It’s big world out there and many people feel that we should be more compassionate and kind to others. I agree. When it comes to offending people however, that is simply something that is out of my control. I have no problem with showing people kindness, and respect to those that have earned it, but to go as far as to make feeble attempts not to offend someone on every topic known to man is simply impossible.

It’s truly is impossible. We are all different. We’ve all had different experiences, and everything is a trigger to someone. Hell, the smell of freshly cut grass might be an emotional trigger to someone who endured a tragedy, whose mind then connected said tragedy to the smell of cut grass. On a global or otherwise large-scale it’s impossible to please everyone. Now, perhaps if that person was your friend or family, then you could anticipate and avoid that trigger since that situation is more intimate.

I just read an article about someone who saw a raw cotton plant in a vase at a craft store. That person decided it was a blatantly racist display and that it should be removed. Here is the message posted on the stores Facebook page.

“This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton… A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves. A little sensitivity goes a long way. PLEASE REMOVE THIS “decor”.”

It’s a plant. I bet the shirt on her back was made of cotton too. I wholeheartedly believe that some of these people are reaching out and searching for drama and conflict, while the rest are actually offended by even the smallest things.  You see, I just so happen to be disgusted by people feeling that the world needs to be some emotional safe haven, and people need to be protected and sheltered from every wrong thing. I’m offended by things too, but I don’t waste my time on it. There are far more important things in life that deserve my focus. The world is too complicated and the bad things will get you eventually so you might as well gain some wisdom and be prepared for it.

 

Anti-Cotton Post – Daniell Rider / Facebook

I love the power I have with a single click of a button. With the button depressed halfway, I hear the mechanical whir of the lens focus motor. I line up the shot, the composition is good, and I make my decision to complete the press. In a fraction of a second, I hear the sound of the camera’s mirror flip up to allow the light access to the millions of sensors beneath it. The shutter rolls past with a swift, smooth motion and the bits of data travel along the electrical pathways, shifting electrons in such a way that the image in front of me is now captured to memory.

While I was growing up, at the young age of three, I appeared in a photograph that my grandfather had taken. I’ve been in many since, but in this particular photograph, I was standing in front of a large sign with the words: “Welcome to Texas”; I held a camera loaded with film. My grandfather was my greatest inspiration since I spent a great deal of my childhood traveling with him and my grandmother with the ability to take photographs, and as a result, I learned early on how photography could be used to capture the world and save those precious memories. I wonder now if I could find those first photographs I had captured so long ago. They were only snapshots, but treasured ones.

I remember the days that I would go with my grandfather to our local Meijer store to pick up the film that had been turned in for development a day or two before. It was such an exciting feeling, because for the first time, every time, I got to see my photos and find out how many turned out. Some photos would be washed out, over, or under exposed. I still enjoy film to this day, however it is continually getting more difficult to get film developed.

The first instant camera I remember was the good old Polaroid. You could expose a photo on film and it would spit out a semi-processed photo immediately. You would simply wait a couple of minutes for the photo to finish self-development. No longer did we have to wait to see our photos! When digital cameras first appeared, they made photography easier, yet film remained king for at least a decade. For awhile, the Polaroids were the easiest and the greatest, unless you wanted the full quality that standard film had to offer. Computer software took awhile to catch up. Digital photos were commonly lower quality then was acceptable and it was a trade-off between quality and speed. The increasing use of email and instant messaging helped push digital even farther.

When I purchased my first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, a Nikon D3200 with an 18-55mm zoom lens, I started to see the world. It opened my mind, and I started to see what I hadn’t previously. I started focusing on the composition of my photos and proper placement of the horizon lines. I learned the general guides of photography, such as the “rule of thirds”, the “golden rule”, and knowing when it’s okay to break those rules. I started taking photos from odd angles and experimenting with light as well as the absence of light. For the first time I had the ability to bring fast motion to a halt with a 4000th of a second shutter speed. It was beautiful. I could now take a clear sharp photo of a hummingbird in flight. I learned all the settings of my camera, and the fundamentals such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed. I got a feel for how much light a scene needed relative to my camera. I prefer to use as much natural light as I can get before resorting to the onboard flash. I generally use reflectors, and a remote flash, or perhaps I’ll bounce the light off of a ceiling. Anything that helps the light become softer and more diffused. I have since moved up to better equipment and digital photography has taught me more than I could have imagined.

