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Ellensburg, WA Open Carry Letter to Editor

Discussion in 'Legal' started by FishOrMan, Jul 20, 2004.

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  1. FishOrMan

    FishOrMan Member

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    Letter to editor
    It has now been 2 months since Ellensburg Police responded with over 4 officers to Fred Meyers while I was shopping with my wife, legally carrying my unconcealed weapon, (Colt 1911). They detained me, took my handgun, grilled my wife and myself with questions, and attempted to get me removed from the business through store managers. I filed a complaint against Ellensburg Police shortly after the incident. Their only response to date has been the denial of my Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of the 911-call that had started the situation. I was actually at the dispatch center and had already listened to the 911-call when it was abruptly taken out of public record by Ellensburg Police Department. What I heard in the call was an Ellensburg businessman calling to ask about the law in regard to carrying a handgun. After being directed to call another agency, the businessman told of seeing a customer with a gun and wanted to know if it was legal, stating clearly that he was not threatened or intimated by me. Ellensburg Police unlawfully turned this call into their reasonable suspicion of a crime to stop and question me. Without reasonable suspicion of a crime, the Terry stop, (the ID check), was done without legal authority. After the ID check, the continued harassment and attempt to have me removed from the store was just plain wrong. It is called the 2nd Amendment and open carrying is one of the few abilities Washington citizens have left to express this right without impairment, (apparently Ellensburg Police believe intimidation with police presence isn’t an impairment.) Moreover, with terrorism on the rise, a citizen equipped with the unique item that can adequately defend against terror should be commended.
    Jason
     
  2. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Member

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    Just as in the case currently being discussed by media here in Virginia, you'd better be prepared for the hassle if you exercise your right to open carry in "questionable" areas. i.e., areas likely to be populated with people who are unfamiliar with guns or gun laws. Just a fact of life.

    It remains to be seen whether this will actually generate support for open carry among the populace, or result in a backlash attempt to outlaw it in law. I'm not predicting or flaming you; just observing the facts.

    Note: I do believe the Ellensberg cops over-reacted and were ignorant of the law; for that, they should be counselled/corrected. It's your call whether to pursue legal action or not.

    TC
    TFL Survivor
     
  3. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    IIRC, this guy admitted before that he was carrying "Mexican style" and was not exactly "dressed for success." That doesn't make what he did illegal, but maybe inadvisable and legitimize some level of concern by others.
     
  4. tarrigoni

    tarrigoni Member

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    like I said last time, the Ellensburg PD are not exactly the most open minded individuals and it would be a good idea to pick and choose your battles with them.

    dunno if it was a great idea to call them out in the paper, they like to "knock and talk."
     
  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It's law suit time.

    If it's not illegal, the cops have no business hassling citizens—period.
     
  6. George S.

    George S. Member

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    Can anyone in WA or anyone familiar with WA statutes cite the specific RCW that allows open carry?? Or prohibits it?? I've always thought that open carry is sort of a gray area even though there may be no law that specifically allows it or prohibits it.

    Most LEO's around here will respond to a "man with a gun" call as though it is an offense being committed. They do not necessairly know the specific details of what is going on at the time a call comes in. If you listen to police radio on a scanner, you'll find that the LEO gets his information 3rd hand. A complainant calls 911 who describes what he sees. The 911 dispatcher will then notify a partol officer over the radio and send them to the scene giving them the information in a condensed form. In some cases the city or county may have online capability with a computer terminal in the car for the LEO to read in some detail.

    I wouldn't be suprised that LEO's in a given city may be told what to do by a Chief of Police or Sheriff when it comes to dealing with citizens who openly carry a firearm. In effect, they may not necessiarily have any leeway in dealing with the situation. If a Chief says that nobody in his town can carry openly, the cop on the street may have to follow that polcy regardless of his personal feelings or how the situation plays out.

