Gun controversy hits Starbucks and Supreme Court

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, firearms are always news.  And guns are very much in the news this month.  At the US Supreme Court last week, the nine justices heard oral arguments in a landmark lawsuit that will determine if Chicago’s draconian anti-gun ordinance passes muster, measured against the individual-right standard laid down by the Court in a Washington, DC case just two years ago.  

On a more local level, in Starbucks Coffee houses across the country, Second Amendment passions are being fanned, as firearms-carry advocates and opponents battle over whether the java giant should retreat from its current policy of allowing patrons to openly carry handguns if permitted by state and local laws.

The Chicago gun case that the Supreme Court now will decide, follows the seminal case of District of Columbia v. Heller decided in June 2008.  In that case, a DC ordinance identical to the one prohibiting Chicagoans from possessing handguns, was struck down as a violation of the Second Amendment’s guarantee that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  The Court in Heller established definitively for the first time since the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791, that the Second Amendment’s language in fact guaranteed an individual right to possess firearms.  Previous court decisions had not made clear the distinction between the rights of an individual citizen in this regard, and rights enjoyed only by a collective body such as a “militia,” as gun control advocates had urged.

Left unresolved in the 2008 decision, however, were a number of important questions about just how far the individual right to own a firearm extended.  For example, would the fact that the jurisdiction prohibiting possession of any handgun was a city or a state – as opposed to the federal enclave that is the District of Colombia – make a difference? 

While Supreme Court observers appear uniformly to consider that Chicago’s handgun ban will be invalidated, constitutional lawyers were more interested in the grounds on which the High Court might base its expected decision.  Would the High Court frame its decision narrowly, as urged by the National Rifle Association, for example?  Or might the Court take the more unusual step of using the Chicago case to establish that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental “privilege or immunity” (in the words of the Fourteenth Amendment)?  The latter would make it more difficult for states and even the federal government to impose significant restrictions on future exercise of the Second Amendment’s guarantees.

The smart money is that the Court will throw out Chicago’s gun ban, but on narrower rather than broader grounds.  I would prefer the broader, more constitutionally-honest approach, but I don’t anticipate being pleasantly surprised when the Court’s opinion is released later this spring.

All this constitutional wrangling is little solace to Starbucks Coffee, which is being drawn into the public debate over who should be allowed to carry a holstered handgun openly, and where.  Starbucks thus far has dealt with the controversy by stating that in those jurisdictions permitting the open carry of a handgun in restaurants, it will abide by those laws and ordinances.  Anti-gun organizations, however, are pressuring the coffee giant to renounce that policy and no longer allow open carry in any of its restaurants, even if permitted by law. 

Whether Starbucks will succumb to the mounting pressure by anti-gun groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and alter its tolerant policy, remains to be seen.  For their part, however, firearms advocates might be better advised not to press the issue publicly by pointedly visiting Starbucks establishments with firearms openly displayed.  Sometimes quiet advocacy speaks louder than waving a red flag in someone’s face.

125 comments Add your comment

arnold

March 8th, 2010
6:29 am

Of course some wing nut will carry a firearm into a Starbucks just because he/she can. Wingnuts are not rational thinkers.

Ace

March 8th, 2010
7:26 am

Anyone who wil pay for that crap they call coffee at Starbuck is dumb/scared enough to walk around with a handgun. Real men drink Maxwell House and use a 12 GA pump shotgun when needed.

Joel Edge

March 8th, 2010
7:42 am

Where to start?
You would think that the wording of the Constitution would be fairly plain and accepted. Over the years we’ve seen this is not the case. The effort to confiscate guns from law abiding citizens is an ongoing fight. In that light, I can see the point of carrying a gun into Starbucks. One day, I might just feel that I need to. At this point, I don’t feel the need.
But if we give in to the anti-gun groups pressure to allow companies to outlaw weapons on property owned by that company, then that will be the next avenue for banning our rights.
Because we have seen that the push to remove gun ownership will never, ever end.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
7:49 am

I am one of the few coffee addicts who has never ventured into a Starbucks. Suppose I am bothered by the idea of paying $3 for a cup of coffee when I can get an excellent cup at QT for $1.19. Nevertheless, I may have to start offering them my patronage if they stand up to the weenies who would dictate behavior. The cut and run types will abandon Starbucks and I think the company deserves a new clientèle as reward for principle.

