Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Have "Occupied" Broad Ripple With Guns

Update: While I'm still convinced it's a good idea to tell law-abiding citizens about how to get a gun permit, and a good idea to remind criminals that their prospective victims are not obliged to be defenseless, I no longer think the "Occupy Broad Ripple..." Facebook organizers are the the right folks for the job. Their behavior at the event itself was exemplary but there is too much of a cloud over prior activities of some members.

Tam has photos. So do I. We went up to the village, parked at Kroger and walked up to Qdoba for a snack, open-carrying. No problem.

We saw a few folks with flyers but it wasn't until we took a walk around a few blocks that we started meeting small groups or people, some open-carrying, handing out one-page flyers to anyone who'd accept them. No matter who walked by, they'd say hello and offer one. H'mm, seemed legit. Stopped for a longer chat with one group, very nice folks. We asked after the organizer, to learn, "He's kind of stepped back, he didn't want to distract from this effort."

We walked on and found John Hallgath himself with another small group, handing out flyers. He was personable, friendly; I saw him interact with a wide cross-section of Broad Ripple partiers and he was friendly to everyone. No, I didn't quiz him about the controversy; there'll be time to sort that out later. To my observation, he was not taking any sort of leadership role.

Tam and I went to Occupy Broad Ripple With Guns HQ (a tent canopy in a parking lot a little away from the Avenue). It was a well-run operation, with access to coffee and light snacks (and washrooms). Participants were required to show ID (and License to Carry Handgun, if they were armed) and to sign in and out. Among the rules, flyers were to be offered to anyone you could make contact with; participants were not to argue or debate, no matter what, "Just smile and say thanks;" and No Drinking, before or while signed in. We were also reminded that this was an informational event, not an exercise in vigilantism.

No hidden agenda. The flyer was a simple statement of facts. (I'll post a scan later). And -- welcome to Indiana -- what I saw, both as an observer and in an hour and a half of handing out flyers, was that it was well-received. A lot of people, maybe as many as half, walked on by (what'd you expect?); quite a few stopped and took flyers. I had one guy say, "Oh, no, I hate guns," but he was matter-of-fact about it; I smiled and said, "Have a nice night." Several young men mentioned their martial arts prowess. (Tam started humming "King Fu Fighting" after one had gone on." Tsk). Oh, and three cheers for the partiers: hundreds of fliers were handed out; I saw three (3) thrown on the sidewalk -- and I was looking (and picking up), as Not Littering is important when you're doing this kind of outreach.

I think it worked. There were a lot of IMPD officers in evidence, many of them next to bar bouncers; I saw one "No Guns" sign, handwritten, posted at what used to be The Wellington, and the doorman (bouncer) at The Vogue was wanding everyone before admitting them. (Good for them -- if you're going to have a "no weapons policy," don't be half-hearted about it). After Tam and I had signed out and were headed back to my car, one officer we'd walked past several times time asked me, in a friendly way, what I was carrying. (My very, very shiny .38 Super Colt 1911A1, pre-Series 70). He thought that was cool, and asked if I got to shoot it much. --Told him not as often as I'd like, but I tried to keep in practice. A nice chat.

Between Occupy Broad Ripple With Guns participants and IMPD, there were probably a half-dozen firearms per block -- and it was a quiet night in Broad Ripple.

And perhaps food for thought for the goblin that's been haunting Broad Ripple. Dude, we're spiking your trees. The next one...might fight back.

Update: One local TV station reports (on the air but not on the web) there was a counterprotest by a group handing out flyers covering some of the same questions about Mr. Hallgarth that I've looked into (and have yet to resolve). I did not see them -- but I will note that that is another example of freedom of expression. The evening passed peacefully, as I expected. Another station quotes one person claiming to have received a three-page flyer with some kind of racist message. I didn't see anything of that sort -- and I was looking; with apologies to Barney Fife, that sort of thing really does need to be nipped in the bud, exposed and publicly shamed. More: I've seen the "flyer" in question, five pages covering the same sort of info on John Hallgarth Messrs. Ogden and Small have found; the most recent is dated 2006. Probably from the counter-protest. (John, seriously, it's time to step up and say yea or nay about your current political beliefs. Lots of people have questionable pasts -- who are you now?)
Update: Even more.

24 comments:

Tam said...

Apparently said Nazi Chick Tract was passed out @ 5PM, so take that however you will.

Dave H said...

Sounds like it was a worthwhile event. I hope it convinces the goblin(s) to find other work. And if it helps clear up some misunderstandings along the way, so much the better.

