Lakewood Not a Very Gun-Friendly Place

Northeast Ohio Carry organization doesn’t list a single Lakewood business allowing customers to pack heat.

Lakewood isn’t a very gun-friendly city.

That’s according to the Northeast Ohio Carry organization, which recently posted a list of the businesses in Ohio that allow people to bring in guns.

According to its database, Lakewood doesn’t have any businesses listed that allow people to bring in a gun.

Compare that with Cleveland, which has about seven businesses — including Home Depot, Best Buy and Baskin Robbins — that allow gun owners to pack heat while shopping.

What do you think? Should more businesses allow weapons? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments.


John Kopecky January 07, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Phil, I personally don't choose to Open Carry, at least not in the suburbs, although I fully support those that choose to do so. I don't prefer it for a few reasons. Now, when I'm in a different community with different standards, (i.e. visiting rural colorado) I have carried openly with no issue. Its easily more comfortable and the community is used to it and you don't get a second look. I would take issue with your message that a guns says, "I'm ready to kill someone." I would contend that it's more along the lines of, "I'm able to defend myself and others if necessary." There's a difference. From what I've read in this thread and your other posts I take it you were or are in law enforcement. Have you ever seen a criminal use a proper holster? I have many friends that are police and I have asked every single one of them if they have ever encountered a criminal using a holster and not one of them has been able to answer in the affirmative. This is of course a slight difference that the average suburban soccer mom has never considered or thought of. The well dressed man with a custom 1911 in a $100 leather holster is not likely to be a criminal. We could discuss this topic at length. Ultimately, I think it's naive to think that a 4"x6" window sticker on the front door of an establishment that says, "No guns" provided any measure of safety.
Brett Pucillo January 07, 2013 at 01:56 PM
My name is Brett Pucillo, and I am the founder of NEO Carry. The article is a little confusing in the fact that it is written as though I have covered every business in NE Ohio. I have not. This would be impossible for one man, group, or organization to accomplish alone. This is why I stated on my site, "This Section is always being updated! If you have your own list of places you have compiled, or want a place added on here, please email us and we will add all of your places. Let us know the city and place and if you carried openly or concealed. We make no promises that the information on this page is up to date and accurate. Please check signs or independently verify addresses before carrying anywhere." This list I have started is an ever-growing database. The companies that I have listed in either section have either been contributed to me by a member of the group, or I have been to personally. Unfortunately no one in the Lakewood area has contributed any businesses, good or bad, for me to add to the list. I do encourage everyone reading this to start sending me businesses that either do or do not allow the carry of firearms and I will happily add them to the site. I do not, however, see Lakewood as gun friendly or anti-gun, since I have not personally been there. Feel free to email me directly with questions, concerns, or businesses to add. neoopencarry@yahoo.com. Please also like us on facebook to stay completely up to date with all of our events.
Thomas Wagner January 07, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I am standing in front of my favorite tavern. Or in line to board a plane, or at a theater. Inside there are some people with Bipolar Disorder, some diagnosed, some not. Someone has been dumped by his girlfriend or wife today, someone has been fired, or expelled. Someone has been drinking, on his medication, ..or not. They are all God’s people, as we know them. They are all good people .. perhaps good people with problems ... but that’s not the point. My question is what gun should we give each of these people? We banned machine guns in 1934 …. why not bring them back? The classic Tommy Gun could shoot about 600 rounds per minute. The gun used at Sandy Hook did only 45 RPM, more if you’re trained. If more guns equals more safety then the greater the RPM the greater the safety. Imagine your tavern, or your airplane or theater – each populated with God’s people, each of us armed with a machine gun, or a Bushmaster (what’s really the difference?). Imagine another place filled with people bearing only small pistols, a third where each of us only have knives. Which place provides the safest environment for the most people?
