Thursday, September 27, 2012

DayZ and games that make you feel.

DayZ is a mod for a "realistic" shooter called ArmA 2, envisioned and written by Dean "Rocket" Hall as a game that more accurately depicts the zombie apocalypse.

His ideas for games very closely match my own; permanent death, real consequence for decisions, open world, emergent story, simple and harsh rules, and the wildcard of other players.

I enjoy games like this because only when there are real consequences to your actions do you actually feel emotional about the game.

Nethack is unrelenting and unforgiving, but it also has enough flexibility in rules that if you die, there was almost always some way out of the danger that you failed to think of. Yes, the game will try to kill you in brutal, subtle, and inventive ways, but those rules apply to you as well, and if you fail to remember them, you'll be smacking your forehead after your 20+ hour character dies with the object of his or her salvation staring you in the face. There is technically a story here, but much like Fallout, what you do in between story points is where the real story emerges. Because death is permanent here, you feel loss when your character dies.

Minecraft is a random world with simple enemies, simple rules, and no story. Yet this world has been more engrossing than any other game I've ever played. Your only enemy is the world you live in. You can do things to make this world safer, but it will never be truly safe because the randomness of the game will always conspire to create difficult situations. There are some in-game consequences here, but because you respawn (unless you play hardcore mode where the world deletes after you die) back at your bed when you die, that's not where the fun comes from. The fun lies in the exploration and finding rare resources. If you have a bad mining technique, you're going to waste hours of real world time, but if you come up with a new plan to optimize your discovery and it pays off, you feel good that you saved yourself time and became more efficient. The challenges within the game are waiting for you to come up with a creative solution, and it feels good to succeed.

Dwarf Fortress is an interesting strategy game where instead of controlling your workers directly, you merely issue orders, and it's up to the Dwarves to decide how and if they carry out these orders. This game added an interesting element for each worker by giving them experiences, relationships, and emotions. You are an overseer of some kind, and can check the status of your Dwarves' lives. If your champion digger loses his wife in a horrible smelting accident, he may not want to dig anymore. If you badly manage the resources and the Dwarves don't have any mead, they won't work as quickly or happily. You have to help your Dwarves survive and thrive in the harsh world, and when something terrible happens, it ripples through the community in unexpected ways. These rules and situations give rise to tales of civilizations which come crashing down because of some minor trigger, and always leave you wondering what kind of experience you're going to have when you start up a new fortress.

Recently, I was replaying New Vegas on hardcore mode (trivial additional challenge), and was advancing beyond my level (like normal), and got into a bad firefight. I realized I hadn't saved in ages, and was going to lose hours of my time if I my character died here. It was at that point that I started to feel panic and fear. I ducked behind a rock and tried to get pot shots off to keep them from flanking me, and scrolled through my inventory, looking for something that would give me the upper hand. Finding nothing, I had to flee on a broken leg, serpentining all the way, bullets whizzing around my head, and hobbling for my life. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I made it out of that situation, because my lack of saving meant my actions suddenly had consequences, and my performance was going to determine if I had to deal with those consequences.

This is what I wanted out of my games. The emotional experience, not a canned story I trudged through. This is why DayZ was so appealing. DayZ takes all of these elements and mashes them together with the most unforgiving thing in our modern era: People on the internet.

DayZ starts you out with nothing on the shore of a 225 square kilometer area of towns and forest, and only asks that you survive in a world where zombies have taken over. You'll need to go into a town to get weapons, food, and water, to keep you living, but with those supply runs comes risk of being discovered and mobbed by zombies, and an increase in your chances to encounter another survivor.

What will these survivors do when you encounter them? That's a good damn question. It depends on the survivor. Because there are some healing methods that require another person, and two guns are better than one, it makes sense to team up with another survivor. But do you trust him? What are his motivations? Will he draw zombies off of you to save your life, or will he shoot you in the back of the head for your baked beans as soon as you turn your back?

