Walid Hakim sticks to his guns

Just another one of those guys Obama spoke of, clinging to his guns.

Just another one of those guys Obama spoke of, clinging to his guns.

We last saw Walid Hakim suing the state — successfully — for throwing him and his fellow Occupy Columbia off the State House grounds.

As the best-known unleader of that movement, Walid looked and acted the part — Central Casting might have sent him over to play a part in a flick about the Days of Rage, or perhaps one of the lesser-known of the Chicago Seven.

Now, he’s suing the city of Columbia for trying to pry his gun from his warm, live hands.

So… the city is concerned about a bunch of redneck yahoos bringing guns to the city center in a tense moment, and the guy who sues is… Walid?

He just refuses to be typecast, doesn’t he?

He could be on his way to another victory in court, although I do have a question about one of his assertions:

As a lawful concealed weapons permit holder, he won’t be able to protect himself when he is near the State House if danger arises, his affidavit said.

“Unless prohibited by a valid law, I always carry at least one firearm on my person or in my car,” Hakim said. “I had planned to be near the State House for various lawful activities. Based on the ‘emergency ordinance,’ I am forced to change my plans.”…

Walid doesn’t go near the State House unless he’s packing? Really? His assertion seems to go beyond the feared danger of this Saturday — except that he says he doesn’t carry when “prohibited by a valid law,” which would mean he wasn’t armed while on the State House grounds.


Walid in the role we usually think of.

Walid in the role we usually think of.

43 thoughts on “Walid Hakim sticks to his guns

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      I mean, seriously, as you say, he already can’t pack on the State House grounds. We are talking about a small additional zone into which he may not pack. What a PITA.

        1. SBS

          He’s free to extort money from South Carolina ON Statehouse grounds while packing a pistol and stinking like a hippie wearing plastic toe shoes and a terrorist scarf in 100-degree weather in South Cackalacky.

    2. Ralph Hightower

      Why can’t Walid act like an everyday citizen who rely on law enforcement for protection?

      Oh, he wants to make a “statement” and keep his name in the news like self promoters, Al Sharton and Jesse Jackson. Now, Jackson redeemed himself in praising Haley’s leadership in bringing down the flag. Sharpton was minimalized by the grace of Emmanuel AME Church and Charleston.

      South Carolina showed the nation that we are not like Ferguson or Baltimore. I thought when Walter Scott was killed, that Charleston was going to be burned and looted. That didn’t happen.

      1. Mike Cakora

        Rely on law enforcement? Because when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.

        Even before Charleston more CWP-holders surmised that the number of lethal attacks by crazies was going to increase, so they decided to carry more frequently. They realized that having the permit doesn’t help in a tough spot if you don’t have a firearm along too.

        As for the reaction of Charleston’s population after the shooting, there’s a simple reason: Charleston has a soul, for want of a better term, something that Baltimore, St. Louis, Ferguson, Detroit, and other cities lack. It’s got its problems, but its populace has dignity.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Oooohhh because it’s soooo dangerous around the State House….and I know I want to sit with my loaded weapon ready to shoot at church, because you never know.
          Seriously, how in the world do you expect to defend yourself against an attacker who has the advantage of surprise, unless you are Raylan Givens? You are going to have to carry your gun, ready to shoot, at all times because you never know, do you?

          1. Mike Cakora

            One does not know when some crazy will suddenly appear and try to kill innocents, but the odds are higher in gun-free zones because the crazies exploit weaknesses to assure their own success.

            I’ve assisted several folks decide whether to get a CWP. I tell them that the first question that they have to ask themselves is “Are you willing to kill someone who has just killed or is about to kill someone else?” There’s no shooting to wound or otherwise incapacitate a bad guy, nobody is that good on a moment’s notice. My point is that if one is carrying concealed for whatever reason, s/he has to be prepared to take a life.

