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« Talking about GPAC | Main | The Paranoid Style in American Politics »

Mar 22, 2012


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sean coon

from your link:

"Gun rights advocates argued that residents need to be able to defend their children and themselves at parks. 'People who have no regard for the law will be the only ones with guns. Once there is a rape or kidnapping in our parks, it will be too late for that person for you to change your minds,' said resident Jean Brown, who said she has carried her concealed gun at a local park after she was frightened by a group of teenage boys."

what an assbackwards perspective. so for the off-chance that a rape or kidnapping might occur, the park should be crawling with people carrying guns? has anyone ever heard of unintended consequences? i mean, if i consciously bring my kids, dog, a frisbee, some water and my gun to the park, there's a damn good chance i'll be scanning about, thinking about how my gun might be used. maybe not as much as how i might be able to bend the disc around that tree 50 feet away, but it's there and i know it.

since when is "crime" -- as Jean Brown understands it -- solely defined by premeditated actions with actual criminal intent? who's to say that "legally" carrying or even owning guns won't escalate a situation of premeditated criminal behavior into reactionary felony categories, such as murder 2? she might pop off her pistol and shoot a kid in the park. great, she scared away her "potential" threat, but she's now going to jail and a child is dead.

if you're not hunting or at a range, gun ownership makes zero sense to me.


I saw a doc in his scrubs at the grocery a few min. ago with a pistol stuff into the waistband. Gave me comfort to see that in public.

Sean: "i mean, if i consciously bring my kids, dog, a frisbee, some water and my gun to the park, there's a damn good chance i'll be scanning about, thinking about how my gun might be used. "

You need to get over your fear of guns, get training and don't be negligent to your kids by not teaching them how to handle a firearm. You won't always be in their lives and the training you could give them may save their lives one day.

I don't understand the obsession about having possession of a gun that would cause you to think of how you could use it. If you had a hammer, pocket knife, or pepper spray would you exhibit the same anxiety?


I think it should be a requirement for people to carry firearms AND other assorted weapons in public parks. That's where all crimes are committed, no? Plus, nothing says family more than weaponry. I won't rest easy until I live in a world where I can don my sword & scabbard and tote a machete in one hand and a loaded shotgun in the other, while my wife walks with our two children in tow. I demand that protection when my wife and I eat our fishburger sandwiches from McDonald's while our kids rock back-and-forth on the rusted metal ladybug.

sal leone

The question here is what is the GPD doing about crime in the parks, if they are so bad that everyone needs a gun.

Maybe police patrols need to increase or get a new chief that can deal with crime in the parks. We live in a sad world when we have to carry a gun in a park. The parks are for fun, lets see what GPD can do, this is why we pay taxes, and high taxes at that

Mad Dog

I agree with Hugh and will extend his comments to both sean & prell because they both need some help. Where in the world do you get this idea that all gun owners with or without carry permits are out looking to shoot somebody? Many years ago I was a reserve police officer for a year and only drew my weapon once on duty, and never fired it. Why? Because of training. Even if you do not want to carry or own a gun, you need to take the concealed/carry course.

And to you prell, don't quit your day job, because you ain't funny.



I don't like guns. I've never owned or fired a gun. As far as I can recall, I've never held a gun. I'd rather the 2nd Amendment didn't exist. I would not willingly move to a state like Arizona or Florida given their current gun culture. (And I really like AZ.)

That said, I can understand when rational people make rational decisions to own guns for rational reasons. That would include things like worry about home invasion, hunting, sharp shooting competition, etc.

I do not understand when people turn gun ownership and display into an emotional bedrock for their lives, when they fetishize guns. This is what is really behind the laws allowing and encouraging people to carry guns in public. (Plus a hell of a lot of NRA money.) Consider: If crime is so rampant in a place like Phoenix that people need to carry pistols when they catch dinner at the Olive Garden, what does that say about the Phoenix PD and Sheriff Arpiao? I thought Arpiao had rid Maricopa County of crime?

