Saturday, February 28, 2009

Third San Diego Open Carry Meet!

WOW, what a day and so much to tell! The event today was an immeasurable success and quite the learning experience for everyone involved, as not a stone was unturned from the "grassy knoll" at Crystal Pier to Belmont Park (2.75 miles, gir007, not 1.5!) and a ton of people asked questions of either us or the police officers, the latter garnering more of the questions.

Let's start from the beginning. I may get the times and events a little messed up so if anything is askew just let me know, as I love people commenting on these posts with information, small updates, changes, etc. It adds depth and understanding to the posts, especially ones such as this about an event this large.

I woke up this morning at 6:50, did my morning gig, got dressed in my more formal OC attire, packed my guns and booked it for the beach at 7:30. I arrived at around 8:10, got a totally rad parking spot, holstered up, threw away my ID card and headed over to the cul-de-sac in front of the lifeguard tower. Our cool Detective was there in plainclothes with the Captain and two other uniformed police officers and 3 squad cars with more police officers en-route. People began to trickle in as soon as I got there, most notable to my memory being Mulay El Raisuli, Decoligny and Oldtimer. (I wish I could tag the group photo like on Facebook, it would be so nice!)

Eventually, my brother OJ showed up in his truck and I jumped in to help him get a parking spot. We found Enthusiast in the same area we were in (between Ralph's and Nick's) and so while OJ was holstering up we all had a chat. While chatting, the owner/manager of Nick's came out and decided to alienate us...

-Hey, whats with the guns?
-Nothing, we are having an open carry meet
-Do you have permits for this?
-You don't need a permit for open carry.
-I've never heard of anyone doing this
-Well, we have about four cops over there hanging out with us
-No, I trust you, I am just making sure guys with guns aren't hanging out in front of my restaurant, you know what I'm saying?

I wasn't aware that the PUBLIC sidewalk was such a place of contention. Oh Nick's, you were our "Number One" pick in our restaurant guide and you could have had the business of 20 hungry cash-and-gun strapped customers but alas! you alienated us from the start. Oh well, Filippi's Pizza was far more accommodating. If you guys want to change your tune we will be happy to patronize your restaurant!

After that little treasure we headed to the tower where Sam had arrived along with a few other guys and we began filling out name tags, introducing ourselves, applying excessive amounts of sun screen, etc. To be honest I don't remember a bunch of everyone there at this moment because there were so many new faces but what I do know is that the cops weren't trying to exert their authority by executing 12031 checks on us, which I thought was prudent of them in the PR department.

Fast forward to about 11:00, nearly everyone has arrived. Libertarians are passing out pamphlets, grandmothers are packing heat in reverse-laced holsters and a veritable plethora of beautiful women are running around with reckless abandon (My neck hurts from the whiplash ;) ) . There were about 60 of us gathered, chatting with one another and curious citizens and just having a good time. Around 11:20 Sam said that everyone was getting a little restless so we gathered everyone around the great bronze pelican and had a meeting. I thanked everyone for coming, laid down the ground rules, a time and place to regather (the grassy knoll at Crystal Pier at 1PM) and told everyone about Theseus and donating to his cause and Sam passed out his restaurant review writeup to everyone and told people where to go, grammaton76 took photos (videotaped the whole meeting as well) and then we were off!

>>>Just a small insert here... the only 12031 check that was done at this point was Flintlock Tom's. Initially I thought it was because he went over to talk to the officers and they just demanded it but in actuality, Tom was asking what he can expect from an officer interaction and they gave him the run down. I think that just from a PR standpoint with the beachgoers and OCers the lack of an unloaded check en masse was a very good approach to take. While they were hanging out with us we educated a few curious guys (whom we met with again at 1PM) and a few other people passing by. No alarms or ducking for cover, just well-intentioned curiosity. We even had a few law students wearing beach cleanup t-shirts stop by and get interested and I gave them my contact info for getting an OC beach cleanup going. We made a few jokes with them about how people might not litter if we were there, hehehe :)<<<

By this time Sam, gir007, grammaton76 and his posse comitatus came on over and we all decided to go to the bike shop a little ways down (gir007's idea). We met Nomadd and his girlfriend Karen there as well and we were recieved warmy. The salesman that we talked with grew up in London and was a little surprised though not overly concerned with us carrying. He might have gotten a little nervous when I asked if he knew where I could get a rifle scabbard for my bike but that eventually led into a history of the paratrooper bike regiments which he never heard of so he was pretty stoked about that.

After that we began to meander down to the pier area and meet up with some people there. I felt a little bit quenched so I went with Oldtimer and Twitchalot to the corner store to get a drink. On the way there I passed by two cops and I switched on my voice recorder, feeling a 12031 check coming on. A minute later I am stopped from behind by a female officer (apparently a new one) and her male accomplice and the contact went a little something like this...

-Hey, we would like to inspect your weapon.
-Not a problem, are you requesting or demanding to check it?
-(something irrelevant said here)
-Well, are you requesting or demanding?
-We are demanding, yes.
-OK, no problem (I cross my arms, guy pulls my gun out, checks and comments on how nice it is... why, yes, it is a Taurus!)
-OK, thanks for cooperating. May I get your name?
-Am I being charged with a crime?
-No, you are not.
-OK then, see you later.

NOT 10 PACES LATER, another officer that I met that morning said "Thanks, Nate!", GAAGH! To add injury to humor, I looked at my voice recorder and I had accidentally hit "stop" on it when I put it back in my change pocket! DOH! I now know better for next time.

After getting our drinks (and half considering getting my chest rig from the car) we headed out to the pier area again but got a little distracted by something (wasn't shiny or anything but I can't remember it...)

After our 1PM meeting the group kind of split up with some leaving for home and responsibilities and some going down to Belmont Park. I joined the latter group and we had many interesting experiences along the way...

-Guy on the bike (Rob?). Blatant Obama supporter and stated that he felt uncomfortable with our activities. We engaged him in conversation while waiting for Sam and NoHammer to meet up with us but Sam was the one that really got him more to our side. I left before the conversation completed but I think Sam has it all recorded ;)

-Gun supporter guy. Stopped on his bike and told us we were cool. He apparently has a few guns that are legal but he is scared to take them out for fear of backlash, etc. We told him to join Calguns and get involved with one of our shoots and he was genuinely interested in it all. He congratulated us and rode off.

-4 kids at the low-rider gig. Part way Belmont park there is a cul-de-sac with three low-riders doing three-wheeling tricks with their hydraulics and while watching we got asked by four kids about why we were carrying. I explained to them the rules of OC, about machine guns (they wanted machine guns, hehe) and a few other things. One kid was saying how it would be better if guns weren't invented and we got into a discussion on that. I told them to Google my blog for more info.

OK, break in interesting people here. At this point we ended up hanging out near Belmont Park and eating ice cream. Nomadd and I actually carried into the park with no issues as well. A few of us were also waiting for a ride to the cars so we didn't have to walk a "gir007 1.5 mile" (2.75 miles!), those few being Indy, Stephanie, Mike, Enthusiast and Nohammer. Grammaton76, gir007, Karen, Twitchalot and myself all walked all the way back. On the way back, we encountered a few more...

-Guys at a party. We got asked by a few guys at a party very close to the boardwalk about what we were doing and we stopped and engaged them in conversation. One guy, obviously inhaling a little too much of the ganja, had this to impart...

-Dude, why are you carrying a gun?
-Because the police have no obligation to protect our lives.
-Man, you're gonna get arrested.
-Actually, we have two cops following us right now, they are with our group.
-Just be careful man, don't shoot anyone.
-Not unless I have to.

(Imagine the voice of this guy being like a Rastafarian X skater X surfer and his whole face being expressionless)

-I think we encountered one more guy but I can't remember what happened...

Eventually our group got back to the tower where we figured out our next move. Twitchalot apparently has some sort eating disorder (of the ingestive kind, not the expulsive) and needed food (he wanted to go in the van with all the others at Belmont Park but he kinda missed that ride... whoops), I promised him that I would eat with him and Nomadd and Karen wanted to eat as well so we all agreed upon In-n-Out for our calorific desires. Gir007 and grammaton76 had to leave at that point so we parted our ways.

It took a bit to get to In-n-Out as everyone and their mother was driving out of the beach but well worth it. Nomadd and I carried into In-n-Out with only two people even taking notice (they saw Nomadd's magazines, they were sitting weak side), both of whom turned out to be former residents of Utah. We discussed OC, their laws (they even have weird OC laws...) and their ubercool CC on campus and I gave them my blog address to check out as well. (If you are reading this, we think you are totally cool!)

After consuming two Double-Doubles and fries (Twitchalot did two Double-Doubles and two fries, crikey!) and chatting for a bit (Twitchalot left for a bonfire in the interim), I said my goodbye to Nomadd and headed to my brother's place to crash for a little while. I left In-n-Out around 6:20 or so. LOOONG day. My gun was only not in my holster for about 20 minutes the whole day!

PHEW! That's a long writeup! Now, for what we are planning.

1) Beach cleanup. I think we will go with the interested law students as they were cool with us and really were interested.

