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Posted: 3/11/2010 2:20:04 AM EDT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/03/armed_and_ready_to_shop.html




Other customers stare as Nik Clark and Kim Garny do their weekly shop at a large upscale supermarket. It's hardy a surprise as a TV camera is trailing behind their trolley. But people would do a double-take even if the BBC weren't in tow. In some ways Nick wants them to look.


There's a revolver amid the ravioli, an automatic among the avocados.


Like cowboys out of Westerns, the couple carry handguns on holsters on their hips. She has a Smith and Wesson .38 special with a cute pink grip that makes it look almost like a toy. He has a rather more chunky Glock.




<nick is="" the="" chairman="" of="">Wisconsin Open Carry. Groups like this have been springing up all over the States in the last year and they've been making an impact in the last week or so, getting Starbucks in California to agree people should be allowed into their coffee shops carrying guns. The groups are made up of people who want to make a point about the Second Amendment right in the Constitution to bear arms, by bearing them openly. Some want to make a point and test whether or not private firms like shops and restaurants recognise that right.</nick>


The movement is slightly different in the state of Wisconsin where concealed guns are banned. Nick says wearing a gun in a visible holster is the only way he can carry a weapon legally and he wants others to be aware of their rights: he doesn't want to confront but to convert.


"You have a right to self defence and open carry is a great deterrent. It's about personal protection," he says.


He's a beefy guy, with bulging muscles, so I ask: Isn't he rather intimidating when he's armed as well?


"I've been open carrying for about a year and most people don't notice, or some might make a comment. It's a demonstration I am a law-abiding citizen, you have nothing to hide. Criminals never open carry."


He says that his group respects property rights and if a shop doesn't want their custom and they are asked to leave they are happy to do so: they don't want to patronise that business. But he says most big companies know the law and have a policy that allows them to shop armed.


Kim says for her it is all about self protection: "I can guarantee if I am going to my car late at night and someone sees me carrying a gun they won't make me a victim."



But Nick says he is also making a point: "I want people to see me and have a level of comfort, to know that if they are out walking their dog it is OK to carry a gun, if they are walking to their car after work it is legal to carry a firearm."


When Obama was elected many gun enthusiasts expected the tightening of laws. Many of those in favour of controls expected Obama to increase regulation. As a senator he had always been in favour of restrictions on guns. But it seems thing are rather going the other way. Last year a ban on carrying concealed weapons in national parks was lifted. In Virginia politicians are likely to change the law and allow people to buy more than one hand gun a month. The supreme court is pondering whether to declare the 28-year ban on handguns in Chicago unconstitutional. They will take months before coming to a decision but observers who've watched the case carefully believe they will rule against the ban, with huge implications all around the states. In Wisconsin, Open Carry is taking legal action against the rule that bans handguns within a quarter of a mile of schools. The supreme court judgement could have a bearing on that.


Still, when I meet around 30 people from Wisconsin Open Carry over lunch at a big restaurant there is a feeling that their rights need protecting. There are grandparents and mums and little children, and all the adults are armed.


Most tell me that this is mainly about protection but what they refer to as civil rights comes a close second A couple of people tell me for them say it is the other way around: the politics comes first. One man, whose name I don't catch, says he doesn't feel very threatened in suburban Wisconsin but it is about resisting the encroachment of the last two administrations, it's about not giving in to big government.


Matt Slavic, sitting next to his little granddaughter, observes that outside the United Nations is a sculpture of a gun, its barrel twisted in a knot. "The Second Amendment gives teeth to the rest of the constitution, it keeps tyranny at bay. I do feel it is under threat, not just from within the USA but from the UN - their small arms treaty would restrict hand gun ownership in the United States."


Several people tell me the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, underpins the first, freedom of speech. One of those eating with a gun at their side, John Laimon, goes further: "It's not about guns, it's about civil rights. It's growing because of the plain fear about inadequate politicians. They cut down guns but they've got bodyguards. Our rights are under fire."




Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:24:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2010 2:25:28 AM EDT by DRhodes]

Open carry is awesome.




That being said:



This is going to get all sorts of awesome in a few hours.






The anti OC'rs, the pro guys, the CA guys who carry but are bashed, etc.












I am so in on this.

 
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:26:32 AM EDT
Good for 'em!!!

Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:28:16 AM EDT
Stupid Brit media. No one "convinced" Starbucks of anything. They simply said, "we're not going to take sides and whatever the local law is will be our store policy".
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:29:15 AM EDT
Dude appears to have 3 guns on him...




Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:29:50 AM EDT
"Open carry can only set us back!"~Various Arfcomer's
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:34:01 AM EDT
I applaud their effort but, I don't have the time and finances to allow me to be the test subject.   I would like it if it became more of the norm to open carry though.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:36:32 AM EDT



Originally Posted By madmathew:


I applaud their effort but, I don't have the time and finances to allow me to be the test subject.



People OC in MI all the time.



 
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 2:37:33 AM EDT
Open carry , concealed carry, it should all be legal, anywhere, anytime.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 3:20:27 AM EDT
I had some concern about the OC movement at first, but I've always supported their right to OC and it seems to be gathering positive momentum.  Non-gunners seem less freaked out about it then I expected.

I'm going to have to credit the BBC with a fairly reasonable article on this, for once.  The toy gun and cowboy comments were cheap shots, but otherwise it was fair, practically supportive.  Looks like they actually had to bow to reality for this one.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 3:47:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
I had some concern about the OC movement at first, but I've always supported their right to OC and it seems to be gathering positive momentum.  Non-gunners seem less freaked out about it then I expected.

