Sunday, October 21, 2018

Line in the Sand: How it Went

In a word: great. The worst thing that happened was that I got a little sunburned.

There were lots of police at first, visible as we walked through the park and then onto the pier itself, but the only hassling they did was demanding to see a valid fishing license when someone who was visibly armed got out of their car. That didn't really bother me, since the law does state that you can OC while going to or coming from fishing, and in order to fish in Florida you need a valid licence. So it was annoying in the sense that "Papers, please" is annoying, but it's no less reasonable than a cop asking to see your driver's license after you've been pulled over for speeding. 

Walking up to the pier, though, there was another uniformed officer with a bag full of lollipops that he offered to us while saying "Hey guys, did you bring a pole for me?"  I thought this was brilliant, because if he'd said straight out "I've got no problem with you being here" then that might get him in trouble at work, but his actions nevertheless indicated that he was 100% comfortable with us being there and didn't see us as trouble. 

The rest of the day passed without incident. I'd say about 90% of the people simply didn't give a damn one way or the other; I saw parents with small children  walking up and down the pier, obviously not worried about us. The other 10% was evenly split between people asking what we were doing (many of them foreigners on vacation and wondering why we had guns when we were fishing), and people who were clearly offended we were there and taking our pictures in an attempt to, I dunno, shame us or something?

Truly, the most disappointing thing that happened is that no one from any of the Florida Pink Pistol chapter, not even the one in Fort Lauderdale, showed up to meet me. 

The media did an okay job of covering us, which is surprising given this pearl-clutching article written about the event by the Miami New Times the day before the event. I expected a hack job, but because we are all law-abiding folks there was nothing sensational to write about (color me shocked, shocked I say that the MNT didn't write a follow-up about the event), so most media outlets just used an Associated Press article that went out on the wire. I say that because I've seen multiple networks using the same footage and saying the same thing; for example, here's an article on WPTV, a West Palm Beach channel, and here's the same article (only with fewer pictures and a different video format) from WFLA in Tampa.

Did you spot me in the video? I was in the frame from 00:24 to 00:31.

No? Here's the video again (no sound until the end):

Still didn't see me? Here's a picture:
Does this freedom make my butt look big?
Here's a neat photo taken shortly after.
What's interesting is that the fellow with the scoped and drum-fed M14
not only lives in my home town but also went to my old high school.

Finally, for those of you want to see as much of it as possible, here's three hours of livestream (the entire event was 4 hours and some change).

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