Jackson Hole, WY News

He wasn’t born with the right to bear arms, but Robert Benedict appreciates it now that he has it.

To show how he feels, Benedict will be on Town Square from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday to honor the Second Amendment and its declaration that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” He’ll be packing. He urges people who share his respect for the right to carry firearms to join him. And to also be armed.

The British citizen who lives in Jackson said the public gathering is “a celebration, not a protest.”

“It’s something I’m doing myself,” he said. “I love America; that’s why I live here, and I love the rights we’re afforded.”

Benedict said he has “seen what’s happened in England where rights are being disregarded, and I’m thankful for what I have here in America.”

Benedict envisions a quiet gathering with some speeches and signs in support of the Second Amendment. A respectful attitude by people who open-carry their weapons is part of the event, he said.

“If people do choose to conceal or open-carry, they should do so legally; that’s most important,” he said.

Benedict came to the United States five years ago and lived two years in the Salt Lake City area. He came to Jackson three years ago and works in information technology. His wife and two daughters are American citizens; the girls attend school here.

Jackson police Lt. Roger Schultz said Benedict informed the department about the planned gathering. Schultz said Benedict doesn’t need a permit just to gather and express an opinion and do so while carrying firearms, but that police appreciated the heads-up.

Benedict has advertised the meeting on his website, JH2A.com, and with flyers pinned to supermarket bulletin boards. He said he has received “overwhelming” support online but wasn’t certain how that will translate to actual people on the square. Benedict said he invited Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon and hopes to see him there.

Benedict said he hadn’t decided the particulars of his firearm choice.

“I’ve got many,” he said of the personal collection from which he can choose. “It depends on what I wear.”

Contact Mark Huffman at 732-5907 or mark@jhnewsandguide.com.

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(16) comments

Andrew Tramont

I live in Miami, Florida, about 25 miles from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, and I'm fortunate enough also to have a home in Jackson. If this gentleman had any courage at all, he'd relocate his "celebration" of the Second Amendment to Parkland, where he might encounter a difference of opinion. In any case, I hope his "celebration" at the Town Square is peaceful for the reason that no one attends.
Andy Tramont

bob culver

The celebrants at the Second Amendment event on Saturday are residents of Jackson, not Florida. I think out of compassion and consideration you would not see any pro-firearm event taking place immediately after or directly in a community that has suffered a criminal attack. The Second Amendment supporters are kind in that way - the anti-gun crowd is not so kind. Dancing in the blood of the victims is a common anti-gun tactic to try to use the emotion of the moment to overcome the sound logic of pro-gun people.

I would welcome any discussion of differing opinions. If you had been at the event and identified yourself to me, we could have had that good discussion.

Bob Culver

Chad guenter

Mr. Culver, the only "discussion" the anti-gunners believe in, is a one sided discussion. They only want to strip peoples rights away, no questions asked.

Jay Westemeier

I agree with everything you stated Bob, but I don't believe any so-called celebration is necessary for pro-2nd amendment rights. This type of thing just antagonizes and advances anti-gun sentiment. As law abiding citizens, we should all celebrate our right to own and carry guns by doing it discretely, freely attend gun shows, and frequent our gun shops and shooting ranges. Any grandstanding in public just fuels discord and really doesn't help the cause.

bob culver

Actually some "flag waving" is necessary - hiding from public exposure is not a good idea. Why? A right ignored (or not exercised or displayed) is a right that grows stale and is eventually lost. There was absolutely nothing antagonistic about the celebration on Saturday. I can cite many recent celebrations (or demonstrations if you prefer) that were antagonistic - sometimes in the extreme. Flag Waving public exposure does not increase anti-gun sentiments in the vast majority of encounters, it just educates and then calms sentiment if done properly. I would be glad to talk to anyone abut that social skill.

We fully understand that the Rights enumerated in the Second Amendment should not need promotion, but the incessant and increasing attacks on it demand we speak out. It is like swimming in the snake river, if you try hard you can actually hold your place against the current, but if you stop swimming you will soon be swept down stream.

Any celebration, or grandstanding, or what ever you call it, might fuel some discord, but only among those who irrationally oppose this Right. In their ignorance they are motivated to attack those supporting it. I have been open carrying a sidearm on random days for years around town and throughout the region. Many folks join me in a conversation about it, and as a result become educated - any initial discord disappears with knowledge. I can cite only one irrational outburst, years ago, by a customer at a fuel stop south of town. Hundreds of others have been friendly, cordial and often informative. And enjoyable too!

