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Fear and hostility toward open carry in Olympia

   Wrapping up this week’s coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on SB 6396 – Sen. Adam Kline’s measure to ban so-called “assault weapons” – the story would not be complete without noting an incident that occurred outside the hearing room.
   Prior to the hearing, as several Open Carry activists gathered in the hallway of the John A. Cherberg Senate Office Building, Washington CeaseFire’s Ralph Fascitelli approached a member of the State Patrol’s security team and, after pointing out that there were visibly armed citizens in the building, demanded of the trooper: “Do you know if they’re loaded?”
   Sources have confirmed to the Gun Rights Examiner that Fascitelli appeared both irritated and unnerved, and he wanted the State Patrol troopers to check every firearm at the door of the building to see if they were loaded. He was told by the WSP that troopers do not have the authority under state law to do that.
 

We note that, in connection with this case, several individuals have commented that they would find it strange, maybe shocking, to see a man carrying a gun down the street in broad daylight. Casad’s appellate counsel conceded that she would personally react with shock, but she emphasized that an individual’s lack of comfort with firearms does not equate to reasonable alarm. We agree. It is not unlawful for a person to responsibly walk down the street with a visible firearm, even if this action would shock some people.” State Court of Appeals, Division II, State v. Casad

 
   Fascitelli, in the vernacular, “ain’t from around here.” An East Coast transplant, his activities as the Northwest’s most vocal – and alarmist – gun prohibitionist makes him a sterling example of hoplophobia in action, at least certainly as it applies to his conduct the other day in Olympia. As defined by the late Col. Jeff Cooper, a renowned pistol instructor who was a personal friend of mine, hoplophobia is an “irrational aversion to weapons.”
   Evidently, Fascitelli was not aware that carrying firearms in public, even on the Capitol Campus, is legal. Open carry in this state has been affirmed by at least two court rulings in the past several years, State v. Spencer and State v. Gregory Casad, the latter an unpublished opinion from the State Court of Appeals, District II.
   Fear of guns has also been discussed at length by Sarah Thompson, MD in her essay titled Raging Against Self-Defense. Dr. Thompson differs from Col. Cooper in her analysis of fear of firearms, insisting that it is not perhaps a true phobia, but simply a strong fear. Those afflicted with this fear, she suggests, project that toward everyone. The result can be an anti-gunner whose fear of guns compels him to try banning them from everyone else’s possession.
   Open Carry activists Jim Beal, John Parks and Jeff Hayes told Gun Rights Examiner in separate interviews that they were only a few feet away from Fascitelli when he approached the state trooper. Their accounts have been independently verified by two other sources.
   We tried to contact Washington CeaseFire, but learned that Executive Director Kristen Comer’s voice mailbox is full.
   The incident was mentioned briefly in a larger discussion on the OpenCarry.org forum. As I noted earlier here, the Open Carry contingent of the gun rights crowd, which numbered more than 300, was particularly well behaved. Likewise, several state troopers who were on hand were both casual and professional at the same time; aware of the visibly-armed citizens, but hardly uncomfortable with their presence.
 

In my experience, the common thread in anti-gun people is rage. Either anti-gun people harbor more rage than others, or they're less able to cope with it appropriately. Because they can't handle their own feelings of rage, they are forced to use defense mechanisms in an unhealthy manner. Because they wrongly perceive others as seeking to harm them, they advocate the disarmament of ordinary people who have no desire to harm anyone.”—Dr. Sarah Thompson, MD

 
   Prior to the hearing, I had even discouraged some of the Open Carry folks from packing their guns in the open, concerned that their appearance might shift public focus from a very bad piece of legislation to an issue that is already settled by court precedent. As it turned out, the only objection was raised by Fascitelli, who apparently went away disappointed, until he was summoned to testify before the committee in support of the Kline measure.
   KOMO’s always-affable Bryan Johnson interviewed Parks and did not seem one bit alarmed at his holstered sidearm.
 

 
   One might even consider open carry to be covered as much by the First Amendment as it is the Second, and by Article 1, Section 24 of the State Constitution, along with the court precedents protecting it. That Fascitelli might want those armed citizens checked, and perhaps even removed from the premises, suggests that anti-gunners may be just as cavalier about stepping on someone’s freedom of speech and expression as they are about trying to trample on their right to keep and bear arms.
    