    Because WA is a "shall issue" state when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon, I personally would not consider carrying openly simply because of the potential hassle it could bring. I have no problem in dealing with LEO's if they are aware of the specific laws that apply to a situation. Those that use intimidation without regard to the law need to be educated in the law. I would even cooperate fully with a LEO if he asked me for ID or even a CCW permit. I have nothing to hide from them and I see no reason to risk a confrontation. I would much rather be "on their side" as opposed to being someone who they would view with suspicion if I refuse any request for simple information from them. Knowing a few police officers and deputies, I have come to understand that it is much better to be friends than to be an antagonist.

    As far as FishOrMan being asked to leave a private business while he was carrying a weapon, that would be completely up to the store owner or manager. Fred Meyer may not necessarily have a specific policy about carrying a weapon in any of their stores but the manager probably felt he had a right to ask him to leave the property if he ws causing a scene in the store. The fight at that point should have been with Fred Meyer and not the police officers.
     
  7. kd7ctv

    kd7ctv Member

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    This is a response I got from Dave Workman who published the book Washington Gun owners rights and responsibilities, about open carry in Central Washington, If you live in Washington State this is a VERY good book to have. If you need more information on how to get it here, let me know, but check your local gun stores first.

    Open carry is "essentially" legal in Washington, because the firearms statutes basically deal with concealed carry, and we do have the constitutionla right under the state constitution.... but there are several HOWEVERs in there that rational citizens ought to pay close attention to.

    Open carry is pushing an envelope and so far, in my experienced opinion, so far people have been lucky. In RCW 9.41.270 there is a huge "loophole" that would allow a person who carries openly to be arrested and prosecuted, and he would probably lose.

    That's Section 1 (see below) in which a person can be arrested for exhibiting, displaying, carrying or drawing any firearm, dagger sword etc... in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    It is the perception of the observer that counts here. If Mrs. Jones is in a bank, grocery store, or on the street with her two kids and gets alarmed, frightened or intimidated, the person with the pistol is going to find himself/herself in pretty deep legal yogurt. That this hasn't happened so far speaks well for the good pro-gun citizens of Ellensburg, and their common sense in the matter. If he tries the same thing in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett or one of the other big urban centers, he may spend a lot of time in police stations, and may even participate in the jail food taste test.

    In my book, I mention open carry in the context of a discussion about the repeal of a section of the juvenile crime law a few years ago that related to carrying rifles and shotguns in truck racks. I noted that the repeal of this statute did not make it legal to walk down the street with a loaded gun on your hip, and that's absolutely accurate. A lot of people misunderstood what repeal of the "open carry" prohibition was all about, and it had nothing to do with handguns.

    I also advise people against walking around with a gun on their hip because you can get arrested for various offenses including Brandishing, Creating a Public Disturbance, Disturbing the Peace...even assault if a prosecutor wants to push the envelope a bit himself. The "warning sign" to this potential is right there in 9.41.270.

    I am always wary of people who go out of their way to "get in the faces" of others. If this guy wants to carry a firearm, good for him. The element of surprise is always on the side of the guy who carries concealed. If he doesn't have a concealed pistol license and doesn't want to apply for one... why not? It's good to have for purchasing firearms, for carry in other states, and for demonstrating to some small degree to the police officers you will be regularly talking to that your background has been checked and it's clean and your CPL says so.

    If one keeps packing openly, and one evening he's in a Stop and Rob over along I-90 in E-Burg when two illegals from Yakima come in to rob the place and they plan to do it violently. Guess who stands the highest probability of being shot first? Maybe even with his own gun. Most certainly if he does the really stupid thing: trying to draw on a guy who is holding a gun on him. Nobody's that fast, not even me.




    Thanks for writing
    Dave Workman


    note some information has been deleted.
     
  8. FishOrMan

    FishOrMan Member

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    I guess I am just a nut case.

    Because, I do not believe asking permission of the state to carry is RIGHT. A requirement to pay money is included in getting a CPL. This cost will only continue to go up. (Maybe just enough to keep guns out of the hands of the poor, that can't be such a bad thing, can it???)