Bob Culver

Chad guenter

Great comment Mr. Culver! Hiding away our Right and being "discrete" does nothing to change peoples minds, especially the Anti-gun crowd.
The anti-side needs as much "in your face" rebuttal as we can muster, they are talking about stripping millions of a basic HUMAN RIGHT.

Jay Westemeier

I respect your opinion but can't fully agree. I guess it depends on where you live. I'd much rather carry concealed instead of advertising it to a nervous public and bad guys. I'd rather keep them guessing than becoming their first target. I also don't need it as a good or bad conversation piece. It's not the best form of attention where I live.

Chad guenter

When those "on the fence" regarding firearms, see someone OCing with their wife and daughter/family, dressed decently and not carrying an attitude, it hopefully "normalizes" an armed citizenry in their eyes. Those who hate guns wont be swayed regardless. I'm all in favor of trying to OC for "educational/normalization" purposes like this.

bob culver

I guess we can't expand this exchange beyond three layers, so I will reply to some of the comments below by adding more at this level.

Jay, It definitely matters where you are and other circumstances as to whether you open or conceal carry. Here in Wyoming, and in a few other states, the legal hazard of concealed carry does not exist - in many CCW permit states if you inadvertently flash or print the firearm so it is no longer concealed, that is a violation of law.

All well educated firearm carriers understand the advantage and hazards of both open and concealed carry. Open carrying (just as for anyone in uniform) may make you the first target in the event of an attack. If you are overlooked, so much the better. If you carry concealed there is a better chance you will be overlooked and you may be able to maneuver into a position to effectively deal with the threat. That is the real advantage to concealed carry, no one should know who is carrying. In any crowd of 100 or more folks the chance of ONE CCW is near 100% (depending on where). There is even a very good chance of 2 or 3 others open carrying. However, drawing from concealment will take just a short extra time, a few seconds, and that action may draw the attention of an attacker. Definitely a give-and-take situation.

Open carrying should be done with the knowledge that you could be a target, BUT also knowing you are in a position to react to and interact with the general public. I welcome such interaction. If I need to conceal in a certain location or among a certain crowd, the bottom of the jacket is pulled down and it's "Now you see it, now you don't". The easy Wyoming fix. I must explain that I have no CCW permits, I just go by the Wyoming Constitutional Carry (concealed) and Open Carry rules.

For me, in Wyoming and Jackson (and even shopping in Idaho) it is an easy choice to open carry (and a necessity in Idaho with no CCW permit). I welcome the pubic interaction and "waving the flag". BTW, I also wave the flag with "Gun Owner" stamped currency. To see the story about this visit the web site; [everydaynodaysoff.com/2010/03/23/gun-owner-stamp-on-american-1-dollar-bill/] Scroll down to the bottom for my input.

Bob Culver

Jim Bishop

Is Robert Benedict a member of a well regulated militia? How come nobody ever celebrates the "well regulated militia..." clause of the second amendment?

bob culver

Yes, he is a member of the "well regulated militia", and so might you also if you meet certain tests.
1) Are you a US Citizen?
2) Have you trained and equipped yourself in the art of arms?

If so, you are part of the Militia. From 10 U.S. Code § 246 - Militia: composition and classes, in part: "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard." "the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are NOT members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."

So, you see, the section of the US Code which sets out the two distinct parts of the Militia, still embraces your membership, and that of millions of other citizens. The only question is - have you equipped and educated yourself sufficiently - or are you lacking in this area?

Bob Culver

Jim Bishop

Sorry Bob. I'm older than 45, so by the very law that you cited, I'm no longer in the militia.

Even when younger, I don't recall being "well regulated".

Chad guenter

Mr. Bishop: It seems you don't like taking responsibility for even your own defense, let alone that of your community? Do you appreciate this nation's Standing Army doing the job of a citizen militia? Do you support that same Standing Army being used across this planet for Corporate, Political, and Military Industrial complex GAINS?
I hold people like yourself directly responsible for the Foreign Policy fiascos the leaders of this nation have gotten the USA into for the last 70 years due to the Standing Army replacing a Citizen Militia.

rich quinlan

An armed IT guy , we should all be scared

Chad guenter

Not so fast Mr. Quinlan.


rich quinlan


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