|Open carry of a rifle at a Phoenix event.|
The open carry of rifles appears to be having the effect desired by second amendment supporters. A half dozen second amendment supporters openly carrying rifles generated a handful of calls in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Earlier this year, two second amendment activists were harassed at gunpoint by police in Appleton, Wisconsin, in spite of strong state protections in the law.
Last Saturday, the 11th of January, the response in Fond du Lac was completely different. From the fdlreporter.com, the City Council President Sam Meyer explains:
“It was basically just a unique display of (the gun owners’) right to bear arms under the state’s open carry law and the U.S. Constitution,” Meyer said. “In a similar incident in Appleton, police engaged the individuals and caused additional turmoil. Our police observed them, making sure that they weren’t a threat to public safety.”Meyers thinks the police hit the right balance in this case.
“I’m a gun owner myself and I understand where they’re coming from, but we also need to have the right amount of balance and provide safety to our citizens, too,” Meyer said. “It’s something to keep an eye on.”We cannot know what the reaction would be if the police in Appleton had not hassled the second amendment activists there. But it is clear that the education created by that incident made an impression on the Fond du Lac police and community leaders. Now they understand that they are dealing with activists who are promoting constitutional rights, not incipient rampage killers. This is the same learning curve that we saw with concealed carry. First, denial and outrage. Second, wary acceptance. Finally, support.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch