On January 13th, two 22 year old Oregon men decided to exercise their 2nd amendment rights to scare and intimidate other citizens by strapping to their backs AR-15 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles and proceeding to slowly stroll the sidewalks of the Portland neighborhood of Sellwood.
The two men were within their rights to scare and intimidate other citizens by openly bearing their mass murder tools. They had permits, they broke no laws. The two youngsters, really, said they were out to educate their uneducated neighborhood....
Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce said they were just trying to normalize the image of legally carrying weapons in public.
“I just want to educate people that it’s OK however you want to carry or not at all,” Boyce told KATU.
Susan Bartley, also a citizen of Sellwood, saw the "normalizing of guns in public" prank this way...
“That’s not the purpose of the Second Amendment, to frighten citizens, to frighten women and children,” Susan Anglada Bartley, the mother of a 9-month-old girl, told the station. “And I don’t think there’s anyone who can argue, especially after the tragedy where so many children were killed – nobody can argue that it’s not scary to have people marauding around Sellwood with guns.”
Cindy Yorgason was shopping at a J.C. Penny's in Riverdale, Utah when she saw Joseph Kelly, 22, in front of her in line, AR-15 strapped to his back, an additional handgun and ammunition clips holstered on his right hip. Ms. Yorgason told a reporter that the first Penny's clerk the armed young man approached refused to wait on him and that everyone else close by...."wanted to get away."
Young Kelly's response a day later?
Kelley described himself as a firm believer in Second Amendment rights and said he decided to bring the guns to the store to demonstrate that they are not dangerous in the hands of law-abiding citizens.
Once again, a young male gun enthusiast deciding to "normalize the image of legally carrying weapons in public." The young Utah gun enthusiast thought the whole deal went over well.....
"I felt no negative vibes from anyone," Kelley said. "I think it went rather surprisingly well."
Cindy Yorgason didn't experience the gun exhibition the same way...
Yorgason said the man’s behavior was in "poor taste."
"I thought that he was pretty much an idiot," Yorgason said. "You do not need to do something like this even if you are against any potential bans."
When a few Tea Partiers during the Obamacare protests openly carried loaded weapons, when state of Ohio leaders decided that it was an excellent idea, whose time had come, to legally permit loaded weapons to be carried into establishments serving liquor.....when you see or hear the carefully politically-tested phrase "gun-free zone"......you are seeing and hearing bits and pieces of one overarching plan.....
"The normalizing of guns in public."
Recent legislative developments......are progressively bringing guns out of the private domain, with the ultimate aim of enshrining them in public life. Indeed, the N.R.A. strives for a day when the open carry of powerful weapons might be normal, a fixture even, of any visit to the coffee shop or grocery store — or classroom.
While gun enthusiasts believe that more guns in more public places.....a normalizing of the image of gun toters in public....will make society more polite and well-behaved, what normalizing guns in public does is frighten and intimidate people. Frightening people, intimidating people with the presence of guns everywhere in public places is the opposite of a society living freely.
Think anyone in the Utah J.C. Penny's was going to cut in line in front of AR-15-carrying G.I.Joe Kelly? Think Ms. Yorgason might think about shopping J.C. Penny's online next time? Do you think that citizens outside of Portland, Oregon will think twice about casually shopping the streets of Sellwood again? Less potential hassle, less potential confrontation, less stress just to stay home.
Whether gun enthusiasts admit to this or not, most people avoid confrontations. Not all, of course,...but most. How much more so.....confrontations with people openly carrying heavy weaponry? Point being....if the NRA and gun enthusiasts are going to "normalize" the public witnessing open carrying of semi-automatic weapons across America.....then what the NRA, GOP & Democratic members and gun enthusiasts will in fact be doing....is suppressing freedom.
And yet, if I was going to bet on it.....I would wager that the NRA is going to win the current "debate"......no semi-automatic weapons will be banned, open-carry will continue to proliferate throughout the nation and....as a result....
....our nation's citizens will be less free and more afraid.
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