Oregon Teacher – Shirley Katz

Shirley Katz, the school teacher in Oregon who is suing the school district to allow her to carry her concealed firearm in class will go before the judge on Thursday.  I’ve covered this story previously and it’s one I continue to follow with some interest.

The legal issue as argued by Ms. Katz’s attorneys is that Oregon state law allows people with CCW permits to carry in public buildings; additionally Ms. Katz has a restraining order against her ex-husband, but is worried that he could/will show where she teaches to attack her.

The AP article I linked to doesn’t have a whole lot of new information, but at the end there is a great quote from Ms. Katz that I really want to share.

Even if she wins, Katz said, she may not bring the gun to school.

“The whole point of carrying concealed is no one should know you’re carrying,” she said. “So I feel like my carrying concealed on campus now sets me up as a target.”

That pretty much sums up concealed carry right there.


  1. I still disagree with the whole “stealth ninja” method of concealment. Cops don’t normally get attacked because the bad guys *know* they have a gun. I’m willing to bet those who open carry don’t get attacked at the same ratio as unarmed / CCW people. I’m also willing to bet when there’s a gun visible, thugs have an incentive to go rob / attack some place else.

    What do you think?

  2. I actually love open carry, and I wish that I could do it more often. My love for open carry is tempered by my desire to not “scare whitey”; which is why I don’t. While I think that open carrying under certain circumstances can be a quite valuable endeavor, sometimes it does more harm than good.

    In this particular circumstance, I don’t think that open carry is the answer. I look at open carry as around Step 7 or 8 of the movement, and right now we’re at Step 4 or 5.

  3. I’m not so sure about that in this case. Whitey needs to be inoculated to seeing firearms. If we focus on hiding them, it gives the impression that they require hiding or that they’re something to be ashamed of. Also, since most people do not carry at all, with CCW they have no idea how many people are actually armed and therefor get a false sense for just how prevalent firearms are, which is why “gun crime” seems worse than it is – the only time people see guns they’re being used in a crime.

    If people saw guns on you and me every day, they’d realize that the amount of crime committed using guns is only that .01% we know about.

    I’m starting to work on scaring some people. For example, these people who are complaining that their children aren’t safe around this teacher forget that I carry a gun around their children all the time. So do thousands of others. It’s the “hiding” of the mean guns that lulls them into thinking they’re not there.

  4. I actually agree with you; and as I’ve said in the past I think that the careful application of open carry is a good thing for our rights. The issue there is “careful”; I recognize that there are times when openly carrying is going to do more harm than good, so I have to pick and choose carefully when and where to carry open.

  5. When is a bad time, Ahab? How do you know place A won’t scare whitey but place B will have plenty of Fraidy Whities?

    The funny thing is that if you wear a tie (or, for the vaginally enhanced of our species, a nice pair of dress slacks), you could open carry without scaring anyone. “Detectives” do it all the time around here. I put “detectives” in scare quotes because I simply assume that a well dressed person toting around a firearm in the open must be law enforcement.

    And nobody cares. And nobody cares when a cop carries. Or anyone in a blue shirt with something that resembles a badge (i.e. security guards).

    How do you break the perception that average Joes can’t be trusted with a firearm if you don’t repeatedly show said Joes with firearms and nothing happening? That’s the part that I have a hard time with.

  6. Well, it’s a personal judgment call on my part as to when I can/can’t open carry. I do agree though, the times I’ve open carried while wearing a tie and slacks, I haven’t even gotten a 2nd look from most folks.

    As far as when I open carry, I will open carry around people that I know that I’m trying to convert. These are usually people that know that I own “some guns” and have been screened for a low probability of PSH.

    A lot of my reasons for open carrying the way I do is because I favor an individual approach to “spreading the pro-gun gospel”. That being said, I am always 100% in favor evangelizing our sport, which is why if you’ve found that a different method of open carry works for you, I’m not going to quibble.

    I think it comes down to our target audience – in the case of random open carry, your target audience is much broader than the way I open carry.

  7. I do love that shirt, actually. As to the open carry, it’s usually more in controlled environments – for example I OC’d to a friend’s cookout recently.

    And you know, the more I think about it, the biggest reason why I don’t open carry with more frequency is I don’t want to get hassled by my local constabulary.

  8. Well, part of the “hassle” comes from a lack in education of the officers, and a lack of exposure.

    Have you written your local constabulary chief and asked them to remind their constables that the citizenry is legally allowed to open carry? Seriously. A quick note to the chief may actually do some good. Especially if you get a response (that you can print or copy and carry in your wallet). Plus, it ends up helping everyone.

