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Wal*Mart's ID Checking Policy

During a recent trip to Wal*Mart, I was surprised when I was asked to show my ID when someone I was with tried to purchase cigarettes. I was aware of laws saying that retailers had to verify someone's age as part of a transaction, but unaware that the law could compel me to show my ID as part of a transaction that is taking place in my vicinity.

When I showed my ID to the clerk, she said she could not accept it because it was not a driver's license (it was a concealed weapons permit). Remember that we are not required to even have driver's licenses, weapons permits, or any other form of identification unless we are engaging in activities that require them (driving, carrying a weapon, or buying tobacco). The clerk than disappeared into the back for several minutes with my ID. When she came back she informed me that a police officer had my ID in back - in a room I could not go into - and that he was calling the police station to check me out.

Not only was this demeaning, but it was a violation of my privacy. Being detained at Wal*Mart against my will because someone near me was buying tobacco is completely and utterly ridiculous.

All that aside, what about this law that supposedly says they have to check everyone's ID, even if they are not purchasing tobacco themselves? What about a mother who is buying cigarettes and has her children with her?

I tried looking up the law and found Utah code 76-10-105.1, Requirement of direct, face-to-face sale of tobacco products and 76-10-104, Providing cigars, cigarettes, or tobacco to minors -- Penalties.

This part of the law clearly regulates the sale of tobacco between a retailer and the person buying them, but says nothing about checking the IDs of an entire group. If this supposed law does exist, I sure can't find it. Perhaps it is a Wal*Mart policy that the clerk who I spoke to only thought was a law. I'd love some more clarification.

What do you guys think of getting a flash-mob style group of 200 people together and then having one person try to buy a pack of cigarettes at Wal*Mart?

what the clerk did was illegal

The clerk made two mistakes:
1) YOU do not need to be carded if YOU are not purchasing the item. Thats like trying to card a 12 year old because their mom is buying cigarettes. - You have a possible discrimination case.

2) The concealed carry permit doesn't have to accepted because it doesn't have your date of birth (I know as I have one). But, at the same time, the clerk has no right to verify it. On the back of your card it states very plainly, "To verify the validity of this permit for law enforcement purposes only, contact 801-965-4446" - You were not purchasing a fire-arm, nor did you commit a crime. Verification can only occur by gun dealers during a purchase, or law enforcement in relation to a crime. - again you have a possible discrimination case.

However, I guess it's less likely you'll pursue it (though I don't know you). One challenge would be proving all those events took place. You would need multiple witnesses, all willing to give depositions. You would also need an attorney who is willing to venture.

Good luck - this is one more reason not to shop at Wal-Mart.

That's odd

My Utah CFP has my DOB on it.
I remember after the DMV lost my license in the mail for 4 months, I had to use my passport and CFP as ID. Some places were okay, others (CompUSA, the weasels) were not.
In other news, who knew that so many people on provopulse carried guns? I'm happy to be counted among your number.

oops - i was wrong

Your right, the CCP (or CFP) does have your Date of Birth. I must have been smokin' something when I missed it :)

Whoa, look at all the

Whoa, look at all the ProvoPulsers packing heat. Myself included. I initially got my permit because someone suggested that you get a lot less hassle if you have something official to show the authorites. For example, I was camping up at Moon Lake near Duchesne a couple summers ago when I went to go bust some caps out in the US Forest Service Land near there. As I was hiking back to the cabin, the ranger recognized my rifle case for what it was, but when he spotted my .357 holstered onto my backpack in plain view he said I wasn't allowed to open-carry without a concealed weapons permit. The hell? The whole point of open-carry is that you don't need a permit. I pointed this out to the ranger and added that in bear country it's not the smartest play to have your sidearm under lock and key, but he was unconvinced. Anyways, after a few run-ins like this with rangers/highway patrolmen/etc. I decided to go ahead and get my permit. It was the best thing I ever did. It's like having a Why-Yes-I-Am-A-Law-Abiding-Citizen-Officer card. Not only that, in Utah your permit exempts you from the $15 background check when you buy a gun, which adds up if you move through irons like I do. And in Utah it's only $10 to renew it every five years.

