Text The Times.

Text The Times.

Last Tuesday the Marion jr high school held a track meet with several schools. It started at four and lasted at least until 10:30. I have never seen such confusion and a unorganized meet. They spent an hour looking for a replacement gun to start the races because the one they had did not work. Last night we went to Wynne to watch a track meet that was just as many schools but was very organized. We left by 7:30 Marion and West Memphis were there and did great. Would be nice if our paper would brag on these kids cause they all work very hard. Maybe even a picture like they do all the other sports. Also East and Wonder were at the track and were also great!!! [ Editor’s Note: When I was in management at another company, they used what was called a ‘ compliment sandwich’ to critique employees ( if you watch the show “ Family Guy,” you may have seen this as well). The idea is that if you have some more than one criticism about an employee, you “ sandwich” something positive between them so as to soften the blow and keep the employee from feeling “ attacked” by his or her boss. You can argue the merits of such a method of management, but this is a great example of that technique: Complaining about the track meet organization, praising the hardworking student athletes, and topping the sandwich with criticizing our lack of track coverage in the paper. I will retort with an ‘ explanation burrito’… Track meets are very long all- day affairs, so a mishap or delay when dealing with that many events can often be unavoidable. I do agree with you that the boys and girls that put in the time and effort at these track meets do deserve both praise and recognition, and I will see if we can get some track coverage in the paper soon. By the way, you wouldn’t be in management, would you?]

*** Having open carry and concealed carry in the natural state is awesome and confusing. The law is so unclear with open carry under certain situations.

[ Editor’s Note: “ awesome” and “ confusing” are two adjectives I don’t want anywhere near my gun laws at the same time. That seems more like something you’d hear about God. You know, like, “ the Lord’s mysterious ways are both awesome and confusing,” or something. But to your point, yes, state residents are still not being given a completely clear interpretation of how Arkansas’ carry laws are being or should be applied. I attempted to tackle this question a few months ago. As I have no new information, I will go back to that response: Passed in 2013, Act 746 aimed to clarify the rules for carrying a concealed handgun. Supporters of the legislation sought to remove any prohibition on openly carrying a handgun except for a few places ( schools and airports mostly). However, interpretation of the law varies depending on who you ask.

Both former Governor Mike Beebe and former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel both said they believed the law did not allow open carry. The first real test of the law came in 2014, when a man openly wore a pistol into a Searcy Walmart, causing a kerfluffle with some customers and employees. An off- duty police officer confronted the man and no charges were filed, however. Recently, current Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, asked about the law during an interview, said Act 746 allowed handguns to be carried, unless it was with intent to harm another person, which is, in fact, exactly what the wording of the law plainly says “ carrying a weapon” is an “ offense” only “ if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a 34 purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.” I spoke to Sheriff Mike Allen on the subject, and he agreed that, despite efforts to clarify the issue, “ it’s still being challenged, and the waters are still pretty muddy.”

He said that locally, officers are told to handle each situation on a case- by- case basis.

He suggested anyone wishing to carry a weapon go ahead and secure a concealed- carry permit. “ You might still get arrested,” he said, “ but then you’ll have the law to argue.”

Allen also noted that most states have a reciprocal recognition of a state- issued concealed- carry permit. I guess the real answer is that currently, there is no real answer at this time]

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