Packin' Heat in VA—An Unscientific Readers Poll

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The New York Times editorial page is in high dudgeon over a couple of college students who are exercising their right to strap on pistols in public under Virginia's liberal open carry law. After all, Heinlein character Lazarus Long once asserted that "An armed society is a polite society."

I propose that readers respond either an initial yes or no (and then add whatever additional comments they feel necessary) to the blog.

So are Hit & Run readers worried about, say, dining in restaurants with patrons openly armed with pistols?

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  1. I find this thread fascinating. Who ever knew so many leftwing gun-grabbers read REASON? I guess with the hardcore, Juan Cole style antiwar mindset prevailing lately it shouldn’t be a surprise.

  2. No.

    At least this way, I know who to watch out for.

  3. Yes.

    I don’t oppose open carry on principle, but I’d not feel comfy with people openly brandishing firearms in places where alcohol was available. Even in the old west, saloons made you check your guns.

  4. No. Open carry is only scary because most people don’t see it in an urban/suburban setting.

    S.A.M.: your comment that it would bother you since you saw a cop intimidate someone by carrying only proves the point. The cop was the only armed person in the place – and hence able to intimidate.

    On the other hand, guns are demonstrably more dangerous than steak knives. Fatal gun accidents might be uncommon, but fatal steak knive accidents? My wife saw a guy shoot himself by accident in what I will politely call the “upper thigh” while drawing his piece on the range. He was an FBI agent.

    In the final analysis, I think the small threat to public safety is outwieghed by the good ole’ second amendment.

    Tooch: good for you, I’m moving to NY, and may and up doing the same. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    Luisa: Communities can’t be allowed to supercede state law. They are not a sovreign entity, what’s more the enforcement would be a nightmare with each local area having their own version of what’s legal and what’s not.

  5. (Obviously) No.

  6. Unease with guns seems to be mostly a (un)learned attribute. In the South, where my family comes from, guns are so common as to not elicit comment. There’s a gun in nearly every car, wether driven by a 16yo or an elderly couple. Well-mannered women have a small pistol in their purse at dinner, regardless of local law. I’ve estimated that my extended family (which is on the light side of ownership, if anything) averages about 5 guns per household; those guns are in closets, cars, garages, and worn in holsters.

    Even in the Wild West, when you look at the actual numbers, very few people died from gun use in public. By and large, it’s just not human nature to attack others without extreme cause–that level of belligerence has to be learned, and we “learn” that fear though our media (exceptions for inner-city crime, etc, but violent criminals don’t care about the law one way or the other). Ironic that the self-proclaimed “civilized” effete elite are the ones who seem least able to understand that.

    No. (that should be at the top, I guess)

  7. No.

    If other patrons are packing, I feel more secure. In such a case, on the off chance a wacko *does* come in and start shooting, he won’t be able to pick off every man, woman and child in the restaurant at his leisure while we cower under tables wishing the cops would show up.

  8. (obviously) No.

  9. No. Open carry is only scary because most people don’t see it in an urban/suburban setting.

    S.A.M.: your make a good point that about the cop you saw intimidate someone by carrying. It really drives home the point. The cop was the only armed person in the place – and hence able to intimidate.

    On the other hand, guns are demonstrably more dangerous than steak knives. Fatal gun accidents might be uncommon, but fatal steak knive accidents? My wife saw a guy shoot himself by accident in what I will politely call the “upper thigh” while drawing his piece on the range. He was an FBI agent.

    In the final analysis, I think the small threat to public safety is outwieghed by the good ole’ second amendment.

    Tooch: good for you, I’m moving to NY, and may and up doing the same. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    Luisa: Communities can’t be allowed to supercede state law. They are not a sovreign entity, what’s more the enforcement would be a nightmare with each local area having their own version of what’s legal and what’s not.

  10. No problem whatsoever.

    Living in Alaska, it is extremely common to see people with firearms. It’s a way of life up here.

