The Tennesseean: Americans have no right to carry guns in public.

According to The Tennessean’s guest “editorialist” David Randolph Smith, Americans do not have a right to defend themselves outside the home unless you can use a cell phone, a slurpee or some other less than lethal item.  The article is plagued by the usual mistaken references and “studies” that tell us without a doubt that armed citizens walking the streets with a gun strapped to their waist will become murderous and will massacre innocent people when they find out that their local McDonald’s is out of Chicken McNuggets. Even though that the famous and constant bloodbaths predicted by the Violence Policy Center and other Super-Duper Intelligent People have not happened, it is nice to bring out the misconceptions to stir the political base.

Funny thing, last night I was reminiscing about the first time I used a firearm in a defensive situation. It was in Nashville (Home of The Tennessean) way back when Belmont was a College and Reagan was President. I came to my apartment from a long day of class to find it ransacked and whatever few possessions I owned, gone. I called the cops who arrived late, did a perfunctory investigation and pretty much told me that I would recover my belongings when the moon developed pink polka dots. After getting an emergency loan from Dad and the door repaired by the landlord the next day (imagine the kind of night I had) I made a bee-line to the Arms Room where I proceeded to buy the only handgun I could afford: a Beretta .25 with a pop-up barrel, a mousy looking little thing but it was mine and gave me a measure of mental peace.

I was told by the “good people that cared for me” that violence and certainly guns were not the solution. That I would probably shoot myself accidentally, kill my roommate during an argument and other assorted lines in favor at the time but that we now know are just plain old political rubbish. One of those concerned souls was my downstairs neighbor Phil. Phil was from Chicago and emotionally bred in the ways of Daly and the Chicago political machine regarding guns and self-defense so he laid out a thicker layer of anti-gun and I admit I wavered a bit about the wisdom of owning a gun but it did not take hold due to events that would happen later.

As it happened, my apartment was not the only one that suffered the visit of criminals looking for a quick buck. At least 2 other apartments got robbed and one neighbor got attacked when he came home after a long day delivering pizzas. Dear Phil, using the wisdom of Chicago decided that in order to keep his possessions safe, he had to get a roommate that worked nights (most break ins happened during working hours) and he did so. Next enters Chip, good old boy from the mountains of Tennessee who was one of the nicest human beings you can ever meet. The problem for Phil was that Chip came attached with several long guns which made him nervous (You know them guns can jump at you and kill you when you are not looking) but a deal was struck between them when Chip promised to have his room locked so the guns would not escape and create mayhem.

Fast forward 3 weeks. It is Friday night and I invited Phil to my apartment to watch a Genesis concert on MTV (way back then MTV actually had music and even a live concert or two) while enjoying pizza. Halfway through the concert we hear thumping noises coming near the outside my apartment. We looked at each other intrigued about the noise, got up and went outside. Lo and Behold a human critter was on his earnest trying to kick Phil’s door down and actually was halfway down in the process. We screamed at the guy from the top of the stairs but he just looked at us for a second, ignored our shouts and resumed his kicking. I ran back inside, grabbed my little Beretta and stepped outside once more. To my surprise, Phil was backing up because the Bad Guy was now climbing the stairs towards my apartment while screaming in full voice the amount and quality of damage he was about to inflict on Phil’s ass. I moved Phil out of the way and pointed my gun straight to the Critter’s face. Bad Guy froze in his tracks, looked at the gun, looked at me and proceeded to slowly moonwalk down the stairs and into the street. The BG kept swearing and threatening but he was in an active rearward motion which I felt grateful for. But the next surprise came from Phil who rushed past me, finished breaking his door and rushed inside his apartment. I thought that he was going to make a call to the cops so i also came down and posted myself outside the building while keeping an eye on the Bad Guy who at this time was entering a beige colored Chevy with an accomplice at the wheel. My gun is still pointed at their general direction as to indicate I was willing to use it when suddenly Phil pushes me out of the way while holding one of Chip’s rifles: a 30-30 scoped lever action.

I swear that the beige Chevy had a dragster engine under the hood because the next thing I know, I hear rubber screaming and the car becomes a blur down the street. Phil is cussing up and down while trying to shoot at the car but his lack of knowledge was a blessing: the rifle was safe and unloaded. I calmed Phil down, got the rifle out of his hand and called the police. Police arrived some 20 minutes later, took a report and left. Nothing new here. The officer did point out that we might have broken a law or two by stepping outside with guns, but he wasn’t sure and was not going to inquire either.

It was a teachable moment for me. A property crime in progress and direct threat to a human being was stopped by the simple presence of a firearm.  Any doubts I had before about owning a gun disappeared that night. Nobody was killed or injured and even no more break-ins ever happened in our building. Some may scoff, but I do believe that the Bad Guys realized that the once Soft Target had become potentially deadly and the pay off was not worthwhile. It was time to seek Unarmed Targets for fun and profit somewhere else.

