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Anthrocon bans fur over open carry

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (40 votes)

Open carry and the law

Where he lives, Mr. Ross is in good company. Open and concealed carry has been legal for all non-restricted residents of Alaska since 2003; permits are now issued mainly to allow residents to carry weapons in other states.

As for Pennsylvania, open carry generally only requires a license in a "first-class city", of which there is only one. Pittsburgh has no such law, nor — like Allegheny County — can it make one. The airport's was originally valid, but state legislature preempted it (PA constitution article IX, section 2).

Other states vary. While the 2nd Amendment, which some feel grants a personal right to bear arms, is not held to apply to the states, the matter is before the Supreme Court.

David Ross Dr. Samuel Conway
David Ross Dr. Samuel Conway

Crime in Pittsburgh

As flippant he sounded, Dr. Conway may have a point. Pittsburgh is now largely a tourist destination, as shown by Anthrocon's presence; in some suburbs, the most likely crime involves being mugged by girl scouts.

A 2007 CQ Press survey ranked Pittsburgh's metropolitan area 239th most dangerous of 333 — 31 points below the national average, and on par with the areas around Ann Arbor, Fort Wayne, and Ocean City. It compares favourably to that of nearby Philadelphia (43rd). Indeed, in 2007 Pittsburgh was rated the most livable city in America.

But Pittsburgh is still a big city — albeit of the second class — and the crime rate within city limits look a little different. Here, Pittsburgh ranks 67th of 378, over 100 points higher than the national average; akin to New Orleans, Boston, Phoenix and Tampa, and quite unlike the city of Ann Arbor (322nd).

Like all cities, some parts are safer than others. But while crime downtown appears largely restricted to robbery, theft and assault, these are still felonies to avoid. An attendee claimed to be mugged in 2008; it's likely no area is entirely safe.

Concealed carry

Mr. Ross is not alone in carrying a gun; it's just rare to do so openly. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Allegheny County issued 49,000 concealed weapon permits through March 2006 — the most of any county in the state, and twice as many as Philadelphia.

State law on concealed carry has become more lenient in the last quarter of a century, and Pennsylvania has not arbitrarily refused concealed weapon permits since 1989.

Police incidents

Mr. Ross is a fur — as advertised by his phone number, I B FURRY. He's even working on a fursuit. He's also a fan of open carry; exercising what proponents believe to be a constitutionally-protected right to visibly bear firearms — in this case, a Springfield XD.

In 2008, Mr. Ross was stopped by an officer while looking for a place to eat in Pittsburgh. He was asked for ID, handcuffed, his gun was seized, and backup was called. Yet thirty minutes later, word came back that carrying a holstered gun was not against the law. Open carry was placed on the Municipal Police Training syllabus for 2009.

Next year, Mr. Ross was noticed holstering his gun at Pittsburgh airport's baggage claim. Arrested for carrying a weapon on airport premises — a violation of Allegheny County ordinance §705-39 — he spent four hours detained in a cell. He was found guilty at his magistrate's trial, but not guilty on appeal. The district attorney conceded after reading the defense brief, which pointed out that state law alone can regulate the possession of firearms (18 Pa. C.S. §1620).

Anthrocon's response

These actions did not go unnoticed. In an brief letter, Anthrocon chairman and CEO Dr. Samuel Conway suggested that if the area was so dangerous as to require a firearm, it would be best not to come:

" You have repeatedly insisted that the area in which Anthrocon's convention takes place is sufficiently dangerous that it is necessary to carry a firearm for protection. If that is indeed the case, then we feel it is wisest you not attend so that you need not be exposed to unnecessary danger. "

Mr. Ross disputed this, saying that he only carried his firearm "outside of the Westin and convention center," and that he had not said the area was a particularly unsafe "hot zone."

Dr. Conway's reply suggests Anthrocon was less concerned with Mr. Ross's safety than its public image. Claiming such actions "[created] a significant amount of distress to the public" and "[disrupted] the goodwill of the city of Pittsburgh toward Anthrocon and its attendees," he said the con is "trying to maintain a friendly relationship" with the local police, and "cannot afford to be associated" with those "increasingly being perceived as a concern by [them]."

To Anthrocon, that "police were summoned on at least two occasions" helps justify Mr. Ross's expulsion. But that statement isn't quite true. In both cases, law enforcement officers were already there, and took it on themselves to act, without knowledge of his identity.

There's also little to suggest the public — or Anthrocon — were involved at all, let alone any sign of the alleged "significant distress", "extreme and undue panic" or "significant trauma." And it does not seem an "unnecessary burden on law enforcement" to expect them to know the law.

Anthrocon declined to discuss these and other issues with Flayrah, citing attendee privacy and the wish to avoid airing internal matters in public forums. They did state that the decision to deny membership was "not something Anthrocon takes lightly," with "many factors [...] considered, including whether situations are likely to re-occur."

" Anthrocon's goal is to provide an enjoyable and safe convention for its attendees which include families and people with a broad range of personal interests. To further that goal, Anthrocon reserves the right to deny membership to any individuals who prove disruptive to convention operations, cause unwarranted discomfort to or jeopardize the health and safety of themselves or other attendees, or adversely affects Anthrocon's relationship with its guests, its venues or the public. "

Firearms in the fandom

Sgt. Steve of Anthrocon's security force, the Dorsai Irregulars, confirmed that they don't carry weapons on duty; at least, not beyond the occasional water gun. And Anthrocon's official policy is clear — no weapons, concealed or otherwise — though when asked, they declined to confirm that staff were subject to this prohibition.

But some conventions seem a lot more comfortable with firearm as long as they're out of sight. All Fur Fun's policy cites the "open display of weapons" — perhaps because their own security staff carry concealed. Zoniecon even had a scheduled Saturday Morning Machine Gun Shoot.

As for Anthrcoon's attendees, the LiveJournal group gun_furry has 135 watchers, many of whom appear to attend. In 2008, a group even went to a local firearms range from the con.

An ongoing issue?

At least one other fan has been banned recently based on "Internet postings." Arguably uploading videos of yourself misbehaving at the con is not advisable if you wish to return. But while Anthrocon may not consider the details of their decisions to be "subject to public debate," the response so far from its targets — and the public — suggests otherwise.

As a social club, Anthrocon has the legal right to deny membership to whoever it deems fit, other than on the basis of race, color, or religion. Still, doing so for actions that broke no laws, had no real connection to Anthrocon, and which overturned an unlawful ordinance raises eyebrows.

In fairness, Mr. Ross does have strong views on the use of guns against criminals — though he appears to have equally strong views on the need for training before use. Perhaps the board fears that, should a mugger approach, he might take the situation into his own hands.

But if they hoped to avoid controversy, their plan appears to have backfired. Mr. Ross still intends to come to Pittsburgh — perhaps even to live in the area in the future — and he doesn't seem shy of doing things to make a point. A fuzzy blue kangaroo strutting around downtown with a gun at his hip might not count as "an imminent public danger", but it might well garner the attention of local media.

Mr. Ross does not believe allowing firearms at Anthrocon itself would be good; in his own words, "stupid people would carry." But he is angry that merely carrying a holstered gun in the external vicinity of the convention might be considered reasonable justification for a ban.

As for furry conventions in general, the thorny question of firearms is not likely to go away, especially as the fandom continues to grow.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (24 votes)

I think his ban is sad and unfortunate. Both he and Prawst were banned, and neither one openly violated Anthrocon rules (at least, not directly or in their ban letters). In Prawst's ban letter, his ban reason wasn't even a violation against AC's policy. And Insane Kangaroo's ban here didn't violate any of AC's rules because nothing that happened happened at Anthrocon.

"... a fuzzy blue kangaroo strutting around downtown with a gun at his hip might not count as 'an imminent public danger', but it might well garner the attention of local media."

It sounds to me like Insane Kangaroo did nothing to violate AC's rules, but AC is terrified of the local media and banned him as a pre-emptive measure to make themselves look better because they're afraid of media involvement.

AC seems to be banning based on "who will make us look bad to the media", and yet their Dealer's Den still sells more porn and other material that would look far worse if the media got involved. Minors are still allowed in the Dealer's Den, and AC just requires that they "censor" the material, despite it being readily available everywhere.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (48 votes)

Honestly, i think it was a good decision to ban this guy. Think about it, if the person is so paranoid that he has to carry a firearm with him to a furcon, there's the fuckn' sign right there. You can't get into a concert or a plane these days without being searched for some reason, and the reason is people can be CRAZY! Look at what happened to Dimebag in Ohio, he was gunned down onstage. Its just for the protection of those that go to these events, that don't do this crap. I agree with this, keep this guy away from me!

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (15 votes)

reading comprehension FAIL.

OP didn not, at any time, carry -at the con-. He was sacked from the con for open carry elswhere, well outside the con.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

Watch out for the trolls, people. This is going to be drawing them like frat pledges to a free beer party.

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (15 votes)

I don't think it's a very good idea to have a firearm on you when you try to fly. I have family who is in federal law enforcement and must carry, and it's a hassle even for him to get through airport security, though perhaps the laws and regulations have changed in the past several years; hell, I might even be remembering this from a time before 9/11.

Seriously, leave the firearms at home.

(BTW, that picture of Mr. Ross makes my subconscious scream "gun nut". Not saying that it's appropriate to judge based on appearance, but it's what I thought when I looked at his picture.)

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (17 votes)

Honestly, i think it was a good decision to ban this guy. Think about it, if the person is so paranoid that he has to carry a firearm with him to a furcon, there's the fuckn' sign right there.

Can you read? He was banned for open carrying in Pittsburgh and being stopped twice by cops who were ignorant of the statutes they were supposedly "enforcing". He did not violate the con's firearms rule.

You can't get into a concert or a plane these days without being searched for some reason, and the reason is people can be CRAZY! Look at what happened to Dimebag in Ohio, he was gunned down onstage. Its just for the protection of those that go to these events, that don't do this crap. I agree with this, keep this guy away from me!

Dimebag Darrell (RIP) was playing in a Class D Establishment under Ohio state law. After his shooting in 2004, two persons who were fans of his who also possessed concealed handgun licenses issued under Ohio's newly passed concealed carry statute came forward on the Ohioans for Concealed Carry forum and stated that they could have stopped the guy before Darrell was shot. However, because of Ohio statute prohibiting all firearms possession by anyone in Class D establishments, they had to disarm. As a result, those two fans among hundreds of others witnessed Darrell getting shot, and there was a damned thing they could do about it.

Besides, David was never claimed to violate the convention rules, nor was it ever claimed by Dr. Conway. If he and you attended AC and you were near him in the convention center, you can rest easy, because he wouldn't have been carrying.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (11 votes)

I don't think it's a very good idea to have a firearm on you when you try to fly. I have family who is in federal law enforcement and must carry, and it's a hassle even for him to get through airport security, though perhaps the laws and regulations have changed in the past several years; hell, I might even be remembering this from a time before 9/11.