2) Hillcrest. We won't pursue this option until we get the Pink Pistols or some other advocacy group on our side so make sure things go smoothly.

Now, the Captain wants us to let her know about any OC events that we want to do so she can quell the overly concerned citizenry and prevent slamming the dispatchers. While noble, we as citizens ourselves have the right to peacably assemble without police notification (this isn't Russia!) and we are eventually not going to notify them at all. Grammaton76 pointed out that we should notify them of the next two events to get officers rotated through and in-line with the OC experience but after that, we will not be notifying them of any events. If we are going to get the reform we want, the police have to have their resources continually diverted and the dispatchers slammed.

Sam, gir007 and I will be cooking up some ideas for the next meets to make it more organized and effective, such as spreading out farther on restaurant selections for maximum exposure, etc. We will be keeping everyone posted.

It is now 2:15AM. Time to go to bed.

Thanks to all who attended for such a great event!



Update 3-1-09: Some pictures, more are to come!

Left to right:

1) Whole group photo before we split off (only a few missing)
2) Using my 2nd Amendment to protect my 1st.
3) Waiting for our group to catch up on the boardwalk while going to Belmont Park.
4) Waiting and protesting at waiting :)
5) Grammaton76's motivational poster.
6) Closeup. Photos tell such cool stories.
7) Looking for my brother on the wall of the boardwalk
8) Educating a San Diego citizen about his rights.
9) Sporting all my gear.
10) Sam practicing his citizen arrest skills with our cool Detective.

The first five photos are from Grammaton76 of
The last five are from my friend Stephanie. Her website is here.





Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Discount Gun Mart, 626.9 Stupidity and Albertson's

So I went down to DGM yesterday to apply for a sales position and left feeling a little disappointed. I felt that my love of guns and the 2nd amendment would be best displayed by open carrying my Tracker but apparently, DGM feels that an "unloaded and holstered" gun is more dangerous than and isn't the same as an "unloaded and cased" gun (minor point of contention, come on!) and that the right to carry should be limited to LEOs and CCW permit holders. As such, the guys behind the counter asked me to remove my weapon and seemed to be quite offended over me exercising my rights.

EDITED on 3-2-09: Manager emailed me and has corrected the employee and has informed me that open carrying in their store is A-OK.

In addition, I would like to apologize to both Discount Gun Mart and all my readers for what I feel to be immature behavior on my part, as I acted hastily and with a vengeance unnecessary against DGM by posting up such an inflammatory review without giving the management the chance needed to make amends or inform me of correct policy. For this and scorning a friendly face on the firearms scene I apologize. As such, I have retracted all prior statements and look forward to doing business with DGM in the future.

After that little incident, I headed down to church in Old Town for the Ash Wednesday service. Since I was in a dark and strange area I naturally wanted to carry my weapon (Mak this time, believe it or not) with me but fearing a 626.9 conviction and complimentary sodomizing far more than a mugging I called the SDPD. After 3 minutes the operator on the main line comes online, I ask her about school zones and she said she has no clue and directs me to the Education Police (or something like that, they deal with all the schools). I called that number, wait 2 minutes and I ask the operator (new hire) the same question. By this point I was slightly late for Mass so I locked up my guns and started walking down the hill. I get to the church 3 blocks away and the operator still doesn't know. I mill outside for another 2 min trying to get an answer and FINALLY, there is one school 1 block away but no distances were given.

As one can now see, the frustrations and obstacles that one must surmount in order to be a law-abiding citizen in this state are nearly insurmountable. Not only do the LEGAL AUTHORITIES not have a way to answer questions on potential 626.9 violations in a reliable fashion, they probably can't even tell me distances. If I am supposed to make sure I am not violating 626.9, shouldn't the "authorities" be able to tell me whether or not I am?

This explains why people just CC and shutup about it.

After Mass, I went to my brother's house since I had school in the morning and I didn't want to drive home then back again in 11 hours. I called my sister and we made dinner plans of Mahi Mahi tacos so I walked to the Albertson's a few streets down and carried the Tracker. Nothing special there.

2/3 bad, 1/3 good... I guess the Law of the Averages works in my favor though.



UPDATE 3-1-09: Just emailed a letter DGM about their policies.

Friday, February 20, 2009

WAMU and Chito's

So I took my friend Elmira with me today for running errands and since I had checks to cash I open carried into the main WAMU bank on Centre City Parkway with no issues to be had, not even a question about me being a cop. I was in there for about 10 minutes and I even forgot to bring my voice recorder, quite the dumb thing to forget.

