Monday, March 22, 2010

Open-Carry Guy Arrested for Drunkenness

SFGate reports on an open-carry advocate who was arrested for public drunkenness.

A 29-year-old man who is known to the local cops for his imbibing found that out the hard way in San Bruno.

Christian George Gonzalez was allegedly plastered when he ambled up to two uniformed San Bruno police officers on Feb. 12 just after midnight at a 7-Eleven parking lot, said Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County's chief deputy district attorney.

He approached Officer Jack Boland and asked, "Jack, want to check me?" Wagstaffe said, noting that Boland and Gonzalez have "known each other for many years" because of Gonzalez's predilection for alcohol.

Gonzalez had a holstered .40-caliber handgun in plain view on his belt, Wagstaffe said. The officers confirmed that the gun wasn't loaded but that Gonzalez quite visibly was, because he "stumbled backwards and fell into the patrol car," the prosecutor said. Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public and was arraigned on the charge last week.

Two weeks before the Feb. 12 incident, Gonzalez had walked into the same 7-Eleven with a gun on his hip and told the clerk that he could carry the weapon as long as he kept it unloaded, authorities said. Seems Gonzalez is in sympathy with an ad hoc movement seeking to increase awareness of gun rights by visibly holstering weapons in public.

Gonzalez is right on target as far as his gun rights are concerned, Wagstaffe said. "He knows the open-carry law," the prosecutor said. "But he was drunk."

I realize the San Francisco Chronicle is not a pro-gun mouthpiece by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, even they soft peddle the gun story in favor of the pro-gun folks. Why do you think that is?

Wouldn't a media outlet that is biased against guns emphasize the fact that folks who open carry their weapons are frequently guilty of the same stupid behaviour as everyone else and thereby not fit for gun ownership? Wouldn't anti-gun reporting include a forceful indictment of the police attitude that a guy who "stumbled backwards and fell into the patrol car", is by definition not "right on target as far as his gun rights are concerned?"

This story illustrates another important problem. In States where the "shall issue" policy of granting concealed carry licenses is in effect, the local police who know someone has alcohol or drug or mental health problems are powerless to prevent them from legally carrying a gun. This is a mistake. Gun rights supporters fight against this form of common sense control because they fear the system would be abused. The result is more freedom, yes, but at a very high cost.

What's your opinion? Should a guy like Christian George Gonzalez continue to enjoy his gun rights in spite of his known alcohol abuse? Is it right that a guy like this cannot be stopped until he commits a felony? Isn't this exactly the kind of situation we often look back on after a tragedy and say, "why didn't someone do something?"

Please leave a comment.

19 comments:

  1. "Wouldn't a media outlet that is biased against guns emphasize the fact that folks who open carry their weapons are frequently guilty of the same stupid behaviour as everyone else and thereby not fit for gun ownership?"

    Frequently, huh? I've been following the open carry 'movement' since its beginning. I've never heard of or found one story of a publicly intoxicated open carrier, until today. Not saying it can't or doesn't happen, but it sure doesn't fit the description of the word frequently. I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    "Wouldn't anti-gun reporting include a forceful indictment of the police attitude that a guy who "stumbled backwards and fell into the patrol car", is by definition not "right on target as far as his gun rights are concerned?"

    Why? He was precisely correct about the law concerning carrying a gun in CA. In other words, he was right on target as the prosecutor said.

    Where he was wrong was being publicly intoxicated. In some states, that plus carrying a gun, loaded or not, will lead to losing permits, or even rights. I do not know if CA is one of those, but I doubt it, since the prosecutor didn't charge him with it.

    As for the media bias, I'll only say I really truly believe there is far more ignorance than malice behind any "bias" that shows up in the media. Not to say that there aren't obviously biased producers, editors, journalists and reporters, but that most simply don't know what they are talking about. Some people see that as biased.

    "This story illustrates another important problem. In States where the "shall issue" policy of granting concealed carry licenses is in effect, the local police who know someone has alcohol or drug or mental health problems are powerless to prevent them from legally carrying a gun."

    Uh, wrong! In almost every shall issue state that I am aware of, abuse of alcohol is one of the short list of things that will prevent you from getting a permit to carry concealed (not that that has anything to do with this story, since he was openly carrying an unloaded pistol, as the law requires in CA, a "may issue" state). You're drinking too much of the Brady bunch Kool-aid if you believe that "shall issue" means "must issue, even if we have evidence that we probably shouldn't."

    "Should a guy like Christian George Gonzalez continue to enjoy his gun rights in spite of his known alcohol abuse?"

    He'll most likely violate the law in some way that will take of that all on its own, if he truly does abuse alcohol. What with the lowered bar for felonies, he'll likely be a felon soon enough.