My daughter and her siblings tend to see the lens of my Nikon more than they see my face. I take all the photos I can, but I also try to remember to take the time to experience myself in the moment. Trust me, it’s easy to spend the entire length of an event, snapping photos and then realize that you don’t even feel as if you were there. You feel like you didn’t participate in the event, because you didn’t. I want to be a part of my daughter’s life as well as capture as much as possible. I look back on photographs of myself when I was younger and I am astonished by how much information I can recall by viewing them. Smells, the feel of a room, and all of the experiences you’ve had in a prior home. I want to encourage her to take photographs so that she can understand their importance in life.

Sometimes I go out and take hundreds of photos in a single session. While I am out I will usually try to plan most of my photos in advance if I can. I take many variables into consideration before I snap the picture including lighting, composition, angles, and camera settings. I will take many photos of the same item because I know some will not turn out. I capture the world around me, trying to find any obscure fascinating detail I can about my subjects. I fill up my camera’s memory and I get it home. Post production of my photos is one of my favorite steps of photography, because I get to develop my photos myself. The camera isn’t perfect, and neither am I. I have to make many good decisions when I capture, so I’ll have less work in post-editing. Those minor tweaks can sometimes have a vast impact on the overall quality and feel of a photo and provides an opportunity for me to be more creative.

With photography there is no limit to the mass quantity of new gadgets available to me. As an avid technology junkie, I use it to the fullest extent possible. There are so many items and ideas that can improve my photography skills, and I feel comfortable knowing that they’ll only help me accomplish more over time. Moreover knowing how to work with minimal equipment is also a great skill to hone. My interest in photography has also given me quite an advantage over others that sell products on the internet. It has also helped me understand how best to take product photographs so they look more professional, such as you’d find in a catalog or a magazine. Photography has indeed improved my life in many ways, from the way I think, to the small details of the world that I had previously missed. I see so much more beauty in the world then I previously have. Whether it’s the amazing colors in the setting sky, or a crumbling city building in an otherwise overlooked place, photography helps me to connect with my past and preserve memories and places without words or interpretation.

Change. We all want it. We “want to make America great again.” In 2008 it we wanted “change to believe in” and even back in 1992 we heard “For people, for a change.” It seems like all we ever want is change, but everyone isn’t ready or willing. These words were spoken by our presidential candidates in order to gain access to the White House. The problem isn’t with the presidents or the words they speak.  It is because of all of us that our problems don’t go away. It is our fault! Change won’t happen if we don’t make it happen. For example, our president could be all about recycling. That won’t change millions of Americans from contributing to landfills every week. Each one of us should be selfish and recycle, not for anyone else’s benefit, but simply for our own pride. If you decided to wake up each day and make a few great decisions in your life, that in itself would better America as a whole. If you’re walking down the street and see some trash, pick it up and place it in a bin. If you see something wrong in your life, make that extra effort to improve it.

Common sense is not common anymore, we see this more and more as our society gets lazier and lives with greed. We take so much for granted. Our country slows down innovation and technological advancement just so it can make a little more money. So many countries have much more advanced technology and internet speeds than we do. We have monopolies here. We aren’t supposed to, but we do. When companies such as Comcast have an entire area all to themselves and are the only ones offering faster service, they can make up the rules as they go along. They can charge more than usual for less in different areas if they’ve got that area to themselves. Why do we let this happen? Why aren’t we standing together and defending our positions? How are we suppose to make these changes if no one will do what it takes?