After dropping her off back home, I went to my house and noticed a void in my upper gastrointestinal tract and decided to get some taquitos at Chito's Taco Shop near the mall. While I was waiting for my taquitos I sat outside in front of Slices Pizza and munched upon some hot carrots (Mi favorito, hombre. I wish that that hot carrots were made like french fries, they are AWESOME!) and the owner of Slices Pizza asked me if I was an LEO. I told him that I am a normal citizen and gave him a list of rules, why I can't get a CCW permit, how he can conceal in his place of business, etc. He seemed to be fairly interested and didn't seem too angsty about it.

If you are in the Escondido area, BTW, Slices Pizza makes a great place for pizza and beer (good beer, btw) and the owner of the shop is, in my book, a good man.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and AutoArt

Well, I got into an accident a few weeks back and today, I had to pick up my car, so I decided to open carry while dropping off my rental at Enterprise. I spent about 15 minutes in the store waiting, signing papers and getting all the stuff out of my car and no one said anything about it. One customer looked at me for a bit while standing to my strong side but wasn't visibly alarmed about it. I almost thought the guy behind the counter was calling the cops on me since the change from my payment took longer than normal but it went just fine.

The Enterprise shuttle took me over to Autoart (about 2mi at the most) and the shuttle driver didn't say anything about it, nor did the guys at Autoart.

So 5 places in one day, all blissful.

Express Tire, Donuts and Rite Aid

I followed my sister this morning to drop off her vehicle for an oil change at Express Tire and while there I packed the Tracker. As I walked into the building after holstering (strong-side to the trunk) there was one mechanic that pointed it out but didn't make a fuss.

After arranging for her oil change, my sister and I went over to the donut shop about 30' away (as I always do when in that area) and I picked out a normal sugar glazed donut. No issues there.

My sister and I then talked into Rite-Aid to get some stuff for her and I had no issues there either. Then again, there was literally no one there.

After walking back to the car to go home, we decided to get Mexican food at Pacific Taco (other end of the shopping center) so we walked the whole way there, only to find that they were not open yet. We left jaded and had eggs and potatoes at home.

As usual, uneventful, just how I like it...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

To all the San Diego Deputy Sheriffs accessing my blog...

Don't be shy, drop me an email! I've been trying to get a hold of you guys for a little bit but there are no email addresses listed and the head honchos seem to be incommunicado for the weekend. After hitting my blog 4 times and keeping it open for 10 hours 35 minutes and 22 seconds you MUST have SOME questions or concerns!

Email is



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Del Mar Gun Show, mixed responses

So I went to the Del Mar Gun Show today to buy some ammo, mags and other accessories and while there I open carried my Tracker, sans ammunition so that I didn't commit any felonies while there.

After picking up a nice block of 9x18 Makarov ammo (Miwall bastards didn't tell me there was a $3 charge for using a credit card...), I saw the Cold War Shooters sign and table and decided to pay them a visit. As I approached the table, I noticed that a fellow Calgunner, grammaton76 (crap! don't know your first name!), was working there! After I introduced myself (not a celebrity yet ;) ) we talked about the meeting coming up on the 28th and about the Westfield UTC open carry outing. As it turns out, grammaton76 knows some of the security guys at Westfield UTC had sent them an email via the Westfield UTC comment box on how what we were doing was legal and that there should be no worry. (This explains all the "Westfield Corporation" hits I was receiving shortly aftwerwards :) ) He apologized for not PMing me that tibit of information (forgot to) but I was pretty glad that he sent them that since he has experience with them and I don't!

While we were talking about this topic, I was approached by SD Sheriff R.R. Silva and questioned about my Tracker. Here is how the conversation went (grammaton76, correct me if I am wrong!)

-Excuse me. I know that you are allowed to open carry a gun as long as it is unloaded, but is that unloaded?
-Um, I checked it in at the door and it was cleared so yeah, it is unloaded.
-Well, you could have loaded it after getting into the show
-That would be a felony.
(Sheriff's friend with a little more common sense chimes in) - It is unloaded, there is a ziptag on it.
-OK, have a nice day.

Oh Sheriff Silva, lets look over your thought process, or lack thereof...

1) If I were a person that wanted to carry a gun into a gun show that was loaded, I would probably conceal it and not tell the officers at the door about it.

2) If I were to conceal the gun coming in, why would I expose it while in the show? I didn't even bring a jacket with me and I am using an OWB pancake holster with a decently sized .44mag revolver so there is no way I could have concealed it anyways.

3) Why would there be a GIGANTIC ZIP TIE around the hammer and frame of my gun and a BLUE TAG deeming the gun loaded if it were loaded? It is exposed with NO retention so he could totally see the unloaded indicators.