            As for the advantage of surprise, that’s what one trains for to the extent that one can. Drawing the firearm, aiming, and pulling the trigger are skills that one should master through training by an experienced instructor and reinforced with practice. As a practical matter, anyone sitting in church is not likely to be the specific target of some bad guy who surprises the congregation with a gun drawn to kill someone: surprise can work on behalf of the alert, armed congregant in such a situation.

            There are churches where the pastor does allow concealed weapons. There are even churches where the pastors themselves pack heat. MLK, Jr.’s civil rights’ movement was successful in large part because brave, armed men protected him and others: look up Deacons for Defense and Justice for s[ecofoc examples.

            While you’re at it, research the attempts to lynch Thurgood Marshall while he was fighting the good fight against Jim Crow laws. In at least two instances he was protected by armed black men who faced down those who were prepared to lynch the successful defender of Negro rights. Yes, the peaceful Civil Rights movement was able to succeed because guns and guts kept the wolves at bay.

            Frederick Douglass is perhaps the best known advocate for the Second Amendment among blacks, but there’s also Ida B. Wells, recently honored on Google’s search page. She was of the opinion that “the Winchester rifle deserved a place of honor in every Black home.”

            Self-defense is a natural right. Law-abiding citizens should be allowed to provide for their own defense whether on State House grounds, on any street, or in their own homes.

        2. Phillip

          It’s misleading to draw comparisons between Charleston vs. those other cities…Charleston is tiny compared to St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, all of which are classic examples of Rust Belt cities that have been struggling ever since the decline in manufacturing jobs over the past 60 years, long struggles, crime a big problem for years. I’m glad there was neither rioting nor looting in Charleston, but the reasons for that are far more complex than to simply say one city has a soul and another does not. It’s apples and oranges.

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Interesting suit. The Capital City Club is within the 250 feet zone. Did they remove all the steak knives?

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    It’s interesting that some lawmakers want to thrust guns into every conceivable public space, but they leave on the books the law barring guns from the State House grounds.

    This proves they’re not crazy, I suppose, at least where their own safety is concerned…

    1. Bryan Caskey

      “It’s interesting that some lawmakers want to thrust guns into every conceivable public space…”

      Are you referring to the updated CWP law, or something else?

        1. Mike Cakora

          Brad –

          The “guns in bars” law is a good law, much needed. The issue is that CWP-holders who were not planning on drinking alcoholic beverages could not legally enter an Appleby’s, Rockaway’s, D’s, or any other food-serving establishment that served alcoholic beverages while packing heat. That’s silly and the legislature finally corrected the silliness.

          CWP-holders are law-abiding citizens, otherwise they’d not be able to get the permit. Moreover, once they go through the minor inconvenience of getting one, they generally will do everything within their power to retain it. There’s more than just renewing it every so many years: they can’t break any laws because they’ll lose the permit if they do.

          Over the past year or so, more CWP-holders have decided to carry concealed regularly because they’re sick and tired of the random shootings that occur because no one in the immediate vicinity had a gun to stop the murderer before he murdered. There’s no hero complex involved in that decision, it’s simply a matter of being a good citizen. And they avoid gun-free zones to the extent that they can, because that’s where a bad guy is more likely to try to kill innocents.

          Every CWP-holder I know keeps guns usage and alcohol-consumption separate and in that order. Go shoot at the range or in the field, clean and secure the firearms, then let the dawgs howl.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            Mike, I’ve already explained all this to Brad and his band of merry men (or at least I’ve tried). I’m not sure that anyone really is ever going to change their mind on this issue.

            It’s hard to reason a person out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into to begin with.

          2. Kathryn Fenner

            How many shooters have been stopped by these CWP holders, vs. how many people have been accidentally shot, shot in anger or killed themselves because a gun was handy?

            1. Mike Cakora

              You ask “How many shooters have been stopped by these CWP holders, vs. how many people have been accidentally shot, shot in anger or killed themselves because a gun was handy?”

              I suspect that, given the orientation of the media, that if there’d been an increase in accidental shootings we’d be reading about it every day, twice on Sundays. Since we are not, that’s apparently not a problem.

