Open Carrying of Guns Should Be Banned in California --Support AB 144


Posted on 11 April 2011

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By Dr. Dallas M. Stout
CA Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Open Carriers expose their children to the dangerous practice.

--On March 20, 2011, in Baltimore, MD, a 4-year-old boy shot himself in the face and later died from his injuries. Authorities are trying to figure out... how the boy was able to get access to the weapon...

--On February 14, 2011, in Cherokee County, LA, a 2-year-old boy used a stool to retrieve a gun case in the home, opened the case to remove the small caliber semi- automatic gun that had a round chambered and fully loaded magazine, and shot himself in the upper right chest.

--On January 20, 2011, in Pittsburgh, PA, 5-year-old Gavin Thompson climbed onto a chair near his parents' bedroom closet and grabbed his part-time police officer father's duty weapon and accidently shot himself in the head.

Sadly, there are thousands of similar news stories easily found on the Internet. Many accidental shootings happen in the home where children try to emulate the behavior they've observed of family members, or at a neighbor's house where they are playing and find a gun.

A Gun in a Home/Restaurant/Park is a Risk to Your Family

Members of the California Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence know all too well the tragic results of an accidental shooting. Many have lost their own children under these circumstances. The Brady Campaign goes to great lengths to educate the public about the dangers of having a gun in the home, where studies show the gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide or unintentional shooting than to kill in self-defense.

But still accidents happen because children are naturally curious and adults are often careless. We live in a country obsessed with a gun culture. There is big money in this. The gun manufacturing industry, and its lobbying arm the NRA, aggressively market guns for children and teens with false assurances that they can be trained to use them safely. In a 2008 Supreme Court ruling, it was reaffirmed that parents have a constitutional right to own guns in their homes and expose their children to them as they see fit. Some parents do this responsibly, and as the news articles testify, some don't.

But what about parents who don't want their children exposed to the gun culture? They monitor TV programs for violence. They discourage playing with toy weapons. They teach their children conflict management with words and not weapons. They ask about the safety of the homes where their children play. They live in fear of getting a call that their child's school is on "lockdown" because another student brought a gun.

Now we parents have a new worry. What effect does the sight of people openly carrying guns have on our children? Will the presence of unknown, untrained, and unaccountable individuals increase the likelihood of a shootout? Do the large quantities of semi-automatic weapons and live ammunition assembled in one location increase the likelihood of an accident?

An Armed Society is a "Paranoid" Society

Over the last two years, gun rights extremists in California have decided to test an old law -- which allows the open carry of semi-automatic weapons with live ammunition magazines readily available -- by holding gun gatherings in local restaurants and on public property. They seek to normalize the carrying of firearms by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The risk associated with having a gun in the home has now been extended to all of us at the park, the beach, in a restaurant or bar, the grocery store, and/or even at church.   

Knowing that the general public disapproves, open carriers often stage their gatherings as some kind of "community service" activity such as a beach cleanup or Toys for Tots drive. Often over 100 people attend and bring that many and more semi-automatic weapons along with live ammunition.  The "community" would be much better "served" if they left their guns and ammo home.

In reaction to criticism from citizens and law enforcement, open carry groups such as the Responsible Citizens of California (RCC) and South Bay Open Carry (SBOC) have responded with paranoid claims of their rights being taken away. In a decidedly irresponsible and immature manner, they have lashed out with inflammatory rhetoric and graphics to depict anyone who disagrees with them as the enemy. RCC labels our members as "Brady Terrorists," and SBOC has gone so far as to put a WANTED poster on their website featuring Assembly Member Portantino's picture. Portantino is the author of AB 144, which will ban open carry.

The NRA is very adept at using paranoia to promote its agenda of dismantling our state and federal gun laws. The gun manufacturing industry is very adept at using fear to sell guns. These messages resonate with paranoid people. No doubt there are reasonable, law-abiding citizens who would like to open carry. But how are the rest of us supposed to know who is a reasonable person and who is a Jared Lee Loughner. Let’s not forget that Loughner was technically a law-abiding, open carrying Arizona citizen who was fully defended by the gun rights folks right up until he shot 19 people.  It’s amazing how quickly the “any gun, any time, any place” folks will go from “he’s one of us, he’s one of us, he has the right to own a gun, he’s exercising his 2nd Amendment rights” to “he’s not one of us, he doesn’t represent us, and he’s a deranged loner that probably shouldn’t have had a gun” when something goes horribly wrong.  