Brett Pucillo January 07, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I am sorry, but that argument just does not make sense, and does not represent a point we were trying to make. In this perfectly mapped out scenario, you are assuming that all people will follow these rules you have set and only have hand guns or only have knives, or whatever the case may be. Our point is that criminals will have these tools regardless of what the law may dictate. We choose to be armed to be able to defend ourselves and others if the need arises, or if some of "God's people" do not obey the laws and/or are set on carnage. I would much rather go to my grave having my gun and never needing it, than go to my grave needing my gun and not having it. And if you noticed from our posts regarding our events, we choose to have people only bring handguns, not long guns. We choose to have our sidearm on us (not a tommy gun as you would like to say), and that is every bit our right in Ohio as it is your right to voice an opposing position.
Phil Florian January 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
John, thanks for your response. Much appreciated. To your second point I understand the message you think is being sent by carrying a gun. I appreciate that but what you intend isn't necessary what is received by others. Does that make sense? You can take issue with it and I understand that you feel this way when you strap on a gun but for folks not carrying guns the message if far different. This goes to the point Brett (welcome to the discussion, Brett!) was trying to alleviate with his organization which was to address the "fear, mystique and misconceptions" about firearms. You have addressed a possible misconception I have about the message you send while carrying a gun but I would hope you would understand that may do little to alleviate the fear people have around people carrying guns. Sure, you sound very rational but then I see on the Patch Lakewood discussion for this someone who posts "anti- (legal) gun= pro-criminal" which is paranoid hyperbole. Then you have an advocate on Piers Morgan (didn't see, only saw article on it) ranting like a madman. Then you have the leader of the NRA advocating more guns and putting them in the hands of teachers, etc. This hardly alleviates fear and only increases it. To your last point, I don't think anyone is naive enough to believe that a sign saying "no guns" is protecting them from criminals. It is a statement of belief. Dogs are more effective crime deterrents but I don't think cat people are pro-crime. :-)
Phil Florian January 08, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Brett, so glad to see you join the discussion! Could you address my question that I sent to John specifically around how you intend to address those three big points of fear, mystique and misconceptions around publicly carrying guns? In particular the fear. I think the response from the NRA and most large-scale public figures defending gun ownership have come across as fairly frightening and does little to assuage people's fear. Like many issues, the media would rather have the more extreme person on air since they draw the audience in but this is a topic where cooler heads would be appreciated. As example, most people wanting gun laws aren't asking every gun owner to give up their guns and I doubt that most gun owners want to see every person in the nation carrying guns all over the place. Yet it is the extremes that seem to guide the discussion and as such no common ground is found. Brett, is your organization that moderate voice or is there no possibility for reasonable discussion of guns in the nation?
Brett Pucillo January 08, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Phil, my goal is to have our group be a rational voice on this issue. I am not sure if you would consider that moderate or not, but I feel that nothing was ever accomplished by screaming your point on either side of the political spectrum. There are certainly radical people on both sides of the debate. The Piers Morgan interview you were referring to was with the guy from infowars.com. He is very radical, and while I agree with some of his points, CNN choosing him to be interviewed was for shock value and ratings, not to get to the bottom of the gun debate. As far as taking the fear away; we choose to take the education route. Certainly seeing a gun in public might startle some people right off of the bat, but by then talking with them about their concerns and having a rational discussion about their grievances, we can sometimes take away the misconceptions they may have in one encounter. By being out and active in our community while carrying, and by having the approval of the police departments we have worked with so far, people are getting a chance to see first-hand that this is a legal thing to do and that they have no rational reason to fear a person just because they choose to be armed. (continued in next comment).