After a while, I decided that if I have the permit I may as well take full advantage of it and started carrying as often as I could.

the clerk

Obviously the clerk was a Morman and decide to become the 'morality police' at that moment. This clerk is obviously an idiot in more ways than one. Police officers don't just 'hang-out' in the back room at Wal-mart. You should sue Wal-mart, they don't hire the smartest people, and we all know this, so they might give you some money out of court to 'go away'.

My concealed permit has my

My concealed permit has my birthday on it. I got it this last year.

I had a concealed carry

I had a concealed carry permit. Issued a week after 9/11. It would have cost me $50 to renew for another four years. Wasn't worth it. Kinda lost the thrill and feeling of power after about three weeks. And the state-required education on the legality of taking a life made me pretty nervous.

It's up to the individual

As they say, "your mileage may vary."
After witnessing the LA riots in California and the food riots in the wake of the hurricanes I experienced in Florida in 2004, I've committed to being armed discretely and legally wherever possible. My job at JJS reinforced that desire.
I'd feel like a complete !@#$ if something happened to my wife or others around me while I could have been armed but wasn't.

i agree

I carry for the same reason. I feel that i could never live with myself should anything happen to my wife and daughter. I can live with shooting someone in self defense, but I could never live with the images of someone harming my family. There is just too many crazies out there. It's naive to believe that "it'll never happen to me," and somehow tell yourself that you'll never be in such a situation. I'm sure those who have experienced such horror surely thought it would never happen to them.

true, but...

I'd feel like a complete !@#$ if something happened to my wife or others around me while I could have been armed but wasn't.

A noble statement, but realistic? There are plenty of situations where a perp pulls a weapon and only threatens with it. And what about crossfire? Undercover ops? Since you're not in uniform, how are latecomers going to be able to tell the good guys from the bad guys? Yes, these are "if" scenarios, but so is the likelihood of being in a situation where you could legitimately use a gun.

The second you bring out a weapon, you escalate the situation. Now clearly this is justified by law under a (small) variety of conditions, but when your adrenaline is going, when you are suddenly in a life and death situation, when your ability to analyze circumstances and justify a killing is reduced to mere seconds, a lot can go wrong.

This isn't about valuing life or political views. Only the responsibility that comes with carrying a gun. I weigh the odds of being in a position where a concealed gun could save lives against the odds of being in a position where a concealed gun could result in ruined lives, mainly my own. And I think about situations like Yoshi Hattori where an available gun and excited man resulted in serious and completely avoidable tragedy (and in what should be a black eye on the state of Louisiana, a jury that acquitted the shooter).

The last time I packed a gun was the day after Bush gave Saddam an ultimatum. I was sincerely paranoid of attacks that day, even in Utah. Since then, and even in a career dealing with the criminal element, my brass knuckles have been adequate for all hypothetical "crap hits the fan" situations.

/Not opposed to concealed carry laws

you make a valid point

I've pondered many times on those same issues. You actually make good points. However, Looking at that story you posted, I don't think that completely applies. The guy who shot Yoshi Hattori was a less than intelligent person. Normal, intelligent people usually don't answer the door with a gun in hand ready to shoot someone. This Yoshi guy rang the door bell, and made no movements to suggest he was attempting to rob, harm, or do any damage to this guys family, life, or property.

Two good points you did make were the risk of stray bullets, and also the troubles that could occur when cops show up and mistake you for the bad guy. Yet, more likely is the idea that cops will show up minutes after the incident is all over. By that point you have plenty of time to disarm yourself, and pose no threat to them.

There are risks, no doubt about it. You could be jailed for a wrong move, or simply a crooked court system. You could be shot by the perp or a cop by accident. Its a risk that everyone needs to weigh for themselves.

