July 28, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
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Open carry advocates discuss more demonstrations on social media

Gun rights activists are turning to social media to argue their case that they should be allowed to carry weapons openly.

Reactions to a small open carry walk in Medina generated discussion on social media pages including the Ohio Carry Facebook page and its local chapter, Northeast Ohio Carry Facebook page, after footage of the walk was posted online.

The two men who carried out the walk around Medina’s Public Square posted a video on the Northeast Ohio Carry page. Efforts to reach the men were unsuccessful.

On the page, one of the men, James Purdy, also posted a status update outlining his narrative of how an encounter with Medina police went.

“All in all was not too bad, but the Sgt. was very unprofessional and in my opinion quite rude,” Purdy wrote.

He asked for other supporters to join him either later this week or possibly on Monday for another walk in Medina.

One person responded by offering to bring a rifle.

But other posters disagreed, saying the response of the Medina police was understandable.

“Garfield elementary, the courthouse and a federal district judge along with city hall and the police station all being close would def elevate peoples anxiety of open carry long guns on the square,” the poster stated.

The Northeast Ohio Carry page also asked followers to go to the Medina Police Facebook page and start a discussion. After Medina police pulled the discussion from its page, the discussion turned to organizing a larger open carry walk in Medina. The suggestion got some traction and support.

One follower wrote, “I would like to get everybody together who can and exercise our rights and have a huge presence in Medina and do a big open carry walk.”

But still another gun owner offered a dissenting opinion on the idea. He said he was a supporter of the Second Amendment and believed the group’s heart was in the right place, but offered the following opinion:

“If I was walking down the street with my beautiful wife and daughter and came across a fella with an AR slung around his back in public, it would make me extremely nervous. To the point that I would avoid the area or get away from it ASAP.”

In addition to discussion online about another open carry walk in Medina, the Ohio Open Carry organization is hosting an open carry walk in downtown Cleveland in June. On a Facebook event page for the walk, scheduled for June 15, the group posted the following:

“We will allow any firearms at this event, handguns or long guns. Open carry is welcome and encouraged. Disclaimer: While we would love to see as many people carrying as possible, please take it upon yourself to make sure that you are obeying all laws and procedures, that you can legally be in possession of a firearm, and that any interactions with law enforcement or the public are respectful and courteous.”

On the Northeast Ohio Carry page the group outlines its goals in its mission statement as “OHIO CARRY’S, AND ALL SUBSEQUENT CHAPTERS THERE OF, MISSION IS TO EDUCATE AND ADVOCATE THE ADVANTAGES OF BOTH GUN OWNERSHIP AND SAFETY WITH FIREARMS AND TO PROMOTE THE TRUTH ABOUT OHIO LAWS REGARDING FIREARMS. WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS GOAL BY WORKING WITH MEMBERS IN OUR ORGANIZATION, THE PUBLIC, AND CITY LEADERS TO PROMOTE THE EXERCISING AND PRESERVING OF OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.