    The process in order to receive a CPL falls far short of what our rights actually are. This "settle for" game is not one that I believe should be played. When enough of us are willing to play the game, it will cost us with the continually eroding of our rights, (but government will have our "permission" every step of the way, because enough of us settled for it).

    I do enjoy being able to defend my wife's life when taking a walk. And I would much rather be defending her legally, then take the walk on the criminal side and simply conceal the gun. But, be it known, this is the direction I will take long before I start playing the "settle for" game with something as important as the 2nd Amendment.

    Let it be clear. We are not in a war against the "element of surprise." We are not in a war against the criminal, or how fast the criminal can draw his weapon. The war gun owners fight, as history has proved time and time again, is an overzealous government.

    Luckily, our government is controlled by the voting citizens, (sort of). Sadily, the citizens are currently controlled by the media and government programs that have been telling them for decades that guns are "evil." We have conditioned ourselves into never showing the "good" guns and so the masses, living in fear of all guns, have voted accordingly.

    In our country, the mindset of the masses is where our battle begins and ends. Sadly, this battle was started decades ago and we have yet to step foot on the battlefield. Playing the "settle for" game while on the battlefield will only be cause for a sour victory.
     
  9. George S.

    George S. Member

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    Here's the full text of the WA RCW 2.41.270 regarding carrying a weapon other than concealed: http://www.leg.wa.gov/RCW/index.cfm?section=9.41.270&fuseaction=section Section 1 can certainly be interpreted a number of ways, but Section 2 is much clearer on the penalties that can be placed on someone who is found to be in violation of Section 1.

    Mr. Workman has some good suggestions and advice on the subject. CCW in WA is relatively easy to get if one passes the required checks. The potential for losing your CCW permit is too great a risk for carrying openly. The political views on this issue may be very different depending on which side of the Cascades you are on, but the state law does not (and can't)take that into consideration. In order for laws to be effective, they have to be applied equally.
     
  10. kd7ctv

    kd7ctv Member

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    You said it yourself there, and the law say it all...
    That's Section 1 (see below) in which a person can be arrested for exhibiting, displaying, carrying or drawing any firearm, dagger sword etc... in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    Obviously if you heard the 911 tape the person was calling to inquire as to the legality of open carry, he probably did this because he saw you carrying and became alarmed. He called to check it.
    If you don't want to spend the money and get the background check done so be it thats your perogative, but why then are you complaining about getting checked out? I mean I wasn't there so I can't say what happened was right or wrong, I am sure if one where to contact the Ellensburg Police dept, we would get a different story. Me personaly I have my CPL, and if open carry where easier to do without the hassle I might consider it, but for now I will just carry concealed, not be the test case for the State of Washington.
    This is from the courts, The State V. Tully has been case law since it was heard, and until it changes it's going to stay the same. So apearently if I am reading this right, the state can limit the scope of the second amendment.
    [3] Second. This court, in State v. Tully, 198 Wash. 605, 89 P. (2d) 517 , held that the uniform short firearms act (Rem. Rev. Stat. (Sup.), §§ 2516-1 to 2516-20, incl.) does not violate Art. I, § 24, of the state constitution, which guarantees to the people the right to keep and bear arms. It has long been recognized that this constitutional guarantee is subject to reasonable regulation by.the state under its police power. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, 83 L. Ed. 1206, 59 S. Ct. 816; English v. The State, 35 Tex. 473, 14 Am. Rep. 374; Pierce v. State, 42 Okla. Crim. 272, 275 Pac. 393; People v. Persce, 204 N. Y. 397, 97 N. E. 877; Hill v. Georgia, 53 Ga. 472; Page v. State, 3 Heisk. (Tenn.) 198.
     
  11. cropcirclewalker

    cropcirclewalker member

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    Mr. FishOrMan, You da man.

    Don't let them get you down.

    2a isn't that hard to understand. Even for educated people.

    but......

