Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hamburg update and Open Carry clash in Lansing

I've been tied up in a bunch of stuff, so I haven't updated this.

First, Hamburg had an election. It was surprisingly fairly uneventful, and that's a good thing. Jim Neilson won in a low turnout 1700 to 1000 to 650. Jim's done a good job staying out of the news, so that probably made things much easier than I expected. Hopefully things stay quiet in Hamburg. It's in Livingston County, not the democrat run city of Detroit. We expect better in Livingston County.

The other issue comes from earlier this month. I know I'm going to get some flack from both sides for this, so let me get this out of the way. I'm not speaking for SAFR-PAC. I'm speaking for only myself. I also support the current legality of open carry in Michigan, even though I personally do not open carry. I support the right to own AR-15s, also known as "evil black rifles" in some books.  Laws and bills outlawing this need to be fought until they are destroyed for good. Open carry isn't my thing personally, because I don't want you, or more importantly, the bad guys, to know if I am carrying or not. It's nobody's business. Sometimes I carry. Sometimes I don't. There are two things important for everybody who supports freedom and the 2nd Amendment. First, we either all hang together or we lose it all. Secondly, fight smart.

I've been active in the 2nd Amendment movement for 12 years and have followed this issue for 18 years. I remember when it wasn't cool to be pro-gun. Now politicians try to tell us they are. Some are pro-gun. Some are pro-gun when it is convenient. Some are anti and want to hide it. Some are anti. Some don't care about the issue at all, outside of votes. That last group is probably the largest in Lansing. It's not personal for most politicians, but they want the votes.  I remember when it was us against the whole establishment. I remember how close we were to losing our rights in the mid 90's, and once again after Columbine. That gives me a different perspective than much of the new generation and new areas of fight on firearms issues. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.

Open Carry is a relatively new matter in Michigan. People, including cops, are being educated on this issue. It's a work in progress. Many people, otherwise pro-gun are uncomfortable with open carry. This was shown in Lansing. There was a planned open carry meeting at the Lansing Ponderosa. It's being heavily discussed on MGO and other websites. Apparently, it was not controversial...until someone walked in with an AR-15, an "evil black rifle." While I give this an A for enthusiasm, I give it an F- for tactics. It was really f'ing stupid, and hope this does not cost us big. I know for a fact this isn't going over well in the legislature with even friendly staffers and reps giving a "What the hell's going on?" type of phone calls. I haven't talked to our county reps on this yet, but I will soon. I can't speak for them, but I think I know them well enough where I doubt they were impressed by this (at least tactically), and they aren't anti-gun individuals. I wouldn't be shocked if there is fallout for this. There is discussion on some gun bills at least behind the scenes and I think our odds of getting them passed is lower today than it was then.That's from two different sources which I trust. No, I'm not revealing them.  

Right now, I'd say if there was a straight up national vote in the house or senate on outlawing AR's and other "evil black rifles" (EBR's) altogether, it would be real close. As recently as 2003-2004, a ban passed the senate as an amendment to the reduction of frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers. People forget that. I don't. That's just for EBR's in the home, let alone someone carrying one on the streets. I'm Irish by blood, and inherited their long memories. Six months is an eternity in politics, let alone six or seven years, let alone 12.

As far as open carry, if I decide to carry my pistol openly in Brighton, I may get a couple of looks, or may get no reaction whatsoever.With my hair and look, I could also probably pass for a cop outside of uniform depending on what I wear. I do know if I carry my shotgun, let alone an EBR, I'll bet money that I'm going to be having a run in from Brighton PD, make the front page of the Argus, and not be painted in a favorable light, and this is in a generally pro-gun county. Some things are for the home. Lansing is a very anti-2a area. If I was at this Lansing Ponderosa, was unaware of the open carry meeting, and saw the EBR, I'd be nervous, have my guard up in a major way, keeping a close eye on that entire room, and would be making my way to the exit (Pistol no, Shotgun, rifle outside of hunting season - yeah). If it was the firing range, I wouldn't have my guard up. If I was at the owner's home, same deal. If it was hunting season and in the area, I wouldn't blink an eye depending on what was being hunted (.223 good for varmints, too weak for deer).This got a WTF reaction from me followed by "oh shit". I'm not anti-gun by any stretch of the imagination, and don't think that this should be banned, strictly on what I call "lawcreep" grounds. We have too many laws in this state and country, and giving this up will open the door for giving up more in laws later. That's unacceptable. Period, and I opposes ANY new anti rights legislation for that reason. That aside, it's not me you are trying to convince.

Yes, Open Carry is legal, but is that going to be still the case with more events like this? I highly doubt it. In fact it would not surprise me to see something like that as a cost for new otherwise pro-gun legislation. SAFR's been steadfast at opposing rights for some, not for all legislation, but other groups are much more quicker to support a bargaining chip, the same ones who would endorse a Joe Schwarz if you get my drift.

Don't give them the opening.

1 comment:

keithr said...

Civilian rifles designed to look like military rifles were only a small part of the gun market in the early 90's when the "assault weapons ban" was passed.

But things have totally changed since then. Most gun buyers these days want guns that remind them of the guns they used while serving in the military, or guns that look like the guns they see on T.V. The traditional long barreled rifle with a wooden stock is quickly fading away as younger buyers snap up A.R. style guns made of lighter, more modern materials.

The extraordinary popularity of military style designs these days will make it extremely tough to ban them, at least for any politician with hopes of ever winning another election.

But it's not hard to imagine politicians passing laws to ban open carry in urban areas, or to at least ban open carry of long guns in urban areas.