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ME:Portland Police Chill Second and First Amendment Rights
Gun Watch ^ | 24 October, 2013 | Dean Weingarten

Posted on 10/23/2013 5:28:44 PM PDT by marktwain

Armed Israelis may get a second glance

The police Chief in Portland, Maine, Michael Sauschuck, does not like the "bear arms" part of the second amendment, and he and other Portland officials are quite willing to work to chill its exercise.

There have been recent cases where police have stopped people who are legally openly carrying guns in the Portland area.  One has become popular on YouTube,  where a well read open carrier civilly schooled the police officer on the limitations of detainment under the Constitution and case law.

In December of 2012, an activist was legally carrying an AR-15 type rifle, and was stopped twice.  He was a law student and recorded the incidents.  He was not arrested.

The police know that open carry is legal and not against the law.  It appeared that there would be another case similar to the above when Carlos Reed, an Iraq war veteran and college law enforcement student, was stopped at gun point for doing nothing but exercising his second amendment rights, though he did it at night, so as not to attract undue attention.   People in other states have won settlements for this type of overreaction by police.

It did not happen that way.  The police confiscated Mr. Reed's rifle and pistol while they tried to figure something to charge him with.    When Mr. Reed later told an instructor that he would continue the walks as a way to exercise his second amendment rights, and to prepare for a military training mission,  the police and prosecutors decided to charge him with "threatening display of a weapon", though Mr. Reed had never threatened anyone or pointed his rifle at anyone.    The appearance of a desire to "chill" the exercise of constitutional rights is clear.

They obtained a warrant, arrested Mr. Reed, and then tried to get him committed to a mental institution.   While they held him for evaluation, he lost his job, lost his college credits for the semester he had enrolled in, and was finally released on his own recognizance, with a court order not to possess guns or ammunition in the intervening period.

Mr. Reeds car was impounded as part of the arrest.  Carlos Reed had to pay $700 to have it released.

The police then issued a press release that described Carlos Reed as a danger to the community, and characterized his desire to exercise his second amendment rights as this:
 “He said he’s going to arm himself again and force confrontations with the police,” Chief Michael Sauschuck said at a news conference Friday. “If somebody is saying he has piles of firearms and is going to have conflicts with police, that’s a concern for us and the community.”
The article in the Portland Press Herald seems to imply that Reed's statement that he was preparing for a "military training mission" was somehow frightening or irrational, yet they state in the article that Mr. Reed entered the reserves after leaving active duty.    With 8 years of active duty, entering the reserves would appear to be a very rational act.

The police say that they found a "hypodermic apparatus"  in the car, and a substance that they suspect of being steroids, and they have charged him with possession of a hypodermic apparatus and illegal drugs as well.

I do not have any personal knowledge of Carlos Reed, but when a police Chief states that he does not approve of the law on open carry in Maine, then goes to considerable lengths to find a way to charge someone who open carries, I tend to wonder about the Chief's motives.

The police have already done a great deal to punish Carlos Reed without ever having to go to court.   They have cost him his job, a semester of college, and $700 to have his car released.    They could easily have arrested him by calling him and asking him to come down to the station.  He was found to be competent and not a threat to himself or others in the mental evaluation.   While the evaluation may have been an exercise to "protect the police", it reminds one of how the Soviets used mental institutions to punish those who were political dissidents.

The hypodermic and unknown substance are troubling, but they are also the sort of things an overzealous officer might produce in order to please his chief, or to put those pesky "civilians" in their place.   It is even possible that they are completely innocent.  Both my father and a good friend have or had hypodermics for their diabetes.  The unknown substance has not been tested.

A later editorial in the Portland Press Herald changes the tone a bit, merely praising the police for chilling the second amendment while saying that Carlos "displayed poor judgement".

I have long believed that openly carrying weapons is an exercise of both first and second amendment rights.  Those who oppose open carry are not acting out of a concern for public safety, because criminals and terrorists almost never carry weapons openly.   Virtually all of the time, people who carry openly are doing it in part or completely, as a political statement.  It educates those who refuse to believe that the second amendment actually has teeth.

If Carlos Reed had slipped a loose cover over his rifle, he would not have been bothered, but it would not have changed his abilities in any significant way.  Rifles are almost never used in crime, and openly carried rifles are a much tinier subset of those.  If the police can chill the open carry of rifles, then they can do so for pistols.  If openly carried pistols are a threat, then concealed pistols are more of a threat.