Provocative Conduct, Dangerous Consequences

While open carriers argue that they are just "exercising their rights," the open carrying of firearms intimidates the public, wastes law enforcement resources, and creates opportunities for injury and death due to the accidental or intentional use of firearms.

Open carrying poses particular challenges for law enforcement officers who must respond to 911 calls from concerned citizens about people carrying guns in public, and determine if the guns are loaded. Officers cannot run background checks on the individuals to see if they are indeed, "law-abiding citizens" as claimed.  

Open carrying does not require a permit, unlike carrying a concealed firearm, for which the applicant must demonstrate responsibility and a need to their respective county sheriff. Open carriers are essentially unknown, untrained, and unaccountable to anyone.

Claims that open carrying is needed for self-defense are not supported by research. Even when a gun is used in self-defense, which is rare, research shows that it is no more likely to reduce a person's chance of being injured during a crime than various other forms of protective action. Instead of improving safety, open carrying needlessly increases the likelihood that everyday interpersonal conflicts will turn into deadly shootouts.

The 2nd Amendment does not confer a right to openly carry a firearm in public. Because open carrying does not impact an individual's right to self-defense in the home -- the core of the Second Amendment as interpreted in District of Columbia v. Heller -- and because there are significant public safety reasons to justify prohibiting this dangerous activity, a ban on open carrying would not conflict with the Second Amendment.

Support a Ban on Open Carry

Earlier this year, Assembly Member Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) introduced AB 144, which will make it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded handgun in a public place. The California Police Chiefs Association, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, along with the California Brady Campaign Chapters and other gun violence prevention groups strongly urge its passage by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 12th.

But we and others aren't waiting for the bill to become law. To counter the open carry activities and keep our communities safe, the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence launched a Demand Gun-free Dining -- California project, which calls on all restaurants and businesses throughout the state to adopt gun-free policies to protect patrons and employees. To educate the public, CA Brady Campaign members are picketing restaurants where the gun gatherings take place. These protests let the community know about the dangerous dining environment created when unknown, untrained, unaccountable individuals bring lethal weapons into a restaurant or bar.

On April 6th, the Los Angeles City Council asked city lawyers to review a proposed ban on the open carry of handguns on city property -- from offices to parks and harbors. We encourage other cities to follow suit. It is absurd that in most public places and in all restaurants in California you cannot light up a cigarette because it has been determined a threat to public health. However, it is perfectly ok to take a lethal weapon along with live ammunition that can kill large numbers of people in a matter of seconds into your local park and coffee shop. Let's put ideology aside and do the sensible thing to keep our families safe -- ban open carry in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dr. Dallas Stout is President of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

It's hard to take Dr. Stout seriously, since he appears to not be connected to reality. His ludicrous statement that "even when a gun is used in self-defense, which is rare, research shows that it is no more likely to reduce a person's chance of being injured during a crime than various other forms of protective action." - IS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY WRONG.

It's not me saying it - in fact - it's the CDC - see: Paper: "Estimating intruder-related firearm retrievals in U.S. households, 1994." By Robin M. Ikeda and others. Violence and Victims, Winter 1997. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9591354

Guns are used AT LEAST 1/2 MILLION TIMES PER YEAR TO PROTECT PEOPLE. And these stats are from the Centers For Disease Control. . .

If he's wrong on something so basic - how can you believe anything else that he says? Think about it. Would someone who lies to you about "one thing" tell you the truth about "anything else?"

It's just common sense, and in my own personal opinion - Mr. Stout is simply a liar, and nothing more. . .

Kevin L. Thomason

What about the part of the Supreme Court's ruling that says the second amendment guarantees the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation? You don't liket the ruling so you lie about it?

How can you tell when an opponent of Open Carry is lying?

It's simple, his lips are moving.

