Trendy small town gun picnics are all the rage

Mike Paulus |

Man, “open carry gun picnics” seem to be all the rage these days. Never heard of them? Basically, people looking to educate the public on Second Amendment rights organize a good ol’ fashioned cookout where everyone is encouraged to attend, and hey, if you own a gun, bring ’er along! There was one in Onalaska back in May. I’m assuming the more important goal of these events is to combat negative perceptions of gun owners. At any rate, it’s just kind of a whacky concept, and much to organizers’ delight, grabs a lot of attention.

Personally, I do not have a negative perception of most gun owners (I actually own a hunting rifle), yet I can’t help but giggle at the mental image of a small town picnic where everyone’s wearing hip holsters as they stand in line for a brat and some potato salad. If you’re interested, the next nearby open carry picnic is in Glenwood City. And the cops are cool with it. From Chuck Rupnow’s article in the L-T

  • Glenwood City Police Chief Robert Darwin said he's not overly concerned about hundreds of people coming to the St. Croix County Fairgrounds on Aug. 23 armed with loaded sidearms.
  • "I don't have a problem with what they want to do," he said. "They have the lawful right to do that.
  • "My concern is how the general public will respond," Darwin said Wednesday. "I hope they will respect it, since it is lawful. The people coming to this are not the kind of people we need to worry about."

The organizer is actually fronting $2,000 of his own money to feed about 400 people with barbecue beef sandwiches, beans, coleslaw, and more. And in case you’re curious, sidearms are not required to attend. And also, in case you’re more curious, firearms can be loaded but must be holstered. And no, alcohol is not permitted.