It was a hassle for them because they were allowed to carry beyond the metal detectors. They were covered presumably under Title 8 of the United States code. The reason for their hassle is that they had to notify the airport director and the airport police that they were going to cross. It was a pain in the butt, but this is because they need to call to verify that you are who you say you are (verify ID, badges, call into the FBI 24 dispatch and verify you, etc)

The process is significantly different for folks like you and me (regular civilians). I've flown with several times with firearms. You have a locked container, unloaded pistol, ammo in it's own case, you declare it to your airline at the check in desk. TSA inspects it, they lock it and put it in your luggage, and they also do extra tracking on it to make sure nothing gets stolen out of it, because if a gun goes missing, the FBI and ATFE would be crawling all over their asses on that one.

(BTW, that picture of Mr. Ross makes my subconscious scream "gun nut". Not saying that it's appropriate to judge based on appearance, but it's what I thought when I looked at his picture.)

Do appearances really matter? I think it's a more important question: Why is Anthrocon essentially controlling the behavior of furries in Pittsburgh in general. Greenreaper pointed out that his furry identity was not at issue here. This sort of controlling behavior by conventions have not occurred at other cons, and seems uniquely something that is being done by AC. People keeping pointing out "Well it's a big con, they have to control furries behavior because of how big it is", except FC is almost as large as AC and doesn't engage in such "public relations banning".

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (9 votes)

"Do appearances really matter?"

Always.

A person's appearance is a projection of his personality. He appears the way he wants to appear, or at least that is the assumption, and he does so to reflect his own self-image and to convey his personal philosophies. And anybody looking at him is going to make assumptions based on his appearance: if a person dresses like a hippie, they assume he is; if he dresses like a fanboy, then he must be a fanboy; if he dresses like a lawyer, then he must be. That's human nature, and we're all pretty hardwired to think this way. It doesn't matter if the assumption is wrong; it only matters that we react this way. There's reasons why there are adages like "First impressions count," and "Clothes make the man", and it's important enough that books are written about Dressing For Success.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

And what if he dresses like a huge, cartooney coyote?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

If that's the case then 2 the Ranting Gryphon looks far crazier then Ross, is this the case? I can't be sure but if you're basing things on looks alone.

Heck, my old high school friend used to always wear business casual clothes, before he beat and stabbed his mother to death.

There's something about books and covers.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (10 votes)

Carrying a firearm in the US is a highly charged, highly emotional issue. Where legal, it's also a _personal decision that one is entitled to make without external coercion_, just like, say, having an abortion. Assuming the facts are correctly and completely reported here, I think that banning this person makes little sense. He's neither broken the law nor misbehaved at any point that I can see, and never carried his weapon while in con-space. His actions are certain to generate publicity, yes. But... Doesn't wearing ears and tails do that, too?

Had he carried his gun _in_ con-space, I'd support the AC staff 100%. But, near as I can tell he did _not do this_. As a gun-owner, gun-rights supporter and NRA member of over twenty-five years standing, well... Yes, I'm more than a little miffed. I mean, what form of political free speech outside of con-space (and that's _exactly_ how I interpret this fur's actions) are you going to ban someone for next? Attending a pro-life rally in Cincinnati in a fursuit? Near as I can tell, this would be about equally nonsensical.

I can certainly see banning someone for committing a criminal act. I can also see banning them for being rude, obnoxious or breaking the rules _in con-space_. Or, in cases where a fur has certain kinds of verifiable criminal records or a history of generally bad behavior at cons. More times than not, in case of doubt I side with the staff, knowing they're doing a thankless, difficult job. But the law is the law, and gun-related rights are mentioned in the Constitution in the same general area as free speech, assembly, and the rest. Many, though not all of us, believe they're equally important.

While I grant that the leadership of AC has the _right_ to ban this person, I can't in my heart feel they made the correct decision.

To repeat, this comment is written under the presumption that the facts present are correct and complete. If someone wishes to introduce new evidence, I'm all ears.

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (14 votes)

So, he was picked-up TWICE in Pittsburgh when he lives in Alaska according to his LJ profile. I shall assume this means that each time he was arrested, he was attending, or in the matter of the airport, on his way to attend, Anthrocon. He got handcuffed in the vicinity of the hotel/convention center with a gun on display.

It is very simple to see that in light of this information, he was probably carrying at the con.

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (8 votes)

"It is very simple to see that in light of this information, he was probably carrying at the con."

So, you believe that fairness demands only that he was "probably" misbehaving? In your opinion, that is? Without any hard proof at all?

Your rating: None Average: 1.4 (9 votes)

Twice he was picked up for open carry during the time frame of Anthrocon. I'm sure Kage and his board reviewed the (available) evidence and investigated to the full extent they were capable of. Short and sweet, he claims he stayed at the Doubletree where they overwhelming accept open-carry, and according to a report, he was hand-cuffed at a restaurant, presumably near the con. Now, do you really think he would open-carry from the DoubleTree, to a restaurant near the convention center, then go all the way back to the DoubleTree to disarm, then back to the convention center?

Besides, based on his photograph, he appears to be attempting to portray he is a tough guy who shouldn't be messed with (Billy Badass Syndrome), and compensate for what looks to be a short stature (Napoleon Complex). Now, based on the way he presents himself in the photograph, would you want someone with that kind of personality wielding a firearm around you?

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (8 votes)

Now, based on the way he presents himself in the photograph, would you want someone with that kind of personality wielding a firearm around you?

The man lives and works in Alaska. Not many in Alaska claims to be "Billy Badass", and those who do don't last long, socially or genetically. Folk who live in Alaska just tend to be, what folk in the other 49 consider "badass", simply by default. It's kind of a requirement when your daily commute through the heart of town includes moose, elk and grizzly bears.

With regards to him being "picked up twice", those officers and DA got slapped pretty good for their efforts at ignoring the law in one case, and simply being ignorant of the law in the other.

As for whether or not I want someone like him around me with a gun, I'd much prefer him than you. If people get exercise by leaps of logic and jumping to conclusions, then you are your own personal Olympics.

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

Your rating: None Average: 1.4 (10 votes)

Based on the evidence that your thoughts on this matter is already biased due to the fact that you know Mr. Ross, your opinion is tainted and moot.

And the fact that you not only ignored any presented evidence and just decided to defend Alaska, you missed the entire point of my post. He wasn't in Alaska when he was picked up by the police. He was in Pittsburgh. How people are in Alaska is irrelevant when they are in another state. Depending on the city, open carry can be cause for a charge of disturbing the peace if enough people are bothered by it, the circumstances surrounding it, the carriers reaction/action, etc...

Judgements based on sight are not a bad thing, it is a defense/survival mechanism.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (9 votes)

Please do not dismiss out of hand the opinions of others merely because they know someone. This area is provided for discussion of the issues, and I would ask you to focus on that.

Besides, it works both ways. I know Dr. Conway, to some extent. Overall, I think he is a good man. Should this story be dismissed because of that?

Your rating: None Average: 2 (5 votes)

Well, the dismissal of opinion is in regards to "I'd prefer to have him with a gun around me than you (someone I don't know)" when the question was if someone would want to have someone around who portrayed themselves as I described from a quick passing glance (average 5 seconds you see of someone close up on the street) from the snapshot, and comparing it to the opinion the average american who doesn't know him would have.

Now, personally, I don't know Insane_Kangaroo. He might not be like that at all. He might be a fantastic person who was awarded a medal of honor and saved 1000 babies from a burning building. Or he could be David Koresh reincarnated.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (8 votes)

Being picked up by police does not mean a crime took place. In neither event was he actually sent to trial. Why? Because _no crime was committed_. Even the police had to admit this.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (8 votes)

I get the feeling we're not getting the full story.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (9 votes)

One party does not want there to be a story. I can only work with what I have.

I gave Anthrocon the opportunity to clarify and respond and was rebuffed. I did not seek to "punish" them for this, but it's quite possible that there's more to be said, or that my understanding of their words is incorrect. I strongly suggest reading the sources for yourself and making your own mind up.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (25 votes)

Wow. "Opportunity to clarify and respond?" Seriously?

Who the fuck do you think you are?

Sorry dude, you just lost about every thread of goodwill i ever had for you. What, you think you're some hardcore reporter on the beat?

I'm floored you'd stick your nose in this at all, let alone support a total shitbag like ross.

I'm very disappointed in you.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (14 votes)

I'm trying to be, yes. I tried to do the right thing. I made it clear to AC what I thought they meant, and I asked them to respond because I didn't want to misinterpret them. Anthrocon apparently took that as a threat.

Regardless of your feelings about Mr. Ross's actions, or mine (hint: I don't like guns either), the fact is that AC appears to have said things that were not true. They used that to justify his ban. This suggests to me that AC based its decision on flawed information, or it doesn't care. Either of these is a problem.

I know to some supporters of AC the "right thing" would have been not to talk about this at all. I disagree with that viewpoint. You can't run a 4000-person convention and not expect people to talk about your decisions. It's just not reasonable, especially when other furry conventions look to AC for policy leadership.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (23 votes)

oh totally outside the realm of what ac wants, i think you're just a total histrionic attention whore and giving voice to every whackjob shitbag in the fandom does nobody any service whatsoever, except YOU.

sorry, woodward and bernstein you are not.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (8 votes)

You are entitled to your opinion. And no, I'm not those people. I'm a young, untrained volunteer, trying to do what I think is right. If you wish to comment further on that, the place is here.

Anthrocon has banned other people before. I did not raise those cases because I did not feel it was in the public interest. Put simply, the reasons were good enough. Even the Prawst one was clearly due to being a jerk at the con itself and being proud enough of it to post videos.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

"histrionic"

I might suggest that you engage in some introspection. You are appearing to be quite histrionic yourself.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

As much as I disagree with the doc's decision, at least he's running the show and not you.

I'm sure Woodward and Bernstein had people calling them attention whores too. Particularly those who liked Nixon or didn't think the US should look bad no matter the cost.

Heck, Nixon at least allowed himself to be interviewed.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (10 votes)

Flayrah is supposed to be about fandom news. How is this _not_ fandom news? Or are we all just supposed to Not Talk About certain things?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

He supports the first amendment with as much zeal as the second apparently...

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Well said, Triggur. Not.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

Quite a few furries will get pissed at you if you make the fandom look bad. We already look bad anyway and that image will not change. When will we not care how other people look at us?

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (11 votes)

When people stop making us look bad.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (22 votes)

Saying that he was banned for open carry is like saying Hannibal Lechter was arrested for cooking dinner. Anthrocon did not ban a man for carrying a firearm. They banned a potentially dangerous, irresponsible person who gave every indication of being "not all there." The fact that this person had a gun only made it worse.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (8 votes)

Let's please not cast aspersions about the psychological profile of someone we don't even know. The guy was abiding by the law, and the convention rules, and so he should not be banned. If he was doing either of these things then there might be a case for him being banned, but he wasn't, so there isn't. He has attended the convention twice before without incident, but I fail to see how this was taken into consideration when deciding to ban him. The ban should be lifted as there is no good reason for having banned him in the first place.