Brett Pucillo January 08, 2013 at 07:05 PM
We would eventually like to make commonplace our visits to communities. We can only accomplish this by going out and exercising our rights and passing out our informative and educational literature. Having a firearm in the open is a natural starting point for initiating a further discussion on gun safety and education with someone who you may not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so with. To sum things up, our group would love to be that cool-headed, rational group who can talk about gun issues without things getting over-heated and ignorant.
pam ghaster January 08, 2013 at 11:43 PM
@Cheryl, I will not shop where they allow guns, period. p.ghaster
pam ghaster January 08, 2013 at 11:45 PM
@Phil, I believe only certain groups should have guns, military, police etc. Guns kill in the wrong hands and that is most people. p. ghster
pam ghaster January 09, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Gun carring people are menace to our neighborhoods and shopping areas. Our lovely community Lakewood borders Cleveland..........and each week I see more and more issues coming our way. We need to revamp the background checks...........if not we will be keeping the authorities busy. Guns kill in the wrong hands as I have said before.........most people who own guns are not prepared to have one. pam ghaster
Brett Pucillo January 09, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Pam did you completely miss my last statement? I will repost so you can see it. And I am sure that you mean criminals who carry guns illegally are menaces to your neighborhood right? Please stop promoting ignorance and fear and read the facts: According to Gallup, "Forty-seven percent of American adults currently report that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property." According to US News, "The United States will enter 2012 with a population of roughly 312.8 million people." That is roughly 111,803,600 gun owning adults in the US (and that is just the REPORTED gun owners!) In 2010 there were 8775 firearm related deaths. That would make it less than 1% of gun owners in America who murdered people with their firearms. But we also know that out of that 8,775 firearm deaths in the US, some of those were suicides, and most were committed by felons and gang members who did not legally purchase that weapon to begin with (as the number in California, where there is a known large gang population from L.A., is 1257 murders. So your statement holds no merit since less than 1% of the gun owning population has used their guns to harm someone else.
Phil Florian January 09, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Thanks for your post, Brett! I finally found a metaphor of how I think people that are creeped out by publicly displayed guns see things. I do not intend this to insult but I understand if it comes off that way but I am trying to be honest. :-) Seeing a person with a gun carried in the open while they shop at, say, Best Buy would be the equivalent to seeing a person shopping in the same store with a personal fire-extinguisher on their back. I am not sure if that is legal, but go with me. There are nearly 2500 deaths per year by fire and maybe some statistic could bear out that if more people would carry personal fire extinguishers around that statistic might be lower. Or not. But clearly such a person is overdressing for the situation. People carrying guns in public places that are so statistically unlikely to be involved in any incident that would require a gun looks silly, awkward and in the case of a gun, unnerving. A person with a fire extinguisher would get stares as much as one with a gun. And like Colorado, maybe we would get used to it if more people walked around carrying fire extinguishers. But why would we want to? Do we really always want to feel that at any moment a fire might break out? Sure, maybe one will and I guarantee it is far more likely to happen than a random spree-killer or even armed robbery to be attempted. Whether or not a right, it is weird to see people overdressed for the situation. Maybe that is just me.
Brett Pucillo January 09, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Thanks for your post Phil. That was a well thought out analogy, but I respectfully disagree. People have not integrated fire extinguishers into their everyday lives the same as people have firearms. I agree some might find it "silly" but here are some reasons why I choose to (sometimes) open carry (about 90% of the time I conceal). One might be a comfort issue. Some guns can not be concealed and must be carried openly in a proper holster. Some people also believe that open carry is a great deterrent to crime. Why would a criminal attack an open carrier who can clearly defend themselves, when there are other victims around? Fire extinguishers do not deter a fire from breaking out. There is also the issue of drawing your weapon. We hope that you never have to, but if you did, could you quickly and easily un-holster your weapon and be in a good position to fire? Remember, seconds count! Open carry allows for a smooth, simple, and quick draw. Another reason to open carry is that it does not require a license. While you are going through the process of getting your ccw, you could be open carrying in the meantime. And finally, open carry is our biggest means of getting to talk to people who we may not have had the opportunity to talk to without. It shows people the legality of open carry and could start a great conversation about gun rights and carry. We carry openly or concealed for a multitude of reasons. These are just a few that relate to me.
