A new attempt from a anti-gun advocate may just land the owner in hot water. Opened on August 23rd the page called 'Open Carry 911' with a mission to get citizens to call 911 if they saw someone open carrying a firearm, and tell the 911 call taker that they were being threatening. There is discussion of the page on the Wash. open carry forum.
Open Carry 911's mission statement reads
"I am starting a grass roots [sic] movement and encourage everyone to participate. If you see someone carrying a firearm call 911 and tell them the person is threatening others with a gun. Then sit back and watch them get spread eagle and patted down, questioned or even arrested. Americans should not have to wonder whether someone brandishing a gun is a "good guy" or a "bad guy". There is no way to know. Therefore, open carry laws are wrong and should not exist."
This misguided attempt to use the 911 system and law enforcement to further an agenda, and fear of firearms. What this page doesn't take into account is the potential liability that comes with calling 911 and making a false report. Indubitably if there is a call to 911 about there being someone threatening others with a firearm, law enforcement would respond with similar force. The subject of the call would no doubt be put at risk when a police officer held them at gunpoint.
Speaking to John, a open carry advocate he told examiner "Pointing a gun at anyone has a certain amount of risk to it and must not be taken lightly, so when an officer points a loaded weapon as someone, that persons life is at risk. Now having that done, when you haven't committed any crimes, or when someone makes a false report just makes it that much more of a slap in the face."
The other side of this, is that someone who is open carrying is now being unlawfully detained, disarmed and their life put at risk because of the fear of someone else, and that person making a false statement to 911. While false statements to 911 occur on a frequent basis, many are not something that has the potential to get someone killed for doing nothing wrong. There have been many studies out there, but the average number is that you are 1200 times more likely to be accidentally shot by a police officer than an armed citizen.
Speaking under anonymity, an officer told this column "When you walk into a situation and there is a suspect with a gun, your awareness is heightened. When a caller has told the dispatch center that someone is being threatening with a gun, in a public place, you begin to think the worst. Someone intentionally setting up an officer for something like this, is sick should be stopped. You can ruin someones life very quickly, or worse end it because someone lied to the call taker about someone being threatening with a gun. There are officers out there that, right or wrong, will shoot someone for just having a gun. We have seen it time and again in this country."
There are several other issues with this page, and what it stands for. One is the fact that facebook thinks that this behavior does not constitute a violation of their community standards, there is a very clear bias. Over the past year several pro-gun facebook pages have been suspended or deleted. Facebook generally does this without any notice, leaving page owners to wonder what is going on. A case back in April 2013 left a gun store in Pittsburgh without a facebook page simply for posting about an AR15 giveaway. Many pro-gun facebook pages have been the target of protesters flooding their pages with spam, to the point that they cannot keep up. Facebook has also asked that a page remove the picture of a murder suspect because it violates standards, even though many are trying to catch the teen who beat an 89 year old WWII vet.
This page is nothing more, at this point than a misguided attempt to try to scare people into compliance with the anti-gun agenda. Even though many, if not all, the people that this page is trying to target are not committing any crime, and wish to be left alone to their daily business. Putting lives in danger, and using law enforcement to attempt to strong arm law abiding citizens is not only an abuse, it has the potential to land people in legal trouble.
The page now appears to be shut down, whether by facebook or by the owner coming to his senses is unknown. But the page was getting heat from many in the pro-gun, and open carry community, which can be seen here.