Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Maybe It’s Time for Gun Owners to Step Up

 

If you recognize the name of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, you might be remembering that the Aryan Nation marched through its streets twenty years ago. It also has a colorful history and is named after an American Indian tribe. Most recently, though, it has gained attention as it takes up arms against Black Lives Matter.

When BLM decided to organize protestors in the town in June, the locals wanted to be sure that the town was protected. One resident shared the following impressions from June 2:

We just drove downtown Coeur d’Alene. It is packed with armed citizens. I’ve never seen so many AR-15s in my life. There’s at least one thousand armed citizens walking on the sidewalks and the streets are packed with cars and trucks with guys in the back with AR-15 and American flags everywhere. We saw two protesters wearing their little black clothing and black masks and sitting on a step quietly with their little poster board sign saying ‘our system sucks!’ Guess why they’re being so polite.

As many as 300 armed citizens at a time arrived to discourage looting and violence.

In spite of the small number of black people in the town, white citizens showed up to support BLM after the hoopla about George Floyd. Some activists claimed to be intimidated by the armed residents, while others were relieved to know that they would be protected if violence broke out.

* * * * *

A number of thoughts came up for me when I read this story. First, Black Lives Matter is bringing in many of its protestors from the outside to several rural towns; BLM is becoming ubiquitous. Second, there were no reports of problems with the armed citizens who were there; Idaho is an open-carry state. Third, in doing my research, I discovered a surprising number of states allow open carry, ranging from no requirements to apply for a permit or license, to states that had some restrictions. For lists of those states and requirements, you can go here and here.

As I look around at the relentless, illegal and unconstitutional actions of BLM and Antifa, and the tepid response of state and community leaders, if any response at all, a demonstration of force might be appropriate. If some of these officials see that citizens are willing to push back, maybe they would start to take action, like arresting rioters, empowering and supporting their police departments, and holding others accountable for their disruptions and violence. Gun carriers would need to be coached on the best ways to engage (or not engage) the protestors to minimize the possibility of triggering an event.

I realize that encouraging citizens to take up arms is a risky proposition. My goal would be to shame officials into acting and that after an initial demonstration of force, government officials would do their jobs. At that point, I might be satisfied in encouraging the armed citizens to stand down.

What do you think? Is it time to take up arms?

Published in Guns
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 105 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I don’t blame the people who showed up, armed, to prevent rioting.

    This is why it is so important for the police to maintain order, with help from the national guard and military if necessary. The failure of authorities, in many places, to take appropriate action is leading to legitimate fear on the part of law-abiding citizens.

    This is a recipe for trouble, however. Such situations could easily degenerate into a bloodbath.

    • #1
    • June 23, 2020, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I don’t blame the people who showed up, armed, to prevent rioting.

    This is why it is so important for the police to maintain order, with help from the national guard and military if necessary. The failure of authorities, in many places, to take appropriate action is leading to legitimate fear on the part of law-abiding citizens.

    This is a recipe for trouble, however. Such situations could easily degenerate into a bloodbath.

    I agree with the potential for trouble, Jerry. I don’t know that there is enough time for training. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that most of the armed folks came from local militias.

    We need to let them know we are serious and that we’ve had enough of this nastiness and disorder.

    • #2
    • June 23, 2020, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Oklahoma is open carry without a license, as long as you aren’t breaking any other laws.

    After the Parkland school shooting, one town made a modification to their policy of having guns on campus.

    No problems.

    As far as I’m concerned, Okay is better than average.

    • #3
    • June 23, 2020, at 1:21 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I don’t blame the people who showed up, armed, to prevent rioting.

    This is why it is so important for the police to maintain order, with help from the national guard and military if necessary. The failure of authorities, in many places, to take appropriate action is leading to legitimate fear on the part of law-abiding citizens.

    This is a recipe for trouble, however. Such situations could easily degenerate into a bloodbath.

    I agree with the potential for trouble, Jerry. I don’t know that there is enough time for training. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that most of the armed folks came from local militias.

    We need to let them know we are serious and that we’ve had enough of this nastiness and disorder.

    I don’t see how training would help.

