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View Diary: Please contact J.C. Penney-tell them nuts armed w/assault weapons in their stores is NOT acceptable! (392 comments)

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  •  What bothers me most about "open carry" (65+ / 0-)

    is that one of the big danger signs that we take for granted is nullified.  

    In your local JCPenney, or grocery store, or out on the neighborhood, or in your local school, if you see someone with a gun, what's your first reaction?  Mine isn't "There's a citizen affirming his second amendment rights!", it's "Holy crap, that dude has a gun!  Is he gonna start shooting?"  My next thought will be to get my wife out of danger, to seek cover, to look for escape routes.  If I'm behind the guy and he doesn't see me, and I have something I can use as a club handy, I'll consider whacking him on the head to protect others.    

    But with Open Carry, we now have choices to make in split seconds.  Is that guy really just harmless?  Or is he about to start shooting?  If he is indeed harmless, did he remember to un-load and check his weapons?  If I saw this guy in JCPenney, and just as I saw him, he reached for his gun to adjust it on its strap, or he reached for his shoulder holster to scratch under it, and I thought he was about to start a massacre, and I clobbered him with a piece of clothing rack or mannequin arm, would I be prosecuted for assault and battery?  Would I be able to claim self-defense?  

    If folks carrying their weapons to McDonald's and Lowe's and state fairs becomes commonplace enough, and we just ignore it, and one of them IS a maniac who is able to get into a great position, say next to that school group there...

    Am I making sense?  Does anyone else think that this makes things horribly complicated?  

    •  Makes sense to me. I think at least in (5+ / 0-)

      states like FL you can only "stand your ground" with a firearm, not a mannikin arm. ;) Which is pretty crazy if you ask me. The only way you can legally register your fear is with a hand gun or rifle of some sort. Of course I could be wrong.

      In scenario to describe my reaction would be the same as yours.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:14:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In open carry states, you see it all the time, so (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax, bruddaone, PavePusher, VClib

      it's not a shock like it would be if you never see it.

      •  Understood. Now think about this... (25+ / 0-)

        I'm in the customer service line behind a fellow wearing a holster.  He's muttering and swearing to himself as he gets up to the counter.  He gets in a heated argument with the customer service rep.  Louder and louder.  He begins saying threatening things.  Then, he reaches for his gun.

        Or is he reaching for his gun?  Maybe he's hot and sweaty.  Maybe he's just adjusting the holster.  Than again, he's really pissed off, and maybe he's going to completely flip and blow away the customer service rep, then turn and shoot me next because he's just lost his job and his wife left him and his world is collapsing.

        Or maybe he's a loving dad of three who works in soup kitchens and he's just having a really bad day because his dog died, and in five minutes he's going to be apologizing to the customer service rep.

        But in that instant where he reaches for the holster... what do I do?  Do I stand there and take the chance that my inaction will lead to the death of a human being, and possibly others, including myself?  Or do I smash him on the head, or kick out his knee, and take the chance that I just committed an assault and battery on an innocent person, with all of the legal and moral implications of that action?

        If people want to carry openly, then they'll have to understand that they may have people like me behind them in line.    

        •  well it's just how it is in open carry states, I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruddaone, PavePusher

          don't see a criminal when I see someone who has a gun legally and went through the training to get that license they have to do so. It they have it openly on their hip or carrying in the manner this man is in the photograph or whatever, it just doesn't incite fear in me....especially when you see it all the time, even elderly women and young moms doing the same thing.

          I am no more fearful of them than if they had a badge on.

          As far as the above scenario you laid out, any law abiding gun owner who open carries should know that to touch a holster in the middle of a heated argument would look to be a threat to anyone and if they get their knees kicked out...oh well....shouldn't have been screaming at a woman in the first place, and shouldn't have touched a holster during an ongoing argument.

          •  How do I know this? (18+ / 0-)
            I don't see a criminal when I see someone who has a gun legally and went through the training to get that license they have to do so.
            How do I know this, if I've never met or talked to the person before?

            I realize that good, responsible gun owners know not to touch their holsters during an argument.  I also know that good, responsible car owners know not to drive drunk.  Yet people do it anyway.  And a whole lot of people packing a whole lot of heat out in public and in public spaces means that someone, somewhere is going to mess up.  I'm not advocating banning anything just because someone else messes up, mind you.  But if gun owners want the right to carry openly, they must also respect the rights of citizens like me to watch them closely and take defensive action if warranted.  

            What really I want to know is, 1.) Do gun owners who openly carry realize that they are putting themselves at risk of being clobbered if they forget themselves for a second?  2.) Is anyone else concerned that normalizing open carry puts the public at greater risk, either from accidental discharges from carelessness or from maniacs taking advantage of the normalcy to get into prime shooting positions?  3.) What about the rights of people like me, who wants to be able to go places with his wife and young cousins without having to keep a paranoid eye out for who's packing and who isn't?  