There is no "leveling" in this game, only equipment. The entirety of the game must be played knowing that you could be killed by a newbie with a lucky swing of a hatchet. You remain vulnerable at all times. Even a lucky shot at you with a 9mm could break your leg, leave you sprawled on the floor, trying to bandage yourself or keep from going unconscious while your underpowered opponent kills you with whatever strikes his fancy. Similarly, because the world is persistent, you can be shot by a sniper at any moment. At which point you simply die, and have to start over. This might leave you bitter.

Because trust is an element of the game, you can also feel guilty or ashamed of your actions, because you are affecting real people somewhere in the world.

If you run into another survivor, and yell at him not to point his gun at you and that you're friendly, and he does not respond, you start to wonder if he's chatting on a side channel with some friends who are going to come up behind you, or if he's sizing you up and deciding if you have any good kit worth taking. You might shoot first, feeling threatened, and discover that his mic wasn't working, or he doesn't speak English, and you just killed him even though he needed help and wanted to team up. Alternatively, you could approach everyone with a big smile, completely unarmed, and offer your assistance, only to be shot in the back over and over and over and over again. Who could fault you for becoming bitter, and shooting others on sight, even if they were claiming to be friendly (but can you trust them?). Maybe you've got some good kit, and you don't think it's worth the risk to team up or help others. There are so many possibilities for user interaction that it's impossible to know what is going to happen next.

If you have any interest in this kind of game, do a youtube search for DayZ and see how people are playing now.

I don't own DayZ, and probably won't buy it until the standalone version comes out. Unfortunately, because a mod is essentially a hack, there are many security issues which cannot be addressed due to lack of access to the ArmA engine. So there are serious problems in the game with cheaters. Many of these cheats and game bugs have been fixed by third party apps run on individual servers (servers which do not sync with the "world" servers), so there is still the possibility of enjoying the game in its pre-alpha state (which over 1 million people do), but Rocket is working on fixing these issues in the Standalone version of the game to be released this year.

Good overview video.
More advanced play through video.
Advanced team tactical play video.

Obama Phone

[To the tune of Raffi's Banana Phone]


Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phoooone!

It's so revealing, of the stealing,
That goes on under the left wing. WING!

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding Disenfranchizoooone!

Sounds like stagflation, the death of a nation!
It's the knell, of our bell!
Cellular, Marx-ular, Class Warfare-odular!

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Ping pong ping pong ping pong ping, Poll-bating phone!
We'll need some burkas after this bread circus!
My welfareist, Obammunist PHOOOOONE!

Don't need quarters, don't need dimes,
To call a thousand times!
Don't tell me my lunch ain't free,
Cuz, buddy, I got mine!
I'll call for pizza, on EBT!
The welfare office; "What else is free?"
My vote's for sale! I'm a coffin nail! This country's set to fail-ail-ail-ail!

(Soprano Sax Solo)

Oh my God!
(Piano Solo)

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Yin yang yin yang yin yang ying, your country's blown!
It's a real live proof of what you dread,
Those entitlements will crash down on your head!
They'll be looking for you, when the money's through! Oh no!
My welfareist, Obammunist PHOOOOONE!

Obama phone, ring ring ring!
(There's just more takers than makers!)
Obama phone, ring ring ring!
(Rome's looking pretty good right now!)
Obama phone, ring ring ring!
(They'll drag you outta your homes!)
Obama phone, ring ring ring!


New Normal Loading... Loading...

Few updates, been busy lately. The business isn't exactly rocketing off to the moon, and I'm looking for proper work now (as opposed to the night job I took to hobble along while working on the business), and I'll just have to see what happens with the business.

Before I moved here, everyone was ready and eager to share with me their predictions of my experience when I got here, and I can't think of a single one that came true. Now that I'm looking for proper work in my field, I disproved another one:

"You won't be able to make 'California money' in Kentucky!"

Actually, I can make more. If anything, my talents are more in demand out here (though I'll be the first to admit my selection is limited). I'm entertaining some high paying offers and a slew of others 10-15k less than my California money. A few cost-of-living calculators indicated I needed to make 50% of my California pay to maintain my lifestyle in Kentucky, so even 20k off should still put us quite ahead.

