Skip to comments.Openly Carrying Marine Vet Excluded from Voting Booths, For No Real Reason (IN)
Posted on 05/17/2012 7:25:36 PM PDT by marktwain
A Marine veteran was unjustly turned away from a voting booth because he was openly carrying a handgun.
If you ever wonder why the phrase "I support our troops" gets thrown around so much, it's because of people like Clay Edinger. This man showed a level of principle and calm composure that few people would have been able to maintain in such a frustrating situation.
A former Marine, Edinger carries a firearm with him just about wherever he goes. Indiana law lets him do that, of course, as long as he stays out of places like schools and courthouses where the law very clearly prohibits it. When Edinger wanted to vote, however, the officials there told him that guns were prohibited. Police officers showed up on the scene and tried to explain that Edinger couldn't bring in a gun. When Edinger asked why not, they spent an hour and a half communicating with the Election Board to try to find a law that would justify the gun ban.
Because, you know, it makes sense to assume that something is illegal until you find something saying you can do it, rather than to assume that something is legal until you find something saying you can't do it.
The police finally cited a specific statute and Edinger elected to go home and look up the statute rather than lock his gun away in his car. As it turns out, the statute quoted by the police officers pertains to domestic violence, so it amounts to squat-diddly in this context. Edinger called up the State Police and was transferred around for close to an hour while he waited for somebody to produce a law explaining why he couldn't vote while wearing a gun. They couldn't find anything, either.
He returned to the voting station 30 minutes before closing time. An officer there explained that guns weren't allowed in, but he couldn't remember the law saying why he couldn't. Edinger decided that he would rather forfeit his right to vote than his right to bear arms. He calmly left the voting booth. Edinger said that his principles made him unable to surrender his gun. More power to you, Clay Edinger.
Someday, we’ll be returning, but with more guns.
ping for later
I see a Marine continuing to serve his country.
And yet another soldier disenfranchised unable to cast a vote...
He should have gone home and come back with a billy club in his hand...maybe that would have been ok?
So sad for our country, but so proud of this man. God Bless him!
Where was the voting station?
I found it was at a fire dept station.
He hired a very well-known 2A attorney to remind the gubmint that they work for us. I hope I get called on that jury.
Did the police officers leave their pistols in their squad car?
Were the police armed?
I am not familiar with Indiana laws, and have never visited that state.
When I open carried in New Mexico, bars and US Post Offices were two of the few places people were forbidden by law to carry a gun, whether open or concealed.
I honestly do not remember whether or not one could legally carry, open or concealed, at a designated election site.
Creeping incremental rules and laws that went unchallenged when enacted have brought us all to the situation we now endure.
Our society would be more civil if it was just assumed that everyone carried a concealed lethal weapon at all times.
Yes, the soldier was within his rights. But the wiser course would have been to either (a)do concealed carry or (b)returned to his car, locked the gun in, voted and left. He could have sued for violation of his 2a rights later and still had his vote counted.
The fact of the matter is that even in conservative areas on the left coast or east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio River there are a lot of otherwise sensible people who get the vapors at the mere sight of a firearm.
Any right you surrender to expediency is a right lost.
I will not claim this as my original thought, I recall similar being attributed to our founders.
18 USC § 245 - Federally protected activities
(b) Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with
(1) any person because he is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from
(A) voting or qualifying to vote, qualifying or campaigning as a candidate for elective office, or qualifying or acting as a poll watcher, or any legally authorized election official, in any primary, special, or general election;
shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;
>This is the reason we have concealed carry permits.
>Yes, the soldier was within his rights. [FULL STOP]
The rest of your post is irrelevant; either he was within his rights, or he was not.
My polling place happens to be inside the County Couthouse. I have to go throigh metal detectors and an armed deputy in order to vote.
Gun, hell! I can’t even take a fingernail clipper with me.
Almost all of the fire departments in Indiana and Kentucky have signs that proclaim Firearms are “Prohibited on the Premises”. If this was a station that prohibits firearms, he has no case. It would have been prudent to just lock the weapon in his car and voted.
As for a cop carrying a gun in.... Seriously? Common sense....
My best friend will not allow a weapon in his house. It’s his view and he has two young children. I respect that and lock my weapon in the trunk when I visit.
The 2a is to be respected.
Actually, Vigilanteman's comment made more sense than yours - the man gave up his right to vote in order to maintain another right; both are critical to our freedom.
The man was within his rights, but would have been arrested, or possibly killed by police if he had insisted on his right - when "the Law" and other government officials resrtict your rights in such an arbitrary manner, the response needs to be a hundred like-minded folks showing up and demanding the right. Might sound like mob justice, but unless we grow the gonads to resort to it, there is no right which cannot or will not be infringed.
It brings to mind an epitaph which my Dad used to recite to me when I was learning to drive:
Here lies the remains of Robert Gray
Who died defending his right of way
He knew it was his as he sped along,
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.
Thanks for the Robert Gray vignette - my Dad also passed on a lot of wisdom, which I had to “grow into”.
I know it would have been wiser, but why do we-the law abiders- always have to give in and be the wiser?
Sometimes you just want to feel like a free American, enjoying your life within the law and God knows he’s earned it.
I try to always be considerate and respectful of others, but when are we going to be given that same consideration and our expression of Americanism and freedom respected?
That’s why I said it was sad; this Marine had to choose between the right to vote and the right to bear arms just because it made people uncomfortable to see a gun-it just isn’t right.
I can see both sides of it, but if I were a Marine-I probably would have done the same thing.
Men like this Marine, who stand their ground, are the ones who blaze the way for the rest of us.
His actions were those of a true patriot citizen, not a sniveling subject as you suggest he become. That includes his hiring of an attorney.
This story isn’t over.
That’s a good way of putting it-that’s what I meant.
He shouldn’t HAVE to choose between voting and carrying arms OR voting and running to a lawyer!
He should just be able to walk in and vote like anyone else; I’m tired of us Conservative-law abiding Americans having to give in to everyone else because they are uncomfprtable around a gun, a church bell, or whatever it is that week. It’s a part of life, and this country-deal with it.