Packing Heat in VA

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Okay, this is just cool. In Virginia, you can get a permit to carry a concealed handgun. But if you want to carry the gun openly, you don't even need a permit. Recently, some Virginia residents have started doing just that.

Turns out, packing a pistol in public is perfectly legal in Virginia. And three times in the last month, including at Champps on Sunset Hills Road, residents have been spotted out and about in the county, with guns strapped to their hips, exercising that right.

In the first episode, at a Starbucks, Fairfax police wrongly confiscated weapons from two college students and charged them with a misdemeanor. Police realized their mistake, returned the guns and tore up the charges the next day. Police commanders have since issued a reminder to officers that "open carry" is the law of the land in the Old Dominion.

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  1. I’m told New Hampshire law is similar — except NH gun advocates are adamant that it’s a license, not a permit, for concealed carry. In other words, if you meet the qualifications, they have to give the license to you; it’s not a matter of their permission.

  2. This is off topic, but bugmenot (http://www.bugmenot.com/) maintains a database of usernames and passwords for free-registration sites (including the Washington Posts). There is even a browser plugin for mozilla/firefox to make things easy, but you can just visit bugmenot.com, paste the domain you want to view and use the username/password combo it gives you.

    I mention this not because I’m against registration in general, but the washington post’s registration system could never remember my username/password and I got really tired of looking it up…

  3. Don’t get lost. Stray into the District with a gun in your car, and you’re committing a felony.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/01/15/gun.law.ap/

  4. No, it’s not cool. It’s completely your right under the U.S. Constitution to tell your grandmother to fuck off and die, but don’t do it, it’s mean. Likewise, I don’t want to go around passing laws against people carrying weapons, but for the love of God, we’re talking about a Starbucks here. There is no reason to be carrying a gun around other than to show off your insecurity. It would freak out the rest of us a lot less if you just wore a T-shirt that said, “I have an extremely small penis.”

  5. Nice straw man, alkali. Kudos.

  6. Hmm, well I have no penis at all. But I do think that calmly carrying a gun around in public could be an interesting new way to educate people that they don’t need to run screaming every time they see a gun.

  7. Does this law make it illegal for business owners to not allow guns in their establishments? If it doesn’t (and it shouldn’t of course) then there should not really be a problem here. If Starbuck’s wants you to wear a shirt and shoes and not have a gun on you in order to patronize their establishment, then I see nothing wrong with that.

  8. A co-worker moved to VA from NY and has been asking about gun restrictions in VA. I could tell he thought I was crazy when I told him that you could strap your gun on in public in VA without any sort of permit. Thanks for giving me the link to show him that VA is (relatively) Second Amendment friendly.

    Nice response, Hanah. It’s July and wearing a coat to conceal a full-sized handgun isn’t the most comfortable thing. Some people are required to spend time in dangerous neighborhoods due to their work and want better protection than a pocket pistol. They also might not want to go through whatever hassles are involved with getting a concealed carry permit.

  9. At the Starlite drive-in movie theater here in Durham, NC, a place famous for having a gun shop as part of the concession stand, Bob, the owner, often wears a gun on his hip. I don’t know the NC law… (John Hood?)

    It’s actually a very libertarian-friendly environment — smoking, drinking, deep-fried mushrooms. And they are even showing “I, Robot,” starting tonight!

  10. I just don’t understand why this sort of things upsets people. It’s not the guns you need to worry about, it’s the criminals who use them, and CRIMINALS DON’T CARRY OPENLY!

    In fact, I would be tempted to support a law *requiring* people who carry weapons to do so openly, to encourage would-be crooks to go elsewhere in search of more defenseless prey.

    [I’m preaching to the choir, here, aren’t I …]

  11. Alkali,
    Telling my grandmother to fuck off and die would be horrible. Holstering a weapon at my side would not be horrible. How can you possibly see that as a corellary? Are you insulted when you see someone with a gun? Does your grandmother feel trodden upon if someone has a gun near her? I guess I don’t get the connection.

    What if I needed to take my gun in for repairs and I didn’t have a car? How do you get the gun from point A to point B? This is a simplistic example but it illustrates that there are times when someone needs to have a gun *gasp* IN PUBLIC!!!

