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Concern for the safety of oneself and one's family does not "lead inevitably to concealed carry." In fact, throughout most of our country's history, it has actually led to open carry. As the article pointed out, concealed carry was previously considered somewhat shady and potentially dishonorable, something nefarious professional gamblers might do so others would not know they were prepared to defend themselves. Today in states like AZ, AK, and WY, seeing guns carried openly (either long or short guns) causes no concern among others, nor does it serve as a "provocation to the unstable," in fact, the opposite is more likely the case. You will note that "the unstable" have exhibited an odd penchant over the past 40 years or so, to become unstable enough to attack people, almost exclusively, in places where they can reasonably assume they will not be opposed by an armed person. No one seems to do this in the presence of an armed LEO or visibly armed citizen. The cases in which concealed carry licensees have stopped violent assaults in public might be misleading, in that the assaults might very well not have occurred at that time and place at all, if the "unstable" person had been aware of the presence of someone who was armed. The whole point of the OCT group/movement is to accustom Texans to seeing people openly carrying guns in public, and thereby to desensitize the public to it. In addition, they hop[e to bring public attention to the fact that TX remains one of only 6 states that ban open carry of handguns, something most people, even in TX, are (or used to be) unaware of. Indeed, they carry long guns openly because the open carry of handguns is illegal, which is their whole point. Today, if you travel through small rural towns in TX, no one would be upset to see someone carrying a long gun in public. The "problems" associated with this issue have only arisen in large cities, and this is being hyped primarily by radical anti-gun groups like those backed by Bloomberg, who have gone to the restaurants where the OCT groups stopped to eat, and tried to get them to ban guns on their premises. In fact, the publicity given to this issue has already had a dramatic impact on the TX political scene, and there are now a number of political candidates who have publicly pledged to support the desired change to TX laws in the next legislature. Which, of course, is exactly what the movement wanted to accomplish in the first place.
Would you also have put up a sign saying "Whites Only" at your lunch counter in 1962? The same principle is involved here. This has nothing to do with carrying long guns for hunting or self protection. It is solely a civil rights issue, just like segregation was. Further, exactly the same arguments are being made by the "establishment" groups (like the NRA - of which I am a Life Member), that were made in the late 1950s and early '60s, by "establishment" minority advocacy groups like the NAACP. The established groups warned about "scaring the public," and "political backlash" from the majority White community. If MLK had listened to them, we'd probably still have segregation in the US today. Change ALWAYS makes large portions of the population nervous. In fact, the movement has already had a major impact on TX congressional and gubernatorial candidates, who are now racing to support the open carry of handguns, an issue that has been "on their back burner" for years now. As Hollywood well knows, sometimes ANY publicity is good publicity.
Actually, if I were robbing a bank, I would wait outside until the guys in the lobby who had guns on their hips had finished their business and left the premises. Which, of course, is exactly what happened a couple of years ago at a Waffle House Restaurant. The three armed robbers are on security camera tape waiting in their vehicle after coming in to "case the place," and discovering 2 open carry guys eating dinner inside.
In response to:

Rahm Emanuel Hates the Truth About Guns

Geoff34 Wrote: Jun 02, 2014 9:40 AM
Just FYI - Most gun store already have security cameras. This means that any felon who comes in and tries to buy a gun illegally is ALREADY on tape. It's most interesting that, despite this fact, the govt keeps up the lie that felons routinely buy their guns from gun stores illegally. It's true that many people fail their background checks (at least initially, the false positive rate is over 97 percent), yet no one ever prosecutes them. Despite the fact that their crime is almost always committed on camera. So how will "forcing" gun stores to do what they already do, help anything?
I remember attending a speech given by the head of the American Nazi Party at UNM when I was an undergraduate there back in the mid-1960s. No one tried to stop him from speaking, although many of us wore yellow armbands in protest of his politics. But we all went and listened to his elucidation of the Nazi party's point of view (and we also asked pointed questions in the Q and A period at the end). That didn't make us become Nazi's. We were quite capable of making logical, informed decisions about what is right and wrong, despite having heard his presentation. Do you think those Harvard students who might attend such a "Black Mass" today are any less capable? Banning this event is the moral and educational equivalent of banning Condaleeza Rice's keynote speech at Rutgers. If nothing else, it says loads about one's belief in the intelligence and rationality of modern college students.
If they'd had a decent concealed carry law, we might have been spared most of this legal trouble and expense, and the victim would likely have been spared most of her trauma (physical that is). If the intended victim shoots you, there is little a DA or defense attorney can do to help you. You need the EMS guys instead (and, if the victim was a good shot, you may not even need them!).
Quite aside from the Bundy ranch’s specific legal issues, and the obviously excessive use of force attempted there, there is a major constitutional issue present that needs to be resolved, and it probably cannot be resolved below the SCOTUS level. Here is the argument: 1) The US federal govt has only those powers specifically granted to it by our Constitution, 2) The US Constitution (Article I, Section 8) specifically grants the federal govt the right to purchase land from the states (with mutual agreement) for only two purposes – a) to create the seat of govt (now Washington DC) and, b)to build post offices/roads and various types of military bases/facilities. 3)It was clearly never the intent of the founders (or they would have included provisions for it in the Constitution) that the federal govt should own large tracts of land for other purposes, 4)Therefore, all land within the borders of a state should become the property of that state upon receiving statehood (whenever there is no prior private ownership involved, in which case it should remain in such private ownership), 5) Therefore: since the federal govt cannot OWN such land (although they can ADMINISTER land outside of state boundaries but within the US authority, like our Territories) the federal BLM regulations, fees, etc. imposed on lands within a state’s boundaries are unconstitutional, and thus, null and void from the outset, 6) Therefore, the Bundy’s have a good case for not paying the fees or obeying the, per force, illegal restrictions. It has been pointed out that the US govt has bought land in the past (ie, the Louisiana purchase, Alaska, etc., and has also acquired some lands through treaties ending various wars (ie, Mexican and Spanish American wars). This is true, and it is also true that the federal govt ADMINISTERED such lands (and still administers some remaining Territories, like Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico); however, administering lands outside of the boundaries of any state (including prior to a state’s admission to the Union) does not automatically give the federal govt any right to OWN such lands per se, and does not affect the state’s rights argument. Once the land is within the boundaries of a state, the Constitution leaves its management and more especially its OWNERSHIP to the state involved.
Amazing! I can still remember back in 1971 when I was a young naval officer in San Diego and was tasked with looking for her because she was a wanted fugitive, an avowed communist terrorist, known for bombing and advocating bombing, with her photo up in every Post Office in the country. She was the only cute looking person on the PO wall and I was hoping she'd show up in one of our demonstrations, so I could bust her myself. No such luck!
In response to:

Nevada Showdown: All Hat, No Cattle

Geoff34 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 10:58 AM
You are witnessing the famous "4 box theory" at work here. First, the local ranchers tried the "soap box," and told their story publicly, but no one would listen (or perhaps most of the country just didn't care because they didn't see how such govt overreach impacts them personally), then they tried the "ballot box" without success (they're a minority so their rights got trampled - that's not how it is supposed to work in this country), then they tried the "jury box", but lost to technicalities - they are technically violating an, albeit illegal, law, so now it has come down to resorting to the last box of the four, the "cartridge box," and an armed refusal to obey illegal laws finally got some, at least temporary, results. Where in the Constitution does the federal government get their authority to charge fees for the use of public land? Don't even think "Commerce Clause," because if THAT is the justification, it would require the feds to help improve (ie, "regulate" which at the time the constitution was written, meant to "make regular," more common, or easier) the commercial use of the land, which is what the Bundy's wanted them to do, or at least wanted them not to prevent, in the first place. Remember Mr. Bundy paid his grazing fees for all the years the BLM functioned like that. So far, the only folks who have done anything to improve the land in question are the Bundy's themselves, by building water tanks, and other improvements there. There is no constitutional rationale that would permit impairing (ie, making LESS regular) the commercial use of federal land, certainly not just to save an endangered tortoise (completely leaving alone the issue of whether or not the Desert Tortoise is actually endangered, which is another whole question). If the BLM (ie, the federal govt) were doing something to improve the land there (that is, if they were adding value to it) their fees might reasonably be justified on that basis, as a sort of "Value Added Tax" (VAT), but they are not, in fact, they are doing quite the opposite. Maybe it's finally time we all stopped to listen to the ranching community for once. Going back to the level of the "soap box" would be a lot less tense and potentially dangerous for all concerned.
In response to:

Nevada Showdown: All Hat, No Cattle

Geoff34 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 10:17 AM
You missed the whole point! It would have been simple (and the normal procedure) for the local Sheriff to go visit the Bundy's and tell them they were going to go to jail if they didn't pay up or stop grazing their cattle on that part of their ranch. Mr. Bundy was correct when he said that this was all about the federal govt sending the message that they can do whatever they want to the citizens and we will have to take it. This is exactly how the incident at Waco started. It was not only unnecessary, but unacceptable for the BLM to use such coercive, thuggish tactics. It was gross (and illegal) over reach, to set up "1st Amendment zones" and Tase those who taped BLM officers from outside those zones, it was wrong to destroy the corrals and water tanks built on the grazing area by the Bundy's at their expense, it was wrong to steal his cattle, I could go on... In fact, the BLM behaved in an arrogant, threatening manner and they needed to learn who they work for, and that isn't the federal govt, it is the Citizenry. Had they not decided to prohibit his cattle from grazing on thousands of acres for no good reason, and the desert tortoise is not a good reason, the Bundy's would have continued, albeit grudgingly, to pay their grazing fees as they had done until 1993. Keep in mind that the BLM has intentionally killed hundreds of Desert Tortoises themselves because there were too many of them. The idea that the Bundy's could have stopped the BLM from trying to destroy their livelihood by voting or petitioning the govt is simply laughable. Harry Reid is a Democrat, so he gets elected by the Las Vega union vote, and that vote outnumbers the state ranchers every time. Trying to petition the BLM is essentially impossible, unless one has some sort of serious bargaining chip with which to get their attention. That might be something like angry armed citizens, cowboys, and civilian militia. When the govt keeps getting larger and larger, and taking on powers not delegated to it, and when they keep hurting the very people they are supposed to be helping, the time will come (as it now has) when the people will stand up and say "No More." The idea that Mr. Bundy was violating a federal law is no longer as important as whether or not that law was reasonable in the first place, nor is it as important as telling the govt that it is not OK to arrogantly threaten, injure, and terrorize their citizens. THAT is what this was really all about!
Chuck, please note that Spec. Lopez was "being evaluated for PTSD" but was being treated for depression and anxiety. It would be routine for anyone in his circumstances, who is being treated for depression or anxiety, to be evaluated for PTSD as well. There is no evidence yet that he had it. Also, individuals with PTSD are no more likely than anyone else in the general population, to engage in this kind of violent behavior. While I certainly think the military and VA need to address the PTSD issue better, we all have to remember that many will be too embarrassed, ashamed, or fearful of the possible social/political consequences of that diagnosis, to come forward or admit to symptoms, which makes finding and treating them much more difficult. I personally think that a good place to start with the issue of "hardening" military bases in CONUS, would be to require those service members who would normally go armed in a combat zone, to go armed as a matter of course when stateside, as well. There is no conceivable safety rationale involved, since we expect them to be safe carrying a weapon in combat zones, where they are under much greater stress, and they are, in fact, safe with them there. Not only would it make our stateside bases safer, but it would keep those combat arms troops familiar with their weapons throughout their careers, enhancing their training. If they aren't safe with a weapon in CONUS, then they also aren't safe with one in a combat zone, and they need to be retired or reassigned to different, noncombatant, duties.
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