Skip to comments.Obvious gun holders no threat
Posted on 04/23/2009 6:09:30 PM PDT by SJackson
When I leave to go to the grocery store, there are a few items I keep in mind to take with me debit card, car keys, cell phone and maybe a pair of steel-toe boots if its the rush right before Christmas dinner.
But until now, I hadnt thought to bring a 9 mm with me.
Well, why not? Its legal. And it would probably clear the aisles pretty quick.
At least, thats the opinion of Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (not the shopping thing, Im sure his slicked-back hair is enough to scare those crowding the dairy section). In an opinion released on Monday, Van Hollen made clear what most gun rights advocates already knew and most law enforcement find bewildering: Police cant arrest you for disorderly conduct simply for openly carrying a gun, even if you dont have a permit for that gun.
Well, strap on a holster and call me John Wayne! Oh, dont worry, I dont want to shoot anyone. Nor did the West Allis man who was arrested on his own property for openly carrying his gun he was doing yard work. Nor do most of the hunters in Northern Wisconsin who treat their guns as essential tools to a rite of passage.
And usually, police should be able to tell whether youre ready to kill someone or just casually showing off your Second Amendment rights in a completely unnecessary way. In Van Hollens opinion, for example, the difference between disorderly conduct and constitutional right can be as small as yelling at someone while holding a gun.
Of course, you can understand how this would irk law enforcement. Cops in white bread parts of Wisconsin will see a man with a gun and have images of every small town rampage flash before their eyes. Before you know it, the gun-toting citizen is on the ground and a mostly inert situation has been rendered completely absurd.
But the issue for law enforcement isnt suburban, peaceful Wisconsin. Its Milwaukee.
You know, that place where gun deaths run rampant, gunfire strikes down innocent bystanders and talk radio pundits are throwing up their arms and heralding the breakdown of civilization.
And law enforcement officials there are feeling embattled by Van Hollens decision. Not only because it seems vague, but also because they seem to feel it doesnt allow them to arrest gun-wielding youth on the spot.
Well, whatever theyre still going to do it.
My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, well put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Maybe Ill end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, Ive got serious offenders with access to handguns. Its irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them.
But in what situation is Van Hollens opinion going to stop police from doing their job?
Man holding gun in his hand? Reasonable suspicion. Man with gun in car? Still against the law. The only scenario I can see where a person with a gun doesnt end in an arrest is if a suspected threat walks down the street with a gun tucked in the front of his pants, but still visible, and then simply walks by police without a single facial tick or sneer. But be realistic, how many people are going to see police while showing a piece and not react in a way deemed suspicious?
I know what gun control advocates will say: This is just one more step toward proliferating gun violence in Wisconsin. Next is concealed carry.
Maybe. But lets be honest with ourselves who handles guns, what kind of guns they have and how they get those guns is a lot more important than how someone handles their gun.
Laws prohibiting guns in public places serve a normative purpose in regulating gun use, but practical enforcement is rather limited. Once someone has a gun in public, one of two things happens: They either take it out and start shooting people or they beam with pride as they test the produce.
But either way, the police are still going to approach you. If youre about to shoot someone, theyre either going to stop you or regrettably have it end in a shootout. But if you are just going about your day and feel like alarming your neighbors for the sake of touting your newly emboldened Constitutional rights, yeah, you should be allowed to go about your shopping/picnic/other non-trigger tripping situation.
But gun control advocates will at least have the opportunity to pick their battle. There are kids getting guns in front of Chicago schools with assault rifles and mentally unbalanced individuals getting guns without any problems.
Deal with them first. The man doing lawn work isnt a threat hes just obnoxious.
Jason Smathers (email@example.com) is a senior majoring in history and journalism.
While I disagree with his tone at several points, this is a legitimate criticism of open carry. He doesn't like it, it's my right, and arrest the criminals. Decent editorial for a college kid. Ties him with the President's known college writings, one. More accurately the only one of the authors I've read, he probably has more.
You have the right to bear arms. That means you have the right to BEAR arms. To deny that right is tyranny.
Well of course. This precludes them from having to do anything so tedious as actually cracking a book and learning about the law.
Heaven forbid. Much easier to 'shoot' first and ask questions later when they have the time to THEN consult a book.
How did the sheriffs handle it in the frontier days? Most people had side arms. How did they determine between the good and bad guys?
Wow. Cops determine what rights we have?
I don’t know. You reckon that maybe they arrested someone only if they saw them actually doing something illegal?
What a concept!
Have we become a nation of pussies? What happened to the country I was born in almost 50 years ago?! My father’s generation defeated Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, all at the same time!! We defeated the Soviet Union, but now we’re afraid to use our God-given rights? WTF?!!
He must not like his home very much, because he's going to lose it when he's sued and held personally liable for violation of civil rights under color of law.
In Virginia, two young men collected a total of $25,000 in settlements from the City of Norfolk within a span of six months. And that's small potatoes, friends.
The bad guys always wore black, had mustaches and always sneered. Oh, they spit tobacco too.......
Today they just ask Oblahblah & former Arizona governer Janet Napolitano's DHS for a profile.
“Have we become a nation of pussies?”
The founding fathers never dreamed we’d try to say Americans can own firearms but not carry them anywhere. The notion is ridiculous.
It is, isn’t it. They’re shaking their heads.
another reason why the press is the enemy of the Bill of rights
(by the way, what the heck does that mean?)
Well, in some cases they banned carry within town limits.
Hear what this man has to say, from hear him, hear him. I think it was a term in parliment, like asking for the floor.
Shouldn’t have said was, probably still is. Brits talk that way.
In the old days they were a lot fewer bad guys. There were no narcotics or other modern motivation for crime. Of course there were highwaymen and various bandits. Law enforcement officers were spread thin. If you were unarmed you would likely fall victim to the renegades.
There were no cell phones to call for help. In any case, if you have to call for the help of the police, its usually too late, no matter the time period..