Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not 'the time or the place to show your rights'

Somehow, I had missed, until now, this account of a man arrested at an Obama rally in Pennsylvania while openly (and utterly legally) carrying a handgun.

Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said the issue isn’t whether Noble was legally carrying a gun. State police said Noble did not violate the state’s open carry law, under which you don’t need a permit to carry a weapon in plain sight.
But in the U.S. these days, one doesn't have to--you know--break the law to get arrested.
Instead, Berosh said, it’s a battle between two constitutional rights: The right to bear arms and the right to assemble peaceably and without fear.
OK, Anthony--I'm familiar (obviously) with the right to keep and bear arms, and I'm also on board with the Constitutional protection of the right to peaceably assemble, but the "right" to do so without fear? My copy of the Bill of Rights must be defective. Actually, how would protection for such a "right" work? People have all kinds of fears, some rational, many not. Some people have a fear of crowds. Tell me, Anthony, how do you protect that person's "right" to peaceably assemble "without fear"?
Berosh said Noble did not have the right to alarm anyone around him attending the Barack Obama rally in Irvine Park.
So if someone "alarms" me, I can have him arrested? Or does that only work at Barack Obama rallies (and do such rallies have to be in Irvine Park)? Hmm--I find it rather alarming to see people go into quasi-religious swoons over political candidates--can I have most attendees of Obama rallies arrested?

Beaver County Sheriff George David, a self-proclaimed "gun advocate," kindly provided me with the title for this blog post:
“I don’t think this was the time or the place to show your rights,” David said.
So he acknowledges Noble's right to be armed, but this wasn't "the time or the place" to exercise that right. If one can be arrested for exercising a right (because it's not "the time or place" to do so), I can't help but wonder how much of a right it actually is. There's also the little problem of the fact that there wasn't a law (even an unconstitutional one) against what Noble did.

Berosh then helpfully makes this observation:
Berosh said, “You have a right to strike a match, unless you’re in a TNT factory.”
Then again, striking a match in a TNT factory is in itself a grossly, irresponsibly dangerous action that can lead directly to death and destruction, while carrying a holstered firearm at a political rally is not. Work on your analogy, Anthony.

In a society that supposedly places a premium on personal liberty, it is always the right time and place to "show your rights."


Anonymous said...

Stiking the match in a TNT factory is an action, as is firing your gun irresponsibly or in a criminal fashion. Having the match on you is the same as carrying your holstered gun.

Anonymous said...

"Berosh said, “You have a right to strike a match, unless you’re in a TNT factory.”"

I believe what he means is that you can carry a gun unless you're in or near a group of people who go all crazy over their hate of guns and people who carry them.

Nice, Mob rule. You have all the rights in the world, unless, you know, someone else doesn't like what you're doing. Then no rights for you, all for them.

Anonymous said...

Arresting and persecuting* people for activities that are both legal and protected by the Constitution, and stealing their property could be construed to be "striking a match in a TNT factory."

* NB - if I had meant prosecuting, I would have said prosecuting.

The_Chef said...

Hmmm you know who alarms me? Politicians. Can we have them arrested?

Anonymous said...

but, but, but, Kurt, he scared white people. Isn't that what we keep being warned against?

Will our prags now state that anything that happens to him is ok, because he should have known he would scare white people? Don't they tell us all the time that there is a time and a place and a proper manner to exercise your rights? (When nobody knows you are.)

Hey, just asking.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I'm trying (as best I can) to stop picking fights with the pragmatics--hell, when I'm honest with myself, I have to admit to being a "recovering prag" myself ("Pragmatics Anonymous"--wouldn't that be cool? "I'm Kurt ["Hi, Kurt!"], I'm a recovering pragmatic, and I've been compromise-free on gun rights for two years.")

I don't object to the existence of the more mainstream, more conciliatory wing of the gun rights advocacy movement--I just get riled when they object to us pursuing our approach.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the prags either. I just get extremely pissed off when they are angry with me for not being as scared and malleable as they are.

When, in truth, I am probably more scared than they are. Because I don't and won't kneel. I do not view being chickenshit as a viable excuse for not standing your ground. Being scared is not necessarily being chickensht, but letting it modify your stance most certainly is.

I don't hate them. I just don't much respect them, with a few exceptions. Even those exceptions have a poor opinion of me, but that is more to their account than mine. No, I don't hate them, but I will not quietly allow them to scold me for courage they do not have.

If you care to explore this further, I have a hypothetical that illustrates what I am talking about, and which will put this in perspective.

Anonymous said...

I think it is an over-simplification to state that "prags" act out of cowardice...that they are "chickenshit".

Anonymous said...

Great movie line: "I'm your huckle bearer!" Let's do an experiment.

How about some 'brave' non-compromisers on Liberty meet me for lunch in downtown Chicago. Strap on your .45 and sling your AR15 over your shoulder come on down.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I'm not sure that a refusal to go to a place where liberty is dead constitutes a willingness to compromise on liberty.

General Washington himself probably wouldn't have stopped in to have lunch with a redcoat garrison, but I don't think that indicates a lack of courage on his part to stand up for principles.

In any event, I don't think it's fear, and certainly not cowardice, that motivates either side in the "prags" vs. "absolutists" debate--just a difference of opinion about methods.

My point is that we can each pursue our own methods, and stop getting our panties in a bunch over the fact that not everyone wants to pursue the exact same methods.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I apologize for the blatant attempt to troll.

With regards to General Washington, my feeling is that if he were miraculously resurrected and were made aware of the situation in Chicago, he'd call up the militia and march in.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

It's the "call[ing] up the militia" part that tends to be difficult these days.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's an unarmed militia! A zombie army!

Anonymous said...

As I said, I don't hate them. But I will not quietly be scolded by them.

And yeah, I see it as chickenshit when they want others to be quiet too, just so as not to attract attention.

I don't ask them to be as outspoken as I am. They should not ask me to be as accepting as they are.

Do I hope their way will work? Hell yes. But then I look at where we are and realize that their way got us here.

Anonymous said...

A part of my anger about it is directed inward. Because at one time I was "reasonable". So yeah, I share the blame. But my God man! We should learn. I did.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I can't be sure, but I would imagine that most of us III-types were once "pragmatic." I certainly was, but there's a limit to the number of times that even a little dog like me will placidly accept being kicked.

Anonymous said...

I finally decided that if it was necessary that somebody change to accomodate somebody else, they should change to accomodate me.

And yes, that is a moral stance. Because if I accomodate them they take something from me that is not their right to take. If they accomodate me I take nothing from them and do not abuse them in any way. They are free to do as they wish. If, on the other hand, I accomodate them, I am not free to do as I wish, but only to do as they wish.

Fuck that!