I like to lessen the risk as much as possible by practicing (properly). I am a regular at the provo gun range up sqaw peak road...I go there often and practice small arms fire. I think practicing proper technique helps. Also I think reading up on laws is a wise move. There is a book out (I forget the exact name) that is all about gun laws in utah, and all the hypothetical situations. It gives good direction as to you how you should proceed with different situations.

The risk is there. It's a matter of weighing both sides. For me, one side out weighs the other.

Yep, realistic.

I've been unarmed in two instances where I wished I could have been armed but wasn't.

Situation 1) Working in a shelter in Ft. Pierce, FL, during Hurricane Jeanne. Hurricane Jeanne came less than a month after Hurricane Frances, and as a result, a lot of infrastructure had been stretched. Ft. Pierce was nearly half Chapter 8 housing and represented a typical Florida demographic-- lots of old white people and lots of blacks. Due to a favor owed a cop in Ft. Pierce, I was running part of the shelter. We had around 100 cots to distribute in a population of 400. I said give 'em to the old people, starting with those who had medical problems first. Any leftovers would be given to pregnant women. So that's what they did.

A gang of black youths approached me in the shelter, and (I'm paraphrasing due to the content filter) asked me why I was giving all the cots to the white people. I said color didn't matter, I was giving them to old people first, and asked the leader if he was softer than a 90-year-old great grandpa. He responded with some colorful language, and then pulled a knife on me. 3 of his buddies then proceeded to beat the !@#$ out of a bunch of old men and women and steal their cots. One of the old folks suffered four or five broken ribs; another broke a hip. Two sheriff's deputies eventually heard the commotion and delivered a nightstick shampooing the likes of which I've never seen since.

Situation 2) Three days after the hurricane, I'm running a food line. I tell the line that old folks and children go first. Not too many old folks, but lots of single women and kids. They get fed, and I've got a few meals left for a line of about 200 people. I run out. I tell the line I've run out, to coem back tomorrow and there might be food available (keep in mind, this is hurricane #2 in a span of a month. These people should have been prepared).

Dead silence. Then the rustling, shiftless sound of a mob getting ready to act as beer bottles come out of pockets, fists are balled, and rocks and concrete blocks (lots of debris after a hurricane) are picked up and ready be thrown.

Right as things are about to come to a head, one of my coworkers reaches into his trunk and pulls an AR15 rifle out, pointing it right at one of the guys in the front of the line with a broken beer bottle in his hand. He tells the mob to disburse or they'll be lucky if they don't get charged with battery.

I agree with you, there is a great responsibility associated with carrying a gun. I carried one as LE for a while, and now carry one as a regular citizen. I've found that most citizens, when made aware of the responsibility they're taking on when they choose to carry, do just fine.

To answer your questions in your first paragraph:
Crossfire-- know your target and what's beyond it. Police only hit their intended targets with one out of every nine bullets. By the time a gunfight breaks out, people are usually running or ducking, and usually (not always) present a clear lane of fire. In any case, it usually tends to be a non-issue.
Undercover ops-- If someone pulls a gun and is menacing others with it, then he's not an undercover policeman. Undercover operations are done with the most stringent of care (usually), as other officers in the area might not be aware of the UC's presence.
Latecomers/other LEO arriving on scene-- Here's where it gets dicey. Ken Hammond ran into this issue when he stopped the Trolley Square shooter. Police are trained to identify a hostile shooter in an incident; you can only hope that that training kicks in and you don't get targeted.

great insight

Good points RC. I'm glad you able to walk away from those. Disasters like that would spawn me to "ALWAYS" be armed in times of crisis

One other point that was brought up before was the idea that drawing a gun would "escalate" the situation. That may be true, but I have some doubts. The only statistic that I can remember without looking at my notes from when I took the Concealed carry class was that 95% of situations are de-escalated, or basically ended the moment a citizen (or cop) draws a gun (these are law abiding citizens, not criminals). The idea being that brandishing the weapon makes the perp think twice. It's possible (that remaining 5%) that someones gonna start shooting, but more likely than not that nothing will happen. Sadly, I can't back up that stat with solid evidence, so maybe it's worth nothing in this discussion...but I believe it.