    "Is it right that a guy like this cannot be stopped until he commits a felony? Isn't this exactly the kind of situation we often look back on after a tragedy and say, "why didn't someone do something?" "

    Free people should not be bound by prior restraint. If he hasn't done something to warrant losing his right to keep and bear arms, then he shouldn't lose them because he imbibes too much alcohol by someone else's standards.

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  2. Gun rights supporters fight against this form of common sense control because they fear the system would be abused.

    We don't fear it at all. May-issue systems ARE ABUSED with regularity. Technically MD has CCW, but they're may issue. Applying for a CCW is as good as flushing your cash down the toilet.

    Voted for the other guy? good luck ever getting a permit. A registered Republican and your local sheriff is a Democrat? You may as well not bother.

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  3. So . . . no one was hurt, no one was threatened, the gun was unloaded and holstered, and the guy was arrested.

    Sounds like a pretty good outcome, to me.

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  4. Why is this news? I'm not sure!

    Was this guy indeed drunk? I'm not sure!

    Have you ever seen a "drunk in public" arrest get so much media attention? Definitely no!

    Does this appear to be an anti "open carry" smear campaign? My opinion is yes!

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  5. Shrimp apparently believes everyone who speeds is ticketed.

    --JadeGold

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  6. No, JG, I don't.

    Nor do I believe your comments bear any relevance to the discussion, as usual.

    Watch out, A JG constructed 'flying feces' zone ahead.

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  7. Well, Shrimp, you're the one who claimed that you hadn't heard of CCW permit holders carrying while intoxicated.

    Apparently, Google is not your friend or even a casual acquaintance. Here's a few quick hits:

    "Nauser allegedly told the officer about the weapon and the ammunition he was carrying prior to a search of the vehicle. He had a concealed weapon permit. Nauser's BAC was .142% at the time of his arrest."

    "KINGSPORT — An intoxicated man was arrested in a Kingsport Wal-Mart on Sunday after a revolver was found in his pocket, police said.

    According to an incident report from the Kingsport Police Department, an officer was sent to the Wal-Mart on Fort Henry Drive about 1:15 p.m. The store’s assistant manager reported a man who could “hardly stand up” had been wandering the store and spent the past 30 minutes near the dog leashes."


    "An unidentified Washington concealed carry permit-holder,
    apparently drunk, was arrested on suspicion of a drive-by shooting and booked into jail after
    allegedly firing his weapon several times into the ground from his truck. The permit-holder
    allegedly told police that he'd had "a few" beers, but was not drunk"

    "When the officers arrived on scene, they found two adult males. One of them, 26-year-old Windsor resident Thomas Krueger, didn’t immediately comply with officers’ requests that he stop walking. When he did, Officer Tori Young smelled alcohol on his breath and saw that he was carrying a brown paper bag with a bottle-shaped object.

    “The officers ran him through our system and it said he has two concealed weapons permits, one for the state of Utah and one for Colorado,” Michaels said.

    The officers asked if he was carrying a gun, and he told them he was. The officers then removed a fully-loaded Glock 23 handgun and a large folding knife from Krueger’s possession, as well as his concealed-carry permit.
    "


    It's odd you claim to have such extensive knowledge of the open-carry movement, yet fail to know they have a term this: CWI.

    --JadeGold

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  8. Jadegold: “Shrimp apparently believes everyone who speeds is ticketed.”

    Sure, but there is a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving which would be the more apt comparison in this case.

    -TS

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  9. JadeGold says:

    Well, Shrimp, you're the one who claimed that you hadn't heard of CCW permit holders carrying while intoxicated.

    Apparently, Google is not your friend or even a casual acquaintance.


    JadeGold might consider striking up at least a nodding acquaintance with the truth, because Shrimp claimed nothing of the kind. What he actually said was (my emphasis):

    I've been following the open carry 'movement' since its beginning. I've never heard of or found one story of a publicly intoxicated open carrier, until today.

    There's a kinda important difference, isn't there, JadeGold, between a CCW permit holder and an open carrier?

    Nice try, JadeGold--now go introduce yourself to truth and rationality.

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  10. No, Zorro, she's right.

    All gun owners are automatically permit holders, by default, in her world. So, even if I said something else entirely, JG still gets to make her point and be right--because, we're wrong, and she says so, of course.

    And, yes, JG, I'm well aware of CWI (carrying while intoxicated). However, as Zorro aptly and correctly pointed out, I was noting that this is the first open carrier that I'm aware of making that mistake.

    Oh, and even if you were right, and CWI amongst permit holders had any real bearing on the subject, out of tens of millions of gun owners, and hundreds of thousands of permit holders, you'll find only a rather small number charged with and convicted of CWI.

