“Just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.” The Second Amendment’s Epitaph

“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.” -Second amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Infringe:

–verb (used with object)

1.  to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.

–verb (used without object)

2.  to encroach or trespass (usually fol. by on  or upon ): Don’t infringe on his privacy.

 

It was said that openly carrying guns to make a political statement was not reason enough to carry guns. It was said that the 2nd amendment did not need to be exercised to remain valid.

Well…  they were wrong.
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=14078120
(parent story here)

A citizen, though probably not in the most intelligent display, legally exercised his constitutional right to openly carry firearms. He was known to city police who have run into him three times before, (though the dash-camera seems to show the initial confronting officer seemed unfamiliar), and he was very cooperative, as before.

An officer responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls initially stopped the man at gunpoint.

On dash camera footage released of the incident the man can be heard declaring weapons and offering further compliance to the officer who kept demanding that the man keep his hands visible and above his head; the man his hands visible and calmly complied. “I have a knife in my pocket.” The officer again yelled at him to keep his hands where he could see them. “Do you want me to remove my gloves?” “Do you need me to remove…<garbled>  …I don’t have any ammunition with  me at all.” The officer simply restates his commands and the man continued to comply. The officer demanded identification, (dash cam footage is cut), then handcuffed the individual, removed all his weapons, (dash cam is started form a second responding vehicle), the man is put in the back of the second car, and further questioned,  all  in order to ‘determine that the guns were unloaded,’  which isn’t even part of the law. (The law states that open carry is legal as long as the gun is two actions from being fired. for instance, on a semi-automatic weapon like the ones he had: no bullet in chamber. The magazine may be loaded, but the chamber must be charged and the trigger pulled before the weapon fires.) In fact, if this man is a concealed carry permit holder, he could have had both weapons fully loaded and with ammunition in the chamber and still be within the scope of the law.

The police can be heard asking him where he was going, and what he was doing with the weapons.  

Not only do I believe this man’s 4th amendment rights were infringed, but his 2nd amendment rights were under direct attack. The city police stated that they intend to treat anyone else who open carries in the same way:
“…I don’t think we would change how we did this if it happened again tomorrow. It’s going to be approached the same way.”  -Sgt. Craig Martinez

I agree with the second statement. I have no problem allowing the Police the leeway to do their job and approach a situation carefully in order to defend the peace… However, I do disagree with how this was handled after the initial confrontation. This man was compliant, helpful, and more knowledgeable in the law than the officer.  They had no reason to detain or cuff the man after he surrendered his weapons, nor the right to make him surrender his weapons as long has he was in compliance to the law, which he willingly proved.  The officers had no right to interrogate him on his destination or intent with the weapons; they had no probable cause at that point.  He was peaceful, cooperative, and in full compliance of the law.  The officers, however, did have the right to expel him from Mall private property if the Mall so desired, which they did.  

So, how did KSL report this law abiding citizen? KSL Anchorman Bruce Lindsay commented on the story with worlds of meaning in his words after the declaration of the ’small fine’ levied for ‘disorderly conduct’:

“That’s a slap on the wrist, Sam, he’s done this three times already. Is there reason to believe he’ll do this again?”

Bruce, if by ‘he’s done this three times already’, you mean that he’s complied with the law to the full extent plus more while exercising his constitutional rights, then yes.   But why the outrage that he ONLY got a slap on the wrist, and  still calling for further crack down on this man’s constitutional rights, I don’t understand. He obeyed the law. You don’t have to agree with him, but you do have to respect him. Crazy or not, he is a law abiding citizen who went out of his way to understand the law, and, as an American citizen, you must respect his rights, or face a breakdown of all our rights.  Just “a slap on the wrist”?   That makes me sick.  First it’s a slap, then it’s slap on the cuffs. 

What right will we be fined for expressing next? Freedom to assemble? wait…  we already need permits for political rallies. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure? …wait.. the IRS already garnishes and seizes whatever they want before you are even tried…  hm…   oh, I know, private property ownership?  wait… property taxes; we already have to pay the government to  ‘own’ what we already own. Freedom of religion? …wait… we can’t profess Christianity or pray in schools without being expelled, prosecuted, and sued.  You can claim the 5th and 6th amendments are violated in Guantanamo Bay and even mentioning the 10th amendment in legal circles brings titters; no one takes that one seriously. You’re called a “tenther” if you believe in the tenth amendment. I guess the founding father’s laughed when they put that one in too… it must have been a big joke. 

Was this the smartest way to invoke the 2nd amendment?  No.  But the argument that conceal carry is a better way to perform the 2nd amendment is also laughable;  do you have to pay your government, register, accept further restrictions, and demonstrate full competency in order to actually have your 2nd amendment rights? Or is that an ‘infringement’ of the 2nd amendment?

I also am shocked that the city of Orem has chosen to punish this man for complying to the law and exercising his constitutional right, while they violate his 4th amendment rights.  It appears that society will no longer tolerate open, peaceful expression of 2nd amendment rights.  

Apparently, we the people have the right to keep arms, but not bear them.  Why? because we didn’t exercise it. Now, everyone calls 9-1-1 when a firearm is sighted…  We only have ourselves to blame. The question now, is how do you fix it? I’m not sure, but I think this bill is a good start.  People are not afraid of guns, they are afraid of death and violence. So, is the answer to unlawful violence and death less personal protection, or more?

 Brice Bitter

 

Read the full bill of rights here.

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