened by people who twitter in public. Even if they're Nazi's twittering in public.
Think about it.
Nazi's. Twittering. In public.
I'll buy that. I made a j0ke to someone last week who was talking about rising up against the bad old Obama government and taking this country back. It went something like "Q: How many patriotic, heavily armed militia members can an Apache attack helicopter kill in a day? A: As many as are retarded enough to come out of the woods."
My previous comment was directed at Stellaa. But Andy, I'd like to get in on a little of that Nazi Twitter action. Is there like a secret password I need before I can follow me some fascists? And when's Miley going to start Tweeting again?
To be honest, nanatehay, the joke is funny but the scenario is anything but. When I think about this kind of thing it makes me sick. Beyond the tragic aspect, however, you must concede that a campaign fought in the back yards of America would be a bloody fracking disaster. Not only that, it would mirror any insurrection in that the determination of the fighters, not the technology involved, would ultimatly determine the victor.
The ability to blend, the willingness to use underground tactics, the ruthlessness level. All of those factors come into play when you speak of this type of warfare.
In the final analysis, anyone who says "oh these people could never overthrow the government," is talking out of their ass.
They could bring this country to the negotating table at the very least. It would create terrible casualties and divide the nation. Many would die needlessly. No one would 'win' but there is a possibility that serious reform would take place as the result of a big enough uprising. Possibly even complete anarchy or collapse.
I pray it never, ever comes to that. I am quite certain it probably won't.
Thanks to the NRA. If they were not a cathartic voice for the gun advocate, it would be a slippery slope to shitdom real quick.
Miley has left us....we do not know when or if she will ever come back. It is terrible.
As far as the Nazi's, I have no idea. I stopped supporting them after I found out National Socialist didn't mean we supported a public option but that we hated Jews. Personally I love Jews. Without them we'd have no Jeff Goldblum, and without him, no Fly, no Independence Day, and no Law and Order: CI with him. Oh, and let's not forget Jurassic Park.
When I was younger I'd sometimes play out a little scenario in my head as to what it might be like to take part in an insurrection against the govt, who of course would be backed by the army. It always ended with me picturing myself, with my SKS rifle, sprinting as fast as I can across an open field trying to make it to a treeline before the pursuing gunship shredded me to a fine pulp with it's Vulcan mini-gun. At some point I came to a realization that, if we have a revolution here, I'm just gonna stay home and watch it on CNN.
"We have a report from the Channel Nine chopper of militants cornered outside an Applebee's near Peoria. They were apparently there for the Jalapeno Poppers; details after the weather."
All you "volunteerists" who think that your puny guns are keeping America safe have obviously never seen a tank rolling down a city street. What would make the difference between your militia standing or being roadkill is whether or not the tank driver steps on the gas or the brakes.

Learn some recent history. What made the Berlin wall come down in 1989? No one sent tanks to stop it. What made the Soviet Union fall in 1991? The tanks didn't roll. Why did Yeltsin survive the 1993 attempt of the Soviet Parliament to end his democratization? Tanks rolled to support Yeltsin. Why did the Chinese people not prevail in Tienamin Square? The tanks rolled.

You can't win, but with enough guerilla militants, you turn the US into an Afghanistan or Iraq. The reason so many ruthless tyrants are tolerated in the world is because the countries they rule are so sick of anarchy and chaos that they figure life under a brutal dictator will be an improvement -- and it often is.
Has it occurred to anyone here that our armed forces are made up of American citizens, or that a large percentage of them enlist from the South?
I don’t know how many of you have dealings with any military personnel on a regular basis, but from my interactions with the ones I know, they tend to be gun owning freedom loving citizens who joined the armed forces to protect and defend the constitution and the bill of rights. Rwnutjob had a post not long ago highlighting the Oathkeepers, which is a group of military and police personnel who have taken an oath never to wage war on Americans- when we get to dividing up for the big fracas, it’s going to be like the first round, and once again I believe the “Rebs” will get the best generals. IF the revolt is against Obama, he’s libel to find himself turning to his trusted troops and, like the Lone Ranger watching thousands of Indians rushing toward him and Tonto, turn to his faithful enforcers, and recieeve the reply” What you mean “WE”?- anyway. I think I’m gonna take the opportunity to succeed with Noni and TexAmerica and drink shiners and barbeque armadillos.
And Steve, I’m reminded of a line from Butch Cassady and the Sundance kid, “You just keep thinking Steve, that’s what you do best”
Two words, boys: infantile fantasies.
I’m not sure what your infantile fantasies about boys has to do with open or concealed carry, but while we’re discussing the propriety of “Acting UP” they do represent a model for “Normalizing “ unacceptable behavior. When and where I grew up there was a young man that all of us younger boys were warned against. Nothing specific, just never let him get us alone, lest some unspeakable harm befall us.