Actual cost of living here is a little hard to pin down. Mostly, I think, because we've been scraping and saving while looking for work and living off savings. Some foods are cheaper, while a few are more expensive. Oranges are definitely more expensive, but meat is cheaper. Housing is the main difference (which is most welcome, as it's usually the highest).

What we paid for a medium sized 1 bedroom (we had downsized to save money) will rent us a 3 bed 2 bath house with a 2 car garage. I can't wait to have a garage to fill with fun tools for fun projects.

I told myself that because the weather was the only thing good about California, I wasn't allowed to complain about it after moving here. But I think I like the variety more. With the weather comes nature. Birds, bugs, and butterflies, all contribute to the experience out here, and I really like it. The paved-over desert that California is, had crows, brown sparrows, and coyotes that stalked into the suburbs to eat your pet. Here, there's colorful songbirds, geese, (fenced) horses, deer, just kind of hanging out. This place is more colorful and more alive.

I should note that I've only been able to enjoy the passive freedoms Kentucky has to offer, because without regular income, I'm not ready to spend money on all the new goodies available to me.

Despite only recently shifting into job hunt mode, I'm already antsy for instant gratification. I'm applying to other places, but some of these companies are big, and it takes them time to process resumes. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to gnaw my arm off waiting.

Working at my part time job has been kind of nice because it's such a change of pace. I'm working at Sonic, which is the second time I've been able to put my money where my mouth is.

Before we moved, I told everyone I wasn't going to get a job because I was going to start a business. Understandably skeptical, they would answer, "But what if you can't find one?" To which I replied, "I'll work at Sonic if I have to!" When the local Sonic put up a big banner trying to get people to work there, I made it my first stop on my part-time job search. It was a fry cook job that was part-time, nights only, and should pay barely enough to let us eek by. Surprisingly, it was a good fit. As a bonus, I wouldn't enjoy it, which would drive me to work harder on the business instead of taking a proper job and settling in (which I have done in the past).

The other reason I wound up going with this job was the lack of mental stress. I tried to start a business while at my last employer, and found that when I came home I was mentally exhausted. Not like, "I'm tired, I don't wanna." More like, "I-- I'm-- uh... *DROOOOOOOOOL*" I had plenty of interesting and fun projects that I wanted to do, but just couldn't get myself to do them. I'd just stare at the blinking cursor, devoid of any creativity. Eventually, I couldn't even do my hobbies! I wouldn't go to the range, wouldn't draw, wouldn't write (explaining my hiatus), I couldn't do anything except veg out on video games or Netflix.

But when I came back from Sonic after working for 8 hours, eased into bed at 1am, thumbed through my emails, and found some potential work? I shot up like a bolt, and stayed up until 4am working on the project. The mental energy was ready and waiting.

I surprised myself when I realized that I didn't think I hated the job. In fact, I felt like I liked it. The work is simple, I'm constantly moving, a good rush is fun, and I like the people I work with. There is the added bonus of knowing that something real was done at the end of the day, which is a feeling you miss on a primal level only after spending years flipping ones and zeros instead of burgers.

In the meantime, I've been engrossed with the DayZ mod for ArmA which will get its own post. Not engrossed in playing (not buying stuff, remember?), but engrossed in researching, learning, and watching youtube videos.

There's some exciting news coming up next week which may frame my faith or insanity (depending on your perspective) in this series of life changing events, so look out for that.

Right now, I'm just trying to chill whilst waiting to hear back from the companies to which I applied.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time for an impromptu draw Mohammad day!

Yeah, I know it's my old pic, but twitter killed it for offending Muslims violation, so now it's hosted here, nice and safe.

I just think now is a good time to remind everyone in the world that in America, we have freedom of speech, and are free to say, print, or draw any stupid, idiotic, offensive, nonsense we want without fear of the federal government coming to our house and making us stop.

If anyone from the white house is reading this, please mention this to the agents who "investigated" the douche who wanted to burn a Koran, and the (literally) brown-shirted agents who suddenly had an interest in questioning the guy who made an anti-muslim video that looked like a middle school film class project about possible parole violations that had nothing to do with the film.

If this is my final post, check google maps for the smoking crater from the drone strike on my house.