Besides, one is safer in a place with an open guns rule. What idiot would come into an establishment to shoot innocents when he knows that have the people there have deadly force available themselves? No, if you want to get killed, go to a “gun free” store; the killers take the easy marks.

Joel Edge

March 8th, 2010
7:52 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld
Agreed. Duncan Donuts coffee fan myself. But I like Army coffee.
And it’s safer to be where the cops are. Just saying.

Jethro

March 8th, 2010
8:03 am

I am homeowner. I have a party at my house, but I tell my guests that I don’t allow guns in my house. One guest decides to bring one; O meet him at the door, and I say, “Sorry, but you are not allowed to bring a gun into my house.”

Who has the greater right? I as the homeowner, or my guest a a “rights” owner? This is a question that I would like to see the Supreme Court decide.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 8th, 2010
8:06 am

Well, I’m with Raghead. I don’t see a good reason to pay 3 bucks for a cup of coffee when I can get it for a buck. But it’s for danged sure I won’t be buying it anyplace where I can’t carry the two machine guns and the anti-tank weapon I use for hunting and self-defense. Funny thing is, when people see them, they almost never come over and talk to me. I don’t understand why.

Scout

March 8th, 2010
8:10 am

That’s a simple one. You don’t have to allow “anyone” in your house (without a warrant). You can even be a “racist” and not allow people of color.

But with the gun thing you have to know he/she has it on and there are some pretty good concealment techniques out there ………………… :o

H&K .

March 8th, 2010
8:14 am

Enter your comments here

H&K .40

March 8th, 2010
8:19 am

Jethro,

In Georgia, you have the right as a property owner to exclude anyone from your property for any reason. Starbucks has the same rights. If Starbucks (or you) decided that gun carriers were not welcome, they can make that clear. If a gun carrier refuses to leave, he is guilty of trespassing. No law can make you accept anyone on your private property that you don’t want there. Starbucks is doing the right thing. They are saying all that follow the law are welcome. If you don’t like that, don’t go to Starbucks.

neo-Carlinist

March 8th, 2010
8:21 am

“…whether the java giant should retreat from its current policy of allowing patrons to openly carry handguns if permitted by state and local laws.” is it me, or do the last 12 words mean nothing (if permitted by state and local laws”? if people are uncomfortable purchasing over-priced coffee in an environment where non-concealed firearms are permitted, they have other choices. what’s next; TSA-type searches and metal detectors at Starbucks? do the “anti-gun” types think there are not concealed firearms at Starbucks at any given time? what about police officers/law enforcement? is the firearm of a police officer or deputy (not concealed) any more/less dangerous? I noted this on CT’s blog last week; more people have been murdered in the Fulton County Courthouse than any Starbucks in Atlanta. personally, I get “scared” every time I see an armed police officer at a H.S. football game or in any elementary/middle school setting. if you don’t like guns, or you fear for your safety, stay away from businesses (and cities/towns) where the carrying of firearms is permitted by law (or write your Congressman).

david wayne osedach

March 8th, 2010
8:37 am

Is it only Starbucks that is concerned about the gun issue? Or is it all restaurants and fast food franchises?

Patina

March 8th, 2010
8:57 am

Jethro,

Uh, never mind…

Bored

March 8th, 2010
8:59 am

I didn’t realize people carrying guns into Starbucks was a rampant problem. I get it, the issue is a litmus test for much wider implications regarding the 2nd amendment…

Yawn.

William

March 8th, 2010
9:23 am

arnold

March 8th, 2010
6:29 am
Just like you or maybe it was “you” you were thinking about. Give up your 1st ammendment right and I will give up my 2nd….mabe

William

March 8th, 2010
9:24 am

Redneck Convert (R–and proud of it)

March 8th, 2010
8:06 am
It is the women you hang out with Redneck!

Barack

March 8th, 2010
9:34 am

I think that all it takes is a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. I happen to enjoy Starbucks because it really puts lead in my pencil. Why isn’t this an issue at Dunkin Donuts? I think it is time for each American to join in a group hug and talk about healthcare for all.

Scott

March 8th, 2010
9:48 am

I don’t buy coffee at the retail level but I do carry a gun. The anti-gun forces have run out of legal option on marginalizing those who carry guns, so they’re using a popular private business to do it for them. However, Starbucks has chosen not to enter this debate and would prefer it die down. This plan from the antis has backfired and Starbucks is probably getting a little more business.

