June 3, 2015

"A Georgia man walked into Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport with his wife, his daughter and, around his neck, a fully loaded AR-15 rifle — and he had the law on his side."

"Jim Cooley is legally allowed to have his rifle in the terminal of one of the world’s busiest airports...."
"People think that if you're simply carrying your firearm, regardless of how you're carrying it, you're a bad person," he told the News Wednesday morning. "But if you're not carrying it in a menacing or threatening manner, it should be no cause for concern for anybody."

66 comments:

Nonapod said...

Most people are conditioned to feel threatened or at least a little uneasy around firearms. It's a weird stigma of our modern age.

LarsPorsena said...

"People think that if you're simply carrying your firearm, regardless of how you're carrying it, you're a bad person," he told the News Wednesday morning. "But if you're not carrying it in a menacing or threatening manner, it should be no cause for concern for anybody."

------------------------------
I wonder if this applies to grenades. If I don't carry them it in a menacing or threatening manner.

n.n said...

While there is a low correlation between guns and violence, more human lives are lost to poisons, scalpels, and vacuums before taking their first breath... and they have the law on their side.

Unknown said...

Grenades require a special license, and as far as I know are not covered by carry permits. Silencers required the same license.

Bryan C said...

"I wonder if this applies to grenades."

The issue is open carry vs. concealed carry. Are you arguing that concealed grenades are safer?

Moose said...

Did he shoot anybody?

LarsPorsena said...


The issue is open carry vs. concealed carry. Are you arguing that concealed grenades are safer?

My issue is that absolutists undermine their positions no matter how righteous the cause.

SteveR said...

OK so what's his reasoning? To prove a point? To embarrass his daughter? Beyond the fact that it's legal and people should know the law, his actions suggest he's just drawing attention to himself. There's enough of that going on.

MadisonMan said...

Perhaps some American citizens who are of Arab descent should try it now.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I know the 2nd Amendment absolutists have the law on their side currently, but that's really nuts, and its just this kind of overreaching of any common sense limits on gun rights that will ultimately (I predict) lead to a Supreme Court that will find police power grounds to reverse Heller and McDonald. And I'm generally supportive of gun rights.

Todd said...

Unknown said...
Grenades require a special license, and as far as I know are not covered by carry permits. Silencers required the same license.

6/3/15, 2:48 PM


Not a license but a "tax stamp". To own items like grenades, mortars, tank shells, silencers, and fully-automatic firearms, you must submit the proper paperwork to the ATF along with a check for the applicable tax stamp. At approval, you are sent an authorization form with an actual tax stamp attached demonstrating that the item is legal for you to own.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I am the staunchest 2A guy you could ever hope to meet, and I think this chap had a right to do what he did. On the other hand, I assess him to be a real dumb fuck on two counts:

1) He makes the rest of us 2A supporters look like dumb fucks, too.

2) There are such things as manners.

The second count is the more important. It is reasonable for members of the public to be fearful of a man with a rifle in a place where he normally would not be. It is presuming on the good nature of people to assert ones rights so thoughtlessly, regardless of the principle involved.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

In California, even fake grenades are illegal.

Todd said...

Just an old country lawyer said...
My fellow Georgian did less harm with a rifle than 19 jihadis did with box cutters. Is he also an idiot? I don't know, but why is this worthy of national news.

6/3/15, 3:02 PM


Because to some, an American with guns is far scarier than Iran with nukes.

Just an old country lawyer said...

Why is this national news? In his trip to the airport he did less harm with his rifle than 19 jihadis did with box cutters for goodness sake.

Hagar said...

Still a stupid thing to do.

In Albuquerque, and New Mexico is "open carry" and always has been, we have lately had two cases reported in the Journal of individuals carrying air guns, clearly marked as such, past a school zone and getting SWATed, charged, and fined for it. You must be prepared for this kind of thing and have a (good) lawyer lined up to defend you.

Then you have the Tamir Rice case. The call on the police radio was for an unidentified male randomly firing a pistol. The cop arrives in a rush and sees the 5'-7" male in a hoodie pointing the "pistol" at him, and the orange marker has been removed so that it looks "real" (Note: There "really" is nothing "unreal" about airguns. Some are quite powerful and deadly.)

Bob Ellison said...

...and the dog said, "I shoulda said DiMaggio?"

Oh, sorry, not where you were going with that lead-in. Gimme a signal next time.

clint said...