Open carry is speech that the Portland Police Chief does not like.  It shows that there are constitutional limits that he must respect.  We may agree or disagree that the speech is effective or not, but we should agree that it must be protected.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

TOPICS: Government; Military/Veterans; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; me; opencarry; secondamendment
The reason political opponents fear open carry is not for safety reasons. If that were true, they would demand that police give up their guns.

They fear it because it is potent political speech. It loudly shouts "The Constitution means something! You cannot define it out of relevance!"

1 posted on 10/23/2013 5:28:44 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

I see both sides of this, from this respect. If I saw someone walking around with a rifle that was loaded I admit I would be uneasy.
I think that is a natural reaction. If I see someone walking around with a flower or straw or something in the barrel to show it was not loaded then I’d say God Bless you for exercising your rights.

Thee is just something about knowing people have loaded rifles that unnerves me. Yes I know it is their right and I respect it
I wish they’d give a thought to people like me that are scaredy cats

2 posted on 10/23/2013 5:45:23 PM PDT by RWGinger
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To: marktwain

I hope he finds a good lawyer that brings a case for violation of his civil rights, which is the only way that this behavior would stop.

3 posted on 10/23/2013 5:46:12 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: RWGinger

It is a matter of your perception. My rights are not determined (or at least should not) be determined by your perceptions and fears.

In my world, seeing someone with a loaded weapon would not cause any concern at all, unless it was used in a threatening manner. Then he would be confronted.

I am more concerned about a fist than I am about a loaded weapon.

4 posted on 10/23/2013 5:48:40 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: LachlanMinnesota

I thought I made it quite clear I know those are the rights.
In fact I know I did
I am just saying that my natural reaction to seeing someone with a rifle, a rifle that is loaded, is to be nervous.
maybe that comes from being a Mother and always on alert.
It is interesting that your first reaction is to assert YOUR rights are all that are important to you.
No mention about the feelings and concerns of those around you.
I have NOT said you do not have that right and I would NEVER want that right taken away.

Could YOU not assert your rights just the same with something in the barrel of your rifle to show it is not loaded?

5 posted on 10/23/2013 5:58:51 PM PDT by RWGinger
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To: RWGinger; All

Something in the barrel would not show that it was not loaded, but it might be a nice gesture to the nervous.

A chamber flag would show that it was not loaded, but those who need it might not recognize what it means.

I rather like your idea of a plastic flower at the muzzle. Done right, it would do nothing to the function of the firearm, but could help with public relations, showing that this was an expressly political act.

The more I think about it, the more I like it.

6 posted on 10/23/2013 6:12:09 PM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: marktwain
I imagine he was committed which would mean he lost all his second amendment rights.

Mental hospitals are a way to take away rights if used by the wrong people.

7 posted on 10/23/2013 6:24:48 PM PDT by Chickensoup (we didn't love freedom enough... Solzhenitsyn.)
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To: RWGinger

You need to buy a gun. Its YOUR right also.

8 posted on 10/23/2013 6:40:14 PM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: RWGinger

Next time go up to a police person and give him/her/it a flower to put in the barrel of his weapon and ask him to please exist in a less threatening manner.

9 posted on 10/23/2013 8:09:06 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (When His Arrogance talks out of his a$$, Harry Reid's lips move.)
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To: RWGinger; marktwain

A persons demeanor will give you a better clue as to whether the rifle is loaded or not. A big cheery smile or a hearty laugh are not the characteristics of someone who is intent on committing mayhem. Someone who will stop for a moment to answer your questions about the time or where a store is located is not the act of a person who has fear or anger on their mind.

10 posted on 10/23/2013 9:09:48 PM PDT by B4Ranch (AGENDA: Grinding America Down ----- <<
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To: RWGinger

My right of self-defense is a natural right. You cannot dictate to me limitations because of your feelings.

I would prefer a world build upon reason and facts, rather than one that caters to feelings that are not based on facts.

You state you feel uncomfortable because you are a mother? I am a father. I can defend my children better than you. Why would you be frightened of something that equalized power between the weak and the strong? Are you willing to say that the fact of the gun is a risk to your children?

So are your own hands. It is all in the intent of the use of the tool,

You are afraid of a tool.

11 posted on 10/23/2013 9:18:11 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: marktwain

Believe it or not, Maine used to be a conservative state a long time ago.

Then, of course, Leftist Bostonians began retiring there.

The rest, as they say, is history.

12 posted on 10/24/2013 1:34:06 AM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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