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (7 votes)

Based on what everything I've read, I don't believe the ban was necessary, and has actually caused a mini "Streisand effect" in that it has caused more backlash than had Dr. Conway sent, say, a simple warning letter.

I also believe there is shit all anyone can do about it. Kage's con, Kage's rules. I've seen no proof (if such a thing exists) of the "undue panic" or "imminent public danger", and while I don't believe the public's outrage over behavior protected as a civil right should be ban-worthy, I am also not in charge of Anthrocon. Perhaps gun-toting furries are the public's worst nightmare?

That said, I highly doubt Dr. Conway's actions were taken in malice, and there *are* plenty of other great cons. It's just a shame things had to play out like this.

P.S. as Rabbbit above, this comment is written under the presumption that the facts present are correct and complete.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (10 votes)

I know a little more about the airport incident based on what InsaneKangaroo told me and in my opinion he just wasn't thinking that with an airport being a mix of people from around the country wouldn't be aware of local laws and reported him for having a holstered firearm as he was leaving into the city. Personally I would have carried concealed until I was in the city just to avoid stuff like that, but that's just me. But he was never at the time dawning anything that would openly label him as a furry so there was no connection between him and the con at the time. I know nothing really of the incident regarding the restaurant so I can't comment on that.

As for Kage, its no secret he is a nazi about his PG view of the fandom. If anything you do reaches the realm of PG-13 or greater watch out for his ban hammer if he learns you're attending AC. Just look at Prawst. Banned for posting youtube videos of him and his friends goofing off at cons? I mean come on seriously? If you're going to ban people for that then why not ban fursuiters having fursuit sex shown on XTube or Yifftube? Or banning furries for misrepresenting the fandom on sexually oriented themed national TV shows? That is A LOT more adult and decremental to the fandom then seeing a bunch of young adults playing Red Rover at FC2010 or playing MST3K on scenes they recorded at other cons.

What Insane's incident is Kage banning him out of fear because he knows he has a firearm and that he carries one outside his home for self defense. Plain and simple. Prawst's incident is just Kage stroking his own ego. Plain and simple.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (10 votes)

Furries with firearms? Certainly some of the most stable people I know. What could possibly go wrong?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

While I know you're being sarcastic the gun furries I know personally are some of the most stable and drama free furries I know. After all to acquire a firearm in this country you have to pass a Federal NICS check which is an up to date criminal and MENTAL history database for background checking. If either of those two things are off in your background check you're denied your purchase and in some states the state PD are notified. I have yet to meet a gun furry who buys firearms illegally on the black market.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

"Personally I would have carried concealed until I was in the city just to avoid stuff like that, but that's just me."

The problem, even while you have a concealed carry permit, you can't carry concealed in a state that doesn't honor that, which it seems a LOT don't. Thus forcing open carry.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Pennsylvania honours out-of-state concealed carried licenses from Alaska, and many other states. There is however a lot of confusion over the issue, even among law enforcement.

Mr. Ross said the officer who stopped him in 2008 thought that it meant he had to carry concealed; this is not the case. Open carry is just not restricted, except in certain locations, or if used to intimidate others, or to precipitate a "hazardous or physically offensive condition" with "no legitimate purpose of action."

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

You know, I'm going to be the voice of reason here (shock, horror), and make a suggestion.

Now, I'm going to admit straight up that I've never been to AnthroCon. I've only ever attended WishCon (which later became United Fan Con, and is now known as the Northeast Fan Experience, or NEFE), TriCon (which, I think, is now defunct) and I-Con.

However, I-Con's got a rather interesting method of handling situations like this.

Like most convetions, they have a ban on projectile weapons (e.g., guns, paintball markers, airsoft guns, and the like), and they allow bladed weapons so long as they're ziptied into their scabbards/sheaths (a technique known as "peace-bonding").

How do they enforce this policy? Simple.

By having people whose job it is to ensure that projectile weapons don't get in (by means of a reasonable search), and by having people whose job it is to go around with zipties and peace-bond bladed weapons as best as possible.

Above all, I have yet to see any reports of someone being banned from I-Con, either for improper behavior at the convention or - as is demonstrated in this report - pre-emptively.

So, as the voice of reason here, I'd like to inquire as to whether or not the folks behind AnthroCon have ever considered a similar policy.

And, on a related note, I'd like to know what their stance is on multipurpose tools. I work as a security guard, and I carry a Leatherman Kick multi-tool with me at all times - both on-duty and off - because it's a useful item to have. I never know when I'm going to need a ruler/screwdriver/wire cutter/set of pliers/etc. in my line of work, and it'd look strange for a security guard to be carrying around a full-service toolbox :P

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Members of the Dorsai (Anthrocon's security staff) sometimes carry multipurpose tools. Sgt. Steve was kind enough to provide this information; I did not include it in the article because they were clearly not carried as weapons, and I did not wish to imply that they were. I've carried one myself once or twice, for the reasons that you describe.

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Well, that's good to know. Some places are stricter than others.

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When "Die Hard in a Furry Convention" happens, let this guy know.

In the meantime, I know I'd feel better if this guy left his gun in his hotel room. Even hacker cons know better. (Seriously, poll a few on how they handle this sort of thing.)

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In the meantime, I know I'd feel better if this guy left his gun in his hotel room. Even hacker cons know better. (Seriously, poll a few on how they handle this sort of thing.)

He did not carry at the con. He carried outside of con. They banned him for purely public relations reasons.

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Yippie Kiyay, mother yiffer.

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*leaves you the following note*

Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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Oh man hahaha Ross is a friend of mine online and I was reading this about half way I was like "Oh shit your Mr.Ross!?" Hahahaha

I'll boycot AC because of this. If I do go I'll go with my ACU's and an airsoft M4 in my Fursuit!

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Please don't do that. The last thing I want when giving a fursuiter a hug is an M4 to the groin. :-)

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You should go with a picture of a naked furry carrying a gun, with everything uncensored but the gun. It would read. "AC, we got our priorities straight."

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I think the real reason he was carrying was that he wanted to make a statement, not because the neighborhood is "sufficiently dangerous." I read a little of his LJ, and it's clear (at least to me) that he simply wants to carry a gun all the time. If the con is really that dangerous to attend (which I highly doubt), then don't attend. That's the best way stay our of harm's way.

It's such a dangerous situation when, in the desire to exercise those rights we've been granted, that we end up abusing them. Our rights are not limitless. I have the right to carry a gun, that does not mean I should. It means I have the option to own one, and that right comes with a responsibility to know when and where it is appropriate to display one.

Kage made the right call. A con director has the full authority to ban anyone for any reason (or none at all). There is no "inalienable, God-given right" to attendance. And if someone's behavior it reflects badly on the con (yes, even when it happens "outside" of the con), then by all means. Don't let a few ruin things for everyone.

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"I think the real reason he was carrying was that he wanted to make a statement, not because the neighborhood is "sufficiently dangerous." I read a little of his LJ, and it's clear (at least to me) that he simply wants to carry a gun all the time. If the con is really that dangerous to attend (which I highly doubt), then don't attend. That's the best way stay our of harm's way."

He did not carry nor intend to carry at the con.

"end up abusing them"

How is it abuse to have your firearm with you at all times with-in the legal limit? The point of firearm, for quite a few people, is for protective purposes and by not having it you negate that purpose.

"when and where it is appropriate to display one"

That would be anywhere it's legal. Also "display one" almost implies he's brandishing it ( which is illegal ), as apposed to simply wearing it.

Yes Kage can ban anyone, but anyone can be upset by such actions and has a right to bitch about it.

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Guns, the ultimate recursive definition. You need more guns to protect you from guns who have guns because others have guns.

They literally sell themselves.

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The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Allegheny County issued 49,000 concealed weapon permits through March 2006 — the most of any county in the state, and less than half as many as Philadelphia.

Er, seeing that the city of Philadelphia is a county, and is located in Pennsylvania, how can Pittsburgh have issued both the most concealed carry permits of any county in the state, as well as having issued half as many as Philadelphia?

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I don't quite see what you're getting at. Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County. The article does not say that Pittsburgh issued them, just the county.

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OK, I'll make it easier for you.

Er, seeing that the city of Philadelphia is a county, and is located in Pennsylvania, how can Allegheny county have issued both the most concealed carry permits of any county in the state, as well as having issued half as many as Philadelphia?

Do you see the issue here? How can Allegheny (or Pittsburgh, for that matter, or ANY other county, have issued the most carry permits, when it then goes on to say that Philadelphia issued the most? It's like saying that the Pirates won the game, while the Phillies scored twice as many points at the end of the game.

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You are entirely correct - I mistyped. The article should say "twice as many as Philadelphia" (it issued 28,000).

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I suggest a duel at ten paces.
Weapon of choice... furry public opinion!
Winner takes Anthrocon.
Ready... GO!

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Assuming this is as much as we're going to get...

Has anyone checked with the TSA? Because if I remember, carry-on firearms are prohibited unless you're a law enforcement officer (read: police, local, federal marshall, or TSA). Let me check...

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm Yes, it's a violation of Title 49 CFR § 1544. That is a US Federal statute. That means three things:

First, the TSA actually did their job. (shocking, I know)

Second, the county prosecutors didn't do their job by turning him over to the Feds, because it was a Federal statute that was violated.

Third, Mr. Ross committed a US Federal crime. If he wanted to board a plane, the weapon would be locked up and transported in checked baggage in accordance to federal law. He did not do that. Did he make a mistake?

That said, AC's banning may be explained as "OMG TERRORIST!!!!" Until some time passes and cooler heads prevail, we must hold.

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The baggage claim is outside the federal secure area. He was picking up his gun after lawfully transporting it in a secured container.

The issue was that he took it out inside the airport building. This was a violation of a local ordinance. This ordinance was invalid (PA state legislature later reserved the right to control firearms), but the officer didn't know that, and stopped him, arrested him, and took him to detention. My understanding is that they are now no longer doing that.

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This ordinance was invalid (PA state legislature later reserved the right to control firearms), but the officer didn't know that, and stopped him, arrested him, and took him to detention. My understanding is that they are now no longer doing that.

The officer did know about the preemption statute, but he, along with the entire Allegheny County Police, didn't give a damn. Allegheny County Airport Police was contacted by PAFOA and the ACSL multiple times to rectify the situation, and they were basically figuratively told "go f*ck yourselves".

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In that case, Gray Coyote, the people with the aforementioned GFY attitude need to be relieved of duty (and, quite possibly, arrested for breaking state law).

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I feel that it would have been justified for AnthroCon officials to send him an e-mail. Not to ban him, but to remind him of the convention's rules about firearms and the like. Then, if he shows up with them, they have the right and responsibility to take the actions outlined in their rules up to and including ejection from the convention and a possible ban of temporary or permanent nature.

I do feel that the decision to ban him before he undertook such behavior was premature; one should be punished only if they break a rule, not in case they might do so.

