Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns Only Lost Merchants Customers.

   Fortunately, Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns ended not with a bang. I was out early, engaged in field research after we did Saturday’s show of "Civil Discourse Now." I felt my perception of the evening would be best served if I remained in one place. There were several bars with signs outside advising customers were not allowed to enter armed. As I said in at least one previous post, I do not stay up late. At 8:00 I was home.

   One news report said dozens showed up for the "event." A post to that report said it really was more like dozen. The only effect I noticed was fewer patrons of the establishment where we had set up our observation post. Usually on a Saturday evening—and consider that IU and Purdue, suck though they may this year in football, played for their trophy on TV—the place would be fairly packed. It was not. Thanksgiving weekend is a busy weekend for bars. In Broad Ripple, the Butler students who go home for break are replaced by college students home to Indy for the holiday. They, understandably, want to see old high school friends (and get out of the ‘rents home for however many hours they can). So Broad Ripple should have been hopping. When we departed (by cab), Broad Ripple was not hopping.

  So the merchants of Broad Ripple probably thank John Hallgarth, for hurting business on what usually would be a good night in an otherwise down economy.

   A last comment in reply to Roberta Ecks, and her example:

        "But first, imagine a park with a lot of soap-box orators holding forth. All have audiences. Only a few are saying       things you think need said and you have to work your way through  the crowds to hear them. Is your freedom of speech (and hearing) abridged by this? Would freedom in general be increased or decreased if all but your favorites are silenced? You wrote, ‘It is interesting that when I Google variations on the term "ban guns" I come up with pro-gun websites, usually efforts at sarcasm, that block my attempt to find places  where people advocate that guns should be banned. Those websites serve the purpose of  blocking free speech.’ No, they don't. They are free speech, same as the ant-gun sites. Those are your fellow citizens, speaking their minds, and the good people who make  search engines provide a way to page through them rapidly."

It is "free speech" when items are placed with the intent to block others’ speech. However, in the example of soap-box orators, presumably everyone speaks to express him or herself. But if the speakers hold forth only to drown out those who oppose them, then, yes, it is the exercise of free speech, but a cowardly exercise. Let them have their say. Let them have their websites. The use of search engines to block someone else’s message from being heard is strategic cowardice.

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Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 28, 2011 at 11:15pm

Oh, Search Engine Optimization.  Yes, I'm pretty clueless about that, which is typical of most bloggers, whatever their thoughts and opinions.  Sites that depend on advertising put a lot of effort into it.

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 28, 2011 at 10:34pm



     I think we pwned him.  Consider: dude had to stand there in Broad Ripple, smiling and being nice to everyone (Broad Ripple is a good demographic cross-section of young Indianapolis adults with the price of a night out, in case you didn't know), and offer each and every one of them purely factual information about how to get a handgun permit.  I can promise you the Indiana State Police don't consider race of the applicant when they process a permit, run the fingerprints and do the background check.  He didn't get to hate on anybody.  He helped African-Americans get info on lawfully arming themselves, if they chose to.

Comment by Brad on November 28, 2011 at 10:28am

I'm really hoping that these folks return to their trailer parks soon.


It is obvious that they are in way over their heads.

They know nothing about how the media works and their leader is a very nasty human being (I'm being kind)

He starts this pile of crap,then bails when the kitchen is getting a little warm.


Face it, you guys got taken to the bank.You got owned by a dude with a personal agenda of hate.


Just admit that you got played by this whack job and move on. Play with your guns and walk around like a peacock with your feathers all puffed out.When you guys have a real cause,not a sham,tryi t again.


It is a Noble cause,however,Roberta, your understanding of SEO is a little suspect. In fact its more than that, your are clueless.


Thanks for the weekend entertainment you guys,it was fun.Now its time to get back into the unemployment lines and stop looking for your interviews on TV

Comment by Mark Small on November 28, 2011 at 5:59am


You are very gracious. Your particiption in this civil discourse is most welcome. There is no crow to be served when someone has been misled or based opinion on what later turned out to be lies.  


Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 27, 2011 at 10:20pm

Big old plate of crow for me, Mark.  While the event concentrated on self-defense for everybody, the handouts were limited to facts and John Hallgarth had stepped way back, the guys at Indiana Gun Owners forum dug up offensive material from him dated within the last 13 months that moved me from "wait and see" to thinking you were right and I am wrong about him.  (I'm soft-headed enough to still hope the guy will step up, make a clean breast of his past, renounce evil, etc.  But I think that probably only happens in the movies.)

From my blog: 

There are links posted at INGO to purported John Hallgarth photos with Nazi and arguably racist images that appear to date as recently as late 2010. (Could still be 'shopped -- but cui bono?)

I do not support such things and persons of that ilk do not represent me, nor do they in my experience comprise a majority within the gun-rights movement.

I was brought up Methodist, on a steady diet of Sunday school stories about redemption and the experience of Paul (Saul at the time) on the road to Damascus. My faith's eroded a bit over time but even as an agnostic, I want to believe people can change for the better. But I've got no proof in that direction other than public civility (an under-rated thing, IMO, but hardly a look into the soul) and a lot of what looks to be past history (of varying degrees of provability) pushing in the other direction.

Occupy Broad Ripple with Guns itself was not racist, sexist or classist and took care to ensure participants treated all people in a friendly, decent manner; they limited the message to statements of fact, as seen on the flyer.

But I can't speak for what any participant might believe.

I can speak for myself: I believe all people are equal and that we are necessarily endowed with certain inalienable rights -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that the Bill of Rights applies to us all -- and, as important, that it applies to our government at all levels; most of the first ten amendments consist of basic human rights set above legislative, executive or judicial whim. These rights are inherent in the workings of an ethical and just society. I participated because I believe individual self-defense is essential to civil society.

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 27, 2011 at 1:27pm

Point, Paul, though the unions may have been compensating for time lost from work (most union member punch a clock).  I know some will make up lost pay for contract negotiators. 

     The OI group(s) still seem pretty clever about making "stone soup;" I disagree with a lot of their notions but hey, if the homeless are showing up for the goodies, why not ask them to help Occupy?  Sure better than some of whinging about it that happened in some (not all) other Occupations.


     BR seemed pretty busy to me, with most of the bars along the Avenue full-to-bursting.  Qdoba was nearly empty at 11:00, but they're not a bar.  I'd like to think most of the drinkers had had a meal first.  The OBRwG ground rules emphasized NOT going into bars and drinking before or during was totally banned.

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 27, 2011 at 10:49am

Trivia from my lodger: she counted 37 names signed onto the list of people handing out OBRwG flyers.  Not all of them worked the whole stint from 11 'til Last Call, but that's well more than a dozen.  I counted at least 22 people between 11:30 pm and 12:00 am, and I didn't get to every place where flyers were being handed out.

Comment by Roberta Ecks on November 27, 2011 at 9:40am

I can't agree with that; you assume a motive (and a degree of cleverness, search-engine optimization being something marketing companies but a lot of effort into but individual bloggers cannot) that just isn't there.  Nobody writing about "gun bans," pro or con, is doing so to overwhelm your search; they're expressing themselves.  This is the Internet, it's a level field; there's no shouting-down -- and no shutting off debate by yelling "Mike Check." It is parallel democracy, not serial: there's no queue at all!


     At 11:00 p.m., when the OCBRWG event started, the Village was pretty busy.  I saw one "no guns" sign at a bar and The Vogue was continuing their usual weekend practice of wanding people (and they had a long line).


     One of the things that irks me is most people assume persons expressing support for a cause  the speaker approves of are the very best kind of grassroots, but persons doing the same thing for a cause the speaker dislikes are "astroturf," fake, deliberate obstruction.  (Clumsy sentence, I hope it communicates).

     I don't belive it.  People at TEA Parties, Occupy [Placename], participants in such public actions  from the nice ladies handing out WCTU flyers door-to-door to the bandannaed window-smashers protesting at a G7 meeting are all out there of their own volition; you couldn't pay people to do most of that, certainly not as earnestly as it is done.  And it's usually got pretty weak leadership -- because you can't order people to commit that kind of shoe leather, only ask them to and hope they'll show up.

     Everyone (or maybe 99%) is real.  The causes we love, the causes we loathe, the ones that make no sense or seem moot, somebody holds 'em dear.  Darned few of those folks are out to get you or me, or make our own efforts more difficult; most of them don't even notice us.


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