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Liberty1
03-31-2009, 1:06 PM
http://www.kpbs.org/news/local;id=14243

Growing Movement to Carry Guns Openly is Playing Out in SD

Mar 31, 2009
Amita Sharma


The battle over the right to own guns is turning into a movement to wear them -- openly. And the local campaign is playing out at San Diego beaches, malls and restaurants. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

"Wow look there's three guys with guns and they're not shooting anyone,"

That's the voice of a guy videotaping his friends as they enter Nordstrom at the UTC shopping center near La Jolla. All four college-age people in the video are wearing holsters packed with guns. And it's legal.

"The law is pretty clear on this," says Paul Cooper, attorney for the San Diego Police Department.

"You cannot carry a loaded firearm, either concealed or unconcealed. But you can in fact openly carry an unloaded firearm," Cooper says.

But what's the point of wearing a gun in plain sight if it's only legal to do so when the weapon is unloaded? The question as it turns out, is the answer says John Pierce, co-founder of Open Carry dot org.

"I think the reason is that in many parts of the state, law abiding citizens are completely denied the right to protect themselves and the only option they have is unloaded open carry if they want to exercise the God given right of self-defense," says Pierce.

To drive that point home, up to 60 open carry advocates gathered at Mission Beach last month. San Diego Police Captain Shelley Zimmerman says there were also about 90,000 people on the sand, in the water or on the boardwalk that Saturday.

"They had come to the beach that day because it was a beautiful day and it was. It was very warm," she says. "And they're in their bathing suits and jogging outfits. They were very intimidated. They were shocked. They were concerned. They were angry. Many of them said they had brought their families…their young children here. They never thought they would see individuals carrying guns up and down the boardwalk,," says Zimmerman.

Captain Zimmerman says she told some of the open carry people that day that many, especially children, were frightened by their display.

"The ones that I spoke to said that what they were doing was legal and actually they would see it a lot more because they expect to come back to the beach and they should expect to see it because it's not against the law and maybe they'll be desensitized to it if they see more guns."

For now though, the public isn't used to seeing people walk down the street bearing guns. Critics says there's always a chance that an onlooker - not knowing the weapons are unloaded -- could feel threatened and act against the person carrying the gun putting everyone in danger. It's an argument Open Carry dot org's John Pierce says he doesn't understand.

"Are you then saying that it's also a danger to the public if an African-American person walks through a predominantly white neighborhood and someone is intimidated. That's not a danger it's bigotry. If what the person is doing is legal behavior, the intimidation that another person feels to that person…is not a danger it's a misunderstanding. And that's part of the misunderstanding that we feel open carry helps to dispel," says Pierce.

But Captain Zimmerman says police can't tell whether a gun openly carried is loaded or not.

"No officer is going to assume that that gun is unloaded. Anytime you would get a person with a gun call, man or woman with a gun. It is going to tie up resources. That is not a one-officer call so it is going to tie up multiple police officers," says Zimmerman.

That is exactly what at least one open carry blogger proposed recently. He wrote, "If we are going to get the reform we want, the police have to have their resources continually diverted and the dispatchers slammed."

And there is little police can do about it says lawyer Paul Cooper.

"These are gun activists who have found this provision in the law that allows them to openly carry an unloaded firearm and that seems to be what they're doing," he says.

Mission Beach resident Kat Ohlmann wants the law changed to prohibit gatherings of people openly wearing unloaded guns. She says parents with children are starting to return to the beach now that alcohol has been banned.

"It's great. It's good for our businesses. It's good to have families back on the beach. If you have people in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach carrying guns, they're not going to come back," she says.

Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

yellowfin
03-31-2009, 1:49 PM
Their hoplophobia and hypocrisy sickens me. "If you have people in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach carrying guns, they're not going to come back,"-- sorry lady, but your fear of inanimate objects taken to that level is mental illness. You should either seek therapy or be institutionalized.

Army
03-31-2009, 2:05 PM
The sewage in the ocean should scare people more than a fellow citizen with a gun.