We also have people in Congress and the House that have been there for decades. How are we to make changes when they’ve carried the same old position for years? How are we supposed to get proper representation for our country when so many votes are biased by lobbyists? This election of 2016 is a fucking joke. I’ve thought we haven’t had good choices for the past few elections but this one tops it. Others and myself don’t understand how our country can be taken seriously when our candidates can’t shut up long enough to talk about real issues. They bitch about petty bullshit that has everything to do with them but not about our country. They are disrespectful towards each other. It looks like a couple of 5th graders that belong in detention. Couldn’t we get anyone smarter than a fifth-grader? The presidency seems to be only a game to them and I think we deserve to be taken seriously. I’ve also had it with this “Democrat / Republican” crap. Third parties and independents never have a real chance at winning. They should be in the debates as well. I could tell Bernie Sanders was serious about making some real changes, you can look at his political record and see that he’d have made a great president. Unfortunately all the people that can actually do the job, get voted off the island because the people of our country are too lazy to research the candidates properly. You know who you are. Instead of relying on your friend’s word about something as important as this, do your own research and come up with an opinion all of your own. You want change? Work for it. Make change. It’s that simple to get started.

This will be a deep conversation, made to work your mind. Meant to make you ask questions and dig for the facts. I will share a very personal experience I went though and what I learned from it. So here we go. There have been a couple of discussions over the last few days that got me thinking and I need to get something off my chest involving the media, Facebook articles, and other things you see on a daily basis. Ok. The media is a business. It is a business based on the support of the viewing audience. It does not alway report the truth. It does not report everything. What they do is report what they know is popular and what they know is going to fire people up. If they didn’t, nobody would watch it. That is why they always want to be the first at the scene, the first to report something, the best place for up to date stories, and that is exactly what they are; stories.

15840560238_f71b591e0d_o

This is why you see an article stating: “Unarmed black man shot by police” and not “Unarmed white man shot by police”. I assure you it does happen, and it happens a lot. Do your research people. I will tell you why you don’t see headline articles of the white guy getting shot. It is not a hot topic, it is not a debatable, enraging, key story. It’s fucking boring! The media knows if they report on another “Freddy Grey” or similar story that it will be big. It will create lots of discussion and create lots of attention. Look at the comment sections on the bottom of these stories and it should tell you everything you need to know. It’s hot news. Why do they only report these stories? It’s because with all this drama, they are at the hub of it all. They get to be the ones to bring you the updates, they get to be the hot news. Why again? Because they are a fucking business!!! Memes are just made by people looking to get “likes” and can range from absurd to true, but mostly it is a feeble ass attempt to get attention. Not to be taken seriously, not to be used as evidence. I will say this again because it is important: Do your own research and stop taking things at face value! Hell most of the people who see these drama filled stories on Facebook and other places don’t even click on them to read the distorted mess. They read the damn headline and go with that. You might as well be watching TMZ for their up to date slew of drama drenched garbage. What the media does infuriates me.

1876837543_8dc5c1f0af_o

Now, I am going to talk about race for a minute. I know, I know, this topic has been beaten to death lately and really I shouldn’t comment, but I really do have to get some things off my chest. First off I am going to state a fact from a very debatable portion of my opinion. Racism does exist. It is still a problem in America! A very big problem. You may believe otherwise and I do respect your opinion. So respect mine, because after all, it is, just an opinion. It plays a role in getting a job. It plays a role in getting a loan. It plays a role if you get that apartment or not. People still look down on African-Americans. This goes beyond the origins of slavery. Thank god we have gotten past thinking someone of another color needs to work for you. We have gotten past that, however it still plays a very functional role in society. Now having said that, I will say this; It does not play a role in everything. I have come across a few people that believe this to be true. I will not name anyone because this isn’t about someone else, it is about my views on how things are. Everyone thinks differently, everyone has different opinions on things and they are entitled to think however they would like. Personally, I feel that the people who think everything is about color are sad. It is not that big of a problem. There are things that happen that do not have their roots based on race. Don’t be upset. This is a good thing, right? It means we are making improvements.