    Also, last year, Alaska became the second state in the country (After Vermont, which only did it because of a 19th century Supreme court decision) to allow unlicensed concealed carry. There are a few exceptions (no guns in schools, bars, domestic violence shelters (?!?) or where posted by an owner), but by and large, anyone who can own a weapon (i.e., someone over 21 years of age, not a felon, not judged mentally incompetent and not under a restraining order) can carry concealed. So far, no real upsurge in shootings.

  11. No,
    I would rather have guns openly displayed than concealed. More of a deterrence.

  12. Problems with open carry? Only when exercised by moment-of-fame seeking nitnats which may or may not be the case here.

    I far prefer concealed carry as practiced in VT. No license, no cost, no supercillious training requirements, no record of gun ownership accruing to issuance of a license for self defense.

    In TX we face an absurd fee, silly class requirements, fingerprinting, and vetting prior to issuance of a permit to defend oneself by a foot dragging TXDPS.

    Most of all, this reasonably law-abiding citizen resents being barred from practicing prudent protection, especially on civil aircraft.

    LL
    TX

  13. well put, argh. at its core, carrying a gun is about being “effete,” or not.

  14. “Heinlein obviously never attended a libertarian gathering in Arizona. While I have no doubt that a great minority (if not a majority) of the participants was armed, etiquette was the last thing on these revolutionaries’ minds.”–Dakota James

  15. Both guns and smoking in restaurants ought to be policed by the owners of those privately-owned establishments.

  16. “So are Hit & Run readers worried about, say, dining in restaurants with patrons openly armed with pistols?”

    More worried about after dinner and having to deal with drunk diners armed with two ton steel WMD’s.

  17. yes.

    230 years ago, people and their social outlooks were far less nihilistic and ideological. the ascendancy of jacobin america — both on the right and the left — has replaced the humility, compromise and self-limitation of the people with arrogance, rigidity and zeal. arming such a decaying, decadent society openly is much different than arming the english puritan gentry of colonial america.

    i support the 2nd amendment — we’ll need assault rifles one day to hold off the government. but i do NOT support those arms getting out of the gun cabinet in anything but a dire emergency.

  18. Yes, I’d be somewhat worried about being at a bar with open carry. Too many people get drunk and do really stupid, aggressive things. I would be more inclined to head for the bars that don’t allow open carry in their establishment.
    Other than at a bar, not so much.

  19. The question is flawed because it doesn’t account for a qualified answer.

    Yes – I would have a problem with unrestricted open carry where I live, in the Metro D.C. area. There are simply too many lunatics, honest-to-god crazies concentrated in this little location – both the mentally ill, the gang bangers (whose mental health is questionable) and many of our drug addicts, whose faculties are seriously impaired. Never mind all the really loopy highly educated middle class folks who live around here. Yes, the “market” could sort these problems out, eventually, but I’m not worried about them getting their just deserts, I’m more worried about the crossfire and the externalities. Having heard shots fired in anger, I’m not too keen on the idea of letting the local chapter of Mara Salvatrucha arm itself up. (Disarmed Mara Salvatrucha – inside joke for those who live in D.C. Metro area and follow crime trends).

    On the other hand, in the ‘burbs and rural areas around D.C. unrestricted open carry wouldn’t bother me at all. There aren’t too many crazies outside the beltway, and the population density is also lower, reducing the cost of “market corrections”.

    That said, I’d probably be okay with open carry inside D.C., if there was a reasonable licensing process – a background check (no felons, thanks) and a requirement of a couple character references, along with some marksmanship training, not geared towards limiting the purchase and use of guns, but towards the responsible safe possession and use of guns. I want it to be illegal for the gang bangers to get hold of guns, much less carry them around openly. While I support the unfettered exercise of Constitutional rights for law abiding citizens, the right to carry must be subject to some reasonable qualifications. Like driving a car, there are simply too many externalities to leave the field entirely unregulated.