One other thing: spell check please? First paragraph, "Stopped for a longer what?"

Tango Juliet said...

A very, very shiny .38 Super..... What a fashion statement! Sounds like a great night out to me.

Roberta X said...

It was verrrrry early in the mornin' Dave -- and to my horror, spellcheck recognizes the vulger past pluperfect of "excrete." Sigh.0.

perlhaqr said...

I bet it was the quietest night Broad Ripple has had in many a year for criminal activities. Hopefully IMPD will take something useful from that.

Anonymous said...

How does someone make a 3 page flyer without wasting a page? That would make any real earth loving hippie cry.

Carrying a .38 Super is very stylish.

Gerry

Shirley said...

It was great meeting you and Tam last night. You visited with our group and I asked about your blog. Albeit, I do think a lot of good was done last night, I can't help but get frustrated when I know that so many people, too many people, think bad things won't happen to them.
Unfortunately, my family has been touched by violent crime. What I've learned in the past two years leaves me in disbelief. People don't learn from other people's experiences and I sure wish they would. My sister was murdered. I say it, I type it and still find it hard to believe. How did this happen to my sister? Something so tragic is a huge slap in the face, like a personal earthquake, rattles you to your core. Eye opening to say the least. People have to understand violence, crime knows no boundries. I hear people say, "oh that would never happen to me or my loved ones" and I just shake my head and remember when I thought the same thing. It has by far been the biggest reality check in my life and my hope is others can learn from my reality check and they never have to experience their own reality check. Bad things happen to good people each and every day, each and every minute. Will people ever understand that?

Roberta X said...

It was a pleasure to meet you last night, Shirley.

Violence is something that happens to other people -- until it hit close to oneself. You are very good to share it and to try to use your experience to help others.

The Jack said...

Yeah, some of the saddest stuff is the people who think: "It won't happen to ME; I'm a good person."

Which, I guess, is where part of the "blame the victim" comes from.

Surely, they were at fault somehow. Otherwise, crime could happen to anyone, even goodies.

Indy Student said...

Roberta, thank you for tracking down that "other" flyer. Like it or not, people do judge based on the company one keeps. This "Der Ecipse Gnaw" should come clean rather than drag down what I would otherwise consider a worthwhile movement.

Roberta X said...

I agree.

Robin said...

So the "racist" material was in the counterprotesters handouts?

Roberta X said...

Yes, Robin, but it was from what certainly looked to be John's web pages. He's not looking too good.

I was really hoping to find or be offered evidence of reformed character. I have not.

Aleksandr Gifford said...

Roberta He dates a black woman and hung out with me a man who's family was gassed by the Nazis.

Roberta X said...

Sorry, Aleksander, I don't like the baggage he seems to still be dragging.

Haven't seen any public renunciation, only frantic-looking retconning and unverifiable claims. It's like a cat trying to cover up a mess on a tile floor!

I don't have time for nitwits playing St--mfr--t games. Some of us are serious about the Bill of Rights applying to EVERYONE.

Aleksandr Gifford said...

I agree with you I don't like every thing he does but I don't pal around with him. He was 1 of 32 people who felt strongly enough about self defense to show up with 5 people to pass out fliers. For that I thank him.

Roberta X said...

Right up until the message board (not to be named) posts were quoted on INGO, along with a link to a slideshow of remarkably offensive images with dates within the last 13 months, I was willing to wait and see.

I saw, all right. Made me physically ill.

A man can change in a few months, especially for love -- but most of them are happy to tell the whole world. That has not happened.

John said...

Im working on a detailed reply for your blog. Just gimme a little time to craft it.

Aleksandr Gifford said...

John we all await you.

john said...

do you have an email address I can send to? my reply is over the maximum 4,096 characters

Roberta X said...

Yes, you can send it to roberta(dot)x (at) sbcglobal.net. Replace the words in the parenthesis with the appropriate symbol.

Anonymous said...

To your observation, did Hitler take part in the holocaust? Nobody places him at the scene.

You are one helluva gullible person.

Rational Hoosier said...

It is important to note that, despite his shyness in this thread, Aleksandr Gifford refused to renounce white supremacy when asked at the group's FB page, and posted ridiculous libel against one of Hallgarth's critics.

http://liten.be//LrJaP

Not one of the Occupy BR Facebook posters would disassociate himself from Hallgarth's racism and neo-Nazism, even after Hallgarth's disgusting materials were posted.

Roberta X said...

Anon 6:41: Pick a side. Me, I already have a side, but I don't rush to judgement. I do judge, and all you have to do is follow the links to see how that went.