 

To branch off of this for a bit I want to touch on the other side of the spectrum. Reverse racism. This doesn’t have to mean what most would think it means. Let me explain. Because of these hot topics, because of all the talk about equality, a black man being given more time than a white man, or the shootings. Because of the magnifying glass that the media has pointed at these issues and served up to us all on a big ass TV, judges have been going out of their way to hammer the white guy in court and people have been going out of their way to be extra nice to a black person in a store. This would be great if it were for the right reasons. It is not because they genuinely care more, or because they think they deserve more time, or even because they feel they are qualified for the job more. It is because they do not want to be called racist. That’s it. They don’t want that focus to be on them. They are scared the next thing that comes out of their mouth will be taken out of context and they will be the next one on the news. I am not talking about that punk ass preppy bitch that served three months in jail for raping that girl. That is another animal entirely. Personally, I do not feel that was a race related sentence. I feel it was about money and wealth. What makes the motherfucking world go around. I have seen many opinions on this specific topic, but I hold true to what I believe was behind it. Just like I told those people. It does happen. It happens more often than people would like to believe. Hell, I would get behind a movement about equal rights in court as long as it is based on facts, not just one heavily publicized media story. This kind of thing happens quite a lot. People get under-sentenced and over-sentenced for various reasons. Some are race related, some are not, but it is not all based on race. Who can say that the sentence is fair or not? Just for reference I am not talking about that guy, he should have gotten north of ten years, but then again that’s my opinion. I guarantee I can find a black man who got under sentenced by a white judge. I can find anything I want. It has all happened. It only becomes an issue when the media says it’s an issue. Where is the uproar for all the other black men (innocent or not) that were over-sentenced. What about all the white guys (and gals) that were under-sentenced?

 

bad_news_by_shj_soul-d4tp9ku

It doesn’t matter, because the media hasn’t told you it matters yet. You see what I am getting at here? It is the hot story until something else becomes the hot story. You ever notice how a particular story is all the rage, has all the focus on it, until something else happens? I see these waves upon waves of different stories coming and going, and frankly there are a few you of I watch come and fucking go with them without ever realizing that there are stories like that one going on at all times. There are DUI killings, mass murders, race and hate crimes, police shooting unarmed people, and many other hot topics happening at the same time. All over the United States. You don’t see them or know about them, because you are like a baby bird with your mouth open waiting for mother media to come by and feed you a fucking worm. Open your eyes people! For all you out there that actually do your own research, God bless you. You are not part of the problem. We can even disagree, as long as you do your research. I respect the hell out of that. The beautiful thing about an opinion is that everyone has one. Some are weak, and some are strong. It takes a real person to say: “This is my opinion. I may be wrong, but its mine and I’ll fucking stand by it.” If someone proves me or another real person wrong, we can be man enough to admit our faults and adapt to the new information. If you are actually corrected with facts, and you look at the facts and continue preaching your garbage then you are the media junkies I am talking about. For rejecting facts you are not only an idiot, you have a massive ego as well. I just wanted to cover this because I normally keep some opinions to myself and I know that if I were to state them when not needed, there would be a huge debate. While I enjoy getting into debates with real people, I do not debating with someone who has bad form.

This is not meant to be a debate. This is not meant to be a rant. This is to help people realize what is going on around them. After reading this (if you are reading this long ass book) you find yourself with two options: #1. Tell yourself that I am full of shit, and continue going about your day or #2: Realize that I speak the truth. Take a step back, think about what I am saying, and watch for the keys. Watch the news, do your own research, see how many people around you are real and how many are skin deep. Unfortunately, there will be many people around you that you will find fake. They do what they are told. They think what they are told and they don’t voice their opinion for fear of what might be or how people will view them. It’s sad, but its true. Being real has no perks to a social life. You will lose many friends. There are even going to be the people who see the news, know the truth, and don’t care either way. It is easier to take things as they are, than to question them and get to the root of the problem. These people like their life the way it is and they don’t want to change. They don’t want to question everything they are shown on their beautiful TV or computer. The more I explain this, the more it sounds like a realistic, altered version of the Matrix. Hey, it is what it is. Now that we have had a break, and the angry people have calmed down a little, I am going to get back to talking about race a little bit.

