OC gathering outside Philly


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Pilot
March 8, 2012, 09:36 AM
The organizer, Mark Fiorino is the same guy that got hassled by Philly cops for legally open carrying, even though he had the required CCW permit. I have mixed emotions about these gatherings because I fear that concerns from anti-gun citizens will move to have the OC law changed. However, I applaud their right to OC.

THE SIZZLING entrees won't be the only hot items at an Applebee's in Ridley Township on Saturday, when a couple of dozen folks mosey into the restaurant packing heat for a "meet-and-eat."

With a side of firearms - or rather, with firearms at their side - the gun owners plan to gather for a meal and share their "common interest" of openly carrying handguns in sidearm holsters, said organizer Mark Fiorino.


The article is written the the typical, condescending journalistic style. :rolleyes:


http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120308_High-calibre_dining__Open-carry_devotees_taking_a_shot_at_a_public_gathering.html

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Sam1911
March 8, 2012, 09:48 AM
...I fear that concerns from anti-gun citizens will move to have the OC law changedEvery move carries with it risks, of course. A right not exercised is a right lost, though. Who cares how good the law is if you aren't allowed to follow it?

This sort of thing will frighten some people. A few people. But it also emboldens others -- builds confidence, builds support, spreads enthusiasm and empowerment.

And, it puts the issue in the face of Philly PD and forces them to 1) accept it -- thus changing their on-the-ground policies and creating precedent, or 2) hassle the OC-ers thus opening themselves to more legal challenges which will inevitably lead to changes of policy once the courts order them to comply with the law.

Hopefully this is part of a movement that might see a "PCDL" sister organization to the VCDL which has been so incredibly effective at restoring gun rights in that state.

Sauer Grapes
March 8, 2012, 08:36 PM
I have attended quite a few of these kinds of gatherings in Pa. I live about a 1\2 mile from the site of this little get together. We have never had a problem at any of the dinners\lunches I've been to.
I've made some good friends thru these events and we even participated in a Red Cross walk one year and raised over $4,000 for them.

Gun owners are generous people.

As Sam said, a right not exercised is a right lost.
I'll have some juicy tender ribs for you guys.....lol.

Pilot
March 9, 2012, 08:22 AM
Here is a follow up on Fiorino.

PHILADELPHIA - A gun-rights advocate stopped by police for openly carrying a weapon has settled his lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia for $25,000.

Mark Fiorino's lawyer says the suit wasn't about money, but about retraining police.

The 25-year-old IT worker from Lansdale says he has been stopped three times for wearing a holstered gun on his hip. It's legal in Pennsylvania if someone has a permit.

Fiorino recorded one profane police encounter and posted it online.

His lawsuit alleges "vindictive prosecution."



This is the only way to stop harrassment from police for legal open carry. Hit them in the pocketbook.


http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20120308_ap_phillymangets25kfromcityovergunstops.html?cmpid=124488469

Flopsweat
March 9, 2012, 08:54 AM
...
The article is written the the typical, condescending journalistic style. :rolleyes:

...
Ya know, it didn't seem that bad to me. A few clever lines, but not the sort of nonsense you'd see from the local news in my area. And they actually interviewed both sides. More quotes from the OC folks than the antis - which is not really out of line, considering the story's about them.

Pilot
March 9, 2012, 08:59 AM
Actually, you are right. It isn't really that bad. If it wasn't for the beginning part which while a little smarmy, but really isn't negative.

High-caliber dining: Open-carry devotees taking a shot at a public gathering

THE SIZZLING entrees won't be the only hot items at an Applebee's in Ridley Township on Saturday, when a couple of dozen folks mosey into the restaurant packing heat for a "meet-and-eat."

With a side of firearms - or rather, with firearms at their side

ZeSpectre
March 9, 2012, 09:35 AM
I have mixed emotions about these gatherings because I fear that concerns from anti-gun citizens will move to have the OC law changed.

Here in Va this concern has been expressed over and over and over and if I'm going to be honest sometimes it was expressed by ME . I genuinely believed it to be a legitimate concern.

HOWEVER

The VCDL (http://vcdl.org/) has used open-carry events to great effectiveness over the past 15 years and so far the "normalizing effect" of exposing the general population to open carry has FAR outweighed any negatives.

