Friday, May 23, 2014

You Mean Polite Signs Don't Work?

 From May 22, 2014

A Durham, North Carolina restaurant with a sign on its front door reading, "No Weapons, No Concealed Firearms," was robbed at gunpoint on May 19. published a photograph of the sign on May 21, making "The Pit" restaurant a self-declared gun free zone--the same kind of zone Michael Bloomberg and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America pressure other restaurants into becoming.

According to Durham's ABC 11, around 9 PM "three men wearing hoodies entered the restaurant through the back doors with pistols, and forced several staff members to lie on the floor." The armed men "also assaulted two employees during the crime."
I could have sworn armed robbers obey such signs.  Isn't it in their code of honor, or their labor union contract?

The open carry stunts like the one that caused Chipotle's to request people not carry guns into their restaurants are really, really stupid.  To be blunt, if someone carried an AR-15 into a restaurant with the muzzle down, my first question would be, "Is this a lunatic about to go on a rampage?  Or is it a stupid open carry stunt?"  If the former, having to sit and evaluate the circumstances and behavior is likely to lead to some sort of tragic consequences.

I don't think open carry is a spectacularly wise strategy, at least in urban settings, but I spoke at a meeting of this evening, and there was not a long gun apparent.  A number of people had handguns openly carried in holsters, and my guess is that most of the other patrons of the Fuddrucker's either did not notice, or perhaps assumed that these were off-duty police.  There was no panic -- or even apparent notice.  But then again, Americans are used to seeing people (usually police) carrying handguns.  Rifles in urban settings, no, and AR-15s?  Oh boy.

I understand the reasoning behind the open carry strategy: desensitize people to the presence of guns so that they do not automatically associate guns with crime.  But desensitization involves slow, subtle steps.  As an example, introduce one gay character into a television series.  A couple of years later, another one, and then another.  That's part of how the under 35 generation bought into the whole "gay is just fine" thing.  (Of course, none of the characters are like those in the movie Cruising.  The BBC series Downton Abbey must have scored a first by having an evil gay character.)

Of course, it did not help that much of the under 35 generation grew up in homes where Jesus Christ and the sanctity of marriage was preached, until the day that Mom or Dad filed divorce papers.  Showing up in a restaurant with an AR-15 effectively in a patrol position is rather like the anal sex on top of floats in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade in the 1980s and 1990s.  You wonder what might have happened to the gay rights movement if most of America had seen video of what was happening.  I dare say that it would not have "desensitized" most Americans.


  1. I have long thought that open carry is rude, because of the anxieties it rightly creates in people.

    Back when concealed carry was not possible in AZ, I used to openly carry when out in the wilderness with my daughter. I really didn't like to do it, exactly because I felt it was at least a little bit alarming to people. Of course, in AZ in those days, open carry - especially in the boonies, was not rare.

    Now that concealed carry is easy (no permit required), it seems like there are fewer people carrying openly - at least in town. That's good.

  2. "I understand the reasoning behind the open carry strategy: desensitize people to the presence of guns so that they do not automatically associate guns with crime. But desensitization involves slow, subtle steps"

    Exactly. The OC advocates running around now are a pack of morons and should compare themselves to the ones who did it about 8 years ago in Virginia. They were MUCH more low-key about it, and they were OCing handguns mostly, anyway. (Of course, in Texas, you can't OC handguns at all, which is why the people here are OCing long guns. But I think it'd make more sense for pushing for legal handgun OC first, and then quietly carrying THEM around.

  3. You Mean Polite Signs Don't Work...

    The criminals came in through the back doors. Maybe they didn't have their no guns sign on those doors or maybe if the sign was less polite. I'm sure their strategy will work after all the kinks are worked out of it. After all if they keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, they would be crazy (or stupid).

  4. Sure they work!

    How else are the bad guys to know that it is a safe Free Fire Zone?

  5. "I don't think open carry is a spectacularly wise strategy, at least in urban settings,"

    I've been reading alot of early state court cases involving firearms
    and concealed carry. It's funny that nowadays open carry is frowned upon because it might upset or disturb people. But in any of the early state cases where they recognized the second or a state amendment for self defense, they frowned upon concealed carry because they felt like it lead to fighting or as Judge Collier stated in Reid vs State- "But a law which is intended merely to promote personal security, and to put down lawless aggression and violence, and to that end inhibits the wearing of certain weapons, in such a manner as is calculated to exert an unhappy influence upon the moral feelings of the wearer, by making him less regardful of the personal security of others, does not come in collision with the constitution." And nowadays we encouraged not to carry a gun, or any other implement to defend ourselves openly, because we might frighten people. So now concealed carry has become the new darling of self defense. I wonder if someday this will switch back to the former where concealed carry was considered inappropriate.