    So this guy with shifty eyes walks into the local convenience store. His plans are nefarious and the outcome uncertain. Casually surveying the sheep buying sodas at the counter he is utterly dismayed to see two of them are wolves! They are casually waiting to pay for their gas and *gasp* they are wearing side-arms. He buys a pack of smokes (since only bad guys smoke) and leaves the establishment to seek out easier prey…

    What is it about people wearing sidearms that makes people nervous? The fact that the gun might accidently go off in their direction or the fact that the person wearing the gun might accidently go off?

    –s|—–

  12. “Openly carrying weapons is “not a good idea,” said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center in Washington. “This is the gun lobby’s vision of how America should be. Everybody’s packing heat and ready to engage in a shootout at the slightest provocation.”

    Of course! That is what people want! Why didn’t I just examine the inner cowboy and admit that I want to get into a flurry of bullets with the people at the OK Starbucks. What an idiot.

    How about the fact that it has been proven in court that police have no obligation to protect you? How about I wouldn’t trust a cop with a gun anymore than my neighbor with a gun…less as a matter of fact.

    I live in the Denver area. Another innocent guy got blown away by the cops the other day. His crime? He was an invalid drinking soda in his bed and couldn’t respond to the cop that bashed his door and demanded he drop his ‘weapon’…the soda can. He was an innocent.

    Griping to the choir…

  13. This has always been allowed in AZ where I live – and I moved here from the DC area. It was strange to see at first, but as someone above said, it’s the guns you don’t see that you need to worry about. Also, though legal, it’s really very rare to see.

  14. My worries about this are the same as concealed carry: too many pistoleros think that they are Dirty Harry. They’ll clear leather to stop property crimes. BIG MISTAKE. Especially in public.

    Unless you can prove in a court of law that the criminal you just killed or wounded was an imminent threat to life (not property) your ass is in big legal trouble. God save you if you kill or wound a bystander.

    Leave guns in public to the police. If an insecure pistol-packer kills or injures a member of my family in a testoterone-fueled crossfire, I will sue every last penny out of his negligent ass.

    I love my SIG 229 as much as the next shooter, but I know to leave it at home. The way that gun violence is casually depicted in movies and on TV makes it too dangerous for Joe Q. Public to walk around with heat.

  15. “I have an extremely small penis.”

    So is gun control really just a form of political castration? I thought the notion that eunuchs were compliant servants went out with the Imperial Chinese and the Ottoman Empire.

  16. In defense of Alkali, there is a difference betweeen doing what you can do, and doing what you should do. All laws, regulations, institutions, etc. are arbitrary. We, as thinking, and hopefully feeling, human beings make choices that determine what kind of society we want to live in. We can have, or not have, whatever laws we want. If you think its a better option to live in a society where everyone carries a gun, well you have a different psychology than I can comprehend. So, its our choice. Reasonable gun laws, or lets just abdicate our responsibility and not make any choices at all.

  17. “Leave guns in public to the police.
    “I love my SIG 229 as much as the next shooter, but I know to leave it at home.”

    Ahhhh… But YOU and the police are sooooo much smarter than the rest of us Dirty Harry-esque “pistolaros.” YOU and the police can be trusted. YOU are more sophisicated that we are. YOU have every right to tell us how to live.

    Fuck YOU.

  18. It’s all about responsible use, isn’t it?
    Time was, when riding my motorcycle on various trips, beer cans, both empty and full, and other stuff was occasionally thrown at me from passing vehicles. Strapped a gun on my leg and had no more problems. Never had to shoot a single redneck.

    In the other hand, I once found it necessary to flip off an offending motorist from the security of my Volvo. He reached under his seat and returned the gesture with his Smith & Wesson.

    In each case we achieved stable, non-violent understandings.

    We coulda done Iraq that way, I suppose.

  19. “Ahhhh… But YOU and the police are sooooo much smarter than the rest of us Dirty Harry-esque “pistolaros.” YOU and the police can be trusted.”

    That is how society is organized. If you think there is a more effective mechanism for ensuring people’s safety than some form of law enforcement apparatus, then by all means offer it. There is a process in place, though not perfect, to vet law enforcement recruits to ensure that the appropriate people are charged with the power to enforce the laws. Turning over that right to every person who chooses to carry a firearm provides absolutely no protections and no oversight. The system may be flawed, but it can be fixed. I will not relinquish my safety to untold millions who are accountable to no one.

  20. Mark S., you sound like a real sweetheart of a guy. Yeah, I stay up every night thinking of new things to dictate in my role as “Master of Mark S., Internet Troll”. Since I’m so much smarter.

    Cute little trick, putting words in my mouth. I don’t care how you live, where you live, or who you live with.

