The quiet streets of this San Diego seaside community were awakened to the Second Amendment rights as 12 Californians walked the sidewalks with their firearms. Six of the 12 open carriers were women and six additional non-carriers handed out informational fliers to anyone who was interested.
Most of residents were curious about what was going on, some thought the open carriers were a part of law enforcement and a few were offended, but the morning event ended with educating the public about their right to carry a gun in the state of California.
Of coarse there are a few rules to be followed when taking your gun outside your home. First you need to be a registered gun owner, the weapon must be in a holster in plain site and it cannot be loaded. Ammunition is normally carried, but separate from the gun.
Once the group met, they notified the local law enforcement, as a courtesy, that they would be walking the downtown district of Encinitas.
“It’s awesome, we as Americans have the right to carry our guns and it can’t be taken away from us,” said Rochelle Howes, fellow open carrier participant. “This is my second open carry and it amazes me that some law enforcement officers don’t know we have this right.”
Fellow gun advocate, Mari Hayden, says this is her first open carry event. “This is great. I just talked to an off-duty officer who said they were creeped out by this right, but I told her I was creeped out that she was a cop.”
Another fellow carrier was Rosa Garcia, a Mexican immigrant who came here legally with a sponsor; “I do this to share quality time with my sons.” The Garcia’s are belong to the San Diego Minutemen group and since they’ve lost their business due to illegal immigration, they depend on the kindness of the Minutemen for help to get by in the tough recession.
When it comes to the importance of being able to carry their firearms, many open carriers had different reasons for the educational walk through Encinitas.
“I will save a liberals' life even if they won’t save mine,” says Pendry Boteler. “I don’t mine though because I’ve been around guns my whole life.”
The goal of this group is to exercise this right in every North San Diego County city in order to educate as many Americans as possible, says Jeff Schwilk founder of the San Diego Minutemen.
Not everyone was convinced this was a good idea. A few residents left their table outside a café and said, “You people are nuts and paranoid. You shouldn’t want guns in your Christian nation.”
However across the plaza the group ran into current City Council member and former Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager. “I’m not used to seeing people walk down the street openly carrying guns. I’m not endorsing it, but I’m not freaked out by it either.”
He continued to say that growing up he used guns and referred to them as tools that they used on the property to get the fox out of the chicken coop.
Finally one of the carriers drove down from Orange County to learn about the organization in hopes of bringing a chapter to the Orange County area in a few months.
Vincent Burke is a lifetime National Rifle Association member and assists the U.S. Border Patrol on the U.S./Mexico border in counter-narco terrorism activity. “It’s tough work, but someone’s got to do it.”
Once the streets were safe and the group hungry, they all ended their day at Giovanni’s Italian restaurant on Hwy 101 for lunch, guns and all.
For more stories; www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner