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The Incremental Approach to Concealed Carry

On Friday, Malkin’s fill-in blogger, see-dubya, reminded us about Oklahoma’s House bill 2513 that allows for some changes to the state’s firearm laws. Last Thursday, the NRA-ILA reported that an amended version of the bill, authored by Jason Murphey, Republican state representative from the 31st District, will allow for military veterans who possess a valid concealed carry permit to lawfully carry a concealed handgun on Oklahoma’s public college and university campuses.

This incremental approach to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons may be considered a win for supporters of the 2nd Amendment, but remember that rights that are given by the government can easily be taken away. Read more

“Safe” is a Relative Term [Updated]

Just watching Fox News with their first live report concerning the tragedy that is unfolding at Northern Illinois University. Another sad day for students, as a white male walked into a packed lecture hall with three firearms and started shooting. He then killed himself. As of this writing, he’s murdered four students.

Update: Six Five killed as of Friday morning, and the shooter identified as 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak — former Northern Illinois University graduate student.

Prayers go out to the faculty, staff and students at NIU. No one wants these events to happen on campus. Young adults at that age should be having a good time, making life-long friends and learning a few things along the way.

A freshman being interviewed by the Fox correspondent mentioned an incident in December that led university officials to close the campus during finals week.

The school was closed for one day during final exam week in December after campus police found threats, including racial slurs and references to shootings earlier in the year at Virginia Tech, scrawled on a bathroom wall in a dormitory. Police determined after an investigation that there was no imminent threat and the campus was reopened.

The young lady being interviewed was heading home. She said she was “too close.” She also mentioned that after the incident in December that the university staff and police said “they were safe.”

No, you were not. Safe is defined as being secure from danger, harm, or evil. Safe is a relative term.

NIUs Student Code of Conduct (PDF, 1.65mb) prohibits weapons including shotguns and handguns on campus. If students wish to bring firearms onto campus, they must get permission and leave them at the University Security Office. Reports state that the shooter was not a NIU student, but may have been a student from another school.

After the Virginia Tech tragedy, a dialog began concerning students carrying concealed weapons on campus. Many law-biding, qualified citizens are allowed to carry a concealed weapon, but they are being denied that right at some schools.

We must be open to allowing these young adults – and teachers – to carry a firearm so they have an opportunity to defend themselves. It’s their right to do so. Give them the opportunity to level the playing field during tragedies like this.

Students will never be safe on campus, and we need to stop giving the impression that schools are safe just because the code of conduct bans weapons.

More at Malkin and Instapundit.

Note: Illinois is one of two states – the other being Wisconsin – where your right to carry is denied. (Washington D.C. also denies this right) You may not carry a pistol concealed or open. When traveling with firearms, laws require that they be locked up and inaccessible. You can find more information concerning your state laws at one of the Web sites listed below, or at your state government’s Web site.

Concealment and the Second Amendment

For those who may be interested, there has been some action on the pistol permit front in the state of Connecticut. I won’t say that argument has been heated, but let’s say that some parties on both sides seem a bit “head-strong” in their opinions. I am not directly or indirectly involved with any of this.

As a baseline, I’d like to remind readers about the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

With that said, let’s review what Connecticut’s Constitution has to say about a citizens right to bear arms. The subject is covered in section 15 of the first article. It is quite clear:

Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

In June of 2008 2007, James Goldberg, a Connecticut resident with a valid state pistol permit, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of breach of peace at a restaurant in Glastonbury, Conn.

Without adding any commentary on my part, here is a scan of the police report and here is Goldberg’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

In short, an employee saw Goldberg’s pistol while he was waiting to pick up some take out food, called law enforcement, and started to move people away from him. When police arrived, they too saw the holstered weapon and arrested him for breach of peace.

The misdemeanor charge was dropped about a month later, but Goldberg had his pistol confiscated and destroyed, had to pay a $500 fine and they took his permit. At the time Goldberg had to wait – 22 months – for a hearing with the civilian firearms review board responsible for handling pistol permit appeals.

There is a lot of misinformation concerning if, in fact, a pistol must be concealed. Many NRA trainers and law enforcement types are telling people it is the law; they must conceal their weapon. In fact, it is not the law, but guidelines that were formerly posted – and now removed – by the Board of Firearms Permit Examiner indicated it was the law.

oldberg’s suit in U.S. District Court highlights the issue. From what I understand, he thought that his pistol was concealed, but it was not. I guess an analogy could be walking out of the restroom without zipping up – everyone notices but you.

What is Breach of Peace?
Goldberg was arrested on this charge – the class B misdemeanor version – which was later dropped. This legislation is frequently used as one of those “catch-all” type of laws to arrest people who bother other people and can be kind of vague. Here is the class B misdemeanor version (Connecticut statutes):

Sec. 53a-181. Breach of the peace in the second degree: Class B misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person: (1) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or (2) assaults or strikes another; or (3) threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person’s property; or (4) publicly exhibits, distributes, posts up or advertises any offensive, indecent or abusive matter concerning any person; or (5) in a public place, uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or (6) creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do. For purposes of this section, “public place” means any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests.