    All I ask is that you don’t shoot me or my family over some stupid property crime.

    That simple request gets me a “Fuck YOU” from you. Some piece of work you are. Get some psychological help, buddy. Start with the fact that you’re so paranoid that you need a firearm to leave the house. I walked door-to-door, unarmed, in the worst part of KC, Kansas in 1990, the year Kansas City passed Miami as the U.S. per-capita murder capitol, and didn’t get hassled once. Not everyone’s out to get you, just like I could care less about what you do or don’t do in private.

    By the way, every police officer goes through this thing called “training” and “certification” that makes it at least a bit more likely that they’ll make sure that me or mine are out of the sight picture before they squeeze the trigger.

  21. “So is gun control really just a form of political castration? I thought the notion that eunuchs were compliant servants went out with the Imperial Chinese and the Ottoman Empire.”

    Eunuchs: Live free or die.

  22. This story reminds me of the Gahan Wilson cartoon where a man has just massacred a roomful of people and his wife says, “That does it! No more coffee for you!” (Not an exact quote.)

  23. kamajii,

    I once found it necessary to flip off an offending motorist from the security of my Volvo. He reached under his seat and returned the gesture with his Smith & Wesson.

    …We achieved stable, non-violent understandings.

    Which you could not have done in the absence of a gun? How sad.

  24. “Cute little trick, putting words in my mouth. I don’t care how you live, where you live, or who you live with.”

    Who’s putting words in your mouth. You seem to show nothing but contempt for those who wish to exercise their right to keep and bear arms while trusting the jack-booted-thugs… opps, I mean “police”… with their weapons.

    “All I ask is that you don’t shoot me or my family over some stupid property crime.”

    The fact that you would even suggest that I would shot you or family is an insult to my intelligence and my moral character. The fact that you stereotype guns owners (which I serious doubt you actually are one) as “paranoid” or as “Dirty Harry” is also an insult to my character and education.

    I take the gravest offense that you think that protection of my life, liberty, and yes “stupid property” needs to be placed into the hands of state-sponsored thugs who are more interested in sucking down doughnuts and coffee than doing their supposed job. Since the cops can’t be everywhere, and I can’t count on them, I will count on myself and my gun. I resent anyone who thinks I have to be rendered harmless in order to feel “safe,” especially when I’m not a threat to anyone.

    So once again: Fuck you.

  25. edit: (which I seriously doubt you are one)

  26. All this talk in this thread about hotheads, and pistoleros, and Dirty Harrys, and flying lead everywhere . . . and yet, as I pointed out when I blogged about this, every single one of the people portrayed in these articles — EVERY SINGLE ONE — managed to get through the day without shooting anyone. Every one of them. Had the cops called on them, and no gunfight. Probably saw a million minor irritants during their days, and no gunfights.

    Why, it’s as if the average American can be counted on to responsibly exercise his Constitutional rights, or something.

  27. Real civil, Mark S. You’re a credit to gun owners.

    I didn’t say that you would shoot me or my family on purpose. It’s those who don’t clear the sight picture that worry me. There are others out there than YOU. Count how many times you say “I” in your message.

    I also said nothing about disarming anyone.

    My handgun is a SIG-Sauer P229 Sport in 357SIG. It’s compensated and perimeter-weighted and will shoot the balls off a gnat at 25 yards. I bought it off Gunbroker.com a couple of years ago for $1,000. I don’t shoot it as often as I’d like.

    I’m also sick of this fight. I usually don’t get involved in gun discussions because this is the type of bullshit that it devolves to. See ya.

  28. She lies!

  29. Politics shouldn’t be about civility; it’s a war. The other side won’t pull out any stops to take away my freedoms. I don’t see why I should hold back either.

  30. Its also perfectly legal to open carry in Wisconsin. The only law on the books prohibits concealed carry. Of course, the cops will arrest you for creating a disturbance or public nuisance or somesuch.

    Does this law make it illegal for business owners to not allow guns in their establishments?

    Probably just a silence on the part of the Virginia statutes, so I doubt it affects property owner’s rights. A property owner should be free to ban guns on their property if they want.

    I just moved to Texas, and as soon as my six months residency is in, I’m getting a concealed carry license. Doubt I’ll use it much, but its a matter of principle.

    Hey, Turkey – for someone who does a lot of name-calling, you sure have a thin skin. Do a little research – you will find that gun owners in general, and concealed carry licensees in particular, are more law abiding than the general population.

