Man to put gun, debate in open
By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A Northside man suing for the right to carry concealed weapons will strap his handgun on his hip Sept. 28 and lead a group of like-minded gun owners up and down his neighborhood streets.
Vernon Ferrier ishoping his "Gun Walk'' might light a fire under the Ohio Supreme Court in Columbus, where justices have been considering the concealed-carry issue for five months.
"I'd like to kick them off the fence,'' he said. "We haven't heard anything since April.''
He's also trying to make the point, he said, that carrying openly is ridiculous and defeats the goal of being able to surprise a would-be criminal. And while he says he's not trying to taunt the police, he also wants to prove it is legal to carry a weapon openly. Officers, he said, initially told him he couldn't.
"I'd like for that 80-year-old woman walking down the street to be able to have a gun in her purse,'' Ferrier said. "It doesn't work the same if she's got it out where someone can see it.''
Ferrier is part of a group of Cincinnatians that sued every municipality in Hamilton County, the city of Cincinnati, the county and the state in July 2000, charging that the ban on concealed weapons violates their constitutional rights.
Northside is a neighborhood keenly aware of the concealed-carry debate.
In May, resident and citizens-on-patrol member Hal McKinney, shot a man in Junker's Tavern during a robbery. The shooting - and the grand jury's decision not to indict McKinney - drew national attention.
Chuck Klein, another plaintiff in the suit, hadn't heard of Ferrier's plan.
"I don't think anybody can hurry the Supreme Court up,'' he said.
Ferrier, a 62-year-old hairdresser in Hyde Park, notified Cincinnati police of his plan.
"Just as long as they don't break the law,'' said Lt. Kurt Byrd, spokesman for the department.
Ferrier will start at 1 p.m. on Florida Avenue with a safety meeting. He wants to make sure "no one even jaywalks," he said.
"I don't want people showing up with T-shirts that say, like: `Kill 'Em All and Let God Sort 'Em out,' '' he said. "These are responsible people.''
Sounds like a plan...
We should do the same in Cleveland.
The same should be done in every city in Ohio.
Let me start out by saying I am 100% in favor of concealed carry in Ohio. I fully support it, and, like so many other LEO's in the state, fail to understand the stance of the Association of Chiefs of Police, the FOP, and the OSP regarding CCW.
However, the antis are going to eat this up:
The purpose of CCW is not to "surprise" or ambush a would be criminal. CCW adds an element of doubt to the would-be criminal mind. They have to stop and ask themselves "Is this person carrying a gun?".
If they then do decide to attack you, the gun is there for your personal defense. This guy makes it sound like he wants his gun to be hidden so that a bad guy will attack him. In essence, Mr. Ferrier is setting a trap for the criminal, specifically so he can use his gun on the criminal.
He is right here, it doesn't work the same.
When she has the gun out in the open, the criminal bypasses her as a victim and moves on the to the old lady farther down the street without a gun on her hip.
When she is carrying concealed, the criminal has to wonder which old lady on the street might have a gun, and might decide it's just not worth the risk.
The idea to hold a "gun walk" is a good one. However, the reasons Mr. Ferrier gives in the article are just opening a huge can of worms for the antis to use against pro gun advocates.
Open carry is not ridiculous because it lets the bad guys know who is carrying guns. It is ridiculous because there are too many of the "soccer-mom" types out there who freak when the word "gun" is mentioned, much less when they see one.