 

There is something else I have noticed about films and commercials these days. We went from the time where people would say that the black guy dies first in a horror movie (which was usually true) to the producers when they’re putting in what I like to call the obligatory African-American role. Let me explain. In every reality TV show (which is a fucking joke and one of the furthest things from reality), movie, commercial, and other production there has been a rise in black co-stars. Please don’t take this like I am saying this is bad or  that I’m disappointed. I am just observant, there is a difference. There has been an abrupt rise in productions almost forcing the role on the audience. If this is just the future of film, and this is the normal process please disregard this topic because I am wrong, but let me further explain my point. This stems from the reverse racism that I talked about earlier. If they feel they are obligated to have a black guy in their cast, this is wrong. First off, they should have had equal (or near equal) roles for a while. If they are indeed filling roles based on color and not character, this is something for you to be mad at as well. This is not fixing the problem. This is forcing people to look at TV and think: “Racism is gone.” Like I said before, in all actuality, it is still a issue, it’s still a big problem. This is a cover up. It is a show putting on the facade that black actors have just as much work as their white counterparts. They are using the media to try to convey that everything is cool. “Buy this movie because we are not racist.” If it didn’t make such a fast climb over a short amount of time, I would have indeed caught it. It was when they started casting black actors in remakes of other films that I caught on and paid attention. This is a hard balance to have and it is hard to explain this unless you have seen it. On one hand, there is always going to be that guy who states I am saying this only because I am jealous, or because I don’t like to see black actors in movies. To you, I say: “You are wrong.” You are missing what I am trying to explain. I very much enjoy movies with black actors and actresses. I was raised watching movies like Friday, Money Talks, and Life. Hell at one point in my childhood I even watched Roots.

I am a very curious person, and I love to be educated, and educate myself. I am very comfortable debating things like this because I know where I stand. I’ll give you a little bio of myself and how I’ve changed. I used to think differently when I was younger. I can even pull up a picture of myself looking like a complete idiot on the cover of my rap album. It’s actually pretty funny. I was raised in the suburbs, and one of the people who watched me while my mom was at work was an old black lady named Celia. She used to work at YWCA as a cook in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I used to stay in the ghetto of Kalamazoo while my mom was at work. My best friends at that age were her sons and daughter. I got a very unique point of view because of where I have been. I got the suburb viewpoint, and I got the ghetto viewpoint. Unfortunately when I got older I made quite a few mistakes. I fell into crime. Growing up since age twelve I found myself in KCJH (Kalamazoo County Juvenile home) and going in and out of placements for years at a time. I got out and never learned. I was a wheel man at seventeen years old. I was damn good at it too, so I had the crime that came with all that. I fell into drugs, and I’ve done some things that I regret, including robbery, arson, felonious assault, stealing cars, shooting out windows, etc. These things landed me in one of the most confusing places I have even been. Prison. I told you those things about me to explain something I had to experience. Not that it was pleasurable, but it was a learning experience. Before I went to prison, while I was in the county jail, I remember a guy explaining what it’s like. Trying to prepare me for the world I was up against. He said these words to me and I will never forget them. He said, “You are white, you are a minority. If you are not racist going into prison, you will be when you come out.” At first, I disregarded his statement. I took it with a grain of salt. I thought, “It might be like that for him but I am cool, I’ll fit right in.” Fuck was I wrong. Prison is a very segregated place. Anyone who has gone can, and will tell you this. I was told to stick with your color, or you will be out-of-place. You will have a hard bit and so on. So, seeing how things are in there and being told this, I did (for a while). I stuck with my own race. The entire time I was in there I got a unique sense of what it is like to be put down because you are a “White boy”. To be singled out because you have nobody in your corner. To have to fight because of nothing. Nothing. Some petty shit in the real world, is some serious shit in the joint. I eventually befriended a black guy named “Earl”.