    As you might imagine, I’m pretty old fashioned when it comes to dealing with riots. I care little about how much force is used. I have no sympathy for rioters, and no sympathy for “useful idiots” who pretend to be “peaceful protesters” in order to give cover to rioters. I suspect that I am in a minority of one in holding these views.

    I think that when the authorities fail to maintain order, we’ll end up with chaos and fighting in the streets. This is the endpoint of what is happening in Coeur d’Alene.

    • #4
    • June 23, 2020, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  5. Locke On Member

    There have been BLM demos here in Boise, but peaceful. There were a number of armed observers present, but nothing happened other than one of the latter screwing up and getting a misdemeanor charge for a negligent discharge. I’ve heard through the grapevine that some armed teams of Proud Boys were keeping watch in the downtown area for a couple of weeks, and showed themselves to those they thought might be Antifa scouts. Again, nothing happened. An armed society is a polite society.

    • #5
    • June 23, 2020, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Locke On (View Comment):

    There have been BLM demos here in Boise, but peaceful. There were a number of armed observers present, but nothing happened other than one of the latter screwing up and getting a misdemeanor charge for a negligent discharge. I’ve heard through the grapevine that some armed teams of Proud Boys were keeping watch in the downtown area for a couple of weeks, and showed themselves to those they thought might be Antifa scouts. Again, nothing happened. An armed society is a polite society.

    Thanks for the additional input on Boise, @lockeon. And in my comment to @arizonapatriot, I think some guidelines of what the purpose was and to only engage if absolutely necessary would be helpful. We don’t want to turn it into a gunfight.

    • #6
    • June 23, 2020, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    You cannot shame a leftist. They have spent the past 50 years getting rid of stigma for most behavior that used to be shameful. 

    It is definitely time for gun owners to stand up and be counted. 

    • #7
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    As you might imagine, I’m pretty old fashioned when it comes to dealing with riots. I care little about how much force is used. I have no sympathy for rioters, and no sympathy for “useful idiots” who pretend to be “peaceful protesters” in order to give cover to rioters.

    Can’t agree more. Rioting is violence, and it may escalate to arson and looting, so violence by law enforcement o protect lives and property is not only called for, it’s expected. The violence doesn’t have to be lethal, but just enough to stop the rioting, period. Once the perps understand rioting won’t be tolerated, that should be their final warning the next step will be lethal force if they don’t stop.

    • #8
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Stina Member

    Susan Quinn: realize that encouraging citizens to take up arms is a risky proposition. My goal would be to shame officials into acting and that after an initial demonstration of force, government officials would do their jobs. At that point I might be satisfied in encouraging the armed citizens to stand down.

    This is vestiges of your old lefty speaking.

    This is how it should be. As has been shown, our government is easily bought and manipulated. Depending on them for our safety and freedom is proving to be a bad idea. It is up to us and should stay that way.

    • #9
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Hammer, The Member

    My sister lives in Sandpoint, and does her shopping in Cour d’Alene. She said that there were big white vans coming across from Spokane with “protesters,” and they’d all park at the winco. She had to go to winco for shopping, but my brother and law came along and brought a handgun.

     

    • #10
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Stad Thatcher

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    She had to go to winco for shopping, but my brother and law came along and brought a handgun.

    Hopefully open carry so as to send a warning . . .

    • #11
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Hammer, The Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    She had to go to winco for shopping, but my brother and law came along and brought a handgun.

    Hopefully open carry so as to send a warning . . .

    I imagine they were antifa and they shop at whole foods. I believe they were staging at winco and set to go downtown for the protest/rioting/looting/whatever. It may well be that they took a look around and decided to head home.

    • #12
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:28 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s past time to push back.

    • #13
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. Henry Racette Contributor

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment. But I don’t think we need gun owners to step up, with all the terrible risk that entails. We simply need regular people to speak up. With all of the real risk, unfortunately, that that entails.

    Until we’re willing to use our words, out in public where people can hear us and even when it’s uncomfortable, talk of guns seems premature.

