High Noon at Arts Beats & Eats

They'll be there in spirit.

The standoff between the Royal Oak city council, Arts, Beats & Eats organizers and Michigan Open Carry is over, and the gun enthusiasts won.

On Monday, the Royal Oak city council voted 4-3 to allow people attending the annual festival to openly carry firearms in a holster.

The issue was raised because the contract between Royal Oak and the festival organizers said that guns would not allowed at the festival. Michigan Open Carry pushed back, saying the contract provisions was contrary to state law, which limits only concealed weapons.

“The law is the law,” said Mayor Jim Ellison. “I don’t agree with it, but we have the right to change that law so those gray issues are gone,” he added, referring to modifying laws that allow guns in public.

[The Detroit News].

The city council’s decision should not be very controversial. Michigan Open Carry is right to press the city to enforce the law as written. And citizens upset by the decision should focus their disappointment toward the Michigan Legislature to either repeal Michigan’s open carry law, create an exception for festivals like Arts, Beats & Eats, where alcohol is served or give local municipalities the ability to decide for themselves whether they will allow open carry.

There’s a certain amount of ridiculous hyperbole on both sides, exemplified by both MOC members and Royal Oak residents who spoke at the city counsel meeting:

“I know a lot of people who are not going to attend the festival,” said Jack Hoolehan, a retired GM employee from Royal Oak. “If people insist on bringing their arms, we’re just not coming.”

Douglas Holloway of Westland said he would leave his gun at home if his safety and that of his family could be guaranteed at the event.

“I don’t think anyone can do that,” he told Royal Oak city commissioners. “You can’t stop criminals.”

When people have a nightmare scenario for people in possession of firearms in public, it’s people like Douglas Holloway who they have in mind. As if the movie Red Dawn will break out, and the Russian army will invade Arts Beats & Eats and the only thing that will save us is he and his Beretta.

And there’s a certain amount of satire in this post. Let’s face it: there’s always some faux rebellious type who will show up with his gun in a holster so he see if anyone will say something. Then he’ll go to work on Tuesday and brag that he took his gun to Arts, Beats & Eats. And there will be those that carry because they always do. But there will be literally tens of people that actually carry their gun to the event.

Michigan Open Carry likes to create publicity for itself by raising a stink over carrying guns in public places by showing up to political events that they know they’ll get publicity. This situation is no different than what the organization did in Taylor, where they showed up to a city council meeting to protest the city’s ordinance against open carrying. According to the Detroit News story linked above, it is also engaged with the cities of Pontiac and Clawson over open carry issues.

3 thoughts on “High Noon at Arts Beats & Eats

  1. “Michigan Open Carry likes to create publicity for itself by raising a stink over carrying guns in public places by showing up to political events that they know they’ll get publicity.”

    A “fact” would be that our group does not seek publicity in these situations. It is a fact that multiple quiet attempts via email, snail mail, and phone were attempted outside of the council meetings and public eye. Royal Oak was given plenty of opportunity to quietly rectify the situation and put themselves in compliance with Michigan law, which they were clearly breaking.

  2. Do you really believe that Mr. Holloway was afraid of the Russian army? Seriously? What words would a man who wanted safety for his family use that might be taken seriously? How about: “I don’t want me or my family to end up like Matthew Landry.”. (May his killers get all that they deserve. RIP Matthew.)

    Anyone who carries a gun (even the police!) realize that it is not going to save them 100% of the time. They do realize, however, that is evens the playing field and it is better to have the ability to defend yourself if necessary than to only have the ability to cower and plead for your life.

    Does anyone really believe that a “rule” is going to keep the kind of person you *don’t* want to be armed out of your festival? Nope. They are there to take full advantage of those who believe that they don’t “need” guns to defend themselves (“I’m civilized!”).

    Most people who have been helpless victims, don’t ever want to know that feeling again. After the event, if they survive, some bury their heads while others buy guns and learn how to use them…

  3. I always get a laugh at people who say, they need to carry to protect their families at public events. While it might work on a one to one situation, put a dozen people armed (and unknown to each other) at a event, and all you will have is a kaos driven free-for-all. Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? They all look alike. (I’m sure some of these folks will assume it is the one with the darker skin). Sorry, this logic only works when their is one good guy and one bad guy.

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