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Liberty1
01-11-2010, 8:43 PM
http://www.insidebayarea.com/columns/ci_14166927

A fair article...:cool2:

Barnidge: 'Open carry' ignites a discussion about gun rights
By Tom Barnidge

Contra Costa Times columnist
Posted: 01/11/2010 01:59:00 PM PST
Updated: 01/11/2010 05:29:55 PM PST


IF YOU WATCH westerns, you know that every story line eventually wanders into the local watering hole, where the townsfolk quench their thirsts and engage in animated conversation, handguns hanging from their belts.

You expect this scene in movies. You don't expect it at the Panama Red Coffee Co. in Livermore. The place doesn't even have a faro table, never mind dance-hall girls and spittoons.

That's where more than a dozen gun owners assembled eight days ago, holstered weapons in plain sight, in celebration of the freedom to carry unconcealed handguns. "Open carry" is how they describe it.

Important fact No. 1: All the guns were unloaded. That's California's only restriction on open carry in incorporated areas. No. 2: The participants wisely alerted police of their plans.

Neither step forestalled strong public reaction.

A Times online forum began buzzing instantly, gun-rights and gun-control advocates squaring off. Three dozen visitors posted more than 90 comments. Let's peek in ...

"This sounds like some people who never quite grew up, still playing with their guns, puffing up their underdeveloped egos."

"These people are exercising a right that our founding fathers died for."

"What is the point? Is it just to show off in a childish display of masculinity?"

"I am happy to see some intelligent citizens wearing guns for a change."

The debate rages on. So we sought the dispassionate opinion of an acknowledged authority.

"By all reports they were acting within the law," said Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf, "but I'm not exactly sure what their intentions are. I don't know where they hope to get with that."

Here's one aspect of the debate that may surprise. Open carry is hardly a new issue, and it's widely accepted throughout the U.S. That's open carry with a loaded weapon.

Go ahead, put your heart back in your chest.

According to opencarry.org, an online gun-rights community with 25,000 members, only seven states deny the right to walk the streets with a handgun on your belt New York, Illinois, South Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma and, brace yourself, Texas.

Fourteen states require a permit, but 28 do not. Holster up, slap in a clip, you're ready to go.

"Most states have very liberal carry rules," said Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of opencarry.org. "that's where California is odd man out."

Stollenwerk, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, believes that guns in the right hands curtail crime. (The NRA agrees, citing University of Chicago professor John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime.")

Law enforcement's view? Rupf supports the right to own firearms but not a gun on every belt.

More guns in pressure situations, he said, "will lead to increasingly violent results."

So what comes next, a return to frontier days? Maybe we're already there.

"More people carry guns in America than you might think," Stollenwerk said. "Our country is a sea of gun freedom." (An NRA spokesperson said there are at least 5 million handgun permit holders.)

One question: Why?

"I carry a gun for self-defense," Stollenwerk said, "and I've found that open carry has the upside of helping to normalize gun ownership. I don't get much reaction from people anymore."

Maybe that's what the Livermore demonstrators seek. Either that or they're just puffing up their underdeveloped egos.

Contact Tom Barnidge at tbarnidge@bayareanewsgroup.com

CitaDeL
01-11-2010, 9:12 PM
Good information and pretty balanced.

Rupf was offset by the revelation that only seven states prohibit open carry and that many of them do not require a permit. If the introduction of firearms into any given situation automatically increases the likelihood of violence, how is it that those 28 states havent sucumbed to the bloodshed that he alleges would ensue?

Rupf is just not interested in adjusting to lawfully armed people. Police in 28 other states have- why shouldnt he?

JDoe
01-11-2010, 9:14 PM
Except for setting up more people to violate the 626.9 zones I like the article.

It puts open carry in the category of no big deal. Hey it is done all over the U.S. (with exceptions noted) and loaded as well.

I just hope that anyone that wants to try UOC does all their homework before they walk out the door with their handgun holstered.

dfletcher
01-11-2010, 9:20 PM
I think alot of the typical responses of male ego could be diminished if a woman went to the nect UOC event.

CitaDeL
01-11-2010, 9:28 PM
I think alot of the typical responses of male ego could be diminished if a woman went to the next UOC event.

Agreed,... if the next event were being held in June.

The diversity of the groups must expand beyond the white male cadre. In order to justify the state of being armed, at least some of those armed at these events should by all means, be the least able to defend themselves in the event of a violent attack... ideally women, and handicapped- particularly those who are wheelchair bound. Brown skin doesnt hurt, but again, we are talking about those who are least able to thwart aggression.

vandal
01-11-2010, 9:48 PM
They ask RUPF of all people! That's irony for you. The way he controls the CCW issuance in the whole county, he should have disqualified himself from comment!

Theseus
01-12-2010, 9:05 AM
Yeah, not bad, but I didn't like the authors tone, and especially the last sentence. . . So if they don't want what Mike wants they must be inflating their egos?

Roadrunner
01-12-2010, 9:29 AM
The articles okay. Obviously Rupf doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

sierratangofoxtrotunion
01-12-2010, 10:03 AM
Rupf was offset by the revelation that only seven states prohibit open carry and that many of them do not require a permit. If the introduction of firearms into any given situation automatically increases the likelihood of violence, how is it that those 28 states havent sucumbed to the bloodshed that he alleges would ensue?

I agree. Rupf is on the wrong side of guns, gun control, CCW issuance, and on and on. The article seemed about as fair as I could imagine seeing in the CC Times.

Flyin Brian
01-12-2010, 1:09 PM
Seems kind of strange to me, the article is in CoCo times, and they are interviewing the CoCo Sheriff about an event that took place in Alameda County?

wildhawker
01-12-2010, 1:19 PM
Seems kind of strange to me, the article is in CoCo times, and they are interviewing the CoCo Sheriff about an event that took place in Alameda County?

It's a story, and the UOC group in Livermore are heading to Walnut Creek (CC Co.) soon.

spddrcr
01-12-2010, 2:01 PM
it really surprises me that no one else has said it but rupf is only interested in one thing and thats making more money for rupf. it goes way beyond ccw issuance, he is here for one thing and that is to make money for coco county and himself no matter what the cause and effect are.

on a side note i wouldnt be anywhere near the event in WC as i cant see anything good coming out of it and quite a lot of bad.