  31. Here in California, I’d be tickled by the sight of locals packing heat, out in the open, but I’m sure our web of state and local gun control laws make that illegal, one way or t’other.

    By all means, let’s not turn our fair Golden State into the Wild East.

  32. Neb Okla:

    I agree. I was just pointing out that the rights of store owners to ban guns should not be violated.

  33. Quoth Dave S:

    There is a process in place, though not perfect, to vet law enforcement

    recruits to ensure that the appropriate people are charged with the power
    to enforce the laws. Turning over that right to every person who chooses

    to carry a firearm provides absolutely no protections and no oversight.
    The system may be flawed, but it can be fixed. I will not relinquish my
    safety to untold millions who are accountable to no one.

    I know it’s probably to your everlasting chagrin, but there’s a little thing in the US called the Bill of Rights, Amendment II. It says that the right bear arms is not granted, but inherent in the individual.

    In almost every state, there are hundreds of thousands of people carrying handguns concealed. You apparently don’t know about it, because they don’t flash them around, but they’re there. And they’re doing it legally.

    I hate to break it to you, but there’s not a god damn thing you can do about. If you fear for your personal safety, and loathe guns, hire a personal police escort. At any rate, I’m not sure how you can say “I will not relinquish my safety,” when you already have gun owners all around you.

    I hear Britain is a nice “gun free” area. Might I suggest relocating there, if you are seeking the utmost in safety?

  34. I wonder who has a better record statistically; legal gun owners or cops? I am guessing that it is the former. But that may be only because of their high stress jobs and their continuos exposure to violence.

  35. So much anger… Concealed carry isn’t about small penises, but then politcs isn’t war… Fuck you is hardly an adequate debating term.

  36. Just remember, the police will always be there to protect you, so no private citizen needs to worry about it. Luckily, police never act like “Dirty Harrys,” ready to “engage in a shootout at the slightest provocation.”

    (Why do people use the phrase “Dirty Harry” to describe private gun owners? It’s pretty telling, seeing as Harry Callahan was a cop. I think the phrase you’re looking for is “Charles Bronson” or “Bernard Goetz.”)

  37. Open carry has been “legal” in Ohio for ages. The only problem is, when someone sees it and decides to call the cops, they respond as if you are committing a violent crime. Open carriers have been ordered to the ground at gunpoint – and many have faced trumped-up charges of “disturbing the peace” and “inducing panic”.

    Here’s an account of a run-in with a mall security guard. (There are “related stories” links at the bottom of the account).

    This is one reason I was a proponent of Concealed Carry in Ohio, people can’t complain about what they don’t see. Of course, the safety-minded Highway Patrol has come up with a bunch of rules that force people to fiddle with their firearms every time they get into and out of a vehicle.

    Also, if you see someone stick a gun in their jacket and walk into a bank, you’re probably more likely to call the cops verses soneone who just gets out of the car and walks into the bank and out again without incident (while carrying concealed).

    Interestingly, the lack of a CCW law was protested in Ohio with “Open Carry Walks” through busy city areas. I went to two of them – the best was an open carry walk around the Statehouse – which happens to be the COTA bus hub. People from all over the city were stepping off of busses, looking around, and thinking to themselves “Holy shit, there are 100 people with guns standing around me”.

    Most of the people just stared or went about their business as usual. Oddly, a few people thought it was a good idea to heckle the walkers and yell obscenities and such. Over the course of 2 hours, that number was under 5.

    And since it was the Statehouse, and we told them we were coming, I didn’t see a single uniformed officer outside the building – though I’d imagine that snipers crosshairs landed on each of us one or two times throughout the course of the walk.

  38. matt said:

    If Starbuck’s wants you to wear a shirt and shoes and not have a gun on you in order to patronize their establishment, then I see nothing wrong with that.

    I have no problem with people banning firearms on their private property either, but I’d rather patronize a bank that allows me to carry concealed with my license instead of a bank where only bank robbers carry concealed.

    The anti-gun signs posted at businesses serve only to disarm people like myself and alert criminals to the “victim zone” that lies within.

    As a mater of safety, I don’t shop at stores with “no guns” signs.

  39. CodeMonkeySteve wrote:

    In fact, I would be tempted to support a law *requiring* people who carry weapons to do so openly, to encourage would-be crooks to go elsewhere in search of more defenseless prey.