A licensed private citizen with a deadly weapon.

Just like all the pilots. And all the drivers.

kfb said...

I'm with SteveR and Tyrone Slothrop...

We have way too many dumb fucks and not enough manners.

clint said...

But this:

"Tyrone Slothrop said...

2) There are such things as manners.

The second count is the more important. It is reasonable for members of the public to be fearful of a man with a rifle in a place where he normally would not be. It is presuming on the good nature of people to assert ones rights so thoughtlessly, regardless of the principle involved."

is absolutely right, too.

MikeR said...

In Israel anyone walking anywhere is liable to see soldiers wandering around carrying automatic weapons. Not on duty, taking a bus or going to the store. Good thing, too, because terrorist attacks are lamentably common, and tend to end when someone with an automatic weapon shoots them.
I always felt safer with the soldiers around. In America there's a perception that someone carrying a gun out in the open is creepy.

readering said...

I still remember being discombobulated when I first visited Israel and lots of very young men were walking around in civilian clothes with assault rifles slung over their shoulders. They were all in the Israeli army and off duty. I imagine if a bunch of young Palestinian men were also walking around with assault rifles slung over their shoulders the rest of the people around me would have been even more discombobulated than I was.

Bobber Fleck said...

SteveR said: OK so what's his reasoning? To prove a point?

We live in a world filled with progressives who are trying to prove a point through some sort of protest. I'm sure there have been liberal protests somewhere in Atlanta today.

It speaks volumes that a man exercising his 2A rights seems totally out of place in our society. The conservatives in America have been much too polite and civil in defending their rights.

Larry J said...

I recall hearing many years ago that in Israel, it's a sign of patriotism to see a teenage carrying a loaded fully automatic weapon in public. I've seen policemen carrying submachine guns in French airports, but that's different than a civilian.

Perhaps this is one of those cases where something can be perfectly legal and still ill-advised. For example, in most places (at least in the US), pedestrians have the right of way. Still, you'll live longer and happier by not pressing the point.

DanTheMan said...

I'm a gun owner, NRA member, and staunch 2nd Amendment guy.
I'm with Tyrone. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

exhelodrvr1 said...

A lot of people would feel uncomfortable if they saw him walking down the street carrying his rifle. Should that be discouraged, too?

Coupe said...

Personally, I like a lighter gun. I use a pistol. It is also easier to clean after shooting it. A rifle is like taking your wife everywhere. It gets old.

I think people who bring militarized rifles to public places are a bit on the pet rock side of life.

I don't like drinking coffee with them, anyway...

Mark said...

I assume he would be fine if a bunch of Arabs did the same?

For some reason I expect he would not be so cool with that.

This guy is a terrible representative for 2A folks. They should police their own if they want to be taken seriously.

Rocketeer said...

This guy is a terrible representative for 2A folks. They should police their own if they want to be taken seriously.

Tyrone has the best post of this thread, and your statement is all too true as well - though luckily for us 2A folks, for every one of this fella there are 10 obnoxious progs representing the other side.

Lucien said...

What, you mean they didn't evacuate the entire airport and shut it down for 12 hours?

Have we learned nothing about security theater?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bobber Fleck said...The conservatives in America have been much too polite and civil in defending their rights.
I know what you're saying, Bobber, and I get that the "silent majority" is sometimes too quiet and gets rolled...but on balance I think open carry advocates (especially those keen on pushing boundaries) harm the 2A cause more than they help.
Note that in the two legislative sessions before the one that recently ended GA had back-and-forth bills debated and voted on concerning this very issue. The original bill clearing carry in the non-secure areas of airports passed back in 2009 or 2010. The Public Gathering law was repealed about 5 years ago. MARTA still prohibits all weapons, though (even for GWL holders).
But yeah, "legally OK" isn't the same as "the right thing to do." I'm not sure why it's worthy of an article in a NY publication, though.

jimbino said...

I know I don't feel comfortable around displayed weapons, even knowing that the back seat of Ted Kennedy's car was far more dangerous.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Open carry stunts remind me of this Onion bit: Gay Rights Parade Sets Mainstream Acceptance Back 50 years

jimbino said...

"two cases reported in the Journal of individuals carrying air guns, clearly marked as such, past a school zone and getting SWATed

Someone please explain why I shouldn't assume that an orange-tipped AK-47 isn't simply a painted military rifle?

