Monday, November 19, 2007

Utahns exercise right to openly carry firearms

LAYTON - "Among the things that make Utah a special place are its gun laws. Love 'em or hate 'em, they often make living, working and even dining in the state a visceral experience, harking back to the heady days of Deadwood and Dodge City.

Most Utahns are aware their state issues an easily obtained concealed-weapon permit. By passing a background check and basic course in gun safety, anyone over 21 can qualify to carry an undercover gun.

But in how many places, outside parts of Africa and the Middle East, can you legally stroll down the street with a semi-automatic carbine slung over your shoulder, let alone a handgun on your hip?

"Any citizen over 18 can protect themselves by openly carrying a firearm," says Brian Nelson, an emergency vehicle equipment salesman who lives in Layton. Nelson is the spokesman for the Utah branch of, a national network organization whose motto is "A right unexercised is a right lost."

Last month, Utah began a monthly "lunch group" to talk about gun rights while openly carrying handguns. Twenty-five members met at the Golden Corral in Layton on Saturday.

Joe Smith, a computer programmer from Lehi, joined the group for lunch with his wife, Tiffney, and 9-week-old son Paxton. Why does Smith feel the need to pack a 9mm Hi-Point semi-auto on his hip?

"Right here," he says, nodding toward his wife and son. "They're the reason."

"It seems we are seeing more and more of it." says Ed Phillips, deputy commissioner of the Utah Department of Public Safety, about the "open-carry" phenomenon. Phillips has asked the state police academy to address the legalities of open-carry with cadets. It's only reasonable to go on alert when someone encounters an armed person, but it's unclear to many how to respond, Phillips says. "There is a lot of confusion, even among law enforcement officers."

No, Ed, let me stop you right there and make a correction. Seems all we do nowadays is correct the police, but here goes anyway. ONLY law enforcement officers are confused because you do not train them nearly as well as you should be training them. The sheeple are either frightened or don't notice a damned thing, and the ones who DO know the law open carry whenever they wish to.

There isn't a reason any sane man should comment upon "Deadwood and Dodge City", so I will not.

And, Joe? A Hi-Point?

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