Even when an issue is raised due to an open-carry event such as police harassment or citizen-jitters, it almost always (I'd say on the order of 80% of the time) has ultimately resulted in either proper education of other citizens, or the exposure of bad laws and/or bad training on the part of Law Enforcement Officials who are then also educated so that such problems don't recur.

This is one of those times where I have to admit that my feelings/opinion on a matter were just completely wrong. In terms of reclaiming 2'nd Amendment Rights and re-normalizing firearms in our society, open carry (properly handled of course) can be supremely beneficial to our cause as long as it is paired with an active RKBA organization on your State level.

This is a case where "one man activism" is probably not going to go very well.

Sam1911
March 9, 2012, 09:53 AM
I'd say on the order of 80% of the time
Politics and activism are just another version of Poker.

We'll have a few unfortunate incidents and a small collection of semi-hysteric negative opinion columns = we'll fold or lose a few hands. But a year or ten down the road we're sitting on the whole pot as public opinion continues to shift our way.

ZeSpectre
March 9, 2012, 09:56 AM
Sam1911,
Yup, nice summary of my experience as well.

ATBackPackin
March 9, 2012, 12:50 PM
Ridley Township Sgt. Charles Palo said that while openly carrying is within a citizen's rights, it can be alarming.

"This isn't Wyoming, this isn't Oklahoma," he said. "People aren't used to seeing people walking around with guns exposed."


He is absolutely correct................Philly is much more dangerous.

Shawn

Sauer Grapes
March 9, 2012, 07:00 PM
We are a suburb much like where most of the people in this country live. Mostly blue collar area with hard working people.
I have had some very nice conversations with people asking why I carry a gun. I have even been told I am breaking the law for openly carrying a firearm. That's when the education begins.
Mark has done a fine job speaking for firearms owners everywhere. This is pretty much just another of many OC events we've held in the area.
Ridley township police have always been very responsive to the occaisional call I've had to make. Nonetheless, they seem to think only they should be allowed to carry a gun.
Sgt Palo will just have to get over it! "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore."

chris in va
March 9, 2012, 09:43 PM
I just hope PA doesn't take the route CA did with banning OC.

Owen Sparks
March 9, 2012, 10:38 PM
A right not exercised is soon lost.

Sam1911
March 10, 2012, 08:55 AM
I just hope PA doesn't take the route CA did with banning OC.
Seems pretty darned far from likely. The tail (Philly PD) doesn't wag the dog to that degree.

AlexanderA
March 10, 2012, 09:12 AM
We have legal open carry here in Virginia, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Where I live, in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia, (unnecessarily) raising the profile of this issue is almost guaranteed to cause a backlash. I'd rather let sleeping dogs lie. What's to be gained, since it's already legal?

Sam1911
March 10, 2012, 09:43 AM
I'd rather let sleeping dogs lie. What's to be gained, since it's already legal?
It is better to never do it, but know that you COULD, then to do it and risk someday being told you CAN'T.

Errr, right? ;)

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 10, 2012, 10:23 AM
I'd rather let sleeping dogs lie. What's to be gained, since it's already legal?

Get the Police to stop harassing citizens over something legal and breaking the 5th Amendment.

NavyLCDR
March 10, 2012, 10:53 AM
Ridley Township Sgt. Charles Palo said that while openly carrying is within a citizen's rights, it can be alarming.

"This isn't Wyoming, this isn't Oklahoma," he said. "People aren't used to seeing people walking around with guns exposed."

Sgt. Charles Palo's ignorance is quite evident. Open carry is not legal in Oklahoma - only concealed carry with a permit.

AlexanderA
March 10, 2012, 12:15 PM
I'd rather let sleeping dogs lie. What's to be gained, since it's already legal?

Get the Police to stop harassing citizens over something legal and breaking the 5th Amendment.

The police in Northern Virginia are fairly good about that, because they've been educated as to the law. In other jurisdictions where open carry is legal, better to educate them behind the scenes than to engage in confrontational tactics. The confrontational tactics rile up the public at large, when the real target is a narrow one, namely the overreaction and ignorance of certain police.

AlexanderA
March 10, 2012, 12:34 PM
Sam1911 wrote:

It is better to never do it, but know that you COULD, then to do it and risk someday being told you CAN'T.