Fortunately, we already have two favorable rulings in the 9th Circuit affirming our right to openly carry firearms. The US Constitution trumps state and local laws when a Federal issue is involved, like the 2nd Amendment.

Legally speaking, it will be a simple matter to obtain an injunction against AB 144 when it passes but that will require someone to bring the lawsuit in Federal Court.

Despite what they say in public, the NRA/CRPA/SAF/CCRKBA all have lawsuits to make California a "shall-issue" state. They believe that a ban on the Open Carry of handguns improves their chances in court and yet their lawyers cannot point to a single US Supreme Court case where the High Court has accepted an "inverse overbreadth" argument which is the theory they have based their cases upon.

Open Carry advocates need to organize, pool their pennies and bring their own Federal Civil Rights lawsuit to overturn California's restrictions on Loaded Open Carry.

None of the above listed groups are going to do it for us.

I would like for Dr. Stout to explain why Washington DC had twenty seven times more murders last year than El Paso, Texas. I also would like Dr. Stout to explain why Chicago had a population adjusted rate of murder nineteen times higher than El Paso's in 2010.

According to the Brady Campaign Scorecard, California is the state with the most gun laws (and they want more). Please, Dr. Stout, explain why the state with the most gun laws has a murder rate over 400% higher than the state with the LEAST gun control??

By the way, Dr. Stout, Washington DC is smaller than El Paso.

And I am..... E. Zach Lee-Wright

Why is it that they continue to keep us who live in California from having the right and the ability to defend ourselves. The criminals and thugs are heavily armed...while we, the law abiding individuals are sitting ducks. I agree with you 100% on the numbers comparing Texas to states with heavy gun laws. If we can carry a gun, it makes a criminal or potential criminal think before they use a gun as they know that they could be the one that gets hurt or killed. We need to gain back our 2nd amendment rights!

I'm probably he last one that would ever...ever want to use a gun on anyone..ever. But, if something happens where my life or my wife's life is at stake, I will do what I can to neutralize the situation...hopefully not killing anybody. That's the mind set of all of us law abiding citizens. Thank you E. Zach Lee-Wright for all you are doing.

People need to realize that banning open carry WILL NOT lower crime rates at all.
How can they believe it will. Crimes being committed are obviously illegal. Crimes being committed with guns are usually being committed with stolen or illegally purchased guns. What do crimes being committed with illegal guns have to do with people openly carrying legal guns? Nothing! The only reason I can find for them wanting to ban open carry is because police officers don't want to check all the people carrying legally. If I was a cop I wouldn't want to either. It can probably be a little nerve racking but that comes with the job. These people wanting to pass the ban are probably that live in a "nice neighborhood". They would have noon need to open carry to deter a crime or criminals. But people like me who have no choice to.live in a "low income" or "bad neighborhood " north Richmond, who physically see crimes being committed on a daily basis. Crimes range from drug sales, prostitution, home invasions, drive by shootings, walk by shooting and an extreme amount of gang activities. I'm affraid to walk my dogs in my neighborhood, in fear of wearing the wrong color in the wrong part of town. I wont mind and will totally comply with police officers when they need to check my weapon if I ever openly carried. It would make me feel better f they did. Pepperspray can stop one person yes. But when you have multiple people assaulting you because you were wearing the wrong color pants or shirt, pepperspray, taser, stun gun even a knife would not be able to save you. Its rediculous they would ever consider taking away the right for people to protect themselves. I hope and pray this letter or blog or whatever you call it

He was an absolutely BRILLIANT man!! I would have loved to have had an opportunity to keep learning from him.

buy youtube view

If you really believe that guns should not be carried outside the home without government permission, then lets do the same to the first. Try limiting you to only being able to speak your mind in your own home or only when you are in possession of an elusive government issued permit. After all, your ideas could be dangerous and could scare people.

Oh, and stop using the Brady Bunch stats. Those come from a flawed study by a guy named "Kellerman" You are better off looking into the study done by "Dr. Gary Kleck" and you will find that guns are used DEFENSIBLY 2.5 MILLION times per year in this country. That is about 7,000 times a day that someone avoids becoming a victim.

Guns SAVE Lives!