  20. No. Except in a bar. But I would assume that most bars would have a gun check if open carry was permitted and common.

  21. America was founded by people who looked to themselves for their own defense, rather than expecting someone else to take care of it for them. So no, I’d be happy to eat in a restaurant full of people packing firearms.

  22. No. I prefer knowing which people around me are armed. (I have a CC permit myself but have never denied carrying when asked.)

  23. No, this is just stupid.

  24. Yes.

    If only for the fact that I think concealed-carry laws are more reasonable. Brandishing a weapon increases many people’s state of nervousness. Yes, this would change slowly over time.

    However, concealed weapons provide a shield for others and do not lead to overt intimidation without a punishable offense.

    I am against registration and permit laws, however.

  25. No. After all, I assume 10-20% of the people around me in rural Texas are “going heeled”, albeit concealed.

    Oddly enough, Texas does not allow open carry. Those of us with concealed carry licenses, even, cannot carry openly (and revealing your weapon, even unintentionally, is a violation of your license…)

    Surprises a lot of people. Personally I think it’s both stupid and repressive – repressive for violating my rights and stupid because it has no effect on criminal activity.

  26. No.

    I find it funny how many people have a problem with someone who’s openly carrying a firearm. I have more than a couple of friends here in AZ that carry openly. I’ve thought about it, but haven’t gone quite that far yet.

    But I do agree that private businesses should be able to deny people that ability, and I think bars should definitely have gun checks.

  27. No.

    I have more fear of a weapon I can’t see, than one that I can, with the exceptions of my own legally concealed pistol or when the exposed weapon is being wielded in a non defensive manner.

  28. all this talk about violins in public – what’s the big deal?

  29. No.

    Interesting wording in the NYT editorial, making reference to the “lethal fine print” in the bill. I must have missed the part of this story where people end up shot to death.

  30. S.A.M.: your make a good point that about the cop you saw intimidate someone by carrying. It really drives home the point. The cop was the only armed person in the place – and hence able to intimidate.

    JVS, I should have been more detailed in the scenario. This took place in rural california/nevada border area. Everyone was born with a rifle in hand and the local grange had an outdoor shooting range. So nearly everyone at that bar and grill was armed, if not on person, a shotgun or rifle in the back window of the ford truck outside.

    What was intimidating was he was a drunk, off duty cop sporting his pistol on his hip like it was a 12 inch pecker. A few people were looking to calm him yet nobody wanted to try and put him under citizen arrest or even attempt to brandish their own weapon. He is a cop for christ sake.

    However, one person, even in an authorative position, doesn’t make the norm. But it should be recognized that even the most trusted gun owners can get “careless” at times. As mentioned above, a gun owner is no more dangerous than an SUV driver. So I ask, if its illegal to drive while under the influence, should it be illegal to openly carry a gun under the influence or even with an open container?

    So if the open policy takes place at an establishment that serves alcohol, yes, I am concerned about having guns around. Its not the guns I fear, its the intoxicated assholes who just may find their ex coming in with a new lover swinging on their arm that gets my neck hair raised. I have seen plenty of bar fights break out over the stupidist things, thank god no one was packing during those fights. Of course, one could assume no fight would break out if both parties were openly packing since each should see it as a deterrence.

    OTOH, I would much prefer a pot smoker openly pack then a drinker.

  31. Pre kids…NO

    Post Kids….YES

  32. Interesting story S.A.M. I see your point, I too would be opposed to open carry in a alcohol soaked environment, possibly even liquor stores and banks. In fact, any establishment that doesn’t want them on their property should be allowed to post that as a requirement for entry. BTW, as you can tell by my two, almost identical posts, I reread your comments more accurately the second time…

  33. Steve (from first post) said:

    “Without some moderating institution like a background check (we’re talking open carry, answer yes or no) there’s simply too many gang bangers, highly educated crazy neurotic bastards, violent crack heads and crazy speed freaks,…”

    too many to – not allow open carry – or too many – to allow open carry – ? I would say the latter, based on your line of reasoning. All those gang bangers and speed freaks might be scary to a lot of people, hence a reason to allow concealed and/or open carry among citizens. The speed freaks and violent crack heads sure as shoot ain’t going to obey the gun laws. I mean, they don’t obey the laws against crack and speed (and car theft) either, do they?