Monday, September 17, 2012

If you see Franz Ferdinand, tell him to duck!

American soil in Libya is invaded as our embassy is burned and our ambassador is dragged through the street, possibly raped, and murdered.

Our embassies in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, India, Balgadesh, Indonesia, and Afghanistan are coming under different degrees of attack.

Japan and China are developing some serious bad blood.

Israel says Iran will have nukes in 6-8 months (while we sat on our hands) and that they will strike before this time (HOPEFULLY) leading us into a war to support our ally.

We're starting some international joint war games within spitting distance of Iran.

And if all that wasn't enough, Helicopter Ben will be dropping (read: PRINTING) $40,000,000,000 into the US economy to "stabilize it." But this printing of money will be different from the last two, because this one will print $40,000,000,000 EVERY 30 DAYS until things improve.

There has never been a better time to check your preps.

For further reading and links check Tam and Zero Hedge

Open Carried to Target and Chic-fil-a again.

These repeats get their own post because there were some open carry rumblings about Chic-fil-a.

Definitely saw some people glancing at my waist, but no one ran screaming or threw their waffle fries at me. We actually wound up there right as school was letting out, so it was pretty busy with parents feeding their kids. I even heard one of the kids mention a man and a gun on my way out. I'll let you know if they suddenly post a sign next time we visit, as some other Chic-fil-a's reportedly did.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Open Carried to 5 Guys Burgers, Kohls, Sam's Club, Bed Bath Beyond, and K-Mart

Having a hard time keeping track of all the places. I just open carry everywhere.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yes, you do need to show your license

The Blaze: Texas cop drags 77 y/o grandma from car for refusing to show her ID while driving.

At this time, driving is a privilege, and is subject to you following the rules while doing so. Much like signing your ticket, failure to do so is a jail-able offense. It's only for convenience that the cops let you sign something or only require ID while you drive. Otherwise they'd haul everyone to jail who broke the speed limit.

I can't say the cop overreacted, because he was really doing his job. The only point of discretion he had was pulling her over. After he did, he had to either do his job, or say, "Well, you win lady. No ticket for you. Bye!" and that's not going to happen...

I'm reminded of something I wrote earlier.
It was a surprise to learn that "Don't mess with Texas" wasn't a warning to oppressors to leave them alone, but a warning that the state is set in its ways and may fine you $10,000 for littering. To me, there isn't much difference between oppressively restrictive and oppressively polite.

How to make a G21 feel comfortable

Pick up a USP first.

Open carried to Downtown Lexington KY and Fayette mall. BONUS: Ex-cop derision!

While at the gun shop an older patron commented on me open carrying. I politely asserted that it's my right, and I choose to do it because I think more people should.

Patron: Well you probably shouldn't, because you might get the cops called on you and you'll be arrested for disturbing the peace.
Me: Actually, I open carry everywhere, and haven't had a single problem. What I'm doing is not disturbing the peace.
Patron:Well, if someone is afraid then you're causing a disturbance, and the cops would have to question you.
Me: No, if someone's afraid because you're doing a lawful activity, that is not disturbing the peace. What's a cop going to do to me if I'm not breaking the law?
Patron:Well, cops already have a hard job, so what are you going to tell them when you're making their job harder?

At this point, my friend the behind the counter (who doesn't care for cops much), chimed in; "You can tell them to get a job that doesn't involve hassling people who aren't breaking the law all day."

Patron: Well, you shouldn't say that, I'm a retired with 30 years on the force.

Ahhhh, that explains why a random guy in a gun store was getting on my tits for open carrying.

Patron: You may be able to do that around here, but you just try that downtown, and see what happens.

Me: Thanks for the tip, I will.

With that as a preface, I had a business event downtown that I did NOT carry to. The only reason for this was because I wanted people to talk to me about my business, not the thing I was doing that was not socially normal. Though it might be a good way to drum up business for a firearms training program...

After my business was concluded, I walked across the street and holstered my XD before getting into the car. About to get into the car, I remembered what that former cop had said, and remembered a sandwich place right around the corner. It would be a short jaunt, but I could still say I did it. Well, the world won't change unless individuals are willing to change first!