Errr, right?

Well, yes. In my area, open carry is something in the nature of an "ace in the hole," and not something you would do routinely. Now, Virginia has state preemption, and so localities can't enact gun restrictions on their own. But if they could, there's no doubt in my mind that the Northern Virginia counties would ban open carry. This sort of thing just doesn't play well among the people around here.

What is legal to do isn't always wise to do. Gun rights advocates should always keep an eye on public opinion, because ultimately that's what's going to decide the issue. Educate the public through more sophisticated means than direct confrontation that places them in fear (whether justified or not).

Sam1911
March 10, 2012, 01:20 PM
Well, yes.
Then what, in the world, is the purpose of even caring whether open carry is legal or not?

It is legal, but you can't do it = it ISN'T legal, and you can't do it, for all practical purposes.

If you cannot, and will not openly carry -- and you earnestly wish and hope no one else will, either -- then why waste your time fighting for the on-paper, pretend right, to do so?

Gun rights advocates should always keep an eye on public opinion, because ultimately that's what's going to decide the issue. Educate the public through more sophisticated means than direct confrontation that places them in fear (whether justified or not). To what end? Are you arguing that sometime in the future you WILL want to (or WILL want others to) OC and so you're building up public support for what you will want to do THEN?

"Someday" never comes. You'll never be confident enough to OC, if you sit around waiting for every memeber of the public to get on board with you.

GD
March 10, 2012, 01:24 PM
Probably the safest restaurant in the Philly area. Not much chance of a robbery there!
Wish my daughter would move from that crime infested city.

AlexanderA
March 10, 2012, 04:59 PM
Then what, in the world, is the purpose of even caring whether open carry is legal or not?

It is legal, but you can't do it = it ISN'T legal, and you can't do it, for all practical purposes.

Having open carry be legal is an important adjunct to concealed carry, which is FAR more important, both tactically and from a public relations standpoint. For example, if you're carrying concealed and slip up (showing the gun by accident), then you have open carry to fall back on. There are also other situations where open carry is appropriate, such as when you're out in the woods hunting, etc. Plus, if somebody hasn't applied for a concealed-carry license, and suddenly finds himself under an immediate threat, he has open carry available. These are reasons why it's important for open carry to be legal. As to open carrying in an urban area, I can do it legally but I don't want to do it. I don't follow your logic that choosing to not exercise a right equates with negating that right. I have a right to vote, but I'm not required to vote -- and in certain circumstances, not voting sends as strong a message as voting. I have freedom of the press, but I'm not required to publish a newspaper. What you're saying comes awfully close to saying the the 2nd Amendment requires everybody to keep and bear arms. That in itself would infringe on the freedom not to do so. Nothing is a "right" unless the converse is also available. What you are suggesting would convert a "right" into a simple "obligation." Do you really think we're all "obliged" to open carry in cities wherever it's legal?

NavyLCDR
March 10, 2012, 06:49 PM
Having open carry be legal is an important adjunct to concealed carry, which is FAR more important, both tactically and from a public relations standpoint.

I open carry because, in my situation, it has proven to be FAR more important, both tactically and from a public relations standpoint than concealed carry is. History, research and common sense indicates that if a criminal sees the gun during the target evaluation phase of the attack, they will simply move on to choose a target that does not appear to have the means available to kill them. Even criminals have enough survival instinct to know that Joe Citizen is 99% likely to have nothing of enough value to die for. I would rather my gun simply cause the criminal to move on rather than put myself and my family through the trauma of an attack, the possible killing of another person even in self defense, and the resultant possibility of criminal and civil lawsuits, which even if unsuccessful still have the capability of bankrupting my family due to the defense alone. It's just not worth it to hide the gun.

From a public relations standpoint, I have had far more positive encounters because someone has asked about my gun than negative encounters. Almost every negative encounter I have experienced has been with some concealed carry only "pro-2A" snob looking down his nose disdainfully at me while declaring that I should cover my gun up because that is they way they carry theirs.