    And the morons you mentioned, what about them? It’s OK for them to drive 6000 lb SUV’s, but not to carry a gun, huh? I’d be much more worried about the 6000 lb moron-toting SUVs than the gun-toting morons, as I have no defense in my little Saturn.

  34. oops!

    “too many to – not allow open carry – ” is what I mean. The former.

  35. I don’t have a problem with open carry as long as possession of a firearm while under the influence is penalized very heavily.

    mak_nas: Interesting thesis. You’ve certainly got the modern day nihilism down… 🙂

  36. Undoubtedly I’d be freaked out, at least initially. Not that my being freaked out should be a basis for public policy, but the question was about how I’d feel and not whether I’d support a policy based on my feelings.

    Matthew Cromer- I haven’t noticed many gun grabbers in this thread. Are you a troll?

    Stephen Fetchet- So, you don’t want urbanites carrying guns openly without permission, but suburbanites are OK. Hey, I’ll be the first to grant that there’s a lot of nuts in cities. But take a closer look at suburbs and small towns and you’ll find a hell of a lot of nuts there too, they just do a better job of blending in.

  37. I am in favor of allowing a restaurant to make its own rules and let the patrons decide. I am not offended if the hostess asks me to check my firearm with my coat and hat. On the other hand, I have no particular objection if the rules of the house allow every to “pack heat.” As with cigar smoking, all I ask is for clearly posted guidelines.

  38. Oh, I should add that I’d be more bothered by guns at restaurants that serve alcohol and have a party room for large family gatherings. Nothing gets the blood boiling like a family fight shaken (not stirred 🙂 with a generous amount of alcohol.

    Doesn’t mean I’d support a law, but nowhere in the Second Amendment does it say that my right to be scared shall be infringed.

  39. No.

    Just like I don’t stay up at night worrying about whether I’ll be hit by a car in the crosswalk, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if some dude was packing heat.

  40. Sorry ’bout the double post. It took a loooong time for the first comment to show up.

    Jimmy- intuitively I think the answer to gang-bangers and the violent mentally ill (who run free in Maryland, thanks to our liberal laws respecting your right to be as crazy as you wanna be) is to encourage everybody to carry.

    Yet at the same time, with as high a concentration of loons – honestly, really crazy, violent shitheads – as we have in D.C., it would be a recipe for disaster unless there were some controls on it, such as “no felons, known criminal gang members, minors or people of diminished mental capacity can carry.” I come to that opinion from having seen a drug war up close and personal. No, not cops on dealers, which we here at this blog hate; but dealers on dealers, a free market settling of differences.

    To wit, I was eating dinner with my wife, as the bullets started splattering our apartment building. Since we were in a nice little terrace apartment, that meant they were hitting the wall at eye level, between the kitchen picture window, and the livingroom picture window. And both warring factions were missing their targets, and firing into buildings on either side of the street, not caring who they hit.

    Now I could have gone and grabbed one of my pieces, and started firing back. I may have even gotten one or two of the dozen or so lunatics shooting up the neighborhood – but I would likely have gotten myself or my wife killed, or drilled a neighbor in the process of escalating the fight. So I grabbed a phone, we both hit the deck behind the portion of the wall we figured was thickest, and I called the cops. In other words, there was nothing I could do that wouldn’t make things worse, because the people duking it out behind our apartment weren’t rational actors. They were violent nuts in the process of not thinking about their futures in the least, and a pistol or shotgun, or even lots of them, wont deter sociopaths, or any other person who views dying a violent death wit mah homies as a good thing.

