What better way to restart posting on this blog than an with an angry post.
This video has been making the rounds on social media and blogs:
I am appalled that some pro-gun folks are actually siding with the cops here.
I’m sorry, the cops were wrong in this case. I would have no problem with the cop questioning the guy with the long gun about whether or not, in his opinion, his actions are hurting or helping the right to keep and bear arms if he was out of uniform, without his badge, while off duty. I’ve had conversations with off duty cops on these very things. The carriers were doing nothing illegal and should not be subjected to intimidation over a fricken’ opinion, particularly with a cop standing at the fricken’ ready position with her gun drawn. I guess we can be grateful that she didn’t have it pointed at his head. It was the cops who were guilty of egregious behavior, not those peaceable, armed citizens.
UNC, like most universities today, is a cesspool of ‘progressivism’. When its School of Government expresses a legal opinion on state laws, city councilmen and county commissioners stand up and listen. The UNC SOG’s opinion has been quite helpful in convincing municipal governments here in NC to repeal their illegal bans on guns throughout their municipal parks. Jeff Welty is the usual contact for these types of opinions. He just put up a post called “How Should the Police Respond to a Report of a Man with a Gun?” and brought up this particular case as an example. His opinion is that it was not appropriate for the officers to unholster their weapons. In fact, he even opines that the detention, where the officer simply pontificates on his opinion of Second Amendment activism long after it was clear that no crime had been committed was inappropriate.
Read this embedded link to the PA Chiefs of Police Association bulletin on dealing with open carriers. Oh, if only all police departments followed its advice. This would have been a non-event. As it should have been.
I don’t know Mr. Welty’s politics. But when a typically ‘progressive’ institution agrees that a defacto detainment of an open carrier was unjustified, I suggest we step aside and accept the reprieve from official harassment. Heck, we may even be able to use these items (both Welty’s article and the PA CoPA bulletin) to encourage other police departments to follow suit.
Here’s the money quote from the PA CoPA bulletin:
Recognize that the open carrier may be an activist looking to entrap you into a constitutional confrontation. Don’t take the bait! Keep your views on open carry to yourself. Otherwise, you are inviting an escalation, and doing so unnecessarily. On the other side of the coin, beyond the decorum associated and expected of a professional police officer, you are not obligated to listen to a speech from an open carry advocate, or to answer a pre-planned series of questions on your understanding of the law. Again, absent any aggravating circumstances (e.g., terroristic threats, being spit upon, being pushed, etc.) give them a nod and wish them a good day. [Emphasis mine.]
Granted, I think the PA CoPA has the wrong idea about (most) open carry activists. We’re not looking to entrap you. All we want is to be left alone. I don’t really care that they’ve got that wrong, though, because they are still admonishing their officers to do just that: leave us alone when we indicate that we don’t want a confrontation with you. Most activists are demonstrating and educating others that a handgun in a holster or a properly slung rifle is nothing to fear. The average criminal doesn’t keep his handgun in a proper holster. The average mass murderer doesn’t have his rifle slung, but rather is likely to be carrying at the ready. There’s a huge difference, and cops, in particular, should be able to distinguish that difference with five seconds of remote observation. And the lecturing cop was dead wrong about the average concealed handgun licensee: unlike him, we don’t automatically assume that someone carrying a slung rifle is a bad guy. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Stay Dangerous, My Friends.