Anyone who buys their overpriced coffee is nut to begin with… and coffee is dangerous, since the cups have warnings printed on them. I wonder how many people burn themselves daily with hot coffee compared to an injury caused by a legally carried firearm?

Simple But Honest...

March 8th, 2010
9:59 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
7:49 am

i read your comments everyday, and although I sometimes disagree with you, I have to say that this is perhaps the dumbest thing I have heard from what appears to be an intelligent person. You know as well as I do that just because one has a gun and is willing to carry it does not mean that they are able and prepard to shoot in a life or death situation. In fact I would argue that most of the Permit carring zealots would piss their pants before they would be able shoot another person. I have been in law enforcement for 22 years and can say with some certainty that having a gun available does not make one safer…In fact in alot of cases, It does just the opposite. I respect your views, but I would ask that you not insult the rest of us with talking points and NRA Bull—-????????

Bill L

March 8th, 2010
10:02 am

I carried openly in Virginia for years. At first patrons and employees of establishments I frequented took notice but over time since there were *no* incidents of open carry infractions the issue went away. The ‘Brady Bunch’ tried whipping up a controversy in the press but cooler heads prevaled. When a group of us carried openly at dinner (no alcohol at our tables) and later at the local frozen custard stand we used it as an opportunity to demonstrate what responsible gun ownership was all about and the ‘notice’ became less and less. The restaurants and frozen custard shop looked forward to us coming by later in the evening the way they looked forward to the police patronization – for the anecdotal security we provided. Small (minded) town police responded to a ‘men with guns’ call and rousted a group of friends of mine. The police were subsequently sued and ‘retrained’ when they lost in court.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:06 am

Dear Simple @ 9:59, thanks for your honorable service as gendarme, but I think you a poor chess player. Would-be murderers are not deterred by the actuality or proven efficacy of the coffee-shop Wyatt Earp, rather they are deterred by the potentiality of a coffee-house Wyatt Earp. Rather than shoot up the local Starbucks, that may have a former Navy-Seal swilling a bitter brew, they will go to the local McDonalds, where gun-wielders are provably absent.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:07 am

And also, dear Simple, I have posted many dumber arguments than my 7:49 missive, but thanks for the general, if undeserved, compliment.

[...] Bob Barr is also advising we exercise caution: Whether Starbucks will succumb to the mounting pressure by anti-gun groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and alter its tolerant policy, remains to be seen.  For their part, however, firearms advocates might be better advised not to press the issue publicly by pointedly visiting Starbucks establishments with firearms openly displayed.  Sometimes quiet advocacy speaks louder than waving a red flag in someone’s face. [...]

Simple But Honest...

March 8th, 2010
10:29 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:06 am

Sir….Again I say, You are operating from the assumption that 1st. those that carry legally are capable users, and 2nd that those that would commit crimes are afraid of others that have guns…..As I said, most ” regular” gun owners don’t have the sack will or nerve to shoot and perhaps kill another person, regardless of what they say when the pressure is not on. And to your point that the thought of a “Joe the Plumber” sitting in the coffee shop having a handgun does not scare the common everyday criminal. Everyday I am faced with people commitimg crimes on the street that are not afraid US and wen come with Guns sirens, and backup!!!!The thought that these people would think twice because the guy having coffee might have a pistol is laughable!!!The Coffee shop Rambo is more likely to get a bystander killed than he is to save them. I fully embrace and respect the 2nd amendment, but I ask that you at least be honest…and right now, you are not being so….

neo-Carlinist

March 8th, 2010
10:36 am

Ragnar, it’s an acronym, not a marine mammal (SEAL, not Seal), and I doubt you’ll find a SEAL hanging out at Starbucks. they eat snakes, not bran muffins. I agree with you, the idea that a crimal/murderer thinks rationally, or has some sort of a “game plan” is without merit. AND, if crimals do “case” a place, they are less likely to attempt to hold up a business occupied with armed customers. I repeat my comment on CT’s blog last week (same topic). this “issue” is political, not Constitutional. it is nothing more than “I know you are, but what am I?” tripe, and nothing more. 24 hours ago eight teenagers were shot a a concert in Indiana. does anything think they were shot by legally permitted firearms owners, or that the state/local laws of Indiana and/or the concert venue (a skating rink, I beleive) had any bearing on the decisions of the shooters to bring and discharge firearms at a public place?

