SeanC wrote:Part of a police officer's job is to keep the peace and trying to make sure that everyone can enjoy a public space. When you open carry, you may sometimes cause a great deal of anxiety to other members of the public, who may report that to the police, who may come
I was with you up to here...
SeanC wrote:and ask you to disarm so that everyone can enjoy whatever activity you happen to be participating in at the time.
But then you said this. Had you said it was their job to come and check on us because of a report by another person, I would agree. I have no problem with LEO checking up on reports of a "man with a gun" to make sure that it is nothing illegal or dangerous or the like. But I disagree that it is a part of a law enforcement officer's job to try to compel someone to stop exercising a right simply because someone disagrees with it or it is causing someone anxiety regardless of the degree. If it were dangerous or potentially unsafe to those around me, I could agree with you. But, that was not the case.
It was no different than had I been exercising my right to free speech by wearing a pro-Trump t-shirt. "I'm sorry ma'am & sir, your pro-Trump t-shirts are causing discomfort and a great deal of anxiety to those poor folks over there. Why, they are almost out of their minds with alarm and concern over what he represents. Think of the children! I'm sure you don't intend to cause such alarm, and you wouldn't mind going back to your car and turning those shirts inside out before returning so they can stop being triggered and enjoy a safe space would you? My three uniformed friends and I think it would be best if you would do that, for everyone involved. I'm sure you understand."
Who among us would think that would be acceptable for them to do? Then why would it be a reasonable response for them to do so with my wife and me? It seems to me that what would have been an appropriate part of their job would have been for them to explain to those who had a problem with it that it was perfectly legal and our right to do exactly what we were doing.
SeanC wrote:If you choose to accommodate the request, the event becomes a non-issue. If you want to be rigid about your rights, you certainly have that privilege.
Sorry, I don't think it is rigid of me (or if it *is* rigid of me, that there is anything at all wrong with that) to think that exercising a right is in no way dependent on whether others agree with it or are comfortable with it. If that were the standard, our rights would be subjugated by the masses and we would have none left to exercise. Honestly, we see signs of exactly that happening in many areas already - political correctness is an attempt to do that to our right to free speech, and we in this group and others like it are only with great effort starting to slowly push back the tide that was a result of that happening to our RKBA.
SeanC wrote:But it sounds like your refusal to disarm, or at least conceal, had you looking over your shoulder the entire evening and, generally, pretty worked up about the situation.
Actually, it wasn't causing me to look over my shoulder or get generally worked up over it after the initial interaction - beyond the fact that it had happened at all of course. I'll admit my wife did notice they were still watching us and thought they might have been following us as we left so I guess she was "looking over [her] shoulder" at least part of the time afterward, and as a consequence causing me to confirm what she had noticed. But that had more to do with us being unhappy that they would try to intimidate us into disarming in the first place and us wondering if they were going to try another tactic since we had declined to agree to their "request".