"Open-Carry" Gunmen Rile Lake Forest Shoppers

Categories: OC Media
smoking-gun.jpg
Robert Cowdell concedes he and his members did stop and consider whether openly displaying handguns in a Lake Forest shopping center was appropriate in light of the recent mass-shooting tragedy in Arizona.

But after a half-second of pause, the answer was obvious: Hell, yes, it's appropriate.

Former OC Weekling Spencer Kornhaber gets the scoop for the new AOL community-news site, Lake Forest Patch.

"We can't just let ourselves be massacred," Cowdell--with a Glock strapped to his hip--told the reporter Sunday afternoon. " We're here to be able to defend ourselves if the need arises."

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The scene of the spectacle.
But the spectacle of armed men milling about the Corner Bakery and surrounding Orchard center on El Toro Road was enough to alarm some patrons and bring out Orange County sheriff's deputies, who collected each demonstrator's weapon to ensure each was unloaded.

Cowdell and his cohorts advocate "open-carry" laws that allow a handgun on one's person as long as it is holstered, unloaded, plainly visible and not being carried in a sensitive area like a school or government building.

Of course, as Tucson residents and the rest of the world learned Jan. 8, a busy shopping center can be a sensitive area these days. The Corner Bakery management reportedly gave the green light to the open carriers before they arrived, but in the light of daylight shining off the demonstrators' pieces, the bread makers thought better of it and called the deputies in to break up the affair.

Glock owner Vincent Burke told Kornhaber it's no big whoop, that having average guys and their sidearms blend in with the shopping-center crowd was the whole point of the big reveal.

"I do this to help acclimate law enforcement to the fact that this is legal and acclimate the public that if you see someone walking around with a gun at their hip, they're not always a gangbanger," said Burke, who dressed special for the occasion. "Who can be afraid of someone in a Hawaiian shirt? How threatening can I be?"

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50 comments
WTF1920
WTF1920

This is why concealed carry is 100 times better than open carry if you are in the city.

Open carry is great if you are in the forest and carrying a .480 Ruger or .500 S&W; something that is way too large to be concealed. A small concealable .380 auto isn't going to stop a 700 pound bear, but it would work for a 180 pound violent felon.

Matt's Mom
Matt's Mom

Matt, regarding that picture in the upper right. Did you use that picture we took of you on Christmas day?

Sincerely,

Your Mom.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

These guys are like a fire arm buffet for a not so law abiding someone who "IS" armed to walk right up stick a loaded gun in their ear hole and take their unloaded firearm ..

How stupid can people be ?

R92883
R92883

Before you pass judgment please read the original article by Spencer Kornhaber at http://lakeforest-ca.patch.com....

It seems that Mr. Coker has done an outstanding job of twisting the original article to fit his liberal agenda.

Original Lake Forest Patch article: "Absolutely it's a great time to do it," OC Weekly article: But after a half-second of pause, the answer was obvious: Hell, yes, it's appropriate.

Original Lake Forest Patch article: Cowdell and about a dozen associatesOC Weekly article: Cowdell and his cohorts

I'm not sure about the exact definition of plagiarism but Mr. Coker’s article seems to come damn close...

mjhirsch
mjhirsch

Moe amusing than the tone of the article is the foolish comments here.

I am a gun owner. I have high capacity mags since they were legal to buy when I did. My entire family has taken safety classes.

I choose not to open carry for the simple reason, I do not want to have to deal with an officer having to deal with checking my gun and calming those around me.

If a group of people want to assert their legal rights, let them. You who oppose them doing so are giving them power by keeping them in the news.

Move on to something more important like all the troops dying on foreign soil or criminals who are sneaking into the country or politicians who are screwing us over and not kissing us after.

carlajrusso
carlajrusso

This website printapons and retail me not very beneficial to increasing the speed of online shopping as well as the ease of finding the best price and coupons, which is the whole reason for shopping online.