 

4420998173_2cc850dfdb_o

I won’t go into what he was in for, or any other information because it was not pertinent. I was now looked down by the white guys as well. Because I was working out, hanging out, and talking to a black guy I was singled out by my own race. But wait. Maybe race ain’t that fucking important. I stuck by my decision. I was called a race trader, a nigger lover (excuse the term), and treated like I didn’t exist in every other aspect. Earl taught me so much, and honestly he rescued me from becoming a racist bigot. He set me straight. Pointed out a lot of the flaws in things. Got me thinking. Honestly Earl and another man named Justin formed me into the free thinking, real, observant man who I am today or at very least gave me the foundation to build on. If I would have continued living life in the segregated, angry, and racist places that I was, without someone to snap me out of it and help me out, I would have been a racist guy. I would have never realized what was happening. I was impressionable. It was new. It was how it was. But it didn’t have to be. I picked the word unique because that is a great word to sum up how lucky I am to have had that opportunity. Prison might have been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I now go by character. That’s my thing. I do not judge people. I do characterize people in my head. I envision how I think they are and act, but I never truly judge people. How many people can say that? Unfortunately not all. I base everything on what I see when I meet someone. It doesn’t matter if they are Black, White, Mexican, Hindu, Indian, or anyone else. Being a racist person you can meet a Black guy that will blow your fucking mind. You can meet a White guy that will blow your fucking mind. Believe it or not there are extremely racist black people as well. No, the TV will not tell you this, but I will. I have seen it, and they are not all old by any means. Terrible traits come in every shade of color. Color is just what it is, color. A difference. No different than my wife and I. We are all people regardless of our differences. We all act on the same premise. We all need air, food, water, and stimulation to survive. It’s how we are. In the history of man racism as we know it has only gone back so far. Somewhere along the line racism was created. Some shallow idiot seen the differences and thought they were better than they are because they had different color of skin. Years, decades, centuries have gone by and we are still fixated on the same motherfucking thing. We have made huge advances and improvements in how we interact regarding this timeless issue. Unfortunately, it is still too god damn important.

As I said about six feet up the page, the media hammers this issue. Films cover up this issue. Why? How are we ever to heal this hemorrhage is our society unless we are to face it and make changes. Everyone! Quit waiting on someone else to do it for you. You ever hear “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem?” That’s right. If you are not willing to actively help heal this problem as a person by teaching your children the values they need, then you are part of the problem. BY TEACHING MY CHILDREN AS EARL TAUGHT ME YEARS AGO!!! You meet someone, then, and only then, can you determine if this person is an asshole, a thug, or a piece of shit. I digress. In summary, don’t believe the shit that the media has hand-picked for you. They are fixated on their business and that one hot issue this week. Everything is not a race related issue. Please do your own research. This is very basic. Not only for issues like this but for everything. Why would you base your interpretation, knowledge, and credibility on the news? Would you base it on word of mouth because that is the same road you are traveling on? I’ve shared a lot of very private information of myself in this. Please don’t abuse it. Me comparing my unique experience is NOT meant to say “Hey, I know how a black guy feels in this world.” Because I do not know how that feels. All I aimed to share was that I got a taste, and it was not pleasant. I know what it is like to be hated for the color of my WHITE skin, for no reason, having never met these people. It sucks, it really does. Nobody wants to be hated or treated differently for no reason other than the color of their skin. I honestly feel for the black guy trying to grow a family in this day and age. It’s fucking hard as hell, without having any distinguishable differences. Fuck. Having that extra bit of challenge would definitely wear on you.