Phil Florian January 09, 2013 at 02:36 AM
That's my metaphorical response (see below...this posted second). I keep trying to figure out how to explain it and that is what makes the most sense to me. More of a concern and one the gun lobby has had a harder time dealing with is coupling people's discomfort around guns with the real issues around gun violence. The real issue is that cheap and easily obtained guns are being made, sold and shipped into volatile neighborhoods and gun markets are created and demand increased with the same methods that the Gun lobby does at the national level but in these illegal markets the traffic is heavy and the results are dramatically bad. I work in criminal justice and many of my low-level criminals (guys caught with some weed, basically) are getting guns because like the Soviets and US in the 80's there is an arms race. Guns are so easy to get and used so casually that they are afraid not to have one. More guns always mean more deaths. When programs are targeted towards these illegal gun markets, guns on the streets go down and deaths go down as a result. But part of these illegal gun markets tie to the legal gun markets and the vast loopholes allow these guns to make their way into this system pretty easily. Sadly any attempts to close these loopholes are seen as "infringing the rights of law abiding gun owners" and thus rarely discussed. As is to say, "why have speed limits when clearly I am a good driver and don't need them." :-)
Brett Pucillo January 09, 2013 at 02:57 AM
I do not want criminals on our streets with guns obtained illegaly any more than you do, and I am always willing to discuss ways to keep this from happening. The fact remains though that they are out there and to me it is prudent to carry my firearm (openly or concealed depending on the circumstance) to defend myself and my family.
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Phil, Are you serious? As a firearms instructor, I have seen plenty of people in law enforcement who could use plenty of lessons in safety. Several law enforcement officers don't even view their firearm as a tool or life saving device. Many think of it just something they have to lug around during their work day as does an office worker with their brief case. I have seen weapons that haven't been cleaned in over 10 months and encrusted with food, Mountain Dew, coffee etc. Now THAT'S scary! Just because one isn't behind the badge, don't judge.
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 12:36 AM
If I didn't have mine with me one evening leaving a particular hospital with my elderly mother, we would have been robbed. JC, no fear...if you are being robbed, beat up etc. etc, I will be sure NOT to help you. :)
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM
The only message my weapon carries is "Life saving tool."
Phil Florian January 13, 2013 at 01:59 AM
I hear you. Your point is a valid one and I am sure there are people out there with badges who aren't respecting their weapon and that is a shame. BUT they ARE accountable for that as is the agency that puts that gun on their belt which is more than can be said for Joe Gun Owner. Sure, some like yourself might be great in a old timey shoot out while others might not be. I would rather put the expectation that police are trained to use (and care!) for their gun and have someone to complain to when they don't. That doesn't mean that I want to see MORE people carrying guns, though. I want to see less. I don't want to be reminded that there are people around me who are in constant fear of their lives every day and think at any moment a gun will be needed to save their life. That is frightening to me since that is pretty far from reality (your story, notwithstanding, is a rare one). Let me put it this way. If a guy in your office wore a raincoat, rain boots and had his umbrella in hand every day of the year, rain or shine, people would likely make fun of him. "Why do you dress like that, it isn't raining," someone might say and he would answer, "but it might." Maybe you wouldn't mock or think this odd but I know many who would. Yet he would be right more often than a guy openly carrying a firearm as it is FAR more likely to rain than to be involved in a crime (fyi it rains 53% of days in Ohio).
Phil Florian January 13, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I heard an interesting discussion about Open Carry vs. Conceal Carry and it being compared to The Club vs. Lo-Jack involving car-related crime. Open Carry, like the Club in parked cars, doesn't reduce overall crime and just prevents the crime from happening to YOU and moves it on to the next person. Conceal Carry is like the Lo Jack which allows an immediate response to the crime that would, in theory, actually catch or stop a criminal. I am not advocating for either of these but I thought it was an interesting discussion. This is why public cameras were not the great deal at stopping crime...they just push criminals to places where there aren't cameras.
