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Old September 15, 2009, 12:18 PM   #22
BillCA
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Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
Currently the incidence of open carry is pretty low. The article did not say if the gentleman's gun was loaded, but I'll presume it was (unlike California's idiot laws). So this forms an unusual circumstance - at least visually. In Nevada, Az and NM, people get used to the sight of a holstered weapon.

Citizens today are fearful of "unusual" strangers because they lack the ability to defend themselves or rely on nearby good citizens for help. Last night, listening to the scanner a call of a "homeless man" in front of a supermarket that a citizen said was "scary looking and he had a big stick". Yeah, being scary looking is a crime. Dispatch updated saying the caller felt threatened but was not actually threatened by the man.

When cops arrived, they cleared the call in about 5 minutes. He was waiting for his wife, wearing dirty clothes after bathing two dogs and his "stick" was a cane to ease his weak back. If the guy had been OC'ing, instead of 2 cars it would have been four and no doubt they would have run his ID, gun serial number, and asked lots of questions.

Disorderly Conduct charges usually require some kind of knowledge that the conduct is likely to cause panic or alarm on the part of a reasonable person. D-C charges might be appropriate if you park a pickup downtown next to the curb with boxes in the back labeled "Dynamite", "explosives" or "Radioactive". However a man with a holstered weapon just walking calmly down the street should not cause alarm or panic by a reasonable person. They may be concerned, wary, watchful or curious. That concern may be enough to prompt a 911 call, but not such that he urges others to move away immediately.
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