  
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Comments

  • Mike Cheney 4 years ago

    Washington CeaseFire’s Ralph Fascitelli approached a member of the State Patrol’s security team and, after pointing out that there were visibly armed citizens in the building, demanded of the trooper: “Do you know if they’re loaded?”

    More fear and ignorance on their part. No matter how many times you educate them on the law and our rights they refuse to accept it out of ignorance and fear. You could take them to a range, teach them to shoot and give them every opportunity to learn and there are those that will never understand it until they become a willing victim of crime through what else, fear and ignorance.

  • David Codrea 4 years ago

    Suggest Googling "The Anti-Gun Male" by Julia Gorin.

  • Marty Wilson 4 years ago

    Only an idiot would want to parade around with a gun strapped to their body. These gun nuts should all be locked up for psychiatric evaluation.

    To compare free speech with the desire of some juvenile old men to play with loaded guns in public is intellectually dishonest, and reflects the deep neurosis these gun fetishists suffer.

  • Uriel Utter 4 years ago

    Wow, Marty, what planet are you from? Nobody not looking to get shot would, 'parade around' with a weapon of any kind strapped to their body.

    Those of us, both young and old, with enough responsibility, self control, education and sense of our rights as citizens of the United States of America; who also choose to take on the massive burden and further responsibility of carrying a loaded weapon, and with the integrity of character to put up with people like you who mindlessly demean (subsequently diminishing) our rights (and yours). That's who would, should and often do choose to carry a weapon.

    We all choose to uphold the highest ideals of nonviolent, nonagressivity an many of us have a STATE ISSUED, FEDERALLY ENDORSED license to carry our guns concealed. There are millions of us in the U.S. Deserve your rights by embodying and upholding them or move to Canada where you don't even have them...

  • Kyle H 3 years ago

    I was brought up with the belief that gun ownership isn't really a right, it's more of a responsibility.

    If you can't defend your neighbors, how can you expect that your neighbors could defend you?
    If you can't handle your own arms responsibly, how can you expect that your neighbors could?

  • Norm 4 years ago

    Marty is the perfect illustration of the Dr. Sarah Thompson quote.

  • Aaron Everett 4 years ago

    Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth. Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."
    Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. From "On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs" - Dave Grossman

  • RSBL 4 years ago

    The ONLY reason they want a disarmed population, is so they can do whatever they want to us without fear. Just take a look at the countries that have gun control, they have more crime and they oppress their people freely. They want to be a dog catcher as long as all the dogs teeth are removed, this way, if they abuse the dog, he cant bite them. Same thing. I think someone needs to take Fascitelli out behind a barn and educate him to the unalienable rights we the people his BOSSES have. He must think he is royalty "why do these peasants have weapons!!!"

  • RSBL 4 years ago

    "We all choose to uphold the highest ideals of nonviolent, nonagressivity an many of us have a STATE ISSUED, FEDERALLY ENDORSED license to carry our guns concealed"

    Im sorry, but my permit comes from God, you know, the same God the founding fathers framed our rights from. NOT the federal government. If you need permission, it is not a right. Unless someone is God himself, I will not be disarmed. And the federal government is nowhere near God, they are somewhere below my dogs tail.

  • RSBL 4 years ago

    "Only an idiot would want to parade around with a gun strapped to their body. These gun nuts should all be locked up for psychiatric evaluation."

    Hmmm, all the cops are idiots, so are the ones defending our country are they? Who protects you if you were to get raped by bubba in a dark alley? A cop? LOL They arent even legally bound to save your marxist behind. And if you think that self defense and self determination is a psycological disorder, you are the one with the problem. You need to be in a playpen where others will look after you so you dont get hurt or hurt yourself. You want a nanny? Go get one, as for me, Im a grown man and dont need someone coddling me or have to have someone else (cop) protect poor little ole me. Screw you buddy, move out of MY country, you dont like freedom and responsibility? You need a daycare then. Jackazz

  • Sisu 4 years ago

    Open carry, or CWC are both rights guaranteed because we are not felons, drug addicts, or raving lunatics that want to remove RIGHTS given to American Citizens in our Constitution(not the Bill of Rights for those of you that are challenged by our history).
    If & when The citizens of USA decide to start amending OUR constitution I hope I passed on to the other side if the river. You anti-American folks need to re-read our great history and marvel at our founding fathers foresite. Then if after reading you still don't get it, move to a better country.

  • riverworld 4 years ago

    RSBL, I suggest that you tone down the rhetoric. Calling someone a Marxist (s.b. capitalized b.t.w.) just for not agreeing you is off-point. We gun-rights activists need to educate rather than throw out epithets.