    So I guess I’m in favor of arming the living shit out of law abiding citizens, but doing everything in my power to make sure that people who are dubious risks ? the mentally ill, cranks, lousy shots, or thugs, can?t enjoy the same rights. Sure, it’s a more restrictive view of the Second Amendment right than most people here probably have, but that seems appropriate considering the costs of misusing that right; after all, when you shoot your mouth off, nobody dies.

  41. Luisa wrote:


    I can respect the VA decision to allow them despite disagreeing with open carry of handguns. Banning communities from disallowing them, however, is outrageous.

    First off, I note that a more precise formulation would be “banning town governments from disallowing them…”.

    There is no proposal to ban *communities*, generally speaking, from disallowing open carry. The SCA, the LP of Virginia, and/or Joe Sixpack and his poker buddies are free to ban open carry in their little communities. Town governments, hoever, are not.

    Why is that outrageous?

    Putting restrictions on the kinds of laws that various levels of government can pass is as American as apple pie.

    The entire Bill of Rights applies to States, etc., under current interpretations of the 14th ammendment. Look at this not as an infringement of the right of governments to pass laws, but as a protection of the right of individuals to be free of troublesome laws.

    TJIC

  42. Nope, wouldn’t be worried at all. I’d probably feel safer. But, as I said on the previous thread about this topic, the question of whether guns are allowed in an establishment sould be left with the individual owners and not government granting blanket permission to carry a firearm into any business you please.

  43. HECK NO!

    You seem to be doing all right. Here’s another.

    HECK NO!

  44. Several posters mention “checking” their guns when entering an establishment, e.g., a bar. How does that work? Do you unload the weapon before handing it to the gun-check clerk? Does the clerk put a trigger lock on the weapon? Does the clerk bag the weapon, ammo and magazine together to keep them from getting separated? How does the clerk authenticate the person who comes to claim a weapon? How is the gun-check area secured against a raid or a robber?

  45. Another gun-check question: Why would you submit to gun-check when you can’t be sure that every other patron has submitted?

  46. How Does It Work? –

    Truly unanswerable questions….

    I suppose having lockers with keys would be a bit too complicated.

  47. Maybe a better question to ask about a gun check is what happens to the bartender who returns a gun to a visibly drunk and angry patron if that patron kills somebody after leaving?

    Yes, yes, I know, in an ideal world there would be no way to sue the bartender in this case. In the real world, you know there’d be a suit. If I were a bartender I’d be very reluctant to have a “gun check”. It would be safer (from a legal standpoint) for the owner to not allow the guns inside and let the customers worry about where to store them before entering.

  48. No.

    Think of how much more interesting the Zagat reviews would be 😉

  49. Yes and no.

    A sensible person’s reaction to seeing people packing, or suspecting them to be carrying concealed, should range from increased security to pants-soiling terror, depending upon the people and the environment. Thus, this question really reduces to a judgment on the examples of humanity that each of us has tended to encounter.

    BTW, I’m uncomfortable with having stiff penalties for carrying with any alcohol in your system. While a bunch of guys at the bar, already charged with bravado and throwing back shots, is indeed an environment where I would want only the sober staff to be armed, the vast majority of casual drinking situations should not require one to make one’s handgun unavailable. The focus of law should be against evident reckless use, and should be harsh.

  50. Thoreau,

    is that much different than when a valet returns a car to someone? Perhaps that someone will then have an accident.

    I think you are right about it being much easier to not allow them in the bar at all, of course, only by order of the bar’s owner.

  51. So I ask for a locker key, take it into the bar, make an impression of the key, later reproduce the key, come back in the future and steal someone else’s gun from the locker?

    I think my last question was most pertinent. If one carries a gun because one’s worried about all the other people carrying weapons, then why submit to a gun-check at all? Just enter with weapon concealed. Which negates the value of gun-check policy.