So, when I read Mr. Randolph-Smith editorial in The Tennessean, I cannot help and chuckle a bit and then just shake my head in disgust. If Mr. Randolph-Smith chooses to live his life depending on the police, he is more than welcome, having him as a target deflects Criminal’s attentions from other people towards him and I am OK with that: You made your bed, you can slumber in its consequences. But when he tries to impose General Victimhood by speaking against the Right Of People to Bear Guns, he is just one more ignorant fool who lives by the motto “Misery Loves Company And Then You Die.”

I rather live, thank you very much

6 Replies to “The Tennesseean: Americans have no right to carry guns in public.”

  1. This editorial was in response to an incident which occurred when a man slung an AK-pattern pistol (painted to look like a toy gun) over his shoulder and walked around a state park in BDUs and boots. Look up ‘kwikrnu’ in Google.

    This is why open carry should be banned like it is in Texas. It serves no purpose other than to scare non-gun owners and give them ammo (forgive the pun) to use against us. If he was a normal looking guy who had a concealable handgun with a permit, then this would have been a non-incident.




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  2. Was the man involved in a crime? Was he shooting up people? Robbing them? If he was not committing a crime, being stupidly scared of guns is NOT a legal or moral reason to pounce on this guy.
    It wasn’t too long ago (and sometimes even nowadays) that “good folks” would call the police at the sight of a Negro in their neighborhoods because they were scary. I know we are the New Negroes, but damn if I am planning on ridding on the back of the bus to calm upset folks.
    And just to be clear, I WOULD NOT OPEN CARRY. I think it gives people information they do not need to know plus a little surprise is always helpful when confronting a criminal. That being said, I will not demean or deny anybody’s right to carry open. Massad Ayoob brought one point in favor of Open Carry Laws that I agree wholehearted: It eliminates the dumb brandishing laws that subject concealed carry owners to harassment and even jail time. If Open Carry is legal, accidental display of firearms become moot.




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  3. Texas law already has legal protection in statute for people who unintentilonally unconceal their firearm, it’s only the deliberate OC-stuff that gets people into trouble.

    Funny that you compare guns to ‘negroes’, since California’s open carry ban involved both. The Mulford Act, which banned open carry of loaded firearms in cities, was very controversial and probably wouldn’t have passed except that
    the Black Panthers decided to exercise their 2nd amendment rights by showing up in Sacramento with guns loaded. The bill ended up passing, essentially proving the anti-gunners were right in the eyes of the media and population. Even Governor Reagan signed the bill without question. So, yes — open carry does have real negative political implications.

    To most gun owners, what kwikrnu did was probably not an issue. But to people who *are* afraid of guns, that only vindicates their views that gun owners are a bunch of militia types who could go ballistic (excuse the pun) at any time. It wasn’t too long ago that people who wanted to ban handguns were the majority in the country. Though that is no longer the case, they still are a significant part of the population and a few bad incidents could swing more people against us.

    The best way for gun owners to prevent any further bad press is to carry “out of sight, out of mind.” If no one is the wiser, then we’ve done things correctly. That way the anti-gunners don’t have anything to get upset about.

    But to open carriers, ‘self-expression’ is more important than self defense and winning political battles with the Brady Bunch. We could all lose our rights to carry concealed because of these people, just like in California. (“We have met the enemy and he is us.”)

    So, yes – put me down in the category of people against OC for both tactical and political reasons, at least in populated areas. I’ve seen people open carry in Arizona and New Mexico and it’s not that big of an issue in the rural areas (why conceal when there’s practically no one around anyway?)




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  4. 20 years ago the thought of any state being forced to issue a concealed weapons permit just because the citizen was law abiding was thought crazy and unsafe. Nowadays other than a few retrogrades, nobody even bats an eye at the idea that good people having a gun for self defense with them. Do you think that arrests were not made my police officers uninformed about the law? Of course there were. And there were those who bitterly complained about us pushing our luck and maybe sending the 2A cause rearwards. But here we are having the same conversation about OC. First, even though I know there are a bad apple or two out there, I trust my fellow gun owners that OC and you should trust them also. If it comes to a vote, I will support their right to carry their gun openly against those who oppose the 2A. We cannot be a Zumbo just because we do not like or are afraid of what other people think, specially the media. The Anti Gunners and the Media will NEVER like the idea of citizens being armed and a compromise for looks’ sake is actually a defeat for us.




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  5. McDonald v. Chicago
    The Court held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states.

    Williams v. State of Maryland will be challenged against McDonald…… and with all probability Williams will be struck down.




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