          •  Are you serious? That much gun carrying happening? (6+ / 0-)

            I live in California where we have strict gun laws, so I can't conceive of what you're describing, Bailey: "even elderly women and young moms" carry guns around JCPenney? Really, how do you identify a public shooter if everyone's carrying?

            Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. Satchel Paige 1906-82

            by threesmommy on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:56:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yep, you see it. A public shooter wouldn't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruddaone, happy camper

              in a store with another carrier in sight...not generally anyway.  They want to be able to commit their crime without being shot dead the moment they brandish their weapon.

              You got to understand that a person set on committing a crime is not likely to have their weapon in plain sight like that.  They are hiding anything that would bring attention to themselves and they are most likely nervous already.

              Just FYI less than 1% of shooting deaths are committed by those who carry, and 49 out of 50 states allow some kind of carry.

            •  Public shooter (0+ / 0-)
              how do you identify a public shooter if everyone's carrying?
              Just shoot everyone with a gun. It'll all get sorted out later...

              +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

              by cybersaur on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:50:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Do you think (7+ / 0-)

            that this describes 100% of the people who would open carry a weapon into a mall store?

            As far as the above scenario you laid out, any law abiding gun owner who open carries should know that to touch a holster in the middle of a heated argument would look to be a threat to anyone and if they get their knees kicked out...oh well....shouldn't have been screaming at a woman in the first place, and shouldn't have touched a holster during an ongoing argument.
            I certainly don't....not by a long shot....

            I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

            by Wayward Wind on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:59:55 PM PST

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          •  You must live in the state with all of the... (9+ / 0-)

            ..."good guys with a gun". That's some sixth sense you have to tell the good guys carrying from the bad. A virtual "Triple G-dar".

            ego sum ergo ego eram

            by glb3 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:29:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Is he a black guy? (0+ / 0-)

          If so, you're in the clear.

    •  It's terrorizing, intimidating (16+ / 0-)

      and taunting,  people with their power to kill you. Make my day sucker. If he's violent enough to flaunt his big ass unloaded gun I don't think he bat an eye about clubbing you to death as he's protecting himself. I sure have heard from the gun rights activists here ad nasuem that even a mannequins arm is a lethal weapon.  

    •  Here's yet another scenario to think about (7+ / 0-)

      Just the other day, I was with my wife in public.  Not a crowded place, not many people around, but public.  She and I were teasing each other.  She made a humphing sound, and if you didn't know what was going on, you might have thought she was angry at me.  I then picked her up and spun her around, and she shrieked.  I put her down and she kind of elbowed me, and we both laughed.  

      Now, let's say that we did the exact same thing on a day when we happened to be near a person carrying a gun, openly and legally, for self-protection.  Let's say she's a single woman who was the victim of a violent assault, and that she got her gun to protect herself and her young child from another such assault.  She's smart and capable, but does not have police training.  Let's say she hears my wife's "angry" voice and comes around the corner, just as I pick her up and she begins shrieking.  The gun owner draws her weapon and yells at me to freeze.  I drop my wife in astonishment, and I stumble, and it looks like I'm lunging.  She shoots me dead.  

      She thought she was protecting an innocent woman.  She thought she was helping.  But she just killed an innocent person, and will have to live with the legal and moral implications of that forever.

      If she wasn't packing, but had, say, mace and a cell phone, the outcome is different.  She brandishes the mace, yells at me to desist, and has her phone up, ready to call for help.  I put my wife down, stumble, and tensions flare, but we can then explain what's happening and that there's no harm being done.  No one dies.  No one gets hurt.  

      In an open carry society, how many innocents will die in misunderstandings, compared to people actually saved by "good guys with guns"?

      •  That's extravagant.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper, PavePusher

        Unless you are striking her, or have a weapon and using it against her, there's no reason to shoot you....her life is not in danger...

        And if someone did shoot you for what you described they should be imprisoned

        •  And I'm just as dead (9+ / 0-)

          Extravagant?  Sure.  So was supposing that a guy would wander into a school and shoot a bunch of little kids.  And plenty of cops have shot dead people carrying water pistols, or people in wheelchairs brandishing mechanical pencils.  Now multiply that by the NRA dream of thousands and thousands of citizens without police training openly carrying, and those "extravagant" mistakes and misunderstandings will multiply.

          •  Cops have shot unarmed people, handcuffed (3+ / 0-)

            in the back of a police car...they screw up all the time....not really a apples to apples comparision.

            Thousands and Thousands of people have openly carried for years in this country...and those things haven't happened, why would they all of a sudden start happening now...

