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Sunday Poll: Yesterday a Ohio man wanted to enter the St. Louis Zoo openly carrying his gun, thoughts?

June 14, 2015 Featured, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll 7 Comments
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Last week a Cincinnati Ohio man announced he planned  to visit the St. Louis Zoo openly carrying a gun:

An Ohio man is planning to walk into the St. Louis Zoo with a gun Saturday.

Even though there are signs posted around the zoo stating that weapons are not allowed, Jeff Smith is planning to walk into the zoo with a gun visible to others, most likely in a holster or belt on his hip. Smith said he will demand to know what Missouri State Law he has violated if he is stopped from entering. (KMOV)

Local officials, including the police chief, looked for ways to prevent Smith’s plan:

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says Missouri has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country, and it may allow an open-carry protest to happen inside the zoo.

Amendment 5, was passed in August 2014, establishes the “unalienable right of citizens to keep and bear arms, ammunition and accessories associated with the normal functioning of such arms, for the purpose of defense of one’s person, family, home and property.”

Dotson says attorneys are looking to see if the amendment can allow police to keep the protest outside of the zoo. (KMOX)

Friday morning the St. Louis Zoo filed for a temporary restraining order, which was granted a few hours later:

A judge has barred a gun rights advocate from entering the St. Louis Zoo with a gun. (Post-Dispatch)

The poll today seeks to find out how regular readers feel about open carry of guns at the St. Louis Zoo. The poll answers might be a bit confusing, but they should cover all the various views. They’re presented in random oder. If you don’t like an answer you can provide your own. You can also share your thoughts in the comments below. The poll closes at 8pm — sooner if corrupted.

— Steve Patterson




Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    I’m no fan of guns, and I think that we have far too many, especially hand guns, floating around in society. But I’m also a pragmatist, and since concealed carry is allowed, legally, it presents three issues that argue for allowing concealed carry in the zoo (and other public venues). One, if gun owners (are forced to) leave their weapons in their vehicles parked near the zoo, the odds go up that vehicles will be broken into and any weapons will be stolen, which leads to . . . Two, criminals, many with stolen weapons, don’t follow the rules anyways, which leads to . . . Three, if a concealed weapon is, duh, concealed, how will anyone know if someone is packing unless we force everyone to walk thru metal detectors to enter the zoo (or a shopping mall, a big box store or to ride on public transit)?!

    I get it, we can never be “too safe”, but if someone wants to walk around with a few extra pounds of dead weight all day, every day, and I can’t see it, I don’t really have a problem with it – I have a much bigger problem with having to go thru metal detectors just for the theatrics of it (they inconvenience a whole bunch of people just to catch a few innocent people who “forget” that they always carry a weapon). Open carry, in contrast, in my mind, is more of an effort to intimidate, and, in turn, tempt idiots to try and grab the gun and run. And, at least with concealed carry, there are (minimal) training requirements; with open carry, I’m pretty sure that there are no training requirements, since it’s a “right”: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/the-perils-of-open-carry

    • In the 19th century you probably would’ve said something like:

      “I’m no fan of slavery, and I think people have far too many slaves. But I’m also a pragmatist, and since slavery is allowed, legally, it presents…”

      • JZ71 says:

        No, there are two issues in play – what the Second Amendment allows (and doesn’t), on a macro level, and what the Zoo (or any other entity open to the public) can restrict (or not), on a micro level. Allowing or banning open carry at the Zoo will have a miniscule impact on gun violence or gun ownership. Attacking the issue head on, actually getting in the NRA’s face, would be far, far more effective, but most politicians don’t have the spine for that sort of confrontation!

  2. Mark-AL says:

    I’m from the gun-toting south, and I’ve personally witnessed what happens when guns mix with alcohol, drugs, testosterone and adrenaline, especially testosterone. And for that reason alone I deliberately avoid businesses and other public venues that post signs advising that either c/c or e/c or both is acceptable. Similar to the effects of high school football on boys, men can become animals when they’re exposed to weapons, especially those who have acquired little or no real-life instruction on the safe use of weapons. So to react to this cowboy from Ohio, it is appropriate to pursue an amendment that will lawfully give STL Police authority to convince him to take his business to another zoo.

    • JZ71 says:

      How about places with no signs, no “position”? (Most places, that do, just prohibit; few places actually state that weapons are “acceptable”.) And I agree, guns and stupid don’t mix well together. Plus, it’s really a circular argument, especially with concealed carry – there are serious consequences for a CCW holder to use their weapon improperly (unlike some punk with a pistol in their waistband) – so 99%+ of the time you don’t know if someone is carrying, or not. Without metal detectors and active screening, any ban on weapons, especially concealed ones, is theatrics, at best, where “law abiding citizens” mostly follow the rules, except when they don’t! (And criminals just do what they want to, anyways.) And no, I don’t expect an unarmed bus driver, security guard, store clerk or ride attendant to confront anyone with a weapon about the weapon they’re carrying, whether it’s “legal” or not!

      • Mark-AL says:

        I’m ashamed to say that on too many storefronts of too many businesses in the Elberta or Lillian areas of Alabama (the REALLY DEEP SOUTH where I grew up), there are signs that actually read, “In this fine establishment, we welcome both you and your weapon.” I even remember one a few years ago that read, ” In this establishment, you, your God and your weapon are welcome….and so if your wife is she doesn’t stink.” (This sign is posted not far from “The Roadkill Cafe”, so you can get a glimpse of the local colour! Political correctness is not a high priority. When they’re in Alabama, my boys just roll their eyes in disbelief. Like elementary, secondary and university-level football, the right to bear arms in the deep south is not just a constitutional right (in their eyes), but it is a God-given right. And several proofs can be found numerous times in the bible, all open of course to their interpretation. I personally don’t support any gun use of any kind, other than perhaps for target practice, for those who choose to amuse themselves with that pastime. So, no, even when a shopkeeper is silent on his position on c/c or e/c, I don’t support either, and I deliberately avoid patronizing business that I am even suspicious of. ….and with or without serious consequences relative to improper use of a weapon under c/c regulations, some of the good ol’ boys where I come from may just choose to deal with those issues somewhere down the road where the dirt path ends.

  3. RyleyinSTL says:

    Hand guns (or anyother wepons) have no place in public outside of being in the hands of those charged to protect us from the nutjobs. That said, Missouri law is clear…it’s the wild Midwest – you can carry a weapon, something designed solely for killing other Missourians, where ever you like. So I guess the answer is yes, bring your gun to the zoo. We can all die together and show the world how stupid we are.


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