Dr. Stout worries "But what about parents who don't want their children exposed to the gun culture?" Well what about parents who don't want their children exposed to gay, lesbian, or bisexual culture, or even heterosexual culture? Should they demand a law to limit displays of affection to the home? And what about police? Doesn't the open carry of weapons by police expose children to "the gun culture?"

Kids need to learn how to live in the real world - which includes guns. Get over it, Dr. Stout.

I agree with "Chris". Liberals want to eliminate all risk. They are living in a fantasy world. There really are people out there who place NO VALUE on your life and who will kill you for the $20 bill you have in your wallet. You are responsible for your own protection. A 30-year-old Washington, D.C., court case explicity said that police do not have a responsibility to protect you as an individual. Reality is hard, but as Chris says, you need to deal with reality, not fantasize about a world without guns...

P.S. I find it interesting that most of the commenters on anti-gun forums (or fora) are pro-gunners.

People Unloaded Open Carry to bring attention to our corrupt 'May Issue' California Concealed Weapons Policies. How is it that Sean Penn, despite a record of assault and domestic violence, can get a CCW permit issued by a corrupt Police Chief when average Californians cannot? Every single UOC proponent would gladly ditch the open carry movement if they could obtain a concealed weapons permit.
You call Unloaded Open Carriers paranoid. Yet, you are the one frightened of a fellow taxpayer who is expressing his/her rights in a peaceable and orderly manner!
One of your fellow 'Doctors', I think his name was Freud, had something to say about fear of weapons and sexuality. Since you can't seem to be bothered with actual research, maybe you could research that!

What a left wing Waco! I carry large amount of cash to the bank and I don’t care what the law says I will continue to carry a gun for protection. Are the police going to escort me to the bank? As the world gets more wicked are we going to need more or less protection? Does this law apply to criminals? This just goes to show you that all the education in the world doesn’t replace common sense.

Whether you like or dislike guns...

Why do these people keep working to disarm the VICTIMS???

The criminals already have guns and other weapons. They choose the time and place as well.

If gun people want to own/use/carry guns... let them.

The people that don't need them don't have to carry/own them.

I know 2 women that have been raped and were really angry that they had to wait 10 days to get one when they decided to do so.

The elderly, disabled, and even smaller framed of our society are unable to match the youth, speed, and strength of most criminals. What happens when there is a group? Should a woman simply "give him what he's asking for" when it's a rapist? Or should an elderly or disabled person simply "give him what he wants" when the crime is murder?

By working so hard to disarm the law abiding citizens... you make them easier prey for the violent criminals of this state.

Unloaded Open Carry is a stupid idea. Taking that away from the victims is even stupider.

Whether you like or dislike guns...

Why do these people keep working to disarm the VICTIMS???

The criminals already have guns and other weapons. They choose the time and place as well.

If gun people want to own/use/carry guns... let them.

The people that don't need them don't have to carry/own them.

I know 2 women that have been raped and were really angry that they had to wait 10 days to get one when they decided to do so.

The elderly, disabled, and even smaller framed of our society are unable to match the youth, speed, and strength of most criminals. What happens when there is a group? Should a woman simply "give him what he's asking for" when it's a rapist? Or should an elderly or disabled person simply "give him what he wants" when the crime is murder?

By working so hard to disarm the law abiding citizens... you make them easier prey for the violent criminals of this state.

Unloaded Open Carry is a stupid idea. Taking that away from the victims is even stupider.

The Better Business Bureau finds that the Brady Center fails six of twenty catagories for charitable accountability. As a member of the Brady Campaign I wish Dr. Stout would look into this shady side and maybe work to change the BBB's perception that maybe they are in it for reasons other than 'saving the children'.

Wow. This article sucks.

Apparently this guy has no clue about responsible gun owners. Most gun owners have had more training than your average police officer. We want to be prepared for a fight but we dont go looking for one. He doesn't realize that any one of us would put our lives on the line in defense of his. Again Mr. Stout, you and your Brady Campaign, anti-freedom, anti-self defense extremeist cohorts are attacking the wrong people. You have ABSOLUTELY NOTHINNG to fear from us LAW ABIDING citizens. Why don't you spend more time catching and keeping criminals, who you SHOULD be fearing, off the street, and less time trying to criminalize those of us who want nothing more than to protect ourselves and our family and friends anywhere we go

"In reaction to criticism from citizens and law enforcement, open carry groups such as the Responsible Citizens of California (RCC) and South Bay Open Carry (SBOC) have responded with paranoid claims of their rights being taken away."

