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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    In Other News Comment
    Gregory Morris, 9/4/08 5:20:28 am
    Jerry is a heretic.

    Ok, I'm kidding about the heresy. But I really don't agree with him here. I don't have a problem with the Secret Service defining a "gun free zone" around a candidate... When there is an event like this, there are plenty of police on hand, and I honestly wouldn't feel a need or desire to carry inside of the limited "sterile" area. But outside the metal detectors, rights are rights. What if John Noble had been another 500 yards away? What if he had been in a building across the street? What if he was in a private residence with a line-of-sight to the place where a candidate was giving a speech? What about on the other side of town? Where can you draw the line and say "you have no right to carry a weapon here"? As far as I'm concerned, that line is, and must be, no more than the gates and metal detectors surrounding the immediate event.

    Jerry says it makes responsible gun owners look bad. Perhaps. But I think it makes gun owners look bad when they sit back and allow their rights to be abused. John Noble seems to be a responsible gun owner. A lot of people open carry solely for the purpose of startling people, and that may have been the case here. But I still fail to see why anyone feels justified in damning another person for exercising their rights in a way that harms nobody.

    Remember, the police can't charge him with any real crime, so they use the catch-all "disorderly conduct" which can be used to criminalize "any conduct we don't like."

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: In Other News
    TheGunGeek, 9/4/08 1:31:05 pm
    What do you do when you're going to and from the event? You might have to park many blocks away and walk through not-so-good parts of town (not that any place is inherently safe) to get to the candidate's speech. They don't have "check your gun here" signs up, do they?

    It's along the same lines as not allowing guns in parked cars in parking lots.
    Re: In Other News
    Gregory Morris, 9/4/08 1:41:27 pm
    Well, in the case of an Obama speech, I just wouldn't go... but not for the same reason ;)

    If you want to go to to a political speech, you have to be OK with not carrying there (if that is the security decision that was made.) Creating temporary, limited, sterile areas like this for the security of a VIP is simply not an infringement on your rights. This is true for the same reason that courthouses have always been a place where it is OK to ban firearms. Besides, these areas are heavily guarded by armed police officers. Argue with my reasoning if you like, but it is simply not a good tactical decision to pull out a firearm to defend yourself when you are basically surrounded by cops.

    I am a huge proponent, however, of laws requiring said sterile/gun-free areas to require proper, secure storage for your firearm. It is mostly a matter of convenience, but as your comment illustrates, there are situations where it is more than just inconvenient.
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