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Would you call the cops?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Tipro, Mar 14, 2012.

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  1. Tipro

    Tipro Member

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    This is completely hypothetical, and did NOT happen to me.

    You are in college, and on the way to class you see a man walking down the road with an AR-15 strapped across his back. Not doing anything abnormal (besides the obvious gun totting), and his dress or demeanor do not alarm you. You live in a state that doesn't allow carry on a college campus. Do you call the cops?

    Divorce your answer from obligations to report a crime in progress.

    I would call the police. Although I would like to see legal carry on a college campus, it's not legal, and this man has demonstrated himself to be a criminal. His lack of respect for the law scares me, and the fear of the hell he could unleash would make me immediately phone the police. As a law abiding person, I would not be carrying my weapon on a college campus, and my lack of ability to stop him from a distance, if it was necessary, scares me.

    Am I wrong? Would anyone not call the cops?
     
  2. Iramo94

    Iramo94 Member

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    If he were on the sidewalk, I would consider that not on campus, since the roads are public land. If OC were legal in the state, I'd have no problems with him on the sidewalk. Now on a trail through a privately owned quad, that's another story.
     
  3. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Don't be afraid. He might not be as knowledgeable about the laws as you. It might not be a real gun. Things may not be as you assume. You might ruin a guy's life when nothing that you assumed was happening was actually happening.
    Don't be afraid. Keep learning. Keep training. Keep thinking and don't let your emotions get the best of you.
     
  4. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    I sort of doubt that I would *immediately do so*, however, there are many more details that should be had before arriving at the conclusion.

    If I thought that everyone that had ever demonstrated that they were a criminal was dangerous, I'd never leave my own home. Even then I'd sell my own gun. Most folks break over 100 laws everyday before lunch and don't even know it.
     
  5. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Member

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    The 2nd Amendment IS mine and your right to carry besides most carry laws refer to handguns only such as where I live you carry a pistol openly you go to jail but it's perfectly legal for a person to walk down the road with an AR strapped to their back so if your hypothetical happened where I live no I wouldn't call the cops because he wasn't breaking any laws but if he was walking with a Heritage .22lr revolver sticking visibly out of his back pocket guess I'd be obligated to phone in wouldn't I.
     
  6. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Rights or no rights to carry that rifle in public, I don't know the man's intentions. It is out of the ordinary to me. I would not call the police, but I would keep a watchful eye on him. As long as it stays strapped on his back, it isn't posing a threat to anybody. When he reaches around and starts to raise it is when I would worry.
     
  7. jon86

    jon86 Member

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    Would I call the cops? Yes. And I wouldn't go to class, I'd go home and take a nap.
     
  8. Paris

    Paris Member

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    Yes, I would call the police. We are a nation of laws and are bound by them. This is what separates us from Iran, China, etc, where the law is meaningless when government officials kidnap and execute or imprison whoever they want whenever they want.

    The rule of law must be adhered to.
     
  9. ObsidianOne

    ObsidianOne Member

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    I'd say "Right on. Embrace your rights" and continue on with my day.
     
  10. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    Absolutely call the police. We've had enough school shooting headlines that anyone who would strap a gun on their back and walk near a school needs the sort of attention that the police can provide fastest.

    At the very least, he's an idiot...
     
  11. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    would i freak out and immediately call the police.......no.

    i would however stop by the campus police office and tell them what i thought i saw.......he may for all i know have permission/ be ROTC running drills with dummy rifles/ prop for play/ ect. and in a case like that......campus police would have that information where metro police most likely wouldnt, and cause a full force response to something that doesnt require it.


    i think it is safe to say the vast majority of gun owners know that for the most part carrying a gun on a school/ college campus is a no no.......

    and given that most colleges are in cities/ sub-urban areas........places where having a need to open carry a rifle is slim.......chances are good he has it for some other means than bear/coyote/ lion protection.
     
  12. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    I keep an eye on anything out of the ordinary. If you're open carrying, dressed like a cowboy, or carrying a sign about the end of the world. Things that are out of place warrant some attention to assess the situation.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Amen to that.

    I am not a law enforcement officer. My duties, such as they pertain to this hypothetical fellow, entirely begin and end with making sure I (and my family) are not in danger. I don't agree with laws against the bearing of arms (period) and, as I am not in any way sworn to enforce them, I have no inclination to do so.

    Having been one brick wall away from a public (attempted) mass-shooting where the deranged rifleman did manage to kill someone before being disarmed, I understand why folks appearing with rifles where they are not expected can be alarming. However, seeing a rifle being carried does not equal being at any threat from that rifle, or the person carrying it.
     
  14. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    If, in fact, he had perfectly legal intentions, and complied with the officers when they arrived, then all should be fine. However, if they tell him to put his weapon down and he screams "F- YOU PIGS!", it's his own fault, and NOT MINE, that he got shot by the cops.

    There's a difference between someone who demonstrated they were a criminal in the past and someone who is currently breaking the law with a deadly weapon.

    CountryUgly, if carry on a school is illegal, and he's carrying on a school, then he's breaking the law.

    And at that point, the cops are too late.

    Like the OP said, he doesn't have a firearm because he is following the law and not carrying on a school campus. Therefore, the person with the AR, if he is a threat, is going to have the advantage. It is not my place to deal with it, but I will call the cops.

