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MP301
04-25-2010, 11:02 PM
WEAPONS OF CHOICE

Why legal guns still cause arrests
'I am not quite sure what hysteria is about people carrying anything'

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Posted: April 24, 2010
10:35 pm Eastern


By Michael Carl
2010 WorldNetDaily

James Goldberg of Glastonbury, Conn., recently was arrested for carrying a firearm at his neighborhood Chili's restaurant, and his release because his actions were legal has sparked a major debate over the Second Amendment.

But the legislative director for the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, Jim Wallace, contends the case is evidence of the successful work of gun opponents in demonizing the hardware itself, using fear to crack down on a legal activity.

"I am not quite sure what the hysteria is about people carrying anything," Wallace said.

"If police officers carry openly, is the general public scared? They shouldn't be. Nor should they be scared if their fellow citizens are doing the same thing. The problem is the irrational stigma, probably created by the media, about guns themselves," Wallace said.

"What the gun opponents are fostering is a basic mistrust of their fellow citizens," Wallace said. "I've asked students at forums what they don't trust about the person next to them. They usually answer, 'I trust him, he's my friend.'

"Then I usually say, 'So what's the problem?' If you trust him, there shouldn't be a problem," Wallace said.

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Goldberg was released because under the provisions of the Connecticut firearms-permit law, he was carrying legally.

Connecticut is one of 13 states that allow open carry with restrictions. According to The Free Library, others are Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

States that offer open carry without licenses or restrictions are Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont, Kentucky and Virginia.

While all states have their own variations of rules and regulations, Second Amendment advocates say the Goldberg case is a worrisome indicator.

Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson said that while the Chili's employees may have been well-intentioned, the greater issue was ignorance of the law.

"There is a perceived notion that if someone outside the law in Connecticut is carrying a firearm, concealed or otherwise, then someone is probably engaging in some type of illegal act," Wilson said.

"Never mind what the employees thought. The police themselves are unaware of the law. On many occasions, talking with retired or active-duty state police officers in Connecticut, they very simply don't know the law," Wilson said.

"And in some cases, even after I've pointed it out to them, they throw out, 'Well, we will charge you with breach of peace.' So it's not just the employees of Chili's. Police officers, Connecticut state troopers, and a lot of NRA instructors who teach the safety course here in Connecticut don't know the law," Wilson said.

Wallace said he looks at it as a picture of the whole nation.

"The problem is a nationwide perception of people with guns," he said.

Wilson cited the immediate reaction following the Goldberg case: lawmakers in the Connecticut Legislature proposed a plan to take away the open-carry provisions.

While it wasn't successful, Wilson said the reaction was alarming.

"The Connecticut Constitution, Article 1, Section 15, says clearly, 'Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state,'" Wilson said. "Plain and simple, Connecticut is an open-carry state provided the person has a Connecticut permit to carry pistols and revolvers."

Democratic State Rep. Stephen Dargan said bills were introduced to "plug the hole" in the law, but they didn't go anywhere, and he believes there is a better way to deal with it.

"The best solution is to inform the public about the citizen's right to carry firearms. That will be a lot better than trying to pass a lot of unnecessary laws. Let's inform the people about what the Second Amendment means and that Connecticut understands that people have a right to keep and bear arms," Dargan said.

Goldberg's incident at the Chili's is not isolated. Even though most states now allow carry permits, a number of citizens have been arrested and charged for gun-law violations.

The San Jose Mercury News reports police arrested Sherman Fontano for carrying an unloaded .357 revolver. Fontano said California law allows for the open carry of an unloaded firearm.

In March, the Starbucks coffee-shop chain created a furor by agreeing to allow people with legally issued handgun permits to carry their guns into the shops, following a case in Seattle in which people carried firearms into the store.

States' rules regarding carrying weapons vary widely, with 16 states having procedures to issue permits. Currently Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two U.S. states that do not issue permits for either concealed or open carry of firearms.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=144957

Sinixstar
04-25-2010, 11:28 PM
I have to say this is one of the better written articles on the subject i've seen in awhile. No ranting about socialism, nothing about 'police states' - just fairly simple statement of fact.

I back this 100%.

JDoe
04-26-2010, 12:08 AM
Democratic State Rep. Stephen Dargan said bills were introduced to "plug the hole" in the law, but they didn't go anywhere, and he believes there is a better way to deal with it.

"The best solution is to inform the public about the citizen's right to carry firearms. That will be a lot better than trying to pass a lot of unnecessary laws. Let's inform the people about what the Second Amendment means and that Connecticut understands that people have a right to keep and bear arms," Dargan said.

I agree with this Democrat that, "The best solution is to inform the public about the citizen's right to carry firearms."

Havoc70
04-26-2010, 4:02 AM
Democratic State Rep. Stephen Dargan said bills were introduced to "plug the hole" in the law, but they didn't go anywhere, and he believes there is a better way to deal with it.

"The best solution is to inform the public about the citizen's right to carry firearms. That will be a lot better than trying to pass a lot of unnecessary laws. Let's inform the people about what the Second Amendment means and that Connecticut understands that people have a right to keep and bear arms," Dargan said.

Why can't our Democrats be like this guy?

Lost in MA
04-26-2010, 5:56 AM
I think this article demonstrates THE single biggest problem we face: most people (including a lot of gun owners) have a subconscious fear that possession of a gun will cause someone to do something that they otherwise would not do. Its almost like this near universal fear of snakes that most people seem to have naturally. People have an irrational and unfounded fear that the mere presence of a gun will cause individuals to form homicidal or suicidal (or both) intent.