"Support a Ban on Open Carry"

It seems the writer is one of a few things from the statements quoted above:

1. Very forgetful. Perhaps the writer forgot the opinion piece was about taking away people's rights when the first quote was written and that proposals have been made in Californian legislature to do such.

2. Illiterate. Perhaps the writer can not understand that "the right to keep and bear arms" includes bearing arms or in more modern words carrying a firearm.

3. Very good at fascist doublespeak. Most likely the writer will hope that readers will not notice he has said two things that can not go together in the same article: "responded with paranoid claims" and "Support a Ban on Open Carry".

Stout sez: The NRA is very adept at using paranoia to promote its agenda

Jack replies: this is so sweet coming from the author who opened his article with a totally unverified "fact" that the gunowners in the homes where these tragedies occurred were actually "open carriers". As far as we know he lied through his teeth.

Also... paranoia runs really deep with Stout when he has to use the concept that .0001 percent of homes with guns have a accident shooting with a child. There are 380,000,000 guns in America. Tragically about 50 children are accidentally shot each year. That means that 379,999,950 guns harmed no children. Yet Stout, in HIS paranoia, wants to be the master of all who own guns and decide what "rules" they need.

While the incidents noted at the beginning of the article are tragic, they have NOTHING to do with the content the article: Open Carry. Do some relevant research to back your claims Dr. Stout.

Based on the number & type of responses here, it looks like you really touched a nerve. Great job Doctor Stout, keep it up!

Have the courtesy to state your full name. For all we know, you could be the author of this drivel.

This is a basic flat earth type person. You can give her all the evidence in the world showing that guns are useful, life saving, and productive and give graphic detail about how the gun-haters have to use willfully deceitful statistics to alarm people and she still wouldn't believe.

I think she would have much more credibility if she came on with her next post and pledged to ask the 911 operator to have the cops leave their guns at the stationhouse when they are coming over to investigate that 3:00 AM window-breaking noise she heard downstairs.

It's 3AM, and three armed men are kicking in your front door. This happens ALL THE TIME (google "home invasion"). The police are 5 minutes away (best case scenario). What would a *sane person* rather have in his or her possession?

1) A phone

2) A legally owned defensive firearm

People who pick #1 are simply not rational.

This scenario is even more "right/true" in public. Say you are at a public rest stop on I5 and a group of meth addicts decides that they want to seriously hurt you. Ask yourself how quickly you can use a cell phone to get the CHP to your exact location? IF you can do it in 15 seconds, you may live. But you can't - period.

If badgering and annoying people with differing points of view is the ultimate goal then kudos to Dr. Dallas Stout and (a very immature), Mary M. If having a rational, fact based discussion on a serious topic is the goal, ... the two of you are out of your element.

Your lying

A quick review of Calguns forums will reveal that there is a significant number of law abiding gun owners in this great State (well more than half) that do NOT support the opinions or behaviors of these open carriers.

Sadly, these open carry advocates do more harm than good every time they show up packing their unloaded weapons because they reinforce the public's view that many gun owners are paranoid wackos.

I find it odd that the Brady spokesman is whining about the open carry movement when the Los Angeles Brady Campaign has a history of trying to intimidate the restaurants where the SBOC group meets and yet can not be bothered to show up to counterprotest, I also get a kick out of the Brady Bunch showing up at a Toys for Tots event and not even being classy enough to donate a cheap toy.

Unloaded Open Carry is a political statement. The ultimate goal is 'Shall Issue' with the burden placed on the public officials to show good cause for denial.
Calguns position is that a right to carry an unloaded firearm in the open is not much of a right at all. They have their eyes on something bigger down the road.