As a side note: The report has come out from last years trolley square shooting. Here are some interesting facts that I picked up from the news articles on the incident -

"One of the new details revealed in the released documents was that Talovic was shot 15 times by police.

Oblad fired twice at Talovic after the gunman fired his shotgun at Oblad first. Oblad and Hammond faced Talovic together from one direction. From the opposite direction, Scharman fired three rounds into Talovic's back and then two more into his chest and one into his head after he Talovic turned to face him. Olsen fired five times at Talovic and then twice more when he turned toward him. Marshall fired another five rounds at Talovic."

One crazy situation!

Even by your own account the

Even by your own account the first situation was resolved without the use of a gun. Wouldn't a tazer/mace/stun gun done the job even if the deputies hadn't shown up? Looking back, would you feel completely okay knowing that you had killed someone that night? I agree that you would have been completely justified in pulling out a gun at that time. But you didn't... and as a result nobody lost their life.

The second situation you described sounds awful. And I would have probably have gone with a shotgun or pistol on my hip, but concealed carry? Probably not necessary. But it sounds like that National Guard should have been there too. Not that I trust the government for protection, but since we do have the NG, they should be providing protection when called on.

My stepdad was a cop. He killed a guy on the job. Repeat offender, shot at stepdad first, and IA cleared it immediately. The media defended stepdad, and the family of the "victim" never pursued a civil trial. But that was 20 years ago, and to this day, my stepdad agonizes over it. He knows he was in the right and doesn't regret what he did, but a day doesn't go by that he doesn't think about it. He has a concealed carry permit and still shoots often, but it's a pretty safe assumption to say that the single, five-minute event drastically changed his life.

EDIT: A few months after I got my CHL (and I was carrying, though it was mainly because I hadn't been home since target shooting earlier in the day), I was involved in a hit and run. The other car temporarily stalled after smashing the side of mine, and seven people piled out of this little Honda Civic. Seven people. Teenagers. The first thing I noticed when I got close was the alcohol on their breath. Immediately called 911. But by the time the cops arrived, the guys were gone (and consequently, since I couldn't pick the driver out of a lineup, there were no charges and I got to pay for the damage myself). Anyway when I was being questioned, I showed my CHL in accordance with the law. The cop asked me if I were armed and I responded in the affirmative, at which point he asked if I had drawn my gun. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind, and I said to him, "No... why would I?" He kept his eyes down and said, "I would have." Now these guys risked the lives of others by driving drunk, and the cop acknowledged that it would have been appropriate (legally).

But I didn't, and nobody died. And I spent a few hundred bucks. I think that, all things considered, I probably made the right choice.

However, Looking at that

However, Looking at that story you posted, I don't think that completely applies. The guy who shot Yoshi Hattori was a less than intelligent person. Normal, intelligent people usually don't answer the door with a gun in hand ready to shoot someone. This Yoshi guy rang the door bell, and made no movements to suggest he was attempting to rob, harm, or do any damage to this guys family, life, or property.

Less than intelligent people buy and carry guns. You're right that normal, intelligent people don't answer the door with a gun in hand ready to shoot someone. But again, abnormal, unintelligent people can buy and carry guns. The situation is horribly tragic, and what's worse is that the guy was found not guilty. (I studied this case extensively during a criminal justice course while working on my undergrad).

We live in a gun culture where the freedom to have and use guns seems, in my opinion, to often outweigh the responsibility associated with that power. With the number and severity of existing gun laws, there shouldn't be a single illegal gun in our country. It's not like Canadians are smuggling them across the border. Yet, tragedies happen every day as gun owners/sellers do not take reasonable precautions to keep their weapons secure. And I don't remember the number, but some obscene number of gun accidents are just that... accidents. Situations that would not have resulted in a death if a gun were not involved. The favorite NRA line: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," only has some truth to it. Guns make the event easier in terms of effort, range, effectiveness, and so on.