  52. How Does It Work?

    I think you are taking the gun check idea too seriously. A simple policy of no guns allowed would force gun owners to check their weapons at their vehicle and come in unarmed.

    Although, would leaving your piece in the car constitute conceiling a gun? 🙂

  53. Yes, I’d be slightly worried. While I’m understanding of having a gun in your own home, or even in your car, I’m not quite sure if I’m keen with just brazen open carrying. It’s probably because I’m used to living in urban settings where “openly seen gun” means “gang banger”. I think its an issue that should be decided on a state by state basis obviously, and towns should be able to enact ordinances against open carry.

  54. Thoreau,

    If you read the posts before mine, you will see a number which are very obviously from people opposed to private firearm ownership.

    Are YOU a troll?

  55. No.

    Openly armed folks don’t frighten me.

    Not even those gov’t employees–highschool grads wearing blue uniforms, carrying clipboards, & wearing shiny badges.

  56. Matthew-

    Prior to your post I counted at most half a dozen posts that even expressed discomfort with open carry (a far cry from calling for a ban, just as there are plenty of things that I think should be legal despite the fact that I don’t like them). Perhaps two, at most, could be characterized as from gun-grabbers, and even that is doubtful.

    Anyway, since you made the dubious allegation that the thread was full of left-wing gun grabbers, I decided to make my own dubious accusation.

  57. s.a.m., if “A simple policy of no guns allowed would force gun owners to check their weapons at their vehicle and come in unarmed.” would work, then why don’t govt gun control laws work? How does “a simple policy” “force” anyone to do anything?

    A private establishment’s gun-check policy is completely logically at odds with the whole rationale of both open-carry and concealed-carry. Put it another way: when policy-abiding diners check their guns, then only outlaw diners have guns!

  58. No.

    Hurray for freedom.

  59. Worried about open-carry? No.

    I wish WA state would allow it more than what they do (currently only hunting, other “approved” purposes), even though I have a concealed carry permit.

  60. How Does It work,
    Can the silly questions, it’s the grown-up equivalent of the two year old “Why?” I assume a gun check would work like it did in the Old West. You wanna drink in my bar you turn your gun into my staff. To update it a bit, we’d give you a chit with a number, possibly store them in a locked room. That doesn’t float your boat, move onto the next gin joint.

  61. NO – I’m not worried about someone openly carrying a weapon.

    I would respect the right of a business not to allow it in their place, but would tend to think it shortsighted. I bet anybody coming in with intent to rob the place would think again if they see a couple of armed patrons.

    People see cops carrying weapons all the time, and think little of it. Why are citizens scarier?

  62. No.

    I’m sure all the anti-gun zealots are disappointed that all these places just happen to have low crime rates. Is it safer walking around DC because of its strict gun laws?

  63. Depends on the restaurant’s clientele and, in particular, their overall level of inebriation.

    “In Utah, university administrators worried over students’ wearing guns in dormitories were overruled by the legislature, which defended gun rights – even to the point of packing in class.”

    Darn, I should have gone to school in Utah.

    “Hey, Professor, how come the conservative students all got better grades than the liberal students?”

  64. Because liberal students don’t have guns, so they won’t shoot your arms out of your sockets when they get bad grades. Wookies . . . I mean, conservative students, have been known to do that.

  65. Nope. I grew up in Arizona. I can remember not more a time not more than 15 years ago when I would see guys at the supermarket or on the street with a pistol in a holster. It just doesn’t concern me. People just don’t shoot people out of nowhere. Now, would I have picked a fight with one of those guys, no. But so what?

  66. Years ago, when the conceiled carry license first came up, one of the arguement used was that it’ll lead to rash of traffic accident shooting. I’m still waiting for that.