            Even in the Giffords case, if I remember 4 armed people on the scene, none of the mfired their weapon....why because they weren't sure what was happening....the vast majority would take the same approach on your extravagant scenario...

            •  What a beautiful world it will be! (8+ / 0-)

              Your open carry society inhabitants will always know just what to do, better than the cops, and will be perfect judges of each and every situation.  

              People carrying around machines designed for the sole purpose of killing others will never make poor judgments.  None of them will ever be drunk, or lose control, or have a really bad day and decide to take it out on someone, or be self-important yahoos with a Batman complex.  

              None of them will ever have a Trayvon moment, because the Zimmerman trial has changed everything forever and we have abandoned all of our prejudices.  

              No one who draws a weapon in a stressful situation will ever get bumped, or hear a loud noise, or have an itchy trigger finger.  

              No one will carry grudges or misinterpret something, or run into a foreigner who doesn't understand the meaning of "freeze".  

              There will be no accidental discharges, dropped or misplaced weapons, and no criminals or children will ever get their hands on any weapons being carried everywhere.

              We are all perfectly safe, and nothing will happen.  Putting even more guns out there will also not alter the odds in the least of anything I said happening.  

              You're right.  That is not extravagant at all.  
                   

              •  No one has said that.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher

                People carry weapons to defend themselves...not go around being cowboys, especially if you have a permit or have to obtain one...why take the chance of losing your permit on a situation you don't have 100% clarity on....the ability to protect myself is far more important then saving your wife from you....I'd rather me do nothing and her lose her life, then me lose my permit to defend myself, by making a mistaken assesment...because my life is far more important to me  then hers....

                Accidents happen, accidental deaths happens....no matter how far you restrict or ban guns it's still going to happen....

                •  It's all in the dice, buster (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  concernedamerican, cybersaur
                  Accidents happen, accidental deaths happens....no matter how far you restrict or ban guns it's still going to happen....
                  And the more guns you put out there as more paranoia is injected into society, the more likely something bad will happen with a gun. Keep rolling the dice more often, someone's number is more likely to be rolled. Three more guns were put into the Lanza household in Newtown and we saw what resulted from that, didn't we? No guns in that household, 20 first-graders and 7 school employees would still be alive.

                  There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

                  by OHeyeO on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:34:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You don't know that.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PavePusher

                    speculative hyperbole...

                    •  I'd place that wager (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cybersaur

                      Three more guns were put into the Lanza household in Newtown and we saw what resulted from that, didn't we? No guns in that household, 20 first-graders and 7 school employees would still be alive.

                      No more speculative hyperbole than more guns = safer society.

                      There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

                      by OHeyeO on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:29:31 PM PST

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                •  People carry to give themselves false courage (0+ / 0-)

                  nothing more.

                •  What/who are you defending yourself from? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cybersaur, lurkyloo

                  Do you live in a war zone?  A high crime area?  I'm not being sarcastic.  I'd also like to know what threats do you feel a gun is required to respond to.  Also, how many actual threats have you ever faced personally.

                  I spent most of my life living in Boston and New York City.  I've never owned a gun and never will.  I've never once had a situation where I even considered that a gun would have made me safer or made any difference at all.  I have many friends who have lived their entire lives in NYC or Boston and have never experienced any situation where they would want a gun or decided later that having a gun was necessary.

                  The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

                  by Back In Blue on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:55:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Great...you live where there is no crime. A lot (0+ / 0-)

                    of us are not so fortunate.

                      A lot of us live in crime infected areas.  A lot of us live where drugs, crime and gangs are rampant. A lot of us live in rural areas and need guns for protection because there may be one lone sheriff for 100 sq miles.  A lot of us are past victims of crime, or abused women who are now free of their abuser (my case). A lot of us are past rape victims or past assault victims or victims of a stalker. Some of us, have been robbed, or car jacked or mugged or watched a family member hurt, maimed or killed because they couldn't defend themselves.

                    Just because you have never felt the need to carry protection, nor "anyone you have ever met" has felt the need.....regardless, it is your own personal bubble....a fraction of a speck on a map in this country.

                      There are over 300 million people in this country, of all different colors, cultures and experiences and from all walks of life and neighborhoods.  Please don't presume to know which constitutional right best fits each and every one of us, just because your own world is so free of tragedy or incident.  You don't know everyone's needs nor could possibly know.  Feel blessed that you have always, always felt safe.

                    •  I do not presume anything. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bailey2001

                      "Thanks" for granting me the same courtesy.  I'm also not ignorant of the vast differences in every respect of life throughout this massive country.  I've traveled this country extensively as a young starving musician. Slept on a lot of floors, often in questionable situations in neighborhoods you have to sleep with one eye open.  I've been in many dangerous situations as a result of having to deal with a lot of unscrupulous people involved behind the scenes at clubs and concert venues across the country.