Surely if you could magically rid the world of guns the death rate would drop. Maybe obvious, but I just don't see stabbings going up to match the present kill rate of guns.

That may be true, but I have

That may be true, but I have some doubts. The only statistic that I can remember without looking at my notes from when I took the Concealed carry class was that 95% of situations are de-escalated, or basically ended the moment a citizen (or cop) draws a gun (these are law abiding citizens, not criminals).

Doubts? How could drawing a gun NOT escalate the situation? Eventually it might result in a better outcome, but initially you raise the stakes by pulling a weapon.

The problem is, you can't draw a gun to de-escalate. You just can't. You might hope for that to happen, but the second you raise that gun, you are giving the bad guy an ultimatum: he kills you or you kill him. And if you're not ready to pull that trigger and take a life (again, considering that you've got seconds to evaluate the circumstances and determine whether or not you are justified in killing-- not just by legal standards but by your own conscience, knowing you'll always be the guy that killed the other guy), you've just made a bad situation worse.

Drawing a gun de-escalates

Drawing a gun de-escalates situations in which the perp has a close-range weapon such as a knife or a bat. The whole point of a gun is that it gives you the advantage of distance. Obviously, if the guy already has a gun on you or there are multiple assailants, then your gun isn't going to do much good. But more often than not, it's some idiot who isn't planning on the victim being willing or able to defend themselves.

But more often than not,

But more often than not, it's some idiot who isn't planning on the victim being willing or able to defend themselves.

I'd agree with the latter part of that, but really question how often a knife or bat is used in a holdup or other situation justified by the use of a concealed gun.

And even then, I'd suggest that a good portion of that time, the chance of a death escalates when YOU draw your gun.

RC described a situation where a mob was forming, and the good fortune of a guy with an assault rifle. Well, that turned out well. But what if the mob advanced anyway? What if they started throwing concrete and molotov cocktails? I can just imagine the guy with the gun spraying down the crowd. Cause you can't plan on using a gun to threaten or warn. You draw, you better be completely ready to take a life. And that, unfortunately, is a split second decision you'll live with forever. Justified or not, my understanding is that most people who kill are haunted for years.

your life or his

I think it comes down to who is at risk at being killed? Isn't that the point of pulling a gun? Don't you have to feel that your life is in danger? If you're in danger, then you're in danger! Whether a bat, a knife, or a gun, if you feel like your life is threatened then you are in your rights to take action.

Shoot first, deal with life later. I think you are better off dealing with killing someone in self defense, than being killed yourself.

The years of haunting goes

The years of haunting goes both ways.

Yeah, and Jack Bauer's gotta

Yeah, and Jack Bauer's gotta decide between torturing the criminal Arab or allowing LA to be nuked.

Clear decisions. Real life is rarely so simple.

Sue Wal-mart

And do it in small claims court. It is pretty rare that mega-corps like Wal-mart take the time to send an expensive attorney for a small claims case.

If you want evidence, subpoena the camera they have pointed at the checkout stand...that's how my friend got her purse back.


I would never even consider carrying a gun. Hopefully I will never be in a situation where I will regret that decision. Yes a gun may come in useful in certain extreme situations, but I would rather lose my life than be the kind of person that carries a weapon with them at all times and who, maybe in a moment of confusion, harms someone else. Yes guns protect, but they also take lives if not used properly and I would never trust myself with that responsibility, because it is a huge responsibility that I feel very few people should have. Also guns can escalate situations. People panic if they have a gun pointing at them and they make mistakes. Maybe you think that carrying a gun is a right and that you should ( I don’t know you personal situation, so I can’t make a judgement ) but I will never carry a gun.

Conflating feelings with statistics:

See my post here for the stats you need:

"it is a huge responsibility that I feel very few people should have."

"I would rather lose my life than be the kind of person that carries a weapon with them at all times and who, maybe in a moment of confusion, harms someone else."

Pacifism is a privilege of the protected elite, and I don't mean that in a nice way. The reason I'm replying to this is the first quote of yours I put above. Your feelings are, unfortunately, statistically unfounded.

