Tuesday, December 17, 2019

"By invitation only" vs "Open to the public"

This may (I hope) be the wrap-up to the recent posts on anti-gun bigots, right-of-way, and all that mess.

As I said in a previous post, I see a big distinction between private property which is "by invitation only"-- your house, yard, car, etc.-- as opposed to private property which is "open to the public"-- a business or something like that.

If you invite me to your house, I will assume you aren't going to say "no guns", just as I would never do to you or anyone else. But if you do say that, I will decline the "invitation" (which I won't see as an invitation at all, but as an insult). There was no necessity for me to go to your property, and if you don't trust me armed, you don't trust me at all. And if you insist I show up disarmed I will assume you intend to violate me in other ways, too, and don't want me able to fight back. So, no, I will not go to your place. I doubt I would invite you to my house either after that.

But maybe you have a rational reason-- strong magnetic fields in your house that would turn a gun into a dangerous projectile or something like that. Unless you can give a reasonable explanation of that sort that's not based on mere feelings, I will never again trust you because of this violation of trust.

If you have a business that you claim is "open to the public", then I'm going to assume you mean what you say. I always assume liberty unless shown otherwise. If, however, you were lying and your property is not really "open to the public" but is only "open to disarmed people" I will go elsewhere if I have an alternative. And I hope I have an alternative because I really don't want to support your bigotry with my money.

Is a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" sign the same thing as a "We don't care if you die" sign? Not even close.

Requiring you to wear clothes might be the same as asking you to carry concealed rather than having an AR15 slung over your shoulder, though. It's about what's in the open, visible, outside your personal space zone. Not wearing a shirt reduces that zone down to the surface of your skin. Requiring shirt and shoes isn't usually the business owner's personal feelings anyway, but is generally mandated by the State. I've seen many businesses turn a blind eye in certain circumstances. Wearing a shirt isn't likely to harm you in any way, and if your shirt suddenly caught fire no business owner would have a hissy fit if you stripped it off to keep from burning to death. It's possible to take off your shirt if an emergency requires it; it's not possible to conjure a gun out of thin air if an emergency requires one.

And, obviously, it's a serious crime for any government facility to pretend they can forbid guns. Yet, they get away with it and will murder you for ignoring their violation. Which just shows what they really are.

I don't trust anyone who tries to deny anyone's right to be responsibly armed. I never have and I never will. I wouldn't do that to anyone and I expect reciprocity.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support. If so...
YOU get to decide if I get paid.


  1. I seem to recall that you used to have the occasional interaction with Timothy J. Taylor of "The Authority! Blog" (unfortunately I haven't heard from him in some time -- last time I did, he had been badly injured in an accident; he lived in Bangkok).

    Timothy used to claim that if you are "open to the public," you can't refuse to bake and decorate a cake with a message you don't like on it.

    I disagreed. I don't see that being "open to the public" constitutes any automatic surrender of your rights at all.

    1. I don't recall that name, but maybe. I've been around a lot of places over the years.
      However, you are right about the cake. To bake and decorate a cake is to force an action. That would be like me going into your business and demanding you loan me a gun while I'm there.

      Off-topic: Did you see Claire Wolfe is quitting her blog. That makes me really sad to see.

    2. I hope her new ‘real’ job (sic) gives her some financial security as well as satisfaction. I fear that working as a public intellectual of whatever fashion in a society that is run as a totalitarian police state empire will only be profitable for those who are willing to be sycophantic knee-jerk apologists for that state. Such a state can only continue to exist where the majority are indifferent or passive tolerators of its evil. Pointing out its fallacies and errors will never be popular with the state itself nor with those who will be embarrassed or humiliated by examples of ethical superiority. Being a ‘voice in the wilderness’ is not a job that will ever likely make you rich or even comfortable.

    3. Yeah, I saw that. I hope it turns out to be temporary, but if she really has decided to "retire" from this side of things, I also wish her every happiness in that "retirement."

      I treat the "open to the public" dodge in the same way whether it's used to justify forcing a particular action or to justify forcing acquiescence in a particular use of someone else property.

    4. I thing forcing an action is... well, force. While there is no force in not forcing anything. You can't force acquiescence, you can only prevent someone from using force. "Being" isn't use and it isn't force. Even if it offends someone. Otherwise, I could decide I don't like the color of someone's shirt and use that as justification to punch them or tear the shirt off their back-- on my property or elsewhere. The shirt's color exists, but it doesn't impose on me in any way even if I really hate it. There is no force involved in the existence of the shirt no matter where it is, but only in my reaction to it.

    5. "While there is no force in not forcing anything"

      If someone sets Condition X for use of their property and you enter their property under other than Condition X, you are trespassing -- forcibly using their property.

    6. This may have been from "before your time" -- I don't remember when you showed up writing on the Intertubes -- but as the illustration indicates, the argument we're having goes waaaaaaaaay back. If the illustration had included an entry requirement sign for "Knapp's Knives," the requirements would have been "must be naked and on a pogo stick."

    7. I started this blog in September 2006, and had been posting some stuff in various places (particularly on The Claire Files) for about 3 years before that. I only got online in the spring of 2001 when someone sold me their old WebTV. So I'm a newcomer of sorts.