    • #14
    • June 23, 2020, at 2:50 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    We saw how things can go wrong when armed citizens take matters into their own hands, in the confrontation between Greg and Travis McMichael and Ahmaud Arbery.

    As I evaluated the case, it looked like the McMichaels were within their legal rights to be armed, and to make a citizens arrest (if they even did so, which is not clear). I thought that the shooting was legitimate self-defense, after Arbery attacked Travis McMichael and attempted to take his gun. I thought that it would have been legitimate self-defense if the encounter had turned out the other way, too.

    Confrontations between citizens, with guns, are inherently dangerous. They are permissible, in my view, because I do support the 2nd Amendment and the right to self-defense.

    I have a bad feeling about what is currently going on in Coeur d’Alene, and probably elsewhere.

    This is why I am so strongly supportive of the cops, even if they do sometimes make mistakes (and worse, on very rare occasions).

    • #15
    • June 23, 2020, at 3:06 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    She had to go to winco for shopping, but my brother and law came along and brought a handgun.

    Hopefully open carry so as to send a warning . . .

    I imagine they were antifa and they shop at whole foods. I believe they were staging at winco and set to go downtown for the protest/rioting/looting/whatever. It may well be that they took a look around and decided to head home.

    That’s my assumption, too.

    • #16
    • June 23, 2020, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. PHCheese Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    We saw how things can go wrong when armed citizens take matters into their own hands, in the confrontation between Greg and Travis McMichael and Ahmaud Arbery.

    As I evaluated the case, it looked like the McMichaels were within their legal rights to be armed, and to make a citizens arrest (if they even did so, which is not clear). I thought that the shooting was legitimate self-defense, after Arbery attacked Travis McMichael and attempted to take his gun. I thought that it would have been legitimate self-defense if the encounter had turned out the other way, too.

    Confrontations between citizens, with guns, are inherently dangerous. They are permissible, in my view, because I do support the 2nd Amendment and the right to self-defense.

    I have a bad feeling about what is currently going on in Coeur d’Alene, and probably elsewhere.

    This is why I am so strongly supportive of the cops, even if they do sometimes make mistakes (and worse, on very rare occasions).

    I have some faith in the police and none in the politicians. However it’s always easier to get in a war than getting out of one.

    • #17
    • June 23, 2020, at 3:17 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is how you get FARC. When people decide the government cannot or will not protect them, they will act. And it will get messy. Now, maybe that is inevitable.

    It appears to me that most blacks belive things are bad and that only thing that will help is for white people to admit how horrible we are. Basically they are powerless and only whites can fix it. 

    We had a black president. That is not enough. Nothing ever will be. They want to blame whites for all their problems. That sort of thinking always leads to violence. 

    I believe we are done. They have won with their tribalism. Once all the races sink into it, sectarian war will happen.

     

    • #18
    • June 23, 2020, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    We saw how things can go wrong when armed citizens take matters into their own hands, in the confrontation between Greg and Travis McMichael and Ahmaud Arbery.

    As I evaluated the case, it looked like the McMichaels were within their legal rights to be armed, and to make a citizens arrest (if they even did so, which is not clear). I thought that the shooting was legitimate self-defense, after Arbery attacked Travis McMichael and attempted to take his gun. I thought that it would have been legitimate self-defense if the encounter had turned out the other way, too.

    Confrontations between citizens, with guns, are inherently dangerous. They are permissible, in my view, because I do support the 2nd Amendment and the right to self-defense.

    I have a bad feeling about what is currently going on in Coeur d’Alene, and probably elsewhere.

    This is why I am so strongly supportive of the cops, even if they do sometimes make mistakes (and worse, on very rare occasions).

    I have some faith in the police and none in the politicians. However it’s always easier to get in a war than getting out of one.

    Unfortunately, we’re already in a war.

    • #19
    • June 23, 2020, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    She had to go to winco for shopping, but my brother and law came along and brought a handgun.

    Hopefully open carry so as to send a warning . . .

    I imagine they were antifa and they shop at whole foods. I believe they were staging at winco and set to go downtown for the protest/rioting/looting/whatever. It may well be that they took a look around and decided to head home.

    That’s my assumption, too.