This is the dominant theme that is subtly reinforced time and time again by gun control advocates. And it works. Politicians, the media, and the public, even if they are not swayed by the antis arguments, they retain this subliminal fear. Listen to Paul Helmke or Josh Sugarman sometime. Their rhetoric is laced with this idea that having a cause people to 'just snap'.

nick
04-26-2010, 6:48 AM
Legal guns still cause arrests because the people who do the arrest can get away with it, thanks to layers upon layers of "qualified immunities", paid for (by taxpayers) lawyers, etc. Until there's real punishment for unlawful arrests, this will continue.

Glock22Fan
04-26-2010, 8:05 AM
"If you were in a coffee shop with a gun on your hip and someone spilled coffee on you, would your reaction be to shoot them?"

"No of course not, do you think I'm a raving loonie?"

"So why do you think that that guy over there is a raving loonie?"

BigDogatPlay
04-26-2010, 8:22 AM
Pretty nicely balanced article.... this quote says it all.....

"If police officers carry openly, is the general public scared? They shouldn't be. Nor should they be scared if their fellow citizens are doing the same thing. The problem is the irrational stigma, probably created by the media, about guns themselves," Wallace said.

Overcoming those irrational fears should be both our goal and our mission.

Merc1138
04-26-2010, 8:23 AM
Legal guns still cause arrests because the people who do the arrest can get away with it, thanks to layers upon layers of "qualified immunities", paid for (by taxpayers) lawyers, etc. Until there's real punishment for unlawful arrests, this will continue.

Bingo. The idea that the "enforcers of the law" are immune to to charges when it can be shown that they blatantly had no understanding of the law(that they're getting paid to enforce), is the problem. They can "Arrest first and ask questions later". So even if you were doing something perfectly legal, still doesn't mean you can't be arrested and have your time/money wasted dealing with it, while the officer who wasted god knows how much of your time, can just shrug and say "oops".

motorhead
04-26-2010, 11:53 AM
police state mentality. how many time are we asked,"isn't that illegal?" i even get that one carrying a large knife. we need to pull their muzzles out of the koolaid trough.

Sinixstar
04-26-2010, 1:00 PM
Legal guns still cause arrests because the people who do the arrest can get away with it, thanks to layers upon layers of "qualified immunities", paid for (by taxpayers) lawyers, etc. Until there's real punishment for unlawful arrests, this will continue.

I wonder if there's any wiggle room for a case to be made that while officers may not be punished for their actions - if their actions are found to be unwarranted, or even flat out WRONG - the department or the state has to pay restitution for any fees or costs associated with the defense.

I'm not talking about somebody who gets arrested and is found to just be not guilty at trial. But rather a mechanism for someone to argue that they never should have been arrested in the first place. (A Case such as Mr Cannon's for example).

I'm willing to bet if that were in place, and the police or the state had to start shelling out for legal fees, lost wages, etc etc - you'd start seeing the local powers that be wise up real fast.

Merc1138
04-26-2010, 1:13 PM
I wonder if there's any wiggle room for a case to be made that while officers may not be punished for their actions - if their actions are found to be unwarranted, or even flat out WRONG - the department or the state has to pay restitution for any fees or costs associated with the defense.

I'm not talking about somebody who gets arrested and is found to just be not guilty at trial. But rather a mechanism for someone to argue that they never should have been arrested in the first place. (A Case such as Mr Cannon's for example).

I'm willing to bet if that were in place, and the police or the state had to start shelling out for legal fees, lost wages, etc etc - you'd start seeing the local powers that be wise up real fast.

Oh you bet your *** officers would be a lot more knowledgeable if their superiors had to shell out money every time they screwed up. Even if the officers making the error aren't directly charged with anything, simply for screwing up and causing their upper management problems, you'd see some either shaping up, or getting laid off.

Ross
04-26-2010, 7:03 PM
Why can't our Democrats be like this guy?

Because this one has read, believes in, anbd supports the Constitution?

nick
04-27-2010, 12:18 PM
I wonder if there's any wiggle room for a case to be made that while officers may not be punished for their actions - if their actions are found to be unwarranted, or even flat out WRONG - the department or the state has to pay restitution for any fees or costs associated with the defense.

I'm not talking about somebody who gets arrested and is found to just be not guilty at trial. But rather a mechanism for someone to argue that they never should have been arrested in the first place. (A Case such as Mr Cannon's for example).

I'm willing to bet if that were in place, and the police or the state had to start shelling out for legal fees, lost wages, etc etc - you'd start seeing the local powers that be wise up real fast.

That'd work. It also provides an extra protection to the citizen in question. Otherwise, one proves his innocence (without there should've even been any doubt about it to begin with), and still ends up in the hole financially.

Mulay El Raisuli
04-28-2010, 6:58 AM
Democratic State Rep. Stephen Dargan said bills were introduced to "plug the hole" in the law, but they didn't go anywhere, and he believes there is a better way to deal with it.

"The best solution is to inform the public about the citizen's right to carry firearms. That will be a lot better than trying to pass a lot of unnecessary laws. Let's inform the people about what the Second Amendment means and that Connecticut understands that people have a right to keep and bear arms," Dargan said.


Sounds like its time for a few LOC events in CT. They worked here. They'll work there.


The Raisuli