StJ

March 8th, 2010
10:39 am

“But if we give in to the anti-gun groups pressure to allow companies to outlaw weapons on property owned by that company, then that will be the next avenue for banning our rights.”

Looks like they made it to Brandsmart already, as there is a big sign at the entrance banning firearms on the premises.

I personally don’t buy anything at any establishment that bans firearms. If they don’t choose to respect my rights, I choose not to give them my money.

Registering your displeasure with the public relations department or [better yet] the CEO is effective if enough people do it.

Richard

March 8th, 2010
10:41 am

I’m confused. I thought that the 2nd Amendment meant that the GOVERNMENT can’t infringe on your right to bear arms. If you try and walk into my house with a gun, I’m not letting you in. If Starbucks doesn’t want to allow customers to walk in armed, they are a private company and should be allowed to.

It’s the same thing as the First Amendment. The government cant restrist your freedom of speech, but if you are an anchor for CNN, CNN has every right to restrict what you say.

With the Starbucks thing, I just don’t understand the issue. I don’t see how the 2nd Amendment factors into a company setting rules for their property.

Rational Person

March 8th, 2010
10:42 am

Starbucks gets not a nickel from me while this is going on. That money will go to the Brady Campaign.

Some of us still want to live in a civilized society. Fortunately, my little town has an abundance of nice, civilized coffee shops.

BTW, quite a few people in this country have been shot by people who were carrying guns legally.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:47 am

Dear Simple, I concede point one, which I deem irrelevant to my argument, and disagree with you on point two, which I deem the salient one. You offer neither factual nor logical support for your second argument. I offered no factual support, but I did offer logical support for my disagreement with you. As a typical leftist, you call such intellectual disagreement “dishonest.” I await some support for your position.

Dear Neo @ 10:36, I yield to the superior argument, although I’m not certain how you square your affirmation about the animal kingdom class of those noble warriors with the observations on their dining habits.

No More Progressives!

March 8th, 2010
10:50 am

Simple But Honest…

March 8th, 2010
9:59 am
Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
7:49 am

i read your comments everyday, and although I sometimes disagree with you, I have to say that this is perhaps the dumbest thing I have heard from what appears to be an intelligent person. You know as well as I do that just because one has a gun and is willing to carry it does not mean that they are able and prepard to shoot in a life or death situation. In fact I would argue that most of the Permit carring zealots would piss their pants before they would be able shoot another person. I have been in law enforcement for 22 years and can say with some certainty that having a gun available does not make one safer…In fact in alot of cases, It does just the opposite. I respect your views, but I would ask that you not insult the rest of us with talking points and NRA Bull—-????????

NRA bull? Try the Second Amendment bull, if you prefer.

It’s the deterent effect, Car 54. If a thug/rapist suspects or knows you’re armed, what does that do to the chances he’ll assualt you?

You sound more like a meter maid to me.

Disgusted

March 8th, 2010
10:51 am

A team at the University of Pennsylvania “analysed 677 shootings over two-and-a-half years to discover whether victims were carrying at the time, and compared them to other Philly residents of similar age, sex and ethnicity.” You are going to be totally stunned by what they found: “[P]eople who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.” One small caveat: There is no indication of how many of the shooting victims “had it coming.”

http://www.theawl.com/2009/10/guns-dont-kill-people-people-who-carry-guns-kill-people-who-carry-guns

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:51 am

Dear Richard @ 10:41, we do not disagree on property rights. StJ reasonably observes that we all – at least for now – have freedom of choice in selecting the beneficiary of our consumer disbursements, and for some of us a politically-correct election by the merchant may alienate our purchases.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:56 am

Dear Disgusted @ 10:51, I perceive flawed research. If you analyze only victims for the efficacy of gun possession, you exclude the entire class of innocent gun carriers who effectively protected themselves. Sorta the whole point, don’t you think?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:57 am

Also, dear Disgusted, does your research not also prove that innocent gun carriers were effective in eliminating those bad guys who were carrying guns?