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I might disapprove of Mr. Ross’ “in your face behavior” this is mater between the city and police vs Mr Ross not one of Anthrocon

Except it's possible that the police made it a matter between the con and the attendee, and rather than stand up and say "We're not involved in this", the convention decided that it was going to sell Ross under the bus on the altar of "keeping good relations with the police".

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The questions is did the incidents happen outside The Antrocon / Convention space? Did the police notify Athrocon?

If so and if Mr. Ross was not violating Athrocon, hotel or convention rules on firearms. Then I feel Mr. Kage has the right to ban anybody for a privately run convention, I have to say he is way out of line to ban somebody for behavior outside the fandom less the convention. I might disapprove of Mr. Ross’ “in your face behavior” this is mater between the city and police vs Mr Ross not one of Antrocon

One thing I do find distasteful of Mr. Kage is like many on the left he has a strong paternalistic bent. His paternalism tendencies show during his furries and the media talk.

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One thing I do find distasteful of Mr. Kage is like many on the left he has a strong paternalistic bent. His paternalism tendencies show during his furries and the media talk.

Why did you have to go there? Why are you thinking one-dimensionally? The "Left"/"Right" construct is meaningless in an external context; it is ineffective in actually communicating anything. To me, it's just a pair of bogeymen.

Furthermore, his paternalism is actually useful. Why do you think that non-furry media actually listen to him? Because he speaks authoritatively and paternally when explaining the fandom and the convention! He would not be an effective figure to them if he acted differently.

I suspect that this ban could be unceremoniously removed within the next year. It's purely speculation, but it seems that if this is a PR move, it will have served its purpose ("we don't tolerate weapons at the con", even if there never actually were any weapons at the con) sooner rather than later.

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To echo bersl2: I don't think this has anything to do with politics, per-se. I think it's to do with people being scared of guns, and concern — justified or otherwise — over the stability/common sense of some of the people who carry them.

I don't think the incidents really had much of a connection with Anthrocon, either.

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Why did you have to go there? Why are you thinking one-dimensionally? The "Left"/"Right" construct is meaningless in an external context; it is ineffective in actually communicating anything. To me, it's just a pair of bogeymen.

Furthermore, his paternalism is actually useful. Why do you think that non-furry media actually listen to him? Because he speaks authoritatively and paternally when explaining the fandom and the convention! He would not be an effective figure to them if he acted differently.

I disagree
The left vs. right differences is not really the issue. I have to disagree paternalism. It leads to sweeping generalizations and a false sense of moral superiority while looking at all furs as children. If I was taking to the press and Kage tries his interrupt routine, I stop and remind I do know about the press and how they work from my GOP campaign volunteer days and studying the media.

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Look people ,
The convention is a PRIVATE organisation who can decide who is and who isn't to be accepted into membership.

Personally I think they made the right decision.

We're talking of somebody who has been arrested TWICE in the city of pittsburgh for carrying a weapon in open view one of these two times in AN AIRPORT! If it was only once because the guy didn't know it was illegal, I would let it slide.. but TWICE?

Now maybe it's my canadian peaceful anti-gun nature speaking right now , but I personally wouldn't like some gun-loving idiot running around with a gun around the neighbourhood of the con.

I simply wouldn't feel safe!

And secundo , the con doesn't want to be associated with a gun-totting guy who disregards the law (he WAS told not to walk around with a gun).

I actually raise a glass to that decision.

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No, we're not. Please read the article again.

We're talking about someone who has been stopped once and not arrested, and arrested once, and found not guilty because he should not have been arrested in the first place.

Again, it's not illegal to openly carry a gun in PA, except in certain state-designated areas. Airport baggage claims are not one of them. If you do not feel safe with that, I encourage you to avoid the state of Pennsylvania until they change it.

The convention is within their rights to say "no guns" within areas that they control. The streets outside are a different matter. They don't have the Dorsai to protect people there.

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MapDark-meow: "We're talking of somebody who has been arrested TWICE in the city of pittsburgh for carrying a weapon in open view one of these two times in AN AIRPORT! If it was only once because the guy didn't know it was illegal, I would let it slide.. but TWICE?"

You see this is where you just invalidated your entire argument. If you read the story and/or the comments you would have seen he nothing he did was illegal. He was well within his legal right to carry a firearm. Each instance he was arrested for carrying was ignorance on the officer's part and each time he was released without being charged and got his gun back.

"Now maybe it's my canadian peaceful anti-gun nature speaking right now , but I personally wouldn't like some gun-loving idiot running around with a gun around the neighbourhood of the con."

I'd say you'd fit right in with the Brady Campagne. PA is very Pro-Gun with Pittsburg one of the biggest issuers of Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) Permits meaning there are many locals in Pittsburg carrying firearms concealed. Concealed carry is common place in PA. PA also honers pretty much every state CCW as a legal license which Insane Roo did have from his home state of Alaska.

"I simply wouldn't feel safe!"

There were several furs mugged at gun point at AC last year one being a good friend of mine. None of the muggers were gunfurs. The rumor I heard was the muggings apparently stopped when the muggers saw a few gunfurs openly carrying outside the con hotel. Still feel safe walking around outside the con hotel?

"And secundo , the con doesn't want to be associated with a gun-totting guy who disregards the law (he WAS told not to walk around with a gun)."

And they have every right not want to be associated with a gun owner who disregards the law lord knows I wouldn't want to be, however, Insane Roo was in total compliance with the law and the local PD made an effort to make sure all officers were aware that it is legal to openly carry without a permit after the first incident and that the TSA complied with local laws at the AirPort after the second incident. Again if you read the article and/or the comments instead of skimming or basing your opinion immediately off the article title you would have learned that.

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You might want to skip the con, then, as Pittsburgh, as was pointed out earlier, is FULL of people legally carrying guns. It issues more than twice as many permits as any other area of Pennsylvania.

Second of all, you've got poor reading comprehension; Kangaroo was arrested twice. He was not convicted, even once. He was let go both times, because he did nothing illegal. The cop was just confused as to what the law was. In this country, the fact that the cops have arrested you is not the same as you having been guilty of anything.

Third of all, I take issue with the idea that Canadians are peaceful. I've been to a Leafs game.

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Slight correction - stopped twice, arrested once. The second time he was charged and found guilty initially (due to the local ordinance), but found not guilty on appeal.

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2 the Ranting Gryphon has supported and even touted a history of using drugs that are illegal, yet he's allowed in. It's an interesting CON-nundrome. People with pot seem to be given a more positive light in today's society then a person with a firearm. Not saying they both are only entirely positive. Though while one is legal its treated as if it should be illegal, and while the other is illegal it seems to be treated as if it should be legal.

Baked Furs come to stay, Armed Furs go Away...

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The baked fur is foremost a potential danger to HIMSELF.

The guy who INSISTS and publicly announces he'll be carrying a weapon is a danger to EVERYONE.

and if you need to be explained WHY then it's sad.

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The law says he's _not_ a danger, if he's licensed. Which he was.

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Anyone who publically announces anything isn't a danger to anyone. Imagine, if you will, the man who goes. "Hey look I'm carrying a gun! Just sayin'." Will be the center of attention. And its hard to do illegal shit while everyone is watching you.

Why do you think they make it illegal to carry concealed but legal to carry open? Because people notice the gun and everyone will keep an eye on you because of it, especially police (sometimes a little too well, as is in Ross's case).

Let me put it in a way you'll understand. Hating a person because they wear a gun, because guns are tied to killing people, is equal to people who hate fursuits because it's tied to sexual deviancy.

And FYI I'm all for pot being legal, I'm just saying laws are laws, at least when the DEA busted into the medical mariquana store in CA the asshat could point at a federal law it violated (even though the state law is supposed to supersede that). These cops couldn't even do that in this case, which technically makes it worse, though honestly it doesn't piss me off so much because the mistake was realized in this case.

However though I am conservative in most things, I do believe that the freedom of speech and assembly is greater then that to bear arms. Since the doc is the leader of the assembly that is AC, he can ban anyone for any reason. Of course with freedom comes consequence and responsibility. I think he turned this into a bigger thing then it should have, though I wouldn't be so mad as to start boycotting. I understand that his job is two fold. One is to maintain order (including press control) and enjoyability of his gathering, and two is to be a major asskisser to his hosts: the hotel, and the city itself. So when a fur gets in trouble with the law, warranted or not, he feels the need to protect their diplomacy with the city. It really is a con about anthropomorphs, the political stuff will seep in as we are humans, but it is not a place to stretch out your rights. Because with those rights, as I said, comes responsibility and consequence.

The fact that Ross didn't think that people would act apeshit over an open carry was a lack of judgement on his part. I mean, people these days will call in lite brites as a bomb. Sure he comes from Alaska: where your firearm is as essential a tool as a computer is to you. However, even Sarah Palin knows that in the lower 48, that's a bit different. And if Sarah can figure that out, I'm sure Ross should have been able to.

So I'm neutral to your cause, I just put it bluntly so that you would think about it. Obviously all you did was skew it, or wrongfully assumed I think pot SHOULD be illegal. Just because you're carrying pot doesn't mean you're going to sell it to kids, or take harder stuff later on. Just because you're carrying a weapon does not mean you have the intent on using it.

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Actually you couldn't be more wrong by that statement. As Rabbit said before me he's licensed to carry a firearm. He has passed all the requirements to obtain that license which includes but not limited to certified safety training, clean criminal record, and a clean mental mental record. Considering he's putting himself through constant firearm training to ensure he's always carrying safely I don't foresee him accidentally discharging his firearm into the fursuit parade any time soon. Also the state of PA has declared that openly carrying a firearm doesn't warrant a license because everyone sees the person is armed and can act accordingly.

So yes, I want YOU to explain to everyone here how he is dangerous for having a firearm.

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Before you paint Insane-Kangaroo as a innocent furry who wound up in unfortunate circumstances, read what he wanted to do a few years ago..

http://www.akcommunity.com/index.php?action=printpage;topic=1868.0

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I believe that was actually a joke, but regardless, I don't feel it is any kind of justification to ban someone from AC.

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I agree, I think he was joking too.

But in another LiveJournal chat about this situation (e-mail me privately for the URL) Mr. Ross was described by two other furs (one who's on staff at MFF) as a "idiot" and that he was banned from #fursuit on Athrochat for being an obnoxious attention getter and harassing other furs with his pro-gun toting agenda.

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Does anyone have link to his original posts about being detained by the local police? I'd like to read them.

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First incident - second incident aftermath (read the brief).

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All I can say is that both sides of this situation make me nervous about a lot of things.

I don't think I have all the information. Given the information I do have, I don't think it's right for Roo to be disallowed attendance at the convention. I also think it rash of Roo (or anyone else) to openly carry around a convention.

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rrwoods: Well he wasn't carrying around the con. He was carrying in the city of Pittsburg not the Westin Hotel and the airport this happened at is located in Philadelphia which is located on the opposite side of the state. I don't agree with openly carrying be rash either as there are many who do it, there's just risks to doing it as Insane has had to deal with.

