In Which I Prefer Pullman

So here I am in BFE Idaho, in a small town that is a blink of an eye as you drive through.  I have been open carrying for the most part unless I am wearing my coat or am wearing my staff shirt.

As I’m standing there talking with a couple hams an officer comes up looking for another officer, who actually happens to be a ham.  We start getting the info for who he’s looking for and I notice he looks at my right hip a couple times.  Immediately my brain locks on the cue.  Currently I’m not worried at all, I’m surrounded by people I know, many of whom are also currently carrying concealed weapons. It just so happens that I’m just the one who doesn’t give a crap about someone being upset by seeing me with a gun.

After a brief attempt to pull his partner up on the ham frequencies since his PD repeater failed the conversation goes something like this. (Officer’s words, my words)

Can I get you to untuck your shirt and cover up your sidearm?

Any particular reason? Open carry is still legal in Idaho right?

Yes, it is legal, but a lot of people have noticed (him) and it is making some of them uncomfortable.  I like that you’re carrying and I appreciate that you’re carrying, I just want to put people at ease.

(At this point I untuck again choose your battles wisely.)

Thanks.

A couple different observations.  First, out of all the time I have been carrying, no one has really said anything to me about it.  I know some people it does make them uncomfortable but how is this for a comparison?

Officer, that man over there is carrying a gun. I don’t like that and can you do anything about it?

Versus:

Officer, that man over there is black.  I don’t like him being here and can you do anything about it?

What I was doing is perfectly legal and overall if people were noticing, he was just getting tired of having to calm the sheep.  In that case I sympathize.  I did discover though that the Sherriff for Idaho County is more of a FUD in that he doesn’t want people open carrying in cities when you drill down into it.  So couple that with what happened while I was carrying in town we are starting to see a possible narrative.

I will give the officer the benefit of the doubt for two reasons.  First he was civil and respectful.  He wasn’t in a “respect my authoritah” mode.  Secondly covering up created a new problem.  Technically without a permit wouldn’t be able to conceal carry.  He never asked to see my permit, even after switching to concealed carry.

Everyone I talked to that wasn’t there got a total laugh out of it though.  It’s freaking rural Idaho, everyone around here is carrying a gun!  I got the officers name but didn’t record it immediately there after.

Overall it was an interesting experience, doubly so for rural Idaho.  I have heard stories of Moscow PD abusing open carriers, but Riggins isn’t exactly huge.

So after getting through all that, here’s a race picture.

DSC_3741

Sadly I clipped the nose off the boat otherwise that would have been one bad ass picture.  This boat is currently the only remaining turbine and the worlds leader.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

About Barron

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.
Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to In Which I Prefer Pullman

  1. Erin Palette says:

    Re: Clipping the nose off

    Just go into Photoshop and select “uncrop”.  

    😉

  2. Guav DNA says:

    I get your point, but it’s not a terribly good comparison—being black is something you: #1 have no control over, and #2, cannot conceal even if you wanted to.

    • The action though is discriminatory never the less.  Instead you’re discriminating against someone who is merely exercising their legal rights.  For a long time people discriminated on the color of skin.  Just the same I don’t like someone trying to make me ashamed of exercising my rights.

      Considering gun control has it’s roots in racism and the action is bigoted, the comparison stands.

      I can think of a few groups of people who people are racist towards and it could be effectively concealed as well. Just because you dislike “X” doesn’t mean you can discriminate against “X” using the force of law.

      • Guav DNA says:

        There are many forms of discrimination, but they are not all equal. Discriminating against people because of the way they dress is also bigoted and discriminatory, but it is not the same things as discriminating against someone because of the color of their skin—something which they have no control over, did not ask for, and cannot change.

        Furthermore, you were not actually discriminated against—you were not denied service, employment, voting rights, etc. You were merely politely asked if you would be willing to cover your firearm, because it made some people uncomfortable. You reacted as a civilized person would and did so, although you had absolutely no obligation to do so.