  67. So are Hit & Run readers worried about, say, dining in restaurants with patrons openly armed with pistols?

    Only if I can’t pack mine! Actually, yes, I have once witnessed an off duty cop get drunk once and get pissed at a girl who dumped him. He packed his piece as imtimidation to her and no one was really sure what he would do which led to people being quite uncomfortable. This took place at a local bar and grill and the cop was later reprimanded for his actions.

    In a restaurant setting, I think it would be polite to those around your to keep your gun concealed, if you feel you must carry one to dinner.

  68. Yes.

    An armed society is a polite society in precisely the same way a police state crawling with citizen informers is free of crime: through distributed coercion and terror.

  69. No. In West Virginia, we also have an open carry law, and it’s not too unusual, especially in more rural counties, to see people publicly exercising their sidearm rights. It’s not a big deal.

  70. So are Hit & Run readers worried about, say, dining in restaurants with patrons openly armed with pistols?

    No. I’m more worried about patrons chewing with their mouths open.

  71. Actually, yes. I once witnessed two people shoot themselves in one day. One was a Marine on a fishing trip (he almost shot me). took him to the emergency room and watched a twelve year old come in with his calf hanging off (daddys .22 rifle accident). Okay, so the second wasnt quite “witnessed”, but the effect was the same.

  72. No. No more so than I’m worried about someone leaping to his feet and attempting to stab me with his steak knife, or overturning his table and bludgeoning fellow diners with his chair.

    Weapons are weapons, folks. A gun doesn’t have any particular power to compel its owner to violence — no more so than a knife, or a baseball bat, or a length of pipe.

    I don’t live my life in fear of being attacked by every person I meet. That would be insane. Guns don’t change that evaluation.

  73. Nope, not in the slightest.

  74. No. I’ll second Isildor.

  75. No

    Dry bread bothers me, though.

  76. No. Open carry is a reality of life in Arizona, with no negative consequences to speak of. It’s not unusual to see people openly carrying — especially in small towns and rural areas. It’s common to see guns openly carried on hiking trails. Not surprisingly, our crime rate is much lower than the rate in more-restrictive jurisdictions.

    Besides, when I lived in high-crime New York City, I illegally carried a concealed pistol. I knew others who did the same. Laws don’t eliminate practices that legislators don’t like, they just make them less visible.

  77. Sorry–Isildur

  78. I guess the only time I would have a problem with it is if the restaurant had a no gun carrying policy and the gun packing patrons ignored it.

    Like anything else, sure it may be legal for you to carry a gun, but a private business has a right to not serve gun toters.

    “You best check that gun at the door, mistah. We don’t take kindly to trouble makers around here.”

  79. No.

    My dad used to tell about a resturaunt in Az where the waitress was packing a .357 in an open holster. Thought it was quite amusing, and you sure know that you ain’t in California!

  80. An armed society may be a polite one, but a polite society sure isn’t an innovative one.

  81. Yes.
    I can respect the VA decision to allow them despite disagreeing with open carry of handguns. Banning communities from disallowing them, however, is outrageous.

  82. No.

    So long as folks aren’t getting wasted.

    Could we have Brassards for folks who do not want to duel or who get too drunk?

  83. No. See above comments about Arizona.

  84. An armed society may be a polite one, but a polite society sure isn’t an innovative one.

    What the hell is that supposed to mean?

  85. “Weapons are weapons, folks. A gun doesn’t have any particular power to compel its owner to violence — no more so than a knife, or a baseball bat, or a length of pipe.”

    With guns, you have stray bullets. Not true for a baseball bat or a knife.

  86. glenn: You mean polite people just shoot each other, while un-pistoled belligerents have to improvise the tools to kill each other?

  87. No.

    I see policemen carrying openly all the time, even in such “civilized” places as NYC and DC.

    What? Do you really think that wearing a blue uniform immunizes you from doing things that are stupid and rash? Most people are under control almost all of the time.

  88. Maybe.

    At first, anyway, I probably would be, not necessarily because I should, but to be honest it might very well make me nervous.

