Apparently a man frightened the citizenry of Nashville, simply by legally carrying a firearm. After being detained for several hours, he was released without charge. Later in the year he was again the subject of police scrutiny, when he was reported in the vicinity of a country club, carrying a black powder revolver. Again, Mr. Leonard Embody ws released without charge. Police Chief Tim Eades (Belle Meade Police Department) is quoted as saying:
"Just because you have a right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thingThe TN AG's opinion was that the law does not require a licensed gun owner to carry concealed. That is, if you wanna carry concealed, go ahead, but if you don't, that's fine too. Looking deeper into the story I see that Leonard's permit to carry was suspended by the Tennessee DOS, sighting "material likelihood of risk of harm to the public". And he's filed suit, alleging violation of his civil rights.
David Codrea notes a prawn of a particularly putrid flavor coming from Officer.com, a forum for police officers
Liston Mathews, a Knoxville Gun Rights Examiner, in a related article opines:
"...what is legal is not always prudent. If we are to win the hearts and minds of our neighbors, it makes more sense to be dressed like a neighbor when we carry openly."Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a person's manner of dress covered under the First amendment? A long as my clothing does not sport patently pornographic iconography (i.e. nude images of a prurient and lascivious nature), it matters not what I wear. I can wear a speedo and clogs topped with a football helmet if I feel like it, and while I should be prepared for people to point and laugh, neither the police nor the ranger service should be involved. Does it really matter if I add a gun to that ensemble. So what if Mr. Embody's clothing seemed... intimidating to hikers, just so's he's polite and courteous to others. Besides, my Five-seveN doesn't fit under my suit coat.
By hiding our firearms we send an unconscious message that guns are somehow bad, otherwise why hide them? Additionally, by carrying openly we invite people to ask us questions about firearms, carry laws and training. I've managed to steer a dozen people to local CCW licensing schools, firearms stores and shooting ranges in the year or so I've been carrying openly. Yes I get hassled by the cops, and I think I've made my feelings known about the people that sic 'em on me too. But I'm willing to endure that harassment in order to acclimatize my fellow Alaskans to the sight of a man, legally carrying a firearm.
Aye, 'tis nobler indeed to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing the slings and arrows of outrageous LEOs, and ignorant citizens, and by opposing their bullshit, end it.