  • PaulB 4 years ago

    "One might even consider open carry to be covered as much by the First Amendment as it is the Second, and by Article 1, Section 24 of the State Constitution, along with the court precedents protecting it."
    Which might also explain why most people, who are not into open carry themselves, are not perturbed by seeing it. This is a demonstration protected by free speech, in exactly the same way as an anti-war demonstration would be. People don't get upset by anti-war demonstrations either - at least not enough to suggest arresting the demonstrators. Those who do suggest that for people making political speech are clearly on the fringes.

  • Jason 4 years ago

    @riverworld

    So "Marxist" is bad, but "idiot" and "gun nut" are OK? As is the suggestion that we be locked up until our mental well being can be clinically determined?

    I'm not condoning the name calling, but suggesting that if you come down on one, come down on all. Besides, plenty of Marxists that have come to power around the world have done the exact sorts of things that Marty suggests, so I didn't think RSBL's characterization was all that far off.

  • Anon 4 years ago

    Even though open carry of a firearm is not specifically prohibited by state law and is therefore technically "legal", it often scares people. And although it's true that people may be frightened by many things, visibly carrying a sidearm has historically been considered rude because of this. And "rudeness is a weak man's imitation of courage."

  • Anon 4 years ago

    When a relatively small group of people engages in something the majority doesn't like or may find offensive in some way, action will often be taken to prohibit it, whether it be scantily dressed Baristas or the open carry of firearms.

    The open carry of side arms was never illegalized because it was felt that it would be difficult to fairly enforce such a prohibition under all circumstances. For example, should the wind blow ones cover garment open, thus allowing their sidearm to become visible, they would technically be in violation of the law. In addition, although law enforcement officers have a certain amount of discretion as to what action to take, it was also felt that prohibiting open carry could potentially result in unintentional violations that left little room for such discretion. In turn, this could result in legal action being taken against those with unintentional exposure of their sidearm.

    In essence, the spirit and intent of the law, or in this case the lack of su

  • Anon 4 years ago

    (cont. from below)

    , was never intended to allow one to routinely and visibly carry a sidearm in public. Rather, it allows for concealed carry while acknowledging the fact that situations may arise whereby a firearm can become visible.

    In my opinion, open carry is therefore taking advantage of what amounts to a loophole in the law and is thus a subversion of the original spirit and intent of the law.

  • Anon 4 years ago

    As we all know, there are anti-gun forces massing against us now more than ever and the open carry of sidearms often attracts unwanted attention. Should it offend enough people, or even just the 'right' people, the legislature may enact a law against it. When the enemy is looking for a victory don't give them an easy target.

  • Jason 4 years ago

    @riverworld

    So "Marxist" is bad, but "idiot" and "gun nut" are OK? As is the suggestion that we be locked up until our mental well being can be clinically determined?

    I'm not condoning the name calling, but suggesting that if you come down on one, come down on all. Besides, plenty of Marxists that have come to power around the world have done the exact sorts of things that Marty suggests, so I didn't think RSBL's characterization was all that far off.

  • satriani77 4 years ago

    YA RIGHT MARTY WILSON, YOUR CRITICISM, EXPRESSED,DONT AND WILL NOT ,MAKE ME NOT CARRY ,IN THE OPEN ,YOUR STUPID INPUT SHOWS, ONE THING, THAT YOU,D RATHER BE ENSLAVE,ED, KILLED OR STEPPED ON ,THEN CARE FOR FREEDOM, ALL LIKE YOU, COULD CARE LESS FOR THE ONES THAT DIED FOR THIS COUNTRY, YOUR RIGHT TO LIBERTY ,DONT GIVE YOU A RIGHT TO ENDANGER OTHERS,IF YOU DONT LIKE THIS COUNTRY MOVE THE F--OUT, FREEDOM RULES, IDIOTS LIKE YOU MARTY ,NEVER WILL LAST LONG, TO STUPID..

  • Been there 4 years ago

    "Open carry is a deterernt" No, ICBM's are a deterrent.

    Hypothetical situation...

    You're in a bank openly carrying a sidearm and three heavily armed bank robbers come in and immediately shoot and kill an armed guard standing there. Meanwhile you're standing in line waiting for a tellar, armed with your openly carried pistol. The three psychopathic killers who just executed the guard now take notice of you.

    What do you think is going to happen?

