Would you like guns with that?

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Here’s a little something for everyone who’s getting bored as hell with the old “you don’t need a gun to [insert mundane activity here].”  Here’s a little secret for all the gun grabbers out there: We don’t want guns so we can go shopping.  We have a right to guns because of what can happen on the way to or from… well, anyplace, really.

Don’t believe me?  Read on…

Restaurant Security Glad That Customer Needed A Handgun To Buy A Cheeseburger

by Yih-Chau Chang
Oakland Gun Rights Examiner

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”
— Winston Churchill

Unknown ObjectIn a bid to elevate his name recognition above that of his peers in the notoriously murky waters of California State politicsAssemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) decided on the tactically-risky maneuver of fishing for personal fame with one of the most controversial social issues of our modern times–the Open Carry Movement.  This risk is only compounded when one accounts for the national trend outlining the gun control lobby’s dramatically diminishing relevance in modern American politics, as even the decades-long encroachment against every common, law-abiding citizen’s 2nd Amendment Rights in the Golden State has been stopped cold in 2010 and striking progress forward is being made this year in 2011.  This point could not be driven home more clearly than with the sudden resignation of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence President, Paul Helmke, arguably this country’s most prominent and vocal gun control advocate with no immediate successor available to replace him.  However, despite the fact that anti-gun sentiment is gasping its last breaths in this State and across the country, Assemblyman Portantino attempts to revive this floundering political agenda by selling his Open Carry ban bill, AB 144, through the use of a singularly catchy slogan in front of the microphone, both during legislative sessions and in front of the news cameras.  With a dismissive tone that is carefully crafted to fit in with a 9-second sound bite, Portantino plays to the press by uttering the words, “You don’t need to pack your gun to buy a cheeseburger.”

However, despite all of the time that Assemblyman Portantino and his staff spent on carefully crafting this slogan for public consumption, they somehow managed to miss the fact that the statement is simply not true.  Since first uttering those now-infamous words, Portantino has been repeatedly, definitively, and publicly proven wrong as a significant body of evidence has surfaced revealing the fallacies of his assertion.  Most recently, the Assemblymember’s public statements stood in callous contrast to reality when a near-riot broke out at the McDonald’s restaurant near San Jose State University as a “mob of more than 100 people” began “screaming, yelling, and throwing punches” at each other, resulting in two people being stabbed and hospitalized.

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In contrast to the type of violence that can occur when common, law-abiding citizens are left completely unarmed and defenseless in public settings, there are a number of real-life examples where violent criminals have been stopped by the presence of an armed citizenry in establishments where one can buy a cheeseburger.  For instance, in February of 2010, two Open Carry advocates, Matt Brannan and J.P. Mitchell, were clearly able to deter an armed robbery while sitting in a diner in Kennesaw, Georgia when a scout for a group of men sitting in two cars who were outfitted with masks and armed with rifles walked in and saw the openly-holstered .45 ACP Springfield Armory 1911 handguns being worn on Brannan and Mitchells’ hips.

Lawful defensive gun uses involving Open Carry advocates are no different in California.  A demonstrated example occurred on May 27, 2011, when former US Marine and South Bay Open Carry member, Chris Hacopian, was finishing up a late dinner/early breakfast with two friends at the Denny’s diner in Ontario, CA on 715 North Milliken Avenue after watching the midnight showing of the movie, The Hangover Part II.  Near the end of his meal, Hacopian noticed a group of customers behaving in an erratic and violent manner.  Hacopian describes the situation as the only openly-armed patron at the time,

As we were leaving we noted a group of customers leaving the restaurant.  Two individuals from that party started harassing the manager.  One male bolted on foot to avoiding paying the bill with a Denny’s employee chasing him out the door.  The other person was filling out an application for employment nervously while physically and verbally assaulting the manager (he was forcibly shoving the manager around aggressively) .  The customer was obviously trying to avoid paying the bill.

Seeing the security guard hired by the property manager, I asked him whether or not he would like my assistance to detain the person who had run off without paying the bill.  He said, “Yes”, and I entered the passenger side of his security vehicle.  Before we left in the vehicle, the second person who was detained by the manager was about to run out of the restaurant without paying the bill as well.  This is the suspect that assaulted the Denny’s manager and was attempting to flee.