    Eventually, as it became commonplace and rarely led to violence, I would likely lose that nervousness.

    That said, you know that if even once a gun fight broke out in a public place, even if overall street crime went down, it would be big “scary” news.

  89. No. (No worries, that is).

    And Matt, I once saw an old man get run over and killed (he looked the wrong way when crossing a 1-way street – his own fault). I also saw a motorcyclist who got killed on his bike due to a deer on the road. What’s your point, again, Matt??

    In answer to the 2nd poll, “Would you be worried if cars and bikes are allowed to openly drive down the streets and highways”, I would have to go ahead and answer YES. Matt has convinced me.

  90. No.

    Come to South Dakota and see it every day.

  91. anon,

    Virtually all forms of violent action have subsidiary characteristics. Stray bullets may be more immediate, but not substantively different.

    “An armed society may be a polite one, but a polite society sure isn’t an innovative one”.

    That just means that an armed society is less likely to be subjected to the ‘innovation’ of greater social control.

  92. No. Doesn’t bother me at all.

  93. Cool, there’s a lot of Arizonans around here. Now why can’t we elect a libertarian in our state?

  94. No problem. Might be a bit odd at first, take some getting used to, but a good idea.

    I grew up thinking about the stupidity of the following combination:

    …the right to keep and bear arms…

    You need a permit to bear hidden arms (concealed carry).

    If you carry openly you are arrested for ‘assault’ since you are ‘brazenly brandishing’ a weapon.

    So, what’s the legal way to carry??? Legalized open carry just makes sense, allows honest people a way to execise their rights.

  95. Now thoreau,

    two dubious accusations don’t make a right, now do they?

    As for the question, no,i don’t object, but i do support minimal background checks. Violent felons should not be allowed have guns, period.

  96. Cool, there’s a lot of Arizonans around here. Now why can’t we elect a libertarian in our state?

    Because all the libertarian Arizonans are around here!

  97. That’s what I was thinking, Catsup. All my libertarian friends have turned traitor and now are much more left-leaning. For some reason they decided that government needs to take care of people, like the government is to be trusted. :/

  98. No, it doesn’t bother me.

    This state has a very liberal concealed carry law, and many people carry concealed every day. Even in serious bar fights no one starts shooting because there is no real tactical advantage. If anyone pulled out a gun to start shooting, several others would shoot the offender. It’s Mutually Assured Destruction.

    The people who carry legally are good people you don’t worry about. The people you worry about are the ones that carry illegally anyway. And thanks to concealed carry laws, they have little or no tactical advantages. It makes the bad guys unhappy, but that’s just too bad.

    By the way, just because you have an open carry law doesn’t mean that you should. If the police find one person in the immediate area who is not comfortable with someone carrying openly, in many states that is grounds for an arrest for “creating a disturbance” or similar crimes.

  99. No

    Here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts it is legal to openly carry, as long as you jump through enough hoops to get licensed, but other than cops I honestly can’t think of ANY time I’ve ever seen people openly carrying. The gun-grabbing liberal chimps that live around here would wet their pants and call the SWAT-team if someone actually tried to go into a restaurant with a piece on their hip.

  100. No. I don’t have a problem eating around people who have guns. Just like I don’t have a problem sleeping in a hotel even though it’s legally possible that everyone else in the hotel has a gun.

    Let the restaurants set their own policies.

  101. No problem.

    I grew up in Idaho, and live in Arizona. Both have open carry, and it works well.

  102. Am I wrong or is it safe to presume that one carrying a gun may just use it, so doesn’t it make sense that they learn to shoot it accurately. It’s bad enough that the shooter may use poor judgement, must we add the shooting of the unintended to his crimes? One more thing, drinking and shooting don’t seem like a good mix, how about creating CWI and CWU laws, carrying while intoxicated and carrying while under the influence. Maybe these laws already exist, but I’ve heard no mention.

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