    Please don't do drugs.
    Please don't speed.
    Please don't drive an unsafe veekle
    Please make sure your tags are up to date.
    Please renew your drivers license on time.
    Please pay your taxes.
    Please don't cheat on your taxes.
    Please don't beat your wife.
    Please don't yell at the neighbors.
    Please don't go to the wrong church.
    Please use your turnsignal.
    Please don't spit on the sidewalk.
    Please don't spit.
    Please don't go to dirty movies.
    Please don't rent dirty movies.
    Please don't drink and drive.
    Please don't drink.
    Please don't drive.
    Please don't spank your children.,
    Please don't cuss.
    Please don't build anything without a permit.
    Please don't repair your plumbing by yourself.
    Please don't write your politicians.
    Please don't write your newspapers.
    Please don't make yourself an inconvenience to your govt.
    Please don't do anything for which they can claim you are a bad guy.

    Otherwise, yer good to go.

    You screw up once and that will prove that they were right and you should not have been allowed to have the right to protect yourself. It's an awesome responsibility.

    :D
     
  12. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    FishOrMan - I am a former WA resident and still hold a WA non-res CHL. I support your right to open carry and your choice to do so. However, no matter how you dress, shave or cut your hair, please carry in a holster . It would give me serious pause to see one walking around openly carrying "Mexican style" (tucked into belt, waistband, or pocket w/o holster) not because I would questionyour intentions, but because I would question your judgment and ability to safely carry and handle a handgun.
     
  13. FishOrMan

    FishOrMan Member

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    The manner in which I carry is as close to concealed as possible. Up front and center, black gun on dark shirt. If you even noticed the gun I would be surprised. Most folks I don't stand directly in front of and chat with never notice the gun. I walked directly past a "trained to be observant" Ellensburg officer, who failed to notice.

    I don't carry to have the gun stand out and be seen. Any kind of traditional style holster would leave the gun extremely visible. I carry for self defense, not to make a scene. I would much rather never be noticed. The holster I would even consider using would leave the view extremely similiar to the way it is now.
     
  14. tarrigoni

    tarrigoni Member

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    maybe in this case it would be better to have the gun stand out and be seen.

    i believe that people are more inclined to think that a guy carrying in a strong side belt holster in plain view as opposed to having a pistol just stuck down the pants is one of the good guys.

    you have to work with public perception if you're going to keep trying to pull this ill-advised statement off.
     
  15. FishOrMan

    FishOrMan Member

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    Then I would have the same number, if not more of all the pro- 2nd amendment folks telling me I am just putting a bullseye on my shirt for the criminals to shoot me first. I have heard it all and I just can't win.
     
  16. tarrigoni

    tarrigoni Member

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    how bout a flamethrower? I don't think those are regulated.
     
  17. BB62

    BB62 Member

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    CropCircleWalker,

    You forgot:

    Don't spit into the wind.
    Don't pull the mask from the 'ol Lone Ranger.
    Don't mess around with Jim.

    FYI.

    Hehe.


    BB62
     
  18. Wildlander

    Wildlander Member

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    Response from Ellensburg resident

    Jason and others,

    I live in Ellensburg and I would like to comment on the issue here.

    I am a progun advocate. I am 47 years old and live in town. With the exception of several personal experiences with the state patrol, I would like to say that we in general have a very good police force here.

    With that said, I have both pro and con comments to make.

    One must realize that Ellensburg is a college town and that we receive a lot of transient visitors both visiting the gorge concert ampitheatre (some druggies and gangs) as well as some rather onerous college student situtations. In particular, the county sheriffs should be commended for the encounters they have with party types from the west side. There is a lot of cultural difference between the community of the western side of the state and eastern side of the state. And the dicotomy there causes some real issues of contrast.

    I believe the officer had a right to approach and question you.

    I was a 'chipmunk cop' with the US Forest Service for many years (formal training as level II law enforcement). I also know what it is like to be abused by law enforcement. But I also know what it is like to be on the other side of the badge and I hope folks are willing to listen to what I have to say and will take it as good advice and wisdom.