There is no moral difference between paying someone to protect you (a police officer or security guard) and pulling the trigger yourself, other than that you expect someone else to stick his neck out on the line for you before you put your neck out on the line yourself.

Lastly, the idea that your fellow man can't be trusted with a weapon is an elitist view. It is a view of the world wherein you know better than everyone else, and because they can't be trusted they should be disarmed. It reeks of snobbery and distrust.

While I can appreciate that you don't wish to carry a weapon yourself (and even agree with you-- there are many people who should not carry a weapon), to take away that privilege from others who have done no wrong is to proclaim your disdain for the freedom of your fellow man, your distrust in his emotion and passion under stress, and your own purported superiority.

So, how do you really feel

So, how do you really feel about it?

RC's Principles of Governance

They're quite simply, really:

1) Live your own life predicated on whatsoever feelings you might have, insofar as those feelings do not conflict with the inherent rights of another.

2) Public policy should be guided only by empirical evidence. In the absence of conclusive data, whatever path maximizes individual freedom should be the one selected.

As an addendum:

Any public policy predicated on the assumption that laws can change human nature, or that human nature is malleable, are doomed to failure. This is why Prohibition did not work, why the war on drugs did not work, and why people routinely ignore speed limits. This is why gun control did not work in England, and why their current crop of knife control laws are likewise doomed to failure. It's why people under the age of 21 continue to drink, and why people continue to drink and drive. The truth is, the laws provide only the consequences for behavior, but do not stop the behavior to begin with. That's why, imho, no law should be written for a behavior which does not, of its own virtue, construe a threat to another.

That's all. For some reason, I'm waxing more philosophical than usual tonight... could be the late hour, I suppose.

how about gay marriage?

how about gay marriage?

Gay marriage

If a religious group wishes to wed gay couples, then they should have the ability to. Likewise if a group wishes to wed polygamists.

The problem, as always, is government interference. We watch the marriage rate plummet in the last three decades because it is now not as rational a decision, particularly for men, to marry. See here:

Marriage, in its original form, was a way for a man to commit to a woman. This benefitted the man because he got exclusive access to a woman, thereby benefiting his reproductive capacity; the woman gained protection and a constant source food via hunting. This arrangement was mutually beneficial.

With the advent of government-sponsored welfare, women no longer needed a man to protect them, or to provide food & shelter. Thus, the woman could maximize her benefit by doing nothing and sitting on welfare. Because the woman no longer needed the man's assistance to provide, women were able to have significantly more partners. Men, thus, were able to maximize THEIR benefit by sleeping around as well, as commitment was no longer a prerequisite to sex; due to divorce arrangements being what they were (loss of children and income for no commensurate gain), it became in the man's best interest to no longer wed as well.

O rly?

Any public policy predicated on the assumption that laws can change human nature, or that human nature is malleable, are doomed to failure.

The Emancipation Proclamation (13th-15th Constitutional Amendments)


Most civil rights laws

I think it's pretty safe to assume that these laws changed human behavior... perhaps not nature, sure there are some people out there who still think blacks should be slaves, women shouldn't vote, and whites are "naturally" better suited to government, but what is human nature other than believing and living what one has been taught?

It goes the other way too. With the expansion of welfare and relaxation of morality (both in actual laws and enforcement thereof), the general level of morality has declined over the last few decades. At least in things like the nature/sanctimony of marriage, roles of parents, acceptance of homosexuality.

I feel quite the opposite, that laws do in fact change "human nature." All your examples are only examples of laws that have not reflected the will of the people and are therefore ineffective. Prohibition didn't work because too much of the population still continued to demand alcohol, including lawmakers and enforcement. Same is true of drugs. As a society, we're not serious about it. Your argument about speed limits-- I think that generally, people DO obey the speed limit. Sure, people push the limits a little, but you rarely see mature adults going 60 down a residential street. With the exception of the selfish and idiotic (okay, maybe that's a really big portion), I think the American people tend to be conscious of safety and common sense, and laws tend to reflect that.