        If I am at the playground with my toddler, exercising my 1st Amendment rights and wearing a t-shirt with a picture or word on it that might make some people uncomfortable, and another parent politely asked me if I’d be willing to zip up my sweatshirt because it was making them uncomfortable or they didn’t want their child to see it, I would be happy to do so. I have not been discriminated against, my rights have not been infringed, and it’s not remotely comparable to being bought & sold like property, worked like an animal, and denied freedom & liberty.

        I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.

        • I was singled out and differentiated from the rest of the pack for my willingness to exercise my rights.  Yes or no?  If I did not exercise my legal right nothing would have been said.

          Just because I wasn’t denied service doesn’t mean it wasn’t discrimination.  If you go back and read that comparison it has nothing to do with service but someone disliking “X” and wanting something done about it.

          People disliked the fact I was carrying the firearm and wanted the officer to use force to do something about it.  That is why they approached the officer.  Read the text, you will noticed that the use of the substitution game is a statement made to the officer.  The people complaining to the officer had a preconceived belief of who I am and how I would act.  The point of this is replace inanimate object with any other type of person and you see exactly how it is discriminatory.  They disliked me for who I was and instead of approaching me, they wanted the officer to do it for them.

          I am a Gunnie.  I wear my firearm proudly as is my right.  I am not ashamed of it, and it frankly is a part of who I am.  Period.  You sir are telling me that I should change and alter who I am for the whims of others.

          As for your playground example, if a person asked me to un-tuck and conceal near a playground when I was with my child I would tell him no, it’s my legal right, and shortly there after my child and I would leave.  Why, because he was bigoted towards me and my willingness to carry and exercise my right.  I do not need to expose my child to those types of individuals.  Just the same if someone showed up wearing something I deemed offensive and didn’t want my child to see, I would leave.  It is not my place to force my morals or ethics on someone else.

          Just because I am willing to give a little to avoid confrontation or aggravating a situation doesn’t mean that the situation was acceptable and non-discriminatory.  You know, all those blacks had to do was just sit in the back of the bus right?  Sure they were born black, but they could have just given the inch and sat in the back.  They could have just used the other drinking fountain.  I was raised to be self reliant and have discovered the freedom of open carry.  It is who I am, while I may be able to cover up, when not legally required, why the hell should I?  Just the same, anyone should be able to sit on a bus where ever they want or use whatever drinking fountain they want.

          Would you prefer “Jew”, “Atheist”, or “Christian” in there instead of black.  They are all choices too, why not just throw your beliefs to the wayside for the want of someone else?  Discrimination isn’t just tied to skin color and your obsession about it shows that you completely missed the whole point.  The point was, he’s different and I don’t like it, do something about it. 

          • Guav DNA says:

            “The point of this is replace inanimate object with any other type of person and you see exactly how it is discriminatory.”

            It is precisely that replacement that I take issue with. An inanimate object is not a person; our possessions or clothes are not inescapable biology. You were not forced or compelled to do anything, nor were you denied anything or inconvenienced in any significant way, so I don’t personally feel this was a case of discrimination. That being said, it might very well have turned into something discriminatory if you had not cooperated—we don’t know way might have happened. The officer might have infringed on your rights and tried to make you leave the premises, or he might have smiled, said thank you, and walked away. But someone merely asking you a question is not discrimination.

            “Read the text, you will noticed that the use of the substitution game is a statement made to the officer.”

            Do you know that that is exactly what they actually said to him, or is it a hypothetical statement you believe they could have made?

            “They disliked me for who I was and instead of approaching me, they wanted the officer to do it for them.”

            Well obviously. If they are the type of person whom is made nervous by seeing a gun or is irrationally frightened of armed citizens, would you honestly expect them to approach you? Also, if they were not aware that what you were doing was perfectly legal—which is entirely possible—wouldn’t it make sense for them to talk to a police officer about it?