In later years it dawned on me that what I was being warned against was that he was “Queer” and therefore a child molester. To make a long story short, Gays have gone from being Weird, Queer, Insane, Dangers to their Communities to being acceptable, to me and people like me, as ordinary friends and neighbors. They managed this by demanding their rights in public despite the fact that it made some people uncomfortable. This is what is happening with open carry. People who have the right to carry openly are demanding that you recognize that right. It really is no more of your business why they wish to carry openly than it is your business why Gays “want to be “ Gay"".We’re here. We’re armed Get used to it.

Nope, the analogy is dead on. I can’t be responsible for what “Scares” you or “makes you feel endangered “ Statistics are slanted to the viewpoint of the statistician. I personally count at least 3 times in my life when being armed has prevented my being robbed or killed. I’ve had guns available to me for 60 years, and I’ve never shot anyone ,even though some people I can think of could have used it. You don’t know me. You don’t know George. Don’t generalize from ignorance and fear.

I’m particularly frightened by “Large Black Homosexual Rapists” who will rape my children and force me to vote Democratic. Consequently whenever I see a Dark Complected Male ( size is a relative judgment) or female- who knows? Probably a transvestite) I am perfectly justified in calling the police to persecute them for walking in my neighborhood while large and black. ( You want statistics about the number of Large Black Men who commit violent crimes? Please) And I have precisely as much justification for “Fearing” him and persecuting him as you have to fear my friends who have and exercise the right to go armed as a means of self defense.

I repeat: so long as you do not threaten me or mine with violence, you have no cause to fear violence from me. If you threaten me with violence, whether I am armed or not, I will make you stop. Whether you live through that process isn’t very important to me.
We’re here. We’re armed. Get used to it
also @stellaa

As to whether “Gays” endanger people, could I suggest you take that discussion up with the parents of John Wayne Gacy”s and Jeffery Dahmer’s victims? The salient point isn’t that they were “Gay” you say? They were murderers? Do you suppose that it’s possible that say 99.999 percent of “Gays” don’t commit sexual torture and Murder? Do you suppose that 99.999 percent of people who carry arms for self defense actually do not have crazed visions of gore and mayhem but are actually concerned for their safety in a world where “When seconds count, cops are only minutes away?”

You need to focus a little better on just what you think it is that is endangering you, if you want to argue this out as anything other than your phobias versus my right to self defense.

As to Open Carry vs Concealed carry? Smart criminals don’t bother people who (Like cops) are openly armed. Just doesn’t make any sense when there are so many other victims available.

Also. If you want to experience a place where everyone is absolutely polite, go to a Gun Show
Stella, yes we are fighting two wars and the end result will be trillions of dollars, countless lives lost, and the end result is both Afghanistan and Iraq will win. No amount of force will keep people from gaining back their country. This country was nothing more than a group of farmers who at the time with simple weapons defeated the super power of its day. In the end the hometown advantage will prevail.

It is all hypothetical now, but if the country was reverted to a police state the average citizen in time would remove the oppression. Plus, our government is made up of our citizens and maintaining loyalty would be equally difficult.

On the other end of the spectrum, weapons defend your personal freedom and home. Individual guns are the only defensive weapon that will work against guns the offensive weapon. 1.5 million crimes are prevented each year by private citizens with guns. The police can only respond once a crime is either been committed. By that time in the majority of cases their is no time to react. It is not their fault because the police cannot see the future.

The idea that having the means to protect yourself is more dangerous than being helpless is not logical. If a criminal could easily take a way a gun the maybe the police should not have them either. The truth is criminals have guns and they have no problem using them against innocent people.
Of course the 1.5 million is a canard, one of the most overworked in the gun propaganda business.

"Homicide rates tend to be related to firearm ownership levels. Everything else being equal, a reduction in the percentage of households owning firearms should occasion a drop in the homicide rate".