WPZ

March 8th, 2010
10:58 am

There seems to be a bit of confusion in the later comments. The law as in the Second Amendment is not being applied to Starbucks by any outside actor, including a government. Nor is anyone suggesting that such a thing is called for.
Starbucks is choosing to simply let the law apply, specifically in a state-by-state manner, and to align individual stores’ policy with that existing law.
As to the suggestion that citizens carrying lawfully are likely to unlawfully shoot another person, that is almost completely not the case in real life. In fact, permitted, licensed, or otherwise lawfully armed citizens commit violent crimes less often than the general population of adults.
In fact, when this topic breaks out among our left-liberal-leaning friends, it is always they who posit unrestrained and unjustified shooting of other persons, as some sort of spontaneous aberrant behavior that they appear to fear will come over them given the possession of a firearm.
What it really is, is the result of a society in which far too many people receive their education about how the real world works from a cathode-ray tube.
Being a gunowner in modern American urban society means developing a strong ability not to break into laughter when urbanites ask questions about firearms and firearms law.

jerad

March 8th, 2010
11:01 am

I live in the state of oklahoma and here we are a concealed carry state. And lets say if i walk in to starbucks and I am seen then they will ask you to leave and it is a misdemanor tresspassing charge. And for all those who are anti gun on this forum. Do you remember the massacre in Killene Texas about 15 years ago. Where the guy bust into the little resurant and killed like 15 people. That crime is what got the ball rolling in Texas and other states that concaled carry,and even open carry was a good idea. I know that if i were setting at starbucks drinking my coffee and some mad man burst in and started shooting, I would want to defend my self. Responsible and Sensible and Rational gun owners dont just start shooting people. They prevent people form shooting people.every one needs to get over this old west type mentality, look at history since we all are intellegent people, you will find that shoot outs and the old lets go to the street and draw, did not happen that often. It was rare when it did, and when it did the towns people who usually carried openly in most towns usually mowed them down. You are the only one that can protect your self, the police try and do a good job but they cant be every where at once. Those people that believe that they are of that they will be live in a fairy tale world and need to come back to relaity.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
11:02 am

Apologies, Disgusted, you specifically disclaimed my suggestion @ 10:57; I withdraw my argument.

Aquagirl

March 8th, 2010
11:02 am

Simple, I’d also like to hear some evidence for your assertion. As a member of the inherently sackless class, I’m used to the attitude I should wait for someone who deems himself an authority to handle a situation.

neo-Carlinist

March 8th, 2010
11:06 am

Rational Person, you ever hear the expression about what people in Hell want? I would venture to guess that most people who legally own and carry firearms want to live in a civilized society. as the other expression goes, “how’s that working out for you?” ergo, there are some who believe the 2nd Amendment is intended to enhance civilization as opposed to threatening it? there are others (I believe they are referred to as anarchists) who believe mayhem is itself akin to “civilization”. you can like guns or fear guns or like Dunkin Donuts coffee or fear Starbucks Latte Grande, but none of these feelings have ANY bearing on whether or not our world is “civilized”. I return to the Indian concert (or Virginia Tech, 2007, or Columbine, or LA after the Rodney King verdict, etc.). You can pine for Utopia or you can deal with reality as you see fit.

Scout

March 8th, 2010
11:06 am

Ragnar:

People like Disgusted (and Jay Bookman) always used “scewed” statistics. The compare killings to killings, etc.. What they always leave out is:

1) How many times the good guy only “wounded” the bad guy.
2) How many times the good guy scared the bad guy off by just shooting “at” him.
3) How many times the good guy scared the bad guy off by just “pointing” the weapon at him.
4) How many times the good guy scared the bad guy off by just putting his hand “on” a weapon.
5) How many times the good guy scared the bad guy off because the bad guy “saw” a weapon.
6) How many times the good guy scared the bad guy off because the bad guy “thought” the good guy might have a weapon.

I could go on and on but you get the point.

You can’t answer those questions because you can’t collect the statistics. It’s like how many times has the Secret Servce saved the President’s life? WE DON’T KNOW? But take them away and see wha the statistics will say.

Simple But Honest...

March 8th, 2010
11:08 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
10:06 am

Sir….My arguments are predicated on facts that I my fellow officers live with daily.. If it would further this debate, I could provide data to support my position as “Disgusted” has said in their 10:59am post. You don’t understand what I know as fact….The crook don’t care if you have a gun. They operate from an irrational position and have no regard for others who may be affected by their actions. In fact, The focus of alot of theses crimes is to terrorize and install fear in all that they come in contact with, but don’t take my word, pick up any paper and see how often the criminals get into shootouts with the Police. They have little regard for anything and If they don’t care that officers are protected with armoured Vest, sidearms and in some case Semi-Automatic rifles, and extensive Backup, Why then would you they be afraid of one guy that most likely has never fired a weapon at another person in their life???? You are working from a theory, I am working from 22 yrs of experience. And for you to dismiss the value of that experience is in fact dis-honest.