  • Stop-'n-think 4 years ago

    You're in the local stop-'n-rob when a gang banger charges in, planning to rob the place and doesn't intend on leaving a witness. He notices your sidearm as he enters and (unlucky for you) already has his gun out. Do you think you can shoot and stop a guy who's been shot at since childhood, who's survived three gunshot wounds himself, is high on crack and planning to kill the teller?

    Right...

    The last thing you want is for him to know you're armed until you decide you have to act or die. And when you do, you'd better be well trained, not to mention lucky.

  • CMartel2 4 years ago

    "Only an idiot would want to parade around with a gun strapped to their body. These gun nuts should all be locked up for psychiatric evaluation."

    Problem is, this psychiatrist is a believer in individual liberty and personal accountability. Open carriers would be out of my ER in no time. Provided they haven't committed a crime with a firearm, what do you care? Gun ownership and usage is a right granted from God and protected by our Constitution. If you have a problem with the Constitution and a man's right to defend himiself, well, I have a problem with you. Fair enough?

    Mind your own business and quit trying to strip the liberties of others due to your own insecurities. And yes, they are your own insecurities.

  • satriani77 4 years ago

    STOP N THINK BEEN THERE , BET YOU ARE THE SAME ANTI-GUN-NUT,1# MOST CRIME ISNT 3 PERSONS BENT ON KILLING OTHERS,2# MOST ALL PRESONS DRUGED OR NOT DRUGED FEAR OTHERS SHOOTING THEM IF THEY PULL THE GUN OUT,3# DISARMING OTHERS ONLY WILL MAKE MORE CRIME A FACT,4# SOME ONE RUNING WITH A GUN OUT IS ASKING TO GET SHOT, INTO A BANK OR STORE ,5# THERES TO MUCH FACT ,SHOWING THAT KILLERS FEAR GETTING SHOT,6# NO ACT,S OF A FEW ,WILL DISARM THIS COUNTRY,7#MOST ALL GUN OWERS CARRYING THEYER GUNS MAKE A AREA SAFE,ER FOR THE REST,8#MOST PERSONS CARRYING WERE YOU CAN SEE IT KNOW HOW TO USE IT. LIKE ME AND MY TIE DOWN. LIKE TO BICH ABOUT SOMETHING? BICH ABOUT THE GOV SOFT ON CRIME,THE JAILS NOT PUTING FEAR INTO LOWLIFE, THE HARD COLD FACT THAT THE 1920S CHAINGANGS,AND CHAIR WORKED FINE...BACK THEN A LOWLIFE FEARED JAIL, AND THIS COUNTRY HAD A LOT LESS CRIME. YOU ANTI-GUN NUTS ARE STUPID IDIOTS ,THAT WISH THIS, COUNTRY MORE KILLINGS AND CRIME, A FACT, OR YOUR BENT ON SEEIN THIS COUNTRY ENSLAVE ED,,,,

  • tailgunner 4 years ago

    Marching with hoods and swastikas down Martin Luther King JR Drive is offensive and 'provocative', but it is protected by the First Amendment; to the point where police are called out to *protect* the marchers.

    Constitutional rights do not depend on whether someone is 'offended'.

  • Jack 4 years ago

    quote:
    "We note that, in connection with this case, several individuals have commented that they would find it strange, maybe shocking, to see a man carrying a gun down the street in broad daylight."

    It is even more strange and shocking to see 50 illegal alien workers standing on the corner . Perhaps law enforcement/public servants should focus on this large scale problem and leave the law abiding citizens alone.
    After all, how can any American Citizen logically support law enforcement when the LEO's policies are so skewed to be harassing the legal gun owners and then turning a blind eye to the illegals? I think all legal citizens should start open carrying in the Sanctuary Cities, after a while, LE will grow tired of responding to calls and OC will again become commonplace in America.

  • Richard 4 years ago

    It is not unlawful for a person to responsibly walk down the street with a visible firearm, even if this action would shock some people.” State Court of Appeals, Division II, State v. Casad

    That would shock me. I don't think I've ever really seen people do that, although once I get a decent strap for the rifle I just might try it :) Perfectly legal in TX!

    Stop-'n-think/Been there:
    Or, what if you're just walking down the street in a somewhat shady street, and some thug approaches you with a knife, then notices your sidearm?
    Or some random guy decides to rob the 7-11, but doesnt really want the possibility or someone trying to stop him?
    These are alot more likely than having 3 guys armed with M16s barging into your bank. And having an openly carried firearm is going to deter your common (<- note that word) criminal. They are after easy wins, not something risky. And you're alot more likely to encounter this type of crook as compared to your brilliant evil genius' lackeys.

