Anti-gun nuts going nuts – concealed carry in national parks

David Kopel who writes for Volokh Conspiracy has a great article in The New Ledger concerning the over-reaction of the anti-carry crowd who think national parks will soon be unsafe for humans. Earlier this week Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a law that would allow residents who have a valid pistol/carry permit for a state, to carry in national parks within that state.

Oh the horror.

Kopel digs into the psychology of the site visitors who have posted comments over at the New York Times Opinion area, Room for Debate. Some were a bit ticked off that the amendment was “hidden” [it wasn’t] within another “clearly popular” bill, but others are totally freaked out that they now have to worry if the person walking up the trail behind them is carrying a loaded pistol.

Hey idiot, as a reminder to you, that same person could be walking up the street behind you in the same state one mile outside of a national park can carrying a loaded pistol.

Did I just totally freak you out?

You really need to read Kopel’s piece, especially the part where he takes readers on a virtual tour of the northeast United States starting in New York City.

So starting in Manhattan, you can enjoy the entire Empire State, a large and interesting place. If you feel a desire to leave New York, be extremely careful about heading east. Going into Connecticut will immediately put you in a place where the government routinely issues carry permits to law-abiding, trained adults. In other words, Connecticut is just as dangerous as a National Park.

Vermont is even worse, with no permits even required for carrying concealed handguns. And everyone knows how dangerous Vermont is. New Hampshire and Maine are similar to Connecticut, and must be avoided.

Massachusetts is safe, as long as you cross directly into the state, without going through Connecticut. Rhode Island is good too, providing that you approach it via Massachusetts, or take a ferry from eastern Long Island. A trip through Connecticut would obviously be too risky.

yes-carry-concealedI was rolling on the floor laughing at that. Yes, I know it’s possible to get a License to Carry in Massachusetts, and Rhode Island is a shall issue state, but it really is funny.

Here are some selected comments from the New York Times’ Opinion page noted above…

… There’s going to be a killing (probably a number of killings around the country) and I don’t want to see it. … Now, no place in the Preserve is safe.

… Am I going to feel safer knowing the guy coming toward me on the trail is explicitly allowed to carry a loaded gun? Absolutely not. Instead, I’m wondering if the prudent thing would be to carry a gun myself. …

… Whose role in the death of thousands upon thousands of US citizens every year is close to invisible? Weapons manufacturers. …

Nancy Litz
Many “law-abiding” citizens who own guns are one missed prescription away from becoming font page news. …

Jim Speck
… I would be happy today to see gun permits restricted to anyone who has been shot or shot at.

The Second Amendment was drafted in a time of war, when it was a crime to speak out against the Crown of England. Obviously, that is not the case now.

… I would hate to be visiting Yellowstone, with my only concern being an attack from a grisly bear, that some loco guy who just lost his job is seeking vengeance in the park. …

Are folks like LetsBfairUSA so disillusion to think someone who lost their job and was seeking vengence by shooting people in a national park would stop and think “oh, I can’t do this in a national park, it’s illegal to carry a loaded pistol in there”?

So, who’s missing their medication Nancy Litz?

Department of Interior updates regulations to allow concealed carry

I wrote this post for Radio Vice Online, and am crossposting here. …

Maybe we should include a feature called “Second Amendment Tuesday” here on the blog and the radio show. There are quite a few stories that have popped up during the last couple of weeks concerning boisterous buying at our local Second Amendment shops, but here are a couple of stories that have been below the fold and under the radar; and one from a commentator who’s plain wrong. Read more

UK think tank thinking… If we all carried a gun

I do not advocate everyone carry a self defense weapon. Some may be more comfortable carrying than others, some have time to train, others do not. One thing is for certain, states and cities that allow citizens to carry self defense weapons do have less crime for the simple fact that criminals prefer target rich environments and victims who have fewer options to protect themselves and their family.

Richard Munday over at the Times Online (UK) has a comment piece that discusses the Mumbai attack that killed or wounded 500, along with historical examples from Britain and the United States concerning the right to carry.

Read more

San Francisco mayor blames NRA for triple homicide

I’m questioning future visits to San Francisco until this idiot Gavin Newsom is out of office. He actually smiles as he says the NRA is against “anything that restricts the opportunity for a guy who gets cut off in traffic from pulling out a hand gun and almost assassinating an entire family, as was the case a few days ago in San Francisco, where three people were gunned down. That somehow that is appropriate and wonderful and that person celebrated his freedom to carry a loaded pistol”.

Is he nuts? He’s trying to pin the drive-by, mid-day, Sunday afternoon, gang-land style attack and murder of a father and his two sons on the National Rifle Association. Read more

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.