I have a suspicion that most of the impetus for the open carry movement would go away if California was shall issue CCW or Constitutional Carry--but the Bradys oppose ALL forms of carruy

Dr. Stout-

While any incidences of gun violence are tragic I cannot in good conscience or common sense agree with your opinions regarding gun control.

I think that we CAN all agree that while the misuse and/or negligent storage of firearms is inherently dangerous it is no more so than the misuse and/or negligent storage of a vehicle, power tools, swimming pool, drugs, or any other potentially harmful product or activity. Furthermore, a multidude of laws are already in effect which clearly outline the proper and legal use and storage of firearms and additional laws will accomplish absolutely nothing to abolish misuse or negligence.

I am the parent of two small children and I would be absolutely devastated, as any parent would be, if either were injured or killed by one of my firearms. As such, I take my responsibility to protect them from and then educate them about firearms very seriously.

History has proven time and again that ignorance and fear are no substitution for aducation and understanding.

Firearms are but tools and when used properly, ethically, and legally they are a very effective deterent and resolution to crimes against innocent people whether inside of the home or out in public and pose very little actual danger to anyone when not purposefully intended to.

The responsibility of safety clearly lies within the owner of the said firearm, vehicle, tool, et al to obtain any necessary education and training and to protect him/herself and others from any negligent acts. The failure to do so should be met with appropriate punishment.

Therefore, to blame the gun itself as the source of all evil and demand new legislation to remove this "evil" from all law abiding citizens is foolhardy to say the least and only serves to embolden criminals, who by definition do not obey the law in the first place. Perhaps we should also demand the removal of every car and truck from our roadways as they are responsible for tens if not hundreds of thousands more deaths annually than firearms.

The simple fact is that there are over 300 million legal (and most certainly countless illegal) firearms in the United States, and no laws, no matter how draconian or unconstitutional, will have any affect on the illegal or negligent use of firearms.

Your assertion (or consolation) that the 2nd Ammendment affords me the right to self defense solely within the confines of my own home is ridiculous!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

This iconic phrase from The Declaration of Independence is quite clear and makes no limitations as to our rights being locationally specific. As well, the 2nd Amendment clearly states the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms". It doesn't take a scholar to understand the definition of 'Bear'. It is quite obvious to even the most simple of us common folk.

Furthermore, I sincerely hope you are not suggesting that the millions of homeless people in our country have no right to defend their own lives simply because they do not have a "home", or that I or any other loving parent and spouse does not have the right to protect myself or my family from a viscious attack in a mall or grocery store parking lot.

An armed society is not a paranoid society. Rather an ignorant and negligent society is a dangerous society while a properly armed society is a very polite society and one in which I would feel very safe.

Don't you find it a little ironic and quite hypocratic that following the tragic shooting by Jared Lee Loughner the likes of The Brady Campaign and many anti-gun politicians were decrying yet again the evils of guns in the hands of citizens and again calling for their removal while at the very same time they were busy drafting new legislation allowing themselves to be armed with guns at any time!

The unfettered arming of all politicians, competent or otherwise, I will concede, IS an arming that will perhaps make for a paranoid society and will most likely lead to further dischord and alienation between our citizenship and those who are elected to serve it.

How long will we have to wait until an untrained and perhaps paranoid politician opens fire on an innocent constituent who merely wishes to meet their representative at a rally or one who happens to recognize them in public and has the temerity to approach them to say "hi".

Perhaps you and your contemporaries have chosen to live your life hiding behind your sofa while shouting at the wind, but I choose to live my life to the fullest with a dogged determination to pursue liberty and happiness as well as love and compassion for all, including the likes of yourself and others who misguidedly and unneccessarily attempt to protect me from myself. And as my 'audacious' lifestyle requires me to travel outside of the confines of my home I will not hesitate to take my "Unalienable Rights" with me wherever my life pursuits may go.

Sincerely-

Todd Newburn

Eloquently put. I could not agree more.

Any person who leaves a gun where a child can gain access to it is dangerously irresponsible.

A child who is raised around guns and taught to respect them will live a safe and long life. Individuals allowed to legally carry are responsible, educated gun owners. Gun owners ARE accountable. The Brady bunch are not. The Brady campaign goes to great lengths to misrepresent and distort facts. They don't educate the public, they mislead and lie to us.

