What a load of bollocks. Ever considered wearing it on a lanyard around your neck with the camera so you look like you're a working photographer? Or is that too insensitive in America? Must be the guns rule mentality of the USA. Plenty of things can resemble a hand-gun (fire up your imagination).
Wow...you hear a new one everyday, I guess.
Thanks for the insights, everyone. I ended up missing that auction after all, though I'll keep an eye out for future listings. I've always liked the Pentax DSM. Its a true spotmeter and doesn't require the acrobatics inherent to properly using in-camera CW meters.
One can never be too careful nowadays, especially when living in New York city - we have a dedicated legion of trigger happy 'law enforcement officers', tweaked out on their own egos and only too happy to 'mistake' a benign situation for mortal danger; walking around pointing something that looks like a gun and is held/used in a similar fashion clearly fits that bill. I'm done with heroics, opting rather for the 'ounce of prevention' bit.
Forgive my lack of bravado.
A friend had a Grimes custom lens hood on his spot meter that extended the front by about 3 inches and said he had an incident with a cop thinking it was a gun. But aside from that mod, I don't think it would be a problem, though wearing it in a holster might be different story. I don't remember what meter he has, I think its the Pentax digital.
If somebody asked me if my spot meter was a gun I'd pull my Glock out of its concealed holster and say, "No. It's not a gun. THIS is a gun!"
Okay... No, I really wouldn't do that in real life but that's what I want to say right now.
I actually have been in situations where I have been confronted by police or security guards. My response was always a polite but direct, "We're on public property and, unless there's anything else, we have nothing to discuss," and I keep right on walking.
I know you're going to say that's a good way to get yourself into trouble but I'm not the one who is in the wrong. I have no responsibility to give anything more than a cursory response to such an inquiry. As long as one is reasonably polite and doesn't threaten the other person there is nothing they can do.
If that doesn't work, the phrase, "Title 42, Section 1983" is enough to stop any cop (who is unjustly harassing you) cold in his tracks.
If a person can't tell the difference between a light meter and a gun, they probably couldn't tell the difference between their ass and their elbow, either.
Yeah, but if the result is that you might get shot at, it's probably worthwhile to think about ways to avoid the confusion! It's not the photographer's *fault* that people mistake other things for guns, but in the worst case, whose fault it is may not matter all that much.
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
If a cop thinks you're holding a gun and refusing to put it down, things can get very dangerous very quickly. I've known several people who were involved in "drop the weapon!" misunderstandings, and one of my cousins was actually killed by cops because they thought he might be about to reach for a (nonexistent) gun. This whole subject is, I submit, the wrong place to make a stand on principle.
Police or security guards or even private citizens have the right to approach you and talk to you or even ask you a question but once they have determined that there is no problem, if you tell them that you don't want to be bothered, provided you have done nothing wrong, they are obliged to leave you alone. The onus is on the OTHER PERSON to prove within reason that you are doing something wrong.
A law abiding citizen of the US is not even obliged to carry identification or identify himself to law enforcement officers if he has done nothing wrong.
The only time he is required to carry his driver's license is when he is driving a vehicle on public roads. A normal person who has done nothing wrong, who has broken no laws and isn't threatening or hurting anybody has the right to walk down the street without being bothered. He doesn't even have to talk to anybody he doesn't want to.
Yes, I know that there are a lot of "Barney Fifes" out there and I know that there a lot of cops who think they are Dirty Harry, too. The truth is that they are the exception, not the rule. Guys like that don't last very long. They either burn themselves out, get fired or get elected to city council.
Yes, I have been face to face with a Barney Fife. Of course, I don't thumb my nose at people like that whether they are cops, security guards or not. Of course, I'm polite.
The stock response should be, "I'm sorry, officer, is there something wrong?" The next question should be, "Do you think I'm breaking the law?" If the answer is anything other than the affirmative, the next response would be, "Excuse me, officer, but I'm busy and I must be going, now." In such a case, if the officer does or says anything other than, "Good day," it is HE who is breaking the law. Every good cop has or should have had training to that effect. Yes, I know people have been killed by bad cops but incidents like that are pretty rare.
No, I'm not going to stand my ground on principle against some bad cop who is determined to have his way whether it is lawful or not but the principle that I am going to stand on is that it's not my responsibility to worry about people like that. I don't break the law (except, maybe, that speeding ticket) and I expect to be able to go about my business without being harassed. It is people like us; law abiding citizens who just want to take photographs; who need to collectively place the blame squarely at the feet of those responsible.
We are not wrong. They are.
Shit, I mounted my Pentax Spot in my scope on my 30-06. No wonder my street shots have been suffering for subjects.
I'm really confused about how you mean for this to apply to the situation where somebody thinks you're waving a gun around. This all makes sense if you're talking about the common situation where a cop or rent-a-cop tries to intimidate a photographer out of taking pictures, but I don't think that's really the OP's concern here.
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
Not to be a jerk about it, but people get killed this way---by carrying around things that look remotely like guns, and then not being deemed by a responding LEO to be sufficiently compliant. Look at it from the officer's perspective---damn, that guy (apparently) has a deadly weapon, and he refuses to drop it! They are, in general, *allowed* to shoot you under those circumstances, because they are in a position to believe, genuinely and reasonably, that you may be about to shoot them first. (Why else would you refuse to drop your gun, right?)
I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that insisting on keeping the moral high ground, in the very particular situation where something has been mistaken for a gun, is a pretty good way to end up being right but dead.
I really don't like to permanently paint or alter any of my equipment.
I, too, thought of public confusion regarding my Pentax Spot, so I wrapped a piece of yellow electrician's [type] tape around the lens barrel.
This type of tape is available in many colors, I just happened to have some yellow on hand. No problems, no worries.
If necessary in the future, with a bit of solvent, any tape residue will be easily removed.