Her logic would keep the Police off the beach too, as their guns are just as "intimidating", "shocking", and "concerning" as any other.

And what of all those Navy SEALs running up and down the Coronado? Their trained to kill will impunity at a moments notice, yet people cheer them on as they run by.

Go figure.

joeyriv
03-31-2009, 2:50 PM
"Captain Zimmerman says she told some of the open carry people that day that many, especially children, were frightened by their display."

Objection your Honor, heresay.
Has anyone ever known children to see a non-threatening firearm and be scared? They're usually like "Cool!" or "Wow", or something like that.

bwiese
03-31-2009, 3:42 PM
And again this shows you why YOU NEVER TALK TO A REPORTER.

I hope people learned some lessons.

MudCamper
03-31-2009, 3:45 PM
And again this shows you why YOU NEVER TALK TO A REPORTER.

I hope people learned some lessons.

This particular reporter is one that everyone avoided. That being said, it's nowhere near as bad as it could have been.

pullnshoot25
03-31-2009, 4:42 PM
And again this shows you why YOU NEVER TALK TO A REPORTER.

I hope people learned some lessons.

+1 to what MudCamper said, this is the reporter we avoided and I warned everyone on OCDO to stand down on.

tube_ee
03-31-2009, 4:53 PM
this is really simple folks the media is in the ranks of the antis. How many of these red diaper, doper baby journalist, ...

Please, when quoting Michale Savage's words, bear in mind Michael Wiener's record of political contributions to Nancy Pelosi.

Michael Savage is a character... the views that "he" expresses on air have little or nothing to do with the actual opinions of the person playing that character.

Unless you think that Sir Lawrence Olivier was also Lawrence of Arabia...

--Shannon

Theseus
03-31-2009, 7:54 PM
Sorry, don't really care if some kids are scared. . . But I don't think they are. I have carried around plenty of kids, even in a Chuck E Cheese and it was the PARENTS that cared, not the kids.

N6ATF
03-31-2009, 10:09 PM
Their hoplophobia and hypocrisy sickens me. "If you have people in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach carrying guns, they're not going to come back,"-- sorry lady, but your fear of inanimate objects taken to that level is mental illness. You should either seek therapy or be institutionalized.

Yep, I guess all those men and women in blue with shields over their hearts carrying guns are scaring away the families too then. "WE MUST ENSURE ONLY CRIMINALS CAN HAVE GUNS AT THE BEACHES FOR MASS MURDER, CHAOS, AND ANARCHY!"

bornInSD
04-01-2009, 12:01 AM
argh, all i remeber from that meeting in PB was like 8 or 9 out of 10 people were happy to learn more. I even walked by capt. zimmerman and she nodded and smiled, as did I. I wonder how out of, or exactly in context were her words taken? we even had a police detective ask us, and this is almost a direct quote "What could we(the police) have done to make this an easier experience for you guys?" I didnt see that in any of the artciles...thats my rant and now I am going to sleep.

gunpower500
04-01-2009, 5:52 AM
If we can have CCW permit, then maybe we wont open carry. :43:

PatriotnMore
04-01-2009, 6:08 AM
"Captain Zimmerman says she told some of the open carry people that day that many, especially children, were frightened by their display."

Objection your Honor, heresay.
Has anyone ever known children to see a non-threatening firearm and be scared? They're usually like "Cool!" or "Wow", or something like that.

I see someone beat me to it. What cowards, they stand behind children to promote their personal beliefs. Hell my children have seen enough bad behavior by cops, and their scared to let them be armed.

yellowfin
04-01-2009, 8:57 AM
It was interesting to hear Savage say yesterday that the 2nd Amendment is useless in defending yourself. That does it for me--he is off my radio.

N6ATF
04-01-2009, 9:38 AM
It's useless as long as it is infringed every which way until Sunday.

Satex
04-01-2009, 12:48 PM
I heard this report on the radio. The worst thing about it was that it ended on the note of "citizen x thinks the law should be changed to prevent people from carrying guns out in the open".
An ending like that is not good for our cause.