Gun bans only increase crime. Open carry is a deterrent against criminals. If a potential criminal sees that citizens are armed, they are more likely to seek potential unarmed victims.

This doctor needs to visit his proctologist to have his head extracted. And yes, it is absurd that smoking is banned in outdoor public places. And yes, the Second Amendment provides for citizens to have no restrictions upon possessing firearms. Efforts against this and all essential freedoms are against liberty and anti-American.

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

No wonder the Bradys are failing so badly. They are down is funding and following because people are finally seeing them for what they are.

"Dr." if this is how you mix up facts, I would question the very validity of your doctorate thesis. You lack integrity.

Before my mother met and married my father, she was a divorced woman living alone in a rural area with several young children. She had grown up hunting with her father, was familiar with guns, and kept a loaded firearm in the house at all times. One night, while my mother and my siblings were at home, two men attempted to break into the house and my mother used her gun to successfully discourage the criminals from entering her home and harming her or the children. If she had called 911 and waited for help to arrive, there's a real possibility that someone might have been seriously hurt or killed.

For all of my childhood, we had loaded weapons in the house. Because of the nature of my parents' work, we youngsters were frequently home alone, sometimes late into the night. We knew where the gun was, how to load and fire it, and how to use it to defend ourselves in case it was ever necessary. Above all, we knew that it was a powerful instrument that required great respect and responsibility.

Despite the fact that most of my friends' homes - where my younger sister and I frequently played - were similarly armed, there was not a single incident of anyone being accidentally injured or killed by a family firearm. This was not a matter of luck, but of education and awareness. Not once did I, any of my siblings, or any of our friends ever take any weapon out to play with it, investigate it, or show it to others. We knew the protection it afforded us and the dangers associated with it.

The stories in this article are tragic. It is terrible when a child is killed - by a firearm, by drowning in the family pool, in a house fire started by someone playing with matches, or any other horrible accident - but the solution does not lie in the removal or restriction of a constitutional right. Nor does it lie in any misguided attempt to shelter children from the reality of guns.

In my experience, making something mysterious or forbidden is more likely to promote curiosity and interest in a child's inquisitive mind, whereas education, information, and open discussion will often remove its mystique and reduce the innate childlike desire to investigate on their own.

I do not open carry a weapon, and I sometimes disagree with the politics of those who do. But the sight of guns in ordinary environments, the presence of responsible people exercising their right to bear arms, should not be seen as something that children need to be sheltered or protected from. It should be viewed, instead, as an opportunity to educate and inform young minds. The idea that banning UOC - or restricting our second amendment rights in any way - does anything to protect children from guns is ludicrous and irresponsible thinking.

Open Carry is a political statement, I find open carry far less offense that something like "FLAG BURNING".

This article's facts are "questionable" to say the least.

Stout you say? If this porker really wants to set an example for the kiddies, he would go on a diet and leave the constitution alone.

The world is full of nuts but there are no nuts like gun nuts. They're the master race of nuts.

I for one will be happy when these gun toting clowns are stopped from compensating for their own insecurities in public. Keep up the good work Brady. Nuts are usually tough to crack but you'll eventually win. You have the public's support!

There is solid scholarship to support the fact that modern gun control is based on ideas that were previously used in certain socialist republics. . .

Would YOU like to debate ME on this topic? Calling me a "nut" doesn't pass for debate, by the way. . .

But, nice try.

;-)

"I for one will be happy when these gun toting clowns are stopped from compensating for their own insecurities in public."

Then, you shall forever remain unhappy, Gary. Your ignorance is overwhelming. You seem to have all but given up any sense of self respect and personal accountability in place of faith in big brother and big government. Let Mr. Jefferson's words enlighten and remind you that "a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have." That is why we stand shoulder to shoulder on this issue--to make sure that day doesn't come to pass.

Oooh rah!!

A great quotes from a great men;

Samuel Adams:
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Benjamin Franklin;
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

I am proud to be lumped in with these 'gun nuts', may your chains rest lightly.