But otherwise yes I agree, given the information we have and the unwillingness of the AC board to discuss the matter I can't agree with the ban. I don't care too much for the guy because I think his extreme feelings for gun rights tends to cloud his judgement, but what he's going through I or any other gunfur could easily be going through as well. To me it looks like him and Prawst are being used as an examples by Kage.

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From the Examiner report, the airport was Pittsburgh, not Philadelphia.

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From how Insane was making it out on IRC when the incident happened I thought it was Philly. I stand corrected.

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You are correct. You don't have all the information. You don't even have the information in the above postings. Didn't you read? He did not carry at the convention.

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Sorry, I horrendously mistyped that. By "around" I literally mean "around"; not "in", but in the surrounding areas. Not the greatest use of the word I realize. Hell, I could be wrong about that too, but that's the impression I got anyway.

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I don't think I have all the information.

You sure it isn't a mental block in one's own head in the sense of "No, that can't just be the reason, there has to be something else".

Sometimes there isn't.

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I might have to take back some of what I said. I missed the part about it being Insane Kangaroo; therefore, there might be other reason why Kage thought the Roo was not worth the risk no taking including staking Crusader Cat to where he was trying to find personal information his family.
I am just going to leave it as it is.

He is not the one we want to defend out second amendment rights and furry fandom.

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Acton,

I've not stalked anybody, please stop getting such information from LOLfurries. The guy was harassing me and others, including sending emails to various people claiming I, among others, was threatening to kill him. After he started with those claims, someone came up to me with valid information on his whereabouts, so I called his father. He father explained to me specific information, so I try to ask people not to bother him or he'll escalate. He is no longer bother anyone, at least me, with his activities/claims/obnoxious ranting/name dropping.

I'm a model open carrier compared to others who do open carry. I don't know why you'd think I wasn't. I'm kind, courteous, and will provide help if asked when I'm open carrying anywhere. I've been to Pittsburgh during other times of the year, and each time I've not had a single issue. I've had plenty of friendly questions and people wanting advice on firearms, Pittsburgh really is nice place.

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Oh, bullshit.

You harassed and stalked him online.

After drawing porn of his fursona in order to harass him you later looked up his information and his family's information and you contacted his father at his place of business and threatened his business (with fucking drama no less, like that would actually do anything). You also called the dean of his school probably trying to get him expelled, mentioning various facts you thought were slanderous and asking her not to let him go to MFF.

You've also made various subtle threats toward him (i.e. your post in the thread @ lolfurries where you mentioned the flash mob) however none of these were actually direct, at least not the ones that I saw. It is still obvious what you implied.

This is definitely stalking and harassment, by no stretch of the imagination.

- Ricky

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Even if any of this is true it make no real difference with the subject matter at hand. Kage didn't ban him due to this issue, unless HE or any other staff member who's involved comes forward stating this to be part of the reason, then all of this is a moot point.

Really it just looks like trolling to me...

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Ok , seriously .

Easy math . Person crazy enough to stalk and harass online and offline + gun.

Make the connections.

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I think the only crazy people in the world are those who think they can judge someone's mental fortitude after reading their name and seeing a picture in an article. I can hardly do that with people I grew up around my whole life.

The day my high school, 4.0 student, most violent video game he had in his house was a copy of the PC version of clue (the board game), friend snapped and killed his mother I was completely caught off guard.

He had his reasons, as I came to find out later after he talked to the papers a year later about the waning relationship with his mother, who behind closed doors was pretty hard on him for the way his voice sounded. She finally ragged on him enough where he just snapped.

While I do think there is something crazy about someone wanting to carry a firearm because OMG muggers are everywhere and they're coming for you!! There's also something crazy about people who are scared of the person carrying cause OMG they might snap and shoot me. Both feelings are extremely paranoid.

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If you are going to make allegations, please link your sources for them.

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What does this have to do with Kage banning someone for carry outside of the con?

If that was the reason for the ban, there would be no support of him whatsoever, but it isn't. You're mixing up issues that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Sorry, Crusader Cat doesn't deserve consideration, as he's a closet case homophobe that reports Paul Cameron, like a hateful prick. Calling up his parents when he's using THEIR internet connection and so on, is perfectly A-OK with me.

However, all of that stuff between Paden and David has no bearing on this issue.

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I was replying to IK.

I don't know if this had anything to do with Kage's decision to ban him.

He's still a creepy prick and I'm glad it happened.

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Ricky,
Please stop with rumor and false information. If you'd like the whole story, I'll tell you. This is not the place for it.

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Agreed, this isn't the place for it ( though I do understand your need to defend yourself ) since it has NO bearing on the subject at hand.

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I'll contact you via IM

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Sorry...but all the bitching is really leading away from the central issue. Whether Ross carried at the convention grounds is immaterial. Ross was registered as an attendee of a convention. He walks to and from said event to a hotel where he's paying for a discounted rate negotiated by said convention. He traveled to Pittsburgh specifically to attend said event. Whether he likes it or not, he's a reflection of that convention so long as he maintains that membership.

The document describing his revocation of membership said it was specifically due to his lack of judgment for attempting to holster his weapon at an airport where a passerby noticed and was alarmed. The convention management believes this lack of judgment could lead to some other action. If it did and they allowed a person to simply register and attend, they'd be crucified for such a decision....and there isn't a rational person reading this that doesn't know that would be the case.

By taking completely legal steps, that convention has protected itself from what they perceive to be a troublemaker. If Ross ever creates an issue, they have insulated themselves by not allowing him to attend.

I think it also bears mentioning that many people feel it's appropriate to travel and behave as they choose to. Anthrocon has shown it has some balls by saying "Enough...if you want to act like an asshat, we don't want you here." I say bravo to them for it. They are within their rights to do so, and I for one am glad that they did.

Ross from all his rhetoric, talks about legality. Not once does he talk about how his behavior makes others feel. And when it comes to private organizations, THAT IS THE ISSUE. And since there isn't anything illegal that Anthrocon has done, Ross is doing nothing to endear himself to the convention management to make them want to let him back. Let him continue to flex his 2nd ammendment rights all he wants, but stop bitching about Anthrocon's Constitutionally protected rights to say "We don't want you here."

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Given I'm more level headed than most people, I can't agree with your logic. Unless of course incorrect statements were fed to Anthrocon's board. People should load their firearms where lawful, not any later.

There are plenty of guns in the convention space from conceal carry, some which drink. Fursuiters conceal carry as well, just not many.

Would it be a legal issue? no. If a con-goer was mugged and killed a person in self defense, Anthrocon would have ZERO liability.

Also, I have talked about how others feel, a great deal. I've open carried for the past 3 years almost all the time when in public. I'll have you know both in PA and AK, open carry is acceptable. Open carry is acceptable in Pittsburgh, just like open carry is acceptable in Philly. I will be touring Philly during my trip to PA this summer, of which I'll also be open carrying. I was also in Pittsburgh late last year, no issues. There were curious people, but they were curious in a good way.

You need to stop with your one sided attitude, and look at the facts. Looking at what one person says versus obtaining other information elsewhere is very ignorant.

How about going on opencarry.org or pafoa.org and asking about open carry in Pittsburgh? Are you afraid of being wrong?

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There are plenty of guns in the convention space from conceal carry, some which drink. Fursuiters conceal carry as well, just not many

Would it be a legal issue? no. If a con-goer was mugged and killed a person in self defense, Anthrocon would have ZERO liability..

If what I think you are saying is true (i.e., there are in fact firearms being brought into the con space, and some of those carrying may be intoxicated), do you have any idea how scandalous that is and how thoroughly it validates Anthrocon's actions?

EDIT: s/them/those carrying/

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I updated my entry after you posted, so I'll answer your question quoted.

I'm aware there are people who drink while armed, and I frown upon such individuals. I stay absolutely dry until my firearms are locked up, it's a personal rule. I don't touch drugs, I'd prefer illicit drugs not even be in the same hallway as myself.

Gun owners shouldn't be judged based on stereotypes or stupid people.

In regards to what I mean, its like saying "All furries have sex with animals" over a few encounters in the news.

There are level headed people out there, I'm one of them.

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Except there's no evidence that there was a "passerby", let alone an alarmed one. Read the brief:

"...when a federal officer observed him after he had retrieved his handgun out of his checked luggage and had placed the handgun into a belt holster around his waist."

That's the thing. The whole premise is that the choice to wear a firearm scared the public. But where's the proof?

The board of Anthrocon, Inc. can ban who they like, for whatever1 reason they like. But they should expect people to be curious about why, and perhaps to disagree with them from time to time. And if they make stuff up about "extreme and undue panic" or "disruption of goodwill," they should expect to be called on it. I don't think that's unfair.

If they had just settled for "we think you're an asshat," we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

1 Within the limitations mentioned in the article

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Yeah the conversation would be "No Uncle Kage is an asshat..." "No Ross is an asshat" "NO KAGE" "NO ROSS" "NO U!"

Oh... wait... guess it wouldn't be that different...

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This validates the need for open carry where it is legal. The public plays too many video games and watches too much TV and movies which drive their prejudices and fears. It's part of why I half conceal carry myself, it's the same reason others openly carry quite often. Not simply as a deterrent but also to let people know people do have guns and they're not used for illegal purposes all the time.

Otherwise if no one know Joe, Bobby or Sue has/might have a firearm, for various reasons. They might consider their rights ( as their rights are constantly on the chopping block ) to own and use such weapons in a lawful reasonable manner. Look you have to face facts, those who are going to use guns for illegal/immoral purposes will get they weather they are legal or not. Also you can't fully rely on the police to protect you in any and every situation. Sometimes you must do that for yourself by whatever means are available.

He has every right to carry in the situations he was approached by officers. You might even say the county was purposely breaking the law ( and should be punished for it ). KI was in the right in both those situations. It's time for people to start owning up for their own issues and especially stop victimizing the actual victims.

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"Given I'm more level headed than most people, I can't agree with your logic."

I've got no dog in this hunt, but I will point out that your statement is a bona-fide 'Catch-22'.

Anybody who truly believes that he's more level-headed than most people is automatically suspect.

Personally, I'd be more swayed if everyone else believed that person was more level-headed.

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Hmm, okay. Let me place a thought in your head.

You know how typical furrries display themselves in real life. You know nice ones, then you know the stereotypes which are often truth more than fiction.

"open carry" is very much the same way. Even before I started to just dress in uniforms because I noticed some issue with with people not liking me because I'd wear anything from office clothes to jeans and a t-shirt. I noticed the best reactions and curiosity when I'm rather in uniform, or in a nice set of slacks. I'm not going to buy expensive pairs of slacks to dress in every day.

You'd have to meet me to see I'm level headed. If kids are around and you start talking about adult subjects, I'll ask you to quiet it down. Which I've done in the past while with a furry group in Pittsburgh. People need to maintain themselves and an image when out in groups.