So I open carried in Downtown Lexington, for about 200 yards down Main street to the Jimmy Johns sandwich place, ordered, sat in a booth going over my notes from the meeting, then walked the 200 yards down Main street back to my car. Done. Nuts to that guy.

Fayette Mall is a small indoor mall in Lexington with a few major department stores connected to it. I open carried into the Macy's and throughout the mall and a number of establishments. I expected some eyeballs from mall security, or to be asked to leave by them, but I didn't even see them.

Someone finally acknowledged that I was carrying outside of the gun shop! In the Wet Seal one of the workers talked to me after I asked her a question about their clothes.

Worker: Are you a cop?
Me: I'm sorry?
Worker: Are you a cop? *Gesturing to gun*
Me: Oh no, I'm just open carrying because I want to make it more normal.
Worker: I get that. It kind of seems less sketchy that you're not hiding it.
Me: Actually, it used to be like that. Everyone carried openly, and people wondered why you would want to hide it.
Worker: Oh, I didn't know that.


Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Obamacare summed up in one sentence

We're going to be gifted with a healthcare plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least 10,000,000 more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a congress that didn't read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for 4 years before any benefits take effect by the government which has already bankrupted social security and medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke.

What could possibly go wrong?

~Dr. Barbara Bellar

Monday, September 03, 2012

Peltor Sound Trap power LED mod

Peltor Sound Traps are great...

...When you don't accidentally leave them on and drain the batteries.

Most models come with this "external audio connector," but that's not a standard plug. It looks like a proprietary fail connector to me.


It doesn't look so bad. It's not like it costs $30 or something stupid.

Oh wait. It does.

Well I don't need audio in one ear that much. But this plug is a good way to get a connection from the inside without disturbing the earmuffs.

Why not solve both problems at once? Lets set these plugs to run LEDs that turn on when the power is on, so we don't accidentally drain the batteries.

This shouldn't be too hard. Lets start with the right side (with the microphones facing forward).

Click images for full size

Lets get our bearings...

After doing some testing with my multimeter, I found the two power leads that had the same voltage with the dial high or low, and no voltage with the dial clicked off.

Notice the empty dial mounts and used dial connectors are mirrored. This is so the circuit board can be used on the left or right earmuff depending on which side the dial is on. Because both sides are connected, we can solder onto these power leads without disturbing the original soldering.

I traced the connections to the left side of the board, desoldered the stupid plug wires, and put some solder on the mirrored connections (they're the two on the bottom).

The normal operation draws 4.72 mA, with the expected 1200 mAh from a AAA jibing pretty well with the advertised battery life of 200 hours.

The LED will need a resistor in series, so we have different options for LED brightness. All will impact battery life in some way, but none will be as bad as forgetting to turn them off when you're done.

Your selection will likely hinge on where you put your Sound Trap away after use. If it's bright where you put them away, you need a bright LED. If you put it in the dark Man Cave, you can get away with a dim one. I'm using cheapo low output LED, so Your Multimeter May Vary.

At 470 ohms we get brightly lit LED drawing a good 2.3 mA at about 1.8v, and will reduce battery life 49%, making runtime about 102 hours. This brightness is suitable for inside a dark closet or cabinet.

At 3.3k ohms we get a semi-lit LED drawing only .37 mA at about 1.9v, which should only reduce battery life 7.8%, making runtime about 185 hours. This brightness is suitable for inside a dark range bag while outside.

At 10k ohms we get a poorly-lit LED drawing a mere .1 mA which should only reduce battery life 2.1%, making runtime about 196 hours. This brightness is suitable for dark closets.

I'll be using a 470 ohm resistor, because I don't have any damn 3.3k resistors at the moment.

The resistor has been wired in series with the stupid plug wires. The resistor can be on either wire, but the pos/neg must be standardized. I'm keeping my negative toward the mic, so we can see the wire coming out of the plug that is closest to the mic is black. So black one goes to the negative lead.

You can do positive toward the mic if it works out better for your soldering, but just remember to do both sides the same otherwise your LEDs will need to be marked for which side they go on.