Pro-gun people like to say that guns don't kill, people do. That's absolutely correct. And a lot of states have laws that let those people carry a gun when they're walking behind you at the mall.


Trust me, I'm not trying to be funny. I think you're out-of-touch and batshit crazy if you feel the need to carry a gun into a public park, esp. in Greensboro, NC. If you can't feel safe in public WITHOUT carrying a gun, just kill yourself already. I live a block from Sternberger Park and Fisher Park. Why the fack would anyone feel the need to carry a gun into those parks? Are you that scared? Also, MadDog, what is a "reserve police officer?" Isn't that just a fancy term for glorified security guard?

Billy Jones

Sean, obviously you don't have a lot of experience with some of Greensboro's parks. Not all, but some.

I mean, seriously, when Roy Carroll has to wait 2 hours for the police to even show up and downtown Friday nights look like this.

As for that Zimmerman character-- he should be hanged, cit down, shot and hanged again.

But screw all that, let's ride motorcycles!


" And a lot of states have laws that let those people carry a gun when they're walking behind you at the mall."

And what's wrong with that? The reverse is that a person of bad intent is going to carry a gun regardless of the law.


What's wrong with it, Hugh, is that there is no reason to believe that a person authorized to carry a gun in public is not, in fact, a "person of bad intent". Licensing procedures do not, and can not, provide that assurance.

Nor is there any guarantee that such a person is always, and in every instance, going to make the right decision about using that weapon. If I am in the line of fire when a person of good intent decides to use his weapon in that mall, of what value is his good intent to me?

I want to see fewer people walking around with guns, period. I want to see fewer people thinking they have a reason to walk around with guns.

Bill B.

In re the lady who was frightened by a group of teen boys:

Over my years of teaching in a 1,000-student high school, it was common to see a non-teacher visitor frozen up against the wall in fear when the bell rang and kids flooded the hall, living their social lives during the 8 minutes between classes. It looked chaotic, it was loud, and there was crowding. Those were all artifacts of building design, not signs of agressive behavior. Want to know what to look for? An open area with only two to four kids, others leaving them a wide berth, lots of eyes focused on the few, while bodies step to a "safe" distance. Once it built to the point of kids on the outer ring of observers getting on tiptoe for a view, you could reasonably expect a fight to start rather quickly.

Yes, there are instances of intimidating behavior being acted out intentionally. But I am not interested in having frightened people deciding, "Well, better them than me!" and opening fire. How close does that group of teens have to be to excite enough fear to "justify" firing? I don't want to be in places with large numbers of people I don't know having guns, because people who carry daily are a group that certainly includes more people looking to use their guns than the group of people who don't carry. Police, a group heavily observed and trained and supervised, still include some cowboys. The general public, to anybody who has his eyes open, certainly has at least that fraction, plus some weirdos of assorted leanings, extreme authoritarians and fantasy dwellers. I do not encourage these people to have guns, much less tote them about. I believe there is something in the law about going armed to the terror of the public. Tell me some of the public, if armed, does not excite a little terror in the thinking public.

Mad Dog


Once again, I say you need some education. I can't speak for reserve officers today, but then, back in the 70's, I received the same training as the NC Highway Patrol, both in and out of the classroom. I also was certified by several other agencies, including the SBI & the FBI. So I was not a "glorified security guard." The only difference between me and a regular officer was that I was a volunteer and did not receive any financial compensation. My point is I received training. And today, before you can carry concealed, training is required, as well as a background check. And, FYI, not all of us are "out-of-touch and batshit crazy."



"Once again, I say you need some education."

For what? The end times? The "war?" I already own a gun, boss. My brother and I go to Montana once a year to hunt moose with our high school buds. What else do I need to do to up my man card? Get the conceal carry to protect me from the "bad people?" Sorry chief. Some people choose not to live their lives in fear. You sound more like an Old Dog than a "Mad" Dog. Anger and rage probably kill more than guns and all that cool man stuff. Shoot 'em up brah!