    Legalities make life difficult. In this case, the city could be liable if you had been a criminal and the police did NOT resond to a call indicating there was a man in a store with a gun. If you had been a criminal and they did not respond to the initial call, and you held up the store or harmed someone, the city would be liable.

    So they have both a legal and a social obligation to check out the situation. At that point in time, they had absolutely no idea who you were or what your intent was other than the caller saying you did not "appear" to be a threat. Unfortunately, many criminals appear as good and law abiding citizens until they commit their crimes.

    With that said I might also add, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, that both the officer AND we as law abiding citizens have a responsibility to swallow our pride during an encounter. Both need to realize that the other is "only human". The officer has a job to do. He has feelings just as we do. Many times they are not appreciated for the difficult situations they deal with in our communities. If you had become upset prior to the time he asked for your identification, then I think you were unnecessarily aggrevating the situation. If he had continued to detain you following a check of your identification, then I think you have a right to express your displeasure.

    Bear with me a moment. Most people do not carry a gun into Fred Meyers here in Ellensburg. It is not common practice. We should still retain our rights to do so. BUT, we must also recognize that a customer with a gun greatly increased the probability that the customer is a criminal about to commit a crime. NOT that it does imply that you are a criminal, but that it increases the probability. And from a (social) science point of view, that is the only way to determine an appropriate response to the stituation. Until many customers start carrying in Fred Meyers or around town, to reduce those statistics, I think the police really have no choice but to investigate.

    I think you had a right to carry. I think that it is good that you and others exercise that right. But I also think that we have a responsibility as gun owners in today's society to recognize that we need to be accomodating to the police until such time as others begin to carry and that statistics show that customers who carry are not more likely to be criminals. As it is today, the reality is, scientifically and statisitically, that those with a gun in a store are more likely to commit a crime.

    Now with that said, officers (as well as we as citizens) have a responsibility to remain unbaised and remove their emotions from encounter situations. But, an officer is, after all, only human. And so that is where we need to keep our cool.

    I am concerned that you were not cited and that you ended up with a warrant. I think that needs to be cleared up. And I think the city here needs to be held responsible for that. I think that needs to be cleared up and I hope the officers and teh City of Ellensburg are honest in their dealing with this issue.

    I have to live here with any new city ordinances that result from this issue. Please note, the fact that we do still have the right to carry here in town is quite commendable. There are few places left. You certainly cannot carry into a store in Seattle or Tacoma. A law suit would cause such ordinances which would be unfortunate. And so I am asking folks to get to the bottom of things but to walk softly.

    In regards to the police in Spokane... If your testimony is accurate, then it is possible they jumped to conclusions based on the warrant. The "constitutionalist" comments you said they made tends to support the idea that they had knowledge of a warrant for you on a 'right to carry' incident. Regardless of the warrant, they have a responsibility to remain unbiased and professional and treat you with respect until such time as a court deterimines culpability.

    I know how it is for the some agencies to 'create' infractions to make you out to be the bad guy and it is unfortunate that occurs here in my home state. My grandfather was the first federal marshal deputized in Colfax Washington (Davis) in the late 1890s when Washington was still a territory. He was deputized and chased a man on horseback down to Mexico.

    Law enforcement implies a great deal and issue of integrity which tends to be lacking in some agencies. And so it hurts me to see this type of behavior. Not something I am proud of and I hope the courts and legislators read the blog here and understand this issue is a reality. Unfortunately, I have encountered this with the state patrol here in Washington State and have lost a lot of respect for those officers. Yes, they deal with a lot of arrogant folks and a lot of real serious criminals. But that is absolutely no excuse to treat the common citizen badly or to create infractions to justify their behavior or to make their actions 'legal' or 'back up' their case. There is some education to do here informing both the citizen AND the officer that BOTH have a responsibility to swallow their pride. REAL officers will enforce that in one another and support each other when it is time to swallow that pride. But the citizen needs to do a bit of swallowing too. Unfortunately, it is hard to find those officers of integrity in some agencies. I have experineced a smilar situation with the state patrol slowing down and chasing me down as though I was hardened crimial and their losing their cool. It is also rather common, in my experience, for police forces to form a rather internal comradarie that is abusive to the average law abiding citizen. The comradarie is good, but the leaders of those forces need to set the law down on how they are reflecting on the common citizen of this state. It is easy to turn law abiding citizens into criminals with the laws we have on the books. And both need to realize what it is like to be in the other's shoes - and to realize that we are all, after all, only human. Just because someone gets upset does not give the officer or the agency the right to 'enforce a superiority complex' upon the citizenry. That, the sense of empowerment and the loss of one's perception as a servant, is in fact the first step to tyranny. And it is that issue that threatens our Constitutional rights most seriously.

