Under current Alabama law open carry without a permit is perfectly legal. However, the moment you step into your car you are in violation of the law for carrying concealed without a permission slip. That's stupid, for obvious reasons, and a change in the law has been proposed.
Of course, the linked news story carries a reference to the old "blood in the streets" argument. Every time removing a restriction on guns is proposed the anti-gun side screams "Blood in the streets! Shootouts at every intersection and in every crowded parking lot!" and yet when those restrictions are removed NOTHING happens.
People who will shoot you over a parking space don't give a tinker's damn about whether they are allowed to have a loaded gun in their car or not. They never have, and they never will, so it is not a good enough reason to prevent a person who can carry anywhere else from having a loaded firearm in their vehicle.
And think of this. Ever let your spouse drive your car? A lot of people do. And a lot of people keep a loaded pistol in their car. Should your spouse, who doesn't have a permit, but can carry a loaded gun all day openly on his or her hip suddenly become a criminal because they borrowed your car to pick up milk?
Showed up today at 8:30 this morning as instructed and was ignored until until just after ten. I was put with a group that might be needed if a judge's current case finished and told it would probably be tomorrow and we could leave and call that afternoon to fine out if we were needed. Before we could make it out the door we were stopped, told the case was finished, and we would be needed at 1:30. We were dismissed for lunch until 1:15.
Around 1:30 we were sent over to a courtroom. After going through security and then standing outside the courtroom for a while the judge came out to inform us a settlement had been reached when it was announced a jury was being brought in.
Sat around in the jury room for another hour to get my paperwork and $25 check. Cashed check at Wal-Mart as one does with a government check.
My first day of jury duty is over, but it's not my last. While I was struck from a jury (apparently prosecutors don't like jurors who hate the war on drugs), because there are so few jurors in the pool I have to be back tomorrow morning.
Since this is all happening in the local courthouse it's a gun free zone. You'd think the jury room would have some security in place. You'd be wrong. The jury room is a big auditorium style room on the second floor of the building that also houses the parking deck. The only security on the building are "No Weapons" signs on the entrances to the actual building. The closest security is a deputy manning a metal detector in the skyway that connects the parking deck and jury room to the civil court. There is a door on the street at ground level that anyone can just walk right in, and then take the elevator or stairs to the second level at which point the only thing separating a potential threat from a couple of hundred unarmed people packed into one room is a glass door and couple of middle aged female civil servants.
Contrast that to the men with guns between anyone off the street and the judges' courtrooms and offices. Kind of tells you what the government thinks about your safety (at least on the local level here in Alabama). At the very least the jury room should not be a gun free zone. It's wide open to a potential attacker.
From a personal defense standpoint there wasn't much I could do. I kept my eyes open, and noted exits and anything that could be an improvised defensive tool.
Anyway, to the actual jury duty. I was there at 8:30 in the morning as my summons instructed and aside from them taking the part of our summons we had to fill out and turn in, we were all ignored until after 9:00 when they did the orientation and then listened to reasons to be excused. After that we were ignored until just after 11:00 when we were told because of the low number of people in the pool we would be recycled onto multiple juries. Then we were dismissed for lunch and told to be back by 1:15.
Nothing happened again until 1:45 when they started breaking us up into groups of 30 and sending us into court rooms for selection. I was in the second group and sent to the criminal court. I was, as stated above, struck and sent home and told to be back at 8:30 tomorrow.
All that fun and they're paying me $10 and $0.05/mile (which they asked us to pretty please waive so that they could afford to have more juries because Jefferson County Alabama has been run by a pack of thieves and is bankrupt. Not happening, if for no other reason than I want my gas and lunch paid for. That's not asking for much.)
More to come, including, I hope, federal jury duty next week.
Today I am on my way to downtown Birmingham to serve as a Juror in Jefferson County Circuit Court. This will be the first time I've ever been called for jury duty in 12 years of eligibility. I admit I am looking forward to it. I'd rather be at work, but this will be an interesting experience.
