ONTD Political

Oklahoma State Senator Justifies Need For ‘Open Carry’ Gun Law Due To Threat From Wild Turkeys

12:56 pm - 04/13/2012
In Oklahoma, state lawmakers are poised to enact an “open carry” law which would allow residents with a permit to display their guns in grocery stores, libraries, and anywhere else in public. The measure is expected to be passed by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Oklahoma law currently requires that people must generally conceal their handguns. In 2010, then-Gov. Brad Henry (D) vetoed an open carry bill because state police expressed concern that it would make it hard for them “to distinguish criminals from law-abiding citizens.” Keith Barenberg, the president of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association, maintains his concern: “Law-enforcement officers will be that much more jumpy and nervous if they see a gun.” And such confrontations could lead to loss of innocent life. As Norman McNickle, president of the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs, put it: “How does the first arriving officers know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? It makes their job exponentially harder.”

Proponents of the “open carry” legislation, like Tim Gillespie, director of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, claim the measure is necessary because “we live in a dangerous world.” So dangerous, according to Republican state Senator Ralph Shortey, that people need the open display of guns to help fend off attacks from wild turkeys:

During committee discussions, Shortey argued that he shouldn’t be required to pay fees and get a license to carry a weapon. Here’s how he justified that:

“I was in oil and gas,” Shortey said. “I was out on a lease at one time and I got attacked by a turkey. Wait until you get attacked by a turkey. You will know the fear that a turkey can invoke in a person. And so I beat it with a club. That was all I could do.

“I wish that I had a gun with me,” he said. “And I started carrying a gun in my truck after that without a license because I didn’t want to get attacked by a mountain lion. Turkeys are bad enough.”

The Tulsa World opined, “Open-carry is needed to protect us from enraged turkeys? Seriously?” The editoral joked, “Maybe Oklahoma’s stand your ground law covers turkey attacks.”

Sen. Shortey is full of “asinine” ideas. As ThinkProgress noted earlier this year, Shortey introduced a ludicrous and unnecessary bill that would prohibit the manufacturing and sale of food “which contains aborted human fetuses.” He also has proposed legislation to “abolish the state Court of Criminal Appeals and…to eliminate the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s power to review the constitutionality of laws.”


flippin turkeys, man
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layweed 13th-Apr-2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
Between the threat of lethal human-killing turkeys, and the attack of the killer government chickens, this country is really going to hell in a handbasket.

ETA: Why don't we just abolish all wildlife in this country? I propose we do that instead.

Edited at 2012-04-13 06:33 pm (UTC)
angelus7988 14th-Apr-2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Between the threat of lethal human-killing turkeys and the attack of the killer government chickens, this is a fowl time for America.
hiddenfantasy 13th-Apr-2012 06:35 pm (UTC)

Well, I'm glad to know that when I'm attacked by a wild turkey in a library I can shoot it with no problem.
layweed 13th-Apr-2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
Wild Turkeys are the 21st century version of 31st century owls in Futurama.
kaowolfie 13th-Apr-2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
...wild turkeys. We have those all over Missouri. I've never heard of them attacking anyone before, although I have heard of them being killed with guns. You know, during turkey hunting season?

If he wants to shoot some turkeys, he can do it perfectly legally 'round here.

also, carrying guns is unnecessary and pretty good proof that someone's a potentially violent piece of shit. :D
lady_grace 13th-Apr-2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
I often see wild turkeys in the middle of metro KC. It's crazy.
baked_goldfish 13th-Apr-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'll agree that wild turkeys are actually a little creepy, but this has to be the dumbest justification for open carry I've ever seen. Even dumber than the wild turkey stuff is the mountain lion statement - there may be like 5-10 attacks per year nationwide. You're more likely to be attacked by a raccoon than a mountain lion.
peace_piper 13th-Apr-2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
Or a hippo.

I can still remember how shocked I was to learn that more people are killed in Africa every year by hippos than by lions or jackals combined.

Or hell, in North America, you're more likely to die in a car accident. We should be walking through parking lots fearing for our lives. But no one's advocating that we have an open carry law against cars.
nitasee 13th-Apr-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Mostly in Oklahoma, the only time you get attacked by Wild Turkey is when someone is drunk on it.

prohibit the manufacturing and sale of food “which contains aborted human fetuses.” But, who doesn't love the taste of fresh aborted fetuses?
babysinclair 14th-Apr-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
riath 13th-Apr-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
allow residents with a permit to display their guns in grocery stores, libraries, and anywhere else in public

I didn't realise that wild turkeys frequented grocery stores and libraries. What do they read, To Kill a Mockingbird?
carmy_w 13th-Apr-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I recall hearing about a friend who had a turkey chase him. They're territorial buggers, and any bright clothing will get them riled up.

That said, you don't need a gun to chase them off-an air horn will do just as well, or a stick/cane.

My mom often has a couple of them come up & parade at their reflection in her sliding glass door. They've never managed to get into fights with themselves though....
layweed 13th-Apr-2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Why scare them off when you can permanently remove them from the face of the earth with a big 'ol boomstick?
superfan1 13th-Apr-2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
I guess they are trying to stop the cyborg turkeys from taking over the world in the future?

But then again you might be walking minding your own business one day and this happens to you.

chaya 13th-Apr-2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
rex_dart 13th-Apr-2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
I didn’t want to get attacked by a mountain lion.

rex_dart 13th-Apr-2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
already looked up whether or not there are even mountain lions in oklahoma (oklahoma wildlife department says "not really, no") for lulz, does anyone who hunts want to tell me what a handgun wielded by a state senator would realistically do to an attacking mountain lion for more lulz?
aquaviann 13th-Apr-2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
I am at this moment eating a turkey pot pie.

I work as a grad ass in a computer lab. Some dude forgot to silence his phone, and his ringtone was a turkey gobble. It's surreal to be working on stats have your train of thought interrupted by "LOBBALOBBALOBBA."

Turkeys, like roosters, have no mucus membranes, so mace doesn't hinder them. Firepower is obviously the only option.
crossfire 13th-Apr-2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
flippin turkeys, man

Bite your head off.man.
(no subject) - Anonymous
celtic_thistle 13th-Apr-2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm cackling.
tabaqui 13th-Apr-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
I'd feel sooooooo much better knowing any random asshole can be totin' his gun while I'm trying to find the latest Dick Francis or buy cake. Grocery stores are *so scary*.

Really tired of this manly-man wild west garbage.
molkat 13th-Apr-2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Because the turkey will see you're openly carrying a weapon and decide "hell no" but if your weapon was concealed then it's on.
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