              As for shooters in bars being stopped by law-abiding citizens packing heat, I don’t expect you to know much about that because the major media – all the news that fits we print – are not inclined to report such.

              But such things happen. In bars, even. Fore example:

              The subsequent investigation lead (sic) detectives to believe that Villagomez entered the bar and at some point began firing multiple rounds. At least two of these rounds struck and killed the other two decedents, Jose Torres age, 20 and his brother Margarito Torres, age 19 both of Winnemucca. At some point during this shooting spree Villagomez allegedly stopped and according to witnesses reloaded his high capacity handgun and began shooting again.

              It was at this point that the second shooter, the Reno resident, produced a concealed handgun and proceeded to fire upon Villagomez who succumbed to his wounds. The Reno resident was in possession of a valid Concealed Carry Permit issued through the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

              After further investigation as well as ongoing discussions with Humboldt County District Attorney Russell Smith, the decision was made that the shooting of Villagomez by the Reno man was a justifiable homicide as outlined in Nevada Revised Statute 200.120 and 200.160. Because of this the Reno man was released from police custody.

              Check past issues of American Rifleman – you’ll find a lot more.

              1. Kathryn Fenner

                Statistically, there is a vanishingly small number of justifiable homicides relative to the number of accidental shootings, gun-suicides and heat-of-the-moment shootings.

          3. scout

            Well it’s good to know that all CWP holders are paragons of virtue. Are they also Jedi knights perchance? I guess they should issue halos with the license, and we can all just rest easy.

            So basically this law allows for an element of increased danger to be introduced into a potentially volatile situation, and the only safeguard we have against these two elements combining in undesirable ways is the impeccable judgement of self selected individuals who choose to become cwp holders and choose to put themselves in these situations. Is that right?

  3. Bill

    If I felt the need to have a gun,I’d move somewhere else.My sister was shot by her husband,accidentally.He got rid of it.Living in fear is for wimps w/guns.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Yes, and I am an anxious person. I have two dogs. If that’s not enough, I guess my time is up.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        And that’s fine Kathryn. That’s your choice. However, I’m sure you would be want another woman to be allowed to make her own choice on the matter, rather than being prohibited from exercising that choice by the government.

        That’s the thing about everyone who is “pro-gun”. We’re not trying to make other people carry if they don’t want to. Quite the contrary. We are merely advocating for the position that the people who want to carry be allowed to have that choice. We’re pro (gun) choice.

        That’s why when Brad says that pro-gun folks want to “thrust guns into every conceivable public space” I just have to shake my head and chuckle. That’s just not the case at all. It’s a private decision that everyone makes for themselves. For instance, the building where the Capital City Club is located has chosen to prohibit carrying inside the building. (They have the required signs). The building owner has decided that they don’t want anyone in there carrying. And that’s their decision. Other buildings have decided that they aren’t going to prohibit carrying. Everyone gets to decide. We don’t have a blanket law.

        Pro gun advocates simply want individual people to be able to decide for themselves where they want to carry or not. The current CWP law, which Brad likes to derisively call the “guns in bars law” allows every single business owner to prohibit carrying by simply placing a sign. Everyone has a choice. When Brad opens up his own bar, he can exclude anyone carrying. Not every business will choose the same thing, as each business can decide on what is best for themselves.

        I see lots of y’all here who say you are uncomfortable carrying a gun, or even having a gun in the home. And, you know…that’s okay. I certainly wouldn’t want to require anyone to have a gun against their will, and I don’t look down on anyone for making that decision. However, I would hope that y’all would respect the decision of someone who has made the decision to carry a handgun for one reason or the other.

        I also know that a lot of y’all have said that you’re comfortable with me carrying because you believe that I do so in a responsible way. Speaking from experience, a vast majority of the people with CWPs are similar to me in their outlook. Sure, there will be some yahoos who don’t take it seriously, but that’s just life. Not every group of people is perfect.