David said...

Try this dressed in Muslim clothing. It's your right, right?

Big Mike said...

I fully support open carry, but there's a time and place for everything. The right place for open carry, besides hunting, is when hiking in an area with large predators or when transporting items of obvious value. I suppose I can think of other times and places, but a busy airport teaming with armed police officers doesn't make my list.

David Pecchia said...

We're Here! We're Armed! Get Used To It!

Hagar said...

....SWATed, charged, and fined.

This is B.S. Neither of these individuals were "acting in a threatening manner" as far as can be determined from the Journal articles, or had anything on their minds but going somewhere with their air guns. Indeed, from the articles one could not even tell if they were in a school zone, or just near one.

The cops should have known better than to go SWAT on this.

Hagar said...

And a lawyer should have volunteered to get the charges dismissed.

holdfast said...

@HoodlumDoodlum - and yet, despite all the parades featuring dudes with @ssless chaps, SSM and other gay rights are advancing apace.

I dream of a day when all three men can carry fully-loaded, full-auto assault rifles to their polygamous gay wedding. On that day, freedom will truly ring out in America, or as it will then be known, "Greater Vermont".

Birches said...

I am the staunchest 2A guy you could ever hope to meet, and I think this chap had a right to do what he did. On the other hand, I assess him to be a real dumb fuck on two counts:

1) He makes the rest of us 2A supporters look like dumb fucks, too.

2) There are such things as manners.

The second count is the more important. It is reasonable for members of the public to be fearful of a man with a rifle in a place where he normally would not be. It is presuming on the good nature of people to assert ones rights so thoughtlessly, regardless of the principle involved.


Spouse agrees and he says the same thing about the Breastfeeding Nazis. There is such a thing as good manners. I think this situation would be a lot less controversial if it was a holstered handgun at the airport. But an AR-15 sends a very aggressive message. It's silly.

Skyler said...

I've openly carried grenades many times and never hurt anyone.

I've found that people who are unable to, or fear they are unable to control their own behavior seem the most likely to accuse others of having that problem.

The Godfather said...

A. I wouldn't do it. For one thing, my wife wouldn't let me.

B. But I approve of the demonstration. The people who are afraid of guns, and there seem to be a lot of them, need to get acclimatized. Guns are a supposed to be (under the Constitution) a normal part of life in America. When I was a young man, working as a summer law clerk for a big Washington DC law firm, I found myself walking back to the office with another law clerk, who was Black and Female. We got a lot of nasty looks. I hadn't planned to make a point -- I was just walking back to work -- but I'm glad that I (inadvertently) did.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Looks like we're about to get legal open carry of handguns (for CHL holders) here in TX.

Meh. A lot of things more important the Legislature is not doing but should - particularly with property taxes.

But I will say some of the queers, feminists, and MSM have been doing in-your-face lately, so maybe what goes around comes around.

And also, re. politeness - as Rob. Heinlein said "an armed society is a polite society."

Lost My Cookies said...

Someone needs to tell that asshole to put that shit in a bag and stop being such a jagoff.

Anonymous said...

A rifle that's been wrapped around someone's neck is unfireable and should not be considered a threat by anyone.

Charlie Eklund said...

I'm a supporter of open carry laws but like others here, I also believe there's a time and a place for everything. An airport terminal is not, in my opinion, the place for that particular expression of our Second Amendment rights.

In addition, concealed carry would seem to be the wiser tactical option when going about your business heeled since with concealed carry, potential bad actors don't see plain as day that you are armed and therefore, if the shizzle were to go down when you're around, shoot you first.

Birkel said...

Do we think he should forego his 1st or 4th Amendment rights sometimes?

James Pawlak said...

Legal right---GOOD
Manners---BAD

Gordon said...

There is such a thing as carrying AT people. It's jerky behavior.

MrCharlie2 said...

That's great. Why did he do that?

BTW, if you're dumb enough to walk around an airport with a rifle slung around your neck, are you dumb enough have the safety off, trip over a curb and blow someone's head off?

traditionalguy said...

AR-15s are just dangerous looking single shots. The dude needs to open carry a Thompson Submachine Gun. Then the George Zimmerman types might call him in but they would never stalk him into the parking lot.

Rusty said...

MadisonMan said...
Perhaps some American citizens who are of Arab descent should try it now.