I'm going to have to credit the BBC with a fairly reasonable article on this, for once.  The toy gun and cowboy comments were cheap shots, but otherwise it was fair, practically supportive.  Looks like they actually had to bow to reality for this one.


I can tell you from personal experience that non-gunners are not freaked out because they rarely even notice.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:02:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By glock27bill:
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
I had some concern about the OC movement at first, but I've always supported their right to OC and it seems to be gathering positive momentum.  Non-gunners seem less freaked out about it then I expected.

I'm going to have to credit the BBC with a fairly reasonable article on this, for once.  The toy gun and cowboy comments were cheap shots, but otherwise it was fair, practically supportive.  Looks like they actually had to bow to reality for this one.


I can tell you from personal experience that non-gunners are not freaked out because they rarely even notice.


This. People have so much shit on their belts anymore that a gun gets lost in the clutter.

And I'm amazed that a BBC article wasn't breathless and aghast at the concept of open carry.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:12:09 AM EDT
Just page 1?

Hmm, guess it's early yet.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:28:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gravity_Tester:
Originally Posted By glock27bill:
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
I had some concern about the OC movement at first, but I've always supported their right to OC and it seems to be gathering positive momentum.  Non-gunners seem less freaked out about it then I expected.

I'm going to have to credit the BBC with a fairly reasonable article on this, for once.  The toy gun and cowboy comments were cheap shots, but otherwise it was fair, practically supportive.  Looks like they actually had to bow to reality for this one.


I can tell you from personal experience that non-gunners are not freaked out because they rarely even notice.


This. People have so much shit on their belts anymore that a gun gets lost in the clutter.

And I'm amazed that a BBC article wasn't breathless and aghast at the concept of open carry.



Anybody that sees that guy carrying is just going to assume he's a cop.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:29:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By madmathew:
I applaud their effort but, I don't have the time and finances to allow me to be the test subject.   I would like it if it became more of the norm to open carry though.


My thoughts exactly.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:34:24 AM EDT



Originally Posted By t-money:



Originally Posted By Gravity_Tester:


Originally Posted By glock27bill:


Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:

I had some concern about the OC movement at first, but I've always supported their right to OC and it seems to be gathering positive momentum.  Non-gunners seem less freaked out about it then I expected.



I'm going to have to credit the BBC with a fairly reasonable article on this, for once.  The toy gun and cowboy comments were cheap shots, but otherwise it was fair, practically supportive.  Looks like they actually had to bow to reality for this one.




I can tell you from personal experience that non-gunners are not freaked out because they rarely even notice.




This. People have so much shit on their belts anymore that a gun gets lost in the clutter.



And I'm amazed that a BBC article wasn't breathless and aghast at the concept of open carry.






Anybody that sees that guy carrying is just going to assume he's a cop.


That was the first thought that crossed my mind when I scanned the pictures before reading the article.



 
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:35:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gravity_Tester:


And I'm amazed that a BBC article wasn't breathless and aghast at the concept of open carry.


I was actually thinking about this the other day. Canada is looking at repealing the long gun registration, Finnland has had a few horrible shootings and thier politicians responded by saying further gun laws probably wouldn't have stopped the shootings, now we are getting reasonable reporting out of the BBC. Perhaps citizens of these Countries see what we have done in this Country with the NRA and numerous other pro-gun political groups and are starting to fight back.

Ten years ago I would have never expected the BBC to be remotely reasonable about open carry in the US.

Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:39:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By robplumm:
Dude appears to have 3 guns on him...



LOL, I wouldn't mess with him even if he weren't carrying.  

Link Posted: 3/11/2010 4:40:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By vaughn4380:
Originally Posted By madmathew:
I applaud their effort but, I don't have the time and finances to allow me to be the test subject.   I would like it if it became more of the norm to open carry though.


My thoughts exactly.


+2  Tactically, I like the idea of concealed carry, but it would be nice to not feel like some sort of freak if I open carried...it would simplify things, especially in the summer...yes, I know it's my right; I just don't want to make the sheep upset...
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:05:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By XMM:
Originally Posted By robplumm:
Dude appears to have 3 guns on him...



LOL, I wouldn't mess with him even if he weren't carrying.  





That motherfucker has legs hanging off his upper body
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:09:33 AM EDT
What is a good OC holster for a G19?
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:15:16 AM EDT
Damn I don't think that guy needs to carry a gun, he already got two attached to his torso.
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:18:40 AM EDT
Good for them.  OC is not my thing, but I'm glad these folks do it.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:18:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By glock27bill:
Originally Posted By Mal_means_bad:
I had some concern about the OC movement at first, but I've always supported their right to OC and it seems to be gathering positive momentum.  Non-gunners seem less freaked out about it then I expected.

I'm going to have to credit the BBC with a fairly reasonable article on this, for once.  The toy gun and cowboy comments were cheap shots, but otherwise it was fair, practically supportive.  Looks like they actually had to bow to reality for this one.


I can tell you from personal experience that non-gunners are not freaked out because they rarely even notice.


Yup. I don't OC often, but I've done it occasionally - once or twice to the grocery store with a full-size USGI M1911A1 in a USGI brown leather holster. Nobody noticed.

-Mark
Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:20:58 AM EDT
Like cowboys out of Westerns, the couple carry handguns on holsters on their hips.





Fuckin' Brits always have to pull that shit.  I'd rather be like a cowboy, that be a fucking subject-victim.  


Link Posted: 3/11/2010 5:25:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2010 5:29:02 AM EDT by Texkaw]


Like cowboys out of Westerns, the couple carry handguns on holsters on their hips.



European libtard media can't stand the fact  that we still have freedom.


They are like errant children, confined in a flat, watching other kids play outside through a window.
But they have done it to themselves and the neurosis gets stonrger every day.
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