Guns in the news, local edition

Protesters pack heat in Birmingham public meeting
Birmingham, Michigan’s city commission held a public meeting that was attended by several gun rights supporters carrying guns. “I hope that council sees that good people carry guns,” said one of the gun rights advocates. You know what I see? Bullying. A show of force. Why else would a bunch of people show up at a city government meeting carrying AK-47s?

They were supporting a young man who had been arrested for carrying a gun strapped across his back while walking the streets of Birmingham. The article says he had not committed any crimes, and openly carrying a gun is apparently not illegal in Birmingham. But I have to wonder why he felt the need to do so on the streets of one of America’s richest suburbs.

You know, we’re always being told to watch out for and report suspicious behavior. Well, someone is going to have to reconcile this sort of thing for me, because if carrying a weapon in public isn’t somewhere near “suspicious behavior,” then I’m afraid I’m not going to be a good judge of any “suspicious behavior.”

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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4 Responses to Guns in the news, local edition

  1. jjfmi says:

    I don’t get this one either. This kind of protest smacks of a Wild West mentality that’s way too common amongst gun owners. Carrying a gun while hunting, sure. A handgun under your coat (with a CCW license), ok. Strapped across your back in downtown Birmingham… um… protection from those dangerous wealthy folks? Hunting furs?

    I would be willing to bet that most of the protesters who showed up for this generally don’t take out their AK-47s in public except for such protests – and especially in numbers. Street gangs have been doing such moves for years.

    • songdogmi says:

      There’s not enough in the ClickOnDetroit article. Maybe the newspapers had more details; I should look. I can speculate that the reason there was an incident in the first place is that the young man in question is 18 and people that age sometimes do things on principle in a blunt way. Why things escalated into an arrest, I don’t know, but it may have been reported in the Daily Tribune or Oakland Press.

      That doesn’t really answer why he wanted his big gun as he sauntered through Birmingham. Maybe he had to be prepared for rowdy musicians rolling out of Dick O’Dow’s.

  2. zenicurean says:

    So you’re arguing that there is no possible option other than this having been a demonstration of a capability for violence?

    (I’m not taking sides here, what with being foreign and everything, just trying to get a hang of the actual respective positions as people on each side perceive them.)

    • songdogmi says:

      I guess I can’t say that there is no possible other option. The people quoted in the article say they’re there for other reasons. But a demonstration of a capability for violence is one of several possible messages, whether they intended to send it or not. Intimidation and violence are so tied up with guns, it’s hard to think of guns without thinking of that.

      The news reporting, sketchy as it is, gives only one or two statements from the supporters, but I’m sure none of them would’ve said “We want you to know what we’re capable of!” even if forced to do so somehow. They simply may think carrying guns is normal, or should be seen as normal. Then again, the news report doesn’t indicate that anyone at the meeting was concerned. It would’ve been better reporting if they talked to at least one government official about it and what he or she thought.

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