Since I don't have any rods that fit into the stupid plug and make a good connection, we're just going to test by bending up an LED.

With the LED facing the preferred direction, make sure your LED's negative pole is in the right hole!

Now we can test it out!

I found a 5/64th" allen fit and conducted well into the stupid plug. Maybe a trip to harbor freight is in order.

The permanent plan for the plug is to insert two rods into the stupid plug, solder the LED to the rods, kink or notch the rods so they will attach firmly to the medium, then surround it with putty epoxy or some other non-conducting material.

This would give you two power lights to remind you to turn off the power, that you can easily remove for when you have to go into stealth ninja operator mode when the tangos come. All with no damage or significant modification to the original function. (C'mon, you weren't really going to spend $60 just to get stereo music into your Sound Traps were you?)

I'll update with the plugs when I get the materials together.

For the left ear muff, there is a slight modification. Because the dial is the same right or left, there is some cross on the leads. Below are the correct solder points.

Click images for full size

NOTE: On the left side, the Yellow wire was the closest to the mic, so it is the negative wire.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a rocket scientist! If you fuck up your Sound Traps don't come crying to me!

ELECTRONICS DISCLAIMER: My understanding of circuits is still pretty limited! If you know more than I, and I've made a significant mistake, let me know!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Rifle Marksmanship with the M1 Rifle 1942

The fundamentals never change, and they work.

Quote of the pejorative

This is what comes of the gradual shift of the word "elitist" from an aspiration to a pejorative.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Open Carry Clueless Douchebag

I had seen some of this guy's videos before. He was a bit of a douche, but when the cops infringed on his rights by claiming a complaint equals probable cause for a legal activity, it's hard to blame him. Unfortunately, this video proves that he's just a douche in general. The cop did pretty much everything right, and the OC'er revealed himself to be poorly versed in the law, and failed many other tests of his knowledge.

Here's a distilled script with commentary;

OC: I'm recording.
COP: Keep your hands away from your firearms, you're being recorded too. 

Cop reminds them they're being recorded so they can't do something and edit their own video. Semi necessary, I suppose. This is the closest thing to offensive the cop says during the whole encounter.

OC: What are you up to today?
COP: Just exercising our rights and walking around.

The previous videos I've seen of this guy have him walking around downtown with a big scary rifle on one shoulder and a Ron Paul sign on the other shoulder. I can only assume he did the same thing in this case.

COP: Had a call from a concerned citizen saying you're carrying automatic firearms. It does look like an automatic firearm in my experience. So with that being said, you're required to carry a name, identification, and -- 

Check, and mate. The cop has used a call of a concerned citizen to engage in an encounter with the OCer. This is legal. Once on the scene, the cop indicates that the firearms may be full automatic in his experience. 

Cops are allowed to use their experience to investigate situations further. If you are dealing with a smart cop, they can use their "experience" in legally favorable ways to do almost anything. The only way to prevent a cop from using their experience is to exercise your rights. Those are pretty much the only cases where the cop may not interpret actions as probable cause. This is why you are supposed to refuse the search, ask if you're free to go, and refuse to speak without a lawyer present. PERIOD.

If you try to out-talk the cop, you will lose. They have the advantages in this field. 

Back to the situation; the cop has a legal avenue to stop them, and has used his experience to determine the firearm carried MAY be a fully automatic one. Open carrying a gun has few or no requirements for interactions with the police. However, being in possession of a FA firearm DOES have requirements for interactions with the police, making the investigation quite legal.

OC: But it's a semi auto.
COP: I don't know that until I can--
OC: Well you don't have reasonable suspicion that --
COP: I do, actually.

He does, actually. There may be a time when, after a long and expensive court case and many appeals, the supreme court determines that a cop can't "suspect" that every gun that has an FA variant could be an FA version. But that day is not today, and this not the place or the case for this fight. The douche doesn't have the money or the public favorability to be a test case.

OC: Uhhh-- No.

Brilliant legal retort!

