Royal Oak, Michigan: Arts, Beats, and Eats 2010

Lots of press has been recently given to the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival in Royal Oak, MI.  A suburb of Detroit, the local officials and festival organizers were attempting to make all firearms illegal on the public property holding the festival.  Gun Rights proponents have stepped in to point out that this is illegal because of a conflict with state law, which provides preemption over local laws.  (State firearms laws reign supreme over local ordinances).

The Michigan Open Carry group has pushed this issue with the Royal Oak city commissioners to have this rule repealed.  Since they have the law on their side, they won.  Legal open and concealed carry will be allowed at this event over Labor Day weekend.

This of course has quickly turned into a media frenzy.  There have been many crazy news stories and anti-gun politicians putting crazy scenarios out about the danger this might present to the general public.  Many legally-armed citizens will be able to attend this festival.  Many dire predictions of possible dangerous outcomes.

It has been five days of since this story appeared on the Detroit Free Press web site, (one of several) and has already generated over 1,000 comments on both sides of the issue.

Of course, there are negative comments, such as:

“This is a disaster for public gatherings generally. Why would I want to go to a public event knowing that every other person there is packing heat? While I’m sure many are responsible gun owners there are bound to be some nut cakes as well. Patterson is trying to recreate a sense of security for people who enjoy the AB&E event. Unfortunately the crazies have made that a very difficult task.”

And comments like this:

“These are those little guys who drive big black SUV’s and pick-up trucks at high speeds in the left lane of the freeway tailgating anyone in their way. When they park they throw out their step ladder, climb down, strap on their weapon and look for a fight. Little people in big trucks with a large chip on their shoulder. Take your meds, stay home and stroke your gun.”

Many heart-warming comments also appeared, as follows:

“Somebody please give Mr. Patterson a copy of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States of America, The Bill of Rights, make sure he has a legible copy of Amendment #2, and The Constitution of the State of Michigan. The law of the state is the issue here. He is not allowed to change the law in his county, city, township, or neighborhood to supersede the state laws. When he reads the Michigan Constitution he will realize that. People that want to carry a weapon openly are allowed to in this state. I have no fear of those who carry a weapon openly or concealed. This morning I joined the NRA and MCRGO. This morning also marks the day I will buy my first gun. It will be a handgun, and next week I will carry it openly where legally allowed to. Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront.
Respectfully,
A new gun owner”

Also, this comment

“The reason AB&E was “targeted” was because the rule in their contract WAS ILLEGAL. Other festivals, such as the Dream Cruise were not “targeted” because they didn’t have any illegal rules/ordinances.

Law abiding citizens would have been carrying a firearm at this event regardless. When ever you go out into public, you are surrounded by people lawfully carrying firearms. 1 in 43 people in the state of Michigan has a CPL (Concealed Pistol License). You just don’t realize it because there is a tiny piece of cloth hiding it.

This wasn’t an “open carry issue”. This was an issue about a city board that thought they could create their own laws when in fact what they did was ILLEGAL. The only reason open carry was brought into this is because they were they only gun rights group that stepped up to fight it. They aren’t debating on the right to open carry at AB&E, they are debating on the RIGHT to carry (concealed or otherwise).

People need not fear these law abiding citizens.”

I am praying that this festival goes well, and demonstrates how responsible gun owners behave in reality, not fantasy.

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