Billy Jones

Two of the best times in my life: Daddy teaching me how to shoot a gun when I was 10 and teaching my son how to shoot a gun when he was 10. I wish I could relive both experiences 100 times over. Remembering my Daddy telling me I was a straight shooter and remembering the look on a 10 year old's face when my telling him he too was a straight shooter-- nothing says family like that. Never is the bond stronger than right then. Fathers and sons don't have enough of those kinds of experiences.

Or the look on his face when I gave him his first .22 Ruger Ranch Rifle and his Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge-- 2 guns I never felt I could afford for myself but bought for him instead.

If I could only have those experiences again.


"Some people choose not to live their lives in fear. You sound more like an Old Dog than a 'Mad' Dog. Anger and rage probably kill more than guns and all that cool man stuff. Shoot 'em up brah!"

Let the above be a lesson for you folks who want to snort shampoo for fun.

Tom Phillips


This is or was one of the safest areas of Charlotte. A lot of people have concealed carry permits because they don't want to become a statistic. Crime is low in our parks but it's not zero.


"Crime is low in our parks but it's not zero."

K. So, what is it, then? If it's not zero, you must know what;'s up, dude

tom phillips

Watch the rerun of the council meeting. The chief gave some statistics.

  Bill Yaner

Interesting letter recently to the News & Record based his case for permitting guns in our parks on the 1989 Central Park rape in New York City on the "what if" she, or passers by, had been packing heat.

Almost every day I read a case about some nut case shooting someone in our area because he was packing heat and was irritated. I do not need to go back to 1989 to illustrate the case against easy access to terribly lethal weapons. We're surrounded by these hideous illustrations.


What we are surrounded by, Bill, are the deaths of the unarmed.

Andrew Brod



I wrote unarmed when I had intended disarmed, a reference to deadly gun-free zones.

Apologies, Doc Brod.

A big difference, a miss on my part, and an appropriate call on your part.

sean coon

some of you people just don't get it. i'm not against owning a gun because i'm "afraid" of guns; i'd just rather not add one more to the mix of a gun wielding society. similarly, when i go into a park, i'd rather have less guns held by complete strangers around my family than more. call that what you may, but i consider it to be common sense and like those odds for survival much better.

so you have a concealed weapon while strolling through the park... you know what? i don't know you. you may think it's fine because you're just strolling along, going about your business but ready to protect yourself, but for all i know, you may have an itchy trigger finger. you could be a career criminal... or just down on your luck... or a soccer mom willing to fire away due to "scary teenagers" but with no more training than having a gun with a bow given to her on her birthday by her husband.

i'd rather not live in a society that is so petrified of having something taken from them that they resort to participating in an open arms race, which only increases the odds of some kind of shit going down. that doctor who was referenced earlier in this thread could've been some guy in scrubs who just lost everything and was contemplating god knows what. i'd much rather him not be legally able to carry a weapon that can kill at a distance because i. don't. know. his. intent.

if you truly believe that guns don't kill people, people kill people, then you'd be on my side of this argument. if you can't square this premise, then you *really* shouldn't own a firearm.

Ben Holder

Tommy P said: "The chief gave some statistics."

If he only knew what I knew about the Chief's stats, we wouldn't be here right now.

I would also like to let everyone know that I run down bad guys without a gun. I think it's more fair if I am unarmed.


"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,..."

That part almost always gets left out of the discussion.

Billy, one of my fondest memories is of my grandfather teaching me to shoot. He had obtained a replica of his first gun, a breach loading 22, and that's what he used to teach me. So cool. I don't own a gun (I guess technically I do, but it's at my father's house) and don't want to.

Imagine the Martin/Zimmerman encounter with another gun in the mix. Would that have been better?

Billy Jones

Thomas wrote: "Imagine the Martin/Zimmerman encounter with another gun in the mix. Would that have been better?"

At least Martin might have stood a chance against his racist murderer. Had Zimmerman not had a gun Martin would still be alive today but sooner or later Zimmerman would have killed someone be it with a gun, car, knife, club, rock or his bare hands. The Zimmermans of the world are filled with a hatred they cannot keep down-- sooner or later they always kill. Personally, if I'm going to be killed I'd rather be shot than beaten to death. Having survived more than one near death beating I've no doubt as to which is the more human way to die.

That said, the Zimmermans of the world are the exception rather than the rule. I've been carrying since 1972 and have yet to shoot anyone but on multiple occasions have backed down armed robbers-- some with guns, most with knives-- by simply displaying my gun.

Armed thugs bank on the notion that they are the only ones carrying guns, knives, etc.-- it has been shown that in every state where CCW has been made legal, gun violence has gone down. That was: until the current round of insane laws such as Florida's "stand your ground" laws were passed. Zimmerman was banking on the fact that Martin was unarmed but sooner or later Zimmerman would have worked up the nerve to kill someone via any means necessary-- these kinds always do.

Will I shoot? If I have to. But shooting is and always should be a last resort. I'll use my gun as a means to get away unless backed into a corner and to date have always done just that. Florida and other states need to rethink their "stand your ground" laws but CCW should remain legal.

If you lived where I live your gun would be in your home and not your father's house.

Billy Jones

PS. I first learned on a single shot bolt-action Springfield Army trainer that my Daddy borrowed from our Boy Scout troop but later I couldn't find one I could afford so my son began with my .22 Remington Nylon 66 semi-automatic. But I made him fire a whole lot of single rounds before I ever let him fill the tubular magazine or use my Charter Arms AR-7. The bullets stayed in MY pocket.

The AR-7, by the way, is the worst gun I have ever owned-- jams every second round. I would sell it but can't do so in good conscious.


"And today, before you can carry concealed, training is required"

Behold, the trained.


I am still waiting for the investigation to be completed in florida but from news stories it was Zimmerman that had issues. The fact that one person messed up should not reflect on CCW holders here in NC. I like also to see the crime rate in the parks and ask if people feel so afraid to go to the parks then want is GPD doing about it.

I am all for Americans bearing arms, it's are right. I like to see a compromise in regards to where one can carry. The laws make no sense, we can carry concealed but they make it unlawful to carry them in certain places, why have one.

The people have a right to protect themselves because the police and judicial system have failed them, criminals do not have to follow the law.

Ed Cone

Crime in parks is not driving this, a more generalized fear of crime (explained in part by speakers from the floor with inaccurate statements about crime rates and patterns) is driving it.

The spark is a change in state law; GSO has had its park ban in place for years.

The one person messing up does reflect on the argument that people with carry permits don't cause problems, they just solve them. Clearly, that is not the case.

sean coon

@billy: "If you lived where I live your gun would be in your home and not your father's house."

that's completely fair, billy. i'm not going to judge people in how they defend their home or even themselves on their way to and from locations in crappy neighborhoods. i've lived in some shady ass parts of jersey city and brooklyn and stuck to body language and street smarts to avoid situations, but again, i'm not trying to judge... but where do you draw the line? isn't a friggin' park a decent place to begin? i mean, seriously, while it would be nice to be able to frequent every park in the city, if one is known to be dangerous, doesn't it make sense to avoid it and head to another, rather than strap on a gun and take a greater risk of confrontation?

David Hoggard

@Prell,I just caught this from you, "I live a block from Sternberger Park and Fisher Park."

That means you must live in or near my back yard.

Billy Jones

Sean, As a teenager I was robbed in the city owned park 3 blocks from my home by a guy with a knife. He didn't need the knife as he was 3 times my size but I still got robbed.

Body language and street smarts will keep you out of most situations but the young and old will always be preyed upon. Besides, street smarts is usually learned the hard way. Had Martin had enough street smarts he might have avoided Zimmerman. But that's all speculation so who knows?