  • Liberty Bell 4 years ago

    "For in truth, the parties of Whig and Tory are those of nature. They exist in all countries, whether called by these names, or by those of Aristocrats and democrats, cote droit and coit gauch,* Ultras and Radicals, Serviles, and Liberals. The sickly, weakly, timid man fears the people, and is a tory by nature. The healthy strong and bold cherishes them, and is formed a whig by nature."
    *the right side and the left side
    Thomas Jefferson to Marquis de Lafayette, Monticello, November 4, 1823

  • Liberty Bell 4 years ago

    "For in truth, the parties of Whig and Tory are those of nature. They exist in all countries, whether called by these names, or by those of Aristocrats and democrats, cote droit and coit gauch,* Ultras and Radicals, Serviles, and Liberals. The sickly, weakly, timid man fears the people, and is a tory by nature. The healthy strong and bold cherishes them, and is formed a whig by nature."
    *the right side and the left side
    Thomas Jefferson to Marquis de Lafayette, Monticello, November 4, 1823

  • straightarrow 4 years ago

    Anon took a Hell of a long time to say that he hasn't a clue.

  • Liberty Bell 4 years ago

    It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
    George Washington

    George Washington

  • bruce 4 years ago

    most of the anti-constitution people are marxists traitors they just call them selves democrats,liberals or progressives.

  • Avi 4 years ago

    And the fact that none of the cops were killed with an "assault weapon"! i guess that doesnt matter why mix me up the the facts.

  • PavePusher 4 years ago

    Anon wrote: "...visibly carrying a sidearm has historically been considered rude because of this."

    Not so. Until historically recently, concealed weapons were considered to indicate criminal intent, and thus were poor manners. Your history... is... Fail.

  • navy99nfo 4 years ago

    Just because people are afraid (or ignorant - often go hand in hand) of something does not make it evil. Ask your gun toting neighbor to take you out shooting. I guarantee anyone who is open carrying will take time out of their busy life to educate you on the responsibilities of gun ownership, the practicality of carrying one and show you how to properly handle one. Whether you choose to have one in your home, is your individual decision. Don't live you life in ignorance, get educated. You don't have a neighbor with a firearm? If you live in Western WA, when I get back from Iraq, I'd be happy to take time to educate you on a number of "assault weapons." I did it with my liberal borther-in-law from NJ. He now wants to own a shotgun and pistol. I think the exact quote was "these are f'in awesome." Yes they are.

  • Bookman 4 years ago

    "As we all know, there are anti-gun forces massing against us now more than ever and the open carry of sidearms often attracts unwanted attention. Should it offend enough people, or even just the 'right' people, the legislature may enact a law against it. When the enemy is looking for a victory don't give them an easy target."

    So what you're telling those of us who OC is to duck and cover and HOPE our rights aren't violated. Au contraire Mon Ami! What we are doing is attempting to NORMALIZE the appearance of handguns in society and thus take away the stigma attached to them. We want people to see that the vast majority of gun owners aren't the rednecks and militia members they view us to be. We want them to realize that most of us are average citizens of this great country. We want to EDUCATE them. We want them to ask questions.

    Open Carry is doing EXACTLY what's necessary to educate people and get laws changed to the benefit of gun owners everywhere.

  • Come n' get me 4 years ago

    I carry my AR-15 in my trunk, and my 10mm in the center console...and I am well trained with both. My weapons cost more than most criminals lives are worth.

  • Liberty Bell 4 years ago

    You got to love that Ralph Fascist, and his "Utopian Marketing" committee!

    Truth, however would call it dystopian marketing.

    The first known use of dystopian, as recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), is a speech given before the British House of Commons by John Stuart Mill in 1868, in which Mill stated: "It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or caco-topians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favour is too bad to be practicable."

  • Anubis 4 years ago

    Its sad to think that one day the anti gun people are probably going to win. All of the guns will be taken from the law abiding citizens. The only people that will be able to have guns are LE and criminals. I can only hope that someday a criminal tries to harm an anti gun person and the anti gun person has no way to defend themselves. Maybe then they will realize that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are not bad. If the guns do get taken away, crime is going to skyrocket, especially home invasions. Australia banned its citizens from having handguns a while back. Guess what happened right after that??? Crime, especially home invasions skyrocketed. Just a thought