    …or so would-be crooks know who to shoot first. Or so they can quickly look around and ascertain that nobody is armed but them (they’ll be carrying concealed no-doubt). The problem with requirements is that criminals don’t follow them – kind of like that requrirement that people please refrain from robbing banks.

    Nobody suggests putting “Bank Robberies Prohibited” signs in the windows. Signs are there as information for people who choose to abide by them. Just look at the speed limit signs.

    I don’t think that anyone expects crimnals to obey the signs – just me – and I wasn’t going to rob the bank or shoot anybody (who wasn’t trying to kill me) anyway.

    Hint: If the prhase “I would be tempted to support a law *requiring*” enters your mind a lot, you might want to re-think your status as a Libertarian.

  40. Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    They’ll clear leather to stop property crimes. BIG MISTAKE. Especially in public.

    What makes you think they are “especially” inclined to do so in public?

    Any time someone is killed, a homicide investigation begins (even if the shooter is a police officer). If the shooting was not justified, the shooter goes to prison for a very long time. It’s only a “BIG MISTAKE” if you’re wrong.

    Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    Unless you can prove in a court of law that the criminal you just killed or wounded was an imminent threat to life (not property) your ass is in big legal trouble. God save you if you kill or wound a bystander.

    Depends on the state. Some states allow you to shoot people to protect property. And states like Florida place responsibility for “innocent bystanders” who are shot on the criminal who instigated the incident.

    In my city if you get shot by a police officer (or hit by their crusiser) who was trying to stop a suspect, it’s YOUR fault for not getting out of the way.

    If someone were trying to kill me, I’d do my best to avoid hitting bystanders, but my primary duty is self preservation.

    Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    If an insecure pistol-packer kills or injures a member of my family in a testoterone-fueled crossfire, I will sue every last penny out of his negligent ass.

    If an armed person went berzerk around me, I’d shoot him/her. if you’d prefer to call government sponsored dial-a prayer (911) and start preparing your lawsuit then that is your decision – but I’d rather have a chance at stopping the murder or injury of a family member than capitalize on their demise and act as if it would in some way make me whole again. Anyone who doesn’t stop a violent crime only makes the problem worse.

    Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    I love my SIG 229 as much as the next shooter, but I know to leave it at home.

    I don’t “love” my firearm any more than I “love” my first aid kit or fire extinguisher. I don’t leave them at home either.

    Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    The way that gun violence is casually depicted in movies and on TV makes it too dangerous for Joe Q. Public to walk around with heat.

    What does the depiction of violence in media have to do with the decision to carry a firearm in public?

  41. Dave S said:

    If you think its a better option to live in a society where everyone carries a gun, well you have a different psychology than I can comprehend.

    We should live in a society where people don’t solve their personal problems through violence such as rape, robbery, and murder. If you can find some way to stop violent crime, I’m all for it.

    I can’t comprehend the psychology of people who think that the appropriate thing to do when someone assaults you is to pick up the phone and calmly wait for salvation to arrive.

    If someone demands money from me, I should be able to tell them “no”. If they decide that as a result of my decision I need to be punched, stabbed, or shot – shouldn’t a person in a free society be entitled to defend themselves against such aggression?

    If a simple “shoo! shoo!” would do, I wouldn’t have any desire to carry at all.

    With a firearm I could be weak, frail, or disabled and still stand a reasonable chance of preventing violence against me. As it stands, the weak, frail, and disabled are common victims of violent crime.

    To see benefits from criminals fearing an armed populace we need some people to be armed – but not all.

  42. Dave S said:

    There is a process in place, though not perfect, to vet law enforcement recruits to ensure that the appropriate people are charged with the power to enforce the laws. Turning over that right to every person who chooses to carry a firearm provides absolutely no protections and no oversight.

    No state bestows law enforcement powers on civilians who carry firearms.

    There is a difference between “self defense” and “law enforcement”.

    Law enforcement is not a right – self defense is.

    Dave S said:

    I will not relinquish my safety to untold millions who are accountable to no one.

    …as if the police are accountable to anyone.

    Every day police are reprimanded for acts that if perpetrated by me would result in a lengthy stay in a federal prison. The officers get a slap on the wrist and are sent back out on the streets with their guns.

    Just look at this case where a Sheriff stole over 500 guns. He won’t do a single day of jail time and has to pay a $10,000 fine.

    If I stole 500 guns, I’d be rotting in federal prison as a felon, unable to vote, and unable to own a firearm.

  43. Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    Start with the fact that you’re so paranoid that you need a firearm to leave the house.