Sauer Grapes
March 10, 2012, 08:39 PM
I thought I would check back after returning from our OC gathering. Got to see some old friends and meet some new ones. Most, if not all are PAFOA members. Some shoot at my club. {Delaware County Field & Stream} Some traveled as far as Lehigh County for the event. {2hr. ride}
We had a couple newspaper people there. {both pro gun} They did some film and interviews with some of the guys, and ladies.
My estimate put the crowd at about 30-35.

The dinner went off without a hitch, as I figured it would. Restaurant staff were very nice and the general public seemed none the worse for wear.
We'll continue to hold our dinners and talk shop and discuss pressing issues. I'm going to push for a get together in Philly this summer. We had one before, it's time to head back into the belly of the beast.

Standing Wolf
March 10, 2012, 08:44 PM
The dinner went off without a hitch, as I figured it would. Resturant staff were very nice and the general public seemed none the worse for wear.
We'll continue to hold our dinners and talk shop and discuss pressing issues. I'm going to push for a get together in Philly this summer. We had one before, it's time to head back into the belly of the beast.

Thank you for your report, Sauer Grapes! This Coloradan was with you in spirit.

Sam1911
March 10, 2012, 09:46 PM
Having open carry be legal is an important adjunct to concealed carry, which is FAR more important, both tactically and from a public relations standpoint. Can't really see any PR value to concealed carry, unless you're considering being invisible a public relations win. :scrutiny:

For example, if you're carrying concealed and slip up (showing the gun by accident), then you have open carry to fall back on. Certainly true.

There are also other situations where open carry is appropriate, such as when you're out in the woods hunting, etc. ... or it's hot out and you don't want to wear a cover garment, or you just prefer it, etc.

Plus, if somebody hasn't applied for a concealed-carry license, and suddenly finds himself under an immediate threat, he has open carry available.But, but, but...wouldn't that SCARE people and get OC and CC and guns in general banned?

I don't follow your logic that choosing to not exercise a right equates with negating that right.No, choosing not to does not necessary negate the right. Being scared to, feeling pressure not to, and pleading with others not to do as they wish certainly does "negate" the right.

I have a right to vote, but I'm not required to vote -- and in certain circumstances, not voting sends as strong a message as voting. I have freedom of the press, but I'm not required to publish a newspaper. But you are, by analogy, saying, "If I speak truth to power, they'll take away my voice, so I keep silent...but I have the right. I COULD speak my mind, but if I do so they won't let me anymore, so I'll preserve my right by never, ever using it." If you don't wish to speak, or don't care to, that's simply a preference. If you feel oppressed -- that you will be censured or face some retribution if you act, then you do not have the right you claim to be "protecting."

What you're saying comes awfully close to saying the the 2nd Amendment requires everybody to keep and bear arms. No, not at all. If you want to say you simply choose not to carry openly -- for "tactical" reasons or whatever -- that's not giving up your right to do so. When you say, "...raising the profile of this issue is almost guaranteed to cause a backlash. I'd rather let sleeping dogs lie," you are restricting yourself and (more importantly) others out of fear of retribution. That is not freedom.

hermannr
March 10, 2012, 10:41 PM
I wonder if MR Philly PD ever thought that maybe the reason that you don't see much OC in Philly is because all the criminals conceal their weapons untl the agressively are ready to use them.

In PA you can OC without a permit anywhere except Philly. I still don't know how Philly managed that part, but PA as a state if fairly OC friendly.

Here in WA, we don't worry much about our unrestricted, unlicensed OC. It's called Article 1 Section 24 of the Washington state constitution. If they tried to take away OC, they would, by default, have to allow unlicensed CC, and there is no way that will happen these days.

I OC because it does normalize the practice. I OC so the mugger, or whoever would do me harm, can make an informed decision...so far, for over 40 years, that has worked very well for me. Never been mugged, and the one time a guy was going to drag me out of my car and beat me up, my pistol never left it's holster, but the BG all of a sudden desided he had better things to do elsewhere. I shot enough to last a livetime and then some in Vietman, no need to continue unless it is to save a life, and that is what I carry for.

If the Philly PD would live by the law, they would also see more OC, and it would have a good, not bad effect.

Pilot
March 11, 2012, 08:13 AM
Philadelphia is no different from any other big city. It has its share of crime and other problems. I am glad people are exercising their Constituitonal rights and a peaceful manner. I think it will help "normalize" this right, and maybe lead to less emotional responses to firearms.

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