Evidence to the Cullen Inquiry 1996: Thomas Gabor, Professor of Criminology - University of Ottawa
Geez Steve, I’ll bet you believe in Global Warming , too, don’t you?

Isn’t it great how these days you can just shop around and find statistics and opinions that will “prove” anything you feel needs to be proved? What’s all this about the 1.5 million figure being a “Duck”?

What are YOUR life experiences that make you so afraid of guns? Watch a lot of TV and movies do you? Read Books? Ever owned a gun? Ever lived in a culture where a gun has no “Aura” of power or masculinity or even freedom, because it’s just another tool that homo habilis uses to manage his environment? If you lack experience of guns and gun owners, and fear them as unknown, then perhaps you can be extended the same sort of “Tolerance” that was extended to me when I encountered my first “Real” Homosexual ( Turns out he did think I was cute, but raping me was not something that had really occurred to him )( Besides, he was at the party with his boyfriend.)

So if it’s ignorance and lack of experience of reality on your part, just say so. We can all understand that we all have our little prejudices, but admitting that you don’t know or don’t understand is the first step to wisdom.

You remind me of some dear friends and relatives of mine, of my parents generation, who quite frankly were outraged that Queers or Negroes would demonstrate in protest of the denial of their rights, My parents never did understand why they protested.

If, on the other hand, and as I suspect, you are one of those self-righteous “Liberals” who feel that the hoi polloi must be driven to do what they are too stupid to do in their own self interest and must be dependent on the State to feed, clothe, shelter, and protect them;
if , when, and how it sees fit; -then I have nothing but contempt for you.

I’d prefer you’d get some experience and wisdom and understand my right to defend myself and my family, but if you don’t, so be it.

I have a God given Right and Duty to protect not just me and mine but all innocent parties. Either you understand that or you don’t .I don’t really care.
I’m here. I’m armed .I’m not going away.
Is it God then that gives us the right to carry handguns?

Update--October 29, 2009: "The National Rifle Association and three other gun-rights groups are suing the city of Seattle to try to overturn a new ban on guns in city parks, The Seattle Times reports."

I wonder if God figures in their court briefs.
Routine Law Enforcement Hi Jinks from our Federal Government
“To Serve and Protect”

"What are you doing in my house? Get out of my house!"

This is what Janice Hart screamed as she witnessed agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (BATF) literally tearing her home apart. What had Janice Hart done to have her house destroyed? NOTHING. BATF had the wrong house and the wrong suspect. In what has become the rule instead of the exception, BATF agents blatantly and knowingly violated Hart's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Amendment rights. In addition, agents once again forcefully abused children in the "pursuit of their duties."

As related by Margie Boule in the Washington OREGONIAN, in the evening of February 5th Janet [sic] Hart had just returned home to her house outside of Portland, Oregon, from the grocery store with her two young daughters when she noticed law enforcement agents swarming in and out of her home. Little did she realize that they had literally torn the inside of her house apart in the search for guns that didn't exist. When she stormed up to the side door (it had been torn off its hinges and then nailed back on) demanding an answer a BATF agent yanked her inside telling her she was going to jail. In typical BATF fashion, Hart was not informed of the charges against her, she was not read her rights, nor was she allowed to see after her children.

The children were terrified. Both daughters heard the BATF agent say Mrs. Hart was headed for jail and they became horrified. As Hart's daughter told THE OREGONIAN, "I was crying. They (BATF agents) say, 'Shut up and get back in the car.' So, I put up my knee like to get out, and he shut the door on my knee." BATF may call this act of child abuse an "accident" or something that happened in "the heat of confrontation" but the truth is, agents have been engaging in this sort of behavior since the inception of the BATF as a bureau. The most blatant case being the storming of the Branch Davidian compound with automatic weapons, knowing full well that children would be caught in the crossfire. Another incident was the case of Del and Melisa Knudson. During a raid on the Knudson home (no illegal firearms were found), Mrs. Knudson was hand-cuffed and forced to leave her 21-month old daughter unattended in a bathtub. Luckily, the baby didn't drown. Evidently, the agents were not concerned with the baby's welfare nor that of the parents
Another point that struck me as I did the research for this piece, and it comes out in some of the comments above, is that some open carry enthusiasts see the decision to carry as a self-deputizing event.
Come on Steve, you can do better than that

District of Columbia vs Heller

“the Court concluded “we find they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weaons in case of confrontation” — in other words, for self-defense. “The inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” it added.
The individual right interpretation, the Court said, “is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment,” going back to 17th Century England, as well as by gun rights laws in the states before and immediately after the Amendment was put into the U.S. Constitution

Do a little of your own research and establish that the “Right to Self defense” includes the defense of all persons and property under an individuals protection.