You can yell at me, hit me with ill intent, I will not budge, get angry, or get mad. I would very much ask you what's your problem and is there anything wrong.

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You miss the point.

Anytime you enter an argument with a flat statement along the lines of "I'm more level-headed than anybody else in the room", you are immediately suspect of being biased, prejudicial, and not just a little bit egotistical. Regardless of whether or not the statement is true, you have just insulted everybody else, deserving or not, and set yourself as the bar that all others must aspire to. That statement and the attitude it reflects will convince more people you are wrong more compellingly than any facts or logic would convince them that you could be right.

Convince us that you're level-headed without telling us that you're level-headed.

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The only way people will see I'm level headed is by being around me, which means they'll have to not prejudge me based on appearance. I'm sorry if I offended you by my comment.

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Anybody who truly believes that he's more level-headed than most people is automatically suspect.

Personally, I'd be more swayed if everyone else believed that person was more level-headed.

Which is an impossibly high standard, considering the political and social bigotry of certain segments of the population towards types of people who are disliked for either something they can't control, or something that they can control either.

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It's funny that they ban Ross for carrying outside the con while I walked around the con with a pistol on my hip. I think Dr Conway is pulling a fast one here, I know I won't be returning to AnthroCon.

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Maybe he's starting to believe he's a 50' tall megawolf that can squish people who annoy him. Or a samurai cockroach who can dice up those people? ;)

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

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I'd like to see how that fifty-foot-tall megawolf handles being strafed by a White Star ;)

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It's funny that they ban Ross for carrying outside the con while I walked around the con with a pistol on my hip. I think Dr Conway is pulling a fast one here, I know I won't be returning to AnthroCon.

Wait, what?!!!

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Exactly. That's the kind of acknowledgment making me do double-takes and make posts like the one I did most recently. No one with clean hands should be banned because law enforcement screws up, but these admissions lead me to believe that Anthrocon is banning him to make an example to the other carrying furs who have been attending the con.

The message, if these are to be believed, is unambiguous: "Do not bring weapons into Anthrocon. If you do not wish to follow this rule, do not come, or you will be removed." That is how I translate the action into words. It's unfortunate that someone must be singled out, but perhaps they think that will cause less damage than being overzealous with the bans while still accomplishing the same goal. If this is true, then the ban is quite justifiable.

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Well, here's what AC had to say about that:

Please let me stress that we have undertaken this action not because you have exercised your right to bear arms, but rather because you have done so in such a fashion as to create a significant amount of distress to the public at large and to disrupt the goodwill of the city of Pittsbugh toward Anthrocon and its attendees.

Now, this could mean "we think you should concealed carry", or "we think the way you're open carrying is wrong." The trouble is, I don't see how it's possible for anyone to open carry on the way to or from or in the vicinity of the convention if AC sees being stopped or arrested for lawfully carrying firearms as a reason to ban. (Never mind that, in theory, neither case should repeat themselves because the police have been trained on the limits of the law.)

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The problem is, it's turned into a bit of a fiasco for AC, because they picked the wrong guy to make an example of.

I don't know what they expected him to do, but somehow I don't think this was the outcome they had in mind - and, of course, their refusal to discuss the matter isn't helping them anyway.

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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I walked around the whole time with .45 Remington on my hip and in plain sight and I was never given any trouble by the staff or the con goers. I think the ban on Ross is unfair.

I am proud of my history, My girl and my way of life. Deo Vindice!

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And this relates to me how?

I call a giant failwhale on this... As if drawing attention to the issue was bad enough, do we really need to turn it into easily-exploitable trollfodder? Yeesh.

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Kage has shown is distaste towards furs that draws unfavorable attention to the fandom and " his" con before. He threatened to ban anyone from AC who was involved in the BBC show Anna in Wonderland's furry episode when the first letters of inquiry went out. Several of my friends, and the chairman of another con all got that letter with the ban threat. Some of the furs he threatened to ban had not been or hasn't been to AC in years. Banning or threating to ban someone because of" bad PR" weather or not it is even AC related or not is not new for Kage.

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Good for Kage.

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No it's not good. Blanket baning without even seeing what was produced, no mention of AC in any of the video produced. A letter of inquirey went out from the BBC. He made the involved your banned statement. This happened in the same time frame when he said no one should be talking to the press period.....execpt for him.

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While I'm not keen on dragging up drama from a decade ago, I do encourage people to watch the show, and consider whether limiting the pool of people willing to be on it helped or hurt the fandom.

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Personally, I think this blanket ban, of sorts on contact with the media is kind of a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have the ones who are just there to make a freak show out of it who are best avoided. On the other hand, it drives all the more level-headed people away from it, so you just end up with the more eccentric people, as that episode of Anna in Wonderland shows. It appears to me that they were genuinely trying to see what the fandom is really like (the BBC is, generally a pretty respectable broadcaster), but due to these threats from Kage, they only got it from the point of view of these particular types of people. In that respect, this particular instance more hurt than helped the fandom image. Yes, you should be careful with what you show the media. But there is such a thing as being too careful, and it can come back to bite you in the ass. QED.

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I say it is good for Kage that, this incident notwithstanding, that he understands how easily it is for the fandom to shoot itself in the foot (pardon the pun) through careless acts and negative publicity and takes steps to rein it in, as much as the con is able to do so. Kage has gone out of his way to attract good PR for the fandom and works hard to help maintain it, in spite of any number of dumb and ill-considered and badly thought out actions by any number of fans over the years. He might make a slip-up now and again, but he, more than anyone else it seems, is at least trying to rein in the fandom's worst excesses.

In the words of Warren Buffet, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it."

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I agree fully, Chuck. Now, how many people base their entire view of furry fandom on your piece in _Skunk_?

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And that piece was mild compared to what I could say today on the same topic.

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What, how we've degenerated from online roleplayers to guys arguing in internet chatrooms about what's more destructive to the fandom, being bashed by outsiders or being bashed from within? How we furries have sad, fantasy lives instead of relationships with real people? Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can check out my FA page for a pic of my boyfriend and I.

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Nice guns. *cough*

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Thanks. They won't be at the con, although, when AC was in Philadelphia, I regularly ran trips to the local shooting range during the trip. We invited Kage, of course.

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Or on how what was once a fandom of anthropomorphic art and stories has transformed itself into an engine of fantasy-based pornography. That would certainly be a timely commentary. The foibles that Skunk poked at over a decade and a half ago are nothing compared to what it could satirize today.

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Oh, Bullshit. In 1991, plenty of porn was available. Lots of people were drawing porn. YOU were drawing porn. It wasn't so easy to come by, but in 1988 lots of artists were drawing porn, too. The market spoke. Porn is what it asked for. Porn, and the occasional violence, especially if it's violence where tits are visible. This is what separates us from comic book fandom. They get tits with their violence, we get violence with our tits.

The internet has just made the porn all that more easily available. In 1988, if I wanted porn, I'd send snailmail to one of a dozen artists who liked what I liked, and, lo and behold, porn would be snailmailed to me. FurVersion, Omaha the Cat Dancer, Furplay, folios by Shon Howell, and photocopies from Quag, Mike Sherman (RIP), Q Apazine, Goodies, Centaur's Gatherum, Gallery, I could go on and on. You're just mad because Seeker's Quest and Warriors of Katar were second-rate fantasy pastiches and lost out to sexier, more violent stuff that tickled our fancies and were better eye candy. Has anyone else here even HEARD of these comics?

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Has anyone else here even HEARD of these comics?

Seeker's Quest, yes, but I was editing the WikiFur article about Chuck at the time. I believe you on the porn, from what I read. I think we just have more of it to choose from now. But this is getting off-topic. :-)

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Chuck is bound to start whingeing whenever the subject of the fandom 'changing' comes up. Oddly, the fandom's always been full of gun owners.

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What we had was a lot of sexy material, yes. Pin-ups and naked bunnies and the like. But percentage was much lower, and people were putting out a lot of other work -- a lot more so -- that wasn't harder than PG-13. Even FURVERSION had a standard rule of no sex -- you could show the parts, but not in motion. And a balance still existed: for every OMAHA, there was a USAGI YOJIMBO or an ALBEDO; for every FURVERSION (which, in spite of its name, did not center on porn but presented a respectable range of furry material from G to R) there was a YARF!; for every Q there was a ROWRBRAZZLE; for every FURPLAY, there was a MYTHAGORAS.

Somewhere along the way, the line was not only crossed, but high-vaulted, to where just about the only focus for any furry venue is pornography of the widest and most tasteless variety. The collective imagination has become stunted and unable to produce that isn't sexually explicit, and seems to have reached a point where it celebrates its own vapidness. Worse, is that a lot of the best and most talented artists are caught in a trap where if they don't produce such works, they can't sell, and their labors go unrewarded. If they want to recoup their expenses or shore up their sagging expenses, they'll likely have to sodomize a fox for someone's pleasure. And many of these talents deserve so much better.

Furry Fandom used to be a font of imagination before it became a pimp, but nowadays the fans just aren't trying anymore.

GreenReaper's right. This is getting off-topic and probably deserves a proper forum elsewhere. We should get back to bitching about guns.

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Translation: "HEY YOU KIDS! GET OFF MY LAWN!!"

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

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You'll notice that the non-porn that was good, is still with us. And, while the choice of porn is wide, as you say, 'tasteless' is a matter of what gets you off- You are kinky, I have an alternate lifestyle, he is a pervert.

FurVersion had a standard rule, Kyim broke it whenever it suited them, especially in text stories. YARF had a no nipples rule; Lance broke it whenever it suited him.

Usagi Yojimbo's still around. I think Omaha was deep sixed again, wasn't it? Mythagoras ran what, four issues?

So, what's lasted? Well, Usagi Yojimbo seems to be the ultimate winner. It lacks gore and porn, and yet I keep buying it. I purchased Cerebus for years. I gave up on Red Shetland - sometimes a one joke comic goes on for too long. I dropped Furrlough when the submission quality dropped markedly. Genus (and Genus Male) have varied in quality a lot over the years. 'zines are pretty much gone; I haven't seen a new Rowrbrazzle in years and with the internet being availible, I see little reason for APAs; one could argue that FA is a huge APAzine, without collating or postage fees.

Anyway, back to guns. I'll be headed to the range this Saturday, to shoot with the local Pink Pistols group. www.pinkpistols.org

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So, what's lasted? Well, Usagi Yojimbo seems to be the ultimate winner. It lacks gore and porn, and yet I keep buying it.

That's because Mr. Sakai actually knows how to create a story that is continuously engaging. Mainly because he does this for a living. No other furry artist has been able to "make it" unless they've been able to do that one, single thing. Many of his characters are "one-sided", but he knows that such characters should be seen only rarely, such a Jei or Lone Goat, while others should be seen at least once in every issue, such as the Woodcutter and his Wife, because they almost never speak.

Also, Mr. Sakai actually FINISHES STORIES!