They would be well within their rights to do so. you have a problem with that?


Rocketeer said...
This guy is a terrible representative for 2A folks. They should police their own if they want to be taken seriously.

I disagree. Yes he's making a statement. He's exercising his right to do so. Just like free speech. You may not like his message, but it's his right. He agrees not to censor himself for the convenience of the mob.

joucas said...
Wow. I know the 2nd Amendment absolutists have the law on their side currently, but that's really nuts, and its just this kind of overreaching of any common sense limits on gun rights that will ultimately (I predict) lead to a Supreme Court that will find police power grounds to reverse Heller and McDonald. And I'm generally supportive of gun rights.


There are already enough "reasonable restrictions" on firearms. What we need are reasonable restrictions on are the hand wringing asshats who want to restrict everything.





MrCharlie2 said...

May be, as an experiment, he should wrap a towel around his head next time ...

Anonymous said...

He was scaring people. He should have given them trigger warnings.

Mountain Maven said...

I agree with Tyrone Slothrop

The days when people were more concerned with their responsibilities than their rights are long gone.
2A is law but open carry is irresponsible. Nowadays you can carry a virtual armory in your pocket and that's where it should be barring extreme circumstances.

OTOH the jerk with the rifle was exercising his right, not trying to take rights away from someone else.

Birkel said...

So many of you favor the heckler's veto of a Constitutional right.
What other rights shall be sacrificed because some people are made uncomfortable largely because they are ignorant of fire arms?

Kirk Parker said...

Every single time I go to SeaTac, I see a few people openly carrying handguns.

They are police officers.

You'd think, after all the recent stuff regarding excessive use of force by police (some justified, some not) that people might stop putting the Men In Blue in a different category from Average Joe/Jane Citizen. Average Joe/Jane is just as trustworthy with a loaded weapon, in the aggregate, as is Office Blue.



That being said, walking around an airport with a slung rifle is odd, and really only done to prove a point. Anyone who needs to be armed in such a venue (and I would argue that could be anyone not prohibited from possessing firearms) is more than adequately served by a pistol in a holster.


And Skyler, for sure--projection is their stock-in-trade.

Kirk Parker said...

Charlie Eklund,

It's the "Godwin's Law" of open-carry discussions that sooner or later (usually sooner) someone will bring up the supposed tactical advantage of concealed carry.

Well, if it really were an advantage, then certainly there would be enough examples that people could cite actual cases demonstrating this advantage.

But somehow, no one -- including you here today -- ever does.

My takeaway is that it's all conjecture, all the way down.

Bryan C said...

"My issue is that absolutists undermine their positions no matter how righteous the cause."

Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.

Todd said...

Mark said...
I assume he would be fine if a bunch of Arabs did the same?

For some reason I expect he would not be so cool with that.

This guy is a terrible representative for 2A folks. They should police their own if they want to be taken seriously.

6/3/15, 3:45 PM


How does this grab you? This guy is a terrible representative for 1A folks. They should police their own if they want to be taken seriously. Yep, those news people should police their own better! There is too much talking going on, too much of the "wrong ideas" being discussed!

That sounds silly now doesn't it? Also, that person is an independent agent. There is no "police your own". How would you suppose that be done? Was it a jerk move? Maybe. So is a lot of what goes on. Was it legal? Yep.

Rocketeer said...

Rusty, I was just quoting Mark's comment, not fully endorsing it.

n.n said...

Interesting. So, there is a threshold for tolerable orientations and behaviors. As is common in a diverse population (i.e. two or more people) there is no consensus. Also, there are different [subjective] beliefs for what should be normalized, tolerated, or rejected. Perhaps pro-choice is an unavoidable mortal doctrine, but that doesn't justify the open/normalized abortion of unwanted or inconvenient human beings.

EMD said...

Someone needs to tell that asshole to put that shit in a bag and stop being such a jagoff.

LMC just outed themselves as a possible PIttsburgher.

Rusty said...

Then I redirect to Mark. Thanks Rocket.

mikee said...

A right not exercised is more easily a right denied, infringed, eliminated.

Next, he and some fellow armed citizens might try legally and safely and un-threateningly sitting armed at a lunch counter, requesting service, and refusing to leave until arrested or served.

Or would that confuse too many liberals whose concept of rights is based on collective characteristics and government preferences, rather than upon rights inherent to the individual which are not to be infringed?