Thursday, September 1, 2011

Legally Armed In Detroit (L.A.I.D.) Second Annual Picnic Recap

This past Sunday, August 28th, Legally Armed In Detroit (LAID) held its second annual Open Carry Picnic at Belle Isle Park. Rick Ector, owner of the LAID blog, had previously predicted that at least 100 armed citizens would be in attendance - in total - throughout the day. His estimate was accurate; the picnic was well attended beyond the predicted estimate.

The high water mark for attendance was around the 3:00pm hour. A steady stream of picnic-goers arrived and departed throughout the day. The picnic's hours of operation was from 10:00am through 8:00pm. The relatively long length of the affair (10 hours) afforded all who wanted to attend an opportunity to be there. 

Overall, the picnic was an awesome affair. The weather was perfect and the shelter provided a comfortable environment for fun. Attendees discussed open carry related topics, played cards, tossed horseshoes, and barbecued food on the grill.

As expected, there were no incidents. Our event was peaceful and fun. The local cops dropped by only once to tell the organizers to move their cars. Of course, the vehicles were only there because the picnic site was trashed before the event started. The cops were told that as soon as we could clean up the mess, the cars would be unloaded and moved.

Also, I had an opportunity to talk with the Park Manager to complain about the shelter's condition when we first arrived. He apologized and explained that vagrants and drug addicts "probably" turned over all of the trash cans to look for bottles with redeemable deposits. The explanation was plausible but I still didn't appreciate having to clean up the mess.

The main goals of the picnic were to exercise our right to keep and bear arms and to educate the public about the legality of Open Carry in both the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. However, I have now added a new goal - to provide a venue for firearms enthusiasts to congregate and fellowship.

Each Open Carry outing provides an opportunity to see others who share our lifestyle - lawfully armed citizens. Many familiar faces were present during the day. Those persons almost never miss our events. They are truly the folks who encourage me by their mere presence and validate my activities - such as this picnic.

Alternatively, these outings also draw new friends "into the fold." For example, I finally met some "Facebook friends" with whom I had "known" for quite some time but never had actually met. Also, I met some people on Sunday with whom I had never had the opportunity to have prior contact. They heard about the event in the media and felt a strong desire to show up. I'm glad they came; I made some new friends.

Our picnic received a good amount of local publicity. Our event was covered by the following: Fox2 News Detroit, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, and WWJ-950AM. I have seen most of the mainstream media accounts of our affair and don't have many complaints. I consider it a victory if the story is balanced and does not characterize us as "gun nuts" who don't get out much.

Check out a video slideshow of the activities at the picnic:

If you don't see an embedded video above, visit our channel on Youtube.

If you were among the scores of people who RSVP'd on our Facebook Page but didn't make it out the event, you missed out. Big time.

Personally, I had many highlights at the picnic. However, if I had to single out just one experience it would be meeting the brother and sister of the late General Laney. In just a short period of time, I learned a ton about Michigan gun rights history. I will continue to pursue a friendship with the Laney family. They have much to say that needs to be heard before this piece of our history is lost. Stay tuned.

If you desire to learn more about either Open Carry in Detroit or CCW Classes in Michigan, please contact us:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Web: http://www.detroitccw.com.
Email: info@detroitccw.com
Phone: 313.733.7404
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