The suspect was facing me and approached rapidly in my direction to flee from the scene.  Feeling that our lives could possibly be threatened because we were aware of the fact that the suspect had just physically assaulted the manager inside the restaurant and not knowing whether or not the fleeing individual had a weapon on his person, the security guard deployed his pocket knife and I loaded my Springfield Armory XD 9mm pistol to Condition One.  Seeing that I had a handgun ready and that the security guard had deployed his pocket knife, the suspect stopped when the security guard and I ordered him to the ground.  I then instructed the suspect to interlace his fingers behind his head to get on his knees and cross his ankles.  As I took a position behind the suspect, the manager walked out of the restaurant and gave me the phone with 9-1-1 dispatch on the line.

The response time of Ontario Police was approximately ten minutes.  As the first unit was approaching the scene, I holstered my weapon, got on my knees, and interlaced my fingers behind my head. The responding officer instructed me to put my face on the ground.  At this point the officer disarmed me and handcuffed the suspect.  After the police investigation was over the security guard thanked me for being there to assist him and he told me that the manager was very grateful as well.

Eyewitness, Robert Ebbs, corroborated Hacopian’s story.  Ebbs observed the behavior of the individual who was filling out the employment application and stated to the Examiner, “The suspect was acting very aggressively towards the manager and yelling erratically.”  With the threatening behavior and physical assault on the manager causing a commotion inside the restaurant, the patrons’ attention was riveted on the ensuing violent disturbance that took place over the next several minutes.

This violent disturbance alerted the security guard, who was hired by the property manager to patrol the Denny’s restaurant parking lot.  The security guard, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Hacopian’s version of the events and lauded the former US Marine’s sense of civic duty as well as his demeanor throughout the entire incident as it unfolded.

Chris [Hacopian] was calm and under control the entire time.  He didn’t even break a sweat.  After the incident, I spoke with the Denny’s manager and he told me to thank Chris for his help.  When the police had finished taking their report, I thanked him personally for helping me to resolve the situation in a calm and controlled manner.

In a bid to provide the official law enforcement perspective on this event, every attempt was made to secure a copy of the police report pertaining to this incident.  However, repeated requests to the Ontario Police Department to obtain this official record resulted in consistent denials, even when parties directly involved in the occurrence submitted the appeal in person at the Ontario Police Department headquarters.  The Ontario Police Department was only willing to release the case number–110501713.  If a copy of the police report is eventually received through other channels, then this article will be updated with the developments.

Chris Hacopian has chosen to exercise his 2nd Amendment Right to openly carry a properly-holstered handgun because he is familiar with the facts about defensive gun use.  Contrary to what the gun control lobby would have the general public believe, defensive gun use is actually a very common occurrence that serves as an effective deterrent to violent crime an average of 4,109 times every single day (1.5 million times a year), according to the federal government’s US Department of Justice (National Institute of Justice).  Just as in Hacopian’s case, over 90% of all defensive gun uses in the country are resolved peacefully and occur without the firearm ever being discharged.  And with California’s consistently-aggressive, decades-long encroachment against every common, law-abiding citizen’s 2nd Amendment Rights, the higher-than-national-average violent crime rate found in the Golden State compels those who take their own personal safety seriously to exercise the only legally-available option left to them for self-defense in a pubic setting–Unloaded Open Carry.

Hacopian’s knowledge regarding the facts surrounding defensive gun use is complemented by his expertise with firearms.  As a member of Inland Empire Open Carry with the Billet of Sergeant-at-Arms, a distinction earned partly by his achievement as a qualified Expert Marksman on the M-16, M2 Browning machine gun, and Mk 19 (40mm grenade launcher) weapons systems, Hacopian shakes his head at the gun control lobby’s sweeping generalizations claiming that Open Carry advocates are untrained in the use of handguns.  Like so many of his fellow veterans, active-duty military personnel, retired and active-duty law enforcement, firearms-academy-trained citizens, and fellow Californians with formalized gun training who are actively involved in the Open Carry Movement, this former US Marine knows how and when to employ his firearm in lawful self-defense.


Originally found on Examiner.com: Restaurant Security Glad That Customer Needed A Handgun To Buy A Cheeseburger – Oakland Gun Rights | Examiner.com

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