Scout

March 8th, 2010
11:10 am

P.S.

For any of you out there who live in a state that allows “concealed carry” (with or without a permit) and you find an establishment with a sign that says “No Guns Allowed” ……….. just go in anyway. You “didn’t see the sign did you?”

If they “spot” the gun later they have to ask you to leave or you can then be tresspassed. So you leave.

Simple But Honest...

March 8th, 2010
11:18 am

Aquagirl

March 8th, 2010
11:02 am

I have no issue with concept of self defense, But while I accept that there are things that happen, say in an emergency room that fly in the face of what i suspect….My point is i deal with real crimes and real criminals..The notion that these people are afraid of the guy across
the room having a .45 in his belt is just not correct. The crooks are not afraid and are prepared to do whatever….Stop being brave, and ask yourself, are you???? Would you be OK if you took that shot and hit an innocent 80 yearold grandma mistake?? The crooks don’t care. would you????

Scout

March 8th, 2010
11:25 am

Simple But Honest… :

Let me put it this way. If I was in a Mall Food Court eating and some maniac starting killing people at random and I killed/wounded/scared him into hiding/caused him to commit suicide or whatever until the police arrived and in the process I saved maybe 20 lives but accidentally killed one innocent person …………. I would have done the right thing.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
11:28 am

Dear Simple, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. I offered a logical argument. You offer heartfelt personal prejudice in response. I think neither of us can persuade the other.

Simple But Honest...

March 8th, 2010
11:36 am

Scout

March 8th, 2010
11:25 am

2 things….First, In a crowded mall food court, are you so good a shot that you can miss all those running, screaming panicing people and hit the one person that’s shhoting to hit anyone??? 2nd, Your shot hit and killed a pregnant mom…Again, I ask, Not would it be right, but can you live with that???? I don’t know you call you a liar, but If you are OK with killing that Mom and her unborn baby, Them maybe YOU should not be allowed to carry a weapon.

Simple But Honest...

March 8th, 2010
11:38 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 8th, 2010
11:28 am

I respect your position, But you must admit, these type of situations are anything but logical….

Disgusted

March 8th, 2010
11:38 am

Dear Simple, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. I offered a logical argument. You offer heartfelt personal prejudice in response. I think neither of us can persuade the other.

I don’t find “heartfelt personal prejudice” at all. All you have to do is to read today’s news about the man killed in front of a WalMart in a shootout with police. He knew the police were armed, and that fact did not deter him. Or take the recent Pentagon shooting incident. The intruder knew that the police guards there were armed, but he proceeded to shoot at them anyway.

Am I supposed to feel comforted that some civilian I don’t know is carrying a pistol tucked in his jacket in a restaurant? For all I know, he could be a madman. And it’s highly doubtful that he’s trained and screened the use of weapons in the way that police officers are trained and screened. I fear, dear Ragnar, you have lost your bearings in developing your tortured libertarian logic.

Richard

March 8th, 2010
11:47 am

Personally, if I felt that I needed a gun to walk into a local store, I wouldn’t walk in.

Plaxico Burress could ahve used that logic. Oh well.

Aquagirl

March 8th, 2010
11:49 am

@ simple, I’m not sure what you’re referring to about emergency rooms. However, unless you are constantly shooting crooks, your argument seems pretty weak. I don’t base my reality on the media, where one shooting makes the papers. If typical criminals didn’t care, you’d be shooting them every day, yes? Apparently the idea you have a gun has some persuasive power.

I’m sure there are criminals out there who don’t give a (bleep) if you have a howitzer. If you’re going to say that’s more the rule than the exception, I’ll have to go with Rag’s response and say we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And if criminals aren’t scared of me with a gun, well, they’re probably much less afraid of me without one. If they aren’t scared, then at least I have the choice to defend myself. I toted and waved a gun about when I was in the military. I’m not 100% confident I would shoot (which is never a certainty, unless you’ve been there.) I’ll take my chances. Unless the cop responding has shot someone before, they don’t know 100% either.

And Scout, if you accidentally shoot me, I’ll thank you in advance for at least trying. Better that, than cowering under a table while a nutcase deliberately tries to put a round in my head.