    The right to bear arms is a means to protect ourselves, but arms are also used criminally. To ignore that is to lax on vigilance. If I saw someone carrying illegally, I would call the cops, and let them deal with it.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    No, all will NOT be "fine." If carrying that weapon in that location was against a malum prohibidum law, then he's going to lose his gun, spend time in jail, pay heavy fines, and probably all three.

    Now, that may be acceptable to you, because he broke a law, but I am opposed to such laws, and wish to see no one prosecuted under them. Especially someone who has done nothing overly dangerous or threatening, and who may in fact have no idea that he's violating a law.

    I will not break these laws, myself, but I also will not assist in someone's prosecution for them.

    So, when someone points out that you might ruin this guy's life, they are right. Maybe you feel that's just "tough to be you, buddy!" but I can't quite see it like that.

    Sure. And there's a difference between someone breaking a malum prohibidum law and on that is truly malum in se. Has he harmed anyone? Or committed any evil act? No? Then none of my business.

    You may say that his breaking of a no weapons ordinance is indicative that he might be going to do so, but I challenge that as a spurious assertion. Seeing someone carrying a rifle down the sidewalk on the other side of the street (where it would be presumably legal) is no less, or more, of a threat to me.

    Well...so what? How is this different from any other person you'd see with a firearm outside of a shooting range or hunting field? Aren't they just one small step away from the cops being "too late?"

    This absolutely sounds as though you don't trust people to go armed and are using the legal technicality as an excuse to have them removed and punished.

    IF he is going to be a threat? IF he was going to be a threat, he'd be a threat wherever he was standing with that rifle, whether his presence there was legal or not. You're taking a big step saying that his perhaps unknowing or accidental violation of a malum prohibidum law indicates murderous intent. I'd say the facts known do not warrant any claim to that effect -- not even close!

    I would treat this man the same way I'd treat any other person I met -- especially someone visibly armed. Keep an eye open and go about my business. If my own observations warranted it, I might even give him a big smile and a word of advice about not breaking the law and ending up in the clink.
     
  16. Ringolevio

    Ringolevio Member

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    I have mixed feelings about this hypothetical scenario.

    But I'd just like to say that I remember, in my own lifetime, when a couple of 12-yr. olds walking down the street or even riding the bus with their .22 rifles didn't raise an eyebrow in most American cities and towns.

    There was a long period in our history when the USA was known throughout the world as "a nation of riflemen".
    And I'd like to say how much more peaceable and secure we'd all feel if a significant portion of the citizenry walked around with slung rifles.
     
  17. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    This would be my approach.
     
  18. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "You are in college, and on the way to class you see a man walking down the road "

    On campus? Off campus? Public road or college road? Not enough info. I used to live off campus, so "on the way to class" was mostly on public roads.

    Maybe it's airsoft or something. Who knows. Is he headed away from school? Going to a parking lot or in the direction of a local range?

    I'd probably pull up alongside and ask him if I can tag along if he's going shooting and see what he says. Seriously. Maybe he needs a ride.

    John
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Perhaps the guy you see going somewhere with a visibly slung rifle is not the guy trying to sneak somewhere to do something unpleasant.

    There are some mighty crazy people in the world, but inviting public notice and getting hassled/tackled by cops is not a great plan for making the national news in a bad way.

    I'd be more worried about the guy with a rifle broken down in a gym bag than the one carrying it openly. Maybe, next time you're on campus, you aught to call the cops on anyone with a gym bag.

    :rolleyes:
     
  20. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    No, unless I knew that said road belonged to Hypothetical University. I may observe him for a bit. But I'm also assuming that OC law allowed for this.
     
  21. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Sam, I'm not particularly interested in the law in this case. I carry for self defense. If I am allowed to carry somewhere, and I see someone with a gun, I'm not that concerned unless I see him draw, because I know I have an equal option to defend myself. That's the difference. It's that, in this situation, I don't have a gun, and he does. If that's because I chose at random not to carry, then it's my fault. However, if it is because I was following the law, then yes, I would be afraid.

    Put simply, I wouldn't be calling the cops so that he would be arrested. I'd be calling the cops so that someone with an equalizer is aware of the situation.

    I guess I did miss the part about road...if he's not on campus property, then I wouldn't see an issue. If he was, then I'd personally be worried.
     
  22. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    I have trouble believing there are too many people just walking down the sidewalk with an AR-15 without knowing whether or not that is legal. :uhoh:
     
  23. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    No, I would not call the police. I would probably approach the person and ask if they knew it was illegal to have the gun on campus, or if they knew they were in fact on a campus.

    What if the guy just bought the gun and was taking it home and did not know the campus law or the boundaries of the campus?

    What if he was on his way somewhere to sell the gun?

    Here's why I would not call the police:

    The dude gets a FELONY!!! Just for doing something that should be protected by the 2nd Amendment of the US to begin with. And there are plenty of reasons why he may unintentionally be violating the law.

    Sure, the law says "knowingly" to possess or carry, but I won't put an innocent person in danger of getting a felony conviction for wandering one block in the wrong direction.
     
  24. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    I don't call the cops every time I see someone speeding either. :)
     
  25. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    I am not cop bashing but theres a chance they could arrive yelling and trying to be intimidating and very well could create a situation out of nothing. NOt a shooting but a fishing trip to see what they can catch. And pow crime with a gun = felony charge in NY. Regardless of the crime. Happened to friends nieghbor last week carrying gun into his apartment. Not illegal but boy those LEO's worked him over verbally so I heard fortunatly he was clear.... After being surounded, harassed and lectured.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
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