In the entire history of Furrlough, there are only a few stories where the artist didn't flake out or angst out, didn't lose their job, didn't get bored or didn't try to squeeze more money. "Here Comes A Candle", by Mary-Hanson Roberts. Also, anything by Donna Barr, such as "Hader & The Colonel".

In short, professional artists who finish what they started.

THAT is why you like "Usagi Yojimbo".

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

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Hader & The Colonel actually ran in ZU, not Furrlough. And was later collected in a trade.

And it should be noted that Furrlough itself ran a prodigious one hundred and eighty-odd issues before running into distribution woes. Not bad for an anthology comic, let alone a furry anthology.

Actually, there were quite a few furry comics that were completed or are still ongoing, or when they were being published featured complete stories. Shanda and Xanadu both come to mind. We did a few mini-series at MU, like Corus and CyberKitties. Gold Digger is also still running, I believe, and Extinctioners tries to come out as often as it can. Smudge is still working on Ebin & May, even though it's shifted to an online presence only at the moment, and she has had some off and on health problems over the last couple of years. Certainly we ran complete serialized stories in ZU, with the exception of Frontiers, which was later completed in a trade edition.

And in defense of a lot of writers and artists who have done work on the furry comics: a lot of us haven't been paid for it, or else we don't get paid very much. It really is a labor of love, or else we wouldn't bother at all -- but when the opportunity comes to do a job elsewhere for real money, well, the bills must be paid after all. And the reason we don't get paid much is because the publishers can't sell enough copies and are forced to run on a shoestring budget. Ask Elin at Radio -- she can't even get the books distributed anymore unless she upgrades them to trades.

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Moderation note: I deleted a reply to this post because I felt it crossed the line between fair comment on a public figure's public actions vs. those in a private, unofficial context. The fact that this piece is critical of an official action is not a blank check to drag up everything about that official's private life.

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Being that I know the person who was banned personally, I believe this action was unfair. If no direct rules were violated, there should be no permit to ban.

The person in question is also highly trained, and I know for a fact would not use a firearm, even in self defense, unless all other ways to handle the situation were compromised.

I also believe Dr. Conway has wanted to ban Mr. Ross for quite some time. There has always been tension between them, due to opposing views. While I cannot prove any of this, and my opinion will change nothing of this, I do think that this situation should be studied further and prevented in the future.

Also, the rules would need to be absolutely clear what is and is not allowed, rather than constantly being placed in a gray area.

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I was one of the people who had been mugged at Anthrocon 2008. I was walking to Primanti Brothers when a man approached me and put a knife to my gut. He demanded I haded him my wallet, but I told him that I didn't have it and that all I had was $40 in my pocket. I gave him that and he ran.

He put me in a situation where I was genuinely afraid for my life. PA code states "Deadly force itself is not justifiable unless 'the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat.'" Had I been 21, gone through the motions to get a WV Handgun Permit, and actually had a handgun on me, that person would most likely no longer be living.

Someone's going to say "You'd shoot someone over $40?" I had far more money on me than $40. I kept spare cash in my pocket just in case something like this happened. I had close to $500 in my wallet, as well as all of my other important information (ID, bank cards, SS card, etc) and could have had my identity stolen as well.

Pittsburgh is a very nice city, but just because the rate is lower doesn't mean that it can't happen to you. I carry so I can protect myself, because who knows if that man would have stabbed me before he ran off. People will kill others over $40. I'd only shoot someone to save my own life. I know I'm going to have someone say "You should just let the police handle it", but how could I call the police if he had stabbed me and taken my cell phone? How long would it take for them to get there, and by that time how far will he be from there?

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I agree with you 100% Roj. If someone has you held up with a weapon don't ever assume they don't intend to use it. A good friend of mine was mugged at gun point. Furries who attend AC or any con for that matter are considered easy targets by criminals because lets face it, we don't exactly have the reputation of Marines. Much of the fandom is looked down upon as young liberal freaks who are more then likely unarmed and while attending a con more then likely we're also tourists which are known to carry lots of money and/or expensive electronics on them.

As for the cell phone comment I also agree.. When seconds count the Police are minutes away.

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" I was walking to Primanti Brothers when a man approached me and put a knife to my gut. He demanded I haded him my wallet... Had I been 21, gone through the motions to get a WV Handgun Permit, and actually had a handgun on me, that person would most likely no longer be living. "

If a man has a knife poking into your gut, how fast can you reach for your gun, draw, aim and shoot it before he disembowels you? Odds are, you're being 21 or not, he would have stolen the gun as well as the money; whether you were alive or not afterwards would have depended largely on whether or not you made a move for that gun.

Carrying a gun is not a guarantee of safety. It's not even a guarantee that you'll be able to use it. Circumstance and practacality count for a lot in encounters like these. Given the situation you described, you did the best thing possible, giving him the $40.

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If he was concealed carrying I agree. If you have a knife contacting anywhere vital you've already lost the fight and best give them something so they leave you alone then let the cops handle it. This is where open carrying like Insane does offers more protection. The thug with the knife, unless he has balls of steel, would most likely move on to another potential target. After all if you were to mug someone who would you more likely target: the woman with a glock 19 on her hip or the young college boy walking down the street?

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The rule of knife vs gun is that if the perp is less than 12' away, you're going to get stabbed. An adult human can cover 12' in less time than it takes to draw a weapon, even open carry. So if they come up and put the knife in your gut, give them the money, THEN draw your gun and politely ask for it back.

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

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I'm not going to deny that a human can cover 12' in the time it would take to unholster a weapon. There are IDPA matches that use a moving target that is 21' away. The target stands up and starts moving at you in a speed that as fast as a sprint, and you are to unholster your weapon and fire as many shots into it before it stops right at you.

However there are tricks to getting away from someone who has a knife to your gut. When you return with a gun to their gut or head, most people will drop the knife because they do want to live. If they stab you, you fire back. In that situation I wouldn't have even given them the time to think about it before I got at least one slug off into his gut.

I'd rather get stabbed and know that I put my attacker in the ground instead of lose my dignity and give someone who doesn't deserve something I worked for. Criminals do not care about you, and the police are there to catch a criminal after a crime has been committed.

Do I wish to take another person's life? Never. Do I wish this would happen again? Never. Though I'd rather be able to defend myself instead of relying on the police who seem to take their dear old sweet time to get to you when those seconds count.

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At that distance, I wouldn't have to aim very much. Don't use the "he'll use your gun against you" because that situation does not happen often.

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This comment might smell troll-y, but it's not meant to be. Only a kick in the butt to get some here to think in other directions:

Let's say there's a country where murdering people or raping are legal. Perfectly okay. Would you allow somebody that did these things into te US, or even your convention? This somebody never did it here. Still, you'd not like him/her, right? And you'd want him/her to stay the fuck away from you and the ones dear to you.

It's the same here. He might not have carried at AC. Yes, he only did legal things. That doesn't mean you want to be associated with someone like him, though - let alone risk him doing it at AC after all.

I think it perfectly reasonable to judge somebody by his behavior outside the con, because you can expect that while he might even have obeyed all the rules until now, his mindset is still the same outside and at the con.

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I think it perfectly reasonable to judge somebody by his behavior outside the con, because you can expect that while he might even have obeyed all the rules until now, his mindset is still the same outside and at the con.

Huh?

You do realize people have different mindsets in certain activities? I've different mindsets when I'm hiking in the woods where areas are dense full of bears or coyote. Just as I've a different mindset for walking around in small cities, walking around in a large city, hiking on the track, and certainly going to social outings.

You're claim of being in one mindset is preposterous.

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Maybe it is because I'm not a native English speaker, and my understanding of "mindset" is wrong.

What I meant to say is you'll always be the same person, with the same history, the same instinctive reflexes and views of the world, and the same "inside reactions", however well you might keep them under control usually.
And because of that, you might be the same danger there as anywhere, and I can only applaud Mr. Conway for not taking a risk.

Jojo

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What I meant to say is you'll always be the same person, with the same history, the same instinctive reflexes and views of the world, and the same "inside reactions",

You're talking about 'fight or flight', which is exactly why I go to training every year. Last year I went to 40 hours, this year I'm hoping to achieve 80.

There is a big difference between someone is is just carrying a gun and a person who is trained in using different firearms with tactical training.

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No, I'm not. I'm talking about like/dislike/hate, superiority/inferiority, active aggression/passive aggression/calmness(not only physical), dominance/subordination... to put it in a nutshell, all your reactions towards different people, different cultures, different circumstances. There is so much more in human psychology and behavior than just fight or flight.

And apart from that - you might even be the unusual single one miracle of kindness and calmness - but what about the next guy? A line has to be drawn *somewhere*, because AC, as I'm sure, doesn't have enough staff to personally and thoroughly check up on every attendee.

So - with an opinion that differs from theirs and what they want to see at their con, you're not welcome anymore. Get over it, it's a priate party, and there are literally dozens more.

With the whole drama shitstorm that's happening atm, you're more likely to not be welcome at other cons as well if anything.

Jojo

PS: If that post sounds a little confusing, than that's because it's quite late already and I had a very long day after a very short night. :P

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I'm sorry, but your argument is very tin foil hat. I've heard such arguments from both sides, "They're going to take away our guns!" to "There will be shootouts like the Wild Wild West if everyone open carriers." There are no truth to these, people must trust people. This is life, and people must "deal with it" so to speak. I talk about being around others, in other words, being tolerant.

I've been contacted by staff from several others cons welcoming me to the specific con in which they're staff long as I do what I've done with AC, not carry the firearm to the convention. All have stated they don't care if I open carry outside of the convention, long as I'm not breaking the law. Of which, I don't carry anything furry on me or in relation to anything convention related, which is why people are okay with me.

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Let's say there's a country where murdering people or raping are legal. Perfectly okay. Would you allow somebody that did these things into te US, or even your convention? This somebody never did it here. Still, you'd not like him/her, right? And you'd want him/her to stay the fuck away from you and the ones dear to you.

So, JoJo, you're making open pistol carry in a holster the same as being a murderer or a rapist?

Well, at least you're honest about your social and political bigotry, though I question your sanity and your worldview if you think carrying a piece of metal in public is the same as people who violate someone else's body, or take their life.

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It's an analogy. A harsh one, I give you that, but that was to get some people thinking.
What you call "not tolerable" can be perfectly okay to other people, and the other way around.

You might call rape and murder bad - other cultures might not. But at your party, your opinion is the one that counts, so murderers and rapists stay out, of course.

They might call "open carry" bad - your culture might not. But at their party, their opinion is the one that counts, so "open carriers" stay out, of course.

See? Not so hard, is it? It's all just a matter of perspective.

Jojo

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I'd be more comfortable with that if I was sure the initial decision fully reflected the feelings of Anthrocon members and the entire facts of the matter. But remember, AC is not actually a "membership organization."

Of the ~4000 people likely to come to "the party," only nine people are involved in making this sort of decision. Eight of them have been around for (at least) the last five years. To take your country analogy:

These nine people are the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. They are also the electorate. The same guy heads all three. He is directly accountable only to those who report to him. (There's international law as well, but you can get away with a lot within your borders.)