    I hope this clears up any issues in Ellensburg but ultimately goes back to Spokane to address the professionalism of the officers and the courts there. I am really concerned of how that warrant got on the books if you were not cited. And I an others will be watching this issue closely. I hope both you and the City of Ellensburg are honest as the issue moves forward here.

    Kenneth James Boettger
    Ellensburg, WA
     
  19. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

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    I can see that downloading is still on the table. ;)
     
  20. Gray Peterson

    Gray Peterson Member

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    This has become a major problem in Washington State for those who may be open carrying for one reason or another. The solution for this is a complete repeal of the statute, or at the very least, repealing it for CPL holders. About the only thing I could hope for is a major voter backlash in 2006 in Washington State, with Rossi in office, but I have some major issues with the Republicans too, so I guess I'm screwed in that regard.

    I personally think open carrying of a handgun is legal in WA. Heck, a security guard, ARMED, was carrying on the Tacoma Link, and no one gave him a problem. He sure as hell doesn't have an excemption in the law as a security guard.
     
  21. glockman

    glockman Member

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    May I suggest?

    Let me suggest the recent example we used here in the State of Ohio. Our recalcitrant RINO governor was refusing to allow passage of CCW. Local guns rights advocates announced publicly they would be holding armed "walks" in high traffic urban areas and invited anyone interested to join in. Despite biased reporting from the media, these events were carried off without problem since LEOs were advised beforehand. These events not only served to pressure lawmakers to pass CCW, but also highlighted that unconcealed carry was perfectly legal. Personally I think this is a good way to desensitize urban residents that anyone who has a gun with out a badge is not necessarily a BG. The unstated threat of a lawsuit for violating the state constitution probably helped. For gunowners in WA. who do not want to seek permission to exercise a fundamental civil right, something similar might be useful.
     
  22. antsi

    antsi Member

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    FishOrMan,

    I think it would help this discussion if you were to clarify a point:

    In carrying openly, are you trying to
    a) defend yourself in the most convenient and effective way,
    - or -
    b) make a political statement in hopes of changing laws and/or their enforcement?

    Both a) and b) are perfectly legitimate motives, and I'll encourage you on either one, but you need to be clear in your mind about which one you're up to because they call for totally different ways of proceeding.

    If a), then I think the advice about getting a CCW and carrying concealed is good advice.

    If b), then I think you need to look at other communities (such as the Ohio example) where people organized and made effective political efforts out of carrying openly. If you're trying to make a political statement, you need to organize and recruit and publicize and get legal representation and some allies and plan ahead for your "events."

    Right now, it seems to me from reading your posts, you are sort of thrashing around between a) and b), not exactly making up your mind what you are up to, and not doing a very good job of accomplishing either objective.
     
  23. Al Norris

    Al Norris Member

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    Wildlander, or anyone else, I'm a little confused here.

    I've read and reread this thread several times. I see no reference to a warrant other than in the post by Wlidlander. What am I missing here?
     
  24. FishOrMan

    FishOrMan Member

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    I have covered just about every topic on this subject in places.

    Why open-carry? It is the only legal method I have to bear arms in defense of myself/family. Protecting the innocent is a duty for all citizens that have the means and willingness to do so.

    Why don't I get a CCW and protect the innocent that way? If I ask permission from or pay money to my government I would be acknowledging that I am 'OK' with the government infringing upon my right to bear. I do not willingly accept this infringement.