To all my friends on Facebook. I have a wide assortment of people on my friends list. Some Black, some White, some Mexican. People from various points in my childhood, and people I met months ago. This can be taken a few different ways. I believe I was very clear on the ways I meant. This is not a pro-any-race speech. This is an awareness speech. This is a very touchy issue for some and as I have said before this is my opinion and you may disagree. Do not let my opinion and my views of things effect how you see me as a person. I know if the shoe was on the other foot I could agree or respectfully disagree and be fine with it. There is much more to me than this topic, and there is no reason you should base your entire opinion of me solely on this. If you hate me for this and because I am a dick head so be it. Do as I would do. Take this information for what it is, information. A unique view. Another level. To attempt you to keep from looking at things as they come and instead brushing off the book to read the valuable nutrients inside. The knowledge. The fucking information. If you disagree, or think I am 100% full of shit the worst thing you did is waste the time to read this, and if I am not worth the time to read this perspective then why are we friends anyways? I am a very real person. I have a deepness to me, an understanding, a perspective, an ability to see past bullshit. Not all bullshit (I am not GOD) but a lot of it. It has cost me a lot of friends and even a couple of family members, but it is worth it. I can live without certain people. I cannot live in the darkness. Open your eyes people, because many of you live in the darkness. That’s all I got to say about it.

Image Credit:
– Rolled Newspaper by Silke Remmery (CC by 2.0)
– Caged by Dave Nakayama (CC by 2.0)

– Bad News by Fatooome

So I have taken some time to read up on Michigan’s knife laws again. I am quite astonished to find that the laws are pretty terrible. Here’s the short version: If you want to be sure you, as a law abiding citizen of Michigan, stay out of jail then you’ll most likely want to keep your knives at home, buy a gun, and get a Concealed Pistol Permit. If you do carry a knife, and want to stay out of prison, don’t ever use a knife for self-defense unless you are on land you own. Yeah, seriously, that’s what the law says.

Tac-Force TF-428P

Tac-Force TF-428P

So I picked up a knife at a truck stop a few weeks ago and I’ve been carrying it on my belt quite a bit. I like to keep a knife on my person for many reasons. Sometimes you need to cut some thing like shipping tape on a box or opening any sort of plastic packaging needs a good knife. Cutting a rope, or seatbelt in the event of an accident. Self-defense is also another obvious reason a person might carry a knife. You know, the exact same reason people legally carry guns. These are all good and valid reasons to carry a knife. The knife in question is a Tac-Force TF-428 which by law seems to be classified as a stiletto and probably considered a “double-edge folding knife” which is LEGAL to open carry. Pretty much any knife except those banned from Michigan CAN be open carried.

So what does that mean for me? Well, I can legally carry it on my belt, preferably with my shirt tucked in to make it visibly not concealed. I have heard stories of people who open carried a firearm, but because the shirt or jacket covered it up, the officer decided that was concealed and thus illegal due to the person not having a CPL. However, this does not mean I won’t get stopped by police while walking down the street. This knife and pretty much all others appears to be illegal to carry in a vehicle, whether carried openly or concealed.

You can see below, in MCL 750.227 there is no legal way to carry a knife in a vehicle unless you are on your “own property, place of business, or other land possessed by the person”. Where as you may carry a pistol open, concealed, or otherwise in a vehicle if “a license to carry the pistol as provided by law” is obtained. I feel like knives should fall under the CPL licensing or should have their own licensing.

 KnifeUp has a great resource for Michigan knife laws and better understanding.

KnifeUp has a great resource for Michigan knife laws and better understanding.

I’d like to know why I am not allowed to defend myself with a knife if I need it. Why is that illegal? Why is a knife so illegal? Just about anyone without criminal convictions can legally own and open carry a loaded firearm? If some person threatens me or my family’s life with a knife I am not allowed to use a knife in self-defense in Michigan, and if I do, I will surely be arrested under MCL § 750.226. So basically the law states that I should shoot to kill with a pistol, instead of a knife. Not to mention, even if you don’t use it for self-defense, even if your just walking down the street, they could still get you for carrying it with unlawful intent if you hint that self-defense is your reason for carrying. This is a felony charge with up to 5 years in prison and/or $2,500.
MCL § 750.226 – Firearm or dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument; carrying with unlawful intent; violation as felony; penalty.

(1) A person shall not, with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person of another, go armed with a pistol or other firearm, or a pneumatic gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

(2) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $2,500.00.

MCL § 750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.

(1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.

(2) A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license.

(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.