                      As the father of two daughters, I have great empathy and concern for the safety of women, something I never gave much thought before they were born.  I am so sorry to hear that you were abused.  Protection from abusers, especially of women is one area where this country's laws, enforcement, and ignorance is astounding and is something I have been actively working on in my community and within my state.  Getting legislation passed has been very difficult and it all comes back to attitudes and ignorance, and frankly, the insecurity of men.  

                      I asked bruddaone what his situation was because I hear so many claim self-defense as their reason when they literally have no need.  (He hasn't responded, yet.) The stats simply don't support it as justification for the vast majority of people.  Especially when there truly are those who have a legitimate self-defense need, like you.

                      It saddens me dearly to think that in this country, you feel you have no way to resolve your situation (of which I'm speculating based on your comments and my experience—not assuming) without a gun.  

                      It also saddens me that the mere idea of a country without guns is simply inconceivable to the majority of people here.  The US is so far out ahead of other "similar" countries in gun violence, and has it's head so far in the sand about why or even trying to find out why.  

                      I hope and continue to work to change that.  

                      The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

                      by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:12:34 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I am glad you work within your community to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Back In Blue

                        bring about positive change and I respect that.

                        Having a gun is a need of mine but, for myself and 300 million others in this country...it is our also our 2nd right under the Constitution , and I value it because of that status.  The idea of a country without guns is so inconceivable because it is our right...not just a need and they are useful in many different ways...but it is a right,  and has been our right since the Bill of Rights was created.  I feel the way I do about it and give it as much thought and importance as I do my freedom to speak or choose my religion or to vote.  It is that important to me.  

                        I think it is hard for people who want to live in a country free of guns, and who think it should be an easy task for people just to lay them down and forget we ever had that right, to understand that aspect of the debate.

                        I would love to live in a country that was totally free of the need to ever have a gun....but Utopia doesn't exist and never will.  Thus, the wisdom of our Founding Fathers to give us a right most citizens in most countries, past or present, have never been granted.  It is, indeed, a part of our freedom.

                        That feeling of importance for a right granted, for those of us who support gun rights, is lost in the debate at times, but it shouldn't be.

                         People have died in protests, bombs set and detonated, cities burned...yet you will not hear a call to end protests because it is our right to speak out.  I, personally, would argue that my right to carry a sign and protest my government, or a business or whatever is as much as as important as my right to keep and bear arms.

                      •  BTW, I'm most happy we are having a good (0+ / 0-)

                        convetsation.

                        The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

                        by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:10:45 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  You clearly lack empathy (0+ / 0-)
                  People carry weapons to defend themselves...not go around being cowboys
                  Have you asked all the dead people killed by guns about this?
                  No? Why not?
                  Oh that's right right-- you can't because they're DEAD! Because they were killed by some fucking gun nuts!

                  +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

                  by cybersaur on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:56:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Hell (0+ / 0-)

                None of them will even run away just the same as everyone else when shit goes down, thus making all the negatives of carrying openly useless, because they are just that special.

                Forgive me, I'm pissed off today.  Pulled a muscle in my back, grr.

            •  Maybe, just maybe, because times have changed. (0+ / 0-)
              Thousands and Thousands of people have openly carried for years in this country...and those things haven't happened, why would they all of a sudden start happening now...
              We have fewer and fewer people who have served in the military as veterans of WWII and/or Vietnam pass on. Guns are easier to purchase on a whim and without a background check. The nation is more desensitized to violence and death than before. More and more shooting video games are being marketed and played, with targets being people rather than a graphic PacMan or Space Invader. Movies glamorize blowing away people and huge explosions while lacking more of the philosophical lessons like the old science fiction movies made us think about. Everyone is a superhero or a terrorist. The media provides way too much publicity for the shooter, running endless loops showing a mug shot or past photo with the shooters name underneath. Cable opinion channels disguised as news demonize whole classes of minorities and foreign peoples instead of the few miscreants causing the trouble. And people are more harried and stressed in their everyday lives.

              That's why, in my humble opinion.

              There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

              by OHeyeO on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:23:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  yup, anything is possible and this (3+ / 0-)

        scenario could easily play out.

        I am sorry that it is so hard to convince others that allowing guns to be toated around like handbags and umbrellas is just inappropriate.

        I will never get used to it.

        And, I shouldn't have to.

      •  Stop living in fear. (0+ / 0-)

        You can hypothetical all the invented scenarios you want.

        Or you can cite to real-world occurances that match your fevered imaginations.

    •  Good point (4+ / 0-)

      Several years ago a woman wearing fatigues and carrying an assault weapon walked into a local mall and killed three people and wounded seven others.  It was the day before Halloween and people thought she was in costume before they realized she was actually killing people.

      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please -- Mark Twain

      by OnePingOnly on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:14:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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