Next week, on March 2, I have to answer a summons to Federal District Court jury duty for the Northern District of Alabama so I guess I'll be getting my fill of jury duty soon. Should be an interesting couple of weeks.
That's how long I have been writing at My Tumultuous Adventure, though it has not always been steady. That's a long time.
I didn't start out on blogger, nor is this my first blog. I actually started blogging around 2002-03 on the AOL Journals. I had a falling out with my grandfather, who raised me, and moved out on my own. I started a new AOL Journal call My Tumultuous Adventure in February 2005 and I have been here on and off ever since, making the shift to Blogger when AOL shit canned the Journals.
I still have one occasional reader who was my first comment and has become a very good friend over the years. Hi, Kristin!
I've gone from writing about my life and growing up to writing about politics and guns. I still enjoy it when I actually sit down and do it. I think I will still be here from time to time but I believe it is going to become more about me and my life than about guns and politics. I plan on continuing my Robert's Picks and On The Range posts, but I think if I write more here this year than past years there will be more personal stuff.
I hope you have all enjoyed my scribblings, and I hope to entertain from time to time in the future.
A little over a week ago I did my first for pay firearms training. A couple of local firefighters came out and took the NRA First Steps Pistol course and one also took my Handgun Self Defense 1 course. They were both great students, and I really enjoyed teaching them.
The gentleman who took both courses was the first to contact me. The fire department he works for recently changed policy to allow the firefighters to carry in the firehouse and his thinking was that he wanted to have some training under his belt and not just strap a gun on like some of the others. He was very attentive in both courses and frankly a damn good shooter. I really wish I had taken a photo of his target to share.
Both said they'd be recommending me so I hope that some further business will come way from that route. There is something to be said for getting paid to do something you really love so I am looking forward to as much of that as I can get.
I may have mentioned that I've been playing a lot of poker. About a year ago I started playing in a weekly poker tournament at my local cigar shop. The game moved to a different cigar shop when one of the employees of the former started his own cigar business (which all of the regulars were VERY happy about), and I've played almost every week. We alternate weekly from Texas Hold'em to Omaha Hi, both no limit games. I've always enjoyed poker, but I've gained a new appreciation for the game.
Work has been slow the last couple of months so the training and poker have actually helped supplement my income a bit. I also recently worked a day for my old boss doing some commercial electrical work. I bought a new truck in December so every little bit extra coming in helps a lot.
I'm reading a lot, as always. I've been doing a lot of rereading so that is slowing down the Robert's Picks posts a bit, but hopefully I'll have a new one out before too long. I've also been writing some fiction, though I don't know if it'll ever be finished or see the light of day. I've always been fascinated by colonial era Africa so I wanted to write something in the vein of the biographies of the great adventures but with a modern portrayal of sex and violence. I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, but most of my favorite stories contain a fair amount of both. I like pulpy fiction, and that's what I thought would be fun to write.
This coming Monday I have jury duty in local district court, and I've also got a summons for Federal district court jury duty on Friday. This is my first time, so of course I get two summons in the same week. And it happens to be at a time when I really can't afford to miss work. I don't even have a clue as to what, if any, compensation my employer gives for jury duty.
Oh, well. Tonight it is raining, though thankfully it's not too cold, and I have Guinness Stew on the stove so I'm going to try to have a pleasant evening and rest up for another day on the job tomorrow.
One last thing! If you're an Amazon Prime member check out the show "Bosch" on Amazon Instant Video. It's based on Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books and I've enjoyed the first four episodes a great deal.
My name is Robert McDonald. I've been shooting and handling firearms for over 20 years. Over the last few years I've focused on seriously developing my skills in firearm self defense and competitive shooting. I've reached the skill level at which I can competently begin giving individuals training in the basics of firearms safety and use. Visit Taptraining.us for more info.