Phil Florian January 13, 2013 at 02:26 AM
This discussion, as interesting as it has been, does (as always) dance around the issue that guns are getting into the hands of criminals and doing so remarkably easily. The gun industry and their advocates at the NRA are very happy to fund both sides of the issue, too. They make guns that are used in crime and prevention of crime and get really wealthy off of it. It would be an interesting discussion if we actually addressed the gun industry itself and HOW guns are making their way into hands of bad guys. Instead, we obsessively argue with people who are convinced Road Warrior was a movie that predicted the near future or that the government will be coming for their guns soon and they will have to get all Ruby Ridge on them. There is really no convincing either party that their world vision just isn't likely to happen but the more we talk about trying to address gun violence the more these folks become convinced that this will happen (and again, the gun makers get richer and richer...good for them, I guess). Maybe the point we should be talking about is not to answer the ridiculous comment "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" but instead figure out the rest of this statement: "The way to prevent a bad guy from having a gun is...." That is ts the question I think most of us want answered but aren't getting anywhere near that.
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Clearly, the Author of this piece is trying to further a political agenda. Stop kicking the corpses of dead children to do that sir.
pam ghaster January 13, 2013 at 01:35 PM
@Chuck, Totally agree. pam gahster
pam ghaster January 13, 2013 at 01:38 PM
@Brett, this is exactly what I said.............my post is not ignorant and does nor promote fear. Guns kill. They should be in the hands of Police and Military.
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 06:52 PM
You agree Pam? That's good. And here I thought you didn't like guns. :)
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Pam??? Are you serious? I carry a firearm with me where I am able to protect me and mine. I am trained, (an instructor as well) law abiding and safe. Can you please tell me how I am a menace to our neighborhoods and shopping areas? Pam, by the tone of your posts and I do not mean to offend, but it sounds like you are very young and do not fully understand the world around us yet as well as left wing political agendas. I would like to see your FACTS that law abiding citizens are menaces to our neighborhoods.
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Pam, Also as I have mentioned previously, your belief is firearms should only be in the hands of police and military. You would be SURPRISED how many folks in law enforcement are not properly trained and get by with minimal qualifications per year through out the United States. Some only take the jobs temporarilly and some don't even take proper care of their weapons. Now the military- did you know our military has been infiltrated by gang members? HINT: These are BAD guys! Please do your research and don't be swayed by the media and left wing propaganda. If you ever want to observe and even get a chance to experience SAFE gun handling and enjoy the FUN of target shooting, I extend the invite to you to come out with us to LEARN and see what it is all about. All safety gear will be provided and I guarantee you will go home with a smile on your face!
Chuck Timblin January 13, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Phil, Your rain coat analogy is silly. I understand you are a Liberal and that's ok. If you don't want a weapon to protect yourself or your own, don't begrudge others that do and HAVE. I am willing to wager (friendly of course) that if a disaster ever struck here (Katrina for example) you would be first to be looking to the .gov for shelter and food instead of being prepared. Look at police response times for crime. If you are walking your poodle at midnight and some criminal decided to start following you and THEN mug you what would you do? WAIT on scene crying for the police to arrive and then take a description, transmit a BOLO, call medics and take a report? Your Best Buy analogy- most common sense folks wouldn't get alarmed at a person shopping for a TV at best buy with a firearm in a holster. If they had criminal intentions, the weapon would be in their hand robbing the place. You publicly stated and I quote you "As a police officer I would always be on edge around non-police with guns." What municipality do you work or have worked for? By "worked" that includes any reserve or volunteer capacity. If you would ( or are) always "on edge" does that mean you have PTSD? Does that mean you have a short temper? Maybe you have mental health issues and you shouldn't be policing? I am curious now.
Charlie Hargrave May 05, 2013 at 12:36 AM
I'm in Lakewood andI both open carry and promote it. I also come late to discussions! Law abiding citizens have a right to be armed. This should in no way intimidate, annoy or frighten other law abiding citizens. If you feel intimidated, annoyed or frightened in any way by me being armed I apologize, BUT I will not give up this right. Oddly, my wife is intimidated, annoyed and frightened by people on the left side of issues speaking thier minds. She just ignores them and goes about her business. She does not try to take away thier 1st amendment right to do so. She does not try to shame them into being quiet. All I ask is the same courtesy.


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