Thursday, October 09, 2014

Another Unicorn: Open Carrier Robbed by Armed Criminal

Open carry event in Colorado

In a nation of over 300 million people, rare events happen.   Yesterday, another rare event happened.   A person openly carrying a gun was held up at gun point and their gun was stolen.  It last happened, that I know of, in Milwaukee in 2010, before the state passed their shall issue concealed carry law in 2011.  

In the Oregon event, 21 year old William Coleman had just purchased a pistol the previous day, and was openly carrying it in the Portland metropolitan area, in the early morning hours.  From
According to Gresham police, William Coleman III was talking to his cousin near 172nd and Glisan at about 2:10 a.m. on Saturday while openly carrying the gun he had purchased on Friday.

Coleman said a man, about 19- to 23-years-old, approached them, asking for a cigarette. Coleman said the man then inquired about Coleman's weapon, then pulled a pistol from his own waistband and said, "I like your gun. Give it to me." Coleman handed over his new handgun and the suspect left on foot.

Yes, people who openly carry firearms are rarely robbed.   So are police.  A police officer was robbed of his gun and badge just a month ago, yet it did not make national news.   It is unsurprising that both the police officer and the young citizen exercising his rights were robbed during the early morning hours, in urban centers.  Approaching victims and using a ruse such as asking for a cigarette, is a common tactic of armed robbers.

Open carry has become more popular, with the practice legal in the vast majority of states.   Only six states ban the open carry of modern handguns in public places.  Most of the existing bans stem from old laws based on racial fears or by criminals intent on disarming their victims, such as in New York.   The Texas ban has its origins in the reconstruction government following the  Civil war. 

California has been the only state to ban the practice recently, building on a ban on the open carry of loaded handguns that was enacted in response to  effective Black Panther lawfare in 1967. 

The Black Panthers showed up at the state capitol, armed with loaded weapons in their hands on the day of the vote.   They could not have pushed harder to get the ban passed by a panicked legislature, except if they had brought contributions and weeping widows, which is what those who promote citizen disarmament do today.   The Panthers claimed that they were against the law, but it is hard to believe that they were unaware of the likely outcome of their actions.

 California weapons law has always been aimed at disarming minorities.  It is the reason that California is one of only six states that does not have a right to keep and  bear arms provision in its state constitution.

The current California ban has had its unintended consequences.   It directly lead to the Peruta decision, that confirmed the right to bear arms outside of the home, for self defense.   The court directly said that if you ban open carry, you must allow concealed carry.  From the decision, available at this source on pdf:

See Cal. Penal Code § 26350 (prohibiting open
carry of an unloaded firearm); see also id. §§ 26150, 26155
(establishing a licensing procedure only for concealed carry).
And it has the power to do so: as the historical sources have
repeatedly noted, the state has a right to prescribe a particular
manner of carry, provided that it does not “cut[] off the
exercise of the right of the citizen altogether to bear arms, or,
under the color of prescribing the mode, render[] the right
itself useless.” Nunn, 1 Ga. at 243 (emphasis omitted).
California’s favoring concealed carry over open carry does
not offend the Constitution, so long as it allows one of the
 Unicorns make great stories, but bad policies.   It is part of human nature to view events as though they happened to us, and to make decisions based on that information.   Selection of what events are presented to the  public is a major tool of how those who control the flow of information control the debate.  On the other side of the coin, events that occur all the time are not considered news.  When millions of people carry openly everyday, without problems, it is not news.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re Read this article you wrote. You, with this blog has the power to bring the issue to the forefront. You say the constitution is not violated and the state has the right to issue its own gun laws. This is absolutely correct, BUT and I say BUT The California Constitution has no Gun Law Provisions in it. So where does the state legislature get the constitutional delegated authority to address the gun law issue??? No constitutional delegated authority, No authority exists!!! Until California passes an amendment to the constitution to delegate the authority to the state legislature. It has no authority to pass one single gun law. There are no legal gun laws in California.

The federal constitution has the second amendment that physically forbids it to pass limits on the right to keep and bear. The California constitution has no provision what so ever.

The Bill of Rights is a fist in the face to the federal government of what it is forbidden to interfere with.

Shall Not is a well established legal term. meaning you better damn well not touch.

I enjoy your blog but really have some guts and address this issue.