Mentor92705
Mentor92705

An unloaded weapon is, by definition, completely useless for defense. The only purpose behind displaying one is intimidation.

Bobsmith867575
Bobsmith867575

These people do more good for gun control activists every time they go out. They reinforce the genral public's perception that gun owners are "paranoid idiots". The clear and overwhelming truth is that the majority of gun owners in this State do NOT support what this small band and others like them are doing.

Tom
Tom

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Juju2
Juju2

Open carry is common in Arizona, and legal in California. We should have more citizens carrying sidearms to defend themselves and others should the need arise.

Remember, the police will normally respond to an assault, not prevent one. Good on Cowdell and his "cohorts".

Rockman752007
Rockman752007

They'll get my gun when the pry it from my cold dead fingers.

OCGrandpa
OCGrandpa

I got my gun. Where is the militia for me to join as the second amendment states?

TheBoot
TheBoot

Matt Coker, awesome article, nice to see you exercising your first amendment against your second. Do you honestly consider yourself and American? Pathetic...

That goes the same for all you hypocrites out there...

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

This would be a non-issue if Sandra would issue CCW permits to good, honest citizens. If Mexicans in Santa Ana can have concealed weapons, then why can't I? (I kid on last part, really, kidding, hee hee.)

MajorBDog
MajorBDog

So schools and government buildings are "sensitive areas" but busy shopping centers are perfectly fine?

Douchebags like this only push back the much needed changes in gun control laws. Sensationalist bullshit.

anon
anon

They can't allow themselves to be "massacred" yet they're carrying unloaded guns. Uhhhh, OK. Nothing more than a bunch of macho BS.

Tom
Tom

I am not a Mr. Coker fan, but the plagiarism accusation seems pretty thin.I do, however, agree with the point you made regarding the establishment's management & the sheriff. Thanks.

Matthew_T_Coker
Matthew_T_Coker

You are absolutely right, R92883: you do not know the definition of plagiarism. It would be plagiarism if I passed off word-for-word what Spencer wrote as my own. By crediting Spencer with the reporting and rewriting it to, let's see, "twist the original article to fit my liberal agenda," I made it my own. By the way, lots of liberals own guns. Don't know how many take them with them to buy a Danish, tho.

R92883
R92883

I forgot to add, Mr. Coker alludes to the fact that the OC sheriff was called due to the actions of the open carry advocates:“The Corner Bakery management reportedly gave the green light to the open carriers before they arrived, but in the light of daylight shining off the demonstrators' pieces, the bread makers thought better of it and called the deputies in to break up the affair.”

The original article states something a little different:“Although the Corner Bakery had initially told police it would allow the demonstration outside the restaurant, Orange County Sheriff's Department Deputy Richard Nelson said the chain cafe's management changed its mind after it saw the swarm of protesters, police, reporters and bystanders outside its doors. Nelson said the restaurant asked the cops to ask the open-carry demonstrators to leave.” You’ll note, there is nothing stated by the Deputy that was done by the open carry advocates that was cause for concern.

anon
anon

"If a group of people want to assert their legal rights, let them. You who oppose them doing so are giving them power by keeping them in the news. "

Just because a person CAN do something, doesn't make it a good idea. And we've got every right to fight bad ideas.

Jmasotti50
Jmasotti50

Interesting that the current polls show support for less-restrictive gun laws is at an all-time high. There are smart people in the world, who understand that an armed society is a polite society. And more importantly, that there are more good people in the world than there are evil people. Disarming the good people only increases the power that evil people have - especially over sheeple like you.

kls525
kls525

And you know this how ??? Most people tragically don't have the courage to use a weapon in their own defense - and those who do have the right to carry in case the need arises. The "paraniod idiots" are people like like you who make bigoted assumptions about others without knowing jack about them.

Shoogi
Shoogi

Then change the law, you cunt you!

kls525
kls525

The average wanna-be gangster can dump a thirty round clip in five seconds or less. Unless the police are standing right there with you, minutes away is meaningless.