        We’re not all the same. We have different strengths and weaknesses, we have different life experiences, and we have different thoughts on personal self-defense. Some people like dogs. Some people like pepper-spray. Some people rely on their cell phone and the police. Some people like to carry handguns.

        Are guns dangerous? Sure. They wouldn’t be much use if they weren’t. However, I would also say that a weapon is only as dangerous as the person who wields it. If you follow the safety rules in a responsible manner, you will be safe. If you don’t, you won’t. If you don’t think that you can safely own a gun for whatever reason, then that’s up to you.

        I’m not going to come to your home and force you to have a gun.

        I may, however, if requested, show you the benefits and positive side of gun ownership, and then allow you to see that guns aren’t the evil talismans that some people think they are, and if past results are any indication, chances are you’ll leave with a significantly more positive view of guns and gun owners.

        Mostly, people are scared/afraid/nervous of things they don’t understand, and people who have never actually handled a firearm are naturally nervous about it. It’s human nature. By way of example,, I would be nervous if someone handed me the keys to a motorcycle and asked me to ride. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, so I have no idea how to do it. I’d be afraid of crashing or tipping over before I went two feet.

        However, as you become more comfortable with a firearm and how it works, you will come to understand that it’s just a thing that can be handled responsibly, just as a motorcycle can be ridden in a responsible way.

        All the pro-gun people want is to have their choice to carry respected and allowed.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          I don’t want to be surrounded by guns, either–not where I worship or where I go about my business. I don’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of vigilantes or stolen guns.

        2. Mike Cakora

          Well stated, Bryan.

          Here’s an article written by a Boston resident who “evolved on guns” (her words) during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bomber. The article has a link to her previous article on the conversion.

        3. scout

          The issue is that your decision potentially impacts more than just you. It would be a lot easier to respect your choice if that were not the case. I would likewise not be alright with anyone’s decision to drive drunk even though I don’t want to do it. Can I wear a sign saying I choose for no CWP holders to be in my presence? There are some cases where respecting personal choices doesn’t solve the problem.

          1. Mike Cakora

            What’s strikes me as ironic in your request is that more than a couple of CWP-holders would avoid folks wearing such a sign, most are quire polite and sensitive to the needs of others. But the bad guys packing heat would ignore it.

            Life is neither fair nor safe. I have a sign in my office that reads as follows:

            When I die, I want to go like my grandfather did, in his sleep.
            Not like the screaming passengers in his car

            Stay safe, scout. Don’t leave your residence unless you really have to. And if you do choose to wear such a sign, please do not carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewelry.

            1. Scout

              It was a bit of a rhetorical question. I wasn’t actually suggesting that people wearing signs is a viable solution. I don’t think it is. Bryan seemed to think businesses being able to post signs solved a multitude of problems. I don’t think so.

              1. Bryan Caskey

                “Bryan seemed to think businesses being able to post signs solved a multitude of problems. I don’t think so.”

                I’m not sure if it solves or creates any problems. I guess that depends on your point of view.

                However, what it [the ability to put up a sign and exclude CWP holders from your property] does is it allows people to essentially opt out of the law. Several people here have pretty much specifically stated that CWP holders are a problem analogous to drunk driving. While I disagree, let’s assume that you’re correct. The law allows you to prevent these people from walking through your door. If Scout is running his coffee shop and doesn’t want people with handguns in there, Scout can just put up a little sticker in the window. If Kathryn opens up a dog-friendly whiskey bar and doesn’t want anyone to be able to come in there with a concealed weapon, then she can do the same thing. It allows people who don’t want guns in their locations to legally do so.

                It’s kind of like “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” but for self-defense. If you don’t want folks like me, Mike or Walid coming into your business with our concealed weapons, then you have that option. That’s why when I don’t understand statements about how guns are “thrust” into every conceivable public place by this law.

              2. Scout

                Scout is a she 🙂 Maybe I should start going by Jean Louise.

                I do agree as long the law exists the ability to opt out is good. I just think it’d be better if the law was different.

            1. Mark Stewart

              I’m not British or anything; I think cops should be armed.

              That said, read the action report on the “capture” of the Boston marathon bombers. The cops are lucky they couldn’t even hit their colleagues in the crossfire they bumbled into – twice in a row.

              Solid decision making and gunfire do not normally go hand in hand. Dirty Harry was a far outlier. Plus, the cops ought to be better trained than all but a few highly skilled individuals. My life perspective is that people and handguns just don’t mix. The way owners relate to handguns is not at all the same as with shotguns and rifles.

              That said, I have the utmost respect for cops. They never know what they are going to confront. When I pass a traffic stop at night I always slow a little, but not too much, to check on the cop. That is one scary, thankless job, especially out of the city where patrols are solo.

            2. Scout

              I should qualify – I’d say the only way carrying a concealed weapon is like drunk driving is that they both can have lethal unintended consequences.

              I find no redeeming qualities in the act of drunk driving.

              But I do understand your point that many CWP holders are ethical and self disciplined people who mean to do a good thing by carrying a concealed weapon. I do respect this point. Far more redeemable than drunk driving.

              My concern is that the consequences are often otherwise in spite of the self discipline and good intentions.

              I’m also concerned about the ability of people, no matter how few, who are not so self disciplined or whose motives are less clear to become CWP holders.

              But to answer your question, I generally feel alright with police officers carrying unconcealed weapons. Maybe my perception that this is safer is false. I don’t know. What is the difference between the training required to be a police officer and the training required to acquire a CWP? I would think the police officer would have more – but I don’t actually know. Also I tend to think that the mental discipline and professionalism required where a weapon is part of your job daily would help.

              Could be a misperception, but that is how I see it.

  4. Mark Stewart

    The incidence of people killing, injuring or otherwise creating a family tragedy due to the ill-timed presence of a handgun – particularly a “concealed” weapon – is at least 10 to one in comparison with a righteous (and I use that word with irony) shoot. And probably way closer to 30 to one, or even greater.

    The unequivocal fact is that guns go off and most of these are accidental discharges. Mostly, too, these firings impact those closest to the gun owner.

    So while people may advocate for the carrying of handguns for protection; I would instead counsel; are you prepared for the more likely result – negative consequences for your loved ones?

    Owning a “concealed” handgun is exactly like driving drunk; both make you feel like a hero until the inevitable wreck occurs. That’s the sober reality.

    1. Mike Cakora

      Mark – You are entirely correct that guns can kill. Swimming pools are dangerous too, as are bathtubs. Keep your eye on golf balls, about 50 people per year are killed by them. Soon they may approach the grisly numbers of folks killed annually by hammers, baseball bats, knives, and automobiles.

      As for your suppositions in your first paragraph, the data don’t seem to back you up.

      Fact: Firearm misuse causes only a small number of accidental deaths in the U.S. 1 For example, compared to being accidentally killed by a firearm, you are:

      Five times more likely to burn to death
      Five times more likely to drown
      17 times more likely to be poisoned
      17 times more likely to fall to your death
      And 68 times more likely to die in an automobile accident
      Fact: In 2007, there were only 54 accidental gun deaths for children under age 13. About 12 times as many children died from drowning during the same period.

      Fact: In 2007, there were 999 drowning victims and 137 firearm-related accidental deaths in age groups 1 through 19. This despite the fact that firearms outnumber pools by a factor of more than 30:1. Thus, the risk of drowning in a pool is nearly 100 times higher than dying from a firearm-related accident for everyone, and nearly 500 times for children ages 0-5.

      References / footnotes are provided.

      1. Mark Stewart

        There is an interesting old saw in debate: If you have to justify your position, you have already lost the argument.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          But, Mark, people die from all kinds of things. Wait, what was your point? That guns kill fewer criminal aggressors than loved ones. Oh yeah…

  5. Carl Sorensen

    Walid is a good friend of mine. I assure you that his statement about carrying pretty much everywhere is entirely candid.

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