      I was reading TLE probably beginning around 2002 or 2003, but not sure if I had written anything for it at that time-- probably not. Too early.

      And, yeah, I know this debate goes back a long ways. Long before I was on the internet I actually started out with your position before I realized which part of property rights were more fundamental (from my perspective).

    8. "I actually started out with your position before I realized which part of property rights were more fundamental (from my perspective)"

      Well, there's your problem. "More fundamental" does not translate to "trump other rights." You're positing a conflict that doesn't exist, then carving out an exception so that the side you're on "wins" that conflict.

    9. “If someone sets Condition X for use of their property and you enter their property under other than Condition X, you are trespassing -- forcibly using their property.

      “….for use of their property….”

      The entrant has violated their conditions of entry and can legitimately be expelled, but they have not “used” your property. As Kent stated, “being isn’t use”.

      “Trespass is an area of criminal law or tort law broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land.” (from Wikipedia)
      Trespass to land:
      “Trespass to land involves the "wrongful interference with one's possessory rights in [real] property."

      I have no doubt that your usage, “you are trespassing -- forcibly using their property.” Implies that the owners “possessory right in real property” have somehow been violated.

      I remain unconvinced that the violation of the owner’s conditions of entry, or for that matter, the exercise of the entrant’s inherent natural rights while on the owner’s property, can be legitimately considered to have been "wrongful interference with one's possessory rights in [real] property.” This does not in my opinion constitute “use” of it because it does not affect the owner’s “possessory right” in the real estate but only his conditions for entry. It is a violation of his wishes, not his property. But then there is also the element of tort called "Interference". This covers any physical entry to land, as well as the abuse of a right of entry, when a person who has the right to enter the land does something not covered by the permission. This is a characteristic of “trespass” to land as well in “law” but in my opinion muddies the waters unnecessarily by confusing ‘behaviors’ or ‘actions’ with physical ‘things’ like real estate and their tangible and material ‘use”. I think it is this difference in interpretation of the word USE that is at the root of the disagreement here. As in many other instances, I believe that the ‘law” here does not properly reflect ‘justice’.

    10. "abuse of a right of entry, when a person who has the right to enter the land does something not covered by the permission"

      But if you're violating the owner's conditions for entering the land, you don't HAVE the right to enter the land. There is no "double secret probation right" under which those conditions don't matter just because you really, really, really REALLY think it's important that you be allowed to violate them.

  2. Clear thinking as usual, Kent; thank you!

    I wonder if there might be circumstances in which a business owner would find it to his advantage to require certain conduct by his customers.

    For example, an upscale restaurateur might ask gentlemen to wear jackets and ties - and should one venture in without either, to offer him the loan of one. Why? - because other customers like that, and he doesn't wish to offend or lose them.

    There is (or was) also a steak bar North of Scottsdale, AZ where ties are expressly NOT allowed, and should one wear one the waiter is likely to snip it off with a pair of scissors; the walls are lined with the snippage. It's a whole bunch of fun.

    I can imagine also the owner of a nudist camp objecting if someone entered clad in a business suit; for it would hurt his image and his trade with other campers. Would he also be reasonable if he asked clients not to wear a gun? "Concealment" would in that case hardly be feasible and for a guy to keep his pistol in a gun belt might confuse the ladies.

    I also wonder if we might approach the "no guns" problem a different way. The owner of a business is surely entitled to exclude anyone he wishes, absent government; but whenever he expresses his bigotry by doing so (blacks, whites, "Indians", gun carriers...) he risks a loss of business AND provides a bus-opp to his rivals. So might it be feasible for McManigal & Company to create a chain of retail stores that advertises "guns welcome here"? Surely there's a market in Texas for that?

    1. Conduct is one of those things that is out in the open and can affect the business and the other customers. Of course a business can require certain conduct while on the premises.

      Concealed carry doesn't affect anyone or anything unless bad guys attack. Open carry could possibly affect the environment. That's why I've never been a big fan of those who walk into businesses with an AR slung over their shoulder. I understand what they are trying to do, but I think they are accomplishing the opposite.

      I think, for a nudist camp, an ankle holster would be the proper attire. Or "nature's pockets" for the more daring.

      I've had two stores in my life (both in Colorado). In both I posted signs encouraging customers to come in armed (even offering a discount to those who were). If I had the money and knew what kind of store to open now, I'd do it.

  3. "Natures pockets" ? Where is Mae West when we really need a quip?

  4. I have been in the sign business 40 years the few times this " I really don't want to do that " came up I simply told the customer what they were asking for was going to offend someone , not me perhaps not him or her but someone ( children , the elderly , religious people . etc. )... p.s. never been asked to do a No Guns or a No shirt , shoes , no service ... but have made many signs saying please remove shoes before boarding ( boats ) and a couple for people that didn't want shoes worn in there homes...Pat

  5. As for Claire her's was the 1st blog I ever followed , this was after reading Hardyville . most other blogs I tune into have their source in her's I hope she appears from time to time as kind of a guest in comments or whatever on other blogs...Pat

    1. I think she's just burned out. I understand that completely. I would be surprised if she showed up on other blogs.