With reference to the above, can someone let me know where inadvertently exposing your pistol would cause a breach of peace? Law enforcement may reference section six, but Goldberg was licensed to carry a pistol.

As a matter of fact, a case for breach could be made against the employee of the restaurant who started moving people away from Goldberg, causing considerable stress and maybe even a possible panic among patrons.

To address situations like Goldberg’s, the Connecticut Department of Public Safety drafted up some ideas, that are not part of the 2008 legislative package. I’ve highlighted the areas of note.

New Statute Concerning Carrying a Pistol or Revolver Concealed:
(NEW) Carrying a pistol or revolver concealed. Exceptions. Penalties. (Effective October 1, 2008):

  1. Any person carrying a pistol or revolver, pursuant to the provisions of section 29-35, shall conceal such pistol or revolver and shall behave in a prudent and responsible manner so as not to cause alarm.
  2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the carrying of any pistol or revolver by any parole officer or peace officer of this state, or parole officer or peace officer of any other state while engaged in the pursuit of official duties, or any current or retired law enforcement officer qualified and annually certified under the provisions of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, 18 USC 926B and 926C, or federal marshal or federal law enforcement agent, or to any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined by section 27-103, or of this state, as defined by section 27-2, when such member of the armed forces is on duty or going to or from duty.
  3. Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall: (1) For conviction of a first offense, (A) be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than two thousand dollars, and (B) be imprisoned not more than one year; and (2) for a subsequent conviction of this offense, (A) be fined not less than two thousand dollars or more than five thousand dollars, and (B) be imprisoned not more than five years.

There are five (5) changes or additions proposed by DPS that were obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

  1. Changing the blood alcohol level from .10 to .08 while carrying a weapon.
  2. Increasing from 8 to 12 weeks the time to issue a permit
  3. Annual firearms refresher training for Bail Enforcement Agents
  4. A requirement that 30 days notice be given DPS for Gun Shows.
  5. An exception to carrying a Facsimile firearm etc. for those involved with a state certified production company.

I don’t like this legislation at all, in an attempt to clarify the current law they suggest going overboard, clearly attempting to criminalize gun owners.

By requiring concealment, they open up a can of worms. Who determines the violation? What if a pistol owner is transferring their weapon from their holster to a lock box in their car and someone sees the pistol transfer? (This would be required of permit holders when entering gun-free (target rich) zones.)

What if someone doesn’t like you and knows that you carry concealed. Could they just call law enforcement and tell them that you saw a gun in a holster on that person and have them arrested?

I’m not certain what the solution is, but when you have a certain percentage of the population that totally freak out when they even see a gun magazine, let alone a Sig P229R DAK or a Glock 19, we’ve got a different sort of problem.

Those people have been brainwashed to think that these inanimate objects will frequently jump off a table – or out of a holster – and fire a round off for the heck of it. That would be the issue to solve.

Second Amendment Reminder for Obama

Let’s take a quick look at the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and then let’s remind the Democrat candidates for president about the amendment.

Amendment 2
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Take a look at the phrase “the people.” What amendments reference the people?

The First Amendment references the people and their right to peaceably assemble. The Fourth Amendment references the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Amendment nine, 10 and 17 also reference rights of the people.

Question for Barack Obama. What part of the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed don’t you understand? From the CNNPolitics.com Issues page.

He supports a national law against carrying concealed weapons. Will he allow us to carry at all?

Carrying a firearm for personal and family protection is the great equalizer when someone tries to hurt you. If you are a four-eleven female in a parking garage, in a mall, at church, or even at home, and a six-foot male tries to attack you, you can equalize the fight.

Someone who is properly trained to carry a firearm, who is not a felon, should be able to protect themselves. Period.

It’s clear, Obama want to take away the rights of the good guys to carry a weapon concealed. Criminals tend to not care about the law. So they will continue to use them. Guns are not going away.

Let’s watch to see if Obama changes his position as time gets closer to the election.

How About Knife Control?

Here’s a new – but old – story for readers; 3 Students Stabbed; Pa. School Evacuated. I think that we need federal knife control legislation. How many kids need to get hurt or die? Not one more I say!

READING, Pa. (AP) – Three students were stabbed Wednesday morning at a junior/senior high school by an angry student who had a canister of propane when confronted by school administrators, school and police officials said. The student at Antietam Middle-Senior High School in Lower Alsace Township was taken into custody by police after school officials disarmed the boy. Students were evacuated to a district building in a neighboring community.

Principal James Snyder said he and a teacher were responding to a disturbance when they confronted the student, who held them at bay with the canister.

“He was very upset with the school and with all the people who were in the school at that particular time,” Snyder said.

When the boy would not surrender, a teacher swatted the student’s arm, knocking the canister from his hand, Snyder said.

I’m glad that the three kids are going to be okay and suffered only minor injuries, and yes, I know, a firearm would have done more damage. How about we do some research on the number of people who are seriously injured or killed by a knife or blunt object, and compare that to those seriously injured or killed by firearms?

Gun control does not solve issues. In general, criminals do not buy guns legally and they don’t follow the law anyway. It does not mean much for them. It does however, prevent people from evening the odds and protecting themselves.