    Maybe those vans should be towed. 

    • #20
    • June 23, 2020, at 4:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Full Size Tabby Member

    Late last week some armed citizens took to guarding the Confederate monument in front of our courthouse. I considered that bit severe given that there have been no suggestions in our county of violence. But, given the nationwide trend to forcibly tear down statues, having armed citizens guard it didn’t seem totally unreasonable either. Unfortunately more people expressed concern that the armed guards were the problem, not the potential rioters. 

    Nonetheless, it is widely assumed in our region (including the city metro area to our east) that at any given moment a high percentage of our county’s residents are carrying a weapon, so unless a potential rioter is from out of the area, no one will dare start violence in our town.

    • #21
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Nonetheless, it is widely assumed in our region (including the city metro area to our east) that at any given moment a high percentage of our county’s residents are carrying a weapon, so unless a potential rioter is from out of the area, no one will dare start violence in our town.

    I like this approach–the assumption that residents are carrying weapons. It’s more subtle and less in-your-face. Heaven help the outsider! Thanks @fullsizetabby.

    • #22
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Mark Camp Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment. But I don’t think we need gun owners to step up, with all the terrible risk that entails. We simply need regular people to speak up. With all of the real risk, unfortunately, that that entails.

    Until we’re willing to use our words, out in public where people can hear us and even when it’s uncomfortable, talk of guns seems premature.

    Henry,

    I’m with Susan. I think that the action of the people of Coeur d’Alene was appropriate and a model for communities everywhere. We will need to arm, organize ourselves against this aggression, and take firm action, all across the nation.

    We should continue the war of words, of right and reason against evil and lies, too, of course.

    The enemy is using both words and force, and all Americans–Jewish, Christian, and undecided–must counter both salients concurrently.

    • #23
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment. But I don’t think we need gun owners to step up, with all the terrible risk that entails. We simply need regular people to speak up. With all of the real risk, unfortunately, that that entails.

    Until we’re willing to use our words, out in public where people can hear us and even when it’s uncomfortable, talk of guns seems premature.

    Henry,

    I’m with Susan. I think that the action of the people of Coeur d’Alene was appropriate and a model for communities everywhere. We will need to arm, organize ourselves against this aggression, and take firm action, all across the nation.

    We should continue the war of words, of right and reason against evil and lies, too, of course.

    The enemy is using both words and force, and all Americans–Jewish, Christian, and undecided, must counter both salients concurrently.

    That’s great, @markcamp. A multi-pronged approach provides more flexibility and adaptability to whatever situation may arise.

    • #24
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Mark Camp Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment. But I don’t think we need gun owners to step up, with all the terrible risk that entails. We simply need regular people to speak up. With all of the real risk, unfortunately, that that entails.

    Until we’re willing to use our words, out in public where people can hear us and even when it’s uncomfortable, talk of guns seems premature.

    Henry,

    I’m with Susan. I think that the action of the people of Coeur d’Alene was appropriate and a model for communities everywhere. We will need to arm, organize ourselves against this aggression, and take firm action, all across the nation.

    We should continue the war of words, of right and reason against evil and lies, too, of course.

    The enemy is using both words and force, and all Americans–Jewish, Christian, and undecided, must counter both salients concurrently.

    That’s great, @markcamp. A multi-pronged approach provides more flexibility and adaptability to whatever situation may arise.

    It’s even more important than that. If either their disinformation/brainwashing front or their terror front succeed, America is lost. We must defend both fronts.

    • #25
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Flicker Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment. But I don’t think we need gun owners to step up, with all the terrible risk that entails. We simply need regular people to speak up. With all of the real risk, unfortunately, that that entails.

    Until we’re willing to use our words, out in public where people can hear us and even when it’s uncomfortable, talk of guns seems premature.

    Henry,

    I’m with Susan. I think that the action of the people of Coeur d’Alene was appropriate and a model for communities everywhere. We will need to arm, organize ourselves against this aggression, and take firm action, all across the nation.

    We should continue the war of words, of right and reason against evil and lies, too, of course.

    The enemy is using both words and force, and all Americans–Jewish, Christian, and undecided–must counter both salients concurrently.