    Put another way, more than79,000,000 gun owners didn't commit any crimes last year, and likely never will, based upon their overall law abiding nature.

    But, I suppose in your world, that means because a few did it, we all do it, right?

    Duck everyone, here comes some more flying feces from JG's direction.

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  11. Shrimp said to JadeGold, "But, I suppose in your world, that means because a few did it, we all do it, right?"

    I wouldn't go quite that far. I say it's only about 10% (at least that's what I put in black and white - what I think is something else).

    About my use of the word "frequently" in the post, you're right, that's too strong. But, I have to agree with JadeGold, your statement to never have seen one story is a bit misleading. I'm not questioning your veracity, but by saying it like that, it sure sounds like you're saying it doesn't happen. Your little disclaimer, "Not saying it can't or doesn't happen," doesn't quite satisfy.

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  12. "...But, I have to agree with JadeGold, your statement to never have seen one story is a bit misleading."

    How is it misleading in any way? I have never seen one article, nor have I heard one story of an open carrier carrying while intoxicated. This one that you posted, was a first for me. So, please, go back and re-read what I said and show me where I mislead.

    As for your 10% myth that you continually push, you have to back that up with some sort of statistics. Anyone can make up numbers, Mikeb.

    I think 25% of all gun control fanatics are child pornographers and cheat on their spouses/significant others. Further, I think an additional 13.16% are actually violent criminals themselves, and they push gun control because they want to see their potential victims disarmed. I call it my infamous 38.16 percent. See how easy that was?

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  13. Shrimp, Maybe you weren't coming around here when I began objecting to the frequent counter-charge from several of the pro-gun guys that I could be held responsible for child pornography since I own a computer. It came like a wave, dozens and dozens of mentions always repeating those key words. I treated it as a normal debate until I began to suspect they were trying to damage me by associating my name with that activity. That's when I began to object. Naturally my requests and eventually warnings went unheeded, further convincing me of my suspicions about their motives. Finally I began moderating comments and deleted any which contained those words.

    I don't think that's what you've done in this comment, but nevertheless, I ask that you not repeat it, please.

    What you said about my "10% myth" isn't exactly right. I didn't make up numbers. I linked to the statistics from which I derived those percentages. You may dispute them or even the methodology, as does Zorro, but it's not the same as just making stuff up.

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  14. I've never read a credible report about any legislation or executive order to consfiscate legally owned weapons. Therefor, I'm sure it has not and could never happen.

    Thanks, fellas.

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  15. Mikeb says: I treated it as a normal debate until I began to suspect they were trying to damage me by associating my name with that activity. That's when I began to object.

    Any you wonder why gun owners object to your 10% theory. You repeatedly bring up this theory with nothing backing it up. You're associating me with a criminal element within the group of gun owners is exactly the same thing as they were doing to you.

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  16. "What you said about my "10% myth" isn't exactly right. I didn't make up numbers. I linked to the statistics from which I derived those percentages."

    And then you guessed wildly, grabbing numbers from here and there, making assumptions about which groups comprised those numbers.

    In some cases you exaggerated or overestimated the numbers, and in other cases you decided that gun owners would necessarily be included, even though no such stats or evidence exists that would indicate it is so.

    Where I'm from, that's called "making up" numbers. Zorro is absolutely correct to question your "methodology," if you can call it that.

    "...I treated it as a normal debate until I began to suspect they were trying to damage me by associating my name with that activity. That's when I began to object..."

    And, rightly you should. You should also note that gun owners object to being insulted and labeled as criminals merely by association. In other words, if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.

    Whether you like the analogy or not, there is a something to be said for the analogy. You find it insulting, as you should. Gun owners find your assertion just as insulting.

    Hey, whatever. It's your blog, man. Do what you want.

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  17. MikeB's 10% theory is pure BS, always has been, always will be.

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  18. I began objecting to the frequent counter-charge from several of the pro-gun guys that I could be held responsible for child pornography since I own a computer.

    We were meerly using your own BS "shared responsibility" logic against you. Shockingly you didn't like being equated with criminals simply because you own and use the same tool they do.

    Guess what MikeB? Neither do we, which is why we use that analogy.

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  19. Democommie says:

    I've never read a credible report about any legislation or executive order to consfiscate [sic] legally owned weapons. Therefor [sic], I'm sure it has not and could never happen.

    Thanks, fellas.


    That's because such legislation or executive order wouldn't be for the confiscation of legally owned firearms--the ownership would be made illegal first.

    Besides, no one (to my knowledge) has ever said that a person openly carrying a firearm while intoxicated "has not and could never happen."

    In other words, Democommie, if you thought you had a point, I fear you are, once again, sadly mistaken.

    Thanks, fella.

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