I must say, I sometimes get to meet some really weird people. Here is my story.
So last night I attended and gave a lecture at the San Diego County Gun Rights Committee meeting, held at the Denny's on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. As some of my frequent readers may know, I was asked a while ago to give a presentation on this subject to this committee but it was postponed last month due to some logistical issues.
In attendance at this meeting were several patriotic groups, among them the San Diego Minutemen, the 2nd Amendment Sisters, various NRA members and a San Diego Sheriff's candidate, Bruce Ruff, not to mention some CGN/OCDO members, namely KylaGWolf, The Nomadd, NoHammer, Macadelic4 and Flintlock Tom.
After socializing for about an hour and getting everyone into the meeting the auxillary groups gave their introductions and calls for support (Minutemen, Ruff, maybe one other) and then it became my turn to take the floor. This is where things begin to get interesting.
In my presentation, I gave a general run down of what open carry is, what it is about, legal rights, etc. It was not even three minutes into the presentation when I began to get questions and I didn't stop answering questions for at least an hour, if not more (time flies when you're having fun.) Here are some of them that I answered (Can't remember them all and the following are in no particular order)
1) What is the purpose?
2) What do you hope to accomplish?
3) Can I carry ammo and the gun in the same container?
4) How do I lock up my gun in a car/truck/van?
5) What is loaded?
6) What have you been doing to get the word out there?
7) Handgun vs. Long gun carry?
8) Are shoulder rigs/IWB holsters OK?
9) What problems have you had?
10) How many times have the cops come up to you?
11) Can you carry into a bar?
12) Where can't you carry?
13) How do people generally respond?
14) Do you carry a bug?
15) Do you have a PC list?
16) How do I travel on an airline with a gun? (We had an ex-TSA agent there, pretty funny)
True to form, there was one dissenter in the group that stated that if you open carry you have a 50/50 chance of getting shot and "that is a fact." We ended up arguing that point for about four minutes and it ended when Flintlock Tom stated about the ongoing bet over on OCDO (or some other site) about this very issue and when another gentlemen said that this discussion was not about tactics but about the rights we can exercise.
Throughout this whole discussion/Q&A session I answered case law, told some of my stories, imparted a few (minute) details of my latest OC detainment (it will be posted soon, I promise!), other misconceptions, etc.
After I gave my spiel, Flintlock Tom went up and handed out fliers and imparted some words of wisdom about knowing the law and whatnot and then I got called up again to answer more questions. This continued for a little while longer and NOW is where the fun begins...
It was at this point in time that someone asked Ruff about something to do with OC and CCW policies and Ruff proceeded to go off on open carry, all in an effort to highlight his "pro-2nd amendment/pro-CCW" stance and make his political spiel again. Here are some of the comments that he made...
1) If he saw someone openly carrying a firearm, he would be completely justified in "doing them" and without question.
2) That "gang bangers" open carry and it makes it confusing for police officers to know who is the threat and who isn't. Oh yeah, gang bangers open carry all the time.
3) That openly carrying a firearm is ground for a Terry stop.
4) He can search someone based on a phone call.
5) When I challenged with case law about his erroneous statements, he stated that he "Didn't care about the law" (Oh yes, he went there)
6) People who OC are elevating the level of police confrontation.
7) People who OC are diverting or drawing LEOs from "real crime"
8) Open carry is just going to cause more crime because the Mexican gangs are just going to start using automatic weapons to clear houses and kidnap people (this one is priceless, more on this in a minute)
9) That if we really want to make a difference that we should get behind a politician that knows the score so that we can get our CCW permits.
Basically, Bruce Ruff is advocating that you submit to a taxed privilege instead of exercising your Constitutional rights because it makes everyone feel better.
Throughout this entire spiel I asked him some of the usual questions about LEOs in other states not having as hard of a time with the Constitution as people do here but he would not allow me to reason on those grounds (but he did make a comparison to Mexico? Wait until you guys hear the audio that I got of this, it is f****** priceless!) . He also declined to answer any of my other 4th Amendment challenges (also recorded.)
In the end, he ended up pissing off quite a few gun owners. I personally was getting a little hot under the collar but refused to lose my cool. NoHammer, KylaGWolf and The Nomadd were fairly instrumental in aiding me with the arguments that I had.
When the time came for me to exit, I walked out with Macadelic4, roomie Victor and NoHammer.
After shooting the breeze a bit by my car with another attendee (a Sicilian, nonetheless :) ), NoHammer made haste towards his homestead and Macadelic4, Victor and I headed over to the Cotixan taco shop for a late night bite to eat (It is about 9:45 by this time, I got to Denny's at 6:00 and spoke for at least 2 hours). As usual, I packed the Tracker and left the Benelli in the trunk. As usual, we had no real issues (well, some of the kids in the joint happened to be from a UCSD Christian club and got nervous when they overheard me talking to Mac and Victor about some of the stuff that Ruff told everyone about "doing people" but no real damage done)
PHEW! This blog post isn't even HALF as deep as I would like it to be but I think it will be better with the audio. When I can get to a computer that allows me to transfer my audio files I will post said audio up for you guys to ruminate over.
For now though, a little salmon and cleansing the fridge. Adios for now!
ETA: According to some statements by some that lingered afterwards, Ruff was apparently telling some individuals that the reason open carry got banned was "because of the Wild West" and he was also stating that taking and disabling a voice recorder is a justifiable police action. More on that in due time.