    It seems irrational to fear people who carry firearms legally when the people carrying illegally are the true threat.

    Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    I walked door-to-door, unarmed, in the worst part of KC … and didn’t get hassled once.

    I walked 500 feet from the subway station station exit to the front door of my hotel in Longueil (a suburb of Montreal) Canada and my entire family was robbed at gunpoint. What’s your point?

    Gobbles the Trophee Turkee said:

    By the way, every police officer goes through this thing called “training” and “certification” that makes it at least a bit more likely that they’ll make sure that me or mine are out of the sight picture before they squeeze the trigger.

    You live in a dream world. One of my close friends is a police firearms instructor. In Ohio, police officers are only required to fire their weapons once a year for qualification.

    My friend was tasked with giving his police department their qualification tests, so they all met at the range and 2/3 of the department failed outright (small department, about 25 officers).

    He told the chief he wanted to train the officers and get them up to snuff on firearms skills. The chief said “we can’t do without those officers – give them an easier test until they qualify”. My friend refused, so they hired another firearms instructor.

    After this incident, my friend was at the range with my girlfriend who at the time had no firearms training whatsoever. He said “what is so hard about this?” and demonstrated the qualification test he had given. My girlfriend passed with NO training.

    I just can’t understand people who fear “Dirty Harry” civilians who would actually put his rounds on target in favor of “Barny Feiff” – your average American cop.

  44. Yesterday evening an hour or two before dusk I was driving down my street on the way to “I, Robot” with my fiancee and I was carrying in accordance with Ohio law.

    At the end of my street, the road widens to accomodate a number of turning lanes – and solid white stripes indicate the jog. So as I stayed between the lines following the path intended for through traffi (by driving straight I would have ended up in the left-turn lane).

    Suddenly, somone started frantically honking, and upon checking my mirror, someone (who was intent on turning right anyway) felt that by staying within the solid white lines I was encroaching on *her* lane.

    She was on her cell phone and was not paying attention and decided to yell at me. So after she passed me, she hung up the phone, stopped her car, got out and started yelling at me about what an idiot I was (apparently only idiots obey pavement markings).

    She didn’t get close enough to see the firearm holstered on my waist.

    It just goes to show that altercations, arguments, and aggression against armed citizens do not always end in gunplay.

  45. It worked out just fine for the Vice President.

  46. “Openly carrying weapons is “not a good idea,” said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center in Washington. “This is the gun lobby’s vision of how America should be. Everybody’s packing heat and ready to engage in a shootout at the slightest provocation.”

    Yes, of course, and if Florida passes the relaxed CCW bill there will be shootouts in the streets, which will run red with blood . . .

  47. “That is how society is organized. If you think there is a more effective mechanism for ensuring people’s safety than some form of law enforcement apparatus, then by all means offer it. There is a process in place, though not perfect, to vet law enforcement recruits to ensure that the appropriate people are charged with the power to enforce the laws. Turning over that right to every person who chooses to carry a firearm provides absolutely no protections and no oversight. The system may be flawed, but it can be fixed. I will not relinquish my safety to untold millions who are accountable to no one.”

    Citizens carrying weapons isn’t about enforcing laws, it is about defense against attack. Police tend not to be on hand when they are needed most.

    As an aside, police tend to shoot the WRONG PERSON more often than armed citizens, by a significant %. The reason is that they tend to come into a “situation” after it has begun, without “context”, so to speak. Citizens who shoot usually know the “parties” involved, at least to the extent of knowing who needs to be shot.

  48. “Don’t get lost. Stray into the District with a gun in your car, and you’re committing a felony.”

    And that can happen even if you don’t cross the river. If you drive on the G.W. Parkway from the Airport to Rosslyn, you may not realize it, but you will cross Boundary Channel into the District of Columbia a short way past the 14th Street Bridge. You’ll cross Boundary Channel a second time, and pass back into the Commonwealth, just before you go under the approaches to Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. But if you get stopped by the Park Police for speeding before you make it back to Virginia, and they decide to search your car for whatever reason, and they find your weapon, you’ll be in deep doo-doo, probably facing more hard time than Martha Stewart.

  49. “Fuck you is hardly an adequate debating term.”

    Well, Joe, gotta disagree again. I just read this thread, and I say Mark S’s comment to Mr. Gobbles was about as clear and succinct as possible.

    Sometimes “fuck YOU” carries a lot of meaning. Read between the lines, Joe – it’s all about nuance these days … oh, and ball bearings ..

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