4) Why harass a guy about his gun maybe being loaded if that guy is talking about doing unloaded open carry?

As one can see, there are several logical hurdles that he had to overcome before he could have even asked the question but he managed to bulldoze (emphasis on "doze") through them in a matter of seconds.

While I understand that cops have a job to do, they put their lives on the line everyday, etc, it still is lame to be confronted as being a criminal when you are obviously doing nothing wrong and there is no real compulsion to engage in yet ANOTHER 12031 unloaded check, especially at a gun show.

PHEW! Well, on with my story.

After buying some .44mag and .44spl, MREs and some Ruger MKII magazines, I had to go to my car to secure the Tracker so I could go back in and pick up the .44mag and spl ammunition (again, trying not to get caught on a felony). On the way out, I stopped by the San Diego County Gun Rights Committee booth to talk with them about, the upcoming open carry meet and other topics of general firearms interest and my stories were well-accepted. I was invited to attend some NRA meeting in the Santee/El Cajon area tonight for a show-and-tell but I declined as I have homework to accomplish (totally sucks, as Chuck Michel is going to be there tonight!). I do hope to attend some of the other functions put on by the San Diego County Gun Rights Committee in the near future.

With that, I am going to email them and get the word about Feb 28th and then bust out some O-Chem. Adios for now and Carry On!



Friday, February 6, 2009

Washington Mutual Check Cash

After picking up my ticket for tomorrow's gun show from a family friend, I headed over to Washington Mutual on W. Valley Parkway (main branch) to cash a paycheck. From the time I holstered my Tracker until the time I was back in the car was about 4.5 minutes and I had no issues. One woman in the back of the bank looked a little leery but nothing else.

Off to O-Chem!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Starbucks, Chili's and TGI Fridays

So after my fairly wretched week and studying for most of Wednesday, I decided to unwind for a little bit by meeting up with Flintlock Tom from for coffee at Starbucks. I got there a little bit early after picking up my Tracker from a friend so while waiting I sat in my car with my gun on the front seat and looking over my organic chemistry notes (anyone up for making gunpowder? :) )

At about 6:55 I holstered my gun and sat in front of Starbucks, searching the waistlines of everyone around to single out Tom. He showed up as planned, he bought us coffee (Thank you, Mr. Flintlock Tom!), sat down and spoke of guns, politics, odd life experiences, etc. for about an hour and a half, most of it in a normal, unhushed tone, like free men should. We were both joking about how the cops might get called since I was sitting strong side to the door but nothing happened, despite the 15 or so people that came in for coffee from the assorted karate and dance studios in the area. All in all, a very nice experience.

Eventually, Tom had to leave to pick up his son from a Bible study and I was about to head home myself when I got the inkling to go see my old workplace (Chili's) and see if anyone was on break in the parking lot to talk with. I ended up talking to one of my coworkers there about certain past events and I was informed that the "manager non grata" wasn't there and that I should come in and say HI. As usual, I holstered my Tracker and was at the bar for about an hour and a half, talking and reading a book (friend there needed help analyzing a particularly painful play) while waiting for everyone to get off work to hang out at TGI Friday's for a bit.

After checking for potential 626.9 violations, I headed over to TGI Friday's in Carmel Mountain and again holstered my Tracker. Heading in the manager was sweeping up the host stand and I went in right to one of the barside tables to sit with my friends. Right after sitting down, the following conversation ensued.

-Hey, are you a cop?
-No, I'm a normal citizen.
-Well, could you please take your gun out of here, like lock it in your car or something?
-OK, not a problem. Is there a sign out front that says no guns or something?
-No, it is just just store policy here in California not to allow guns in the bar.
-Alrighty then.

After I walked out, secured my weapon and came back in, the manager shook my hand and thanked me. The rest of the night was eventless, just how I like it. I will be checking, however, to see if there really is such a policy on the books at TGI Friday's. That should prove interesting.

Well, off to study some O-chem and Genetics. Adios for now!



Monday, February 2, 2009

To all the people reading this blog

Hey everyone, just a PSA that I would like to put out there for you for your own information.

I have posted the SD Open Carry Outing invite on multiple forums to get the word out there and in those forums there seems to be some confusion on laws, most of it from old FUD. All that I ask of you is please PLEASE read some, if not all, of the documents listed in the "Essential Open Carry Documents" sidebar of this blog, most importantly the California Open Carry Flier and the California Open Carry FAQ. If you have any questions that you would like answered, I would be more than happy to answer them for you via email or blog comments.

This event is going to be great and I want to make sure that all those that attend are within the legal boundaries and that everything goes smoothly for all.

This is going to be a fun outing and I am looking forward to a really good turnout!