John Stossel’s column over at foxbusiness.com has the whole story.
Open-carrier confronted by the Philadelphia police at gunpoint, proned out, cursed at. After they found out they were wrong for stopping him they finally let him go. But the audio recording he made of the incident raised some hackles when he posted it to youtube. He is now being charged with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
Now, the Philadelphia police department is not known for its ethics nor its professionalism. One of its own even documents the stupidity. Another officer, a sergeant in fact, used to air the PPD’s dirty laundry and hosted a messageboard called Domelights where the ugly head of racism kept popping up, bringing the PPD’s reputation down even lower. The threat of a lawsuit forced Domelights to close.
But even if the responding police officers weren’t trigger-happy goons, this is the sort of problem that open carry can cause. The police will arrive at the location of an open carrier in response to a “man with a gun” call, which might have been made by some bedwetting gun-grabber who exaggerated his description of the open-carrier’s behavior. In any case, the police will show up and have to assess the situation.
What happens then is dependent on a lot of factors: What is the responding officer’s experience, and mindset? What kind of day is that officer having? How much does that officer know about open-carry laws? Not to mention: if there is any sort of terroristic threats in the news, law enforcement will be on edge. And, not every open-carrier conducts themselves in friendly non-threatening behavior.
So, this is another example of why I don’t like the practice of open carry. I certainly want it to be legal, but the drawbacks outweigh the advantages.
More over at Snowflakes in Hell.