    We can’t legally carry here in Florida, or I would. I didn’t want to risk it while I was up in Atlanta because (a) my holster is IWB and without a thumb break I wouldn’t be comfortable and (b) I was taking care of a sick mother and would have done no good in jail.

  9. You know, I honestly never thought to just pop off a letter to the guy – I reckon I ought to do just that.

    I do wish that Indiana had as active an open carry community as Virginia. I used to open carry quite frequently there.

  10. Paul Hager (http://www.paulhager.org/), a Libertarian activist and lawyer down in Bloomington did a big publicity campaign down there a couple of years ago, and wrote some articles about it. He hasn’t updated his blog since May though.

    I’ve been tentatively thinking about starting to OC some. I’m pretty open with people about the fact that I have a permit. My biggest concern though is the fear of getting the cops called on me and the hassle of dealing with that.

  11. I would think that having a copy of the relevant statutes handy would be… um, handy in those situations.

    Also, it would be a good idea to know the statutes well so that you can articulate them to the officer. They’re not lawyers so they’re not going to have them memorized. There’s a fine line though between being intelligent and belligerent.

    I’d love to try it myself. Of course knowing my penchant for smart-assery, I’d better be ready to spend a few moments of my life in custody 😉

  12. I like open carry, too. I could care less about scaring Whitey. I think letting it all hang out is a much more efficient deterrent than, is he carrying or isn’t he. When I’m out at dusk or twilight with $3000 of camera gear, I’d just as soon they didn’t have to get too close to know I’m packing.

    Robb, I’m putting together a business card with the applicable statutes for open and concealed carry here in KY. Though it seldom happens except in urban areas, here in the People’s Republic of Louisville there are some cops who have been known to hassle open carry, particulary downtown. I know a couple of guys who have had no joy at all when open carrying in downtown Louisville. I have never experienced any difficulty.

    That kind of card handed over with your ID or carry license might give one of them pause and avoid a situation like the one in Knoxville with ColtCCO. I don’t think his efforts at articulating did him much good that evening.

    Perhaps if we shared ColtCCO’s travails in Knoxville with our own local chief LEOs and asking for a response from them regarding training and policies would be a good pre-emptive strategy for those of us who are uncomfortable open carrying because of the LEO hassle factor.

  13. That quote:
    “The whole point of carrying concealed is no one should know you’re carrying,” she said. “So I feel like my carrying concealed on campus now sets me up as a target.”
    This ^ is why it really frost my cookies when newspapers publish information about permit holders. That’s a whole other blog. 🙁

  14. I went to my local sheriff’s office and asked face to face just exactly what the law was on open carry in Arkansas. ( It is legal here, but so restrictive as to be almost useless.)

    He would never directly answer my question. He kept repeating the “open carry is discouraged”. No matter how I asked the question or how many times I tried to get him to tell me what the law was he would only repeat the vague crap above. He knew the answer and was hoping I didn’t. In other words he had no inclination to follow or be bound by the law. Ergo, neither do I. He is paid to follow it and if he doesn’t think he should, why should I think I should?

    Nobody pays me to follow it.

    So, as in most things I let my conscience and sense of morality guide me and the law be damned. Most often the law and I are in agreement, but when we are not, I just plain don’t give a damn.

  15. I agree and like to add more to Ahab’s first statement about open carry. Most suburbian people,mostly soccor moms, are scared of anybody other than a cop wearing a gun. So, when a soccor mom sees me in Walmart with my Kimber in plain veiw the call the cops, who get the “man with a gun” call. I then have to be disarmed,detained, and dressed down about why I “shouldn’t” carry a gun in plain veiw or at all. Because to many police my permit means nothing to them. So, I carry concealed, cause frankly it is nobodied business if I have a gun to protect my wife or myself.

  16. More often than not, I find myself quasi-open carrying. In other words, I conceal, but don’t give a shit if my shirt blows open or I have to take my jacket off in public for whatever reason. Of course, it helps that I live in state where open carry is legal, and my shall-issue CCW cost me all of ten bucks.

    No one bats an eye when they see I’m armed.

    As it should be in America.

  17. Hi, I work for BBC World Service radio in London and today (Friday) between 1.30pm and 2pm East Coast Time in the States we will be talking to Shirley Katz live in our international discussion programme, World Have Your Say. She is the Oregon teacher who wants to be able to take a gun to school for her own protection. If you would like to take part in the discussion, please email your phone numbers to [email protected] or call me on +442085761720 and I will call you straight back.
    Many Thanks
    Martin Vennard

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