            “I am not ashamed of it, and it frankly is a part of who I am.”

            I don’t think you should be ashamed, you weren’t doing anything wrong.

            “You sir are telling me that I should change and alter who I am for the whims of others.”

            I said nothing of the sort. And I said you were under absolutely no obligation to cover up your weapon.

            “It is not my place to force my morals or ethics on someone else.”

            I guess this is one of the places we’re not seeing eye to eye. You apparently consider a polite request to be “force.” It’s not. If the other parent politely asked if I could cover up my shirt, I would do so, not because I have to, but simply because I appreciate polite, civil people. If they told me to leave the playground, or tried to FORCE me to cover up my shirt, then we’d have a problem. There’s a difference.

            “Discrimination isn’t just tied to skin color and your obsession about it shows that you completely missed the whole point.”

            I’m not obsessed with skin color—it was your comparison, I am responding to it. 

            Even if you had been denied entry or service based on your choice to carry a firearm openly, being discriminated against because of things we own, the way we dress, or an inanimate object we choose to carry is fundamentally different from being discriminated against because of your race, your age, your gender, etc. I’m not saying the former wouldn’t piss me off, but I wouldn’t compare them to the latter. There are many forms of discrimination, and they are not all equal—certainly not legally, and in my opinion, not morally.

            But nobody forced you to do anything. Someone asked you politely if you would mind untucking your shirt, and you politely greed to do so. Comparing the situation to the kind of systematic, institutionalized and widespread discrimination black people in this country endured is just absurd, in my opinion.

            We clearly don’t see eye to eye on this, and that’s fine.

          • Guav DNA says:

            That aside, I’m always surprised by people who are made uncomfortable by a citizen open-carrying. Perhaps it’s just because I’m a gun owner, but I would think that, logically, the fact that you’re openly carrying your firearm—especially in the presence of law enforcement—would make them realize that you’re not a criminal and not trying to hide anything. If I were them, it would be the guns I couldn’t see that would worry me.

          • A man carrying a gun, walking up to me, with the power of qualified immunity behind him, asking me to cover up is force.  Just because he remained polite, doesn’t mean the threat of force was not present.  The people who were complaining, as was said in my original transcription above that he stated contacted him, wanted someone who had the ability to use force.

            He has the force of law behind him, whether or not it would have been fully legal, doesn’t matter, I was compelled to cover up for no other reason that I didn’t want to risk the attitude of the cop turning negative.  The fact that he made the request and I refused to cooperated would have been used against me in court.  There is no winning a law suit and I know it first hand.  Also there’s a classic problem of “Contempt of Cop”.  So even though he was polite, there was the possibility of things heading south.  Even if legally and technically I would have been in the right.  First rule of survival is avoidance, and that is all I did.

            If it had been an event organizer who had approached me I would be
            considerably less pissed about it.  A police officer by the nature of
            his job is force.  There is a reason people call them when they’re in trouble, many of those who call don’t carry their own gun so they call someone else to bring theirs.

            You’re telling me I shouldn’t be upset about having to cover up to avoid confrontation.  That is telling me to hide who I am, hide an identifier for others who share my culture.  It so happens that identifier may be an inanimate object but it has a strong tie to who I am and my personality.  It is a signature of a culture, the same as a Crucifix or a Star of David.

            Do I know that’s exactly what was said in this instance, no, but I have heard a manager at an IGA say exactly that statement to a cop with me standing right there before.  Bad news in that case was the cop was a friend and saw no problem with me carrying.

            This is where we differ.  Discrimination is discrimination, period.  There is no difference from what it is based off of.  My wife is discriminated against because of her disability and she feels just as wronged when someone complains about her firearm.  She can’t just magically get rid of her disability or even hide it.  Just the same, her disability seriously limits her options for self-defense.  Not to mention there are some things that are choices that are discriminated against as well.  The discrimination is no different just because it’s your religion and not your skin color.  Discrimination geared towards my willing independence is still discrimination since it’s someone disliking something that does not actually affect them.  Remember a potentiality is not an actuality

            Also please note, I am by no means the first person to do this type of substitution and it’s been around for a while.