As for where you draw the line-- shooting is always the last resort. It has to be. Shooting as a last resort is required of police and military. And for good reason. The Florida "stand your ground" law turned it around and made shooting a first result. That's a best worst case example of a poorly written law. I think we can both agree on that point.

I mean, seriously, have I ever intimidated you? (You're laughing now, right? You should be.) I've been armed almost every time we ever met.

Guns in parks are no more or no less of a concern that having a gun on Elm Street-- potential killers and potential victims are probably more abundant on Elm Street than in any park in Greensboro. And Elm street has more cops.

Now, about those motorcycles?

Billy Jones

Prell, Don't worry, David Hoggard doesn't get drunk and shoot from his back porch. All his shooting is out front where Professor Wharton can lay down cover fire. ;-)

sean coon

first off... what a beautiful video. reminds me of why i disappeared a few years ago for over a month. there's nothing like hitting the open road. closest thing to flying on land and the most cathartic time i've ever spent. we do need to ride, soon.

as far as this whole gun thing, no, you've never intimidated me, but that's sort of not the point i was getting at. i'm sure there are a ton of well intentioned, highly-trained strapped GSO residents who represent the cream of the crop... but the rest, just as legally armed, are either trained with ill-intent, well meaning but nervous nellies, or the worst of both. people i know who carry isn't my concern.

yeah, i've been mugged before -- also as a teen by a guy with a knife in a friggin' amusement park -- but that just had me double down on making smarter decisions, i guess. not avoiding people or areas out of fear, per se, but when i find myself in a troublesome scenario, i steel up smoother, finding ways to remove myself from the environment without sending signals that i could be a potential target. it's tragic that trayvon martin didn't have a chance to learn from his experience with an over-zealous, unbalanced character like zimmerman, but if he were also packing, even legally, people would be calling zimmerman a hero today... which is fucked up.

anyway, my approach may not be a guaranteed way to avoid violent confrontation, but it fits how i want to live my life while greatly reducing the chance that i'll find myself in a messy situation. as far as defending my home, i just feel more comfortable with my louisville slugger.


Interesting sign of the times, Ruger has suspended taking new orders as their current backlog is 1,000,000 units.


Billy Jones

sean, I really can't disagree with any of the points you made-- especially about people calling Zimmerman a hero if Martin had been packing.

Deal: you don't swing at me with your louisville slugger and I'll not throw hot lead at you.

Billy Jones

Also, just so you know, as a gun owner and CCW permit holder, I'd just like to make the point that for some, gun ownership and carry is taken too lightly. If gun owners are honest with themselves, some will find that they shouldn't be gun owners. Knowing the law is always in your best interest. Anyone who wants to own a gun should take the classroom portion of the NC CCW class before they buy a gun. Some of every class decide gun ownership is not for them. Sean is being honest with himself in the reasons he chooses not to own and carry a gun.

Gun owners must face the fact that not all of them should be carrying a gun. I carried a gun as a scared teenager and 20 something-- I wasn't ready then and I'm lucky to have gotten through those early years without incident. That said, I toted a few ass kickings with my gun in my pocket because I knew it would end with just an ass kicking. No shame in getting my ass kicked by a worthy opponent but in my world there was lots of shame on those who used a gun when it wasn't necessary. We might have been biker trash but we had honor.

Owning a gun is a huge decision-- right up there with marriage and making babies. It isn't the right decision for everyone and we all need to remember that. Sean doesn't carry and for him that's the right decision. Should I ever see Sean in a situation that he needs a gun owner as a last resort then I'll come to his defense with my gun in my hand. Odds are that will never happen and I like those odds.

As for actually pulling the trigger-- absolute last resort. Always.


"Should I ever see Sean in a situation that he needs a gun owner as a last resort then I'll come to his defense with my gun in my hand."

Or perhaps you'll do him the pleasure of accidentally shooting him in the ass.


Billy, there is much we disagree on, but oddly we seem to come to those disagreements for similar reasons. Not here.

In source, conclusion and action we parallel one another throughout.

Well said, Billy.

sean coon

deal, billy.

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