Now, this fusion of powers works fairly well for the most part. Anthrocon is an effective organization. If the board is relatively static, at least it has a good mix of backgrounds. But it's not hard to see that it relies heavily on its leader and their views, even if there are technically eight other people in government.

This leader both makes and prepares research to help the rest of government make decisions all the time. They have a lot of influence. So when people disagree with some aspect of how the country is run, it's understandable if they point the finger rather than assume it's the will of the people.

We live in a world of many differently-run countries. There is far more choice than there was a decade ago. But people look to the largest for guidance, so even those not living in it have a stake in its decisions.

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The thing is, Chuck, if Roj had been open-carrying a gun he likely would not have been targeted by the mugger.

Your average mugger generally preys on those who appear to be "soft targets" (i.e., people who appear to be unarmed and hesitant to engage in conflict, even for self-defense) - much like the common-or-garden schoolyard bully.

Given the choice between an obviously-armed potential victim and a seemingly-unarmed one, who do you think the mugger will target?

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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I agree. But that wasn't the given scenario. Roj stated that he was accosted by a man who held a knife to his gut; he then states that if he'd had a gun on him, he'd have shot and killed the mugger. Which would have been unlikely in that specific scenario, as he would have likely been dead if he had made any kind of a move to his gun.

If he'd been carrying open, then it is likely that the scenario would have never occurred, as you say. (Unless, for some reason, the mugger didn't see the gun, despite it being carried openly.) But his suggestion was a reaction to the actual event, which could have only occurred if he was carrying concealed or not carrying at all.

I'll also add that even carrying it openly isn't necessarily a guarantee either, if the mugger can get the drop on you by poking the knife in your gut before you can draw the gun. (Although your point about muggers wanting 'soft' targets is still very much a valid point.)

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I am vastly amused that we have a major furcon banning people for exercising their protected Constitutional rights, lawfully and in public. The same convention allows people to attend who have been convicted in open court of sexual violence and crimes against minors. Nay, not only attend, but VOLUNTEER and work the convention in contact with minors!

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Pardon my french, but . . . WHAT THE FUCK?!

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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Seeings as sexual crimes are well documented on online databases, perhaps you should provide evidence of your claims, because it can seem like hot air, especially from someone by the name of Anon.

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I know someone who was wrongly convicted of pedophilia related crime and is a register sex offender due to it and he does go to AC, though not sure if he's volunteered or not. I won't name him because he was convicted on bullshit and it was a victim less crime he pleaded to... That and he should have already been removed from the sex offender list but hasn't due to the system being fucked up.

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I think I know who Anon's talking about. I'd say they have a far greater potential to make Anthrocon look bad, based on that record and recent documented in-fandom activity that suggests it's still a problem.

I would probably not have banned either of them, but I would restrict the person mentioned from volunteering in any user-facing areas, or those involving access to personal data.

Given the bans that we've seen so far, I'd be surprised to see the person mentioned there at all.

In fairness to Anthrocon, this person has been volunteering at other events too, without revealing his record.

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Little bit of interesting info. The source, Crusader Cat's LJ regarding a letter from AnthroCon security.

http://crusader-cat.livejournal.com/2205.html

"Our actions can only be based on behavior at Anthrocon. Things which occur outside the convention or prior to it are not and cannot be part of our process." -Rene Gobeyn, Anthrocon Security Chief

If there is any truth to this then Insane's ban is clearly the result of double standards.

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There is more from Ross that he is letting on, and some info, probably somebody's personal's, That Kage cannot let out. There is another shoe, and it hasn't dropped yet.

Ross is not very fond of Crusader Cat, and CC is afraid of something, and as pointed in post 150, the Con cannot do anything outside the con premises. No, this doesn't pass the the smell test for Ross.

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http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6213/kagesaysicantgotoac.png

This is the official letter from Kage himself on the ban. As long as the AC board is keeping their mouth's shut we'll never know if there is more to it. As for the CC issue if you read CC's LJ I linked you'd see that Giza straight up told CC there is nothing AC can or will do about it.

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And, if memory serves, GreenReaper pretty much said that the only reason why we only have one side of the story is because the AC staff doesn't want there to be a story.

Frankly, I'm more suspicious of AC than I am of IK. IK, at least, has shown us the information he's received and given us his interpretation of same.

AC, on the other hand, hasn't given us diddlysquat.

This whole thing reeks of "I Know Something You Don't Know" and "Let's You And Him Fight".

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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ALERT! ALERT! IRONY DETECTED!!!

The fact that I've seen a weapons-dealing table at most EVERY SINGLE FURRY CON I'VE ATTENDED, from MFM to AC, tells me that this is not only hypocritical but also it tells me that the staff of AC have absolutely no clue about what is really happening at their conventions.

The appropriate response will be to get the news media in.

And I plan on helping these poor guys out with media exposure.

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Assuming you're talking about the mianstream news media, there's a problem with that plan.

Said problem being, if you do that, you're more than likely going to get sensationalist scumbag muckrakers whose only interest is to point out all the freaky shit that goes on for the titillation of Joe Average from East Bumblefuck, Kansas.

I can see the headlines now:

MEDIA EXPOSE: THE SECRET LIVES OF FURRIES
(with an emphasis on beastiality, furry porn, and fursuit sex, never mind the fact that most people aren't into that sort of thing)

As far as I know, the only convention that's ever successfully denied such people their stories is the hacker convention Def Con, and then only because they turned the tables on the sensationalist "reporter" who tried to sneak in.

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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Hell no - I'll do the media report myself or have one of my journalist friends that I can trust to do it. I'll even take a picture of the nice Hou-Shiueh 180-pound draw CROSSBOW w/scope and razor-tipped bolts that I bought at AC just to help them with their story. (BTW that crossbow can slam through most car engine blocks - pretty dangerous weapon to be sold at a furry convention.)

I know better than to involve 'media' outlets. The best bet is to do the report yourself, or find a real journalist with integrity that is willing to expose an issue, not sensationalize something totally unrelated to the fact.

Thankfully, the same journalist that covered my accident from years ago happens to live in PA, and I'm in great standing with her, and she has integrity. I am willing to bet I could easily get her to construct a rather fair report.

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David Ross is dumber than Sarah Palin (great start, I know ;)). Anthrocon was just trying to be nice in telling him it's because of the firearms issues. The real reason is that he's a callow and inept dumbass of the worst kind. The worst kind being the kind who is too dumb to realize how stupid they are to even consider the fact that they aren't right or intelligent. I'm sure that David has never even once stopped to re-exam himself. He causes issues and makes them out to be worse than they are because he's inconsiderate and has nothing better to do with his life. Think about it David, these retarded issues you've brought upon yourself are all that define you. This is why you're not welcome at Anthrocon, as well as most other places that have dealt with you enough.

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assuming that's the extent of the info, seems the bottom line is it's a simple matter of preference by the con panel. they don't want to be associated with open carry, end of story. yes they might offend a couple gun enthusiasts, sucks for them, but how many will actually drop the con over carry... compared to how many international attendees from gun-restricted countries there are (and that US-centric laws might alienate), for example. at least it's pretty clear now, you like showing off guns in public, don't go to AC. it's a bit far-reaching, but it's a private con, they can impose it, and they have.

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I think the point here is that just because someone CAN do something, it doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD.

I could easily go take my car and drive it through the front door of the local mall.

Does that mean I should? Hell no.

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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Similarly, just because you can use your power to compel members to refrain from entirely lawful activity away from the convention itself, does not mean you should. If what has been said in the comments above is true, Anthrocon has been doing this sort of thing since 2002. I find that greatly concerning.

The stated sole purpose of the organization is to operate a yearly convention, not to "manage" furry fandom. While I support their desire to promote a "relaxed social atmosphere" at the con itself, the facts available suggest the individual concerned had complied with con rules in furtherance of that goal.

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Exactly, however, Kage takes it upon himself to attempt to "manage" the fandom. I never asked him or the Anthrocon board to represent me any more then I asked any of these furries who "represent the fandom" on these TV shows with a sex themed programing. The only thing I ask of Kage is to accept my money for entry into his con and to not kick me out for obeying the rules. Simple as that. Outside his con he has no jurisdiction over me or anyone else in the fandom.

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Actually that is illegal, it's called vandalism. It's more like saying a racial slur. It's not illegal, but its heavily frowned upon in certain circumstances, so much so it might as well be a crime.

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Sonious, I think you missed the point of my example.

Do I have the ability and requisite materials to perform the action in question (i.e., driving a car through the front door of the local mall)?

Yes, I do.

Should I perform this action?

No, because it's STUPID. (Never mind the legal aspects, it's stupid, plain and simple).

Similarly, banning someone from AnthroCon because of actions taken elsewhere - actions which I stress were legal - is, likewise, STUPID.

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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I think you missed the point of my point, I was saying driving a truck into a building is stupid and illegal, so it's a bad example of stupid and legal which is what Kage did.

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And you missed the fact that I'm not worried so much about the legality of the actions as their stupidity.

Kage banning someone from AC for open carry elsewhere, me driving a car into a crowded mall, and Random Q. Furry taking a bath in boiling goat sperm all have one thing in common:

They're stupid things to do.

(ETA: Not that I think anyone - furry or otherwise - takes baths in boiling goat sperm, that was just the first example of a stupid action to come to mind.)

It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

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http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

He can't carry a gun on a plane, Crash. Look at the rules above. He complied with the law, and if he did try to carry a gun into the secure area, he'd be sitting in a federal prison cell right now.

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This guy creeped me out when I met him at the airport after the con! Im kinda glad he got banned. He seemed like a nervous timebomb ready to blow, just went on and on about gun rights and it scared me. Specially bein in an airport an realizing people like him had guns on planes

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Crash,

I'm sorry to have allowed my incident with the county police influence our conversation. Simply put, I was upset after being robbed. Robbed of my property and my rights violated, you can't possibly understand the feeling unless you had a home broken in to in the past. Anthrocon was at best a very fun distraction, then after the incident set in, all I could think about was case law(previous case rulings).

In all honesty, I wasn't just nervous when we were talking, nor did you have my full undivided attention. I talked the same way to Gray Coyote, though he managed to untangle my thoughts some. The whole time we were conversing, I was thinking, "-sigh- appeals court *random court thoughts/cases*."

I should've listened and been more interested in you as a person instead of ranting on about the incident.

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Crash: "This guy creeped me out when I met him at the airport after the con! Im kinda glad he got banned. He seemed like a nervous timebomb ready to blow, just went on and on about gun rights and it scared me."

Translation: "He wasn't paying any attention to me! Dammit, I don't CARE what you've been through, all I care about is people paying attention to ME!"

=======O <==[IonOtter, LogOut]

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Folks, be careful here! This guy threatened via post a person who works at UGA (where he has never even had a home) for questioning open carry. He requested that gun enthusiasts find this man and his wife (who's name and workplace he published) and "inform" them of the "error" they were making. David Ross is not OK in the head.