Self deputized? Nope, confirmed in my unalienable Right to Self Defense by the Supreme Court
As far as God figuring in the Court brief, lets just agree for the moment that you may refer to whatever force or accident created us as “The Flying Spaghetti Monster”, doesn’t bother me a bit –

Whatever Law of tooth and claw created us, we come equipped with a survival instinct that predates any government and can no more be legislated out of existence than homosexuality or Excess (or Deficient) skin pigmentation .

A wise government, created for and by the people, recognizes these as “Unalienable Rights” not because it has any power or authority to either grant or withhold these “Rights” but because it needs to recognize that some things are just absolutes of Human Being, whether granted by god or Dawkin’s selfish gene. I am, therefore I will continue to try to be..

God didn’t give me the right to carry a handgun, Colonel Colt did. Before that I carried a sword ( and before that a club)
Loved your piece, sardonic wit becomes you. A few random observations:

George suffers from Lee Harvey Oswald syndrome, and we know where that leads.

George reveals himself to be a recalcitrant child, and what he is too stupid to understand is he is pretty much the same as those he despises.

It is sadly all too-often true that the only thing that separates morons like George from the "thugs" of the state is the badge.

Radical libertarians like "if that had happened to me, things would have gone down A LOT differently" Anarchist are destined to be dead right about The Man and The State -- very dead.

I recently had a run-in with the local Barney Fife's, and despite my rage, I was the coolest head in the bunch, while they did not nothing to calm the situation

Which is why I followed your advice and the teachings of two 20th Century philosophers -- Bobby "I fought the law and the law won" and John "When I fight authority, authority always wins" Melloncamp and walked away angry, but in one piece.

My advice? When confronted by authority, follow orders to the letter unless you are in imminent danger, because if you don't may soon be in imminent danger.
Well Steve, Dexter is coming on so I’ll be leaving- I guess I’ll just have to accept that you will remain an elitist totalitarian Liberal no matter what I say or do, and I will remain armed, no matter what you (or the government) says or does- Have a good life
I have to wonder, if readers were to peruse the forums of pro-gun organizations like, would they conclude that some of these gun owners have some pretty hefty anger management issues? Gun entitlement and underlying anger are a bad mix. Nonetheless, they’re here. They’re armed. And they’re not going away.
Well Steve, it isn’t so much anger as it is the resignation that comes of trying to reason with a mindless tape recording- but even that is tempered by having done this before – none of you elitists will condescend to actually engage in a dialogue, you’ve got your position all figured out and can’t be bothered to actually discuss it. No, it isn’t anger- there is no reason to be angry with a snake, one just avoids it if one can and shoots it if one must. In either case it isn’t worth getting worked up over.
And yes believe it, we aren’t going away
Even within the progun community there is disagreement on the topic of aggressive open carry, as one commentator demonstrated in a post on Meleanie Hain's open carry strategy:

"I keep a gun at home to protect myself from intruders, but never to intimidate children and others at soccer games. The gun defenders should stop defending this woman. she was nuts, and so was her husband. She should have never owned a gun."

I stand corrected Steve, I said earlier that you should just keep thinking, cause that’s what you do best. You’ve dissuaded me from that thought. You apparently lack the wit, wisdom or manners to actually engage in dialogue, you prefer to sit back and make snide references without actually engaging- this is the equivalent of “Pounding on the table” during a debate, as in “When the facts are on your side, argue the facts, When the Law is on your side argue the Law. If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, pound the table.” You have apparently realized that neither the Law nor the facts are on your side, since you refuse to debate, and instead keep pounding the table.
Keep pounding the table Steve, that’s what you do best.
Steve, it is not the amount of guns it is who have the guns. Statistically less than 1% of the guns in this country are involved in crime, but that statistic is meaningless since a lot of violent crimes use guns. But just as equally important a lot of crimes are prevented by guns as well. Both sides work the numbers.

