Wednesday, October 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Preparing for the psychology of open carry

crisp column sig

By
From page A8 | February 26, 2014 |

One wonders if, in retrospect, Curtis Reeves and Michael Dunn wish that they had left their guns at home when they went out on Jan. 13, 2014, and Nov. 23, 2012, respectively.

Reeves, 71, took his wife to the movies at a theater near Tampa, Fla.  During the previews, he confronted Chad Oulson, a 43-year-old sitting in front of him, for using his cell phone.  The details are in dispute, but Oulson appears to have thrown popcorn at Reeves, who pulled a .380 semiautomatic pistol from his pocket and fatally shot Oulson in the chest.

Reeves is in jail, without bail, awaiting trial for second-degree murder.

Michael Dunn stopped at a convenience store in Jacksonville, Fla.  While his girlfriend went inside, Dunn asked an SUV full of young guys parked next to him to turn their music down.  Again, the details are in dispute, but heated words were exchanged.

Dunn says that he thought he saw the barrel of a shotgun, so he pulled a pistol from his glove compartment and fired 10 shots into the fleeing SUV.  Three of the bullets hit Jordan Davis, 17, killing him.

Last week Dunn was found guilty of attempted murder, and he may be retried on the murder charge.  Dunn, 47, faces 60 years in prison.

First, the obvious: neither of these events would have occurred if Reeves and Dunn hadn’t had deadly weapons readily available.  Someone might have gotten a black eye or busted lip, but probably no one would have been killed or still be in jail.

But both Reeves and Dunn had a legal right to carry their weapons, and screenings and background checks are unlikely to have discovered personality traits or behaviors that might have prevented them from doing so.

In fact, they seem like more or less ordinary people.  Dunn was a computer programmer and software developer who had just left a wedding reception for his son.  Reeves retired as a captain in the Tampa Police Department in 1993.

Loud music is obnoxious and texting in movie theaters is annoying.  But in a culture that equates noise with quality and that increasingly considers the right to text in all situations as near-constitutional, many of us have developed resistance to the impulse to call out irresponsible fellow citizens, especially when an opportunity to defuse the situation – moving to a different parking space or theater seat – is available.

But despite the powerful gun lobby’s emphasis on gun ownership for personal protection, Reeves’ and Dunn’s actions raise a question: Did easy access to a gun have the ironic effect of inspiring more aggression and less willingness to back off than were prudent?

The question is increasingly poignant as more citizens are encouraged to carry concealed weapons because they believe that others are carrying them, and as states make laws that permit and promote concealed carry and, increasingly, open carry.

National Rifle Association-types imagine that open carry will usher in the Peaceable Kingdom, where the lion and the lamb lie down together calmly because the lamb is patently well armed.

But once citizens begin publicly displaying in holsters their fears, insecurities, paranoia, aggression and inclinations to intimidate, I suspect we’ll see more confrontations like Reeves’ and Dunn’s, quarrels that should evaporate in retreat, harsh words, or fistfights but, instead, turn into gunplay.

In fact, before we turn our country into the Old West, let’s note that the central, indispensable icon of all Western movies is the gunfight.  We should probably be prepared for more of them.

John M. Crisp, an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, teaches in the English Department at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Readers may send him email at jcrisp@delmar.edu.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterFebruary 25, 2014 - 6:46 am

    Blah, blah, blah. The crazies and the crooks don't give a toss about gun laws and will use a gun on you at the drop of a hat. It's the responsible people who want to defend themselves and their family when one of these crazies or crooks goes off in front of them. And it is these responsible people the politicians are doing everything they can to deny them the right to that self-defense. Gun laws only apply to the law-abiding! Gun laws, as has been shown, do nothing to stop a shooting. It only adds extra charges the prosecution can use to send the thug or the nut away for a couple of years... while your dead family member is still dead! When seconds count, cops are only minutes away.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • vallejoanFebruary 25, 2014 - 6:47 am

