Thanks, but no thanks: Cedar Rapids PD advises against carrying protection on bike paths

According to KCRG, Cedar Rapids has recently experienced a few issues along its bike paths. Last night channel 9 highlighted the story of C.J. Ong Jr., a cyclist who was assaulted, and had a few teeth knocked loose by a would be thief on the Cedar River Trail. What’s disappointing is Cedar Rapids Police spokesperson Shannon Stokesberry is advising bike path users not to carry protection. This quote comes direct from last night’s news story:

CRPD“Overall, she said the trails in and around Cedar Rapids are safe, but for those extra-cautious users, she advises against carrying weapons or mace for protection.

“If you have it, it could also be taken away from you and used against you,” Stokesberry warned. “Really the best thing to do is always be aware of your surroundings.”

Unfortunately Ms. Stokesberry’s advice could very well leave more walks, runners, bikers, and skaters as victims to opportunistic thieves on the Cedar Rapids’ bike paths. C.J. Ong says his story has spotlighted a common fear shared by many bike path users:

“It’s curious, as I’ve shared my story on Facebook, there’s been a lot of friends who are runners — females — that are really worried about what they can do to stay safe doing something they should be able to do enjoyably.”
Iowa Firearms Coalition obviously disagrees with the Cedar Rapids Police Department on this issue, and encourages citizens everywhere to refuse to be victims. This means maintaining good situational awareness and being prepared to exercise your right to self-defense — whether it’s with a firearm, or mace, or pepper spray, or anything else.

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  1. Richard Brees says:

    One wonders whose side she is on.

  2. Richard Rogers says:

    The Chief says you “could” be assaulted with your own weapon. Perhaps… On the other hand, it is easy to find stories like this one from last week:

    “LANCASTER, Ohio – It happened along a walking path in Lancaster.

    Dinah Burns is licensed to carry a concealed gun, but she’d only recently started taking her weapon while walking her dog.

    Based on what happened, it looks like she’ll make a point of carrying from now on.

    “I think if they’d gotten any closer, I probably would have fired,” said Burns.

    It was Monday when Burns was on a footpath near Sanderson Elementary School.

    “Two gentlemen came out of the woods, one holding a baseball bat, and said ‘You’re coming with us’.”

    The men weren’t deterred by Dinah’s dog Gracie.

    “I said, ‘Well, what do you want?,’ and as I was saying that I reached in to my pocket and slipped my gun out, slipped the safety off as I pulled it out. As I was doing that the other gentleman came toward me and raised the baseball bat. And, I pointed the gun at them and said, ‘I have this and I’m not afraid to use it.'”

    The men took off and so far have eluded police. …”

  3. Michael Ware says:

    apparently shannon stokesberry is not only unqualified for this position, but guilty of administering bushels of bad advice…

    i’m not sure how a person can sleep at night knowing they are actively encouraging citizens to set their safety and defensive tools aside. what next? will shannon tell us all to throw away our fire extinguishers and toss out our spare tires? after all, not all of us are firemen or roadside assistance technicians…

    don’t take this poor uninformed soul’s opinion as gospel folks. sad…

  4. Francis Picray says:

    Cedar Rapids is just Iowa’s small version of New York.

  5. Bill Jodeit says:

    If there is trouble the police are not obligated to protect you regardless of their public position. Protect yourself and allow the police to perform “mop up” operations. Also very few weapons are turned against their owners, statistically speaking. That is nothing more than gun control speak for we don’t trust honest citizens.

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