Thoughts on rifle open carry

not_wrong_asshole
Yes, in many places you have the right to carry a rifle wherever you go. Outside of certain narrowly-defined situations, however, such behavior is unexpected, unsettling, and often counterproductive (even in places that are friendly to handgun open carry).
As Sebastian says, openly carrying rifles to “educate” people “[brings] both parties together to support gun control. That was quite an education! We have enough trouble to deal with on a regular basis without having to worry we?ll need to turn people out to fight a gun ban that didn?t need to happen.”
Seriously guys, knock it off.
Before you go start open carrying long guns in public, you might want to read and understand this: open carry as a means of working toward a specific goal (e.g. VA used to allow only handgun OC in restaurants but not CC. People started OCing in restaurants to highlight the silliness of that law. VA eventually changed the law to allow CC.) is one thing, but open carry — particularly of long guns — just for the hell of it, or to “educate” people in general is a different thing entirely.

Exactly.

The folks spraying our cities with bullets are not NRA members or legal gun owners. And despite the tendency to tie it all together, they have nothing to do with the Adam Lanzas of the world.
[…]
This is why gun-control advocates need to abandon the routine of using mass shootings to turn law-abiding citizens into social pariahs and instead focus on something that could work.

– LZ Granderson, in this CNN Opinion piece.
Go and read the whole thing.

On Starbucks

This. Sebastian hits the nail on the head, as usual.
I get where Starbucks is coming from, but I think they handled this situation somewhat poorly. Some better wording (“display” vs. “bring”, as Sebastian puts it) would have made it clear that they weren’t so keen on being an unwilling focal point of the open carry debate while still allowing people to carry discretely in accordance with local laws.
The current wording alienates all law-abiding, peaceable gun owners who carry concealed and disturb nobody, not just those who were pushing the bounds of civility by openly carrying rifles into a coffee shop where such behavior is not customary. Change the wording slightly to ask people to not carry openly and there’d be significantly less controversy.
I don’t drink coffee so I pretty much have no reason to ever go to Starbucks, but if I did then I’d definitely have second thoughts about any future business there based on their handling of this situation.

“Military-style” no longer cutting it, now it’s “law-enforcement style”

[T]he suspect, Aaron Alexis of Texas, bought a law-enforcement-style shotgun ? an 870 Remington pump-action ? and used it on Monday as he rampaged through the navy yard, said the officials, who requested anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
[snip]

The gunman then perched himself above an atrium where he fired down on people who had been eating breakfast, officials said, adding that he used shotgun shells that had roughly a dozen large ball-bearing-like shots in them, increasing their lethal nature.

?When he discharged, the pieces of lead would spread the farther they went,? the one official said. ?It is similar to weapons used in bird shooting but on a more serious scale. These were not bullets but many small pieces of lead flying through the air.?

The New York Times

Evidently The New York Times is not satisfied with simply calling the Remington 870 “a pump-action shotgun” and had to slip “law-enforcement style” in there to make it sound particularly scary.?Also, they evidently haven’t heard of buckshot before and make it out to be some sort of special, unusual, extra-deadly type of ammo.

Is a shotgun loaded with buckshot dangerous? Absolutely.?It’s a gun. Putting black plastic furniture on one of the most popular shotguns in the country for sporting, self-defense, and yes, law-enforcement use doesn’t make it any more dangerous than the same shotgun with wood furniture.

You’re Not Helping

The new Fox & Friends host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck (formerly the lone conservative on ABC’s The View) suggested during the Tuesday morning show that “the left” was trying to make Monday?s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard about “gun control.” Instead she pointed out that the country doesn’t need a national registry for guns, it needs one for to [sic] track video game purchases.

-?GamePolitics
As a gun owner and a gamer, I find remarks like this to be firmly in the “you’re not helping” category. Millions of people in the country (and many more all over the world) — including myself — enjoy playing video games, including those with violent content. The vast, overwhelming majority of gamers are ordinary people who go about their lives without harming anyone.
Is there some overlap between violent madmen and those who play video games? Almost certainly, just as there’s some overlap between violent madmen and those who use toothpaste, watch movies, hold particular religious beliefs, listen to certain musical groups, hold a specific political view, etc. However, as far as I’m aware, there’s no conclusive evidence that any of these things have a causal relationship with violent outcomes.
As fellow gun-rights supporters have pointed out, violent crime rates have dropped over the last few decades while the number of privately-owned guns has increased. Over the same time period the sale of video games, including violent ones, has also increased as has their realism and detail.
Blaming video games for violent crime is a bold claim. Is it possible? Perhaps, but if I may quote Carl Sagan, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Such evidence is not forthcoming. Making unsupported claims of this type is silly, counterproductive, and makes gun-rights advocates look absurd by association.

Back in the saddle…sort of

So, good news: after two years of spilling liquid nitrogen on myself, pulling my hair out, hitting multi-million-dollar instruments with a socket wrench, and crying into beer late into the night I finally got my masters degree a few months ago.
Better news: I also got accepted for the PhD student gig here doing much the same work, which is fun, and for better pay, which is better. While it’s a lot of work, I can focus on my research and not have pesky classes taking up my time.
Mixed feelings: I’m still in Switzerland. This is a fantastic country and I love living here (though my German is pretty rough). We’ve settled in nicely and are doing well, but my wife and I miss the friends and family back home. Sure, we’ve got some friends here but living in a country where one has only a basic command of the language and spends ~10 hours a day in the lab is somewhat…limiting in a social sense. I haven’t been to the range in ages but maybe I’ll get a chance in November when I head back to the US for a whirlwind tour of weddings, Thanksgiving, and visiting friends and family.
Bad news: Now that my schedule is a bit more relaxed?less frantic, I should be able to spare a bit of time for writing here. You poor bastards.