Gary, Perhaps you could just answer some simple questions for me: Who is responsible for the personal safety of you and your family? Who will protect your loved ones since you have abdicated that responsibility? How does the desire to provide for the security and safety of one's family make one a nut? You could just as easily be termed a nut for always wearing your seatbelt, or motorcycle helmet. Guns, seatbelts, and helmets are all just tools used to protect the owner from harm. Have you ever considered seeking help for your irrational fear of inannimate objects? A great man once said: "Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid".

Please tell me that is not you. A simple Google search indicates that there is someone with that name who is a police officer. I would assume that he would not want his department associated with this sort of thing (calling people who want to protect a legal right, "nuts"). . .

Surely you have heard of the "Tuason issue?"

Please clarify this for us.

Again, please come back and back up your assertion that we are "nuts" - - with some facts. . .

You only wish the population in general was as law abiding as Concealed Pistol License holders!

Freedom of speech and religion should be abolished in CA, Slavery should be re-instituted.

Wait that's a HORRIBLE statement.....don't we have a constitution to prevent such things?

The second amendment is just as important as all the rest....trash the second amendment and the rest of the bill of rights isn't worth the paper its written on.

I think Dr. Stout in reality has a BS in BS.
If you don't like firearms, don't own them. If you don't like cars, then ride a bike.
Typical liberal behavior is to ban or restrict what they don't like, but if there is a position they have on a subject they will jam it down your throat with emotional nonsense and half true facts. If you disagree its because you are to stupid to understand and therefor have to be taken care of. Make people dependent on you for something then you have the control to make the rules as you see fit. Stop tying to control our lives, you make your choices, let me make mine.

Really???????

Let me preface this by saying I am a proud, law abiding citizen and a lawful gun owner and enthusiast. Some of you have made some decent points here but most of you, sadly, come across as acting like 8th grade bullies.

Name calling, personal attacks, whining, etc, etc. Most of you people who posted here are the Brady Bunch's best weapon. All they do is write a news piece or do an appearance. You all open your mouths (or hit the keyboards in this case) and reinforce some tightly held beliefs the public has about "all" gun owners.

Even worse, those citizens on the fence on this issue see your actions here & elsewhere and you scare them. They walk away saying to themselves that you are definitely not a person they would want to see with any kind of permit or right to carry a gun in public.

You all need to grow up and start thinking a little smarter about your approach to this issue. For anyone left still listening, most of these posters do not represent the views or beliefs of the majority of lawful gun owners in this State.

Again, I suspect that you are actually Dallas Stout, himself.

Your attempt to cast our legitimate and logical arguments as "bullying" simply fails in light of objective reality.

The reality is that there is little "bullying" here - and actually - Dr. Stout (i.e., "your") points are so far away from reality that the points totally DESERVE RIDICULE.

Please do not tell me that you do not value robust and honest debate. If you wish to continue to discuss this with me, please reply to my post. If you don't - then you have confirmed my theory that you are simply a "shill" - and that's not an insult - it's a simple fact.

If you wish to call "me" a bully, please remember that you are the one who is hiding behind the moniker of "Anonymous."

Perhaps the issue is not that we are bullies, but rather - that you appear to be a coward, who hides. . . understandably, since it appears that you really have nothing to say - other than more vague platitudes.

I am proud of who I am, what I support, and my track record on this issue. Google me, if you wish. . .

I'm real - and I stand behind everything I say - which is much more than I can "say" for you. . .

;-)

I'm still waiting for you to reply to me. Please reveal who you are any why you are shilling for the opposition here.

While I agree with you in general, in that this aggressive type of response may generate a negative opinion in those who are anti-gun, or undecided, I take exception with this part of your post: "They walk away saying to themselves that you are definitely not a person they would want to see with any kind of permit or right to carry a gun in public." This is the crux of the matter. You, and I mean ALL of you, ALREADY have the right to carry a gun, wherever you go, and no permit is needed. It's a CONSTITUTIONAL right. There shouldn't even be a question of the "right to carry". The only people whose "right to carry" might be infringed is those who have been extended due process, also guaranteed by the US Constitution, such as a convicted felon, someone who has been declared mentally deficient, etc. I look for the day when Constitutional carry is once again the law of the land as it was meant to be.