    Yes, words matter. But not all words matter in the same way. Words can be rational and appeal to reasoned thought. Words can be emotional and carry little more reason than a bumper sticker, but carry more urgency and effectiveness than reasonableness. If there’s one thing I see exclusively among the videos and twitterings of the Left is that reasoned words do not matter to the Left, and the Left rejects reason and responds with emotional words and physical violence.

    • #26
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Flicker (View Comment):
    If there’s one thing I see exclusively among the videos and twitterings of the Left is that reasoned words do not matter to the Left, and the Left rejects reason and responds with emotional words and physical violence.

    So @flicker, what are your thoughts on how we should approach them? Should we be approaching them on an emotional level? Now that would be interesting!

    • #27
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Henry Racette Contributor

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Susan, I appreciate the sentiment. But I don’t think we need gun owners to step up, with all the terrible risk that entails. We simply need regular people to speak up. With all of the real risk, unfortunately, that that entails.

    Until we’re willing to use our words, out in public where people can hear us and even when it’s uncomfortable, talk of guns seems premature.

    Henry,

    I’m with Susan. I think that the action of the people of Coeur d’Alene was appropriate and a model for communities everywhere. We will need to arm, organize ourselves against this aggression, and take firm action, all across the nation.

    We should continue the war of words, of right and reason against evil and lies, too, of course.

    The enemy is using both words and force, and all Americans–Jewish, Christian, and undecided–must counter both salients concurrently.

    Mark,

    I understand that, and I even sympathize. I’m a gun guy and have carried a gun most of my adult life. I’m a self-defense enthusiast.

    Having said that, I’m afraid it would be counter-productive if citizens began standing armed guard at monuments. As much as it might satisfy me to see justice dispensed in a terminal yet informal style, I think it would make things worse, not better.

    I also don’t think that the problem we’re facing right now is one of violence, but rather a simple lack of responsibility and will. These loud mouths and pansies aren’t so much muscling their way in and taking over buildings as they are waltzing in and making toothless demands. It’s only the fact that every adult in the room who is in an actual position of authority has decided to take a powder that allows these little fools to have their way.

    The response to a failure of local government to properly use law enforcement is to throw out local government and get a new one. It isn’t to escalate the situation, but that’s what I’m afraid would happen.

    Self defense is fine. Killing people to protect statues because the police have been told not to do their jobs is not, and won’t serve us well. In my opinion.

    Hank

    PS And we aren’t at war, except in a figurative sense.

    • #28
    • June 23, 2020, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Self defense is fine. Killing people to protect statues because the police have been told not to do their jobs is not, and won’t serve us well. In my opinion.

    I agree with you, Hank. I don’t want to kill people who attack statues. My hope is that the guns would be a deterrent; in fact, I’m not sure a person could legally kill a person to protect a statue. There’s probably some work to do to develop this strategy, but I think it’s worth considering. Nothing else, and no one else seems to be working or trying.

    • #29
    • June 23, 2020, at 6:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Flicker Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    If there’s one thing I see exclusively among the videos and twitterings of the Left is that reasoned words do not matter to the Left, and the Left rejects reason and responds with emotional words and physical violence.

    So @flicker, what are your thoughts on how we should approach them? Should we be approaching them on an emotional level? Now that would be interesting!

    I think two things, fundamentally. One is speak their language with hidden reason mixed in; perhaps wear signs and provocative T-shirts saying, oh I don’t know, a short quote from Thos. Jefferson or from M.L. King; carry signs and hold counter demonstrations. And two, offer them a purpose in life, one more compelling than destruction of what is, but perhaps to further build on the radical ideas of the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights; maybe offer them the excitement of family and parenting; and maybe earning your way to provide for others; certainly getting to know God. I hadn’t thought much specifically about this.

    Maybe the answer lies in Dedication And Leadership by Douglas Hyde.

    Wow, I just tried to provide the link, not all this.

    Added: But the Free Preview explains the premise far better than I can. It at least is worth the read, especially in these new and challenging times.

    • #30
    • June 23, 2020, at 6:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.