COP: So, here's the lawful order you're going to be given; [regular instructions for interacting with someone who is armed]
OC: But! But! But! I don't consent to unlawful searches! Terry vs Ohio! Am I being detained?
COP: Yeah.

Oh boy. He's been dealing with dumb cops so long he doesn't realize he has already lost. The fact that the cop affirmed that he was being detained should have changed the entire encounter for the OCer. If the OCer believes that what is happening is illegal, and the cop affirms that he's being detained, this is instant court case and cash money payout for rights violation. It's all on tape, right? What lawyer wouldn't take the case? Yet, he blows right past this change in the encounter, and continues with the arguments that expired at the beginning of the encounter.

COP: *inspects firearm* Ok, due to my training and experience this does not look to be a fully automatic firearm. I will do a function check of the firearm... and it operates as such. I no longer have any reasonable suspicion to detain you. Do you have any question, comments, or concerns?
OC: Well! Terry vs Ohio! How do you know it's FA? This is illegal!


The cop has just told you that you're free to go, and you are still arguing that what he did was illegal. What is it you hope to accomplish here? To convince the cop that what he just did was illegal? What do you expect him to do even if you convince him? If you really think you've just caught a blatantly illegal search on camera, you take the first opportunity to whip out your cell phone, call your lawyer, and ask him what kind of BMW he wants to buy with his share of the settlement money for the illegal search you just caught on camera. You don't stay there and argue with the cop like an idiot.

This guy has no idea what the hell he's doing.

COP: You know what you guys should do? You should come to our training program, where we let you fire fully automatic weapons, or you can join our reserve program! I'd love to have you guys, you can pick up forms at the police department.

Oh wow, this cop is so professional and polite it's almost sickening. What an excellent cop. Hats off. Truly.

OC: Well, yeah, but!
COP: *Educates them about a cop's experience and how he may use that experience to obtain reasonable suspicion, then says he's glad they're exercising their rights, and that with open carriers around, there will be less crime*

Ack! My blood! It's turning to sugar water!



This encounter should have taken one minute, and been completely avoided by carrying a firearm that didn't look so "evil."

"But ET! Open carrying EEEVIL firearms is our right! I should be able to carry a Barrett 82a1 over one shoulder and a sign that says 'FUCK DA POLICE!' on the other!"

Yeah, you should be able to... But doing so would not be a good idea, and will likely lead to more encounters with the police, more negative opinion from the public (you know, the people whose minds you SHOULD be trying to change), and increase your chances of flubbing one of those encounters and finding yourself in court on a case that is in the gray area of the law.

That said, I feel compelled to admit something about my open carrying... 

While open carrying, I... *sigh* ...make a conscious effort to appear non-threatening.

I know! I know! Prepare the boiling oil, I'm a traitor to the cause for acquiescing to public opinion in some, teeny-tiny way. But before you warm up the tar and fetch the feathers, have you ever heard of the phrase, "You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar?"

I suppose I'm asking you to check the root of your reason for open carrying.

If you are Open Carrying because you want to walk up to Ma and Pa Kettle, and yell "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"in their faces whilst firing your Bowcaster into the air, enjoy it while you can, because your actions will ensure this right becomes illegal.

But if you are Open Carrying because you want to change the way Ma and Pa Kettle think about guns and the people who carry them? Well then you should take any and all additional steps that help you achieve your ends.

Even if it means the inconvenience of not wearing your Angry Libertarian Eyebrows™, skipping your ATAK NiNJA COMBAT-ENGAGE boots and 5.11 MOLLE-enhanced tactical kilt, leaving your "Sheepdogs save Sheeple" hat at home, and removing the SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED chip from your shoulder while open carrying.

I know, it's hard to just wear sandals and cargo shorts below a shirt that says "I helped at the 2012 charity day!" while smiling politely, and offering to help old ladies cross the streets, but it's a lot easier than fighting to stay so angry all the time.

Read more thoughts about this encounter from the Gun Blogging community here and here.

Open carried to Jimmy Johns Sandwiches, Dollar Tree, Goodwill, Scuba shop, and the rest

No issues. Also did the same to places I've been to before, Babies 'r' Us, Walmart, restaurant, no issues there.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!