    While my duty to protect myself/family is very important, I find a stronger duty to insure the government I accept does not infringe upon any individual's rights.

    I feel I can carry out both these duties by open carrying. If I was forced to pick an option other then open carry, I would rather non-violently break the law and conceal without a permit.


    Wildlander, (from Ellensburg),

    I have a pretrail court date this Thursday at 9 am, (Ellensburg city prosecutor is asking for a continuance).

    The warrant was issued after the citation was sent to my street address, (which the post office would not delivery to). Since I didn't receive the citation, I didn't respond to the citation, therefore a warrant was issued for my arrest.

    The citation against open-carrying on May 22nd in Fred Meyer was issued June 1st, which is the day I filed a complaint against the officer's and TEN days after the actually incident. This will be the first thing explained away during the prosecutions case, but it should call the reasons for the citation into question. Why was I "allowed" to walk away from Fred Meyer continuing to open-carry if I was "manifesting an intent to intimidate or warranting alarm for the safety of others"?

    Of course, if it wouldn't have been this law, it could just as easily been a "disturbing the peace" kind of law.

    I do not believe that just because someone bears arms in Fred Meyer, (or anywhere), makes them more likely to be a criminal, (unless you are called a "criminal" for merely possessing the gun). Many law-abiding citizen's carry firearms concealed everywhere they go. Simply because someone carries openly does not increase their odds of being a criminal. Those intent on committing a crime rarely, if ever, start by peacefully carring openly in public. I think this is backed up by only one officer started his questioning of my wife and I. He did not approach with back-up and guns drawn. He did not prone me out and pat me down. He knew from the start I wasn't intent on committing a crime, but wanted to check me out anyway. The method by which criminals are most frequent apprehended is the ID check during practically random police stops.

    I do still agree that police should respond to calls, (not because they can be held accountable, which they aren't), but because it is their job. This does not take away their lawfully requirement to have "reasonable suspicion" before unwanted questioning and ID checks. This response can take many different forms without infringing upon an individual's rights.
     
  25. antsi

    antsi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,398
    -----------quote--------------
    While my duty to protect myself/family is very important, I find a stronger duty to insure the government I accept does not infringe upon any individual's rights.

    I feel I can carry out both these duties by open carrying. If I was forced to pick an option other then open carry, I would rather non-violently break the law and conceal without a permit.
    -------------------------------

    This makes it sound as if you do have a political goal here. That is great, and I definitely encourage you. But in order to be more effective politically, I think you need to be aware of and plan for political action instead of letting it just happen randomly when someone spots you carrying in a Fred Meyer.

    Like it or not, politics is about what people think and how they perceive things. You want to be sure the message you want to send is the message that is getting across - whether that be to bystanders, the media, or people reading the paper.

    Right now, you are being ambiguous in the message you're sending: it's open to two interpretations. One interpretation that could be perceived by bystanders, the media, people reading the paper, etc., is that someone is doing a second ammendment political protest. Another interpretation that could be perceived is that some nut-job dude got caught with a gun in the Fred Meyer store.

    If you want your political action to be effective, you don't want to leave open that second interpretation. You want to be perfecly clear to everyone that this is a political statement and you are trying to make a logical, sane, intelligent point about people's rights that they should consider seriously.

    If you were to get 20, 50, or 100 people to gather together, in an organized and presentable way, with well-thought out statements, and legal advice beforehand, and make a march on city hall or some such, then it would be clear to everyone that you're making a political statement. You might get quoted in the newspaper. You might get some people to reconsider their posititions.

    What you have managed so far is not effective politics. It's not going to change anyone's mind, and it's not going to make anyone think about their positions on gun rights, and it's not going to change any laws or policies. Continuing with what you're doing is only going to generate a lot of trouble for you, without achieving your goals.

    If you are really serious about advocating for your right to carry, then get organized and go about it with some good tactics. I applaud what you are trying to do, but I really think you need to re-examine your methods of acheiving your goals.
     
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