    "because they believe that others are carrying them" Well, in Vallejo, they are. If you look at arrests made here, charges of carrying without a permit (often accompanied by charges of possession an unregistered handgun and being a felon in possession of a firearm) happen all the time. Not only where violence or other crime is involved, but during routine traffic stops. Whether more people carrying legally, whether concealed or open, will help or harm, I can't say. I can only say, look at studies and statistics instead of isolated incidents.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 25, 2014 - 8:21 am

    I always say that road rage is my biggest concern with right to carry. The carnage out there might be overwhelming. Imagine the innocent victims because of st*pidity and piss-poor shooting skills. Right to carry or not, we have a nation-wide epidemic with lack of enforcement. Without that, your right of freedom trumps my right to safety and that is unacceptable

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Crime key topic again at Fairfield candidates night

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 35 Comments | Gallery

 
Logue wins US Chamber of Commerce support

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Dixon corn maze breaks own world record

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

Car washes raising money to fight breast cancer

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield Police Department promotes 2, honors 1

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Families Helping Families preps for holidays

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Charity Tree Auction application deadline nears

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Tots can trick-or-treat at Solano Town Center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
2 new challenges part of 2014 Solano Turkey Trot

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
PAL center seeks volunteers

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Suisun council splits on housing element changes

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

$1.4M land sale by Fairfield gets OK

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

 
Solano names new First 5 director

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Action, thriller movies headed to box office

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Oct. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Assad pursues withering campaign against rebels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
FBI: Denver girls may have tried to join jihadis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

IS fighters seize weapons cache meant for Kurds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
7 arrested in Oakland raid on Black Muslim Temple

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Stinky seaweed piling up at upscale Laguna Beach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
California man goes missing during road trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

2nd guilty plea in California tainted beef case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Golden Gate Bridge officials float sidewalk toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

5 Jonestown victims buried in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
New rules adopted in hopes of spurring home loans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Pakistani Nobel laureate honored in Philadelphia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Cadaver dog searches in suspected serial killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Schools scoured in search for ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

AP-GfK Poll: Most expect GOP victory in November

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Freed Vietnamese dissident travels to US: official

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

North Korea frees US man; 2 more still detained

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Brown meets with health care experts about Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

US expands Ebola checks; Rwanda to check Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Opinion

Expect voter participation to drop

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 

PUC chief: Likely 1st test for new Brown term

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons: Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Spering kept youth league going

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 11 Comments

Day, Blankenchip good for respective cities

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
‘Misleading’ mailer sent to residents

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
Is it OK for a business to use its contacts to raise money for a charity?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

Hummus and chocolate together? Deliciously so!

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Easy slow cooker chili that lives up to the hype

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Roasted beets can brighten up any holiday table

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Argentina demands ‘Top Gear’ apology from BBC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ fans push for Coulson/May romance

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
From Kors to DVF, fashion mourns de la Renta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

Sports

Local report: Vikings earn 3-0 SCAC volleyball win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SJS releases season’s first wins list

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner, Giants stop Royals 7-1 in Series opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bruins hold off Sharks to win 5-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Logano: No worries about retaliation from Patrick

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Fighters suing Mayweather over Vegas cable TV bout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
For a young Mexican golf star, seeing helps him believe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shaw shoulders blame for Stanford’s slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Newman dodges penalty for Talladega inspection

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

WS Game 2 starters Ventura, Peavy study in contrasts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hats off! Royals get old-timey with tip o’ the hat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

KC, San Fran mayors announce World Series wager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Ezeli returns as Warriors beat Clippers 125-107

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Buster’s back: Posey tries to add 3rd Series ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
AP sources: Rice’s appeal hearing set for Nov. 5-6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kings GM: NHL should educate after Voynov’s arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Broncos are still No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius gets 5 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

New efforts to ban tobacco farm child labor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Total CEO killed in Moscow runway crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

China economy grows at slowest pace in 5 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Google’s streaming music service adds mood to mix

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

5 problems McDonald’s is facing in the US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Rufina Ferrer Levengood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6