Truth is it would be nice to have no guns at all. Weapons are for both offense and defense. If there was no offense the defense would take care of itself. If people respected and cared about their fellow man there would be no weapons at all. But, that is not the case. There will be and will continue to be those who have no respect for others or life itself. In this country we seem to blame the object not the reason for the problem. A gun is nothing more a hunk of metal and chemicals. It is what you do with it that makes it evil not the object itself.
This post is about open carry, so I personally am not going to use the comments section to discuss my point of view--or rather your point of view (Token)--regarding the whole of the 2nd Amendment issue. By the way, see Mishima666 on this topic. He wrote an excellent post on the subject earlier this year. And I am not going discuss the issue with anyone who uses my comments section or other posts to vent abusive messages of any type. I will however counter statements of purported fact that are simply not supported evidence. My research into the open carry enthusiast movement has made me certain that I will not change any pro-carry minds on this issue, so why argue the point? The piece is for the benefit of those who were not aware of the activism, tactics, or goals of the open carry movement.

I guess your argument would hold more water if those who support this form of protest were committing crimes. The question is how many open carry "gang" have committed violent crimes? To date I know of none of the things you sight happening. There have been no assaults from any open carry people and as far as I know no taking the law into their own hands. So your fear is based on a hypothetical not a reality.

Don't get me wrong, those who protest with open carry I think are counter productive. From a self protection stand point concealed carry makes much more sense. In our state over 35,000 concealed carry permits have been issued and in 5 years only 15 have been revolved (non for using the weapon, but for technicalities) and no concealed carry holders have used their guns in a crime. Most of the law enforcement officers I have discussed the issue with actually like the law for three reasons. One carriers must complete safety and proficiency training, pass a back ground check and most important know the laws when it come to using a weapon.
Steve, the problem of defending open carry is one of making sure that the total right to self defense is recognized and respected. The only time in my life when I ever carried a gun was when I was living in the Over the Rhine ghetto of Cincinnati, during the early seventies. It really wasn’t because I was about the only white face in that crowd, it was because every citizen living there was subject to being robbed or otherwise terrorized by thugs who had no fear of police because there were no police. There were by definition no assaults, robberies or murders happening there, because it never was “Murder”, it was just “One N***** shot another. My Black friends were also usually armed. Among us, we did manage to prevent a certain amount of crime, if only to ourselves.

You seem to think that because you feel “uncomfortable” in the presence of someone exercising his right to openly carry a means of self defense, that therefore it is perfectly fine for him to be harassed by law enforcement personnel EVEN THOUGH HE IS BREAKING NO LAWS.

This puts you in the same class with people who live in an upscale suburb and call the police to harass any random Blacks they might see “Driving while Black” in their neighborhood. And of course, the police are only too happy to do the bidding of their employers.

The point George and others like him are making is that they do have the right to openly carry their means of self defense. They are breaking no laws, and so have a right to be left unmolested. Your making “Sport” of him carries the same overtones of bigotry as your telling a Black man that he is free to exercise his civil rights wherever he wants, so long as it isn’t around you ( because he is funny-looking, stupid, and smells bad and in the end he makes you uncomfortable )

That I don’t open carry ( or carry at all- but then I live in Amish country) doesn’t prevent me from recognizing the fact that George is right, anymore than my being white and straight prevented me from recognizing that blacks and gays were correct in asserting their rights.

Had you found it enough to simply say that George’s actions make you uncomfortable then we could debate whether people SHOULD open carry in a park, and I might admit that scaring people isn’t the best way to make political points, and you might admit that the cops had absolutely no right to detain him or molest him.

That you took great delight in making him an object of ridicule leads me to believe that you have no desire to be reasonable, and indeed can point to no more evidence of George actually being a danger than can the wealthy suburbanite who has his police force harass any blacks who dare venture in his neighborhood. You’re just having fun at his expense. That is offensive.
And Steve, I apologize if you feel that I used your comments section to “vent abusive messages of any type.” . After reading your post, I thought the whole point was to be as abusive as possible- My mistake ,was your ridicule and abuse of George Donnelly just good natured “joshing”? I totally misread the tone

Or is it that it’s okay for you to “vent your abusive message” about George and then duck back into your high inded “inoffensiveness”? I particularly liked your reference to his “wanting to show you his gun” . Keep preaching to the choir, Steve, keep on pounding the table. It does appear to be what you do best.
Just another corn flake in the bowl.
Guy on a walk with his kid OCing. Cool.

As to the cops, this is what happens when a statist society creates a privileged class.