Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Open Carry at the San Simon Rest Stop

On my way back to Yuma, I switched from concealed carry (open carry of modern handguns is illegal in Texas) to open carry.   Just past the New Mexico border, in Arizona, is the San Simon rest stop, at exit 388 on I-10.   I have been to this rest stop many times.   The Rest Area Guide is old and weatherbeaten.    There is no prohibition on the carry of arms, because of open carry activists actions at the Sacaton rest stop in 1998.   No one had a problem with me having a pistol in the rest area.  A friendly truck driver was happy to take my picture.

I noticed a number of collared doves at the rest stop.   They are an invasive species.   There is no limit on taking them in Arizona.

This one sat, unconcerned, just a few feet from my truck.

In spite of the doves, the rest area is not always a peaceful place.   This stop has special significance to me because of what happened to one of my students there.

He had driven a long ways, coming from New Mexico, and was very tired.   Open carry was the only way to legally carry in New Mexico and Arizona at the time.  He was openly carrying in a shoulder holster.

Just as he got out of the car, another vehicle abruptly stopped behind his car, blocking him in the parking space.   Two men quickly exited the vehicle, the passenger rapidly moving to flank him on the passenger side of my student's car, the driver getting out of the car and starting to move toward him.

The passenger flanking him saw the student's holstered firearm, yelled "Gun!", slammed to a halt, and ran back to the car.  The driver jumped back into the vehicle, the passenger entered with considerable rapidity, and the vehicle screeched off and away.

My student said that it happened so quickly, that he did not even realize that he was under threat until the pair started to retreat.  His fatigue had slowed his perceptions and reactions considerably.

A number of assaults and murders have happened at Arizona rest areas.   It did not happen this time.   This time the mere presence of a firearm stopped the assault cold.

Peaceful people do not block your exit and rapidly approach you from two directions.  Peaceful people do not yell "Gun!"  and retreat as fast as they can.

I firmly believe that his open carry stopped an assault that day, through tactical deterrence.

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

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