Tom
Tom

Certainly you are then aware that The Second Amendment further states : " ...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". The recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of "D.C. vs. Heller" supported this Constitutional Right. Thank you.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Freaking Matt. He's probably eating organic boysenberries in his yurt. Oops, make that blueberries since the OCW thinks boysenberries are racist.

kls525
kls525

What much needed changes would those be - no guns period unless you're a criminal ??? By law they have as much right to carry their weapons as you do to be a coward.

Shoogi
Shoogi

Shut your mouth, ass raper!

OCLocal
OCLocal

I was thinking the same thing. How can an unloaded gun help?

I am not against this but an unloaded gun isn't going to save anyone, it will get you killed if the perpetrator had bullets in his gun.

Tom
Tom

With all due respect, the current law allows for ammunition to also be carried. An unloaded sidearm may be rendered useful, in short order. Certainly not as useful as if loaded, but certainly an option vs. being unarmed. Thank you for considering another point of view.

kls525
kls525

Just like your comments. You're probably a death-penalty opponent too.

Hank
Hank

It's our right to bear arms and it shall not be infringed

R92883
R92883

Mr. Coker:

So by your logic I can mix up a few words from Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and publish it as my own as long as I credit Hemingway?

Wow, you actually get paid to do this?

mjhirsch
mjhirsch

Yes, you do, but the question is what will aid your cause more; keeping them in the news or letting their useless demonstration fade into nothingness?

Tom
Tom

By the way, I think you mean magazine - not clip.

Tom
Tom

Exactly !

Matthew_T_Coker
Matthew_T_Coker

That's right, 20ft, only African American berries for this gal.

April
April

Lot's of loaded weapons last Saturday but the shooter was taken down with a folding chair and some Senior Citizens. So much for any "carry" fans usefulness during a real event.

BriS
BriS

Hank...time for society to get real. Time to make the outdated gun laws more strict. Way, way too much unnecessary firepower out on the streets.

How many times in the last week, month, or year has an "honest citizen" stopped a gang banger in action, or stepped in to stop a would be assasin? Are you suggesting that if everyone packs heat that their would be less crime?

anon
anon

Hey, if walking around with an unloaded gun makes you feel like a man, then have at it. The rest of us will continue pressing for a more enlightened society.

anon
anon

Oooohhh don't worry...I don't think stories of unsettled, even frightened, retail store patrons will hurt our cause.

Who's doing your side's PR? They should be fired immediately.

Tom
Tom

Actually, Joe Zamudio, one of the people who restrained Loughner (the shooter) was buying a pack of cigarettes, and headed to the scene, confident that the pistol he carried would prove useful, if needed, to defend himself. In a severely under reported act of good judgement, he did not utilize his weapon, as the shooter was subdued by himself, and fellow bystanders. I would be curious to know who else was among the "lot's of loaded weapon" possessors you refer to - kindly elaborate. Thank you.

Tom
Tom

You may like to read "More Guns, Less Crime" by John Lott. Jr., an academic, who started out to prove that liberalized firearm possession was dangerous, but came to the honest conclusion (based on empirical research) that firearms in the hands of the law abiding represented a great degree of deterrence to criminals. Certainly, no one who feels uncomfortable bearing arms should do so, however, many "in the know" will tell you that the criminal fears an armed citizen, much more than the criminal justice system. Thank you.

Shoogi
Shoogi

Yes, BriS, I am suggesting that if everyone was armed with a gun there would be less violent crime.

Jeff
Jeff

Hey Anon...

the weapon may be unloaded but the fully loaded magizine is on the other hip. Funny how hiding behind the first ammedment which is defended by men and women with guns makes you feel like more of a man!

Rockman752007
Rockman752007

"Enlightened society"? What a load of @!&$. You can be a metro man and then call someone with a gun to get you out of the problems caused by your "enlightened society."

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