          • Guav DNA says:

            “A man carrying a gun, walking up to me, with the power of qualified immunity behind him, asking me to cover up is force. Just because he remained polite, doesn’t mean the threat of force was not present.”

            Then by that same token, any interaction with someone you have or polite request you might make of someone while you’re open carrying could be said to carry an inherent threat of force. That might be why some people are uncomfortable with it—they might see it as an overt show of power or an intent to intimidate.

            “I was compelled to cover up for no other reason that I didn’t want to risk the attitude of the cop turning negative … So even though he was polite, there was the possibility of things heading south. Even if legally and technically I would have been in the right.”

            Sure, the situation had the potential to turn negative, but you also just told me that “a potentiality is not an actuality,” basically saying that you expect others to act according to the actuality, not the potentiality—at least as it pertains to YOU. You, on the other hand, feel free to assume the worst and act accordingly (but nobody else should).

            So if someone feels intimidated by the fact that you’re openly carrying a firearm and have the “the ability to use force,” they are a bigot and discriminatory, but if someone else who has the “the ability to use force” makes a polite request of you, they are using a threat of force and compelling you to comply with their wishes.

            You can’t have it both ways.

            (And yeah, the officer has the force of law behind him, but let’s be honest—without the “ability to use force,” his force of law would be essentially useless.)

          •  I am not walking around asking people to do anything either.  I am not an officer of the law with the weight of qualified immunity behind me.  I am not engaging with people in a lawful capacity whereby I am extending my authority.

            As for assuming the worst, maybe you’ve missed my state sponsored criminal count.  I have ran into bad cops, I’ve run into good cops.  I’ve never had a good cop kick down that path, every last one of them didn’t care about me carrying.  I had another interaction recently which was not nearly as positive.  Just because I’m paranoid and cautious doesn’t mean I’m wrong to be so.  I could have just as easily run into another Officer Roid Rage.

            You’re right, a potentiality isn’t an actuality, and that’s why I’m not railing that cop six ways from Sunday.  Just the same I shouldn’t assume that every cop is potentially good, because in actuality he could be bad.

            The difference here is that a police officer, who was acting in a professional capacity, made a request of me to stop doing something that was perfectly legal.  I was compelled to comply to avoid the negative effects of refusal.  The negative effects of refusal existed because of his professional job, in which he was doing, which includes the use of force.

            As for his force of law being useless, tell that to the people who have been wrongfully assaulted by officers.  Tell that to the victims of officer roid rage.  Tell that to the man shot in the back by a Seattle PD officer.  I could continue down the list, but I don’t think I need to.  Just because the use of force may not be fully justified doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  3. Photo Studio says:

    You weren’t wearing a hoodie, were you?  lol

    Dann in Ohio

  4. Josiah says:

    It’s more legal in Idaho to open carry than concealed carry. No permit required to open carry. If you didn’t already have the permit, he’d have been asking you to do something illegal.

    You’d be in a similar situation if he saw you making beer for yourself at home, and he asked you to sell him some.

    •  That’s actually why I covered up.  It was a test if he was going to ask for my permit next.  If he did, I would have made immediate note of his name and this post would have been much longer, more detailed, and with contact information for all associated parties.

      • Guav DNA says:

        Purely hypothetical, since you do, but I wonder what the officer would have said if you’d told him that you didn’t have a concealed permit, and therefore were not legally able to to cover your firearm.

        •  A couple of different options,  I get a new target painted on my back in making sure I stay plainly visible.  Hopping in my truck I’d have to make sure it was plainly visible after I climb in.  As I was carrying IWB that’s a great way to get in to serious trouble very quickly.

          The other option is he thanks me for being honest and informing him. (I suspect this would actually have been this particular officer’s response.)